Thursday 21 July 1664

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, among other things making a contract with Sir W. Warren for almost 1000 Gottenburg masts, the biggest that ever was made in the Navy, and wholly of my compassing and a good one I hope it is for the King. Dined at Sir W. Batten’s, where I have not eat these many months. Sir G. Carteret, Mr. Coventry, Sir J. Minnes, and myself there only, and my Lady. A good venison pasty, and very merry, and pleasant I made myself with my Lady, and she as much to me. This morning to the office comes Nicholas Osborne, Mr. Gauden’s clerke, to desire of me what piece of plate I would choose to have a 100l., or thereabouts, bestowed upon me in, he having order to lay out so much; and, out of his freedom with me, do of himself come to make this question. I a great while urged my unwillingnesse to take any, not knowing how I could serve Mr. Gauden, but left it wholly to himself; so at noon I find brought home in fine leather cases, a pair of the noblest flaggons that ever I saw all the days of my life; whether I shall keepe them or no I cannot tell; for it is to oblige me to him in the business of the Tangier victualling, wherein I doubt I shall not; but glad I am to see that I shall be sure to get something on one side or other, have it which will: so, with a merry heart, I looked upon them, and locked them up. After dinner to [give] my Lord Chancellor a good account of his business, and he is very well pleased therewith, and carries himself with great discretion to me, without seeming over glad or beholding to me; and yet I know that he do think himself very well served by me. Thence to Westminster and to Mrs. Lane’s lodgings, to give her joy, and there suffered me to deal with her as I hoped to do, and by and by her husband comes, a sorry, simple fellow, and his letter to her which she proudly showed me a simple, nonsensical thing. A man of no discourse, and I fear married her to make a prize of, which he is mistaken in, and a sad wife I believe she will prove to him, for she urged me to appoint a time as soon as he is gone out of town to give her a meeting next week. So by water with a couple of cozens of Mrs. Lane’s, and set them down at Queenhive, and I through Bridge home, and there late at business, and so home to supper and to bed.

24 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

"it is to oblige me to him in the business of the Tangier victualling, wherein I doubt I shall not;"

"doubt" again surely means "suspect" here.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"A good venison pasty, and very merry, and pleasant I made myself with my Lady, and she as much to me."

So the days of encouraging saucy behavior by maids and wife to my Lady B are over? Hmmn...Sam beginning to develop more friendship for Batten as he starts to follow his course with the merchants?

Of course a good venison pasty is the way to a Pepysian heart...

***

I like Gauden's style...Nothing so crass as a glove full of coin.

John M   Link to this

Betty Lane

"and there suffered me to deal with her as I hoped to do"

Betty Lane is, because of her linen stall, a financially independant woman. Her relationship with Sam seems to be based on mutual attraction and enjoyment (I don't think the diary records any gifts or favours from Sam). So why has she married? Presumably it is nothing more than an insurance policy in case of pregnancy. But Betty is taking a tremendous risk because in law all of her property now becomes the property of her husband. Betty must have been confident in her ability to keep Martin in his place, therefore he probably was the dullard that Sam describes.

Betty seems such a larger than life character that I feel she must have had other 'gentleman friends' in addition to Sam.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"and I fear married her to make a prize of"
Trophy Wife?

cape henry   Link to this

A venison pasty, "a pair of the noblest flaggons that ever I saw all the days of my life," and a little dose of Mrs. Lane -- Pepys hits the trifecta!

cape henry   Link to this

"...and I fear married her to make a prize of, which he is mistaken in..." I think what Sam is saying here is that the new husband may imagine Mrs. Lane will support him and that he's certain she will not.

Xjy   Link to this

Some misjudgements of Betty, here, I think. She doesn't need an insurance policy so much as the status of marriage. Think "Wife of Bath". Betty as "prize" - I think Sam is thinking more of the dullard "showing her off" and basking in reflected glory. Support isn't an issue, I'm sure. Poor devil will probably be made to work his arse off in the business. The busier he is, the freer she is to do the strategic work - like meeting Sam to check on the state of his mast.

Seems I can already say I told you so after yesterday's entry and notes. :-)

Note the "Gottenburg" masts - biggest ever order, on Sam's advice, and it's the Baltic connection again. Sam deserves a chestful of silver and furs from Sweden!

