Wednesday 13 May 1663

Lay till 6 o’clock and then up, and after a little talk and mirth, he went away, and I to my office, where busy all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and after dinner Pembleton came and I practised. But, Lord! to see how my wife will not be thought to need telling by me or Ashwell, and yet will plead that she has learnt but a month, which causes many short fallings out between us. So to my office, whither one-eyed Cooper came to see me, and I made him to show me the use of platts, and to understand the lines, and how to find how lands bear, &c., to my great content. Then came Mr. Barrow, storekeeper of Chatham, who tells me many things, how basely Sir W. Batten has carried himself to him, and in all things else like a passionate dotard, to the King’s great wrong. God mend all, for I am sure we are but in an ill condition in the Navy, however the King is served in other places. Home to supper, to cards, and to bed.

11 Annotations

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

His brain be back at St Pauls, his construction be from a Latin Grammar?"...But, Lord! to see how my wife will not be thought to need telling by me or Ashwell, and yet will plead that she has learnt but a month, which causes many short fallings out between us..." So off goes the Huffy Samuell, after the Mistress dothe dent his arches. So not every one be real[ly] perfect.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Samuel:In thy household there be a plat afoot while thee go and plat the course to the Canaries, but do not foget to use the plat of thy sword if thy dothe not want Blud.

TerryF   Link to this

Pepys, in despair at day's end, is moved to prayer:

"God mend all, for I am sure we are but in an ill condition in the Navy, however the King is served in other places."

The "dotard knights" are eternal fixtures: a little [or great] chronic malfeasance [no-bid contracts, substandard work/materials] is a fault of government bureaucracies for aye.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"But, Lord! to see how my wife will not be thought to need telling by me or Ashwell, and yet will plead that she has learnt but a month, which causes many short fallings out between us."

Well, Samuel...You're but a padiwan of dance yourself. Bess naturally prefers the Dancing Master's teaching.

And what could possibly irk our boy more than the idea that his Missus might have found someone who knows more about something than Sherlock Pepys.

On the other hand, how much longer will it be before Sam suddenly gets that there might be more than a craze for dancing involved here?

Charming, handsome dancing master...

Bored, neglected, frustrated, beautiful wife...Desparate for any diversion...Anxious to get beloved but often jerk of a husband to pay attention...

Suddenly can't get enough of said charming, handsome dancing, master's time...


"Bess, this must stop! This lust for Dance borders on mania!"

And it's costing an extra 50s per week...

"Sam'l, darling...With my new Dance Powers I'll soon be able to win favor at Court. You'll rise with me, dearest."

"Bess...What are you babbling about? And would you please stop dancing a moment?"

"Don't turn against me, Sam'l. I may soon hold even the King's favor." Narrow look...

"Bess, I sense Dance Master Pemberton is evil and leading you into the Pit itself. I forbid you to take more lessons!"

Really narrow glare...

"Remember what happened last time I got really pissed, Sam'l?" cold tone, eyes sparking fire.

"You wouldn't...Bess, think of the disgrace if you walked. In my current position...It could ruin us."

"Then leave me to my lessons..."

Sam sighs, but the grim threat is too much to risk...He seeks counsel from an expert in the Dance.

"Ashwell, won't she even listen to you? You're an accomplished Dance Mistress."

"It's hopeless, sir. She's been seduced by the Dark Side of the Dance."


"Well...You could study the Dance diligently and after long, hard study bowl her over with fancy footwork and rekindle the old flame. That might break his hold."


"Or...You could just threaten to beat the crap out of him."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"So to my office, whither one-eyed Cooper came to see me, and I made him to show me the use of platts, and to understand the lines, and how to find how lands bear, &c., to my great content."

"Maps? Charts? The way lands bear? What rubbish, lad." Minnes in passing shakes head. "Pepys, when I was in naval service and nearly won the fleet for the late King I never bothered with
such foolishness. We just turned the ship away or towards land."

Explaining pretty clearly why you "nearly" won the fleet for the late King, Sam notes to himself.

"Say Cooper? Wasn't your patch on the other side yesterday? Haw-haw!" Minnes heads off.

"Arrg...If I still had me depth perception." Cooper notes to Sam while patting his trusty knife in its holder.


Roy Feldman   Link to this

I'm still laughing over the scene with Minnes and Cooper... This is the best Gertz fanfic yet.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Having learned all he could of the skills of a Dance Master from Dance Mistress Ashwell, Pepys moves for his final confrontation...Despite Ashwell's warnings...

"Sir, three days dancing practice is not enough. You must finish your training!"

"Pemberton has taken Bess to perform for the evil Sir Charles Barkeley. He intends to make her the next Castlemaine. And you know sweet poor Barbara Palmer was before Dance Master Pemberton led her to the Dark Side."

Besides, more dance lessons?...What is it with you dancing masters? Do I look made of money or something? Sam thinks, eyeing his worried Dance Mistress.

"I must save my Bess from this dark fate, nice as it might be to have the King grant me an estate to get me out of London like poor ole Palmer."

"Remember what you have learned, sir. Save you it can."

Why do these dancing masters all talk so funny?, Sam sighs to self, heading to the door.

"Sir, shall I...?" Will Hewer gallantly make the offer to face the evil of the Dance Master...

