Saturday 12 December 1663

Up and to the office where all the morning, and among other things got Sir G. Carteret to put his letters to Captain Taylor’s bill by which I am in hopes to get 5l., which joys my heart. We had this morning a great dispute between Mr. Gauden, Victualler of the Navy, and Sir J. Lawson, and the rest of the Commanders going against Argier, about their fish and keeping of Lent; which Mr. Gauden so much insists upon to have it observed, as being the only thing that makes up the loss of his dear bargain all the rest of the year. At noon went home and there I found that one Abrahall, who strikes in for the serving of the King with Ship chandlery ware, has sent my wife a Japan gowne, which pleases her very well and me also, it coming very opportune, but I know not how to carry myself to him, I being already obliged so far to Mrs. Russell, so that I am in both their pays. To the Exchange, where I had sent Luellin word I would come to him, and thence brought him home to dinner with me. He tells me that W. Symon’s wife is dead, for which I am sorry, she being a good woman, and tells me an odde story of her saying before her death, being in good sense, that there stood her uncle Scobell. Then he began to tell me that Mr. Deering had been with him to desire him to speak to me that if I would get him off with these goods upon his hands, he would give me 50 pieces, and further that if I would stand his friend to helpe him to the benefit of his patent as the King’s merchant, he could spare me 200l. per annum out of his profits. I was glad to hear both of these, but answered him no further than that as I would not by any thing be bribed to be unjust in my dealings,1 so I was not so squeamish as not to take people’s acknowledgment where I had the good fortune by my pains to do them good and just offices, and so I would not come to be at any agreement with him, but I would labour to do him this service and to expect his consideration thereof afterwards as he thought fit. So I expect to hear more of it. I did make very much of Luellin in hopes to have some good by this business, and in the evening received some money from Mr. Moore, and so went and settled accounts in my books between him and me, and I do hope at Christmas not only to find myself as rich or more than ever I was yet, but also my accounts in less compass, fewer reckonings either of debts or moneys due to me, than ever I have been for some years, and indeed do so, the goodness of God bringing me from better to a better expectation and hopes of doing well. This day I heard my Lord Barkeley tell Sir G. Carteret that he hath letters from France that the King hath unduked twelve Dukes, only to show his power and to crush his nobility, who he said he did see had heretofore laboured to cross him. And this my Lord Barkeley did mightily magnify, as a sign of a brave and vigorous mind, that what he saw fit to be done he dares do. At night, after business done at my office, home to supper and to bed. I have forgot to set down a very remarkable passage that, Lewellen being gone, and I going into the office, and it begun to be dark, I found nobody there, my clerks being at the burial of a child of W. Griffin’s, and so I spent a little time till they came, walking in the garden, and in the mean time, while I was walking Mrs. Pen’s pretty maid came by my side, and went into the office, but finding nobody there I went in to her, being glad of the occasion. She told me as she was going out again that there was nobody there, and that she came for a sheet of paper. So I told her I would supply her, and left her in the office and went into my office and opened my garden door, thinking to have got her in, and there to have caressed her, and seeming looking for paper, I told her this way was as near a way for her, but she told me she had left the door open and so did not come to me. So I carried her some paper and kissed her, leading her by the hand to the garden door and there let her go. But, Lord! to see how much I was put out of order by this surprisal, and how much I could have subjected my mind to have treated and been found with this wench, and how afterwards I was troubled to think what if she should tell this and whether I had spoke or done any thing that might be unfit for her to tell. But I think there was nothing more passed than just what I here write.

  1. Edward Dering was granted, August, 1660, “the office of King’s merchant in the East, for buying and providing necessaries for apparelling the Navy” (“Calendar,” Domestic, 1660-61, p. 212). There is evidence among the State Papers of some dissatisfaction with the timber, &c., which he supplied to the Navy, and at this time he appears to have had some stores left on his hands.

26 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

"...fish and keeping of Lent; which Mr. Gauden so much insists upon to have it observed,"

L&M say the fish was purchased "locally" so it would be fresh - hence the issue of recompense to Mr. Gauden.

Bradford   Link to this

"the King hath unduked twelve Dukes"---and Pepys almost undukes himself with a wench not even characterized as in any way particularly comely or personable, just female, and a servant. A "very remarkable passage," in that he does not wish to omit it though he would be loath to admit it out loud---so that one concludes the writing it provided its own recompense.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...by which I am in hopes to get 5l., which joys my heart..."

