Friday 14 February 1661/62

(Valentine’s day). I did this day purposely shun to be seen at Sir W. Batten’s, because I would not have his daughter to be my Valentine, as she was the last year, there being no great friendship between us now, as formerly. This morning in comes W. Bowyer, who was my wife’s Valentine, she having, at which I made good sport to myself, held her hands all the morning, that she might not see the paynters that were at work in gilding my chimney-piece and pictures in my diningroom. By and by she and I by coach with him to Westminster, by the way leaving at Tom’s and my wife’s father’s lodgings each of them some poor Jack, and some she carried to my father Bowyer’s, where she staid while I walked in the Hall, and there among others met with Serj’. Pierce, and I took him aside to drink a cup of ale, and he told me the basest thing of Mr. Montagu’s and his man Eschar’s going away in debt, that I am troubled and ashamed, but glad to be informed of. He thinks he has left 1000l. for my Lord to pay, and that he has not laid out 3,000l. Out of the 5,000l. for my Lord’s use, and is not able to make an account of any of the money. My wife and I to dinner to the Wardrobe, and then to talk with my Lady, and so by coach, it raining hard, home, and so to do business and to bed.

7 Annotations

Pedro   Link to this

"Mr. Montagu's and his man Eschar's going away in debt, that I am troubled and ashamed, but glad to be informed of”

Never did trust that Frenchman, making great complaints against the English, and speaking much against our music!

Josh   Link to this

Might someone give us a brief overview of the souring relations with Batten's daughter since last Valentine's Day?

Glyn   Link to this

I don't think that there is any specially bad feeling between the two, but we DO know that it's part of Sam's long-term strategy to get things at work on a more formal and businesslike basis with his work colleagues.

1660: Sam didn't have a Valentine, Elizabeth's was Henry Moore.

1661: Sam's Valentine was Martha Batten, Elizabeth's Valentine was Sir William Batten.

Just to recap: the first man (not a husband or a relative) who a woman sees becomes her Valentine (and has to give her presents), which is why Elizabeth has spent the morning going around with a hand over her eyes. And maybe why Elizabeth has made sure of getting a Valentine every year, but Sam (who can be careful with his money) doesn’t always have one.

It seems to have been a fairly lighthearted occasion as shown by the trick Mingo tried to play on Sam last year.

dirk   Link to this

"...and that he has not laid out 3,000£. Out of the 5,000£. for my Lord's use…”

For the sake of clarity, I read this as one continuous sentence - no capital O in “Out”.

Pauline   Link to this

"...held her hands all the morning, that she might not see the paynters..."
Yes, Glyn, Elizabeth has been careful where her eyes fall. Who better than Will Boyer?

From this mornings New York Times OpEd page: "Popular celebrations of Valentine's Day gained ground in the late 17th century..."

"...the church declared Feb. 15 St. Valentine's Feast in 498 A.D. It was not trying to celebrate romance. Rather, the Church wanted to replace the existing holiday, a festival honoring Juno, the Roman goddess of love and marriage. Church fathers probably hoped as well that a Valentine holiday would undercut the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which began each Feb. 15. According to Roman custom, on Feb. 14--the night before Lupercalia--boys would draw names from a jar to find which girls would be their sexual partner for the rest of the year." [I think she means each boy, one girl's name.]

Piece by Stephanie Coontz, history professor at my state's "Hippie College", Evergreen State. Her book: "Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage.

So with Sam and Elizabeth we are amid the transformation of this holiday as well as the transformation of marriage as an institution of love. And we get to "hurrah" the church's failure to disconnect the holiday from romance as well.

vicenzo   Link to this

Still some malvais jacque left overs, it better be salted, but some do like little their tid bits, high, like gorgonzola left in tuck box for 8 wks before its owner did remove and chew on.
Re: Me Lauds monies? it be missing I dothe [do] think. [1,000£]
Money like honey it doth stick to greedy paws.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"she having, at which I made good sport to myself, held her hands all the morning..."

"Bess, look! A mouse!. Bess, look, your father's finally come to pay us a visit! Bess, Jane just dropped the chamberpot in the parlor!" Heh, heh.

And cruelest of all...

"Bess...Here's your Easter clothing money. Darling? Don't you want it?"

"Prick-louse Devil." a hiss.


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