Saturday 17 October 1663

Up and to my office, and there we sat a very full board all the morning upon some accounts of Mr. Gauden’s. Here happened something concerning my Will which Sir W. Batten would fain charge upon him, and I heard him mutter something against him of complaint for his often receiving people’s money to Sir G. Carteret, which displeased me much, but I will be even with him. Thence to the Dolphin Tavern, and there Mr. Gauden did give us a great dinner. Here we had some discourse of the Queen’s being very sick, if not dead, the Duke and Duchess of York being sent for betimes this morning to come to White Hall to her. So to my office and there late doing business, and so home to supper, my house being got mighty clean to my great content from top to toe, and so to bed, myself beginning to be in good condition of health also, but only my laying out so much money upon clothes for myself and wife and her closet troubles me.

14 Annotations

Gus Spier   Link to this

Are we to undersstand that Will Hewer is taking moneys on behalf of Carteret and Batten is taking exception?

Enterprising young man, that Will.

Alan Bedford   Link to this

"Are we to understand that Will Hewer is taking moneys on behalf of Carteret ...?"

Well, it appears that is what Batten is claiming, and if true, Sam certainly has not authorized it. Our boy does not seem to be pleased. At least publicly.

Terry F   Link to this

"my house being got mighty clean to my great content from top to toe"

Again the irresistible reading of this as a simile of Pepys's recently costive soma now purged, and the "great fitt of the Collique" now at a happy end.

Brian   Link to this

Meeting to discuss Gauden's accounts, then having a "great feast" at Gauden's expense . . . how very convenient!

Kilroy   Link to this

"which displeased me much, but I will be even with him."

I'd like to think that is sounds like Sam wants to hear from others before making judgement aginst Will.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Once again, Sam flummoxes us with too many pronouns with unclear antecedents

My best guess, in which I have only about 60% confidence, is that we should parse the second sentence as follows:

Here happened something concerning my Will which Sir W. Batten would fain charge upon him (Hewer), and I heard him (Batten) mutter something against him (Hewer) of complaint for his (Hewer's) often receiving people's money to Sir G. Carteret, which displeased me much, but I will be even with him (Batten).

That is, Batten made a complaint about Hewer to Carteret, which annoyed Sam and made him (Sam) resolve to get back at Batten somehow.

Terry F   Link to this

Paul, I read it that way too.

Terry F   Link to this

To parse it using L&M's punctuation

"Here happened something concerning my Will; which Sir W. Batten would fain charge upon him, and I heard him (Batten) mutter something against him (Hewer) of complaint for his (Hewer's) often receiving people's money to Sir G. Carteret, which displeased me much -- but I will be even with him (Batten)[for alleging this about Hewer in a stage whisper in the presence of a full board and Mr. Gauden]."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I read the complaint as actually a backhand stab against Sam. Will is his man, Batten's claiming (as the officers meet to discuss accounts with a major naval victualer, Gauden) that he is receiving money (kickbacks?)...Ergo his master Sam is taking kickbacks, a charge Sam in the past has, in a sidelong way (Sam's complaining about Batten receiving merchants at his house instead of at the office, etc) made of Batten. Recently Sam's man Warren beat out Batten's man Winter on a major contract and Batten, no doubt furious about that and about saint Samuel's hints (if not outright charges) of corruption is hitting back a little. He probably has nothing hard on Sam and it's not a wise idea to attack a fellow officer directly without evidence but Will may have been seen handling the cash for Sam in such matters (and perhaps for himself as well?) and is an easier target to hit.

This raises the question of the limitations of the Diary's viewpoint. It may well be that despite his constant references to his selflessness in the King's service Sam would not look quite so noble if we were to see him in daily operation with the naval contractors and victualers. I've noticed that despite his old frowning at Batten and Penn for meeting with merchants outside the office he has been doing the same for some time now.

The money for all these home improvements and fine clothes must be coming from somewhere besides his 250L (the 350L minus Barlow's 100L payment) a year...

jeannine   Link to this

"Here we had some discourse of the Queen's being very sick, if not dead"

The 'behind the scene' background to Catherine's illness and the court politics surrounding it is here

http://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth/2006/08/30/qu...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Meeting to discuss Gauden's accounts, then having a "great feast" at Gauden's expense ... how very convenient!"

Sure sounds like current tactics in Washington DC lobbying.

Jesse   Link to this

limitations of the Diary's viewpoint

A good point but I'm not sure I would agree given more than a few 'not look quite so noble' instances being recorded (though admittedly more personal than business). It's possible that if Pepys meets merchants outside the office it's okay because he's on the up and up (i.e. honest http://www.languagehat.com/archives/000975.php ). Penn and Batten though are another matter.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

My point is that the possibility exists that the line between Sam and Batten and Penn is not so fine as Sam would have us think...And (spoiler)

There will be more such hints in the future...

What's really interesting is that here we see a truly capable man who will do good and great things...And whose desire to do good is sincere, I believe...Who is also a fallable human being who skirts the edge of wrongdoing, trying to follow a line and code that sometimes seems to blow with the winds of expediency. How do we know that Sir Will Penn doesn't experience the same struggle-he's a hero who's risked and will risk death at sea for his country. He's probably deeply bored by administrative work and whatever he's taking in kickbacks, etc, it doesn't seem that he's intent on bankrupting the kingdom. Not to mention he may feel he's sincerely seeking the best deals for the nation, based on his years of experience and his connections with merchants and victualers. Imagine his view of young Pepys, the clerk who's shed no blood yet who after a couple of years pushing papers in the office seems to feel fully justified in sitting in judgment on his fellow officers who have. Add to that, that for all his high-minded efficiency and condemnation of corruption, young Pepys is clearly beginning to make his way into the books of powerful merchants and businessmen like Warren and it's not hard to see that Penn and Batten and Minnes might not see things quite the way the Diary's writer presents them.

Jesse   Link to this

[T]he line between Sam and Batten and Penn is not so fine as Sam would have us think

I took your point as being that Pepys was *intentionally* covering up his deeds by omitting incriminating details from the diary. I'm suggesting rather that Pepys clearly saw a line and would have felt, at this point, he had nothing to hide (or need omit).

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