Sunday 2 March 1661/62

(Lord’s day). With my mind much eased talking long in bed with my wife about our frugall life for the time to come, proposing to her what I could and would do if I were worth 2,000l., that is, be a knight, and keep my coach, which pleased her,1 and so I do hope we shall hereafter live to save something, for I am resolved to keep myself by rules from expenses. To church in the morning: none in the pew but myself. So home to dinner, and after dinner came Sir William and talked with me till church time, and then to church, where at our going out I was at a loss by Sir W. Pen’s putting me upon it whether to take my wife or Mrs. Martha (who alone was there), and I began to take my wife, but he jogged me, and so I took Martha, and led her down before him and my wife. So set her at home, and Sir William and my wife and I to walk in the garden, and anon hearing that Sir G. Carteret had sent to see whether we were at home or no, Sir William and I went to his house, where we waited a good while, they being at prayers, and by and by we went up to him; there the business was about hastening the East India ships, about which we are to meet to-morrow in the afternoon. So home to my house, and Sir William supped with me, and so to bed.

  1. Lord Braybrooke wrote, “This reminds me of a story of my father’s, when he was of Merton College, and heard Bowen the porter wish that he had 100l. a-year, to enable him to keep a couple of hunters and a pack of foxhounds.”

11 Annotations

Mary   Link to this

"our frugal life for the time to come"

I hope this doesn't mean that Elizabeth is not going to get the promised £20 for her new, Easter outfit.

Mary   Link to this

"but he jogged me"

So Sam is still trying to maintain the distance from Martha Batten that we observed on Valentine's Day.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"frugall life"
Hmm. We seem to have heard this before.... Wonder how long it will be before bottles of wine, barrels of oysters for the company and trips to the theatre happen again!

Clement   Link to this

"...what I could and would do ...that is, be a knight..."

Vestis virum facit--while clothes may make the man when walking amongst the general public (and Sam has upgraded his wardrobe this past year), he knows he also needs greater wealth to gain access to the social standing that seems a dear desire of his: knighthood.
One can imagine the young Sam standing at the mirror and addressing himself, "Morning, Sir Samuel;" maybe even daring to whisper a peer's title after that.

This seems to have been a closely-held fantasy of his--only confided to his diary and his wife (humourously as a carrot for frugality)--and working amidst the two Sir Williams must have been a constant reminder. Especially so since he clearly thought himself at least their equal, though without the seafaring history of daring-do in service of the crown/protectorate.
I infer that it was closely held because of the offense Sam took at the Joyces' laughter at the notion.

vicenzo   Link to this

Oh! wot sweet memories. If only I had a couple of million quid, but I have had a few million lire* in me 'and, I did, I did. "...proposing to her what I could and would do if I were worth 2,000l., that is, be a knight, and keep my coach, which pleased her..."
Written in 1776 by Adam Smith "Wealth of Nations' PAGE 76 Eighteen pence a day may be reckoned the common price of Labour in London and its neighbourhood..." or 22L 5s 0d per annum. According to E Picard a Baronet's income be in the region 800L a year.

[*Turkish 1[old]ML = 69c]

john lauer   Link to this

"but he jogged me": is that “to call the attention of”?

vicenzo   Link to this

'jogged' I doth believe it to be jab on the elbow to Indicate to Sam, to be the GENT [by showing respect for "Sir W's daughter"] and take the younger woman while the older Gent squire his wife, 'tis the order of pecking, it be.

Glyn   Link to this

I can think of a lot of Sams and Elizabeths who would hope to be able to own today's equivalent (a Jaguar/BMW/Porsche?). And in Pepys time that also meant being rich enought to employ a driver, since you wouldn't drive yourself. But like Mary I hope that by cutting down on luxuries he means for himself, and not in the clothes that Elizabeth requires. But if he needs 2000 pounds in savings, and he only has 500 pounds and has lost money over the last 6-months) then this is obviously a very long term goal.

That's an incredibly snobbish remark by the Victorian Lord Brayborne, from an era when people were expected to know their place in life.

Glyn   Link to this

Presumably he and Elizabeth have been window-shopping outside used-coach lots since they can hardly afford a new one. ("One careful owner, a lady who only used it to go to church but sadly a tree fell on her in the late storm. Look at those racing stripes on the back wheels and the new-fangled leather suspension. Want to take it for a test-drive?")

It's a nice image, he and Elizabeth in bed planning their future together and no doubt talking about colour schemes for the coach and how it would make their friends so envious.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Wonder if Sir Will P wasn't perhaps aiming to enjoy the chance to squire our Beth in "jogging" Sam to take Sir Will B's Martha. He did insist on Beth coming with him and Sam (without Lady Penn) to a play or two recently if I remember correctly.

vicenzo   Link to this

Nah! more like a Lear jet or used Boeing 737, at the minimum for those that be in the top 10% of up and coming City folk, down at the Modern Greshams. Beemers , Rollers be a dime a dozen for the mods. They can be had from the nearest Stables for a few bag of oats, one nearest the door, as it be freshly washed and fed. "equivalent (a Jaguar/BMW/Porsche?)."

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