Sunday 22 May 1664

(Lord’s day). Up and by water to White Hall to my Lord’s lodgings, and with him walked to White Hall without any great discourse, nor do I find that he do mind business at all. Here the Duke of Yorke called me to him, to ask me whether I did intend to go with him to Chatham or no. I told him if he commanded, but I did believe there would be business here for me, and so he told me then it would be better to stay, which I suppose he will take better than if I had been forward to go. Thence, after staying and seeing the throng of people to attend the King to Chappell (but, Lord! what a company of sad, idle people they are) I walked to St. James’s with Colonell Remes, where staid a good while and then walked to White Hall with Mr. Coventry, talking about business. So meeting Creed, took him with me home and to dinner, a good dinner, and thence by water to Woolwich, where mighty kindly received by Mrs. Falconer and her husband, who is now pretty well again, this being the first time I ever carried my wife thither. I walked to the Docke, where I met Mrs. Ackworth alone at home, and God forgive me! what thoughts I had, but I had not the courage to stay, but went to Mr. Pett’s and walked up and down the yard with him and Deane talking about the dispatch of the ships now in haste, and by and by Creed and my wife and a friend of Mr. Falconer’s came with the boat and called me, and so by water to Deptford, where I landed, and after talking with others walked to Half-way house with Mr. Wayth talking about the business of his supplying us with canvas, and he told me in discourse several instances of Sir W. Batten’s cheats. So to Half-way house, whither my wife and them were gone before, and after drinking there we walked, and by water home, sending Creed and the other with the boat home. Then wrote a letter to Mr. Coventry, and so a good supper of pease, the first I eat this year, and so to bed.

16 Annotations

cape henry   Link to this

"...and so to bed." At the end of a busy Sunday not much different from a regular work day but for observing the king and his retinue of "sad, idle people." No snoozing in the pew today, and a plate full of fresh "pease" to boot. An altogether entertaining day for him and us.

Terry F   Link to this

"a busy Sunday not much different from a regular work day" indeed, -- well maybe busier than most, because preparation for war is cranking up fast: Stations, all!! When offered the choice of where to be for the "launch," Pepys decides to be the Navy Office Officer monitoring his usual London haunts -- Woolwich and Deptford -- which he promptly patrols.

jeannine   Link to this

"and so a good supper of pease, the first I eat this year, and so to bed."
Sounds like this change of diet (note-the first he ate this year) may keep Sam feeling a little more "regular" and off the physic!

cape henry   Link to this

So Jeannine recommends giving pease a chance.

Sorry - couldn't resist.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I told him if he commanded, but I did believe there would be business here for me, and so he told me then it would be better to stay, which I suppose he will take better than if I had been forward to go."

"We'll go, Your Grace!!" Penn, Batten, Minnes eagerly.

***

And what if he had had the courage to stay...

Perhaps...

1) "I'm truly sorry, particularly to you, Mrs. Pepys. But you understand, the little... forced himself on me. I had to kill him." Mrs. Ackworth sighs.

"As are we, ma'am...Hang her." Coventry waves to the executioner.

Or, perhaps...

2) "Mr. Pepys? Sir, you really must go...Now..."

"Oh, Mrs. Ackworth...Dear Mrs. Ackworth."

"Sweetheart is everything...? Pepys?!"

"Your...Your...Your..."

"Majesty, last time someone managed to finish it, Pepys."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"So to Half-way house, whither my wife and them were gone before..."

Such faith in Bess, let alone Creed and Falconer, tis admirable...

"So you see, Pepys. Batten's man has shortchanged the King tuppence a yard on the canvas for the past sixmonth."

"Outrageous, Wayth. I must thank you for this knowledge. Not that we can do a thing about it at present."

"No. Hmmn. So have the others already gone on to Halfway-house?"

"Pon my soul our talk was so fascinating we seem to have lost an hour. Well, no matter...I'm sure they're enjoying themselves..."

Cut to Halfway-house...Chorus of lusty fellows, mugs in hand.

"There is nothing like our Bess! Nothing in the world!"

Bess lifted by Creed, Falconer, several others above the group, beaming...

"There is nothing you can name...That is anything like our Bess!"

Creed, Falconer:

"Lots of things in life are beautiful but, brother, there is one particular thing that is in no way, shape, or form ...like any other.

There are no drinks like Bess! And no books like Bess! And nothing looks like Bess! And nothing acts like Bess! Or attracts like Bess!"

Coy smile from Bess...

All:

"There is nothing like our Bess!! Nothing in the world. There is nothing you can name that is anything like our Bess!!!"

