Wednesday 14 December 1664

Up, and after a while at the office, I abroad in several places, among others to my bookseller’s, and there spoke for several books against New Year’s day, I resolving to lay out about 7l. or 8l., God having given me some profit extraordinary of late; and bespoke also some plate, spoons, and forks. I pray God keep me from too great expenses, though these will still be pretty good money. Then to the ‘Change, and I home to dinner, where Creed and Mr. Caesar, my boy’s lute master, who plays indeed mighty finely, and after dinner I abroad, parting from Creed, and away to and fro, laying out or preparing for laying out more money, but I hope and resolve not to exceed therein, and to-night spoke for some fruit for the country for my father against Christmas, and where should I do it, but at the pretty woman’s, that used to stand at the doore in Fanchurch Streete, I having a mind to know her. So home, and late at my office, evening reckonings with Shergoll, hoping to get money by the business, and so away home to supper and to bed, not being very well through my taking cold of late, and so troubled with some wind.

17 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle"..."
(or send others)

William Coventry to Sandwich
Written from: [St James's]

Date: 14 December 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 281-282
Document type: Holograph

As the great difficulty of Spring time will be the getting of men, it might be well to send a ship to Bristol, to impress men where they can. The writer fears, however, "it will be very hard to persuade our Superiors to approve of the way of seizing men in the Churches. Since the Embargo seems harsh, that will seem more so". Communicates certain particulars to the officering and command of ships; and as to the progress, in Parliament, of votes of supply for the War. http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Hemp and Flax.

A Bill for Planting of Hemp and Flax was read the First time [in the H of C].

Resolved, &c. That this Bill be read the Second time on Friday Morning next, at Ten of the Clock.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Ding   Link to this

...and to-night spoke for some fruit for the country for my father against Christmas, and where should I do it, but at the pretty woman’s, that used to stand at the doore in Fanchurch Streete, I having a mind to know her.

Watch out who you pick as a customer young lady, some of them keep coming back for more!

cgs   Link to this

Fruit: it be imports, currents et al?
Still! girls still stand at a door enticing customers to have a bite to eat, food that be, just the lunch trade, menu in hand not a lemon or an orange.

Mary   Link to this

"though these will still be pretty good money"

This remark seems to be open to two, different interpretations. Either:

"Although I beg God not to allow me to be too extravagant, these are still going to cost me a pretty penny."

Or:

"I beg God not to allow me to be too extravagant and these (i.e. the plate and cutlery) will represent convertible goods that are as good as money. Hence not extravagant."

I favour the latter interpretation, but can see good arguments for each.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

“though these will still be pretty good money”

The second interpretation was the way I read the passage. However this is still rationalization for spending on luxury goods, see the entry of two months ago where SP realized, and laments, with his prized flagons how much the particular "form" was worth above the silver weight (bullion) value:-

"Coming home, weighed, my two silver flaggons at Stevens’s. They weigh 212 oz. 27 dwt., which is about 50l., at 5s. per oz., and then they judge the fashion to be worth above 5s. per oz. more — nay, some say 10s. an ounce the fashion. But I do not believe, but yet am sorry to see that the fashion is worth so much, and the silver come to no more."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/10/19/

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... evening reckonings with Shergoll, hoping to get money by the business, ..."

SP wanting a rake off on even the smallest of the office petty cash purchases!

AussieRene   Link to this

I wonder if Samuel has a mind to know the pretty woman in the biblical sense?

Cactus Wren   Link to this

My sympathies, Sam. I too have spent days of late to and fro, from the mall to Fry's to Borders to Antique Plaza, and then home and long upon Amazon and Ebay, laying out or preparing for laying out money against Christmas, and praying DOYC to keep me from too great expenses ...

Bradford   Link to this

"pretty good [value] for money" would be the standard phrase today. Might fresh imported fruit be available in London that would be a welcome rarity in the country? Come to think, still is.

language hat   Link to this

"pretty good money"

I disagree with the consensus; it seems clear to me that the meaning is “Although I beg God not to allow me to be too extravagant, these are still going to cost me a pretty penny.”

