Wednesday 22 October 1662

Up, and carrying my wife and her brother to Covent Garden, near their father’s new lodging, by coach, I to my Lord Sandwich’s, who receives me now more and more kindly, now he sees that I am respected in the world; and is my most noble patron. Here I staid and talked about many things, with my Lord and Mr. Povy, being there about Tangier business, for which the Commission is a taking out. Hence (after talking with Mr. Cooke, whom I met here about Mrs. Butler’s portion, he do persist to say that it will be worth 600l. certain, when he knows as well as I do now that it is but 400l., and so I told him, but he is a fool, and has made fools of us). So I by water to my brother’s, and thence to Mr. Smith’s, where I was, last night, and there by appointment met Mrs. Butler, with whom I plainly discoursed and she with me. I find she will give but 400l., and no more, and is not willing to do that without a joynture, which she expects and I will not grant for that portion, and upon the whole I find that Cooke has made great brags on both sides, and so has abused us both, but know not how to help it, for I perceive she had much greater expectations of Tom’s house and being than she finds. But however we did break off the business wholly, but with great love and kindness between her and me, and would have been glad we had known one another’s minds sooner, without being misguided by this fellow to both our shames and trouble. For I find her a very discreet, sober woman, and her daughter, I understand and believe, is a good lady; and if portions did agree, though she finds fault with Tom’s house, and his bad imperfection in his speech, I believe we should well agree in other matters. After taking a kind farewell, I to Tom’s, and there did give him a full account of this sad news, with which I find he is much troubled, but do appear to me to be willing to be guided herein, and apprehends that it is not for his good to do otherwise, and so I do persuade [him] to follow his business again, and I hope he will, but for Cooke’s part and Dr. Pepys, I shall know them for two fools another time. Hence, it raining hard, by coach home, being first trimmed here by Benier, who being acquainted with all the players, do tell me that Betterton is not married to Ianthe, as they say; but also that he is a very sober, serious man, and studious and humble, following of his studies, and is rich already with what he gets and saves, and then to my office till late, doing great deal of business, and settling my mind in pretty good order as to my business, though at present they are very many. So home and to bed. This night was buried, as I hear by the bells at Barking Church, my poor Morena,1 whose sickness being desperate, did kill her poor father; and he being dead for sorrow, she could not recover, nor desire to live, but from that time do languish more and more, and so is now dead and buried.

  1. The burial of Elizabeth, daughter of John Dekins or Dickens, is recorded in the parish register of All Hallows, Barking, as having taken place on October 22nd. See ante, October 3rd

21 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"For I find her a very discreet, sober woman . . . and if portions did agree, though she finds fault with Tom's house, and his bad imperfection in his speech, I believe we should well agree in other matters."

I cannot remember; have we heard before that Tom has some impediment in his speech? That seems to make better sense here than thinking that Mrs. Butler faults his syntax, rather than his diction.

dirk   Link to this

Evelyn's diary:

A busy and no doubt instructive day...

"I went to my L. Tressurers, & then to our Society, where Dr. Charleton brought in his discourse of Birds, relating to the names of such, as being mention’d in divers Authors, were reduced to known birds, for rectifying the defects in most Dictionaries: Also the jaw of a Pike, wherein ’twas observed that every-other tooth was moveable upon a Muscle, the rest fix’t: Dr. Whistler shewed, that the wormes breeding in Timber, were the very same with mites in cheese, onely much leaner; which produced a discourse concerning 汵ivocal generations, and some experiments ordered to be made about it. Next day I went home."

Terry F   Link to this

Tom evidently also has cognitive limitations

"I have some trouble about my brother Tom, who is now left to keep my father?s trade, in which I have great fears that he will miscarry for want of brains and care." Wed. 23 July 1662: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/08/31/

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Tom's speech impediment
Yes, we have heard before that Tom stutters (not from Sam, I believe, but from annotations).

Australian Susan   Link to this

Tom and his speech.
Bryant does not refer to Tom's speech at all. Tomalin (p164 of paperback ed.) states that Tom had a bad enough speech impediment to put off more than one prospective bride [although in this case we have just had, it seems it was the money and false expectations which did for it] and that he had learning difficulties. A letter of his has been preserved [to Pall] which is in a neat hand but with terrible spelling. In those days stuttering and simplemindedness were considered to go together, but it seems Tom was just slower than his dynamic brother. Maybe he had dyslexia? This would account for the bad spelling and his failure at school [he was removed from St Paul's school where Sam went to learn tailoring with his father]. As someone who has a speech impediment, I identify with Tom's probable misery over the condition - especially if most people then regarded him as slow-witted.

Joe   Link to this

"...but it seems Tom was just slower than his dynamic brother"

In this case, at least, Tom has a whole lot of company.

