Monday 24 July 1665

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] And then up and home, and there dressed myself, and by appointment to Deptford, to Sir G. Carteret’s, between six and seven o’clock, where I found him and my Lady almost ready, and by and by went over to the ferry, and took coach and six horses nobly for Dagenhams, himself and lady and their little daughter, Louisonne, and myself in the coach; where, when we come, we were bravely entertained and spent the day most pleasantly with the young ladies, and I so merry as never more. Only for want of sleep, and drinking of strong beer had a rheum in one of my eyes, which troubled me much. Here with great content all the day, as I think I ever passed a day in my life, because of the contentfulnesse of our errand, and the noblenesse of the company and our manner of going. But I find Mr. Carteret yet as backward almost in his caresses, as he was the first day. At night, about seven o’clock, took coach again; but, Lord! to see in what a pleasant humour Sir G. Carteret hath been both coming and going; so light, so fond, so merry, so boyish (so much content he takes in this business), it is one of the greatest wonders I ever saw in my mind. But once in serious discourse he did say that, if he knew his son to be a debauchee, as many and, most are now-a-days about the Court, he would tell it, and my Lady Jem. should not have him; and so enlarged both he and she about the baseness and looseness of the Court, and told several stories of the Duke of Monmouth, and Richmond, and some great person, my Lord of Ormond’s second son, married to a lady of extraordinary quality (fit and that might have been made a wife for the King himself), about six months since, that this great person hath given the pox to ––; and discoursed how much this would oblige the Kingdom if the King would banish some of these great persons publiquely from the Court, and wished it with all their hearts. We set out so late that it grew dark, so as we doubted the losing of our way; and a long time it was, or seemed, before we could get to the water-side, and that about eleven at night, where, when we come, all merry (only my eye troubled me, as I said), we found no ferryboat was there, nor no oares to carry us to Deptford. However, afterwards oares was called from the other side at Greenwich; but, when it come, a frolique, being mighty merry, took us, and there we would sleep all night in the coach in the Isle of Doggs. So we did, there being now with us my Lady Scott, and with great pleasure drew up the glasses, and slept till daylight, and then some victuals and wine being brought us, we ate a bit, and so up and took boat, merry as might be; and when come to Sir G. Carteret’s, there all to bed.

26 Annotations

Jesse   Link to this

"a frolique, being mighty merry, took us"

Some kind of 17th century Decameron going on here? Perhaps this is some type of social psychology on exhibit. Certainly it's a time of social and individual stress and this kind of an 'escape' may be symptomatic, especially among those who (have thus far) been spared direct effect. A more recent analogy might be the high life Hollywood movies produced during the Depression. Or just a coincidence?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Samuel's stamina continues to astound me...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I don't know if it's necessary to read too much into this one. High energy, good-hearted people having a good time had a little adventure and were big enough (as well as well supplied enough, what with the wine and food) to make light of a little trouble. Carteret and his Lady let their hair down and showed Pepys a little of their true feelings, probably in part as a way of showing their appreciation for his efforts. Certainly the tension in their world has an effect and this is doubtless a little release but what's happened is not at all unusual-I'd say most of us have had similiar little madcap nights.

jeannine   Link to this

"But once in serious discourse he did say that, if he knew his son to be a debauchee, as many and, most are now-a-days about the Court, he would tell it, and my Lady Jem. should not have him; and so enlarged both he and she about the baseness and looseness of the Court, and told several stories of the Duke of Monmouth, and Richmond, and some great person, my Lord of Ormond’s second son, married to a lady of extraordinary quality (fit and that might have been made a wife for the King himself), about six months since, that this great person hath given the pox to ———; and discoursed how much this would oblige the Kingdom if the King would banish some of these great persons publiquely from the Court, and wished it with all their hearts. "

I am a little confused here -who gave the pox to whom, etc.?? I know that Sir George was very straight laced and I do beleive that if his son was a libertine that he never would have allowed him to marry Sandwich's daughter, but I was a little lost along the way with the rest of the sentence.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

'Tis an ungainly sentence, jeannine, and is Wheatley's, since, as L&M remark, "Punctuation is almost non-existent in [Pepys's] original since the marks could be confused with shorthand." L&M have no ——— , and have periods where Wheatley had semi-colons, yielding four sentences.

"[W]ho gave the pox to whom, etc.??"

I read it as awkwardly reporting the accusation that "some great person" (my Lord of Ormond’s second son) infected his wife "about six months since."

CGS   Link to this

Mercury be popular.
No protection against quick pleasure against the long time punishment for indulging in courts favorite pastime.
George must have like the Bro Thom. Vincent's many warnings of impending doom, brought on by the ruling class.

