Pepys Quotes

On Marriage
To church in the morning, and there saw a wedding in the church, which I have not seen many a day; and  the young people so merry one with another, and strange to see what delight we married people have to these poor fools decoyed into our condition, every man and woman gazing and smiling at them.
- Diary, December 25, 1665.

Original Sin
Up and with my wife to church, where Mr. Mills made an unnecessary sermon on Original Sin, neither understood by himself, nor the people.
- Diary, February 10, 1667

A Midsummer Night's Dream
This day my oaths of drinking wine and going to plays are out, and so I do resolve to take a liberty to-day, and then to fall to them again. To the King's Theatre, where we saw "Midsummer's Night's Dream," which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life. I saw, I confess, some good dancing and some handsome women, which was all my pleasure.
- Diary, September 29, 1662. (emphasis added)

To the Duke's house, and there saw Mackbeth most excellently acted, and a most excellent play for variety.
- Diary,  December 28, 1666

Macbeth again
... thence to the Duke's house and saw Macbeth; which though I saw it lately, yet appears a most excellent play in all respects, but especially in divertisement, though it be a deep tragedy; which is a strange perfection in a tragedy, it being most proper here and suitable.
- Diary, January 7, 1667

Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle
The whole story of this Lady is a romance, and all she doth is romantic. Her footmen in velvet coats, and herself in an antique dress, as they say; and was the other day at her own play, The Humourous Lovers; the most ridiculous thing that ever was wrote, but yet she and her Lord mightily pleased with it, and she at the end made her respect to the players from her box and did give them thanks.
- Diary, April 11, 1667

He that will not stoop for a pin will never be worth a pound.

- Diary, January 3, 1668.

Living in the Moment
The truth is, I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it; and, out of my observation that most men that do thrive in the world do forget to take pleasure during the time that they are getting their estate, but reserve that till they have got one, and then it is too late for them to enjoy it.

- Diary, March 10, 1666

The Plague
"It struck me very deep this afternoon going with a hackney coach from my Lord Treasurer's down Holborne, the coachman I found to drive easily and easily, at last stood still, and came down hardly able to stand, and told me that he was suddenly stuck very sick, and almost blind, he could not see. So I 'light and went into another coach with a sad heart for the poor man and trouble for myself lest he should have been struck with the plague, being at the end of town that I took him up; But God have mercy upon us all!"

- Diary, June 17, 1665

Abstaining from the Drink
But thanks be to God, since my leaving drinking of wine, I do find myself much better and to mind my business better and to spend less money, and less time lost in idle company.
- Diary, 26 January 1662

On Pleasure, Music, and Women
I do still see that my nature is not to be quite conquered, but will esteem pleasure above all things, though yet in the middle of it, it has reluctances after my business, which is neglected by my following my pleasure. However musique and women I cannot but give way to, whatever my business is.
- Diary, March 9, 1665

On Feasting
....and strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.
- Diary, November 9, 1665

On Wigs
And it is a wonder what will be the fashion after the plague is done as to periwigs, for nobody will dare to buy any haire for fear of the infection - that it had been cut off the heads of people dead of the plague.
- Diary, September 3, 1665

The End of the World
Great talk among people how some of the Fanatiques do say that the end of the world is at hand, and that next Tuesday is to be the day. Against which, whenever it shall be, good God fit us all!
- Diary, November 25, 1662

On Marrying the Wench Lord told me that among his father's many old sayings that he had wrote in a book of his, this is one— that he that do get a wench with child and marry her afterwards is as if a man should ---- in his hat and then clap it on his head.
- Diary, October 7, 1660

On Money
But it is pretty to see what money will do.
- Diary, March 21, 1666.

Love of Books
After that to a bookseller's and bought for the love of the binding three books.
- Diary, May 15, 1660.

Separation of Church and State
I did not like that Clergy should meddle with matters of state.

- Diary, July 8, 1660.

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