CHRISTMAS STORY: 25 December 1662 by Samuel Pepys

25 December 1662 by Samuel Pepys

From his Diary 

CHRISTMAS DAY

Had a pleasant walk to White Hall, where I intended to have received the Communion with the family, but I came a little too late.  So I walked up into the house and spent my time looking over pictures, particularly the ships in King Henry the VIIIth’s Voyage to Bullaen [Boulogne]; marking the great difference between those built then and now.  By and by down to the chapel again, where Bishop Morley preached upon the song of the Angels, “Glory to God on high, on Earth peace, and good will towards men.”  Methought he made a poor sermon, but long, and, reprehending the common jollity of the Court for the true joy that shall and ought to be on these days, he particularized concerning their excess in playes and gaming, saying that he whose office it is to keep the gamesters in order and within bounds serves but for a second rather in a duell, meaning the groome-porter.  Upon which it was worth observing how far they are come from taking the reprehensions of a bishop seriously, that they all laugh in the chapel when he reflected on their ill actions and courses.  He did much press us to joy in these public days of joy, and to hospitality; but one that stood by whispered in my eare that the Bishop himself do not spend one groate to the poor.  The sermon done, a good anthem followed, with vials, and the King came down to receive the Sacrament.  But I staid not, but calling my boy from my Lord’s lodgings, and giving Sarah some good advice by my Lord’s order to be sober, and look after the house, I walked home again with great pleasure, and there dined by my wife’s bedside with great content, having a mess of brave plum-porridge and a roasted pullet for dinner, and I sent for a mince-pie abroad, my wife not being well, to make any herself yet.

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