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08 August 2014 @ 06:39 pm
puppy love  
Pepys has an interesting diary entry, a few hundred years ago, getting up hours before dawn.  I can't quite decode the last sentence - - assuming he wasn't really serious about stealing the dog.  I guess it's 17th-century irony.

Wednesday 7 August 1661
Called up at three o’clock, and was a-horseback by four; and as I was eating my breakfast I saw a man riding by that rode a little way upon the road with me last night; and he being going with venison in his pan-yards to London, I called him in and did give him his breakfast with me, and so we went together all the way. At Hatfield we bayted and walked into the great house through all the courts; and I would fain have stolen a pretty dog that followed me, but I could not, which troubled me.

A lot of the diary that was probably crystal clear at the time has become a bit obscure.  Thus a fun read rather than a dry record of what/who/when/where.

Nicholas: pepysnwhyte on August 9th, 2014 08:04 am (UTC)
My reading is that his conscience was troubled by his own immediate larcenous dognapping instincts. Though there is another reading that he was simply annoyed that there was no practical way of getting away with the stolen animal!
nelcnelc on August 9th, 2014 08:55 pm (UTC)
I wondered whether it was a stray or belonged to the lady of Hatfield Court (I don't know who that would be, my knowledge of Pepys' London is limited to the headlines). If the latter, then maybe this is the joke he made to her while petting it.