Friday 27 January 1664/65

Called up by Mr. Creed to discourse about some Tangier business, and he gone I made me ready and found Jane Welsh, Mr. Jervas his mayde, come to tell me that she was gone from her master, and is resolved to stick to this sweetheart of hers, one Harbing (a very sorry little fellow, and poor), which I did in a word or two endeavour to dissuade her from, but being unwilling to keep her long at my house, I sent her away and by and by followed her to the Exchange, and thence led her about down to the 3 Cranes, and there took boat for the Falcon, and at a house looking into the fields there took up and sat an hour or two talking and discoursing … Thence having endeavoured to make her think of making herself happy by staying out her time with her master and other counsels, but she told me she could not do it, for it was her fortune to have this man, though she did believe it would be to her ruine, which is a strange, stupid thing, to a fellow of no kind of worth in the world and a beggar to boot. Thence away to boat again and landed her at the Three Cranes again, and I to the Bridge, and so home, and after shifting myself, being dirty, I to the ‘Change, and thence to Mr. Povy’s and there dined, and thence with him and Creed to my Lord Bellasses’, and there debated a great while how to put things in order against his going, and so with my Lord in his coach to White Hall, and with him to my Lord Duke of Albemarle, finding him at cards. After a few dull words or two, I away to White Hall again, and there delivered a letter to the Duke of Yorke about our Navy business, and thence walked up and down in the gallery, talking with Mr. Slingsby, who is a very ingenious person, about the Mint and coynage of money. Among other things, he argues that there being 700,000l. coined in the Rump time, and by all the Treasurers of that time, it being their opinion that the Rump money was in all payments, one with another, about a tenth part of all their money. Then, says he, to my question, the nearest guess we can make is, that the money passing up and down in business is 7,000,000l.. To another question of mine he made me fully understand that the old law of prohibiting bullion to be exported, is, and ever was a folly and an injury, rather than good. Arguing thus, that if the exportations exceed importations, then the balance must be brought home in money, which, when our merchants know cannot be carried out again, they will forbear to bring home in money, but let it lie abroad for trade, or keepe in foreign banks: or if our importations exceed our exportations, then, to keepe credit, the merchants will and must find ways of carrying out money by stealth, which is a most easy thing to do, and is every where done; and therefore the law against it signifies nothing in the world. Besides, that it is seen, that where money is free, there is great plenty; where it is restrained, as here, there is a great want, as in Spayne. These and many other fine discourses I had from him. Thence by coach home (to see Sir J. Minnes first), who is still sick, and I doubt worse than he seems to be. Mrs. Turner here took me into her closet, and there did give me a glass of most pure water, and shewed me her Rocke, which indeed is a very noble thing but a very bawble. So away to my office, where late, busy, and then home to supper and to bed.

42 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"he made me fully understand that the old law of prohibiting bullion to be exported, is, and ever was a folly and an injury, rather than good."

Also see the account and discussion of the comparative finances of nations and mercantilism in the entry of 29 February last (1663/64): "Sir Phillip Warwick....showed the a very excellent argument to prove, that our importing lesse than we export, do not impoverish the kingdom, according to the received opinion: which, though it be a paradox, and that I do not remember the argument, yet methought there was a great deale in what he said."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... she told me she could not do it, for it was her fortune to have this man, though she did believe it would be to her ruine, which is a strange, stupid thing, to a fellow of no kind of worth in the world and a beggar to boot."

Might there have been a similar dialog in 1665 with a fourteen year old Elizabeth St. Michel about one SP?

Patricia  •  Link

Day after day I keep wondering at the odd office hours Sam keeps...if he just kept his nose to his workbooks, instead of larking off in boats with other people's maydes, or popping in to see this friend and that one (and Mrs. Turner's Rocke—?!? ), then maybe he wouldn't have to work at the office so late and do so much writing by candlelight, thus ruining his eyesight and depriving us of his diary much sooner than we will be willing to give up reading it.

Martha Wishart  •  Link

Gee, and I thought all along that Milton Friedman invented monetary theory in the 1940's!

Margaret  •  Link

Henry Slingsby sounds like a very smart fellow. He's right when he says that government controls over exports & imports just screw things up and lead to people breaking the laws. I remember visiting India in the 1970s: everywhere I went, sleazy-looking types would ask "change money? change money?" -- offering, of course, rates much higher than the Indian government permitted.

Of course, many other countries do the same, some to the extent that their currency is completely valueless outside their own borders.

Margaret  •  Link

Michael--You're right. I wish we had some way of knowing what Elizabeth's family felt about their daughter running off with a tailor's son. I also wish we knew what the Pepys family felt.

cgs  •  Link

Samuell had to shift for 'imself, having some dirty linen, I wonder why? was it just the dirty ruts, or was it about his rutting?
The Inquiring mind of the sociologist wants to know?

