Monday 14 August 1665

Up, and my mind being at mighty ease from the dispatch of my business so much yesterday, I down to Deptford to Sir G. Carteret, where with him a great while, and a great deale of private talke concerning my Lord Sandwich’s and his matters, and chiefly of the latter, I giving him great deale of advice about the necessity of his having caution concerning Fenn, and the many ways there are of his being abused by any man in his place, and why he should not bring his son in to look after his business, and more, to be a Commissioner of the Navy, which he listened to and liked, and told me how much the King was his good Master, and was sure not to deny him that or any thing else greater than that, and I find him a very cunning man, whatever at other times he seems to be, and among other things he told me he was not for the fanfaroone to make a show with a great title, as he might have had long since, but the main thing to get an estate; and another thing, speaking of minding of business, “By God,” says he, “I will and have already almost brought it to that pass, that the King shall not be able to whip a cat, but I must be at the tayle of it.” Meaning so necessary he is, and the King and my Lord Treasurer and all do confess it; which, while I mind my business, is my own case in this office of the Navy, and I hope shall be more, if God give me life and health. Thence by agreement to Sir J. Minnes’s lodgings, where I found my Lord Bruncker, and so by water to the ferry, and there took Sir W. Batten’s coach that was sent for us, and to Sir W. Batten’s, where very merry, good cheer, and up and down the garden with great content to me, and, after dinner, beat Captain Cocke at billiards, won about 8s. of him and my Lord Bruncker. So in the evening after, much pleasure back again and I by water to Woolwich, where supped with my wife, and then to bed betimes, because of rising to-morrow at four of the clock in order to the going out with Sir G. Carteret toward Cranborne to my Lord Hinchingbrooke in his way to Court. This night I did present my wife with the dyamond ring, awhile since given me by Mr. Dicke Vines’s brother, for helping him to be a purser, valued at about 10l., the first thing of that nature I did ever give her. Great fears we have that the plague will be a great Bill this weeke.

15 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"'the King shall not be able to whip a cat, but I must be at the tayle of it.'"

Is this cat the "cat-o'-nine-tails: a whip with nine knotted cords; 'British sailors feared the cat'"?
http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=cat

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Mousie gets a diamond
Elizabeth gets a ring, the first of this nature, and Sam is keeping her safe from the plague while he carries on in the midst of the storm. She must be pretty happy with him, all things known as she probably does and properly considered .

CGS   Link to this

There be monies in Cheshire cheese.{ I've yet to see skinney quarter master or purser}
"...since given me by Mr. Dicke Vines’s brother, for helping him to be a purser, valued at about 10l., the first thing of that nature I did ever give her...."

10 quid; 40 % of his wage when he be in his attic. Bess will appreciate that glass cutting instrument.[ 10 gold pieces, at todays price 40 thou. smackers.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Consolation prize of one diamond ring goes to Bess Pepys. Likely in part for missing the wedding of the decade and in part for Mrs. Bagwell...Possibly even for her anxiety over his safety.

Carl, I think she doesn't know...She hears things, fears the worst, realizes it in her heart, but doesn't ask and hopes you won't tell; she keeps determinely humming a merry tune and remembering how romantic Sam was in winning her with no dowry and how loving and charming he can be. No, she's not a fool but she wants to believe in him...And he probably does a terrific job of playing the upright, loving husband, in no small part because he does love her, perhaps as best as he is capable of.

Franklin Roosevelt, "Don Draper", Sam Pepys...They make people love them and want to believe their line, even become accomplices in maintaining the illusion.

But...spoiler...

Reality always will come crashing in one day...

Linda F   Link to this

Stunning juxtaposition of giving the ring to Bess (with comment that it was as a first -- very personal moment) against dread of the plague report.
Nice, too, the direct quote of Sir G. Carteret's: don't recall Sam's doing much of this, and in this case the expression is far more emphatic than general descriptions of Sir G.C. would have led me to expect from him. Wish Sam had done more of this.

CGS   Link to this

"...that the King shall not be able to whip a cat, but I must be at the tayle of it...."
CaT
The word cat was used in many an Un PC connection, then it was not nice to record such bad language,so we do not find the true meaning .
from a dictionary :t

CAT WHIPPING, or WHIPPING THE CAT. A trick often
practised on ignorant country fellows, vain of their strength,
by laying a wager with them that they may be pulled
through a pond by a cat. The bet being made, a rope is
fixed round the waist of the party to be catted, and the
end thrown across the pond, to which the cat is also
fastened by a packthread, and three or four sturdy fellows
are appointed to lead and whip the cat; these on a signal
given, seize the end of the cord, and pretending to whip
the cat, haul the astonished booby through the water.
--To whip the cat, is also a term among tailors for working
jobs at private houses, as practised in the country

1811 DICTIONARY OF THE VULGAR TONGUE.

A
DICTIONARY
OF
BUCKISH SLANG, UNIVERSITY WIT,
AND
PICKPOCKET ELOQUENCE.

