Monday 2 May 1664

Lay pretty long in bed. So up and by water to St. James’s, and there attended the Duke with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, and having done our work with him walked to Westminster Hall, and after walking there and talking of business met Mr. Rawlinson and by coach to the ‘Change, where I did some business, and home to dinner, and presently by coach to the King’s Play-house to see “The Labyrinth,” but, coming too soon, walked to my Lord’s to hear how my Lady do, who is pretty well; at least past all fear. There by Captain Ferrers meeting with an opportunity of my Lord’s coach, to carry us to the Parke anon, we directed it to come to the play-house door; and so we walked, my wife and I and Madamoiselle. I paid for her going in, and there saw “The Labyrinth,” the poorest play, methinks, that ever I saw, there being nothing in it but the odd accidents that fell out, by a lady’s being bred up in man’s apparel, and a man in a woman’s. Here was Mrs. Stewart, who is indeed very pretty, but not like my Lady Castlemayne, for all that. Thence in the coach to the Parke, where no pleasure; there being much dust, little company, and one of our horses almost spoiled by falling down, and getting his leg over the pole; but all mended presently, and after riding up and down, home. Set Madamoiselle at home; and we home, and to my office, whither comes Mr. Bland, and pays me the debt he acknowledged he owed me for my service in his business of the Tangier Merchant, twenty pieces of new gold, a pleasant sight. It cheered my heart; and he being gone, I home to supper, and shewed them my wife; and she, poor wretch, would fain have kept them to look on, without any other design but a simple love to them; but I thought it not convenient, and so took them into my own hand. So, after supper, to bed.

29 Annotations

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and she, poor wretch, would fain have kept them to look on, without any other design but a simple love to them"

Given Bess's upbringing and her parents' current circumstances, I can see why she'd want to admire the gold. What a great scene, revealing so much about the couple and their characters...

MissAnn  •  Link

"... walked to my Lord's to hear how my Lady do, who is pretty well; at least past all fear."

At this time to fall ill could always end in death. As I sit here with a red raw throat and lots of medications to assist, I feel for My Lady and her fears, and those of her friends and family, it's so much better with modern medicine. I know I will get better in 7 days to a week, she would never be so sure what her outcome will be. Thankfully she's on the mend.

jeannine  •  Link

"and so we walked, my wife and I and Madamoiselle"
I can't figure out who Mademoiselle is referring to -any clue?
(unless of course, Captain Ferrers is doing undercover spy work in a dress as his disguise-you never can tell what he'll be up to!)

Get well Miss Ann!

Louise H  •  Link

I had assumed Mademoiselle was Sandwich's daughter -- another Jemima if I'm not mistaken. They went to the playhouse directly after calling on her mother, and have taken her out several times before I recall.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Madamoiselle

Jeannine, my guess would be Mrs. Jem (the younger)...

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Re: Mademoiselle
I think this must be Mademoiselle Le Blanc, the Montagu's French nanny or governess. Captain Ferrers has been known to escort her to the theater on at least one previous occasion. See re Mlle. Le Blanc, and Glyn's note at re her connection with the captain. Glyn surmises that she was his mistress, but it may be that they just had a love of the theater in common.

Martin  •  Link

"I thought it not convenient, and so took them into my own hand"
Reminds me of the Chinese diplomatic way of saying no, "it would not be convenient".

Terry F  •  Link

Paul, L&M think so too. The Index entry for "Mademoiselle" ID's the French governess to Sandwich's daughters, Mlle. LeBlanc.

Ann  •  Link

I agree Mademoiselle cannot be Mrs. Jem, as "My Lord" and all the children "removed" a few days ago due to the Lady's contagious illness.

Terry F  •  Link

"met Mr. Rawlinson and by coach to the 'Change, where I did some business,"

So Pepys rns into the proprietor of his fave Mitre tavern, takes coach to the 'Change and does...what?!

We are told of this kind of thing very often. Does anyone else I wonder what, indeed, he did do?!

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"The Labyrinth" - According to the Restoration Comedy Project web site the author is "Anonymous" and it is described as "A lost play. Possibly an adaptation from Corneille, or from Hawkesworth's Labyrinthus (1603). Seen by Pepys on 2 May 1664." - Essentially, this reference is all we know of its existence.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there being nothing in it but the odd accidents that fell out, by a lady's being bred up in man's apparel, and a man in a woman's..."

Sounds like most of what has passed for comedy since the invention of television.


Sam, couldn't you even have considered taking ten of those pieces, putting them into her hands, and saying "Would you see these get to my father, Bess? Thanks."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"They're just so lovely..."

"Yes, indeed. Now I'll be putting them away, dear."
reaches for gold pieces.

Hmmn?... "Oh, yes." sigh.


"Ummn, Sam'l? You said Mr. Bland...Just gave these to you? For your help on the Tangier accounts?"


