20 Cheeky Entries From a 17th-Century Diary We Can All Relate to

Samuel Pepys was a 17th-century English Navy administrator and parliament member who is now famous for an incredibly detailed and honest diary that he kept for a decade.

He wrote in the diary from 1660 until 1669 and discussed everything from sexual encounters with servant girls, to his habit of drinking and watching plays. The diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most important primary sources for the time period. It includes his eyewitness accounts of the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War, and the Great Fire of London.

But really, it’s just chock full of hilariously honest recordings of the day. Here are 20 of the cheekiest entries that we can all relate to:

1. Going to bed.
 

“And so to bed.”

Often used at the end of the day’s diary entry.
 
 

2. When your cat wakes you up in the middle of the night.
 

“…our young gibb-cat did leap down our stairs from top to bottom, at two leaps, and frighted us, that we could not tell well whether it was the cat or a spirit, and do sometimes think this morning that the house might be haunted.”

Friday, November 29th, 1667
 
 

3. When you party so hard you wake up the neighbors.
 

“About 11 home, it being a fine moonshine and so my wife and Mercer come into the garden, and, my business being done, we sang till about twelve at night, with mighty pleasure to ourselves and neighbours, by their casements opening.”

Thursday, November 9th, 1665
 
 

4. When you’re supposed to be working but you just want to party.
 

“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.”

Friday, March 9th, 1666
 
 

5. When you know your vices.
 

“…musique and women I cannot but give way to, whatever my business is.”

Friday, March 9th, 1666
 
 

6. When you’re just not feeling the sermon.
 

“Up and with my wife to church, where Mr. Mills made an unnecessary sermon on Original Sin, neither understood by himself, nor the people.”

Sunday, February 10, 1667
 
 


7. When you see an awesome show.
 

“… 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.”

Monday, January 7th, 1667
 
 

8. When your friends know they can always crash at your place.
 

“Mighty proud I am that I am able to have a spare bed for my friends.”

Wednesday, August 8th, 1666
 
 

9. When everybody keeps talking about the apocalypse.
 

“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!”

Tuesday, November 25th, 1662
 
 

10. When you go out with your friends and share all the details.
 

“Off the Exchange with Sir J. Cutler and Mr. Grant to the Royall Oak Tavern, in Lumbard Street, where Alexander Broome the poet was, a merry and witty man, I believe, if he be not a little conceited, and here drank a sort of French wine, called Ho Bryan, that hath a good and most particular taste that I never met with.”

Friday, April 10th, 1663
 
 

11. When you catch a cold because you weren’t thinking.
 

“This cold did most certainly come by my staying a little too long bare- legged yesterday morning when I rose while I looked out fresh socks and thread stockings, yesterday’s having in the night, lying near the window, been covered with snow within the window, which made me I durst not put them on.”

Sunday, March 9th, 1667
 
 


12. When you stay up way too late because you’re reading something awesome.
 

“Before I went to bed, I sat up till 2 a-clock in my chamber, reading of Mr. Hooke’s Microscopical Observations, the most ingenious book that I ever read in my life.”

Saturday, January 21st, 1665
 
 

13. When you just can’t stop yourself from going out and drinking.
 

“This day my oaths for drinking of 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.”

Monday, September 29th, 1662
 
 

14. When food solves everything.
 

“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.”

Thursday, November 9th, 1665
 
 

15. When you’re really good at making excuses for your behavior.
 

“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 with any pleasure.”

Saturday, March 10th, 1666
 
 

16. When you see a terrible show.
 

“Then 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.”

Monday, September 29th, 1662
 
 

17. When your significant other messes with you.
 

“At last, about one o’clock, she come to my side of the bed, and drew my curtaine open, and with the tongs red hot at the ends, made as if she did design to pinch me with them, at which, in dismay, I rose up, and with a few words she laid them down.”

Tuesday, January 12th, 1669
 
 

18. When you fall asleep at church.
 

“…and so at church time to church again, where the Scott preached, and I slept most of the time.”

Sunday, November 8th, 1663
 
 

19. When you need to lock up the dog.
 

“At night to bed, and my wife and I did fall out about the dog’s being put down into the cellar, which I had a mind to have done because of his fouling the house, and I would have my will, and so we went to bed and lay all night in a quarrel.”

Tuesday, November 6th, 1660
 
 

20. When you get the urge to start a band.
 

“I could not believe that ever any musick hath that real command over the soul of a man as this did upon me: and makes me resolve to practice wind-musique, and to make my wife do the like.”

Thursday, Februaury 27th, 1668
 
 

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