Wednesday 12 August 1663

A little to my office, to put down my yesterday’s journall, and so abroad to buy a bedstead and do other things. So home again, and having put up the bedstead and done other things in order to my wife’s coming, I went out to several places and to Mrs. Turner’s, she inviting me last night, and there dined; with her and Madam Morrice and a stranger we were very merry and had a fine dinner, and thence I took leave and to White Hall, where my Lords Sandwich, Peterborough, and others made a Tangier Committee; spent the afternoon in reading and ordering with a great deal of alteration, and yet methinks never a whit the better, of a letter drawn by Creed to my Lord Rutherford. The Lords being against anything that looked to be rough, though it was in matter of money and accounts, wherein their courtship may cost the King dear. Only I do see by them, that speaking in matters distasteful to him that we write to, it is best to do it in the plainest way and without ambages or reasoning, but only say matters of fact, and leave the party to collect your meaning. Thence by water to my brother’s, and there I hear my wife is come and gone home, and my father is come to town also, at which I wondered. But I discern it is to give my brother advice about his business, and it may be to pacify me about the differences that have been between my wife and him and my mother at her late being with them. Though by and by he coming to Mr. Holden’s (where I was buying a hat) he took no notice to me of anything. I talked to him a little while and left him to lie at the end of the town, and I home, where methought I found my wife strange, not knowing, I believe, in what temper she could expect me to be in, but I fell to kind words, and so we were very kind, only she could not forbear telling me how she had been used by them and her mayde, Ashwell, in the country, but I find it will be best not to examine it, for I doubt she’s in fault too, and therefore I seek to put it off from my hearing, and so to bed and there entertained her with great content, and so to sleep.

28 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

ambage

"deceit, deviousness"
(Select Glossary)

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"Only I do see by them, that speaking in matters distasteful to him that we write to, it is best to do it in the plainest way and without ambages or reasoning, but only say matters of fact, and leave the party to collect your meaning."

YES, Sam! If only more government officials believed and acted this way...

TerryF   Link to this

"best not to examine it, for I doubt she’s in fault too"

doubt
c.1225, from O.Fr. douter, from L. dubitare "hesitate, waver in opinion" (related to dubius "uncertain"), originally "to have to choose between two things." The sense of "fear" developed in O.Fr. and was passed on to Eng. The -b- was restored 14c. by scribes in imitation of L. Replaced O.E. tweogan (noun twynung), from tweon "two," on notion of "of two minds" or the choice of two implied in L. dubitare (cf. Ger. Zweifel "doubt," from zwei "two"). http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=doubt

Patricia   Link to this

Oh Sam, this all sounds too familiar: caught between your wife and your parents--my husband has been there many times--and your loyalties divided. Trust me, you may have "entertained her with great content", but sex won't solve this problem. You've got to side with your wife, she's the one that can make you the most miserable if you don't.
Genesis 2:24 "That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh."

TerryF   Link to this

Despite the entanglemts and conflicts, today everyone is avoiding all issues and making nice - storing up for later reckonings.

aqua   Link to this

Male ego, fully a coxcomb "...there entertained her with great content..."
Samuell, you be glad ye lived when thee did.

aqua   Link to this

ambage ME ambages intential Ambiguity L amb [around] agere to go Archaic]

aqua   Link to this

Ashwell downgraded to maide, at least she weren't a milk maide "...but I fell to kind words, and so we were very kind, only she could not forbear telling me how she had been used by them and her mayde, Ashwell, in the country, ..." " Why 'ello Liz, did thee have a nice , " Yelps [wot say I wrong]

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"spent the afternoon in reading and ordering with a great deal of alteration, and yet methinks never a whit the better"
My sympathies, Sam, I've been in many meetings like that.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Mr. Pepys. There's something...Strange about Mrs. Pepys."

"Indeed, Hewer...So you noticed it too. Well, she's just worried about what my father's said about her stay..."

"Sir." Will waves him to a corner. "Methinks Mrs. Pepys may have been...Replaced by a pod person."

"A what?"

