Samuel P., age 27, English Channel


Up early, and with Mr. Pickering and the child by waggon to Scheveling, where it not being yet fit to go off, I went to lie down in a chamber in the house, where in another bed there was a pretty Dutch woman in bed alone, but though I had a month’s-mind1 I had not the boldness to go to her. So there I slept an hour or two. At last she rose, and then I rose and walked up and down the chamber, and saw her dress herself after the Dutch dress, and talked to her as much as I could, and took occasion, from her ring which she wore on her first finger, to kiss her hand, but had not the face to offer anything more. So at last I left her there and went to my company.

About 8 o’clock I went into the church at Scheveling, which was pretty handsome, and in the chancel a very great upper part of the mouth of a whale, which indeed was of a prodigious bigness, bigger than one of our long boats that belong to one of our ships.

Commissioner Pett at last came to our lodging, and caused the boats to go off; so some in one boat and some in another we all bid adieu to the shore.

But through badness of weather we were in great danger, and a great while before we could get to the ship, so that of all the company not one but myself that was not sick. I keeping myself in the open air, though I was soundly wet for it. This hath not been known four days together such weather at this time of year, a great while. Indeed our fleet was thought to be in great danger, but we found all well, and Mr. Thos. Crew came on board.

I having spoke a word or two with my Lord, being not very well settled, partly through last night’s drinking and want of sleep, I lay down in my gown upon my bed and slept till the 4 o’clock gun the next morning waked me, which I took for 8 at night, and rising … mistook the sun rising for the sun setting on Sunday night.

*(The Diary of Samuel Pepys M.A. F.R.S., edited by Henry B. Wheatley F.S.A., London, George Bell & Sons York St. Covent Garden, Cambridge Deighton Bell & Co., 1893.)