Wednesday 9 September 1663

Up by break of day, and then to my vials a while, and so to Sir W. Warren’s by agreement, and after talking and eating something with him, he and I down by water to Woolwich, and there I did several businesses, and had good discourse, and thence walked to Greenwich; in my way a little boy overtook us with a fine cupp turned out of Lignum Vitae, which the poor child confessed was made in the King’s yard by his father, a turner there, and that he do often do it, and that I might have one, and God knows what, which I shall examine. Thence to Sir W. Warren’s again, and there drew up a contract for masts which he is to sell us, and so home to dinner, finding my poor wife busy. I, after dinner, to the office, and then to White Hall, to Sir G. Carteret’s, but did not speak with him, and so to Westminster Hall, God forgive me, thinking to meet Mrs. Lane, but she was not there, but here I met with Ned Pickering, with whom I walked 3 or 4 hours till evening, he telling me the whole business of my Lord’s folly with this Mrs. Becke, at Chelsey, of all which I am ashamed to see my Lord so grossly play the beast and fool, to the flinging off of all honour, friends, servants, and every thing and person that is good, and only will have his private lust undisturbed with this common … . his sitting up night after night alone, suffering nobody to come to them, and all the day too, casting off Pickering, basely reproaching him with his small estate, which yet is a good one, and other poor courses to obtain privacy beneath his honour, and with his carrying her abroad and playing on his lute under her window, and forty other poor sordid things, which I am grieved to hear; but believe it to no purpose for me to meddle with it, but let him go on till God Almighty and his own conscience and thoughts of his lady and family do it. So after long discourse, to my full satisfaction but great trouble, I home by water and at my office late, and so to supper to my poor wife, and so to bed, being troubled to think that I shall be forced to go to Brampton the next Court, next week.

24 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

L&M tell us what is common - no surprise:

Mrs. Becke at Chelsey is "this common whore." ~ ipso facto Lord Sandwich is a common whoremonger ~ a commen john.
http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=whore...

Miss Ann fr Home   Link to this

LIGNUM VITAE

One of the hardest and heaviest woods (three times as hard as oak), lignum vitae is most commonly used for mallet heads, bearings and rollers. Because of its durability and natural lubricants, it is the preferred wood for propeller bushings and other underwater applications. The lignum vitae tree generally grows to a diameter of about 12", although historically, trees in the 18" - 30" range have been known.

Lignum vitae is reddish brown when freshly cut, with pale yellow sapwood. As it oxidizes, the color turns to a deep green, often with black details. The grain is highly interlocked, making it difficult to work with edge tools, but it machines well and takes a high polish. It is a remarkably good wood for turning. A similar species, known as Maracaibo lignum vitae (Bulnesia arboria), which grows in Venezuela and northern South America, is similar in properties and appearance and is sometimes substituted for genuine lignum vitae.
Courtesy of: www.woodfinder.com/woods/lignumvitae/php

Miss Ann fr Home   Link to this

I had a thought about "God forgive me, thinking to meet Mrs. Lane, but she was not there" - this may have been but a fleeting thought of Sam's as he entered her territory, somewhat similar to the girls in the office when a certain surveyor comes to visit, amazing how this brings on much application of lipstick and brushing of hair - not that anyone actually intends doing anything with the poor bloke, but the thoughts are definitely rushing through their veins. Maybe Sam might take advantage of dear Betty should she be free and willing, but it's not something Sam is actually going their specifically for.