"Well, sir. Dr. Hooke, the fellow from the Royal Society, was running about London yesterday in crazed state, screaming about "Them" being "Here" and intelligent plants from up there..." Will points skyward. "Growing to take the forms of people down here."

"I see. Yes, well...I shall look into Will. Indeed."

(Wanted: new chief clerk for Naval Office. Must be nondelusional.)

"What did William want, Sam'l?"

"Oh, the boy has some nonsense in his head. Some gibberish Robert Hooke's being spouting about England being invaded from...Up there..." Sam points skyward. "First it was little creatures viewed in the microscope causing disease, now this. Next, Hooke'll be claiming plague is carried by fleas via rats."

"Indeed, how silly." Cold look from Bess out to where Hewer is nervously passing by the parlor.

"So what's to be the novel of choice now, my love?"

Cool smile..."I've no time for such things anymore, Samuel. I only wish to be the perfect wife of my successful husband who'll rule the Navy one day. Oh, and please, dear, let me apologize for having been a bit rude to your father earlier during my stay. I'm very sorry and I'll write him tomorrow, abjectly. Shall we to bed?"

Hmmn...Sounds like this summer did her good after all.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Bedstead

I thought as I read this, that Sam's experience is very different from what ours would be in a similar situation.
We would rock up to Freedom, Habitat, Forty Winks or whatever and choose a bed from the displays on the floor. Then we would pay for it and then discover that what we have chosen is "in the warehouse" [or in our case often - in Sydney]. Stock *always* seems to take "about ten days" to arrive and * then* we have the delivery problems. They ask where you live. You tell them [and it's a suburb only a few away from the store] and there is then much sighing and shaking of heads and the information is imparted that the van only goes there every Thursday and, of course, today being Friday, it'll be a week.
Yet, here is Sam calmly going out, choosing and buying the bed, having it delivered and putting it up - all in one morning!!!! (AND just in the nick of time as it turns out). Amazing. And he behaves as though this is normal. Progress in 350 years? Not in some things.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Bess' litany of summer woes having gone on for a solid half-hour...

"And that Ashwell...Always trying to butter up your father, and telling them all that I can't sing a..."

"Yes, of course. Terrible, dear. I will speak to her. Say, Bess...Where is Ashwell anyway?"

Ummn... "Where?" Brightly.

Cut to shot of John and Bess digging a shallow grave by moonlight. A fuming John noting that it's only for the sake of his son's and family's future that he'd ever go along with this... And put such strain on his truss.

"Yes. Hannah and Hewer said she didn't come in with you. And my father seemed very odd when I asked how he enjoyed her company when I met him earlier."

"Oh? Did he say anything else?"

"No, he barely spoke to me...Bess? About Ashwell?"

"Oh, I discharged her. She wanted to go home anyway."

"But...Her father wrote me asking about her. They'd not had a letter for weeks."

"Really? Well, an impudent, bold hussy like that...Probably ran off with some young fellow to America or the highways."

"Mary Ashwell?"

"Now, Sam'l. You don't want to spend our first night back together going on about that foolish girl, do you?"

Ummn...Well.

(Owe you one, father-in-law. Well, two I suppose, straining the old hernia like that.)

aqua   Link to this

Bedstead, there be only one in the shop, amply covered in a nice blotch red finish, best of one , as is, need it, [if thee do not there be another buyer soon].
Just been restored from getting it back from one bankrupted [banca [bench] rupt, broken rupta]one, to pay the debt he owed.

AlanB   Link to this

And there was I thinking that the 'great entertainment' involved Bess and Sam trying to follow the self-assembly bed instructions that came with Sam's purchase when he went abroad to IKEA.

jeannine   Link to this

"but I find it will be best not to examine it, for I doubt she’s in fault too, and therefore I seek to put it off from my hearing, and so to bed and there entertained her with great content, and so to sleep."
Oh, come on you astute readers--this is Sam (or any man?) at his best! Bess comes home, chats up about her woes at Brampton. Sam sees 2 choices:

A. Get into a "discussion" with his wife about the issue.

B. Keep his mouth shut and go "entertain her with great content" in bed.

Obviously the 2 are exclusive choices as A would NOT lead to B! Doesn't take a master mind to figure out what Sam would do!
I'm printing up some of those little bracelets right now that say "WWSD" (what would Sam do). I'll be selling them for a dollar on ebay with funds donated to research on how little men have changed over the years. This falls into the research category of survival of the fittest as any man without enough brains to have figured this out would have never made it to the sack to pass on his gene pool.........

