Saturday 10 January 1662/63

Up and to the office. From thence, before we sat, Sir W. Pen sent for me to his bedside to talk (indeed to reproach me with my not owning to Sir J. Minnes that he had my advice in the blocking up of the garden door the other day, which is now by him out of fear to Sir J. Minnes opened again), to which I answered him so indifferently that I think he and I shall be at a distance, at least to one another, better than ever we did and love one another less, which for my part I think I need not care for. So to the office, and sat till noon, then rose and to dinner, and then to the office again, where Mr. Creed sat with me till late talking very good discourse, as he is full of it, though a cunning knave in his heart, at least not to be too much trusted, till Sir J. Minnes came in, which at last he did, and so beyond my expectation he was willing to sign his accounts, notwithstanding all his objections, which really were very material, and yet how like a doting coxcomb he signs the accounts without the least satisfaction, for which we both sufficiently laughed at him and Sir W. Batten after they had signed them and were gone, and so sat talking together till 11 o’clock at night, and so home and to bed.

24 Annotations

Australian Susan   Link to this

All quiet on the domestic front.
But Sam is making sure he stays away from home.
He seems very confident today in this entry, not caring if he makes enmity with neighbours (always in my opinion, a bad move - the more so if they are work colleagues as well). Also, and I think someone made this point yesterday, Sam is continually making situations which preclude any hope of Elizabeth having Lady P or Lady B as companions. Today we have another example.

Terry F   Link to this

"Also, and I think someone made this point yesterday, Sam is continually making situations which preclude any hope of Elizabeth having Lady P or Lady B as companions."

I think Stolzi's concern for Elizabeth's plight yesterday envisioned an unrealistic scenario inclusing a warm friendship with the overbearing Lady B. Penn is a rival to Sandwich and regarded by Samuel as incompetent, Batten as corrupt, so who is to blame for her situation?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Wow ... anyone else think that the cynicism running throughout today's entry has anything to do with the emotionally draining experience of yesterday?

Were I a psychologist -- or even if I only played one on TV -- I would posit that Sam is taking the anger he feels toward himself over the way he acted yesterday and directing it outward. No one in today's entry escapes his contempt.

dirk   Link to this

Evelyn to the ball again (see also the entry for 7 January)

"I saw a ball again at Court, danced by the King, the Duke, and ladies, in great pomp."

There seem to have been many balls at this time of the year. Would there have been a special reason for this? (It wouldn't have been for Christmas...)

Australian Susan   Link to this

The Court and Balls
Around Christmas time was regarded as a stretched-out holiday time and, let's face it, most of these people have nothing to do but enjoy themselves! Also, the weather would be too bad for outdoor ramblings and picnics, games of tennis or hunting and a ball does give one a chance to flirt and show off new clothes.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Reason for Balls, Masques etc.. The child in one and the lack of any reason to be any more productive but to please oneself. The normal human reason is to please thy self, but for most part the problem of eating , beclothed and and having a leaf to lie on, be all time consuming for the vast majority.This Court, seduced by the experiences of being part of the self indulgences of the Sun King, would bring out this aspect of the human condition.

Xjy   Link to this

Cynicism
I don't think it's cynicism. I think he is feeling very very good. He had a big bust-up with Beth and got over it and had a very good time in bed with her.
Now he doesn't care about anyone or anything. This is the straightest talk we've had from Sam for a long time. The careerist is making headway and feeling secure in the saddle. Time to flourish the whip a bit more openly.
He's using the diary to discuss his career with the only person he can even half-way open up to - himself. Today's entry marks another change of gear, I think. And very suitably so after a season of revelry - so useful for wiping the slate clean for a new start.
He seems to have jettisoned his fear of Minnes completely. Already downgrading Creed even while using him to sneer at his rivals. Whipping and sacking his servants. Speaking alone with the Duke. Even gingerly doling out patronage (sending thingummy off early to the fleshpots of Portsmouth).
Our Sam has come a long way in this past year.

R. O. Curtis   Link to this

"... how like a doting coxcomb..."

I'm having trouble envisioning this, doting coxcombs being rare around here. Is Sir J. wearily trudging through the signature lines (despite his "material" objections) with an "Oh well, have it your way." And if so, what's so funny? Maybe you had to be there...

jeannine   Link to this

Brillaint observations Xjy! Sam is a careerist and I've been pondering, and will throw open to all to discuss, diss at or whatever a few thoughts. Clearly yesterday hurt both parties, and we do NOT know the actual letter contents, but what we do know is that Sam chose to RESPOND as an "aggressor" and Elizabeth, through default and lack of physical stregnth (couldn't get the letters back) was the "victim" of his outburst. It's alot easier for an aggressor to forget their wrongs than the party who received the blows. How that may play out or not remains to be seen.

Today, we are seeing Sam doing what will make him "famous", moving into the office, focusing on his work, being that type "A" driven man who intends to leave the unneccessary ashes behind in the flames and move on. He is choosing (or perhaps driven by nature) to keep his eyes on the ball. Yesterday, in his mind Elizabeth's letter could have caused injury to his good name and career so albeit in an ugly way he took care of it, today that's history so he's "buried himself in his work" and is getting back on the path.