Xjy   Link to this

Forgot to say, about "other gentleman friends", that Betty doubtless gets herself what she needs from what's on offer, but I doubt she has any friends that are as dear to her as Sammy. He has a special place in her heart, not just between her legs...

Interesting that she takes a dullard, though, while Sam takes one of the sharpest tacks in the box. The gender divide is so unbalanced that her energy and verve could easily by subverted even by a clod with a minimal spark of evil life (gambling, say). Sam on the other hand can be sure of keeping Bess in place with his masculine advantages (ie the terrible handicap she's under being female), his age and his profession.

andy   Link to this

suffered me to deal with her as I hoped to do

no risk of pregnancy there then?

JWB   Link to this

Imagine the " simple, nonsensical things" Mrs. Lane's couple of cousins had to say about him as Sam passed under the bridge after dropping them off.

JWB   Link to this

"...which she proudly showed me..."
Poignant on second reading. Simple never is. Sam's remark has recursive quality, self-referent. His mind's simply on one thing, and that one thing has all the simplicity of a Mandelbrot set.

Terry F   Link to this

"flaggons"

A late 16th century lidded Silver Flagon of circular, bulbous form, on splayed feet. The body decorated with a band containing enamelled medallions. The mark a Maltese Cross over a crescent. Continental.
http://www.bunrattycollection.com/search.php?i=...

Norwich silver flagon; cover missing; plain flagon with loop handle; presented by Tobias Dehem; made 1630-1631 ["plain" or very modern in design]
http://modesimages.norfolk.gov.uk/images/decart...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

London Flagon, bearing marks for 1676

http://www.artfund.org/artwork/5575/the-du-cane...

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

"maker's mark 'IR' a trefoil [three leaf as in clover]above, pellet below (an unknown female goldsmith)." from JR conn:
NB: the differing careers of the female species.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and his letter to her which she proudly showed me a simple, nonsensical thing."

Hope you were kind to her in her sentimental moment, Sam. For Betty it seems clear, it's the comradery of a witty, clever, rising man that's the attraction. She's fully aware it can't ever be more than that but Sam's friendship matters to her.

A shame Sam doesn't record more of his dialogues with Betty and others in his rounds. I think it's a pity we miss out to some extent on Sam's gift for connecting with the average fellow as well as pleasing the gentry since he prefers not to portray himself dealing with the lower orders on an intimate footing. While we see the genuine interest he shows in everyone and everything, he must have a knack for speaking to people like Betty in a sincere, enthused, and open way that wins them over. Perhaps a large part of his success is due to the fact that the clerks, yardworkers, sailors, and pursers feel they can talk to him as they can't talk to say, Batten or Minnes.

Mary   Link to this

Betty Lane/Martin.

Can we have found yet another possible origin for the English phrase "all my eye and Betty Martin"?

What's this I hear, Samuel, about you spending a suspicious amount of time at that linen draper's stall in Westminster while I've been away in the country?

What a silly tale, Elizabeth. That's all my eye!
(sotto voce) and Betty Martin.

Nix   Link to this

Just remember, Samuel -- the pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

While the chalice from the palace holds the brew that is true...

Australian Susan   Link to this

Suggested origin of "all my eye and Betty Martin"
http://www.bartleby.com/81/507.html
Probably not our Betty, then.

language hat   Link to this

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is a thoroughly unreliable source. Nobody knows the origin of "all my eye and Betty Martin," but it certainly has nothing to do with our Betty (not that Mary was seriously suggesting that).

Australian Susan   Link to this

Oh, LH! Brewer has been my constant companion for doing cryptic crosswords for years! Don't do down one of my favourite books! (lying tatty and forlorn in a forsaken bookcase - don't have time for crosswords at the moment) I wasn't being serious either by the way.

language hat   Link to this

Hey, I love Brewer -- I have two copies, a modernized one from the 1980s and a beat-up 1899 edition that's supposedly the one Joyce used while working on Finnegans Wake. It's a wonderful source for the cultural detritus of the last few centuries, and I can get lost in it for hours. It's just not a good place to go for etymology!

pepf   Link to this

Doch im Kelch mit dem Elch ist der Wein rein und fein...

pepf   Link to this

"...and pleasant I made myself with my Lady, and she as much to me."

Lady Elizabeth Carteret (link) is definitely better sport than Lady B.

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