Thursday 24 September 1663

Up betimes, and after taking leave of my brother, John, who went from me to my father’s this day, I went forth by water to Sir Philip Warwick’s, where I was with him a pretty while; and in discourse he tells me, and made it appear to me, that the King cannot be in debt to the Navy at this time 5,000l.; and it is my opinion that Sir G. Carteret do owe the King money, and yet the whole Navy debt paid. Thence I parted, being doubtful of myself that I have not, spoke with the gravity and weight that I ought to do in so great a business. But I rather hope it is my doubtfulness of myself, and the haste which he was in, some very great personages waiting for him without, while he was with me, that made him willing to be gone. To the office by water, where we sat doing little, now Mr. Coventry is not here, but only vex myself to see what a sort of coxcombs we are when he is not here to undertake such a business as we do. In the afternoon telling my wife that I go to Deptford, I went, by water to Westminster Hall, and there finding Mrs. Lane, took her over to Lambeth, where we were lately, and there, did what I would with her, but only the main thing, which she would not consent to, for which God be praised … But, trust in the Lord, I shall never do so again while I live. After being tired with her company I landed her at White Hall, and so home and at my office writing letters till 12 at night almost, and then home to supper and bed, and there found my poor wife hard at work, which grieved my heart to see that I should abuse so good a wretch, and that is just with God to make her bad with me for my wrongin of her, but I do resolve never to do the like again. So to bed.

29 Annotations

jeannine  •  Link

for which God be praised … . .
The missing words (from L&M) are "and yet I came so near, that I was provoked to spend."

Patricia  •  Link

"But, trust in the Lord, I shall never do so again while I live.....I do resolve never to do the like again."
But you will, Sam. You will.
Poor Sam: so human. So very, very human. *sigh*

TerryF  •  Link

Good God! how he hates to spend in vain.

Aqua  •  Link

'Tis a mouth full: "...there found my poor wife hard at work, which grieved my heart to see that I should abuse so good a wretch, and that is just with God to make her bad with me for my wrongin of her, but I do resolve never to do the like again..."
and ye be saying about they Mentor.
The next time thy read thy vows do not forget to reread 'orace
"Qui ne tuberibus propriis offendat amicum postulat, ignoscet verucis illius."
Satirae, I, 3, 74-75
who that prosecutes a friend with an offensive swelling, should get pardoned for his own slight blemish.

MissAnn  •  Link

So, we're having a slow day at work, 'coz the boss ain't in, and we go trawling for a bit of skirt, which we find in good ol' Betty Lane, and have a bit of a play with her (but thankfully she has some standards, however low -- she won't go to home base) and then we get home and see the little missus has been working her fingers to the bone and we feel mighty ashamed of ourselves - even vow never to do it again (once again) -- but we all know he will, he's weak willed, like so many men (sorry for the Germaine Greer moment gents ...)

deepfatfriar  •  Link

"...provoked to spend..."

His money, or his seed, or both???

jeannine  •  Link

"His money, or his seed, or both???"
In the context of the sentence I understood it to be his seed. I don't think he pays Betty Lane. Also, if it was just his money our "polite" editor Wheatley would not have supplied us with "........."

Perhaps I'm not reading this passage correctly, but what struck me in this incident with Betty Lane is it seems to show premeditation and Sam's full intent to deceive his wife. In other incidents with Betty often Elizabeth was away, or Sam just "happened" to see Betty, etc. This time it seems that he told Elizabeth a lie about where he intented to go and then took off to find Betty. Not a nice relflection on our hero.

jeannine  •  Link

This is off topic, but a general comment. One of the more unfortunate things about Diary entries such as this is that they are often the type entries that Sam is "known" for in the general public. Plays written about him often reflect his womanizing, etc. and Sam as a whole person is often lost in the shuffle. I read an essay on Sam awhile ago (Edwin Chappell) and it was noted that it's such a shame that people looking back on Sam's life often interpret his entire person around a limited number of his diary entries. Chappell goes on to remind us that "You must remember that the Diary ended when he was thirty-six and he lived to be seventy. A man's character cannot be assessed on the first half of his life only. In the Diary you see a young man suddenly led into great temptation, and he mainly yielded to it, but you cannot help seeing that his wrong-doing troubled him. He was not the hardened sinner who goes from bad to worse; on the contrary, he lived to be a respected friend of some of the most upright men of his time."
Perhaps, is some sad strange way, the "punishment" for his sins with the likes of Betty and other ladies to come, will be that this is what so many people will remember him for as opposed to the incredible work he will do for the Navy throughout his lifetime.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Jeannine... not at all 'off topic'. Thank you so much for a timely reminder of what I am sure most of us appreciate. I often see myself writ large in his amazing honesty about his failings... writing what I am certain I would not dare to record on paper. Wish I were as honest with myself!

It is what makes dear Samuel such an interesting person. He is inquisitive even about himself and his own reactions to the events he records.

A joy to read day by day in the company of so many learned and interesting friends worldwide. Thanks yet again Phil!

apthorp  •  Link

spinning off topic: indeed. Can someone parse who has spent and who owes what in the sentence:

"...the King cannot be in debt to the Navy at this time 5,000l.; and it is my opinion that Sir G. Carteret do owe the King money, and yet the whole Navy debt paid."

