Wednesday 9 July 1662

Up by four o’clock, and at my multiplicacion-table hard, which is all the trouble I meet withal in my arithmetique. So made me ready and to the office, where all the morning busy, and Sir W. Pen came to my office to take his leave of me, and desiring a turn in the garden, did commit the care of his building to me, and offered all his services to me in all matters of mine. I did, God forgive me! promise him all my service and love, though the rogue knows he deserves none from me, nor do I intend to show him any; but as he dissembles with me, so must I with him. Dined at home, and so to the office again, my wife with me, and while I was for an hour making a hole behind my seat in my closet to look into the office, she was talking to me about her going to Brampton, which I would willingly have her to do but for the cost of it, and to stay here will be very inconvenient because of the dirt that I must have when my house is pulled down. Then to my business till night, then Mr. Cooper and I to our business, and then came Mr. Mills, the minister, to see me, which he hath but rarely done to me, though every day almost to others of us; but he is a cunning fellow, and knows where the good victuals is, and the good drink, at Sir W. Batten’s. However, I used him civilly, though I love him as I do the rest of his coat. So to supper and to bed.

17 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

Of minister Mr. Mills: "However, I used him civilly, though I love him as I do the rest of his coat."
L&M Companion, Large Glossary:
"COATE: profession, cloth: 'very common in 17th cent.' (OED)."

"at my multiplicacion-table hard, which is all the trouble I meet withal in my arithmetique."
Does trigonometry figure into ship-building?

"I was for an hour making a hole behind my seat in my closet to look into the office"---far too delicate an operation to outsource.

dirk   Link to this

"my wife with me, and while I was for an hour making a hole behind my seat in my closet to look into the office"

Ref previous comments and annotations, I feel this confirms

a) that Sam actually made these holes himself (I seem to remember that Sam got a set of carpenters tools some months ago, but I haven't searched for the diary entry concerned)

b) that there's nothing secret about this, and that it's an acceptable practice (probably to control the clerks, as has been suggested before). I don't think Sam would have taken his wife with him on a "secret" mission...

dirk   Link to this

the carpenter's tools

Sam's diary for Wednesday 24 October 1660:
"...and so home, where I found a box of Carpenter's tools sent by my cozen, Thomas Pepys, which I had bespoke of him for to employ myself with sometimes.”

JWB   Link to this

"tetchy"
Tomalin calls his office relations(x- Coventry) tetchy. Tetchy is a good word. The man is tetched. Perhaps he got this from his mother. It's very off-putting. Then there's this: "though I love him as I do the rest of his coat." Anti-cleric all or just C of E?

Pauline   Link to this

"...I was for an hour making a hole ..."
Dirk, the June 30 annotations debated whether he made the holes that day or only thought up the idea of having holes that day. With speculation about the use of the holes and their secrecy.

The hole still may be secret: with Penn gone, and it being the lunch hour, and Sam continuing to discuss domestic affairs with Elizabeth (and the minister coming to Sam in the evening making it sound like Batten is away), it sounds slightly possible that the great office was vacant at the time Sam made the hole.

Jesse   Link to this

"[U]sed him civilly, though I love him as I do the rest of his coat."

Dissembling again? Or perhaps paying respect to the minister's "coat", Pepys still maintains a "love" despite the minister's cunning ways.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

! ah ha ! he does the deed 'imself, 'tis a spy 'ole I doth do declare. "...so to the office again, my wife with me, and while I was for an hour making a hole behind my seat in my closet to look into the office, she was talking to me about her going to Brampton, which I would willingly have her to do but for the cost of it,..." thanks for box of tools Dirk.
Most us be civil to members of the cloth, sometimes, barely at other times[when asking for a donation to the plate], except when they play a mean square leg, or short stop.

Mary   Link to this

"though I love him...."

Sarcasm, surely. Pepys has shown no great love for the clergy in their profession, though occasionally (very occasionally) he comments favourably on the intellectual content of their sermons.

There's a very human mix of feelings here: Sam hardly respects Mills, perceives his venality ("knows where the good victuals is")doesn't actually enjoy his company yet feels mildy slighted that Mills does not call upon him nearly as often as he calls upon other members of the Navy office.

Pedro   Link to this

"she was talking to me about her going to Brampton, which I would willingly have her to do but for the cost of it,"

A different story when he wanted to go to Portsmouth!

"This morning I attempted to persuade my wife in bed to go to Brampton this week, but she would not"

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/04/21/

(And now we can see that Elizabeth knows the primary purpose of the holes, as Sam keeps the secondary purpose to himself!)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Eh hem, ummn Pepys, my good fellow? You will see my house is safe while I'm away in Ireland while you tear the roof off yours and Batten's?"

As in, please God, don't have them drop the said roof accidently on purpose on mine...

"Why certainly, Sir William. Rest assured I will see to your house." Being smashed as flat as a pancake, you cunning rogue whom I hate with all my heart...May the Irish feast on your entrails.

"Of course I can't guarantee there won't be a little dust." Cut to shot in Sam's mind of a shute running through Penn's broken window, daily depositing enough dirt and dust to make the interior look like Arabia.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Meanwhile, in the Pepys bedchamber...

Jane is summoned to find the returned Elisabeth drawing a small circle with charcoal in the bedroom floor above Sam's home closet. One just big enough to allow easy one-eye observation of the going-ons without attracting notice.

"Ma'am?"

"Fetch that hammer and saw of Mr. Pepys' from his chamber, Jane."

I learn so many useful things from my Sam'l our Bess notes to herself...

derek   Link to this

"though I love him as I do the rest of his coat"

That's not sarcasm, he means to plainly say he loves him *as little* as he does the others, not as much.

"which he hath but rarely done to me, though every day almost to others of us"

He sounds not so much slighted as grateful to have dodged the bullet.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

'Tis different."...A different story when he wanted to go to Portsmouth..."
It be all expense paid For Sam plus the opportunity in making a little on the side. The Brampton Trip be costly, The fare, the meals etc.. and the loss maybe of having his locks deliced.

john   Link to this

An hour to make a hole? Just how large was this hole and how thick the wall (or did drills not exist then)?

GrahamT   Link to this

How large was the hole?
Like others, I think, I assumed this was a drilled peep-hole. (drills and augers did exist) Perhaps the "hole" is actually an unglazed internal window or hatchway into the next office, large enough for him to see the whole office without pressing his eye to the wall. That would explain why it took an hour to make.
If it is for keeping an eye on the clerks, it doesn't have to be secret.

A. Hamiton   Link to this

A different story when he wanted to go to Portsmouth

Sam's journey to Portsmouth would have been all expense paid, but geting Beth out of the way to Brampton so she would not interfere with his plan for a rendezvous with La Belle Pierce (a ruse in which he failed, requiring the Plan B "no wives to Portsmouth" ploy) would have been out of pocket.

Joe Worthington   Link to this

"as he dissembles with me, so must I with him"

wise words

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