"At noon went home and there I found that one Abrahall, who strikes in for the serving of the King with Ship chandlery ware, has sent my wife a Japan gowne, which pleases her very well and me also, it coming very opportune, but I know not how to carry myself to him, I being already obliged so far to Mrs. Russell, so that I am in both their pays."

"if I would stand his friend to helpe him to the benefit of his patent as the King's merchant, he could spare me 200l. per annum out of his profits."

Yikes! Merry Xmas, Samuel. Rake it in whilst you can. I thought though Ms. Russell was in tallow, not chandelry ware. Surely the Naval supply pie is large enough to fit something in for both.

"And this my Lord Barkeley did mightily magnify, as a sign of a brave and vigorous mind, that what he saw fit to be done he dares do."

"Oh, you did admire that, eh Barkeley?" Charles smiles.

"Tis a sign of a brave and vigorous mind, Sire."

"Then you'll appreciate that I just confiscated your lands and am bestowing them on my Lady Castlemaine here."

Uhhh...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"But I think there was nothing more passed than just what I here write."

Lucky for you Sam there are no ... here.

"Bess? Uh...How did I get locked in this closet with Sir Will's maid and we both come to be half-dressed? I don't remember a thing..."

I'm getting the impression the local girls are on to you, Samuel.

"Girl, you are not going to believe what the little bastard tried with me just now back at the office..."

"Oh...I believe it. Did his damned periwig come off this time and did he make that high-pitched cry like a woman when he thought the sound was his wife coming?"

Ummn... "Molly?"

"Well..." Blush. "The little jerk does have a way about him when he starts off telling his stories."

Terry F   Link to this

"the King [of France] hath unduked twelve Dukes"

L&M say that in this My Lord Berkeley was premature: for two years there had been an investigation of false patents of nobility.

What? False patents of nobility? Incroyable!!!

Patricia   Link to this

How my heart went out to Mrs. Pen's "pretty maid"! The dirty old lech tries to lure her into his office through his garden door, eh? For a quick grope and tousling, no doubt. A girl has to be wary at all times, and things were no better 300+ years later.

cumgranosalis   Link to this

Ooops, it is a jungle, was a jungle, will always be.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

my oh my

Its so reassuring to see Sam has got the ethics of his position down pat, like our congressmen who say, "I don't take no bribes, but if I'm able to help you, I'm sure you'll find an appropriate way to show your thanks." Sam has some scruples. He's not like those of the elected who call a vendor and say, "Wife & kids & I thought it would be a good weekend to visit San Francisco and give the usual Washington update to your staff. Put us up at the top of the Mark, and send your fellows around Sunday morning at 10 AM, and don't forget the usual honorarium."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Mr. Deering
The link is to Richard Dering, a musician who died in 1630, but it should presumably be to Edward Dering, a merchant who is the subject of Wheatley's footnote.

andy   Link to this

there was nothing more passed than just what I here write.

honestly, Bess.

Martin   Link to this

"...she came for a sheet of paper..."
Easily overlooked in reading about Sam's quest for a feel, the fact that one might send one's maid out for a single sheet indicates the relative scarcity of paper at the time.

Don McCahill   Link to this

indicates the relative scarcity of paper at the time

And the value of such. At this time, I think, it was common for letters to be cross-written. After you fill up a page with writing, you turn the page 90 degrees and continue writing across the original text. Readable, with a bit of work.

The truly stingy would also write on the two diagonals ... that would be almost impossible to read.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"which Mr Gauden so much insists upon
to have it observed"
Always some economic interest on those dietary laws!

Pedro   Link to this

"We had this morning a great dispute between Mr. Gauden, Victualler of the Navy, and Sir J. Lawson, and the rest of the Commanders going against Argier"

Oh to be a fly on the wall. From the background we see that Mr. Gauden is not one to over provide, so it is a pity that Sam does not tell us more about the dispute.

Lawson observing Lent while, to coin a phrase, up to his neck in muck and Barbary bullets. Gosh it is a good job Holmes has set off for Africa! It would make a good scene from one of those plays what he wrote.

Nix   Link to this

"so that I am in both their pays .... I would not by any thing be bribed to be unjust in my dealings" --

Samuel recalls the old story of the judge who, after taking a bribe from one lawyer, demanded one from the other side "so that I can decide the case on its merits."

