Wednesday 10 September 1662

Up and to my house, and there contrived a way how Sir John Minnes shall come into the leads, and yet I save part of the closet I hoped for, which, if it will not please him, I am a madman to be troubled at it. To my office, and then at my house among my lazy workmen all day. In the afternoon to the Wardrobe to speak with Mr. Townsend, who tells me that he has spoke with Mr. Young about my brother Tom’s business, and finds that he has made enquiry of him, and do hear him so well spoken of that he doubts not that the business will take with ordinary endeavours. So to my brother’s, and there finding both door and hatch open, I went in and knocked 3 or 4 times, and nobody came to me, which troubled me mightily; at last came Margaret, who complained of Peter, who by and by came in, and I did rattle him soundly for it. I did afterwards take occasion to talk seriously alone with Margaret, who I find a very discreet, good woman, and tells me, upon my demand, that her master is a very good husband, and minds his business well, but his fault is that he has not command over his two men, but they do what they list, and care not for his commands, and especially on Sundays they go whither they please, and not to church, which vexes me mightily, and I am resolved to school [him] soundly for it, it being so much unlike my father, that I cannot endure it in myself or him. So walked home and in my way at the Exchange found my uncle Wight, and he and I to an alehouse to drink a cup of beer, and so away, and I home and at the office till 9 o’clock and past, and so to my lodgings. I forgot that last night Mr. Cooke came to me to make his peace for inviting my brother lately out of town without my leave, but he do give me such a character of the lady that he has found out for him that I do much rejoice at, and did this night write a letter to her, which he enclosed in one of his, and by the report that I hear of her I confess I am much pleased with the match.

15 Annotations

Terry F,   Link to this

Giving Sir John Minnes access to the leads and Sam to the WC: can anyone tease out what the devil SP has "contrived"?

(Clever man, our fave Obsessive-compulsive!)

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"of the lady that he has found out for him"
28 y.o.SWM,D/D free,ISO WF for possible marriage; must be financially secure;if interested please write to my brother Samuel Pepys at the Navy Office.

Mary   Link to this

"contrived a way"

Sounds as if Sam is considering pulling back a little from the building line, rather than building right up to it, by reducing the dimensions of the closet.

David A. Smith   Link to this

"if it will not please him, I am a madman to be troubled at it"
Obviously Sam has jury-rigged a means of access (anybody want to do an architectural schematic?) that *he* think should work fine. Still, he fears that Sir John may initially frown, and is busily talking himself into not worrying about it.
Yes, Terry F, obsessive, but not compulsive so much as charmingly neurotic.

Jan   Link to this

Up and to my house, and there contrived a way how Sir John Minnes shall come into the leads.

I am surprised all this trouble has come about. Surely even in those days he would have to submit plans to the navy office and ask permission to do this building work. I would have thought his neighbours would have been consulted before such a big project was undertaken.

Terry F,   Link to this

Yes, Jan, esp. since "a way how Sir John Minnes shall come into the leads" was involved: no small matter that, as we have seen the Pepys's demonstrate at night.

Mary   Link to this

"a very good husband"

This sense of the word persists in such sayings as 'to husband one's resources.'

The good husband is one who takes good care of his affairs, who manages things well, who acts as a good supervisor of matters, especially material matters.

Poor Tom works carefully and diligently himself, but is not good at exercising authority over the hired help.

Terry F,   Link to this

"finding both door and hatch open, I went in"

What, pray tell, are the "door and hatch" referred to here? Was this usual in the 17c? My history of architecture books don't clarify this. I have a storm/screen door and wooden door (hatch), but I'm not sure SP is dealing with that exactly.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

husband,husbandry,husbanded.Thanks Mary, In liqua of the Romans, for a man of the house vir[ile] or maritus ,they would use parsimonia for husbanding their acreage [land], but [parsimonious]. Sam he being latinised, he would be familiar with parsimony now that he watching his fathings.
Interesting word Husband - hus [house]- bondi, freeholder no longer bonded, but enslaved to a wife.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

Hatch be a cut in to the sloping part of Leads, using the Naval term. Door be in the upright segmant.
Re: Light, never forget the sky light, it could cover the hatch.

Bradford   Link to this

Are we clear on just why Pepys's approval would be required prior to, for example, Mr. Cooke taking brother Tom to the country to inquire about a wife? He may not be a good manager; but is he, to be blunt, simple-minded?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Tom, how goes the marriage deal? Cooke tells me..."

"Alll off brooother Samuel. I've chosen annother." Tom tries to look anywhere but at brother Samuel.

"What?! But Cooke had a fine girl..."

"I love another." Tom manages firmly, minus stutter. Glint of a smile...As a Julie Delpy clone in respectable but clearly worn dress emerges from the back of his shop, nervously sweet smile. "This is Julie...A very nice French girl I met readin' books at the stalls. No money in the family, but you know how true love goes, eh, brother Samuel."

On the one hand, uncontainable rage...As much at Tom putting one over on me as the financial...

On the other...My, but she's pretty. We Pepys boys do know what country (at least in part) to choose our wives from...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Samuel Pepys, amateur architect...Is there nothing this man cannot do?

Tom Burns   Link to this

Samuel Pepys, amateur architect... Is there nothing this man cannot do?

I think the predominance of specialized professionals is a somewhat unfortunate characteristic of recent times. Remember, Sam’s most efficient means of communication with another person is to send a written message then to wait who knows how long for a response, so in his position it is very advantageous to be a jack-of-all-trades. Sometimes I wonder how business would function these days were email to shut down for a week.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Of course we haven't seen the results yet...

"Right this way, Sir John...Mr. Coventry. You are truly going to be amazed at my solution to our minor problem. You see, Sir John? No problem with the garden exit now, the light to your stairs is completely res..."

Sir John, still hemming a bit interrupts... "Yes, but what the devil's this door for..." Pushes hard.

"No, Sir John! Not that door!" A dying-away scream is heard as yet another Shakespearean scholar meets his fate.

Not even time for a pithy epigram, Coventry sighs.

(I did say, amateur...)

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