He does seem not to want the hired help informing the Mistress of the House of Pepys, the state of his clothing, if it were just good old mud and soaking clothing , what would be the problem, he would get lots of sympathy from one and all, so suspicious minds work over time.

cgs  •  Link

Work hours; only those that be hired by the hour should work by the hour , if thee be hired to get things done the hours are not the problem, get task done, by the time thee made thy promise. Put the necessary time in to get the task finished.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Can someone with L&M fill in the ellipsis in Sam's conversation with Jane?

Margaret  •  Link

I don't have L&M, but according to Tomalin, she: "would not laisser me faire l'autre thing, though I did what I pouvais to have got her a me laisser."
What came before that quote was probably some heavy petting. I'm sure someone can fill us in.

Bryan M  •  Link

From the revised M&L:

"...and sat an hour or two talking and discoursing. On arriving Jane enquired "Oh Mr Pepys, are you truly happy to see me or is that just a hare's foot in your pocket?"

Mary  •  Link

the missing dalliance.

"..... and discoursing and faisant ce que je voudrais quant a la toucher: but she would not laisser me faire l'autre thing, though I did what I pouvais to have got her a me le laisser. But I did enough to faire grand plaisir a moy-meme."

trans: and discoursing and doing what I wanted in so far as touching her: but she would not allow me to do the other thing, though I did what I could to have got her to let me do it. But I did enough to give myself great pleasure.

In other words, Jane was prepared to put up with a bit of pawing and fumbling, but she wasn't about to allow Sam to go all the way. Small wonder that Sam needed to change is clothes when he got home; up to two hours indulging in heavy petting in the fields (we've had a bit of a thaw, remember) with an outcome of 'great pleasure' might well lead to the necessity of changing one's clothes.

Pedro  •  Link

"to boot"

Still a much used expression. Anyone with OED known the origins?

Martin  •  Link

Summarizing from the OED, 'boot' once had the meaning of 'good, advantage, profit, use'. (You may have come across 'no boot' meaning 'no good outcome'.) 'to boot' -- the earliest quotation is from around 1000 CE -- therefore means something like 'to the good', 'into the bargain' (i.e, 'in a positive direction'). Directly comparable to the French 'd'avantage'.

Australian Susan  •  Link

So, is this linked with "booty" ?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"would not laisser me faire l'autre thing"
I can immagine Sam singing to Jane Welsh:"When somebody loves you it's no good unless he loves you, all the way" "

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... here took me into her closet, and there did give me a glass of most pure water, and shewed me her Rocke, which indeed is a very noble thing but a very bawble."

For a discussion of "cabinets of curiosities" of the day see:-

The Tradescant's were the most famous collectors of the day and published a collection cataloge 'Musaeum Tradescantianum' (1656), the first work of this type to be published in Britain. There is much more on the right side links about the Tradescant's and the survival and current display of the remains of the collection.

Also, with additional links:-
For John Tradescant the Younger (1608 – 1662)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Interesting that Jane confides in Sam so much...Is it perhaps his eager interest in everything and his communicator skills that give him his (modest) success in skirt-chasing? Perhaps in fact most ladies regard him with an amused '"mostly harmless" but generally good listener' attitude?


The Rock sounds like some kind of local wonder...A meteorite, perhaps?

Ruben  •  Link

Elizabeth got married to a young fellow that learnt at Magdalene College, that was employed by a very important person, Sir Mountagu, that had some family connection with Samuel. He offered Elizabeth a room in Mountagu's place, something he could have done only with his Lord's agreement.
Not the best bridegroom in town, but who was she to wait for another man?
We will never know for sure, but maybe he was a nice fellow, after all. May be people liked him. May be he could impress others with his good English, Latin, French, and most of all his acumen in business and social matters. May be he was good in sexual matters, and the females around him felt this, his "interest", specially if she was young too and exploding with hormones. May be many ladies were ready to show him their Rocks in their private cabinets, if only his social position was better...

And then the security of working for Mountagu. Remember that Pepys could have had Creede's life, and that was not a bad deal for someone from his extraction.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

"for it was her fortune to have this man"

Jayne evidently thinks, or convinces Sam, that she is fated or destined to partner this unsuitable man, so there is no escape - a not uncommon theme in love stories with sad endings. A few entries ago Sam wrote "I know not how their fortunes may agree" about the proposed match between Mr Hill and Betty Pickering. At the time I took "fortunes may agree" to mean that he was concerned that they come from similar economic backgrounds, but perhaps he was really speaking horoscopically. Some cultures have set, and do set, a great deal of store by drawing up horoscopes of potential partners to confirm, or not, their compatability. Was this a feature of 17th century English society?

Mary  •  Link

that 'rocke'

L&M suggest that it may have been a distaff, or possibly rock-work made of shells. Certainly OED says that the term 'distaff' could be used for the 'rock' or staff of a hand spinning-wheel upon which the flax to be spun is placed.