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I pray God keep me from too great expenses, though these will still be pretty good money."

It's the "though" that persuades me Pepys knows he's spending a lot, ergo I agree with LH.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

May we hope a few of these items will be gifts for poor Bess? A new novel, say? Plates, forks, spoons just don't quite do it, Sam.

"...spoke for some fruit for the country for my father against Christmas, and where should I do it, but at the pretty woman’s, that used to stand at the doore in Fanchurch Streete..." Treating Dad and himself at the same time, very economical in this most expensive of seasons.

***
Deptford...

"Mr. Turner..."

"Ah, Bagswell..."

"Bagwell, sir." Why do they all call me that? I get this strange feeling I'm the butt of some joke.

"Yes. Here about your promotion, I take it? You're a fortunate fellow. Mr. Pepys rarely takes so to a mere carpenter but he has certainly done well by you, boy."

As if I didn't know why...

"Uh, yes, sir. But I was wondering, sir...About my appointment about the Hector, sir."

"Yes, a fine ship."

"Yes. But, Mr. Turner. It's to make for the East Indies, sir. Not only a rather long trip but into the heart of the Dutch empire, sir."

"Lucky lad. Such adventure as awaits you. You'll have many a tale to tell Pepys'...er your...er, and your children."

"Yes, but to be away from my little Moll for so long, sir."

"Would you refuse Mr. Pepys' generousity, Bagwell? Rare a fellow like you gets such a chance you know. Ah, and here is good Capt Culter, your new commander. Captain, this is young Bagswell..."

"Bagwell, sir."

"Ah, Bagsgood. Yes...We should be off then."

"Off, Captain? But..."

"Tide and time, boy. Men, escort our new chief carpenter aboard."

"Sir?! Mr. Turner! But, my wife..."

"I'm sure Mr. Pepys will see she's well taken care of..." Turner calls.

Three years later...

"So I escaped from the Dutch prison after suffering numerous tortures and made my way home, sir. Only to find my wife apparently dead, my home taken and sold, a price placed on my head for 'desertion' though I served heroically till captured."

"Terrible, sir. And the author of such misfortune...?"

"I choose to blame my own naive innocence, sir. But I hope to recover a life for myself in a new profession, with the help of your recommendation, sir."

"Well, I will be glad to do what I can. And my brother-in-law is always looking for a good barber...But I wish you would let me take your story to him. He would be happy to help you find justice, I'm sure." Balty notes.

"Perhaps after I've gotten acquainted with him again, sir. I knew him slightly in the old days when I was of the Navy. Though I hope...I'm sure...He won't know me now. Given my fallen state, sir."

"Well...Whatever I can do for you I will. What name should I give, sir?"

"Todd, sir. Sweeney Todd, gentlemen's barber, sir. And tell Mr. Pepys, I can guarantee him the closest shave he's ever had.

DIANA   Link to this

Hay, Can anybody help please? Around this time in Pepys life did he have an assistant called Jean-luke or similar in sounding? He was around 21ys and was in love with one of the Queens Ladies in waiting? Cheers, Diana (AUS)

Nix   Link to this

Forks were quite a recent innovation in Samuel's day --

"The fork's arrival in northern Europe was more difficult. Its use was first described in English by Thomas Coryat in a volume of writings on his Italian travels (1611), but for many years it was viewed as an unmanly Italian affectation. Some writers of the Roman Catholic Church expressly disapproved of its use, seeing it as 'excessive delicacy': 'God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks — his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating.' It was not until the 18th century that the fork became commonly used in Great Britain. It was around this time that the curved fork used today was developed in Germany. The standard four-tine design became current in the early nineteenth century."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fork

Pedro   Link to this

"Forks were quite a recent innovation in Samuel’s day"

Some say that it was our Queene that introduced the use.

pepfie   Link to this

"I wonder if Samuel has a mind to know the pretty woman in the biblical sense?"

"...there did sport with her, without any knowledge of her though..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/07/18/

Log in to post an annotation.

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