"But...What sort of help could you have given him that would lead him to bestow such a gift? It's your job to help keep the accounts in proper order, right?"

"Well..." Smile. "There's keeping the accounts in proper order...And there's keeping the accounts in really proper order."

"Oh. But, weren't you saying just last week that Sir William Batten was wrongfully accepting gifts from that Mr. Wood (hee) about his masts (hee...Wood, masts...You see. "Yes, I get it, Bess.")? Wouldn't this be...?"

"Certainly not, darling. What Batten does is for his own interest; what I do is strictly in the King's best interest." Solemn pose.

Hmmn... "But you both take moneys from these merchants supplying the navy? Isn't that...?"

"Only if not done strictly in the King's best interest, as I do, Bess...Darling. Say, look at this pretty gold."

GrahamT  •  Link

Miss Ann: Re, "I know I will get better in 7 days to a week" reminds me of the old saying: "Treat a cold and you will be rid of it in seven days; leave it alone and it will drag on for a week. ;-)

Xjy  •  Link

Sam turning into a real slug-a-bed the past few days. Maybe the unaccustomed light and warmth of late spring/early summer luring him to rush around more than usual and his body being leached of energy by the long winter he can't keep up with himself yet.

cape henry  •  Link

Indeed, TF, I do wonder what he does in the 'Change, and have done so for quite a while but have never taken the step to ask.

Mary  •  Link

The 'Change.

Built by the Earl of Salisbury in the first decade of the 17th century, it was planned as both a bourse for merchants and also a retail shopping area for the supply of luxury goods. As noted in the L&M Companion, the bourse gradually failed, but the building itself became a centre for fashionable society and also the place where news (mercantile and political) and gossip were exchanged.

Linda Levy Peck's "Consuming Splendor" devotes part of it's first chapter to description of the 'Change.

No doubt Sam's business there involved networking and news-gathering, enlivened from time to time with the odd luxury purchase for wife and/or home.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

1st Panto ?[ "The Labyrinth," ] Cinderella without the jokes.
" by a lady's being bred up in man's apparel, and a man in a woman's"
? for the pre-juvenile or infantile? set.
At last, equal opertunity for the lasses to get parts on stage instead of just selling of oranges in the aisles and getting annoying bumps.

Glyn  •  Link

The Exchange is for buying and selling things, and buying things is a large part of the Navy Office's function. I'm not sure why it's called an "Exchange" though, perhaps LanguageHat might explain. In most major British cities you can find 19th-century buildings called Corn Exchanges.

Coincidentally, I was walking near here a couple of weeks ago and noticed an old building with faded stone lettering naming it as The Fruit Exchange: I had visions of people standing up saying "I've got 2 tangerines over here, will anyone swap them for a kumquat?"

And I agree that the young French teacher isn't the captain's mistress.

Glyn  •  Link

When he writes "twenty pieces of new gold" does that mean gold coins that have been newly minted with Charles II's head on them, so much newer and shinier than the older tarnished ones?

(Incidentally, anyone who visits London and wants an unusual souvenir, there's a new streetmarket selling coins on Saturday mornings by Monument underground station - just bought an 1811 penny for 22 pounds for a nephew's birthday present - an increase in price of 5,000%)

cape henry  •  Link

Thanks to Mary and Glyn for enlightening TF, me, and all the others who wondered about the 'Change and hadn't asked.

Pedro  •  Link

The Change

The link here goes to the New Exchange and so I think we must differentiate between the Royal and New Exchanges...

From the book that Mary quotes...

Thomas Gresham's Royal Exchange, which opened in the City in I570, proved a new departure in luxury consumption, modelled on the Antwerp Burse, the Royal Exchange brought together merchants in international trade... (1599) all kinds of fine goods on show.., several hundred (merchants) may be found assembled twice daily buying, selling, bearing news and generally doing business.

The New Exchange (1608) marked a significant departure in consuming due to its location: it was suburban and private, a shopping mall located close to the court and new aristocratic housing.

Both exchanges competed with each other, and made shopping an entertainment.

Pedro  •  Link

The New Exchange

It is interesting to note that at the opening of the New Exchange porcelain from China was an exciting new import. The Dutch had taken the trade from the Portuguese, and as many as 100,000 pieces in its distinctive blue and white colours arrived in Amsterdam in 1604

language hat  •  Link

Exchange (OED):

III. A place of exchange.

8. King's or Queen's Exchange: see quot.
1601 QUEEN ELIZABETH Let. base Moneys in T. Stafford Pac. Hib. 149 We require you.. to giue all attention of it.. [by] bringing in all others according to the course of Our Exchange, which by Our Proclamation you may perceiue that wee haue instituted. [...] 1751 CHAMBERS Cycl. s.v., The King's Exchange or the place appointed by the king for exchange of plate, or bullion for the king's coin.

