Saturday 16 May 1663

Up with my mind disturbed and with my last night’s doubts upon me, for which I deserve to be beaten if not really served as I am fearful of being, especially since God knows that I do not find honesty enough in my own mind but that upon a small temptation I could be false to her, and therefore ought not to expect more justice from her, but God pardon both my sin and my folly herein. To my office and there sitting all the morning, and at noon dined at home. After dinner comes Pembleton, and I being out of humour would not see him, pretending business, but, Lord! with what jealousy did I walk up and down my chamber listening to hear whether they danced or no, which they did, notwithstanding I afterwards knew and did then believe that Ashwell was with them. So to my office awhile, and, my jealousy still reigning, I went in and, not out of any pleasure but from that only reason, did go up to them to practise, and did make an end of “La Duchesse,” which I think I should, with a little pains, do very well. So broke up and saw him gone. Then Captain Cocke coming to me to speak about my seeming discourtesy to him in the business of his hemp, I went to the office with him, and there discoursed it largely and I think to his satisfaction. Then to my business, writing letters and other things till late at night, and so home to supper and bed. My mind in some better ease resolving to prevent matters for the time to come as much as I can, it being to no purpose to trouble myself for what is past, being occasioned too by my own folly.

21 Annotations

Australian Susan   Link to this

Poor Sam! Agony upon agony. And he is self-knowing enough to be wracked with indecision, doubt, guilt as well as straight-forward jealousy. I think that "prevent" in this context means "go before" - Sam intends to try and understand what is happening as it happens or before it happens to help keep a handle on what is going on. LH may enlighten us all here.

Stolzi   Link to this

I think it's rather amazing
in that day and age that Sam does not pretend to a double standard, but acknowledges "what right have I to be angry if she betrayed me, seeing I would betray her on even a slight temptation?"

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I think Bess will be very touched if she ever gets a chance to read this entry in some afterlife existence...A beautiful and candid bit of self-examination and attempt to understand and master his emotion.

Though she'll no doubt be tickled at catching his attention...Finally Bess obsession takes center stage, even to the disruption of the sacred matters of Work.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"My mind in some better ease resolving to prevent matters for the time to come as much as I can, it being to no purpose to trouble myself for what is past, being occasioned too by my own folly."

Hmmn-hmm. (thinking on dear Diana? Those maids and cleaning girls he's lusted in more than his heart after?...And all those dreams regarding Lady Castemaine?)

However I doubt such noble resignation will hold for long...

TerryF   Link to this

"I...did make an end of 'La Duchesse,' which I think I should, with a little pains, do very well."

I assume “La Duchesse” is a particular dance (I've been unable to document it -- Dirk?!), and Sam'l means he has the steps memorized, but not perfected,

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Did it go under another name in 'onor of La Palmer like le dance "The Fryar and the Nun Longways for as many as will "
http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~flip/contrib...

TerryF   Link to this

in Aqua Scripto to the rrrrescue of "La Duchesse"!!

(No sooner had I posted last than I wondered what you might do. Verily! A nom de dans, verrry imaginative, as usual!!)

dirk   Link to this

"La Duchesse"

Undoubtedly a dance! It's mentioned in a book by Edward Jones, 1784, among other "old" dances like "La Frivolité", "Le Grand Carré", "L'inglesina", and others.

http://www.welshfolkdance.org.uk/publications.html
http://www.esm.rochester.edu/sibley/specialc/fi...

That's all I've been able to find though.

TerryF   Link to this

The “La Duchesse” of 178x.

Surely Edward Jones's was a collection of "old standard" country-dances/contre-danses.

(I'm comforted that others also call down those reading these posts to correct and complete info - cf. Australian Susan's appeal to LH above!)

Xjy   Link to this

"therefore ought not to expect more justice from her"
Well done, Sam! Logic can be painful, but at least it's impersonal and fair... Wonderful for such a windvane and trimmer and opportunist as our Sam to acknowledge the juggernaut logic of human equality. This entry cheered me up no end!!

J A Gioia   Link to this

I do not find honesty enough in my own mind but that upon a small temptation I could be false to her...

alas a globe without more people like sam! he is hereby absolved of every rank and petty act his proud and ambitious nature coughs up.

dirk   Link to this

The Rev. Josselin's diary... or the life of a country gentleman

"My grey mare foaled a horse colt, which I desire god may bless that I may ride and east my weary feet upon him; a wonderful wet and cold season, giving many barleys a surfeit, and breeding many weeds in corn. this year I sold in hay and straw as much as came to above 8li. my hay was 3. years old."

Lawrence   Link to this

All in the imagination,
Well most People's jealously is, I remember being told ghost stories, and someone asking me if I would spend the night in our Parish Church, well I don't believe in Ghosts and things that go bang in the night, but my answer was if I could leave my fertile imagination locked up at Home!

TerryF   Link to this

"I deserve to be beaten if not really served as I am fearful of being"

LH, is this Pepys's recognition of his imagination's lively working?

TerryF   Link to this

Apologies, Lawrence, my imagination supplied what vision failed to.

An instancee of Sir Francis Bacon's "Idol of the Tribe": XLVII

The human understanding is moved by those things most which strike and enter the mind simultaneously and suddenly, and so fill the imagination; and then it feigns and supposes all other things to be somehow, though it cannot see how, similar to those few things by which it is surrounded. But for that going to and fro to remote and heterogeneous instances, by which axioms are tried as in the fire, the intellect is altogether slow and unfit, unless it be forced thereto by severe laws and overruling authority." From Novum Organum http://www.whitworth.edu/academic/department/co...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

“I deserve to be beaten if not really served as I am fearful of being”

If I'm getting this hysterical and blaming my Bess without foundation I deserve to be beaten...Quite right, sir.

Lawrence   Link to this

Thanks TerryF,
His old disease as He called it, We all of us, have been through this one at some time or another, or will sooner or later, some of us our more rational than others with it. The worse thing is that our imaginations set scenes for us, the visions we don't see, we see!

language hat   Link to this

"is this Pepys’s recognition of his imagination’s lively working?"

Yes, that's how I read it.

Tom Burns   Link to this

...since God knows that I do not find honesty enough in my own mind but that upon a small temptation I could be false to her, and therefore ought not to expect more justice from her...

I wonder if Sam truly understands what he's written here. He's not basing his doubts of Bess on her character (or lack thereof) but on his own. This is poor judgment at best. It could even be detrimental in his professional life, should he judge everyone with whom he interacts vis à vis his own character flaws (or his strong points for that matter). It seems to be that the ability to accuraely assess what someone will do is a vital skill for Sam to have.

Lawrence   Link to this

Tom Burns,
...since God (Sam His-self) knows that I do not find honesty enough in my own mind but that upon a small temptation I could be false to her, therefore ought not to expect more justice from her...
Well, he managed to write a letter to his Father without Castrating the letter with His domestic bliss, or lack of! Sam know's He's wrong so therefore He's half way to a cure. We must remember Elizabeth knows what ails him, and He knows She does, so there is some spite and anger in there between them, She won't be done down by it, and He won't publish to Her that it's his old disease

language hat   Link to this

"This is poor judgment at best."

But it's human nature. It's very, very rare to find someone who doesn't use their own habits and preferences as the standard for all mankind. It takes a lot of work and self-abnegation to get past that.

Log in to post an annotation.

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