Sunday 11 January 1662/63

(Lord’s day). Lay long talking pleasant with my wife, then up and to church, the pew being quite full with strangers come along with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, so after a pitifull sermon of the young Scott, home to dinner. After dinner comes a footman of my Lord Sandwich’s (my Lord being come to town last night) with a letter from my father, in which he presses me to carry on the business for Tom with his late mistress, which I am sorry to see my father do, it being so much out of our power or for his advantage, as it is clear to me it is, which I shall think of and answer in my next. So to my office all the afternoon writing orders myself to have ready against to-morrow, that I might not appear negligent to Mr. Coventry. In the evening to Sir W. Pen’s, where Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, and afterwards came Sir G. Carteret. There talked about business, and afterwards to Sir W. Batten’s, where we staid talking and drinking Syder, and so I went away to my office a little, and so home and to bed.

14 Annotations

Clement   Link to this

"...it being so much out of our power or for his advantage..."

Perhaps Tom had the temerity to suggest to his father that he liked the woman. And perhaps dad tried to exert a little paternal influence on Tom's behalf.
Of course the match is no less a financial proposition for her side than it is for Sam, who married for love, as has been noted previously in the context of Tom's proposed relationship.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Sam simmers down

Sharp comment (on sermon, Tom's situation) but none of yesterday's overt hostility -- and see where Sam spends his evening!

A. Hamilton   Link to this

it being so much out of our power

Sam acutely remembers how the lass's mother sharply cut her offer, and how the girl herself expressed aversion to Tom and his circumstances. Sam's father didn't have the advantage of this first hand impression; now Sam has to make the unpleasant facts as clear to his father as he dares.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"lay long talking pleasant with my wife"
Yes, but he then neglects her for the whole of the day, which should be a day of rest, instead playing catch-up with office work or office networking I picture Elizabeth sitting around at home, chatting with Jane, doing some sewing or reading, maybe playing cards with Jane (or Will?) and glancing at their new smart clock on the mantelpiece or across the yard to the office, watching the candle still burning there and wondering when Sam will come home. She doesn''t even get to go to Church, unless Sam just doesn't record it. A lonely day for her.

dirk   Link to this

The Rev. Josselin's diary today:

"A very cold wintery time. the smallpox in 5 families all taken from Hatch apprentice who died. all persons upward, lord be good to us in sparing our place, our poor sinful town. god good to me in the freedom of the Sabbath. Mr Calany committed to Newgate for preaching at the place where he had been minister."

A little bit of everything today. Smallpox -- and more problems with the Act of Conformity.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"... to carry on the business for Tom with his late mistress,..." I dothe not think this be about Mistresses that be applying for permanent residence and proper sealed official papers, but The one, that has no dowry but keeps the bed from being cold.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"and afterwards to Sir W. Batten's,where we staid talking and drinking Syder"
One day he despises Sir William Batten,next he is his drinking buddy!
Very volatile our Man!

Clara   Link to this

I consider Sam lucky, Bess is only asking for a companion - which could easily be done for her by spending a little bit of his money, I know, that's not easy for Sam to be sure - but it would be worse for him, if she claimed him staying at home more often and not going to plays or staying with his friends and drinking... (sorry for mistakes, I must confess I am German)

Terry F   Link to this

"all the afternoon writing orders myself to have ready against to-morrow, that I might not appear negligent to Mr. Coventry."

Presumably the occasion is the regular Monday meeting of the Tangier Committee. http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/5243/

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Sign of the times, there be extremely few lasses that are in the position of Elizabeth, "Bess is only asking for a companion ",Thems that have the funds [Daddies or dead hubbies] would be off to the Hall, to find a better prize, the rest need pocket change which be very scarce, there being no welfare. Women had few opportunities to indulge in there own endeavours, they had a choice of being married, work in a household or have an indulgent Pops, or kill off the man of the house, then and only then could thee have control of the funds required to be entertaining and sipping a glass of sherry, if none of the above then it be to the Park and provide services. Thus there be others trying another path, be a companion.
In review Elizabeth be in an the most unusual position of not needing to wring chicken necks, iron the old mans stockings, Yet not have the connections [not enough females with up and coming partners] to play the Lady of the Manor.
Affluence be one of the deadly diseases along with retirement and welfare, if brain activity be not force on one, thrue hunger, cold and Ambition, then floundering takes place, all energy must be used, one way or another[+/-].

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: “all the afternoon writing orders myself to have ready against to-morrow, that I might not appear negligent to Mr. Coventry.”

Or their regular Monday morning meeting with the Duke...

Terry F   Link to this

Perhaps Bess asks for a companion for cultural reasons? Given her personal background, this might be the pattern she is most used to --, she being a reader and letter-writer, but no Aphra Behn (1640-1689), she needs someone cultured with whom to converse (the household help will hardly do); moreover she is only 22, hardly finding fit the company of the other wives of Sam'l's older colleagues.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Great point "for cultural reasons", grown tired of those little soap operettas of the times, french novels, here be an missed opportunity to expand her thinking . Now Sam has physicaly trashed her writings, good or bad, has damaged her self esteem, Oh! many fragile minds have been lost in this manner .

Robert Gertz   Link to this

A companion could discuss her favorite novels, the current plays, perhaps escort her to a few minor Court functions...A useful thing to have.

Obviously Bess thought to win Sam's possibly grudging respect with a well-thought-out letter listing her complaints and very likely noting how little ( probably some dress money, a companion, a little more attention from his Clerkness) it would take to make her content...And Sam thought it so good he kept it as well as feared it.

Now imagine the letter Barbara Palmer might have written...

***

Talking pleasant...

One can hope some of his Diary empathy for Bess seeped out and comforted her a little. Sam's no doubt a very charming fellow in private conversation.

Imagine if he told her he'd kept her torn letter out of admiration for the writing. Did he admit to her a little of his fear about the letter getting out and Coventry or others learning of the nightly (and occasionally daily) gaddings-about of nose-to-the-grindstone Pepys?

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