I wonder whether it might not have been a geode, with pretty crystals in its interior. Decorative but useless and so capable of being dismissed as a bauble.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

When I first glanced over this entry, I was very struck by how it read like an episode from *The Great Gatsby*: the dramatic center is Pepys's passage -- marked symbolically by the Bridge and a change of garb -- from the tawdry socio-sexual underbelly of London (rather than New Yprk City) to its socio-political heights -- Messieurs Povey and Creed, Lords Bellasses and Sandwich, the Dukes of Albemarle and York, and Mr. Slingsby of the Royal Mint -- the whole bracketed by the contrasting personae of Jane Welsh and Mrs. Elizabeth Turner.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Great note, Terry. You hit the nail on the head for this entry. We are reminded again what a brilliant natural dramatist our Sam is.

dirk  •  Link

"she told me she could not do it, for it was her fortune to have this man, though she did believe it would be to her ruine"

I can't help thinking there's something more to this - as if Jane feels "forced" in some way, by some "external power" to take this Harbing. She uses the word "fortune" in this context (or rather Sam tells us she used that word), which reminds me of fortune tellers and the like - though admittedly the 17th century usage of this word did not have these implications. I still think it's likely that some kind of superstition (St. Agnes' Eve?) is at the basis of this?

Cf. 20 Jan.

cape henry  •  Link

"...that where money is free..." This whole passage is such an excellent exposition on the fungible nature of money and a great picture in a few words of the state of the general knowledge of basic economics at the time. Pepys once again demonstrates his keenness in matters that interest him.

['booty' is out of the German meaning 'treasure' or 'prize' and generally one that is taken.]

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary today:

"Dined at the Lo. Chancellor's, who caused me after dinner to sit 2 or 3 houres alone with him in his bedchamber."

A curious entry. In other times this might have been interpreted quite differently...

Pedro  •  Link

"a feature of 17th century English society?"

In the coming months the plague and the comet may produce something on the feature of astrology in 17C life, if not from Sam then from other sources, being on topic of course.

Pedro  •  Link

“made me fully understand that the old law of prohibiting bullion to be exported, is, and ever was a folly and an injury, rather than good.”

“In 1662 the Treasury introduced new coins with milled edges…but the move only served to exacerbate the problem, because the authorities in London had not taken the precaution of withdrawing the old currency as they introduced the new. Unscrupulous moneyers and goldsmiths (of which there were many) had secreted the new coins out of circulation, melted them down and sold them as bullion in Holland and other parts of the continent where metal commanded a higher price than set by the Treasury.”

(Isaac Newton the Last Sorcerer by M White)

Ralph Berry  •  Link

Daily reading the diary and then following the commentaries certainly beats Coronation Street.

I note Patricia's comment about the odd working hours and galavanting around but it would not be nearly as interesting if Sam had been the regular office hours type.

However as a fairly new reader could someone please fill me in on what is "L&M"? Also a "M&L" has been nentioned or is this just a typo? Mny thanks.

dirk  •  Link

The most complete version of the diaries is only available in book form, by Robert Latham and William Matthews (often abbreviated to “L&M” on this site), published in the 1970s. There are nine volumes of the diary (with extensive footnotes), a companion volume of background information and an exhaustive index to the entire diary.

The version used on this site (for copyright reasons) is the 1893 edition of the diary edited by Henry B. Wheatley. This is an "edited" (in the Victorian meaning of the word) version of the diary and it misses some of de more colourful ("indecent") passages.

It is available free from Project Gutenberg as a single file:

Pedro  •  Link

“Also a “M&L” has been mentioned”

Sometimes we are allowed a little humour, as in this reversal.

Ralph Berry  •  Link

Thank you dirk & Pedro, the more one reads of Sam's diary the more fascinating he becomes.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Astrology/Astronomy were still blended in those days. Having your horoscope cast to find a good day to do something or if your course of action was correct was commonplace. If we scoff nowadays, well, take a look around any newsagents and there are numerous magazines devoted to astrology, wicca, numerology, psychic matters, crystals etc. And it is/was linked with Christianity in such things as 13 being an unlucky number (persons at the Last Supper), and Friday being an unlucky day with Friday the 13ths being the worst. So I think that Jane W means an astrologically driven destiny when she refers to it being her "fortune" to marry this man. cf "written in the stars" - the signs of the Zodiac were constellations which were used in defining calendars in ancient times - except that after a while calculation and observations slipped out of true because earth going round sun (or sun round earth as they thought) didn't conform to an exact number of days. See The Oxford Companion to the Year by Blackburn & Holford-Strevens for more information about calendars and time than you could possibly imagine! Amazon ref:

CGS  •  Link

Here in Modern US of A there be no 13th floor or 13th street, This scientific country.

rob  •  Link

Just reading "The Weaker Vessel" by Antonia Fraser. A fat softcover dealing with womens lot in 17th century Britain.

