Saturday 19 July 1662

Up early and to some business, and my wife coming to me I staid long with her discoursing about her going into the country, and as she is not very forward so am I at a great loss whether to have her go or no because of the charge, and yet in some considerations I would be glad she was there, because of the dirtiness of my house and the trouble of having of a family there. So to my office, and there all the morning, and then to dinner and my brother Tom dined with me only to see me. In the afternoon I went upon the river to look after some tarr I am sending down and some coles, and so home again; it raining hard upon the water, I put ashore and sheltered myself, while the King came by in his barge, going down towards the Downs to meet the Queen: the Duke being gone yesterday. But methought it lessened my esteem of a king, that he should not be able to command the rain. Home, and Cooper coming (after I had dispatched several letters) to my mathematiques, and so at night to bed to a chamber at Sir W. Pen’s, my own house being so foul that I cannot lie there any longer, and there the chamber lies so as that I come into it over my leads without going about, but yet I am not fully content with it, for there will be much trouble to have servants running over the leads to and fro.

27 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"But methought it lessened my esteem of a king, that he should not be able to command the rain."

Has a more fatuous remark appeared in the Diary thus far? Nominations accepted. Oh, all right, let's forgive him---as he admitted yesterday, home improvement has addled his brains at present.

Pauline   Link to this

"...lessened my esteem of a king, that he should not be able to command the rain."
I thought facetious. And realized we haven’t had a lot of humor from Sam—or have been too serious in our endeavors here to catch any.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"lessened my esteem of a king"
Good joke Sam; keep it up

Australian Susan   Link to this

"dined with me only to see me"
Sometimes I feel my offspring only contact me for money or to fix something........
So - Sam has debunked to Penn's house to sleep, but where is Elizabeth?

dirk   Link to this

"lessened my esteem of a king..."

Let's not forget Charles (like all other Kings) is King of Great Britain *** by the grace of God ***.
[A notion that will be seriously challenged for the first time in 1789 in France with the French Revolution. The American Revolution was less radical in this respect: they wouldn't have dreamt about decapitating the King of England, they merely wanted some kind of settlement that would allow them to rule themselves.]

Shouldn't God have given his proxy some power over the elements - at least to some extent? This kind of tongue in cheek remark is Sam at his best :-)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"lessened my esteem..." A stray wisp of republicanism, Sam? What are you hearing in the streets these days, you radical Rota club member you?

jan   Link to this

But methought it lessened my esteem of a king, that he should not be able to command the rain.
This reminds me of the dog incident in May 1660-'I went, and Mr. Mansell, and one of the King's footmen, with a dog that the King loved, (which [dirted] the boat, which made us laugh, and me think that a King and all that belong to him are but just as others are)’

Terry F.   Link to this

"Up early..., and my wife coming to me I staid long with her discoursing about her going into the country,...and yet in some considerations I would be glad she was there, because of the dirtiness of my house and the trouble of having of a family there."

Two concerns voiced by us seem answered in this one long sentence:
(1) Sam cares about Elizabeth's also living in a house being remodeled (my wife and I had to live so after a fire came up into our apartment -- and there was rain, but there was light-weight plastic sheeting);
(2) he cares about his parents' welfare.

Clement   Link to this

"...so at night to bed to a chamber at Sir W. Pen's, my own house being so foul that I cannot lie there any longer…”
Apparently the homes of base, treacherous rogues are still acceptable enough for a kip now and then.
Not sure if this is an interesting observation of 17th c. neighborliness (even among fractious parties), or if Sam is just being opportunistic, knowing that Penn would like to reconcile.

Mary   Link to this

"the trouble of having a family there"

Nice use of "family" demonstrating the way in which an entire household, not just the members related by blood or marriage, was regarded as a family.

Pauline   Link to this

'This reminds me of the dog incident '
Thanks for this, Ian. And Robert G. for noting the wisp of republicanism.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

dog incident & family

I second Pauline's comment, and thank Mary for highlighting Sam's inclusive use of "family."

Tom Burns   Link to this

Coles?

Is he speaking of cabbage, or something to burn?

Jan   Link to this

Coles?
Is he speaking of cabbage, or something to burn?

I read this as coal.

Mary   Link to this

Coles.

Definitely the combustible material; probably used for heating the tar, amongst other things.

In my youth the plural form of the noun was quite frequently used where now one might more often see the singular. "He's getting the coals in" would not have sounded odd in the 1950s.