PS Alan --loved your entry on IKEA!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"how she had been used by them and her mayde, Ashwell, in the country"
Was Ashwell fired on the spot or is she still around?

Pedro   Link to this

“how little men have changed over the years.”

You are probably right Jeannine, but my wife Ayesha says…

Jacqueline Gore   Link to this

"Was Ashwell fired on the spot"

I wonder if Robert got it right. It is mysterious.

I reluctantly think Sam was right to go with Jeannine's option B. To be honest if my husband got into 'discussion' on such a subject it would hardly be such-he'd better see it my way or else. Though of course I am a modern model of forbearance and spread only sweetness and light in all my dealings with in-laws and employees.

jeannine   Link to this

I've been furthering my research on this subject and even before Sam's time Shakespeare looked at the choices of A or B above and said....
"To B, or not to B, that is the question".. will report more on this important topic as I dig deeper into the subject....

language hat   Link to this

"I doubt she’s in fault too"
doubt = suspect

OED:
6.b. To suspect, have suspicions about.
[...] 1603 KNOLLES Hist. Turks (1621) 865 The defendants doubting such a matter, by diligent listening.. discovered their works.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Brampton...Two days ago...Just before dawn...

“Well met, Mr. Creed...”

“Top of the morning to you, Mr. Howe...”

“Not past our time, are we, Mr. Creed?...”

“I think not, Mr. Howe...” Creed nods at a light now flickering by a window in the house the two men are watching... “Indeed, I’d say we were just on time...”

“Yes...Not the pleasantest sort of business for such a promising early morn, eh Creed?...”

“Ours not to question why when a client calls on us, Mr. Howe...”

“Indeed, Mr. Creed...”

The front door of the house opens, revealing a girl or young woman in heavy cloak with lantern in hand...

“Pardon me, gentlemen...” A fuming Ashwell passes by the two posting themselves near the gate of the Pepys Brampton home...Slamming gate...

‘Go and fetch some early morning dew before the sun rises, girl’ she says...Half-French bitch from Hell...the angry young woman rages to herself as she stalks off...

“Creed? I believe...” Howe eyes Creed...

“I am afraid so, Howe...” a faint sigh...Both heading off slowly in the girl’s wake...

***

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Heaven...

"What did you mean... 'I doubt she's in fault too...'?" Bess looks up from her monitor.

Ummn...Sam looks for the nearest exit. Perhaps the Roosevelts can put him up for...Another...night.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Jeannine, I'll start off with an order of 10 WWSD bracelets ... what color will they be...?

aqua   Link to this

Action gets a reaction, so Samuell wisely appeals to their lower brain needs and requirements. I mean to say he has been on a hunt and failed to satisfy his basic needs , so Eliza has saved him from himself

aqua   Link to this

How about big men “how little men have changed over the years.”

Pedro   Link to this

“How about big men”

Well, big men become little men when confronted by “She who must be obeyed”!


Bradford   Link to this

All right, since no one else said it, I'll say, "That's entertainment!" But sooner or later, such is the nature of marriage, he is going to have to hear Elizabeth on Ashwell, though deferral may defuse antagonism somewhat.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Now lets be fair... If Sam went and "discussed" the Ashwell case with Bess...The day she's come home after what clearly was in large part a miserable summer's stay with the in-laws, does anyone believe she'd allow a fair-minded, even-handed consideration of Ashwell's and her own behavior? His only hope for survival and peace is to put it all off and go for the "entertained her with great content."...Let me get my wife's...Arrgh... (No, that wasn't how I did it last year, honey...)

Gay:

He'd best let her and Ashwell work it out and keep strictly out of it. The wise husband knoweth to keep his mouth firmly shut and look sympathetically attentive. In the end, he'll have to side with Bess anyway. It's in the fine print of the wedding certificate, gentlemen.

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