As you can imagin there are numerous references to the Diary.

As for marrying out of love instead of marrying for economic reasons, this was regarded in Pepys' time as rather exotic and not something to tell the world if not something to be thoroughly ashamed of. Antonia Fraser gives a number of examples from all the socal classes of how this was perceived by relatives and bystanders.

I can imagine that Jane had need of a sympathetic ear and Sam is usually a keen listener with, for the time, a fairly open mind (and wandering hands...)

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"Small wonder that Sam needed to change is clothes when he got home; up to two hours indulging in heavy petting in the fields (we’ve had a bit of a thaw, remember) with an outcome of ‘great pleasure’ might well lead to the necessity of changing one’s clothes."

I have no idea you're right that Sam's "great pleasure" was the principal reason his "being dirty," but it doesn't look like they were dallying in the fields: "... at a house looking into the fields there took up..."

Mary  •  Link

those fields.

You're quite right, JTK; I had inadvertently transposed their dalliance from the house to the open air.

CGS  •  Link

I may babble too much but disdaff and rocke and bawble did make me want to play with OED:
"...Mrs. Turner here took me into her closet, and there did give me a glass of most pure water, and shewed me her Rocke, which indeed is a very noble thing but a very bawble...."

Distaff a weaving machine also known as a rocke a device that goes back and forth as weaver dothe, Bawbel[ Baubel] a play thing , or and idiots device
\Baw"ble\, n. A trinket. See Bauble.

1. An instrument consisting of a stick with a mass of lead fixed or suspended at one end, used for weighing, and apparently for other purposes. Forms: babyll(e, babulle, 5-6 bable. Obs.
The Catholicon explains Pegma, ‘baculus cum massa plumbi in summitate pendente, et, ut dicit Cornutus, tali baculo scenici ludebant.’ The Ortus Voc. explains Librilla, ‘instrumentum librandi, idem est percutiendi lapides in castra, i. mangonus, a bable, or a dogge malyote.’ It is not easy to say in which of these senses pegma and librilla corresponded to ‘bable.’

. A child's plaything or toy. (Now obs., except as coloured by 3, 4). Forms: 4 babel, 5 babulle, 6 babyl, babell, 6-7 bable, 7-8 bawble, 7- bauble (first in Shakes. Folio 1623).
1596 SHAKES. Tam. Shr. IV. iii. 82 Paltrie cap..a bauble, a silken pie. 1621 BURTON Anat. Mel. II. iii. II (1651) 315 Coats of armes..and such like bables.

4. A baton or stick, surmounted by a fantastically carved head with asses' ears, carried by the Court Fool or jester of former days as a mock emblem of office. Forms: 4 babulle, 5-6 babel, babyll, 6-7 bable, 7- bauble, (first in Shakes. Folio 1623).
1653 S. MEWCE in Hatton Corr. (1878) [Cromwell] then comanded that bable to bee taken awaye. a1676 WHITELOCKE Mem. (Bute MS.), He bid one of his soldiers take away that fooles bable, the Mace.
5. In various transf. or fig. senses (from 2, 3, coloured by 4): a. A childish or foolish matter or affair; a piece of childish foolery.

c. ‘A mere toy’; applied to a machine, etc., considered too small or weak for actual work. Obs.

thus I surmise it be a children's spinning wheel , a toy for weaving stories to Samuell?

1. A distaff. Now arch. or Hist
1519 W. HORMAN Vulg. 237b, A rocke or a distaffe lade with flexe or wolle.

1553 T. WILSON Rhet. 80b, When wilt thou come to my house, swete wenche, with thy rocke and thy spindle?

1607 B. JONSON Entertainm. at Theobalds 32 The three Parcæ,..the one holding the rock, the other the spindle, and the third the sheeres.

a1687 H. MORE Cont. Remark. Stories (1689) 424 Once as Alice sat spinning, the Rock or Distaff leapt several times out of the wheel.

. A distaff together with the wool or flax attached to it; the quantity of wool or flax placed on a distaff for spinning.
1615 CHAPMAN Odyssey VI. 77 Her [the] fire, who had to spin A rock, whose tincture with sea-purple shin'd.

1648 HEXHAM II, Een Rocke, ofte rocksel, a Rock of yarne, or the yarne hanging on the Rock.

1735 in Heslop Northumbld. Gloss. s.v., Now it will be twelve o'clock And more; for I've spun off my rock.

Harvey  •  Link

Cape Henry writes "... a great picture in a few words of the state of the general knowledge of basic economics at the time...."

Yes indeed, and not just at that time. Govt controls on capital movements are still just as damaging, and for the same reasons.

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