9. A money-changer's establishment or office.
a1569 A. KINGSMILL Comf. Afflict. Aiij, To lay it [a talent] with you in exchange and banke. [...]

10. a. A building in which the merchants of a town assemble for the transaction of business. Cf. BURSE 3b, CHANGE n. 3.
The 'Burse' or Exchange built in London by Sir T. Gresham in 1566 received from Queen Elizabeth the name of Royal Exchange, which is retained by the present building. Gresham's building is in 17th c. sometimes called the Old Exchange, to distinguish it from the New Exchange, i.e. 'Britain's Burse'.
1589 NASH Pasquil's Ret. 1, I little thought to meete thee so suddainly upon the Exchange. 1593 NORDEN Spec. Brit., M'sex I. 35 Sir Thomas Gresham.. named it the Burse, whereunto afterward Queene Elizabeth gave the name of Royall Exchange. [...] 1611 CORYAT Crudities 23 As for their Exchang[e] where they sell many fine and curious things, there are two or three prety walks in it. 1632 MASSINGER City Madam I. i, Being forced to fetch these from the Old Exchange, These from the Tower, and these from Westminster. 1710 Lond. Gaz. No. 4708/4 Inquire at the.. Royal Exchange East Country-Walk in Exchange Time. [...]
fig. 1628 EARLE Microcosm. lii. (Arb.) 73 It [Pauls Walke] is the great Exchange of all discourse. 1643 DENHAM Cooper's Hill 188 His [Thames'] fair bosom is the world's exchange. [...]
b. Preceded by some defining word that indicates a special branch of business: as coal-, corn-, hop-, stock-, wool-exchange, for which see those words.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Another take on on Market vs Exchange ['Change] along with Whole- sale vs re tayle.
The Exchange, taking the idea of swopping and not demeaning thyself in a market place [Agora, macellum ,emporium or forum {boarium or piscarium}
The Exchange be upscale version of trading with dignity, vs downscale of re-tail, in the market place or square, with all the smells and sounds of the hoi-polloi and their wares that would be competing for they coin .
Retail be lopping off a piece for selling for pieces of metal, no exchange, just bought and sold.
Wholesale be for gross buying and selling for those that want a lot or sell to those that will carve up the gross product into little pieces that be affordable by the man in the street.

Exchange be a nice building set up to market anything such as a commodity, that can be exchanged for equal worth.
[ OED 1716-8 LADY M. W. MONTAGUE Lett. I. xxxviii. 154 Behind the mosque is an exchange, full of shops.
but one would have to be carefull of which excange to enter.
OED 1631 T. POWELL Tom All Trades 48 A pretty way of breeding young Maides in an *Exchange shop, or St. Martins le grand.

The Market [mostly Germanic in origin] Place be the end of the road for most products as they would be eaten, or worn or disposed of.

Terry F  •  Link

Wedge for Tolerance: Jews and the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy

State of Trade.

Mr. Clifford reports from the Committee for the Advance and improvement of Trade, That they had met several times; and taken much Pains in considering of Expedients for the Advance of Trade; and had agreed upon a Vote to be reported to the House; and did open the several Reasons which did induce the Committee to pass the Vote: And then read the Vote in his Place; and after, delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: And the Vote, being read, was as followeth; viz.

Resolved, &c. That it be reported to the House, as the Opinion of the Committee, That, for the Increase of Trade, the House would admit of a Bill for the Naturalization of all Foreigners that shall take the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy; except Jews.

The House having entered upon the Debate of this Vote; and finding the same of Weight;
Resolved, That the further Debate of the Vote of the Committee for Advance of Trade be adjourned till Wednesday next, at Ten of the Clock

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 2 May 1664', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 554-55. URL: Date accessed: 28 May 2006.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

'change be an upscale shopping for those that do not want to mixey with regular folks. Here be the start of the betters never mentioning monie in front of children or lessers, all sales involving monies be done at the back door or by money managers, like Pepys.

OED "1716-8 LADY M. W. MONTAGUE Lett. I. xxxviii. 154 Behind the mosque is an exchange, full of shops"

Markets be for those that want to make money selling to the Crowd, re-tayle, that be cuting up the gross [ known as whole sayle] obtained thru the Change [only exchange value be the value like gold coin] then the item cut in bits and sold off for mere pitttance of fathings and the like.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"comes Mr. Bland, and pays me the debt he acknowledged he owed me for my service in his business of the Tangier Merchant, twenty pieces of new gold"

See (L&M footnote)

"When he writes "twenty pieces of new gold" does that mean gold coins that have been newly minted with Charles II's head on them...?"
Glyn, L&M say yes: in a footnote to Jan 22 linked above they report Bland paid £20.

Mary Ellen  •  Link

It would have been nice for him to share the gold with his wife. Giving her some for her family would have been the right thing to do, considering their circumstances.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.