Sunday, May 10, 2009

Your friend, Samuel Pepys

In my continuing quest to get anyone who stops at this blog to add the Daily Pepys diary to their RSS reader, I present this bit of bad-neighborliness from Pepys's diary for April 20, 1666:
Thence to Paul's Churchyarde, and there bespoke some new books, and so to my ruling woman's and there did see my work a doing, and so home and to my office a little, but was hindered of business I intended by being sent for to Mrs. Turner, who desired some discourse with me and lay her condition before me, which is bad and poor. Sir Thomas Harvey intends again to have lodgings in her house, which she prays me to prevent if I can, which I promised. Thence to talke generally of our neighbours. I find she tells me the faults of all of them, and their bad words of me and my wife, and indeed do discover more than I thought. So I told her, and so will practise that I will have nothing to do with any of them. She ended all with a promise of shells to my wife, very fine ones indeed, and seems to have great respect and honour for my wife. So home and to bed.
Ah, the perils of neighbors! The only thing worse is . . . family?

How could anyone resist such an intimate, gossipy, even goofy account of life as lived three hundred and fifty years ago? Make Pepys your daily companion; I promise you won't regret it.

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