"...And you say, Wayth, Batten actually suggested they soak the cloth and stretch it out the extra two inches? The low cad... Ah, here we are..." Sam pushes door.

All quiet, Bess, Creed, Falconer sitting...A number of men up at the front of the house nursing ales. One daring to look back at the demure Bess getting slapped upside of his fool head by his partner.

"You were long enough, Sam'l." Bess, slight frown...

"Ah, well, pressures of wartime, dearest. You had a nice time?"

"Very...Shall we be heading home, though?"

"Ay...Gentlemen?"

All remaining eye the departing group till door closes...

Quietly:

"There is nothing you can name that is anything...Anything...Anything like our Bess!!"

***

andy   Link to this

where I met Mrs. Ackworth alone at home, and God forgive me! what thoughts I had

evidently his balls have stopped hurting him, then

alanB   Link to this

'what a company of sad, idle people they are'

Could this be the modern use of 'sad' frequently used by out teenage daughter who picked it up from Sam? In fact, the sentence sounds as if she could be talking about some of her aquaintances (or even her parents!)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Thence, after staying and seeing the throng of people to attend the King to Chappell (but, Lord! what a company of sad, idle people they are)..."

Our plain-spoken man-of-the-people (uh-huh, about as much as Dr. Benjamin Franklin passing himself off as a "plain, simple American" a century later), a busy man of affairs (mostly business), adjusts his perriwig and brushes the latest new suit to comment on the lackeys chasing after the royals.

Of course it being a matter of perspective, we might ask just how close to this "sad,idle" company he was (proudly aloof...Or standing at the tail, jostling desperately for a view and a possible nod from Charlie?) and would he have turned down a polite offer by the King to attend him in the Chapel? Or was he, after fighting his way through to a spot where Charles might notice him, utterly ignored by the King and his entourage as they passed by and in?

jeannine   Link to this

"but, Lord! what a company of sad, idle people they are"... we are talking of Charles' court here so chances are that many of these attendants would be "sad, idle people" in Sam's eyes as many would have honorary titles, do very little actual work, get paid, gamble it away, drink too much, and maybe partake in a Libertine lifestyle. From one point of view Sam may be jealous that he isn't offered the same opportunity, and from another point of view he may feel that these people live pretty useless lives. Sam is a hard worker, highly motivated to get ahead and extremely desirous to improve himself. All you have to do is open and "gossip" type magazine today and see a lot of very wealthy, famous, etc. people who live pathetic lives and do nothing but party, get arrested for this and that, spend time in and out of detox, and buy expensive buy extravagant clothing, houses, parade about town with their 'arm candy' de jour, etc. Perhaps out linguistic friends could give us a better definition of "sad and idle" in this situation?

language hat   Link to this

"sad, idle people"

I'm guessing this is an early instance of the OED's definition 6 of "sad": "Deplorably bad; chiefly as an intensive qualifying terms of depreciation or censure." Their earliest citation is from 1694 (ECHARD Plautus 60, "I am the saddest shiftless creature upon earth"), so this would be an antedate.

cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Fresh green peas, not from the ice box, I presume, already shelled, shelling peas for that household kept the under maid busy telling stories for 30 minutes, that dothe bring back to me, me olde childhood of shelling and collanding, ah! pods be every where, but the taste of fresh green peas right out of the shell be so tasty ....
'...so a good supper of pease, the first I eat this year, and so to bed...."

Then the be seasons of a few weeks of fresh new vegatables and fruits, no mention of plums and raspberries. I wonder if the prune wasin favour of expediting the expunging of the inner man.

cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Every Hyde has some "...but, Lord! what a company of sad, idle people they are)..." most of the Alphas luv to have fawning sycophants, even knowing it be empty, it helps with the delusion of grand leadership.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Thank you for another lovely sketch, RG!

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

This observation "....(but, Lord! what a company of sad, idle people they are) ..." will fuel the future revolutions that will hit the 13 colonies along with the Pays that be in Carolus's title.
It be the case of Idle rich vs Idle poor.
your choice?

Kevin Peter   Link to this

"...with Mr. Wayth talking about the business of his supplying us with canvas, and he told me in discourse several instances of Sir W. Batten's cheats"

I wonder how much of Mr. Wayth was saying was valid bad behavior on Batten's part and how much was Mr. Wayth telling Sam what Sam wanted to hear in hopes of getting a contract. After all, Mr. Wayth is a merchant in search of nice contracts, and has enough reason to be feeding Sam biased information about Naval board rivals.

One should take information with a healthy amount of skepticism if the person telling it has something to gain. Many "financial advisors" have been guilty of this.

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