TerryF   Link to this

Lignum Vitae - another take

"Lignum vitae is the heartwood of species of the genus Guaiacum, the trees of which are usually called guayacan. The name is Latin for "wood of life", and derives from its medicinal uses. Other names are palo santo, holy wood, and of course ironwood (one of many). The wood is obtained chiefly from Guaiacum officinale and Guaiacum sanctum, both slow growing trees that do not become large.
"This wood has a specific gravity between 1.28 and 1.37, so it will sink in water. It is a hard, dense and durable wood, one of the densest woods in the trade. The wood was important for uses requiring strength, weight and hardness. Master clockmaker John Harrison [who designed and built the world's first successful maritime clock, one whose accuracy was great enough to allow the determination of longitude over long distances.] used lignum vitae as the basis for his nearly all-wood clocks, since the wood provides natural lubricating oils which do not dry out." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lignum_vitae

It's a mild spoiler to look ahead to John Harrison and his abysmal treatment by the Royal Society later on over the longitude problem
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harrison

Thanks, Miss Ann fr Home.

JWB   Link to this

Picture of a 17th century English wassail bowl in lignum vitae
"Lignum is a hard, dense oily wood ... ideal for the retention of hot liquid"
http://www.stuartking.co.uk/articles/wassail.htm

jeannine   Link to this

So, here Sam goes in hopes to meet Mrs. Lane and that's "ok", but in the next section he's listening to gossip and criticizing Sandwich for his suspected activity with Mrs. Becke. Well, the gossip says that Sandwich was singing to Mrs. Becke, but we KNOW that Sam has already been touzing Mrs. Lane. Now which Mrs. is being called a "whore" here?? Is this a little hypocritical of Sam or is it just me???
It seems to me that he totally disassociates himself from his own extracurricular activites, but isn't so forgiving about others when they are accused of the same.

Jesse   Link to this

"forgive me, thinking to meet Mrs. Lane ... ashamed to ... grossly play the beast and fool"

Is the hypocrisy apparent only to the modern reader? Perhaps w/Pepys it's a matter of degree. A little on the side is one thing but "night after night ... and all the day too" is quite another.

Sean   Link to this

"So, here Sam goes in hopes to meet Mrs. Lane and that’s "ok""
Sure it is hypocritical on Sam's part but there is more going on here. This is not a brief fling - Montague/Sandwich is neglecting is family and duties. He is the one reponsible for Sam's big chance to rise and Sam would like to keep admiring him (he seems to need father figures). Worse Sandwich is married to the woman Sam has worshipped from when he was a kid.

Miss Ann fr Home   Link to this

Morals are so subjective aren't they. As time moves along morals change and what is taboo one year is acceptable the next. Just think how times have changed in our own lifetimes (I'm 51) - what is shown on television and said in general conversation, words are used every day today that I would have had my mouth washed out with soap for when I was a child. But we also expect so much better of those we look up to, how horrified we are when we find out that those people are just like the rest of us. Morals, integrity, etc are so variable and our expectations so high for our heros.

Aqua   Link to this

Lignum Vitae: Lignum,i-> wood; vita, vitae f,-> life or wood of life; leading men to Vitalis, a nice restorer of lost hair? L adj. vitalis -> of life, of course there be S. Vitis, ivy -> vitas virus., for sinners that go into the woods.

Aqua   Link to this

Dibs: How a turner gets some extra victuals on the table. Called in my hay day a Government job. "Governer it be just a piece of left over from the rudder, the Gaffer, were going to throw in to the pond". "...a little boy overtook us with a fine cupp turned out of Lignum Vitae, which the poor child confessed was made in the King’s yard by his father, a turner there, and that he do often do it, and that I might have one, and God knows what, which I shall examine...."

Joanne   Link to this

I think I can see Sam's POV on this- not only is his Lordship neglecting his family and duties, he's REALLY embarrassing himself in front of all of society. I actually cringed for him, imagining this stalwart ex-Cromwellian playing a lute like some lovestruck teenager under this Chelsea girl's window- and taking her on trips abroad? Wow. Sam no doubt sees this as being a completely different kettle of fish than having his (discreet) bit on the side, and in some ways I actually agree with him. It's not really about fidelity- it seems to me Sam's beef is mainly about not making a BIG FAT IDIOT of yourself in front of a million people.