The nameless Great person be nameless for leaving this well known lady with great need for the cure. It be sedition to or at least libelous to mention their names, she not being his legal bed mate. [ but every one but us know]

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"coach and six horses" today; a step up from yesterday's coach and four!

Linda F   Link to this

1. I, too, read the pox bit as Butler's having infected his bride, a lady of whom he was in every sense unworthy. How would such a subject have arisen? Are the Carterets suggesting to Sam, obliquely (because they are well bred and their very young daughter is present) but emphatically (because they find it a shame that he is known to openly consort with all sorts of women while married to a perfectly lovely girl of impeccable, if impecunious, family)?
2. The social psychology of dancing in the face of death: I fully agree that the extreme release that the Carterets, Montagues, and Sam all seem to have found in their merriment may well owe something to the extreme tension of plague, war, and God knows what else. In the worst of times the smallest of good things -- a slight breeze, sunshine, a flower, a child's smile -- shine more brightly and weigh more heavily than when we are surrounded by them. This marriage was a boon to them all, and in a bleak time.
3. I, too, continue to be amazed that Sam maintains the schedule and level of activity that he does without succumbing to plague or any number of illnesses.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

The pox

The bio notes on the "great person," Richard Butler, that Jeannine quoted from Grammont for us a couple of years ago, say that his wife Mary, Sam's "lady of extraordinary quality," died in 1667 at the age of eighteen. Do you suppose the poor thing died of the pox that her great husband bestowed upon her?

dirk   Link to this

From the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Henry Moore to Sandwich

Written from: London
Date: 24 July 1665

Communicates the progress of the arrangements for the marriage of Lady Jemima Montagu with Mr Philip Carteret.

Encloses a letter from France which he found awaiting him on reaching London. Adds that "the last £200" has been paid to M. Du Prat [Tutor in Paris of Lord Sandwich's sons, who are now "with all duty & readiness" about to return to England.]

tyndale   Link to this

A summary of today's Intelligencer:

From Newcastle: capture of a Dutch caper
From Hull: capture of another caper
Edinburgh: proclamation forbidding trade between Scotland and the infected parts of England; rumors that de Ruyter is operating to the north
Guilford: local wells placed under guard to prevent infected people from contaminating them, other plague measures
Ipswich: guns heard, town untouched by plague
Limburg: details of the Polish war
Hamburg: efforts to settle the Erfurt question (it won't accept the authority of the elector of Mainz); poor woman has prophetic vision
Danzig: Polish king struggles to pay his troops
Paris: how to dispose of "our great equippage" - some of it going to the Mediterranean
Brussels: death of the archduke of Innsbruck is a setback for the Empire; waiting to find out if de Ruyter has been defeated; Bishop of Munster's levies have given alarm to "our neighbors"; Dutch are considering sending some of the deputies (the equivalent of MPs) with the fleet, but the naval officers don't want to deal with them
Antwerp: no one knows what is going on with de Ruyter; talk about sendind De Witt himself aboard the fleet
Portsmouth: not much going on here
Norwich: minor stories about encounters with Dutch
Deal: guns hear; capture of a Dutch fly-boat
London: editorial urging the well-off who have fled the city to send some relief to the poor left behind

Nine advertisements: seven for plague preventitives, one for a book about the plague, one for a book by George Thompson on medical matters

Linda F   Link to this

Re: Lady Mary Lennox Butler, d. at the age of 18:
Or did the poor girl die of an attempted cure?

Ruben   Link to this

“[W]ho gave the pox to whom, etc.??”

In Samuel's days Pox was not only Tuberculosis but Syphilis, a disease you prefer not to mention in civilized conversation.
The young lady got this "pox" only by sexual contact, as everyone knew already (if the partner has a chancre in his lips you may get it from a kiss).
The disease was more virulent in Europe then than it is today, but still you can go the way of your ancestors if you do not take your antibiotics...

Mary   Link to this

The nature of the pox.

Where did tuberculosis enter the frame? Unless preceded by a prefixed qualifier (chickenpox, cowpox, smallpox) the term 'pox' (sometimes 'French pox') typically refers to a venereal disease, usually syphilis.

Ruben   Link to this

Pox
Of course Pox is not TBC! I am sorry if someone got mistaken by my annotation!

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

Spare a thought for the poor ferrymen, summoned across the river late at night only to be told "We are having a frolique and don't need you after all".

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Of course if this were from an old Dreyer film, the dead, plague-riddled bodies of our merry crew would "catch the ferry" the next day.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"L&M have no ——— , and have periods where Wheatley had semi-colons, yielding four sentences."

