Tuesday 12 January 1663/64

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon to the ‘Change awhile, and so home, getting things against dinner ready, and anon comes my uncle Wight and my aunt, with their cozens Mary and Robert, and by chance my uncle Thomas Pepys. We had a good dinner, the chief dish a swan roasted, and that excellent meate. At, dinner and all day very merry. After dinner to cards, where till evening, then to the office a little, and to cards again with them, and lost half-a-crowne. They being gone, my wife did tell me how my uncle did this day accost her alone, and spoke of his hoping she was with child, and kissing her earnestly told her he should be very glad of it, and from all circumstances methinks he do seem to have some intention of good to us, which I shall endeavour to continue more than ever I did yet. So to my office till late, and then home to bed, after being at prayers, which is the first time after my late vowe to say prayers in my family twice in every week.

19 Annotations

Clement   Link to this

"...did accost her alone, and spoke of his hoping she was with child, and kissing her earnestly...methinks he do seem to have some intention of good to us"

Maybe I'm being anacrhonistic (and misled by "accost") but this is a little creepy, even in Sam's rosey interpretation. It's a little surprising that the pot doesn't recognize the kettle.

Pedro   Link to this

Lost half-a-crowne.

Sam lost 2 and 6! He should have had more 18 pence than to get into such a 2 and 8.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"They being gone, my wife did tell me how my uncle did this day accost her alone, and spoke of his hoping she was with child, and kissing her earnestly told her he should be very glad of it, and from all circumstances methinks he do seem to have some intention of good to us, which I shall endeavour to continue more than ever I did yet."

Uh-huh...

(Spoiler)

Enter Uncle Wight, pathetic tub of guts in the garb of Lothario...

***
Gaze not on swans...

I'd always heard they weren't very good as eating goes.

"Another swan for Mr. Pepys, is it?" the butcher frowns. "A good English venison pasty's not good enough for the likes of him now, eh?"

***

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"kissing her earnestly"
So it was not a tender kiss, more like a lustful kiss;but Sam's reaction puzzles me!!

jeannine   Link to this

"but Sam's reaction puzzles me!!"
It puzzles me too, except that Sam may be overwhelmed by the thought that "methinks he do seem to have some intention of good to us".. when perhaps some of our readership crew may tend to think that Uncle Thomas' intentions are to do some good (and have some fun) for himself.
How strange that Sam would miss that one, and as Clement says how creepy for Elizabeth is right.
It must also be very odd for Elizabeth as she told her husband some man was hitting on her and he seems not to have been concerned. From her perspective it must be quite odd too.

deepfatfriar   Link to this

Swan rosted (Harleian MS. 4016)

"Kutte a Swan in the rove of the mouthe toward the brayne enlonge, and lete him blede, and kepe the blode for chawdewyn; or elles knytte a knot on his nek, And so late his nekke breke; then skald him. Drawe him and rost him even as thou doest goce in all poyntes, and serue him forth with chawdwyne."

OED s.v. chawdron lists chawdeyne as a variant spelling: A kind of sauce, consisting of chopped entrails, spices, and other ingredients. The same MS also has a recipe for it......

Conrad   Link to this

Jeannine, I believe that the overly familiar uncle, is Uncle William Wight the fishmonger not poor old Uncle Thomas who ends his days as an almsman of Sion College. The earnest kiss, was I think, more in his well placed hopes for Sam & Bess's happy future with children. Sam saw this concern of his uncle as a good sign of future gain & not a problem at all.

John M   Link to this

Avarice wins over jealousy

Uncle Wight is childless and wealthy and Sam hopes to become his heir. Sam's usual jealousy is knocked into touch by the prospect of all that money.

jeannine   Link to this

Conrad, thanks for the correction! You are 'wight" on this one.

