CLERK OF THE ACTS AND SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY
Transcribed from the
shorthand manuscript in the PEPYSIAN
Magdalene college Cambridge by the Rev. MYNORS Bright M.A. Late fellow
and President of the college
Editedwith additions by
Henry B. Wheatley F.S.A.
March 1st. Up, it being very cold weather again after a good deal of warm summer weather, and to the office, where I settled to do much business to-day. By and by sent for to Sir G. Carteret to discourse of the business of the Navy, and our wants, and the best way of bestowing the little money we have, which is about L30,000, but, God knows, we have need of ten times as much, which do make my life uncomfortable, I confess, on the King’s behalf, though it is well enough as to my own particular, but the King’s service is undone by it. Having done with him, back again to the office, and in the streets, in Mark Lane, I do observe, it being St. David’s day, the picture of a man dressed like a Welchman, hanging by the neck upon one of the poles that stand out at the top of one of the merchants’ houses, in full proportion, and very handsomely done; which is one of the oddest sights I have seen a good while, for it was so like a man that one would have thought it was indeed a man.
[From “Poor Robin’s Almanack” for 1757 it appears that, in former times in England, a Welshman was burnt in effigy on this anniversary. Mr. W. C. Hazlitt, in his edition of Brand’s “Popular Antiquities,” adds “The practice to which Pepys refers . . . was very common at one time; and till very lately bakers made gingerbread Welshmen, called taffies, on St. David’s day, which were made to represent a man skewered” (vol. i., pp. 60,61).]
Being returned home, I find Greeting, the flageolet-master, come, and teaching my wife; and I do think my wife will take pleasure in it, and it will be easy for her, and pleasant. So I, as I am well content with the charge it will occasion me. So to the office till dinner-time, and then home to dinner, and before dinner making my wife to sing. Poor wretch! her ear is so bad that it made me angry, till the poor wretch cried to see me so vexed at her, that I think I shall not discourage her so much again, but will endeavour to make her understand sounds, and do her good that way; for she hath a great mind to learn, only to please me; and, therefore, I am mighty unjust to her in discouraging her so much, but we were good friends, and to dinner, and had she not been