Wednesday 5 November 1662

Up and with my painters painting my dining room all day long till night, not stirring out at all. Only in the morning my Lady Batten did send to speak with me, and told me very civilly that she did not desire, nor hoped I did, that anything should pass between us but what was civill, though there was not the neighbourliness between her and my wife that was fit to be, and so complained of my maid’s mocking of her; when she called “Nan” to her maid within her own house, my maid Jane in the garden overheard her, and mocked her, and some other such like things she told me, and of my wife’s speaking unhandsomely of her; to all which I did give her a very respectfull answer, such as did please her, and am sorry indeed that this should be, though I do not desire there should be any acquaintance between my wife and her. But I promised to avoid such words and passages for the future. So home, and by and by Sir W. Pen did send for me to his bedside; and tell me how really Sir J. Minnes did resolve to have one of my rooms, and that he was very angry and hot, and said he would speak to the Duke. To which, knowing that all this was but to scare me, and to get him to put off his resolution of making up the entry, I did tell him plainly how I did not value his anger more, than he did mine, and that I should be willing to do what the Duke commanded, and I was sure to have justice of him, and that was all I did say to him about it, though I was much vexed, and after a little stay went home; and there telling my wife she did put me into heart, and resolve to offer him to change lodgings, and believe that that will one way or other bring us to some end in this dispute. At night I called up my maids, and schooled Jane, who did answer me so humbly and drolly about it, that though I seemed angry, I was much pleased with her and [my] wife also. So at night to bed.

25 Annotations

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary today -- Royal Society & forest management cont'd...

"The Council for the R: So: met to make an end of the statute, & dined together: afterward meeting at Gressham Coll: there was discourse suggested by me, about planting his Majesties Forest of Deane with Oake now so much exhausted of the choicest ship-timber in the world:"

Terry F  •  Link

"Sir W. Pen did...tell me how really Sir J. Minnes did resolve to have one of my rooms"

L&M have "Sir W. Penn did...tell me how highly Sir J. Mennes did resolve to have one of my rooms", echoing yesterday's "it is very highly and basely done of him."
I take it "highly" refers to Mennes's degree of resolve, or to his pulling rank (Mennes on his high horse) -- unless language hat or someone else can come up with a better reading, Wheatley's rendering is clearer.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Jane..." Narrow look, but a twinkle in the back of the eyes...

Girl, what's this I hear of you mocking my Lady Batten?"

"Mockin' sir? What would that be, sir?"

"Jane. You've been making fun of my Lady in our garden and she has..."

"In our garden, sir?"

"She's complained to me, girl. You've made fun of the way she calls 'Nan' to her maid while in..."

"'Nan'? Sir? Who would that be, sir?"

"Jane, you were calling Nan in imitation of my Lady Batten to make fun of her Ladyship."

"Oh, sir. No poor girl such as the likes of me could make fun of such a fine lady, sir."

"Well my Lady says you did, girl."

"But the likes of me would never go in my Lady Batten's house, sir."

"That is not the point, Jane. You were in the garden..."

"I should hope so, sir. The garden's the place for me, not my Lady Batten's, sir." Curtsy.

"Jane! You were in the garden and you mocked my Lady Batten, calling Man."

"Nan, sir? Which Nan,sir?"

"My Lady's Nan, girl!"

"But which Nan of my Lady's, sir?"

"Who ever was the Nan my Lady called, girl."

"Oh. Well,sir I sees how the misunderstanding done arose, sir. Sees I's in the garden and I, hearin' my Lady callin' sir. "Nan! Nan!!" she calls like that, sir. Well, I says to me,sir. 'Jane, milady can't be callin' like that to her girls in the very house'..Sir. It must be some other nan, er man, Sir."


Robert Gertz  •  Link

Given Sam's fear of the court's influence on Bess and his happy home (which nervousness, leaving the patronizing, etc, one can sympathize with, given the dangers and temptations abroad), it's little wonder he would much prefer she and our worldly Lady Batten not become close companions.

Thank God you have Bess to school you in resolve, Sam. Hope she can maintain you in your innocence as well.

Penn's cute little scheme seen through, eh? Get you and Mennes back fighting about the room and Mennes off the entryway idea.

CGS  •  Link

"NARrN come thee 'ere, art wonce, dew yer 'ear me."