Moira   Link to this

Half a crowne! Memories of childhood when it was a good amount for a child to be given. My mother has a crown coin (5/-) ie 5 shillings, which has long been out of circulation . The half crown coin(2/6)two shillings and sixpence, went out of circulation in the 1960s I think. Here in Euro land(Ireland) that is two monetary systems ago.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

In fairness to Sam, this initial advance may have come off as fairly innocent even to Bess...A kiss however 'earnest' may be just a kiss. She as well as he knows their fishy uncle is loaded and they already did well by Uncle Robert as to getting Brampton when John Sr. passes on. The fact that Wight mentioned hoping for children probably took some of the fright out of it for both Pepys.

While 'accosted her' sounds like a sudden grab in the Wights' hallway, the whole thing might be perfectly (uh-huh) innocent and just startling to her. Naturally she'd be eager to let Sam know of a potential bit of good fortune.

[Spoiler-

I did say that with a straight face, right?]

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Niece, a fishmonger is like any other man...Same dreams, same hopes..." Uncle Wight notes solemnly.

"Yes, uncle. Would you please take your arm off my shoulder?"

Nervous look to see if Aunt Wight is nearby...No...Ah...

"...Only a fishmonger...Is more...Lonely." shift of large bulk.

"It's the smell." he explains sadly. "No amount of washing ever quite does the trick."

"Uncle, please let go of my arm."

"Darling Bess, I only want you to know that if you should have a child...By anyone we know. It should be my heir."

"So you said the other day, Uncle. And Sam and I hope...Samuel?! We're over here!!" she eyes the entering Sam with deep relief.

Ah, buttering up ole Unc...he waves to them, heading for Aunt Wight to keep her content. No need to have her dragging Uncle off from what could be a potentially rewarding conversation.

Sam?...Bess stares as her should-be rescuer heads off, waving happily at them.

"Nephew." Wight nods benignly. "As I was saying, dearest Bess...A fishmonger is like any other man...Same dreams, same hopes..."

***

Bradford   Link to this

Deepfatfriar (how apt for this recipe!)'s chawdron turns up in the Witches' mixture in Macbeth, IV.i:

"Add thereto a tiger's chawdron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron,"

along with a Tartar's lips, baboon's blood, a finger from a birth-strangled babe, and other dainties not currently available at Tesco or Kroger.

You can eat peacock, too---it's transfigured poultry, after all---but swans' fairy-tale associations would have me worried that the entrée is Enchanted Human Being.

rob van hugte   Link to this

I ate swan once in a restaurant in Kent. Taste like chicken but the meat has a typical grey colour, not very appealing

rob van hugte   Link to this

"Niece, a fishmonger is like any other man...Same dreams, same hopes..." Uncle Wight notes solemnly.

"Yes, uncle. Would you please take your arm off my shoulder?"

Robert, where do you get this stuff? You should consider writing "Pepys annotated by mr Gertz" I will subscribe anytime.

Spoiler:
You probably know as well as I that this uncle/niece conversation is exactly what will happen....

Pedro   Link to this

"I ate swan once in a restaurant in Kent."

Best to say you thought it was chicken! (From background on swan)...

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said: "There has been a drop in the number of swans in the River Thames and there is a suggestion they are being stolen. It seems there may be a connection with people from Eastern Europe.

"We no longer eat swans in this country. But people from various other parts of the world still do. Swans are totally protected and have been for hundreds of years."

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2003302470...

Gay F. Gertz   Link to this

Rob, I wish I knew as to most (cause I'd steal it for my work) but I do know (since he keeps grinning about it) that he got that line from "Hogan's Heroes".

He does have a full length Pepys story ongoing at his website. I'm trying to get him to write more historical fiction alone or with me.

What really drives me crazy is that he writes this and his stories in snatches when he gets bored doing his science writing.

ruizhe   Link to this

This would be strange if Wight left much for Pepys, as he is not related to him by blood. No doubt both Pepys believe that Wight has innocent intentions, or else Liz wouldn't have been so keen to tell Sam.

Kevin Peter   Link to this

It seems to me like the words "accost alone" have a creepy connotation. However, seeing how Sam isn't in the slightest bit bothered by it, it's quite likely he simply meant "talked to in private", which sounds a lot better.

Uncle Wight might have simply considered Elizabeth's possibly pregnancy to be private matter, hence why he spoke to her alone.

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