Thursday 20 October 1664

Up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon my uncle Thomas came, dined with me, and received some money of me. Then I to my office, where I took in with me Bagwell’s wife, and there I caressed her, and find her every day more and more coming with good words and promises of getting her husband a place, which I will do. So we parted, and I to my Lord Sandwich at his lodgings, and after a little stay away with Mr. Cholmely to Fleete Streete; in the way he telling me that Tangier is like to be in a bad condition with this same Fitzgerald, he being a man of no honour, nor presence, nor little honesty, and endeavours: to raise the Irish and suppress the English interest there; and offend every body, and do nothing that I hear of well, which I am sorry for. Thence home, by the way taking two silver tumblers home, which I have bought, and so home, and there late busy at my office, and then home to supper and to bed.

18 Annotations

Lurker   Link to this

Can someone help me parse the second sentence there? I can't see where he separates what she's doing/saying and what he's replying to her.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Lurker, I think you're referring to the third sentence. My reading: Sam is offering the good words and the promises, and Mrs. Bagwell is more and more (forth-)coming (with her affections).

Bugs   Link to this

Are you telling me that our dear little Samuel is a creep.
The very worst sort of creep?????

Mary   Link to this

two silver tumblers

I'm willing to bet that these were comparatively unadorned and so represent relatively greater intrinsic value than the magnificent flagons that were valued yesterday.

andy   Link to this

...Bagwell’s wife, and there I caressed her, and find her every day more and more coming with good words and promises of getting her husband a place, which I will do

i.e. the more good words and promises, the more and more coming she is..

yes Bugs, I'm afraid our Sam'l is like that (at least according to his account, we have no other). What was Mrs B's point of view?

What is interesting though is that part of him is observing the transaction, as if he is testing the limit of how far she will go and if he really does have that power over her -whether out of personal interest or out of some experiment about human nature I do not know.

E   Link to this

Paul, I don't think we know that Mrs Bagwell's "affections" are involved -- or at least not those for anyone other than her husband.

jeannine   Link to this

Bagwell's wife and Mrs. Lane. Although these are 2 very different ladies what is intriguing about both is that they are interested in helping their husbands find work. Sam is a man in a position to find them a job. Where Mrs. Lane was 'open' to sexual involvement with Sam prior to being married, he seems to be blowing her off now that she has a husband of her choice (not his) and Sam doesn't seem to want to help her.The sex there didn't seem to be a trade off as it was before any request of employment and there weren't any real 'strings attached" except for the small purchases Sam made from her. With Mrs. Bagwell it could appear that Sam is starting to dangle the carrot before the horse (perhaps I'll find him a job)and my guess is he'll just keep that carrot out there until the horse is so desperate that it starts moving in the direction he wants.

How sad the state of women when they are out job hunting for their husbands and facing whatever 'trade-offs' would have to come along with the request. If there is a family to feed, or children to support, or just living expenses, it's a tough situation when you're the party solely relying on another party to bring home the bacon. Although many women did work in these times, after marriage it was often a different situation and they were expected to be home running the house and having children (like Elizabeth).

Bradford   Link to this

These transactions with the stronger sex seem vestiges of the barter economy.

After deploring how little two silver flagons would come to on the open market, Pepys adds two silver tumblers. Did he like the workmanship on these, or think it would match what he already has? Or is he verging on the dangerous ground of wanting handsome objects for their own intrinsic merit?

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Mrs. Lane and Bagwell's wife.

"Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind." Sir Thomas Wyatt

Another dimension to the dynamics cited by Jeannine is that while Mrs. Bagwell may be out gathering benefits for her husband and family, Sam may be trophy hunting. Mrs. Lane is already in the bag, so to speak. She has nothing new to trade for her husband's benefit. Mrs. Bagwell is a possible conquest not yet attained, and she seems to know how to play those cards. Sam is showing us the dear stalker at work. He's also giving us evidence that the casting couch was there long before the invention of movies.

I can't resist commenting on the appropriateness of Mrs. Bagwell's name. It is in keeping with the practice in Restoration comedy to give a name that describes a characteristic trait, as in William Wycherly's "The Country Wife," where the priapic Horner pretends to be impotent in order to seduce other men's wives, and where other characters are named Pinchwife, Fidget, and Squeamish. It is tempting to think Sam made it up in a moment of inspiration.

Pedro   Link to this

“Mr. Cholmely to Fleete Streete; in the way he telling me that Tangier is like to be in a bad condition with this same Fitzgerald, he being a man of no honour, nor presence, nor little honesty, and endeavours: to raise the Irish and suppress the English interest there; and offend every body, and do nothing that I hear of well, which I am sorry for.”

I think we can take it that the engineer does not like the soldier. But Sam, of course, will keep this to the confines of his Diary as Fitz is a favourite of the Duke of York!

Pedro   Link to this

“Then I to my office, where I took in with me Bagwell’s wife, and there I caressed her, and find her every day more and more coming with good words and promises of getting her husband a place, which I will do.”

Hard to see how the King will benefit from this business.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

E, I meant affections in the physical, not the emotional, sense.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Black as our hero appears, there is another villain pulling strings here. William Bagwell clearly is aware Sam likes his wife and is showing little compunction in pushing her forward. Sam may enjoy picturing himself as being in control of the situation but from at least Mr. Bagwell's pov he is likely the pigeon not the cat.

Nix   Link to this

I don't think it's fair to call Samuel a "creep" or a "villain" in sexual matters. (Same goes for calling his business practices "graft".) It is projecting our current standards onto an environment of very different social, sexual and economic standards, practices and expectations.

language hat   Link to this

I agree about the graft but I disagree about the sexual stuff. I think people then would have agreed he was being a jerk, except of course for the same sorts of "bros before hos" guys we are familiar with today. Adultery was pretty strongly condemned by society, more so than now.

Pedro   Link to this

John Evelyn on the 18th...

At Oxford. Went through Woodstock, where we beheld the destruction of that royal seat and park by the late rebels, and arrived that evening at Cornbury, a house lately built by the Earl of Denbigh, in the middle of a sweet park, walled with a dry wall.2 The house is of excellent freestone, abounding in that part, (a stone that is fine, but never sweats, or casts any damp); it is of ample dimensions, has goodly cellars, the paving of the hall admirable for its close laying. We designed a handsome chapel that was yet wanting: as Mr. May had the stables, which indeed are very fair, having set out the walks in the park and gardens. The lodge is a pretty solitude, and the ponds very convenient; the park well stored.

Pedro   Link to this

John Evelyn on the 20th...

Hence, to see the famous wells, natural and artificial grots and fountains, called Bushell's Wells, at Enstone.3 This Bushell had been Secretary to my Lord Verulam. It is an extraordinary solitude. There he had two mummies; a grot where he lay in a hammock, like an Indian. Hence, we went to Dichley, an ancient seat of OXFORD, the Lees, now Sir Henry Lee's; it is a low ancient timberhouse, with a pretty bowling-green. My Lady gave us an extraordinary dinner. This gentleman's mother was Countess of Rochester, who was also there, and Sir Walter St. John. There were some pictures of their ancestors, not ill painted; the great-grandfather had been Knight of the Garter; there was a picture of a Pope, and our Saviour's head. So we returned to Cornbury.

CGS   Link to this

"walled with a dry wall." stones only none of that putty or wet stuff. Oh! how a a pair of words can take on totally differing expectations.

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