Aqua  •  Link

The Great Bard did say sumart like ' the good be oft interred and evil dothe live on,'
a modern motto be 'One Oh! Shush is equal to 1000 Ata boys' . 'umans appear to be only interested in Sin, not in good, the jolly 20/80 rule, 80 be good but that dinae count.
Syrus be a saying, 'Lust wants whatever it cannot 'ave. ' Maxims

Aqua  •  Link

in aqua alta "…the King cannot be in debt to the Navy at this time 5,000l.; and it is my opinion that Sir G. Carteret do owe the King money, and yet the whole Navy debt paid."

1: Thy king does not borrow money from the Navy, the monies be his, all of it.
2: Carteret maybe, has not paid his dues, for favours received.
3: Parliament gives advice to the King [Lauds spiritual and terratorial, and common, at this time, be resting on their Laurels].
4. To have a standing Army and Navy is a relative new concept, because one polical dispute with friends and neighbours, was on going for so long, there appears to be a requirement for a continous armed forces, but in reality, for each political upset, a new group of men be raised to bear the flag, often from those that be at the end of previous conscription.
Since 1660, the Militia had been disbanded except for a small group that needed for personnal requirement of Rex to have his pomp and circumstance, but then many more raised for later foreign Missions [eg Tangier] . [ the mob from the Borders, the Coldstreamers came to be a permanent {Still keeping Tourists happy except for a few excursions to the old imperial stomping grounds} passing on from one generation to the next, the tricks learned at the interregnum disputes] {NB, the Army never became Royal only segments were given the 'onor}
As with the Navy, it was not thought of as a permanent institution, but the requirements for ensuring city prophets a source of a steady income, drifted into the Navy Royal, to his Royal Navy, under helping hand of Samuell Peepes.
So, no annual budget was planned, just a reaction to daily needs, there by the Navy need funds, as Parliament be put to pasture, so the Carlos II would be asked for another hand out, but as Palmer had new demands, the King be strapped for petty cash to run the Navy, so now the game of who has what.
So my take be:
"…the King cannot be in debt to the Navy [,] at this time [navy needs ]5,000l.[Navy shy of monies to pay off a bills]; and it is my opinion that Sir G. Carteret do owe the King money, and yet the whole Navy debt [could be with 5Kl] paid."
Navy Debt paid , no more unpaid wages?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Nice point about Sam's long life as opposed to a few years in his headstrong youth...And we know the triumphs...And tragedies awaiting him post-Diary. Much later I'm sure a lot of us will have more to say on comments like Tomalin's "wife whom he partly loved.", but for now I think that's the way to see him. A young, capable man suddenly bearing responsibilities and enjoying success he never expected except perhaps in dreams and impressing us, along with his peers, with his ability and adaptability. That he's far more honest with us than most would be even in a personal diary is the best tribute to his character, I believe.

Besides, with this master reporter, the sin...The queasy repentance...And the sometimes jaw-dropping ability to compartmentalize such behaviors while holding forth on morality, are so much fun...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"You slaved away very nicely today, wretch." Sam makes an effort to put affection in his compliment.

Bradford  •  Link

What troubles some is not merely the infidelity but, as Jeannine rightly divines, the premeditation to facilitate it. Surely none of us would be so weak for so short-lived a physical pleasure.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

but I do resolve never to do the like again

Sam is almost always immediately regretful, even remorseful, after these incidents. But he cannot tell anyone, (as far as we know) except his readers through the diary. Confession is said to be good for the soul.

With his puritan background Sam would clearly appreciate the sinfulness of his actions. His behavioural struggle is one reflected in other great authors e.g.:
Ovid's brilliantly balanced line (Metamorphoses VII, 20) - "video meliora, proboque, deteriora sequor." (I see the better path and I approve it; the worse is what I follow).
St Paul (Romans 7, especially verse 19) "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing" (NIV)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In fairness to Sam...And the male gender, Miss Ann...I would point out that there are two parties involved. Mrs. Lane surely knows Sam is married and however "cheerfully pagan" (as Tomalin puts it) her views on sex are, she knows adultery is a sin. She's not apparently getting much in the way of finance or trade from Sam, at least not enough to make the case she's doing it for her family's sake. She clearly likes Sam, probably admires his success, and sees nothing wrong in letting him know. We don't know if she dislikes Bess, feels a bit sorry for her, or is indifferent but she must understand it would hurt Mrs. Pepys if she found out. What really interests me with Betty Lane is that one again we see a hint that Sam Pepys likes strong women...Jane Turner, Mrs. Lane, to a lesser extent his own stubborn and defiant Bess...He enjoys them and I suspect we'll find he'd quickly be bored by a passive or utterly deferential woman. While he appreciates peace at home and Bess' acceptance of a subordinate role, we've seen a number of instances where he is very close to expressing grudging admiration for her spirit, particularly during the letter episode. I'm not passing judgement one way or the other, but it's an interesting light on his nature.