J A Gioia   Link to this

This night was buried, as I hear by the bells at Barking Church, my poor Morena

one is left wondering after today's entry just how much sense of drama sam picks up during his theatergoing. quite a bit sez i; the sad brother, the foolish advisors, the sensible matron, and the rain pouring on them all as the episode comes to a close. then the bells at night tolling for a dead girl, revealing a real family tragedy (the biz w/tom being but comedy). and with a bit of theatre gossip from the barber thrown in for good measure.

language hat   Link to this

"sense of drama"

Yes, this sounds downright Shakespearean:

"...my poor Morena, whose sickness being desperate, did kill her poor father; and he being dead for sorrow, she could not recover, nor desire to live, but from that time do languish more and more, and so is now dead and buried."

JWB   Link to this

Morena
Sounds like Poe to me.

Jeannine   Link to this

"Sense of drama"
One of the things that is so wonderful about Sam is his vocabulary and how he puts it altogether to "paint" a picture of his life. Sometimes, it's incredibly funny, sometimes almost meldramatic (soap operaish) and sometimes heartbreaking.
Today you can't help but feeling the sadness of the loss of Morena and the frustration that Tom must be feeling for having "failed" again to find a wife.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Checking up on Tom in the two biographies I have of Sam (Tomalin and Bryant), I was somewhat taken aback by Bryant's assessment of the episode we have just been discussing: Tom's failed marriage hopes. I think Bryant is harsh and misjudged. (or else being uncharacteristically clumsily ironic) Here is the passage. What do others think?
"Samuel had made a further strenuous effort to marry him off suitably, but the silly creature had elected, of all unreasonable things, to fall in love with his prospective mistress and so entirely to prejudice the match. For Tom in his infatuation had ended by offering on behalf of Samuel, who was to foot the bill, a jointure nearly twice as large as that which he had authorised and, proposed, moreover, to accept a portion far lower than such a jointure would merit. At which Pepys was stark mad and broke off the negotiations. But though he pointed out to his foolish brother that he would not have been as much as 100 pounds the better off for such a one-sided match, the poor fool still moped and whined for his mistress."

A. De Araujo   Link to this

I don't see Tom Pepys like Bryant at all.

Jeannine   Link to this

Susan, I too think Bryant harsh and way off the mark here. Unless he has some additional information that he's not footnoting, that summary doesn't come cleanly from the above entry. Ollard's only mention of the incident above is that Sam was making an effort to find Tom a wife to provide a dowry with some suitable working capital and that "Three times he came near success but Tom cannot have been of much help -indeed one of the young ladies declined on the grounds of the imperfections in his speech.Perhaps there was some congenital or glandular disorder?" (p101). Even this comment doesn't fully capture the situation as from the entry the speech imperfections were a part of the picture here, but clearly the financial isses were the "deal breaker" from Sam's conversation with Mrs. Butler. Also interesting is that Ollard also wonders at the speech impairment but doesn't point to a firm statement as to what that disorder is.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

Bryant, be like many, when finding one imperfection, be blinded in seeing any positive attributes. That Poor Thom. be a little slow has hindered many a worthwhile person. So many females will prefare a philandering egoistical neredowell over a doting decent but slow fella.
I can testify to that.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Interesting that 'my Morena''s name was Elizabeth...

A.Hamilton   Link to this

"The one silent voice in all this is that of the proposed bride herself." Aus.Susan,
annotation Oct. 21.

I think we hear her voice in this entry: She thinks Tom's house too small and his speech impediment embarrassing. The evidence suggests that her mother reduced her offer to discourage the Pepys family from pursuing the match.

Nix   Link to this

"do tell me that Betterton is not married to Ianthe" --

Betterton and Iolanthe, Brad and Angelina -- Nothing new about celebrity gossip, is there?

Nix   Link to this

Bryant's account --

It may be a harsh reading of events, but it seems to me to be consistent with what Samuel has told us of the negotiations. For one thing, Tom's speech difficulties and apparent slow-wittedness would explain the inconsistency several annotators have mentioned between his attitude toward Tom's situation and his own love match. And Samuel, as a man of business and of ego, would predictably be peeved if Tom botched up a neogtiation to which he had devoted much energy.

Pauline   Link to this

botched up a neogtiation
Sam seems to put the botching on Cooke less than on Tom. (I find that Cooke has made great brags on both sides, and so has abused us both)
A. Hamilton has a good insight. It does appear that the other side was interested in withdrawing. With the other advisors swept aside, Sam and the mother really give it all a clean airing between them with apparent care to not give undo offense: "with great love and kindness between her and me, and would have been glad we had known one another’s minds sooner, without being misguided by this fellow to both our shames and trouble".

A couple of skilled diplomats who would have made great in-laws, alas.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

If only Mrs. Butler had known what we know...Still she must have seen and heard that Sam was a rising man. Perhaps she'd done her own study of him and concluded he would do what duty demanded towards Tom and the rest but no more...

Interesting that Sam moves from this practical view of life's relationships to end with a muse on poor "Morena"'s death. I'd suspect this sort of thing is what saved him sometimes with Bess...And made life with him a constant series of surprising contrasts.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

L&M transcribe: "Here I stayed and talked about many things with my Lord and Mr. Puvy, being there about Tanger businesses for which the Commission is in taking out." (sic)

OED? Does the Tangier Commission favor securing or removing certain endeavors? or?

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