GrahamT   Link to this

Re: "The dirty old lech..."
Patricia, if 31 counts as old, you must be too young to be reading Pepys!

Clement   Link to this

"Lord Barkeley did mightily magnify, as a sign of a brave and vigorous mind, that what he saw fit to be done he dares do."

Not much republican or populist sentiment in those two staunch royalists, though Berkeley and Carteret found it expedient to grant "full freedom of religion" in their rules for the governance of New Jersey, to which they would shortly be given proprietership. (http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h591.html)
It would benefit the nation if the soverign daring to "do" also had some sort of moral compass and an ideal image of a nation-state to govern towards.
Lacking those, England may have benefited from Charles' willingness to let the rest of the government govern.

Clement   Link to this

Re: "The dirty old lech..."

I experience this...I mean, this may be more a mental state than a physical state.

cumgranosalis   Link to this

Before pen to ink, think thy thougts [ says i letting my fingers do the uuritin'] 'After you fill up a page with writing, you turn the page 90 degrees and continue writing across the original text' and have much chalk dust and keep fingers out of the drips.

Terry F   Link to this

Per Clement - Berkeley & Carteret's New Jersey - a colony religiously and politically confounded from the beginnings.

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h591.html

cumgranosalis   Link to this

the rag collector made a livin' recyling thy old bed linen etc.,

Google be source for the in depth and purchase of rice paper.
http://www.baph.org.uk/general%20reference/pape...

pix of mill of 1st mill UK: http://www.baph.org.uk/imagepages/dartford.htm
from rags to riches : make paper:
Paper is made of pulped cellulose fibres (usually cotton, flax, or wood),
http://www.baph.org.uk/general%20reference/earl...
Paper weaved its way from China [paper was first made in AD 105 by Ts'ai Lun (50?-118),]
across the Asia to Spain (Xativa) poss 1056 Italy (Genoa) 1255 (poss. 1235 on Ligurian coast) France (Troyes) 1348 Germany (Nuremburg) 1390 Switzerland (Friebourg) 1411 Belgium 1407 Great Britain (Hertfordshire) 1494 then on to Baltic states
another version http://hometown.aol.com/ppreble2/history2.html
make thine own: http://42explore.com/papermaking.htm

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Uncle Scobell ...

Here, I think, is an instance of someone near death perceiving a dead relative come to greet her as she passes, or to watch over her in illness. We continue to read accounts of such things today, in the stories of those who have had near-death experiences. When my wife, in Wales many years ago, nearly perished of pneumonia, her hosts put her into "great-grandmother's old bed," as it was well known that the spirit of the old lady looked after the sick. She, too, had been seen at bedside on several occasions (though not by my wife).

Bradford   Link to this

Lechery knows no bounds of age, sex, or historical era, but is an equal opportunity employer. May none of us see anyone untoward at our bedsides this holiday season except the one particular person we want to be there.

Patricia   Link to this

Graham, Clement & Bradford: indeed, it would be inaccurate to apply the term "old" to Pepys, except in the sense of "dirty old man" which is a reference to character rather than age. If I were groping, or being groped by, a 31-year-old, it is I who would be considered a lech. Old enough to be his mother!
But my memory is young, and this passage made my skin crawl.

oberver   Link to this

Sam's lechery.
It's worth noting that most of Sam's liasons thus far occur when his wife is, shall we say, "unavailable," either due to geographical distance or (in this case) medical condition. I point this out not to excuse his behavior--yet the spontaneous nature of this encounter fits with someone longing to satisfy his physical needs. Onanism is a sin, after all . . .

Pedro   Link to this

Mr. Gauden, Victualler of the Navy

Gauden also supplied the garrison in Tangier and in The Army of Charles II by J.Childs...

"Private men lived on a diet of ship's biscuit, salt beef or pork, dried peas, butter, cheese and oatmeal, with the occasional variety of fresh bread and dried fish. The provisions were sent to Tangier from England by contractors who purchased their rights from the Lord's Commissioners for Tangier, but even if the correct amount was shipped there was no guarantee that the stores would reach their destination. Victualling vessels could be shipwrecked during the three week r voyage through the stormy Bay of Biscay, or captured by Corsairs, as happened to the Phoenix in 1677."

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