Tuesday 27 October 1663

Up, and my uncle Thomas and his scrivener bringing me a bond and affidavit to my mind, I paid him his 20l. for his daughter’s legacy, and 5l. more for a Quarter’s annuity, in the manner expressed in each acquittance, to which I must be referred on any future occasion, and to the bond and affidavit. Thence to the office and there sat till noon, and then home to dinner, and after dinner (it being a foul house to-day among my maids, making up their clothes) abroad with my Will with me by coach to Dr. Williams, and with him to the Six Clerks’s office, and there, by advice of his acquaintance, I find that my case, through my neglect and the neglect of my lawyers, is come to be very bad, so as that it will be very hard to get my bill retayned again. However, I got him to sign and swear an affidavit that there was treaties between T. Trice and me with as much advantage as I could for me, but I will say that for him he was most exact as ever I saw man in my life, word by word what it was that he swore to, and though, God forgive me, I could have been almost naturally willing to have let him ignorantly have sworn to something that was not of itself very certain, either or no, yet out of his own conscience and care he altered the words himself so as to make them very safe for him to swear. This I carrying to my clerk Wilkinson, and telling him how I heard matters to stand, he, like a conceited fellow, made nothing of it but advised me to offer Trice’s clerks the cost of the dismission, viz., 46s. 8d., which I did, but they would not take it without his client. Immediately thereupon we parted, and met T. Trice coming into the room, and he came to me and served me with a subpoena for these very costs, so I paid it him, but Lord! to see his resolution, and indeed discretion, in the wording of his receipt, he would have it most express to my greatest disadvantage that could be, yet so as I could not deny to give it him. That being paid, my clerke, and then his began to ask why we could not think, being friends, of referring it, or stating it, first ourselves, and then put it to some good lawyer to judge in it. From one word to more we were resolved to try, and to that end to step to the Pope’s Head Taverne, and there he and his Clerke and Attorney and I and my Clerke, and sent for Mr. Smallwood, and by and by comes Mr. Clerke, my Solicitor, and after I had privately discoursed with my men and seen how doubtfully they talked, and what future certain charge and trouble it would be, with a doubtful victory, I resolved to condescend very low, and after some talke all together Trice and I retired, and he came to 150l. the lowest, and I bid him 80l.. So broke off and then went to our company, and they putting us to a second private discourse, at last I was contented to give him 100l., he to spend 40s. of it among this good company that was with us. So we went to our company, both seeming well pleased that we were come to an end, and indeed I am in the respects above said, though it be a great sum for us to part with. I am to pay him by giving him leave to buy about 40l. worth of Piggott’s land and to strike off so much of Piggott’s debt, and the other to give him bond to pay him in 12 months after without interest, only giving him a power to buy more land of Piggott and paying him that way as he did for the other, which I am well enough contented with, or at least to take the land at that price and give him the money. This last I did not tell him, but I shall order it so. Having agreed upon to-morrow come se’nnight for the spending of the 40s. at Mr. Rawlinson’s, we parted, and I set T. Trice down in Paul’s Churchyard and I by coach home and to my office, and there set down this day’s passages, and so home to supper and to bed. Mr. Coventry tells me to-day that the Queen had a very good night last night; but yet it is strange that still she raves and talks of little more than of her having of children, and fancys now that she hath three children, and that the girle is very like the King. And this morning about five o’clock waked (the physician feeling her pulse, thinking to be better able to judge, she being still and asleep, waked her) and the first word she said was, “How do the children?”

8 Annotations

Bryan M   Link to this

"...and though, God forgive me, I could have been almost naturally willing to have let him ignorantly have sworn to something that was not of itself very certain, either or no, yet out of his own conscience and care he altered the words himself so as to make them very safe for him to swear."

For all those cynics who think that S. Pepys esq lacked integrity, the key word here is "almost". However it is fascinating to watch how Sam adjusted his moral position over time. At least he seemed to remain fairly honest with himself.

JWB   Link to this

se'nnight

"SENNIGHT
A week.
Among Germanic peoples it was once normal to record the passage of time by the number of nights rather than days. Sennight is an abbreviation of the fuller phrase seven nights, hence a week. So Sir Thomas Malory wrote in Le Mort d'Arthur (1485): "They sojourned there a sennight, and were well eased of their wounds, and at the last departed". It has been written in various ways down the centuries, for example as sen'night and sevennight. The same process led to fortnight from fourteen nights. It's a quirk of the language that fortnight has survived as standard British English (though not American) while sennight is now defunct. It did last into the twentieth century in some areas as a dialect term, though eventually driven out by competition with the shorter week."

http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-sen...

Bradford   Link to this

Speaking of almosts, is this almost the last we hear of l'Affaire Trice? Imagine what the documents must be like, if this is the recension!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...paying him that way as he did for the other, which I am well enough contented with, or at least to take the land at that price and give him the money. This last I did not tell him, but I shall order it so."

Some consolation for our country squire, though I wonder how John will feel having more land to manage on his little income.

Nix   Link to this

"after some talke all together Trice and I retired, and he came to 150l. the lowest, and I bid him 80l.. So broke off and then went to our company, and they putting us to a second private discourse, at last I was contented to give him 100l."

Negotiating hasn't changed much over the centuries, has it? I found this description really fascinating.

It is also quite interesting to see how complicated the payment process had to be when there was little currency and no institutional banks. No writing a check or putting it on the MasterCard.

language hat   Link to this

"For all those cynics who think that S. Pepys esq lacked integrity"
I don't think anyone has suggested that he lacked integrity; I think some people tend to emphasize the baser side of his motives (which we all have) in reaction against those who tend to emphasize his better aspects (and sometimes seem to hold him up as a chevalier sans peur and sans reproche). He's human, all too human; the great thing about him is his willingness to admit it to himself (and ultimately to us).

eike   Link to this

"I am to pay him (Trice) by giving him leave to buy about 40l. worth of Piggott's land and to strike off so much of Piggott's debt, and the other (Trice?) to give him (Piggott?) bond to pay him in 12 months after without interest, only giving him (Trice) a power to buy more land of Piggott and paying him (Trice?) that way as he (Trice?) did for the other (Piggott?), which I am well enough contented with, or at least to take the land at that price (Pepys buying the land for himself?) and give him the money. This last I did not tell him, but I shall order it so."

Can anyone help me to sort this out? Why is Pepys "paying" Trice by allowing him to buy land i.e. to *spend* money? And what about the "taking the land" bit? Anybody still around in 1663?

pepf   Link to this

Eike, 348 years later my guess is

“I am to pay him (Trice) by giving him leave to buy about 40l. worth of Piggott’s land and to strike off so much of Piggott’s debt, and the other (60l.) to give him (Trice) bond to pay him in 12 months after without interest, only giving him (Trice) a power to buy more land of Piggott and paying him (Pigott) that way (by striking off debts) as he (Trice) did for the other (40l.), which I am well enough contented with, or at least to take the land at that price (Pepys taking the land for himself) and give him the money. This last I did not tell him, but I shall order it so.”

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