Sunday 13 September 1663

[continued from yesterday P.G.] (Lord’s day). So that Griffin was fain to carry it to Westminster to go by express, and my other letters of import to my father and elsewhere could not go at all. To bed between one and two and slept till 8, and lay talking till 9 with great pleasure with my wife. So up and put my clothes in order against tomorrow’s journey, and then at noon at dinner, and all the afternoon almost playing and discoursing with my wife with great content, and then to my office there to put papers in order against my going. And by and by comes my uncle Wight to bid us to dinner to-morrow to a haunch of venison I sent them yesterday, given me by Mr. Povy, but I cannot go, but my wife will. Then into the garden to read my weekly vows, and then home, where at supper saying to my wife, in ordinary fondness, “Well! shall you and I never travel together again?” she took me up and offered and desired to go along with me. I thinking by that means to have her safe from harm’s way at home here, was willing enough to feign, and after some difficulties made did send about for a horse and other things, and so I think she will go. So, in a hurry getting myself and her things ready, to bed.

19 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Lazy Sunday...Nice.

What...harm could outweigh Sam's usual desire to enjoy his trips alone? Perhaps one, for Bess, positive benefit of Pembleton insanity?

Our guys are going traveling...This is so neat.

"Careful there...Leg up. Mind how you place those reins."

"Sam'l I know how to sit a horse. My father had me doing it when I was five. Just watch your fellow there, he looks a bit high-strung."

"Nonsense, mild as a lamb. Now Bess, let me show you the proper way to...Whoa! Whoa!!"

"Heigh ho, Silver." Bess eyes the rather frantic Sam trying to calm his rearing, now galloping horse. "Well, lets go save our gallant cavalier." she taps her horse, setting out at fast pace.

Jesse   Link to this

"safe from harm’s way"

I wonder if that's what the Mrs. was thinking too.

Aqua   Link to this

No Poste haste or Sunday pickup of Mail "...So that Griffin was fain to carry it to Westminster to go by express, and my other letters of import to my father and elsewhere could not go at all. ..."
Griffin: "Sire 'tis my day off, Sire"
Pepys "My Man You must make up for forgetting to latch the outer Door"
G: "Sur, It be Sunday and I do not have 6 groats for the carriage, or suxpence to get me death of cold on the Tems or ".........." [expletive deleted] bob for the vicar for not showing me face at Service.Besides Shanks ponie be needing shoeing"
S: "ye will not hear the end of this"
Sam Muttering . These Levellers and Shakers, Quakers, Ana Baptis be the death of us middling ones and Betters, next they demanding Saturday afternoon off too, so that they can go to the Parks. Should never have provided those R's, revolting, revolutionary, riotus lot.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Although most of the summer's visitors had returned to their usual occupations, one dancing master from the Court had stayed on in the area.

Late that night as an exhausted Samuel snores away, a whistle at the Pepys' window...Back yard gate conveniently left open.

A nervous Bess emerges from the house. No sign of the Watch or any neighbor or the help noticing. She follows the waiting figure in black silently to their "usual place".

"I have to be quick. We're off traveling tomorrow."

"He's trying to take you away from me. Bess...Are you mine, all mine?" Pembleton eagerly grabs her.

"Uh, yeah. Sure." Nervous look round...Phew.

"Leave this narrow life. Come with me...To the Court!" Pembleton conjures up a vision of the exotic life, even for minor functionaries, at Court. A vision dancing over their heads.

"And what of...My Husband?" she eyes him.

"Hmmn...Well, if you are traveling tomorrow. Couldn't he get...Drowned?"

"We're going by horseback."

"Oh. Well, if you cross a river or something. See it's less suspicious than a runaway horse or a chance fatal meeting with a highwayman. Look, you take these reeds." hands her bundle.

Comes well prepared, this one, Bess notes.

"And when you're out on the water, turn the boat over."

"I did say we were going by horseback."

"Yes, yes. But the boat thing puts you both in danger. Only you use the reeds to float off to safety. Then you call out the search parties after sufficient time and head back to me."

"What if we don't go over any water?"

"In 17th century England? Please... Now, darling, for us..."

