Tuesday 12 April 1664

Up, and after my wife had dressed herself very fine in her new laced gown, and very handsome indeed, W. Howe also coming to see us, I carried her by coach to my uncle Wight’s and set her down there, and W. Howe and I to the Coffee-house, where we sat talking about getting of him some place under my Lord of advantage if he should go to sea, and I would be glad to get him secretary and to out Creed if I can, for he is a crafty and false rogue. Thence a little to the ‘Change, and thence took him to my uncle Wight’s, where dined my father, poor melancholy man, that used to be as full of life as anybody, and also my aunt’s brother, Mr. Sutton, a merchant in Flanders, a very sober, fine man, and Mr. Cole and his lady; but, Lord! how I used to adore that man’s talke, and now methinks he is but an ordinary man, his son a pretty boy indeed, but his nose unhappily awry. Other good company and an indifferent, and but indifferent dinner for so much company, and after dinner got a coach, very dear, it being Easter time and very foul weather, to my Lord’s, and there visited my Lady, and leaving my wife there I and W. Howe to Mr. Pagett’s, and there heard some musique not very good, but only one Dr. Walgrave, an Englishman bred at Rome, who plays the best upon the lute that I ever heard man. Here I also met Mr. Hill the little merchant, and after all was done we sung. I did well enough a Psalm or two of Lawes; he I perceive has good skill and sings well, and a friend of his sings a good base. Thence late walked with them two as far as my Lord’s, thinking to take up my wife and carry them home, but there being no coach to be got away they went, and I staid a great while, it being very late, about 10 o’clock, before a coach could be got. I found my Lord and ladies and my wife at supper. My Lord seems very kind. But I am apt to think still the worst, and that it is only in show, my wife and Lady being there. So home, and find my father come to lie at our house; and so supped, and saw him, poor man, to bed, my heart never being fuller of love to him, nor admiration of his prudence and pains heretofore in the world than now, to see how Tom hath carried himself in his trade; and how the poor man hath his thoughts going to provide for his younger children and my mother. But I hope they shall never want. So myself and wife to bed.

22 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...after my wife had dressed herself very fine in her new laced gown, and very handsome indeed, W. Howe also coming to see us, I carried her by coach to my uncle Wight's and set her down there..."

Pepys, you fool! Go back!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...where dined my father, poor melancholy man, that used to be as full of life as anybody..."

Well, Sam you know...You lose the kinder, gentler son and are left with...Well, you.

Pedro   Link to this

"where dined my father, poor melancholy man, that used to be as full of life as anybody,"

Have we any evidence in the Diary so far that Sam's father was at any stage full of life? Or does "full of life" in Sam's time have a different meaning from today?

Glyn   Link to this

Pedro - we still have letters that the father will write to his son from Brampton during the Diary period including this year (1664) which Sam kept, and they are very full of life. I don't think he's as decrepit as the younger generation believes. I hope people will post extracts from the letters as when they are written, if anyone has them.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...but, Lord! how I used to adore that man's talke, and now methinks he is but an ordinary man, his son a pretty boy indeed, but his nose unhappily awry."

The lure of far-away lands and places...Now a bit faded that he know Flanders is just across from England.

Interesting, though, considering John Jr.'s disdain for his successful brother...The distance Sandwich is keeping him at...And Sam's steadily growing contempt for most of his old friends. Is there anyone around him who "adores" Sam's talk? Who listens intently as he once did to Mr. Sutton? Perhaps Will Hewer and the other clerks. One hopes Bess enjoys it, furious as he may make her at times.

And of course we still love it...

But one could ask our successful Mr. Pepys, are you really happier than when you loved and were loved by many?

Terry F   Link to this

Glyn, to support that view of John Pepys, Sr., it's been so sad to trace his recent experiences and imagine how he must have been feeling as he sustained the loss of his struggling son, the failed business and the illegitimate daughter, "at which the poor wretch was much troubled, and desired me that I would speak with J. Noble, and do what I could and thought fit in it without concerning him in it."

Grief and depression and, as this entry notes, worry -- "how the poor man hath his thoughts going to provide for his younger children and my mother."

Surely he has seen and will see better times!

Pedro   Link to this

"I don't think he's as decrepit as the younger generation believes."

Thanks Glyn. I think the same must apply to his mother!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"poor melancholy man"
He was only 63 years old; had he lived in New York now he would still have to pay full fare in the subways and would not get any discounts to go to the movies.

jeannine   Link to this

"where dined my father, poor melancholy man"
As I was reading this (prior to reading the annotations) I was thinking that John Sr. must be horribly depressed at the loss of his son -just as Terry stated (thank you Terry!). Although Sam seems to have 'bounced back' rather quickly after the loss of Tom, John Sr. is still his parent and must be devasted -poor finances and illegitimate baby aside-no matter what it's still your child.

cape henry   Link to this

Many questions from previous posts answered in this entry. Obviously the Easter celebration has carried over into the week (though why Tuesday?). His father does, in fact, come to stay at Sam's. &etc. A most interesting a varied entry.

Terry F   Link to this

"it's still your child"

Yes, Jeannine, and a child set apart: John Pepys, Sr., had lost other children decades ago in their infancy and youth, but Tom was a grown man whom he had -- in his shop and home -- trained in his trade for several years, perhaps the longer because of Tom's lack of natural gifts; who had worked under his tutelage before Bramptom; and because he was always to be his father's successor --, i.e., the child, perhaps the male with whom he (JP, Sr.) had surely spent the most time, and in whom he had invested more of himself and his hopes.