Aqua   Link to this

Joanne: Discretion be the name:
Plautus Mercator , 4,5
Non Ego item facio ut alios in comoediis vi vidi amoris facere, qui aut nocti aut die aut soli aut lunae miserias narrant suas; quos pol ego credo humanas querimonias non tanti facere.

I shall not copy other comic lovers,who bay day or night to the sun or the moon; non of whom give a damn for mans's worries.
As for Sam, Plautius be saying in Miles Gloriosus , 624
you are a new kind of lover, if you are ashamed of anything you do.

TerryF   Link to this

The mounting stories of the scandal at Chelsea

17 August - "Mr. Moore...tells me...of my lord’s being debauched...by this woman at Chelsey"

19 August - "Mr. Moore...a-talking about my Lord’s folly at Chelsey"

24 August - "Mr. Moore [told me] of strange dotages of his upon the slut at Chelsea"

7 September - "Mr. Pickering...tells me how he is sorry for my Lord at his being at Chelsey

9 September - "I met with Ned Pickering, with whom I walked 3 or 4 hours till evening, he telling me the whole business of my Lord’s folly with this Mrs. Becke, at Chelsey, of all which I am ashamed to see my Lord so grossly play the beast and fool, to the flinging off of all honour, friends, servants, and every thing and person that is good, and only will have his private lust undisturbed with this common [whore], his sitting up night after night alone, suffering nobody to come to them, and all the day too, casting off Pickering, basely reproaching him with his small estate, which yet is a good one, and other poor courses to obtain privacy beneath his honour, and with his carrying her abroad and playing on his lute under her window, and forty other poor sordid things, which I am grieved to hear; but believe it to no purpose for me to meddle with it, but let him go on till God Almighty and his own conscience and thoughts of his lady and family do it."

Shall Pepys, whose position at the Navy Office has become increaslingly secure, be able to resist intervening/ appealing to Sandwich, since the latter is endangering not only his own Cromwellian self, his dear Lady and daughter, and his retainers, esp. Moore, et al. (for he does owe Pepys considerable money).

Australian Susan   Link to this

Another thing which concerns me about the Sandwich business is that Sam seems to take completely on face value everything which Pickering tells him, even when he knows NP has cause to do Sandwich down having been discounted by him. It never seems to occur to Sam that this might just be malicious gossip. However, even if it is the latter, it is still deadly to a public man - mud sticks, even if it is spray-on articifial mud (yes, you can buy that for your suburban 4WD).

I think the little boy who tried to make a sale of the turned goblet to SP did not realuise into how much excrement he has landed the man who made the object - he did not know who Sam is.

John Harrison.

Here is Amazon link for excellent book an d DVD
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=br_ss_hs/102-370131...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"and so to Westminster Hall, God forgive me, thinking to meet Mrs. Lane, but she was not there, but here I met with Ned Pickering, with whom I walked 3 or 4 hours till evening, he telling me the whole business of my Lord’s folly with this Mrs. Becke, at Chelsey, of all which I am ashamed to see my Lord so grossly play the beast and fool, to the flinging off of all honour, friends, servants, and every thing and person that is good, and only will have his private lust undisturbed with this common..."

It's just so hard to picture a intelligent man like Sam actually sitting down and writing this and feeling no sense of irony. Hmmn...Unless he does and thoroughly enjoyed the thought of forever playing with us.

***

I don't know Miss Ann, the more things change... I think Sam's era is relatively easy-going about things that until very recently in our era went unmentionable. It's almost cyclical...We fight to disspell the old taboos, claim to have found some level of frank freedom, then run back for cover, frightened by the very "enlightenment" we claimed to desire. While in each era, mentioned or no, the same things still go on.

Sam does seem to be increasingly bold about fulfilling his desires as he rises in status. Given his tendency to go on the prowl when Bess is unavailable it would be interesting to see if we get any hints that Bess is not up to "sporting" this last day or two, owing to gyn problems.