"I couldn't...I mean Sam'l been a jerk at times but..."

"Bess...The Court...Me." Strokes her.

"Overturn the boat and float on the reeds, eh?"

"That's it. Just try and do it at night and the whole thing should come off like clockwork."

"Well...There are some ferry crossings on the way."

A deeply troubled, coldly grim Bess returns home, reeds under arm. Moving along almost robotically.

Couldn't he get...Drowned...

I dunno about this scheme, she sighs.

Next morning...

Bess still and withdrawn, prepping for the trip.

Sam rather jaunty and eager. "Hewer, Mrs. Pepys and I are off together on my little trip. We may not be back for some time."

Ummn...Bess stares. They head out for the waiting horses.

"Say why is our little dog barking like that?" Sam eyes the dog yelping for dear life as he mounts on horseback.

The dog breaks free of his rope and runs for Bess...As if to drag her back from the abyss.

She carries it back to Hewer, saying nothing to Sam or to Will's puzzled, somewhat worried look. Returning to her horse, she mounts without a word and they ride off, Sam happily pontificating as to the sights.

After crossing several rivers and a fair set of miles, the sun is starting to set as they reach the last river crossing before their inn. Bess now so nervous and grim as to make Sam uneasy.

Their horses secured for crossing on raft, they enter a small boat and together begin rowing across.

Bess suddenly stopping about midway, out of sight of the crossing. Standing in the boat, eyeing Sam.

Bess...?

"Is it true about Mrs. Lane?" a cold question.

"Uh...Darling, could we discuss this safe on shore? Bess?"

She tenses, staring grimly...

Sam looking nervously about now...Sweetheart?

"Did you pray today, Sam'l?"

"Bess?...Bess?"

More tensing...But...

Look at that sweet little face with those bulbous lips. Oh...

She hurries to sit and resumes rowing. Sam after a moment of seeing them spin round, joining...

And running off like a rabbit on their grounding on the opposite shore...

"Sam'l! Wait! Don't be afraid of me! Darling!"

They reach the waiting attendants with their horses.

Mounting and riding silently...Sam now long-faced and pale, saying nothing. They ride on to a village where Bess urges they dismount for something to eat. Sam slowly, sadly getting off, eyeing her grimly...

She offers a plate of rolls purchased from a nearby vendor. He can't touch it. She with tears in eyes...Sam...

"All this about Mrs. Lane?" he eyes her.

"Uh..." Mental image of a previous sexual encounter with Pembleton... "Yeah. I was crushed, mad with jealousy. Forgive me, Sam'l."

"Sam'l?"

He sighs sadly...Staring off.

To a small church where a little wedding party has just entered...

"Pon my soul it's the Scot." he notes.

"Here, mun." the Scot intones. "Wilt ye take this young lass and be true on to her. Guide her and keep her on the straight and narrow, for she is but young and unexperienced."

The groom nods...

Bess starting to tear up mammothly at her seat by Sam...Likewise moved...

"And ye, gurl. Wilt ye take this lout of a fellow and stand by him in sickness and health, long as ye both shall live?"

She nods...

Bess dissolving now...Oh...Taking Sam's hand...

"Oh, Sam'l."

"Bess... Oh, Bess."

"I still think the Scot's a bore." he notes quietly as they head out arm-in-arm, surprising waiting guests at the door.

***
Nice day in town, boat ride home, storm, Sam gets the reeds from Bess...Seems lost but is found floating with reeds at last by the local lovable coot just as Bess nearly strangles the waiting, scheming Pembleton. (You've seen "Sunrise".)

And the saved Sam never looked cuter than in the final bedside shot, an overjoyed Bess by his side.

****

MissAnn   Link to this

Apropos Aqua's little dittie -

Is Griffin from New Zealand? "Suxpence" is a dead giveaway.

And Mr Gertz - I haven't head the description "coot" since my dear grand father was alive (1897-1980).

Bryan M   Link to this

fain & feign

A couple of points of confusion in what otherwise seemed like a very pleasant day.