Smirking little bastard, that Pemberton with his smiles and his wavy hair and his "oh, very good Mrs. Pepys...What an excellent foot you have, ma'am". Knew he was out to take Mr. Pepys'...Bess from us.

"No, Hewer...One of us must stay to keep the office running for the sake of the Nation."

"Well, then. Give the bastard what for, sir!" Hewer offers a hand which Sam shakes firmly.

"Don't worry, Hewer...And for God's sake, don't let Penn, Batten, or Minnes sign anything till my return."

Hmmn...On second thought...Methinks I not only need a coach but Pemberton fodder.

"Excuse me, Sir John..."


Sam confronts the Dark Lord of the Dance...A somewhat puzzled Minnes and Batten...Thought Pepys said this was going to be a show, though Barkeley does set a good buffet, Sir John notes to Sir Will B. as they chow down, obvious to the menacing presence of Dance Master Pemberton...

Penn, picked up as their coach passed his door, a bit more alert to the danger...His Meg having met Pemberton at the Pepys and immediately begun talk of lessons...

"So...Mr. Pepys." Usual charming, ingraiting smile from Dance Master Pemberton...

"So...Dance Master Pemberton..." Sam nods. Feet ready...

Sam noting the presence of Sir Charles and members of the Court, including the King...And, already in the center of the room, ready to confront her latest challenger, Lady Castlemaine... And her challenger...

"Bess..." he gasps...

"Come to see my new apprentice, your dear wife, show her skills to Sir Charles, sir?" Pemberton grins...

"She'll use the wrath and frustation she feels against you in her dance to defeat my old and rather ungrateful pupil, Lady Castlemaine...And with her triumph my long-cherish position as Dance Master of England will at last come to be!" Pemberton hops out a few skillful steps in glee...

"Soon all of England will be dancing to my tune! And forced to purchase my book of easy dance lessons to success... Which will be coming soon to a booksellers' near you."

"Not while Samuel Pepys has anything to say about it! Your reign is over, Pemberton!" Skillful footwork as he slides by Pemberton...

"Pepys, lad." Minnes coming over, manages to throw Pepys out of step just as the crowd has turned to applaud his nimble steps, frustrating Pemberton. "Batten and I had a thought just now about that pieces of eight thing. Oh, sorry..." he helps a shaken Sam to his feet as Pemberton sneers in triumph and begins a elaborate display of every step he knows. "Anyway, Pepys...Sir Will and I thought. Well. Suppose we just...Leave things as they were, eh what? Brilliant, eh, lad? Solves the whole...Pepys?!"

A hop and fast-paced kick hurls Pemberton across the room...Enraged he rises, summoning the skills of the Dark Lord of the Dance... As, at the center of the room, Bess whirls by Lady Castlemaine, astonishing and rather intriguing the King...

Time is short, Sam realizes, glancing over...Only one thing can save dear Bess...

"Bess?! I was thinking!!..." Ooof...he groans as Pemberton slams his long and muscular legs into his belly...

"I have longed for this day, little clerk!" Pemberton sneers. "All that crap I had to dish you about your dancing abilities...You couldn't dance your way out of a paper sack!"

"My skills have improved since then, Pemberton!" Sam proving verification by a skillful leap and turn...

But to the essential...

"...Bess, I was thinking...It's time you had a dress allowance!!"

Huh?! Bess pauses in mid-step...Castlemaine on the verge of defeat.

"Say, twenty...Er thirty pounds a year?!!"

"Sam'l? A dress allowance! Oh, Sam..."

"NO!!!" Pemberton cries. "Arrgghh..." a yelp as plate-laden, already slightly tipsy Sir John steps on his feet.

"My feet! I'll never dance again!"

"Dreadfully sorry, lad. Er...Piece of cake?"


Stolzi   Link to this

Plat - a familiar word here -
my father was a civil engineer and land-surveyor, so I heard about them from earliest years.

Stolzi   Link to this

"God mend all,"

This rings a bell, too, for I am a reader of the works of the 19th-century Scottish minister and novelist, George MacDonald.

MacDonald designed his own bookplate, and it bore the motto

"Corage, God mend al"

which was an anagram of his name.

Patricia   Link to this

The old pattern re-asserts itself: Pepys told the portraitist how to paint, the workmen how to do their various jobs, alienated the musician who had come to teach him composition, and now is butting in on the dancing master's instruction of Mrs. P. A little knowledge...&c. &c.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

At the Royal Society today at Gresham College was read its Second Charter. The first Charter...did not give the Fellows all the privileges which they desired, and, after representation, a second Charter supplying the desired privileges and retaining all the clauses of incorporation contained in the first Charter passed the Great Seal on 22 April 1663. It was read before the Society on 13 May following. It is the second Charter which ensures the Society its privileges, and by which the Society has since been, and continues to be, governed. In this Charter, the King declares himself to be the Founder and Patron of the Society. in Latin, still in force.

The Second Charter in English:

“In 1669 a third Charter was given, granting to the Society lands in Chelsea in which were situated Chelsea College. The site could have provided a permanent home for the Society, but no funds were forthcoming for the necessary building, and the college remained vacant. In 1681, under Wren’s presidency, the lands were sold back to the King as a site for his Royal Hospital.

“In addition, while confirming the powers given by the second Charter, the third makes some slight changes.”

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