Pedro   Link to this

“Montague/Sandwich is neglecting his family and duties…he’s REALLY embarrassing himself in front of all of society.”

Yes the best example of the neglect of family and duties comes from the King himself. But is Sam making too much of this, as he seems to be doing with Pembleton?

The standing of Sandwich with the Duke of York would hardly go down in light of this, James just does not like him. It is quite probable that the Court already know about this and don’t give a toss, in fact as the most of the Court have multiple mistresses, he might be more accepted!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Pedro, it's all got to be taken in the political/public view. Sam is worried about Sandwich damaging his public stock. He's one of the last honored Cromwellians in a position of power and however the public may glumly accept the King's and his friends' frivolities, more is expected of Sandwich and he has a longer way to fall in the public eye. If he sinks in their estimation to the level of the Court, then he is that much easier to destroy. I agree that James dislikes him, probably fears him and I have said before and will say again that both Charles and James will seize any opportunity to discredit him and remove a potential threat, however much Charles may pat him on the head and call him his dear Sandwich. What's puzzling is Sandwich's lack of political astuteness not to see his danger. It may reflect his mental and moral exhaustion after all the constant strife and stress, it may mean he realizes how much he's actually hated at Court and how hollow his "success" is. It also suggests his abilities in politics do not match his skill in war and that in the past perhaps he has leaned on his mentor Cromwell and our own Sam's political reportings far more than anyone suspected.

In short, the man is making himself an easy target for the Stuart boys, perhaps even deliberately in some unconscious way. And, in the end, Charles and Jamie take no prisoners.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...my poor wife..."

Ah, the joys of washday.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I'm probably getting it wrong but isn't there a saying "there is no greater danger to a man than to be someone to whom a prince owes everything."?

Pedro   Link to this

"the political/public view."

Robert I do realise that we have to be take the public and political view, and that Sam is worried about his own backside. I believe that James would like to discredit Sandwich at this present time, but Charles is the Guv and I think he still would see a use for him. But let’s face it if you have outstayed your welcome with the Bros then you will be on your bike!

Yes, Sandwich is a deep blue sea man and not cut out for politics, but I don’t see that he is hated by the “Court” in general. Burnett, who is famous for his character assassination of almost everyone, goes quite leniently on Sandwich, and Ollard remarks on how well he seemed to get on with everyone.

My point here is that Sam walks with Ned for 3 hours talking about it, and that in my opinion the taking of a mistress would not be enough to change Sandwich's standing one way or the other.


Aqua   Link to this

To beholden to another 'uman be extremely dangerous [some may even be calling it blackmail ] [ and can cause a loss of a life if thee be on the wrong side of that equation] Plautus { Menaechmi , 87-88} sayeth " the man you want to keep bound to you should be chained by food and drink. Many are bounded by money and sexual proclivities, and if thee study world politics, you can see the results, most have been and will be upset by the ones in power, that it does not always work the way it was invisioned.
The beholden one be always be finding ways to remove that debt with as little cost to oneself.

Sandwich be of the age when the scratch and itch be playing havoc with ones ethics. Short term pleasure be the game not the consequences of the results, let another day take care of that..

Robert Gertz   Link to this

By hated at Court, I mean by the only two who matter.

dirk   Link to this

Letter from the Duke of Ormond to the King

Dublin, 9 September 1663

[Commenting on the King's "intentions to break up housekeeping" -- i.e. to economize on court dinners etc.] ... "Conceives the establishment [of the King's Household] to be of great antiquity in the fundamental parts of it, and to have acquired so much veneration amongst the people that it is become a considerable part in the Government and greatness of the State. The legal jurisdiction & the allowed privileges of the Household are constant ... remembrances to the people of the power & majesty of the King and of the duty and obedience they owe him. Certainly, such advantages are not to be parted with, or lessened, but for some other that are visibly & certainly greater; or when they can be held no longer." ...

Source:
The Carte Papers
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

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