Terry, could you please supply this? I'd love to see their take on it. Thank you!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"Decameron"
Methinks some people are always hedonistic but it is more noticed during hard times.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Todd -

L&M have it thus:

"And so enlarged both he and she, about the baseness and looseness of the Court, and told several stories of the Duke of MonMouth and Richmond. And some great person (my Lord of Ormonds second son) married to a lady of extraordinary Quality (fit and that might have made a wife for the King himself) about six months since, that this great person hath given the pox to. And discoursed how much this would oblige the Kingdom if the King would banish some of these great persons publicly from the Court - and wished it with all their hearts."

CGS   Link to this

OED:Pox:

[Alteration of pocks, plural of POCK n.1 Compare earlier SMALL-POX n.
App. attested earlier as a surname:
1271 Close Rolls Henry III 423 Willelmo Poxe, civi London. 1273 in Cal. Patent Rolls Edward I (1901) I. 19 William Poxe.]

I. Senses relating to diseases characterized by pocks.

1. a. Any of several infectious diseases characterized by a rash of pustules (pocks), esp. smallpox, cowpox, and chickenpox. See also CHICKEN-POX n., COW-POX n., SMALL-POX n.
1476...
1650 in H. Cary Mem. Great Civil War (1832) II. 248 My lord's sizer and Mr. Adam's are sick of the pox; it is thought past the worst.

1684 tr. T. Bonet Guide Pract. Physician x. 356 Treacle is the best Alexiterick against the Pox

b. Syphilis. Freq. with distinguishing word, as French pox, great pox, etc.: see at first element.
1503 in N. H. Nicolas Privy Purse Expenses Elizabeth of York (1830) 105 A surgeon whiche heled him of the Frenche pox.

1529 in Ld. Herbert Henry VIII (1649) 267 The foule, and contagious Disease of the Great Pox.

1601 H. CLAPHAM Ælohim-triune xi, A third diuell whispers in the eares of some, And straight they slide to house of brothelrie: The pox, the vengeance, burning intrailes come Crying a loud.

1680 J. BUNYAN Life & Death Mr. Badman 105 There often follows this foul sin, the Foul Disease, now called by us the Pox. A disease so nauseous and stinking, so infectious to the whole body (and so intailed to this sin) that hardly are any common with unclean Women, but they have more or less a touch of it to their shame. .

c. Any of various diseases of domestic animals, esp. sheep, characterized by sores or scabs on the skin.
In sheep, these diseases may have included scab, orf, and sheep-pox.
1530

d. A vesicular and pustular rash caused by occupational exposure to antimony. Obs. rare.
1897

[< POX n. + DOCTOR n.]

colloq.

A doctor specializing in the treatment of venereal disease. got up like a pox doctor's clerk and variants: dressed smartly but in bad taste; overdressed. Also fig. rare before 20th cent.

1680 W. PETYT Britannia Languens viii. 134 We have also far more Physitians, men of Medicine and Quacks, especially Pox-Doctors than ever.

1720 G. CHEYNE Observ. Gout 39 The famous Pox-Doctor succeeds in some Cases, when mismanag'd Mercurial Treatments have fail'd.

Nix   Link to this

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry on Richard Butler says nothing about the pox, but observes:

"In character Arran was convivial and good-natured but of a somewhat indolent disposition. At court he displayed ‘a singular address in all kinds of exercises, played well at tennis and on the guitar, and was pretty successful in gallantry’ (Hamilton, 88). After his first wife's early death, by which he was much affected, he drank heavily for a time, but eventually recovered his self-control."

(The entry also says that he was the FIFTH son of Ormond, not the second -- could Samuel have been speaking of another, more debauched son?)

Carl in Boston   Link to this

A pox on both your houses
I take this pox topic brought up by Sir Carteret as saying his son is all right as a husband, though a little distant and stand offish at present. Look over yonder, at that Butler who was so lively and infected his wife with syphilis, most likely, so how about our purified George, who comes clean to the marriage bed. In that day and age, for a bride to be pure was a very great thing, but for the groom to be pure and free of all disease was positively astonishing. No wonder Sir Carteret brings up the topic, a little deep and furtive, but I'm sure his point was made.

tyndale   Link to this

Richard was the second-eldest of the sons who were still alive in 1665. Some of his older brothers died in infancy.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Thanks, Rex!

Frank J. Artusio   Link to this

Thank you, Carl. I sometimes get too caught up in what Pepys says to see what he or the person he is reporting means. On such a joyous occasion as this frolic in view of the impending marriage, Sir G. Carteret is attempting to turn the attention of his audience to his son's virtues. "Yes, we have all noticed that he is a bit awkward with women, but give him time! At least he's not spent himself, like some others we know..."

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