Australian Susan  •  Link

Here in 2005, it is the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot: when paranoia against British Catholics seemed justified. In the time of the Diary, this event was a memory kept green by the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes on bonfires. Originally these bonfires had been a pagan practice to commemorate Samhain, but this was sanitised into All Hallow's Even by the Church before being hijacked for political purposes and shunted 6 days later after 1605. In the diary times, there were faint alarm bells of anti-Catholoic paranoia again, which rose to a clamorous tocsin in the 1670's. Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot. Yes, indeed.

J A Gioia  •  Link

burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes

weren't the effigies once set on sidewalks, allowing children to beg 'a penny for the guy' from passers-by?

and in the u.s., of course, a bloke is a guy.

Nick Patterson  •  Link

"Burning of effigies..."

Indeed, I grew up in central London in the
1950's and "penny for the guy" was a
common thing. The kids would then take
the guy along to a communal bonfire on bonfire
night. Little supervision, and by current
standards the bonfires and fireworks were
quite dangerous.

language hat  •  Link

"how highly Sir J. Mennes did resolve"

I'm sure "highly" is correct. But this is the OED's sense 5 of "highly": "Proudly, haughtily, arrogantly; ambitiously; with indignation or anger," based on sense 14.a. of "high": "Showing pride, self-exaltation, resentment, or the like; haughty, pretentious, arrogant, overbearing; wrathful, angry." Cf. this citation from Pepys:
1660-1 PEPYS Diary 20 Mar., Indeed the Bishops are so high, that very few do love them.

Jeannine  •  Link

Lady Batten question.. In looking into her background and other diary entries is there any specific "incident" or falling out between Elizabeth and Lady Batten?? It seems like Sam has an underlying dislike for her, which he apparently "covers up" as he has to for office "politics", but I couldn't seem to find anything at issue between the two women, other than Elizabeth wasn't inclinded to feed the Lady's ego or indulge her in her sense of status??Perhaps just difference in personality?

Jeannine  •  Link

Robert-Loved today's play! It must be hard to scold someone who has done something that you secretly would have loved to have done yourself!

Pauline  •  Link

"...with my painters painting my dining room all day long till night, not stirring out at all..."
Sounds like he picked up a brush and worked along with them all day. Do you think?

Martin King  •  Link

I saw youngsters outside a supermarket in Hastings yesterday asking for a "penny for the guy". What the response would have been if only a penny had been offered I dread to think! Also these children were far too young to be able to purchase fireworks themselves with the money raised (minimum age of 18 nowadays) unlike when I was young.

CGS  •  Link

A penny for a 'Guy' [Ffalkes that be , not any old geezer, although many another unpopular bloke be named for the 'onor of being lampooned ] back in the 40's would get a cup of char without saucer, so today, I am to understand a cup of char be 2 quid, there by a kid should expect a couple of quid from the landed folks?
{a guess be that there be plenty of substitute Guys, be so 'onored}

CGS  •  Link

QU. "...At night I called up my maids, and schooled Jane, who did answer me so humbly and drolly about it..." would not scolded for the modern version be better, taught a lesson could also fit?
although the archaic version was also used ... to reprimand

CGS  •  Link

"Lady Batten question..?" diction separates the lady from a lady, she had a rough start in life saved for a higher station by her hidden asssets no doubt.

A.Hamilton  •  Link

“…with my painters painting my dining room all day long till night, not stirring out at all…”

Pauline, I too raised an eyebrow.But I do think Pepys capable of pitching in for the cameraderie and to impress on "his" workmen the need to get the job done.

A.Hamilton  •  Link

Pepis and the Battens

My impression is that Lady Batten is more than a little condescending to Sam and Elizabeth, and that it took Sam more than a year to decide that he and his wife deserved better. There is also the theme, in the diary, associating the Battens with some of Sam's heaviest drinking, which he swore to give up on March 3, 1662, and with a fast-paced, costly social life, which included Beth's shopping trips with Lady B. On March 1 of this year he notes that he has spent L250 in the past half-year; on March 2 he talks with Beth about "our frugal life for the time to come." I think the avoidance of the Battens follows from Sam's effort to reform himself and his family budget. In his first mention of the Battens, on Nov. 1, 6660 (
Sam notes that Sir W. Batten "lives like a prince." There are 39 diary entries about the Battens in 1661,most of them about socializing and drinking, although, intriguingly,in the first entry for the year (Jan 17) Sam first speaks of avoiding the Battens. It is not until March 30, 1662, that the constant theme of avoiding the Battens makes its appearance, and the number of references to Lady B. drops off sharply.

