Samuel Pepys in Paris and Other Essays

Samuel Pepys in Paris and Other Essays

Samuel Pepys in Paris and Other Essays

Samuel Pepys in Paris and Other Essays


Three annotated essays are examined and conjectures are made as to events probably occurring during the period. The essays are “Samuel Pepys in Paris,” “Medieval Gardens,” and “A Twelfth-Century Schoolmaster.”


The reader might think from observing this title that we have discovered some continuation to the famous Diary which ends so abruptly on May 31st, 1669, three months before Pepys made his visit to the French capital. No papers of this kind have been found, of course, and yet it is not impossible to make this trip with our friend from Seething Lane to the Paris of September-October 1669, bearing in mind the sort of things which he liked to see, and making some very good guesses as to where he went and whom he met.

On August 21st, old style, 1669, Evelyn wrote to Pepys: “I could have set you down catalogues of many rare pictures and collections to be seen in that city [Paris], but you will every day meet with fresher intelligence. It is now many years since I was there et mutantur tempora, et mores, et homines. Pray forget not to visit the Taille-douce shops, and make collections of what they have excellent, especially the draughts of their palaces, churches and gardens, and the particulars you will have seen. They will greatly refresh you in your study and by your fireside, when you are many years returned. Israel, Sylvestre, Morin, Chaveau are great masters both for things of the kind extant, and inventions extremely pleasant. You will easily be acquainted with the best painters, especially Le Brun, who is the chief of them; and it would not be amiss to be present at their Academie, in which Monsieur Du Bosse (a principal member) will conduct you. For the rest I recommend you to God Almighty’s protection; augure you a good journey, and kissing your ladies hands, remain….

“These three letters I enclose to be presented according to the directions; with many more I could burthen you, but your short stay will not require it; and besides, being persons of great quality, much of your time would be consum’d in making and repaying but impertinent visits, in which I believe you would not willingly engage. I send you the letters open for you to seal when you please.

“P.S. Sr.—When you are arrived at Paris, the best service which can be done you, will be to address you where you may immediately repose yourself till you are provided and settled in a lodging suitable to your company. Therefore, you may please to enquire for one Hughs, an Englishman, who lives à la Rue la . . .

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