And now....

JWB   Link to this

Poppa's pain:
29 Apr.'63 "...and coming down found my father unexpectedly in great pain and desiring for God's sake to get him a bed to lie upon, which I did, and W. Howe and I staid by him, in so great pain as I never saw, poor wretch, and with that patience, crying only: Terrible, terrible pain, God help me, God help me, with the mournful voice, that made my heart ake. He desired to rest a little alone to see whether it would abate, and W. Howe and I went down and walked in the gardens, which are very fine, and a pretty fountayne, with which I was finely wetted, and up to a banquetting house, with a very fine prospect, and so back to my father, who I found in such pain that I could not bear the sight of it without weeping, never thinking that I should be able to get him from thence, but at last, finding it like to continue, I got him to go to the coach, with great pain, and driving hard, he all the while in a most unsufferable torment (meeting in the way with Captain Ferrers going to my Lord, to tell him that my Lady Jemimah is come to town, and that Will Stankes is come with my father's horses), not staying the coach to speak with any body, but once, in St. Paul's Churchyard, we were forced to stay, the jogging and pain making my father vomit, which it never had done before. At last we got home, and all helping him we got him to bed presently, and after half an hour's lying in his naked bed (it being a rupture [with] which he is troubled, and has been this 20 years, but never in half the pain and with so great swelling as now..."

Ruben   Link to this

"...and saw him, poor man, to bed, my heart never being fuller of love to him, nor admiration of his prudence and pains heretofore in the world than now, to see how Tom hath carried himself in his trade; and how the poor man hath his thoughts going to provide for his younger children and my mother. But I hope they shall never want..."

Just a thought: did Father get a rent from his son Tom after he left him his taylor shop?
After all, the taylor who took over paid something.
If I am right, may be now that Tom is dead, Father was left with less money to provide for his wife, Pauline and John. For a 63 years old man, it is difficult to see how he can compensate for this financial loss.
I am sure that a man his age, in today's New York his not in a better stance if his pension fund goes bust.
In a perfect world, Sam would have finish his entry differently: "But I will see they shall never want".
(no spoilers intended)

Mary   Link to this

Tom the Tailor's shop-house.

Do we know whether the Pepys family actually owned the premises in Salisbury Court? And if so, whether it was owned as freehold or leasehold?

Dave   Link to this

His Fathers life at Brampton must have been completely alien to that of Salisbury Court, and I'm sure any advice sought from Sam would have included a long lecture. With Tom now gone so has someone who could empathise with John Sr and one he could open up to without feeling inadequate. For Sams part, I'm sure he loved his family, but here we have an intelligent well organised ambitious man with all the family problems increasingly becoming his own (he could of course have walked away from them). Organising Brampton would not have extended Sam at all but his frustrations with his fathers incapabilities perhaps boiled over sometimes. I agree with Ruben, I would have prefered to see "But I will see they shall never want", to give Sam the benefit of doubt, he is not feeling too secure right now.
John Sr was not decrepit, he's going through a rough time, knowing that he is becoming more reliant on Sam. The poor man is feeling his age, does not feel very empowered and is probably pining for his youth when he had more authority pride and energy.

Tom Burns   Link to this

...how the poor man hath his thoughts going to provide for his younger children and my mother. But I hope they shall never want.

A curious comment from one who is worth what? £1000 or so? Surely his parents and brothers and sisters should never want.

C.J.Darby   Link to this

"But I am apt to think still the worst, and that it is only in show, my wife and Lady being there." Did I miss something, It never occurred to me that Sam had not told Elisabeth about the Sandwitch affair. It throws some light on their relationship if he feels that he could not discuss this with her.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Sam's growing disdain for old friends ...

Robert - L&M interpret Sam's remark about "that man's talk" as referring to the man named Cole. He probably was, they say, a lawyer of that name who was a friend of the Wights, or possibly Jack Cole, an old schoolfellow of Sam whose conversation he valued. Indeed, Sam describes Sutton as "a very sober, fine man," so it seems unlikely that he would immediately criticize his conversation.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Cole or Sutton is debatable, Rex, (though Sutton I find more interesting given as a merchant his talk of Flanders would have likely intrigued young Sam) but my point is that Sam is increasingly leaving his old circle and even deliberately putting distance between them. That may or may not be a good thing but it comes with a price. And if Sam is stuck midway...Not accepted really by that circle he desperately aspires to join while casting off the old friends, it could be a high price. Again I wonder...Does anyone around him now "adore" Sam's talk or company? We hear less and less of Sam being with people he's truly fond of and are truly fond of him. Perhaps that's inevitable but...

Spoiler...

Of course in time he will find and build a new circle...Clerks and staff who admire him and friends who respect him...But will it ever quite be the same?

Terry F   Link to this

"the premises in Salisbury Court"

Mary, so far I have been unable to determine from the Companion's notes to Samuel's father and Tom what the status of that property was. Tom paid taxes on it and enlarged its footprint. Perhaps others can do better.

Terry F   Link to this

"W. Howe and I to the Coffee-house"

Pepys says this of late as though it were "The Coffee-house" -- a single known place without peers. Alas, "[b]y May 1663 there were 82" coffee-houses in London, "most of them near the Exchange" -- few apparently different enough to be identified by Pepys by name of proprietor or distinguishing feature. (Companion)

Cactus Wren   Link to this

Another thing that doesn't change: it's a holiday and the weather is rotten, so NATURALLY it's impossible to get a taxi.

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