Jeannine  •  Link

A. Hamilton-Thanks! That explains it --I couldn't find "one" issue, but the theme summary fits nicely and makes sense.

Bradford  •  Link

Michael Quinion, in his weekly "World Wide Web" newsletter, concludes his piece on Guy Fawkes thus (tying up the various mentions and speculations above):

"Most famously, [the Plot] also bequeathed us "guy". At first this meant the effigy of Guy Fawkes traditionally burnt on the bonfire (children once constructed guys and begged money with them for fireworks with the cry "a penny for the guy!"). But it's also where "guy" in the sense of a person comes from - it was oiginally applied to a man of grotesque appearance, like a bonfire effigy, but when it was taken to the US in the late nineteenth century it turned into a neutral term for a man, more recently a person of either sex.* It was also used for a person who acted as a dupe in a confidence game and led to the verb "to guy", to ridicule or hoax."

*{To any doubters, I have often heard---both in the Northern and Southern States---a woman, addressing other women, say, "Hey, you guys!"}

I rather expected Pepys to say something about bonfires &c. but his mind is on higher things.

Australian Susan  •  Link

We have had mention of bonfires and fireworks on the two previous November 5ths in the Diary. It should be noted that at this time, it was probably the Pope who was being burned in effigy, not Guy Fawkes on the bonfires. Up until the 1950s, it was common for Catholic households in some areas (particularly Lewes, Sussex, which suffered badly in Marian persecutions of the 1550s) to be trashed. The feeling was more of anti-Catholic rather than anti-terrorist. All rather shameful to our eyes, but that's how it was.

J A Gioia  •  Link

“Hey, you guys!”

yes, gender neutral in the states, but only in the plural. 'that guy over there' always indicates a male. also archaic is its use in direct personal address. 'hey guy!' was long ago replaced by 'hey man!'; and for those under 40, 'hey dude!' seems the much preferred locution.

Bryan  •  Link

Re: Australian Ann

I always am amazed, as an Irishman, by the amount of nonsense people invest in Samhain ("sow-en"), and Oíche Shamhna (ee-he how-na) the night of Samhain (better translated as the Eve of Samhain).

It was the Celtic New Year, and people thought that in the gap between the two years, the spirits could roam free. They dressed up as ghosts whem moving about to blend in, so the real ghosts wouldn't notice (hence trick or treating in masks). The early church did switch things around to explain it in terms of saints, but it had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with bonfires.

There are still bonfires in Ireland but they are, and have always been, in midsummer. To quote from Wikipedia:

"A bonfire or balefire is a large controlled outdoor fire made from bales of straw or wood. The word is believed to be a corruption of "bone fire" deriving from a Celtic midsummer festival where animal bones were burnt to ward off evil spirits."

Guy Fawkes night has absolutely nothing to do with Samhain. For a more on Samhain see this:

However the opinion of the average Irish man or woman to Samhain is best summed up in this Irish-English dictionary entry:

definition... n November f3;

[Taken from]

Australian Susan  •  Link

The ultimate Gunpowder Plot website!

I have also found this rather nasty little rhyme, which was printed in an official bonfire guide in Lewes for 1998

Remember Remember the Fifth of November
The Gunpowder Treeason and Plot
I'll tell you a reason why Jesuit Treason
Should never be forgot

If there hadn't been given protection from Heaven
To the Parliament Houses and Throne
When the Pope to the flames had devoted King James
They had all to destruction been blown

Then ever let England her gratitude show
To the Power that averted that terrible blow,
In thanksgiving to God our voices we'll raise
To Him be the glory, to Him be the praise.

And thus was remembered trhe fifth of November
The Jesuit Treason and Plot
For should Popery reign we may have it again,
So let Protestants say, IT SHALL NOT!!

Shout boys shout! let the ring bells ring--
Down with the Jesuits and
-Source Cited John Geering

This sentiment probably accords with that of many of Sam's contemporaries.
The new Prayer Book included a service of Thanksgiving for the Deliverance from the Gunpowder Plot, so this day would have been the first time the service had been used in England. Sam does not refer to it, but where used it would have raised more Protestant ire and paranoia against Catholics.

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