Sunday 18 September 1664

(Lord’s day). Up and to church all of us. At noon comes Anthony and W. Joyce (their wives being in the country with my father) and dined with me very merry as I can be in such company. After dinner walked to Westminster (tiring them by the way, and so left them, Anthony in Cheapside and the other in the Strand), and there spent all the afternoon in the Cloysters as I had agreed with Jane Welsh, but she came not, which vexed me, staying till 5 o’clock, and then walked homeward, and by coach to the old Exchange, and thence to my aunt Wight’s, and invited her and my uncle to supper, and so home, and by and by they came, and we eat a brave barrel of oysters Mr. Povy sent me this morning, and very merry at supper, and so to prayers and to bed. Last night it seems my aunt Wight did send my wife a new scarfe, laced, as a token for her many givings to her. It is true now and then we give them some toys, as oranges , &c., but my aime is to get myself something more from my uncle’s favour than this.

14 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

"my aime is to get myself something more from my uncle's favour than this."

You could have loaned him your wife, since he is sure his childlessness is not HIS fault. But, no; and so he's much involved with his closer kin, who might get all his wealth, unless you can get his friend Iudoco Maes a friendly legal break.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Jane does it again... I suppose one must in a way give Sam credit for his dogged, if rather dense, persistence. Does it stem from unflagging egotism?...No mere barber's assistant could resist the incredible charms of the Clerk of the Acts. Or a touchingly innocent credulity?...Jane is so open and sweet, she would never jerk me around. Anyway, lets see if he goes for it again.

"But Mr. P, I hads to stay. Mr. J was lookin' at me funny after I saids I was going walking out this afternoon and vowed to find out who the feller was.

Next Sunday, I swears." Hand on heart, brilliantly repressed giggle.

"Well..."

"Mr. P, don't take on with a poor girl. Next Sunday, betweens 3 and 4? But this time out of the city, say four or five miles?"

"Four or...?"

"Mr. P." solemn look. "A lass alone must keep from the prying eyes. And it's best for you too, sir. Your name and all."

"Well..."

Coy look overcomes all..."See you then, Mr. P."

Like hell, you little...Smiling to the trudging figure.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"It is true now and then we give them some toys, as oranges , &c., but my aime is to get myself something more from my uncle's favour than this."

Be careful what you wish for, Sam...

"You see, Nephew...You wish a share in my estate, yet you will not share your wife. Hardly equitable, sir. No, I fear we cannot do business along such lines. Good day, Nephew."

"But Uncle! I spoke to Bess...And she walked. Left me."

"Did you? Well...Most unfortunate, for you. Sounds as though you failed to put the matter properly, Samuel...Delicacy is crucial, Nephew. A great pity. Good day, Nephew."

"Well...Well...I...I could wear a dress! I nearly played the woman's role once."

Hmmn...Wight gives careful once-over, followed by solemn shake of head.

"No, sir. No, not quite what I was seeking. Though I do give you credit for your willingness to go all out in the matter. Do let me know if your dear wife should return. Good day, Nephew."

***

cape henry   Link to this

"...there spent all the afternoon in the Cloysters as I had agreed with Jane Welsh..." Tapping a foot, no doubt.

cape henry   Link to this

"...there spent all the afternoon in the Cloysters as I had agreed with Jane Welsh..." Tapping a foot, no doubt.

Patricia   Link to this

All that walking Sam does every day, from one end of London to the other, has finally paid off in an unexpected manner: "After dinner walked to Westminster (tiring them by the way, and so left them, Anthony in Cheapside and the other in the Strand)..." Ha! they couldn't keep up with him!

