Samual Pepys | Entertain myself with my perspective glass

The Diary of Samual Pepys


Samual Pepys (1633 – 1703)

Before the yesterday, I had no idea that Samual Pepys existed. I’d certainly never heard of his diary. Or, if I had run across his writing before, it wasn’t that memorable.

I had a single year of English Literature. We encountered lot’s of memorable writing that year, no doubt. But, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a selection from Samual Pepys. I’m also pretty sure I would have enjoyed his diary more than all the time we spent on Beowulf. And, I know for a fact it would have been better than the hour we spent listening to that ancient epic read in Old English…

It’s my understanding that Pepys’ diary is at least somewhat infamous. And, that it’s probably more likely that you’ll know something of the man and his diary if you are from England. I appreciate now that his diary was groundbreaking in a number of ways, as well as giving a vivid portrayal of life in his time…

I did entertain myself with my perspective glass up and down the church, by which I had the great pleasure of seeing and gazing at a great many very fine women…

Samuel Pepys (1633 – 1703)

The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys

I laughed pretty hard at this quote when I found it. How absurd it all seemed, using a spyglass to peek around a congregation.

Then it dawned on me how going to church would have been much more inviting to me, had I been allowed to bring a small telescope. Even if a church is far from being a sexualized setting, the idea appeals to my voyeuristic side.

What does appear obvious, is that our sense of decorum has changed dramatically since the 17th century. Yes, Samuel Pepys was a Member of Parliment and Chief Secretary to the Admiralty.  But, no matter their title, I just can’t imagine anyone in the modern age getting away with bringing a telescope to church for girl watching…

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