Friday 31 October 1662

Lay pretty long in bed, and then up and among my workmen, the carpenters being this day laying of my floor of my dining room, with whom I staid a good while, and so to my office, and did a little business, and so home to dinner, and after dinner all the afternoon with my carpenters, making them lay all my boards but one in my dining room this day, which I am confident they would have made two good days work of if I had not been there, and it will be very pleasant. At night to my office, and there late doing of my office business, and so home to supper and bed. Thus ends this month, I and my family in good health, but weary heartily of dirt, but now in hopes within two or three weeks to be out of it. My head troubled with much business, but especially my fear of Sir J. Minnes claiming my bed-chamber of me, but I hope now that it is almost over, for I perceive he is fitting his house to go into it the next week. Then my law businesses for Brampton makes me mad almost, for that I want time to follow them, but I must by no means neglect them. I thank God I do save money, though it be but a little, but I hope to find out some job or other that I may get a sum by to set me up. I am now also busy in a discovery for my Lord Sandwich and Sir H. Bennett by Mr. Wade’s means of some of Baxter’s [Barkstead] money hid in one of his cellars in the Tower. If we get it it may be I may be 10 or 20l. the better for it. I thank God I have no crosses, but only much business to trouble my mind with. In all other things as happy a man as any in the world, for the whole world seems to smile upon me, and if my house were done that I could diligently follow my business, I would not doubt to do God, and the King, and myself good service. And all I do impute almost wholly to my late temperance, since my making of my vowes against wine and plays, which keeps me most happily and contentfully to my business; which God continue! Public matters are full of discontent, what with the sale of Dunkirk, and my Lady Castlemaine, and her faction at Court; though I know not what they would have more than to debauch the king, whom God preserve from it! And then great plots are talked to be discovered, and all the prisons in town full of ordinary people, taken from their meeting-places last Sunday. But for certain some plots there hath been, though not brought to a head.

18 Annotations

Jeannine   Link to this

"my Lady Castlemaine, and her faction at Court; though I know not what they would have more than to debauch the king, whom God preserve from it"
Has anyone else noticed the shift in Sam's entries over the last few weeks as they apply to Lady Castlemaine? (or perhaps it's just me?). Her beauty aside does she seem to others to be taking on a different light in Sam's eyes--perhaps more "dangerous" to the good of the people? or at least more concern over her "faction at Court", which would include people like Berkely and Bennett? Perhaps Sam is seeing the shift in the politics and isn't liking her rising influence?

Terry F   Link to this

Jeannine, I believe you rightly remarked on that in what Sam wrote four days ago in this entry: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/10/27/

Terry F   Link to this

You highlighted “Sir Charles Barkeley, their bringing in, and the high game that my Lady Castlemaine plays at Court“

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/10/27/#c37186

Three days before that I remarked on Sam's ambivalence on how the King "carries himself to my Lady Castlemaine and others, as well as any body; but though she hath spirit enough, yet seeing that she do no good by taking notice of it, for the present she forbears it in policy; of which I am very glad. But I pray God keep us in peace; for this, with other things, do give great discontent to all people." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/10/24/#c37100

Jeannine   Link to this

Terry, This is what I meant--he's been noting his strong feelings of concern against Lady Castlemaine more and more over the last few weeks...perhaps our Sam is realizing that beauty is more than skin deep? (then again, where he is our Sam perhaps not!). It's just an interesting shift from his awe strcuk reverence to her sex appeal and his former ability to "forgive" her so to speak for her lifestyle choices. Perhaps now he doesn't seem so enamoured by the total package.

Jeannine   Link to this

Ooops--hit "post' too fast. We'll have to watch how he feels about her over time. I am wondering if her "beauty" will be diminished or not in his eyes as his animosity rises. Perhaps someone else will catch his eye. I don't know if he will be able to separate his attraction to her sexuality vs. the rise of her political influence which could threaten his livelihood (and that of others too). Also to ponder--do you think Sam's adoration of the Lady would be changing at all had she just remained a mistress to Charles, but one without greed of political influence?

dirk   Link to this

That other diary writer: John Evelyn's birthday...

"I was now 42 years of Age: blessed be God:"

Pauline   Link to this

"...making them lay all my boards but one in my dining room..."
???
Pushed them to just lay the boards even though they hadn't measured and cut the last board that met the entrance or the far wall?

Look at your floors, readers. The "last board" may be narrower than the other laid boards.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

One thing I find curious, given the recent affair with Tom and his lady...No musing at all by Sam on Bess' lack of dowry. Almost seems as if he puts a hard mental block on such speculation...Worldly matters not allowed to intrude on his great love affair. Must be hard for Bess, though, however grateful she may be at Sam's not bringing it up and even including her in the effort to get Tom hitched.

***

10 or 20L?...Geesh, what a cheapskate Earl...And cousin.

***
I wonder how Bess is dealing with another two weeks of mess in the house? Sam can scoot off to a pleasant day touring London on business but she's trapped there, no doubt trying to mind his strictures against overspending.

CGS   Link to this

The "sigh" says it all, Bess had her say.
"...weary heartily of dirt, but now in hopes within two or three weeks to be out of it. ..."
There be Sam trying to balance the expenses ,and that Damsel be finding ways to spend it on a new black patch [diamonds and gold of course]

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"for the whole world seems to smile upon me"
Except Sir John Minnes.

Benvenuto   Link to this

"And all I do impute almost wholly to my late temperance, since my making of my vowes against wine and plays"

Heaven knows what he might have achieved if he'd actually stuck to the vows!

Jim Fortner   Link to this

I've been following this a while and I guess I missed something - so Sir Minnes could possibly lay claim to a room in Sam's house? Or is this like a cottage or building on the grounds or something? I just haven't been able to figure this out, but it seems to be a terror to Sam P.

Nix   Link to this

"to do God, and the King, and myself good service" --

Thus Samuel beautifully encapsulates the story of the rising middle class in 17th century England.

Nix   Link to this

Minnes and Samuel's chamber --

The "houses" were not freestanding but were what we would now call apartments in a large, Navy-owned building. The political higher-ups had the power to reassign rooms. In this case, the room in question was adjacent to Minnes' apartment, and Minnes thinks it is rightfully part of his chambers, either by precedent or by promise. So with a shift in the balance of power at the Navy office, carpenters could be sent to seal up Samuel's door and open one connecting it to Minnes' rooms. This has been causing Samuel to lose sleep for several months.

stolzi   Link to this

"I am confident they would have made two good days work of if I had not been there"

'Twas ever thus!

And another familiar note at the end, when he says "for certain some plots there hath been." Just like us today. If we see enough reports in the media about something, we nod our heads wisely and say "There must be something in it" - even if we know little or nothing, really, about it.

Terry F   Link to this

Peter Easton provided an image of The Navy Office/Seething Lane apartment complex as Pepys would have known it (from a 1714 engraving) http://www.pepysdiary.com/static/img/indepth/20... in his very interesting in-depth article, "Samuel Pepys and Fleet Street" following him (Pepys) on his most frequent daily rounds: http://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth/2005/09/21/sa...

language hat   Link to this

Thanks, Terry and Peter!
For the first time I have a mental image of Sam's digs.

Terry F   Link to this

Would "Sam’s adoration of...Lady [C] be changing at all had she just remained a mistress to Charles, but one without greed of political influence?"

Jeannine, perhaps: methinks that Sam is capable, like many of his time, to be able to compartmentalize these two matters, but the bare humanity of the Royal bros. threatens to break down the wall between the bodily and symbolic domains -- but so far it seems to be blamed on Lady Castlemaine and her crew.

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