Australian Susan   Link to this

Sam seems to have taken a risk here - surely he could not have been sure, the Joyces would get too weary in the walk to Westminster and he would then have been stuck with them in his would-be lecherous encounter. But, all was for naught and he was let down again by JaneW who seems to know her powers of dangling Sam very well indeed.
We also have an insight into the culture of present giving and expectation: Sam mentions the scarf for a second day. It is obviously much on his mind - he admits here that it is "laced" - a superior item - but this action has thrown him out in his calculations of mutual obligations. The Wights have been given small gifts ("toys" - this word did not then just mean things given to children for their amusement) and now Sam finds that the reciprocity is to be a fine piece of female adornment, not a change in the family will. So does Sam have to up the ante and give a substantial gift? To somehow convey what he expects without being explicit? We shall see. Sam is very sensitive to gifts and their cultural weight. We have seen him feeling wounded pride when he goes to a christening with a rich gift only to find he has not the right of naming the child, so he keeps his gift. Similarly, he is fussy about whether he gets white gloves or not at christenings and the giving of mourning rings at funerals was also something carefully judged in that society - who was in, who was out, who was snubbed, who was favoured. A complex social dance, which Sam is at pains to learn the rules of, just as he learnt real as opposed to metaphorical dancing as part of his clambering up the rungs of the social ladder.

JWB   Link to this

oranges

Orange Moll, Nell Gywn and here Elizabeth Pepys. I think we see evidence of what a taste of the fruit in those vitamin deficient days does to a man, be it the King or Uncle Wight; and, by this pursuit of Jane W., it appears Sam's taken a slice or two.

Cum grano salis   Link to this

Carpe diem is a phrase from a Latin poem by Horace (Odes 1.11). It is popularly translated as seize the day, although a more literal translation of "carpe" would be "pluck" (pluck the day), as in the picking or plucking of fruit.

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi Leuconoe,
don't ask -- it's dangerous to know --

finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios
what end the gods will give me or you.
Don't play with Babylonian

temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. fortune-telling either. Better just deal with whatever comes your way.

seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, Whether you'll see several more winters or whether the last one
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare Jupiter gives you is the one even now pelting the rocks on the shore with the waves

Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi of the Tyrrhenian sea--be smart, drink your wine. Scale back your long hopes

spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida to a short period. Even as we speak, envious time

aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero. is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future.

Holt Parker   Link to this

Brave:
OED 3b:
3. loosely, as a general epithet of admiration or praise: Worthy, excellent, good, 'capital', 'fine', 'famous', etc.; 'an indeterminate word, used to express the superabundance of any valuable quality in men or things' (J.). arch. (Cf. BRAW a.)

b. of things.

1577 J. NORTHBROOKE Dicing (1843) 102 Nowe are the braue and golden dayes. 1599 SHAKES. Much Ado V. iv. 130 Ile deuise thee braue punishments for him. 1605 Lear III. ii. 79 This is a braue night to coole a Curtizan. 1653 WALTON Angler 104 We wil make a brave Breakfast with a piece of powdered Bief.

Xjy   Link to this

Horace's poem is in a metre called the (fifth) Asclepiad. Basically a series of dum-di-di-dum's.

Tu ne / quae-si-e-ris / sci-re ne-fas / quem mi-hi quem / ti-bi

Dum dum / dum-di-di-dum / dum-di-di-dum / dum-di-di-dum / di-da

and so on. Once you get into, it has a great swing to it, a bit like Beethoven's 7th.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

He could not have been sure the Joyces would get too weary in the walk to Westminster

Sam's ego, as R Gertz surmises, seems to be hard at work today. A sure way to break up a pleasant stroll is to set a very brisk pace that you have reason to believe your companions can't sustain. It didn't take long for the Joyces to decide they weren't enjoying the walk. I can just hear Sam bullying them, saying (as he strides out at a pace of 140 to the minute) "Breathe deep. Every breath is a penny in the bank of health."

Bradford   Link to this

Aus. Susan's astute observations on the Language of Gifts makes one think how these social signifiers change from country to country and era to era, but always crop up again in some form. One thinks of elevated men and women in eleventh-century Heian Japan, as depicted in Murasaki Shikibu's "The Tale of Genji," where one was judged not only on the quality of one's correspondence via haiku, but the penmanship and paper on which it was sent. Likewise, think of the currently unsettled state of e-mail etiquette, where the wrong click or a joke not evident from mere type alone can get you into plenty of interpersonal trouble, both personally and businesswise.

Cum grano salis   Link to this

So many ways to get rid of chaff from good grain, depending on ones own expertise, to show that thee be head and shoulders above the hoi polloi, the run of the mill,.
birds of a feather etc.,

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