Somewhat off topic, but a couple of weeks ago I saw a real coalman humping good, old-fashioned sacks of coal into a suburban dwelling; I had thought that this was a sight that had long disappeared, but apparently not in N. Yorkshire, at least. It brought back childhood memories of being instructed to count the sacks as the coalman emptied them into the bunker, so as to be sure that mother was not being cheated of any of the precious fuel that she had paid for. Coke for the boiler, anthracite or No. 1 nuts for the open fires.

Terry F.   Link to this

"my wife coming to me" from another Navy family house? Whom does she pal with?

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

"To the Downs to meet the Queen"
I'm a little curious about this. Could Pepys be refering to Henrietta-Maria, rather than Catharine? SP refers to HM as the Queen Mother in earlier entries, but I'm wondering because I thought that Catharine was only recently settled at Hampton, and we know that HM is expected back from the continent soon.

Terry F.   Link to this

"To the Downs to meet the Queen"

L&M note: “The Queen Mother.”

Pauline   Link to this

"my wife coming to me"
I think she has come from their house to his business office, both within the navy compound. She has done this once (by this record) before when it appeared that the other officers were away.

Terry   Link to this

"...so at night to bed to a chamber at Sir W. Pen's, my own house being so foul that I cannot lie there any longer..."

Clement: Penn is in Ireland. See entry of 9th July: “… 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”. Sam can let himself in!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

" so at night to bed to a chamber at Sir
W.Pen's"
"who I hate with all my heart" July 5th.
go figure.

Glyn   Link to this

Don't you have the phrase "any port in a storm" ? and the weather has been very bad.

Presumably, they aren't just leaving the building open to the rain - there would be some sort of canvas sheeting over it?

Terry F.   Link to this

"my wife coming to me, I staid long with her discoursing….So to my office”….

Pauline, this sequence was what I had in mind, tho what you say is true. Often Sam does tell us when he goes somewhere; but it scarcely matters, since the roofless condo he’s described (room-sized cold-shower-stalls on several levels) is very uninhabitable.

Glyn   Link to this

A. De Araujo is right: it does seem strange that Pepys is sleeping in Penn's home since he dislikes him so much. But Pepys is also trying to be polite to him as well. Pepys couldn't have invited himself, so presumably Penn gave him an invitation and Pepys couldn't quickly think of a good excuse to refuse (they are after all neighbours, so it is very convenient).

Any idea of the dialogue Robert? :)

Although Pepys dislikes Penn I don't see any reason why we should. He's hot-headed but also brave, and doesn't seem the greatest villain we've met in the Diaries so far (George Downing easily gets my vote for that, and he's destined to die rich and full of honours in his bed - go figure.)

Terry   Link to this

Penn is in Ireland!!!

(I think I already said that.)

Australian Susan   Link to this

Where is Elizabeth sleeping?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

What could be more beguiling than the chance to sleep in your worst enemy's home?

"Bethie, look at this..." Pepys chortles as he pulls up a sheaf of papers...

"Sam'l, stop that. What does it say?" Beth hurries over...

"Dear papa," (Sam chuckling as he reads young Penn's earnest declaration to 'dear papa')

"I must tell thee that for many months my heart hath been sore troubled and afflick (and this kid's had the best education France and England could offer? Sam grins) by grievous discontents regarding my own and Mankind's standing with the Lord
Jesus. Oh, dear papa, thou (Thou? Oooh, me smells the faint whiff of the Quaker, Sam cackles) must knowst how long these to my very bosom." (Mmmphf... "Sam'l, stop it. He's a very nice boy.")

Reluctantly, Sam drops the letter, turning to new delights. "Beth, Beth...Look." he starts pawing through Sir Will's collection of Jamaican artifacts...Ah. He pulls out a hand-carved wooden nose ring, sticking the open ends on the edge of his nose. "Aye, I be Sam Pepys, pirate of the Spanish Main, my fine French lassie and ye are me prisoner."

"Will you put that back?" Beth insists...After giggling several minutes.

"Right where you put that nice black hood, my dear." he grins. She gulping a bit...Ummn.

"It was left. Some one might as well have taken it."

"I'd given it back if the owner'd said anything to Mr. Mills."...a sheepish look.

"Ah well, Penn might not notice but the old Dutchwoman would." Pepys sighs, returning the ring.

"You think she has any of that nice Belgian lace about?" Beth asks, an innocent look on her face.

"One way to find out, Mrs. Pepys."

***

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