Like Aqua, I thought that Griffin was unwilling to go to Westminster (a perfectly reasonable response at 1 am). However after checking the meaning of fain, it looks otherwise.

From AskOxford.com
Fain, archaic
• adjective 1 pleased or willing under the circumstances. 2 obliged.
• adverb gladly.

From the Online Etymology dictionary:
Fain
O.E. fægen, fagen "glad, cheerful, happy," from a common Gmc. root (cf. O.N. feginn "glad," O.H.G. faginon, Goth. faginon "to rejoice").

The Merrium-Webster Online has:
1 archaic : HAPPY, PLEASED
2 archaic : INCLINED, DESIROUS
3 a : WILLING b : being obliged or constrained : COMPELLED

So Griffin was happy or (more likely) obliged to go to Westminster. But then why was that the other letters couldn’t go?

“was willing enough to feign, and after some difficulties made did send about for a horse and other things”

Does this mean that Sam was only pretending to want Bess along but she convinced him that she was serious (“after some difficulties made”)?

C.J.Darby   Link to this

No allusion to his non-attendance at the kirk today, perhaps he knew that the scot was on.

Jacqueline Gore   Link to this

Murnau would be proud, or furious, Robert.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Are you kidding? He'd have me shot or fed to Nosferatu. But I couldn't resist seeing Sam in the Janet Gaynor role.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Poor Uncle Wight staring at his unguested table tomorrow...

In altae aquae   Link to this

Much thanks for the the correction on Feign, I never tort Fegan be a willing one, One can always learn. Ta ever so.

TerryF   Link to this

Good for Pepys that he lives in lax times
- no fine for church non-attendance (for the second Sunday in a row).

Last Sunday Robert's loverly scenario played out in his mind...6 September "(Lord’s day). My pill I took last night worked very well, and I lay long in bed and sweat to get away the itching all about my body from head to foot, which is beginning again as it did the last winter, and I find after I am up that it is abated. I staid at home all day and my wife also, whom, God forgive me, I staid along with me for fear of her seeing of Pembleton." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/09/06/

Aqua   Link to this

LIZ POV :Sam be telling us by action not by written word? Elizabeths view point "...all the afternoon almost playing and discoursing with my wife with great content......where at supper saying to my wife, in ordinary fondness, “Well! shall you and I never travel together again?” she took me up and offered and desired to go along with me. I thinking by that means to have her safe from harm’s way at home here, was willing enough to feign, and after some difficulties made did send about for a horse and other things, and so I think she will go. So, in a hurry getting myself and her things ready, to bed.
...:

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I wonder if we're dealing here with a Sam who in part simply doesn't want to admit (even to himself) that he's so been enjoying his wife's company and conversation that he's willing to be put and let her be put to some considerable effort to have her with him tomorrow.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Church Fines for non-attendance

I think these would be organised by the Church Wardens and probably done monthly or even quarterly. We'll see if there is any mention at the end of the month (which is a quarter day too - Michaelmas).

Aqua   Link to this

We all see thru rose tints, for some it be like looking at the moon, never seeing the reverse side, and rest of the time in small slithers. Here to_day Sam allows us lurkers to see more than usual.

Daniel   Link to this

With all due respect, Sam and all involved, is it not the fifteenth of September?

Pedro   Link to this

Poste Haste.

The General Letter Office was located in Clock Lane, Dowgate until 1666.

The domestic mails, including those for Ireland and Scotland, left for their destinations on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Domestic mail arrived in London on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The mail for France, Spain and Italy left each Monday and Thursday; that for the Netherlands, Germany and Northern Europe each Monday and Friday, while there was a daily post to Kent and the Downs.

Arrivals of post from the continent were of the same number, although they were subject to the weather.

Routes used by the General Letter Office.

Inland mail went on the six great roads to Holyhead, Bristol, Plymouth, Edinburgh, Yarmouth and Dover.

(Summary from Intelligence and Espionage in the Reign of Charles II by Alan Marshall.)

Australian Susan   Link to this

Thanks, Pedro - this really gives us some infrastructure and just the sort of thing Sam would not record (unless something went wrong) but which helps us get a clearer picture of what we are reading.

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