Metaphorically I can't help but "feeling" (as opposed to being "factual" here, which we never can be when we discuss character vs. fact) that Sam put Elizabeth and her feelings where he felt they belong --below his career needs. My guess is that he will continue to categorize people, opportunities, etc. and how they will help him (or not) and add them to the hierarchy as he moves along. This in NO WAY is meant to call him cruel, bad or to pass a character judgement on him, but rather just a reflection of how some people process things, rationalize them and focus on what is important to them. Comments and "bullets" in my direction are as always most welcome.

jeannine   Link to this

And on another totally different note...
"though a cunning knave in his heart" and "like a doting coxcomb " --gotta love his writing -almost melodramatic. Sometimes I get so caught in his phrases that I have to re-read the entry several times to see what he is writing about as opposed to how he is expressing it. Something like

"Where Creed is a cunning knave at heart
Doting coxcomb signs himself as if it were art".....

Martin   Link to this

The careerist may be "feeling secure in the saddle", but he's reproached by Penn, and doesn't reproach back about the issue of Penn hiring Sarah as he resolved a few days ago to do, even though the garden door episode probably has created more fodder for gossip among the servants of the Penn and Pepys households.

celtcahill   Link to this

" Doting Coxcombe "

Good to see himself (Sam) so trusted by this man and this man so lacking in competence to see the issues that were material.

In charge at home, in charge at work. These are good feelings, and yes, Sam's confidence is growing.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

If only Sam could read these annots, then " My guess is that he will continue to categorize people". It would be so interesting to hear Samuell's comments?

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

knave, knape, Coxcomb. Such luverly words: Knave,knape be male child slowly used to be a great demeaning word along with that attribute of the Rooster.
Coxcomb, The Bard used it often, along with Pepys,and Massinger
coxcomb 2. A ludicrous appellation for the head; = COCKSCOMB 3. Obs.
1599 SHAKES. Hen. V, V. i. 57 The skinne is good for your broken Coxcombe. 1601 b. Applied to a woman. Obs.
1634 MASSINGER Very Woman III. ii, Cuculo. You tried my wife. Alas! you thought she was foolish..you have not found it. Pedro. I have found a pair of coxcombs.
coxcombing, vbl. n.
1664 Let. in Rep. Comm. Hist. MSS. VII. 484 Sir R. T...if all be true, made a very coxcoming of Prynne.
1662-3 PEPYS Diary 8 Mar., The fellow would not be known, which my Lord imputed to his coxcombly humour.
We will see the word used again.

So much nicer than the modern epithets e.g. A-H etc.

Bradford   Link to this

As with Todd, I see signs of "afterburn" in this entry.
How nice to be a worldly success, among people you despise, unwilling to suspect that you may have permanently damaged the regard of someone who loves you.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

And whom you love, and thus hating yourself for it. So you throw yourself into your work to forget.

I have no doubt that Sam is a careerist, a Type A personality (takes one to know one, after all), and is feeling his oats and rising status when it comes to those around him, but I also think (and the Diary shows) that he loves Elizabeth and is full of self-doubt when it comes to his "poor wretch" and how he treated her. In times like this -- now as well as then! -- it's much easier to aggressively deal with the outside world than it is to look inside and acknowledge your weaknesses and mistakes.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Sam's still angry

Else why insult Penn, contemn Creed and mock Minnes -- aggressive sentiments all -- the kid acts as if he's spoiling for a good fight. Sam's usually a shrewder man than this, which makes me think Todd is on target.

slangist   Link to this

coxcomb-ery...

whati get out of the description of minnes is that despite previously stated material objections, minnes is foolishly willing to sign the accounts anyway. instead of sticking to his guns, he rolls over -- not even because opposed, but because it's just easier. thanks to sam's description, i see minnes signing with a flourish, humming to himself in satisfaction at doing his duty, when he is in fact neglecting that duty by failing to pursue his previous objections. "without the least satisfaction" means, i take it, that minnes wanted kudos from sam for doing his duty, and did not receive them. making sam's life easier by virtue of minnes own self-delusion gives sam a free laugh.

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

"Doting coxcomb"
I would translate this as "swaggering fool." The way I read it, SP is ridiculing Sir JM for making a big fuss earlier over the accounts, and then abruptly dropping his objections ("without the least satisfaction," i.e. without his qualms being satisified at all).

I'm intrigued by the aside, "which are really very material." Does Sam mean that the questions were reasonable, but ultimately unfounded? Or does he mean that the accounts are actually crooked? We've seen that he can be less than honest in his own dealings, but he has been such a stickler for honesty in "the King's business."

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...Or does he mean that the accounts are actually crooked? ..." there be no law on the books, only a moral compass which be under the influence of silver, or the sense of fair play, rather than human Common Law, possesion be 9 tenths of reality.

GrahamT   Link to this

"doting coxcomb":
I think this is more lovestruck fool, than swaggering fool. Used as a simile, Pepys is saying Minnes is sycophantic, and ignoring his own earlier - valid - reservations, rather than be seen to be obstructive.

Peter   Link to this

"Doting Coxcomb"... I read the "doting" part to have the sense of "feeble minded"... having understood "dotage" more or less equal senility. Sam and Creed have obviously listened to Minnes raise a lot of objections to the accounts, after which he has meekly signed them. When Minnes left the room, Sam and Creed must have looked at each other and said words to the effect of "What was that all about? He must be losing his marbles!"

Mary   Link to this

doting coxcomb.

doting: [OED sense 1] characteristic of a weak or enfeebled intellect.

Coxcomb: [OED sense 3] A fool or simpleton. A foolish, conceited person vain of his accomplishments or dress. A superficial pretender to knowledge or accomplishment.

Sam certainly doesn't have much of an opinion of him.

GrahamT   Link to this

Doting,
I was taking the meaining of doting as:
"extravagantly or foolishly loving and indulgent" as in doting parents, doting lover, etc. I had only seen dotage and dotard in the "foolish" sense, not doting.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.