Monday 14 April 1662

Being weary last night I lay very long in bed to-day, talking with my wife, and persuaded her to go to Brampton, and take Sarah with her, next week, to cure her ague by change of ayre, and we agreed all things therein. We rose, and at noon dined, and then we to the Paynter’s, and there sat the last time for my little picture, which I hope will please me. Then to Paternoster Row to buy things for my wife against her going. So home and walked upon the leads with my wife, and whether she suspected anything or no I know not, but she is quite off of her going to Brampton, which something troubles me, and yet all my design was that I might the freer go to Portsmouth when the rest go to pay off the yards there, which will be very shortly. But I will get off if I can. So to supper and to bed.

27 Annotations

Bradford  •  Link

"But the sea air, I mean the country air, would soon set you to rights."

Elizabeth eyed him as if she were reading a book that did not wholly please her.

"I shall mend quite as soon at home, with you here beside me."

---de Rigueur, "Pepys's Progress"

cumgranissalis  •  Link

Spring has sprung and the Lambs be gambling with foxes of the downs and you want to take a gambol with lifes offerings at a Navy hideaway.
You are gambling with Eliza, she ain't that daft.

Judy B  •  Link

I wonder how Sam keeps Elizabeth from reading his diary? Even though he wrote it in a kind of shorthand, I would think she might be able to interpret it and find it fascinating reading!

Australian Susan  •  Link

You may change your aliases, Vincent, but your style is unmistakeable!

Miss Ann  •  Link

I'm with you "Australian Susan" - Vincent has a peculiar way of expressing himself, and I mean that in the nicest possible way!

Thankfully, he still graces our computers daily.

Mary  •  Link

But how many grains of salt are we to expect?

Mary  •  Link

Poor Sarah.

She's been ailing for several weeks now.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Poor Sarah"
If it is malaria,it is recurrent and very disabling;now consider Africa where malaria is endemic and a lot of people can't afford the treatment! but a vaccine is on the way.

JWB  •  Link

A. De Araujo
Vaccinology is medicine's dark continent. Best anti-malaria candidate in the news recently has been 17 yrs in development and is 30% effective.

bardi  •  Link

Back to the "paynting," a special collection of miniatures is at the Victoria & Albert. Several from the mid-1600s of "unknown gentlemen." Didn't find one that looked like our Sam but someone else might.
Also, 1,700 pamphlets and documents re Charles I from 1640-1670 have just been found in the basement of the Home Office. (Spring cleaning?) Now safely at the British Library.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Cumgranissalis is certainly our Vicenzo (or Vincent): click on the name and a "new message" window will appear...

David A. Smith  •  Link

"whether she suspected anything or no I know not"
It's quite clear, Judy B, that Elizabeth could not read Sam's diary (if you click and scroll down, you can see a facsimile page), but what's equally striking, not only did Sam encrypt his text, he further encyphered its meaning by *not mentioning the subject.* WHAT does Sam have in mind? We can suspect, but on this evidence, we do not know. And indeed, Sam isn't even vocalizing *to himself* what debauch or license he is planning to allow himself.
This feels to me very revealing of a remarkable complexity of character, and a subtleness/ deviousness of purpose. But will Sam use his powers for Good (Navy) or for Evil (philandry)? Only future diary entries will tell ... no peeking!

cumgranissalis  •  Link

"Best anti-malaria candidate " It was the greed of the Land Lords to have more sheep, there by having the Fens and marshes drained. They cleaned up the River Lee as well, because the Sea Lords wanted better estates, closer to London. One of the benefits be the sweet smelling aires, rather than all that smell of decay. By error, the mystery of lowering of death by by bad aire remained a mystery for some time. Ague was a bigger remover of life than the plague, when one averages the mortality rates for previous century. The Flea killed off its own future food source, but It was more spectacular when it did hit. 'Tis like the fuss made over the toll over a plane crash, yet the mortality rate of auto deaths be a thousand fold over the aerial versions, the peaks are shocking but steady diets be forgot.
['tis must always be taken as a pinch, as thee be 6x10 (9th)[9 zeros] of them]

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Sam's motives

I don't know ... everyone here seems sure that Sam is about to go off womanizing, but I didn't read the entry that way. I saw it as him admitting to his diary that Elizabeth was suspicious, but then protesting that all he wants to do is go to Portsmouth with the other guys from the Navy office to pay off the ships there.