Ok, now I'll pass judgement...He's behaving like a jerk and he knows it. Poor Bess. (Unless she did do something with Pembleton or Ferrers or that soldier in the coach who got John Sr so upset). Thank God we're beyond such distressingly disreputable things in our gloriously moral age...

Aqua  •  Link

We all seek pleasure, the problem be when thee play with honey, there be other wasps that want first dibs.

Patricia  •  Link

Thank you, all. I find this site enormously heartening.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

" the King cannot be in debt to the Navy at this time 5,000l.; and it is my opinion that Sir G. Carteret do owe the King money, and yet the whole Navy debt paid."

I have a different take on this puzzling passage from the Aqua-Man. I believe it harks back to two earlier entries, from September 8 and September 12:

8 September: "At the office all the morning making up our last half year’s account to my Lord Treasurer, which comes to 160,000l. or there abouts, the proper expense of this half year, only with an addition of 13,000l. for the third due of the last account to the Treasurer for his disbursements, and 1100l. for this half year’s; so that in three years and a half his thirds come to 14,100l.."

12 September: " Sir Philip Warwick, and there had half an hour’s private discourse with him; and did give him some good satisfaction in our Navy matters, and he also me, as to the money paid and due to the Navy; so as he makes me assured by particulars, that Sir G. Carteret is paid within 80,000l. every farthing that we to this day, nay to Michaelmas day next have demanded; and that, I am sure, is above 50,000l. snore than truly our expenses have been, whatever is become of the money."

Sam is clearly giving us only bits and pieces here of what's on his mind, but I think today's entry means that Carteret has tried to claim that the government ("the King") still owes the navy 5000L to complete the agreed-on payments for the past six months, and Sir Philip has convinced Sam that that is false, the navy has been paid in full, and that in fact Carteret owes money to the government ("the King").

Rex Gordon  •  Link

After (spending in breeches) ...

... being tired of her company, I landed her at Whitehall and so home ..."

Typical, innit? Wham, bam, thank you, Ma'am. Oh dear, look at the time! I really must be going.

Aqua  •  Link

Paul: extremely nice summary of how the Kings monies be spent, enough to keep the six big Sisters of the chartered breed whom would be telling us how the money be tolled. Sam had no write offs to keep all in balance.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Betty Lane

What fascinates me about Sam's approach to sex is the split between his attraction to the Good Girl (Elizabeth, his virginal wife, the poor wretch whom he's intensely jealous of) and the Bad Girl (Betty Lane, the barmaids he steals kisses from, the whores he ogled several weeks ago). This bifurcation of male desire is not confined to Sam's time, of course ... think of the lure of pornography and the consequence-free fantasy it generally promotes, and its prevalence today (where would the Internet be without it?), and you'll see what I mean.

As Robert rightly points out, Betty likes Sam and likes playing with him. Sam is attracted to this enthusiasm (while also bothered by it), as well as excited by the danger involved. He's a young man, and the knowledge that this outlet is available to him only serves to increase his desire ... especially if Elizabeth is not feeling up to fulfilling her conjugal duties, because of her physical problems, or perhaps because her attitude about sex is completely different than Betty's. (And Sam may think that's just as it should be!)

"Surely none of us would be so weak for so short-lived a physical pleasure."

Bradford, you crack me up...

Aqua  •  Link

carpe diem, 'tis the moment[ wait a mo] that counts, be hanged to the consequences of his actions.
Man may have 2.5 % more genetic material, but it does not mean that he has access or even wants to use it. [See his nearest cozen in the pecking order of survival]

David Keith Johnson  •  Link

It is a mixed gift to be as randy and sportif at 50 as one was at 30. It is also very rare, I suspect.

Now that I have achieved (?) this moral height of maturity, I must always remind myself that the sexual demons that drive Sam are my one-time friends whom I persistently invite to my party. They almost always send regrets, or worse, their pale shadows as stand-ins.

Of course, I am shocked, shocked at Sam's behaviors, until I remember my own a couple of decades ago.

Bradford  •  Link

"My salad days, When I was green in judgment, cold in blood," as Ms. Cleopatra used to say. And whereas others' peccadilloes were immoral, ours were merely (and endearingly) imprudent.

Lydia  •  Link

" . . . grieved my heart to see that I should abuse so good a wretch, and that is just with God to make her bad with me for my wrongin of her, but I do resolve never to do the like again."
I think since Elizabeth took ill (the incident with hot Bess and cold beer) and Sam worried that she might die, he has softened much toward her. He does seem to truly love her, (spoiler alert: when she does die he is devastated) and, in her own way, she him. But since the incident he seems almost remorseful at his oft ill treatment of her and feelings about her and is trying to make amends (vis a vis making her Closet nice, ). I think this is why he felt remiss about his dalliance with Mrs. Lane. Unfortunately, we know he will wrong her again as that is human nature.

Marquess  •  Link

I wonder what Sam did with Mrs Lane? I am sure that he will fall into temptation again, as a friend of mine once put it "women are like your first beer, you get drunk and have a hangover and say never again! But there you are the next day with a beer in your hand."

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