The "yet all my design was" part of the sentence really reads to me as an honest admission of motive (rather than, as David has suggested, an obfuscation), and a complaint about being misunderstood by his suspicious wife.

It also looks as if Monsieur de Rigueur, as quoted by Monsieur le Bradford, has slightly missed the mark ... the person with the ague is, of course, not Elizabeth but Sarah.

Pauline  •  Link

"...which something troubles me..."
I read it as you do, Todd. He wonders why she has changed her mind about going and is troubled that she may be harboring suspicions.

"But I will get off if I can."
Off as in excused from going to Portsmouth, or
Off as in off and away?

Bradford  •  Link

As we all know, the historical novelist is not under oath; but Mr. de Rigueur (an Englishman, name notwithstanding) did indeed misread the pronouns, when Sam's making the proposition on behalf of another would a winning veneer of benevolence to his rarther transparent maneuvering.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "But I will get off if I can."

FWIW, I read it as “off and away,” Pauline.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Another take on all this is that Sam does not trust Elizabeth alone in London whilst he goes off to Portsmouth and wants to bundle her her to languish in boring Hunts countryside on the pretext of accompanying the sick maid for some country air. No gallants around to tempt her.

Clement  •  Link

"yet all my design was" honest admission of motive or surreptitious scheming?

The word “design” is an interesting choice, and can connote something more contrived or scheming than simple intention. Rereading, it’s not clear what Sam has told Elizabeth about his as-yet-unscheduled trip to Portsmouth, or that he’s told her of it at all.

So that possible secrecy, along with his unexplained fear of leaving her ‘alone’ in London (with a house populated with female sevants at least) remain shrouded at this point.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Remeber the "gentleman with feathers" who so upset Sam a few months back? bet he is in Sam's mind just now.

Pauline  •  Link

"...take Sarah with her, next week, to cure her ague by change of ayre..."
I read it as concern for Sarah's health, and the added good of a family visit to his parents by his wife. If he has an underlying thought to being free to carouse on the trip to Plymouth, he isn't quite facing that himself in this most private of diaries. And he can go off to Plymouth freely whether Elizabeth is in London or Brampton.

vicente  •  Link

Then Sam should have said just that P , not this other "...walked upon the leads with my wife, and whether she suspected anything or no I know not... "

Glyn  •  Link

Yes, he and his colleagues do have legitimate reasons for going down to Portsmouth (which, for centuries has been one of England's most important naval bases).

BUT do remember his comment from yesterday's entry: "He intends to go to Portsmouth to meet the Queen this week; which is now the discourse and expectation of the town."

The future Queen is about to set foot on English soil, and all of fashionable London is going down to be the first to meet her. Sam was with Charles when he landed in England almost two years ago. Now he and his colleagues have arranged matters so that they will be there "on business" when she arrives.

There's nothing wrong with this, but I am very sure that Elizabeth would want to be there too, if she knew about their trip. But so far as she knows, Sam and the others will be hard at work in London - and not a word to her about going to Portsmouth in case it cramps their style. (I wonder if the other wives are going?)

David A. Smith  •  Link

"that I might the freer go to Portsmouth"
By Jove, I think Glyn's got it ....
Upon further review, the most plausible inference is that Sam simply wants to be there for the Queen's arrival, and not to have to deny Elizabeth nor argue his denial.
Well done, Glyn.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

And yet Beth, seeing how the King and Court are daily sinking into...Well, you know... And knowing her Sam is not a model of moral fortitude, much as she may love him, is probably not wrong to wish to impose a little restraint.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Indeed, the Queen's arrival would do it...And might be why Beth is upset, in any case, to miss out on the fun.

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