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext04/dcvgr10.txt

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Great fears we have that the plague will be a great Bill this weeke."

L&M note plague deaths during the week 8-15 August were 3,880, almost 1,000 more than the prior week.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... the necessity of his having caution concerning Fenn, and the many ways there are of his being abused by any man in his place,..."

Following his conversations on June 4th. 1665, SP made a long note about Fenn's self interested methods of conducting business his "White Book" (Robert Latham ed. ‘Samuel Pepys and the Second Dutch War. Pepy’s Navy White Book and Brooke House Papers,’ Navy Records Society Vol 133, 1995. pp. 119 - 124.):

"... Mr. Howell, the turner, who did give me so good a discourse about the practices of the Paymaster J. Fenn that I thought fit to recollect all when he was gone, and have entered it down to be for ever remembered."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/06/04/

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I wonder how a clever man like Carteret really took Sam's advice. If he didn't know about Fenn, he's not quite the man with a handle on everything he claims to be...And no boss loves to be told that; if he did, Sam will likely learn he's picked the wrong man to speak to about Fenn's underhanded dealings. Also the thing about not bringing his son in as a Commissioner nor to look after his business? If he means Philip and is politely hinting at the boy's inability...Hmmn...No father I know likes to hear that from a stranger even if he's inclined to agree. And if it was a simple lecture on nepotism, I can't believe Carteret would take that well unless Sam put it much more carefully than the entry suggests.

I wouldn't let all that "call me cozen" stuff go to your head, Sam.

C.J.Darby   Link to this

I wonder if presenting the diamond ring to Bess is part of the will making cleaning up of personal matters which Sam has just conducted "and to my wife my best four poster bed" a la Shakespear.After all he seems to have had the ring for some time.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

2nd best, CJ. But whether Will was being affectionate (our bed) or a snide jerk will forever be a subject of debate. I go with affectionate, but I'm the sentimental type.

CGS   Link to this

OED
1665 PEPYS Diary 14 Aug., The king shall not be able to whip a cat but I mean to be at the tayle of it.

14. to draw through the water with a cat, also to whip the cat: to practise a practical joke, thus described by Grose:

‘A trick often practised on ignorant country fellows, by laying a wager with them that they may be pulled through a pond by a cat; the bet being made, a rope is fastened round the waist of the person to be catted, and the end thrown across the pond, to which the cat is also fastened by a pack-thread, and three or four sturdy fellows are appointed to lead and whip the cat; these on a signal given, seize the end of the cord, and pretending to whip the cat, haul the astonished booby through the water.’

1614 B. JONSON Barthol. Fair I. iv. (N.), I'll be drawn with a good gib cat through the great pond at home.

1682 in Lond. Gaz. No. 1725/3 We hope, sir, that this Nation will be too Wise, to be drawn twice through the same Water by the very same Cat.

1690 B. E. Dict. Canting Crew, Catting, drawing a Fellow through a Pond with a Cat. 1785 GROSE Dict. Vulgar T. s.v. Cat-whipping.
Cat

other cat associations
7. Naut. Applied to different parts of the contrivance by which an anchor is raised out of the water to the deck of the ship, or suspended outside clear of the bow; chiefly = CAT-HEAD n., but also used for the cat-purchase and the cat-fall (see 18).

1626 CAPT. SMITH Accid. Yng. Seamen 12 The forecastle..the Cat, Catshead and Cates holes.

1627 {emem} Seaman's Gram. ii. 11 The Cat is also a short peece of timber aloft right ouer the Hawse.

10. A term used in various games. a. A small piece of wood tapering at each end, used in the game of tip-cat, etc.; it is hit at one end by the cat-stick, and made to spring from the ground, and then driven away by a side stroke.
1598

c. The cat-stick. Obs.
1636 Divine Trag. lately Acted 23 Sundry youths playing at Catt on the Lords day, two of them fell out, and the one hitting the other under the eare with his catt, he therwith fell downe for dead.

III. Phrases.

12. to turn the cat in the pan:

b. To change one's position, change sides, from motives of interest, etc.

1622 T. STOUGHTON Chr. Sacrif. vii. 91 How do they shrinke? yea, how fouly do they..turne cat in pan, and become themselves persecuters of other?

1675 CROWNE City Polit. II. i, Come, Sirrah, you are a Villain, have turn'd Cat-in-pan, and are a Tory

a. 1562 J. HEYWOOD Prov. & Epigr. (1867) 57 A cat maie looke on a king, ye know.

1590 GREENE Never too late (1600) 94 A Cat may looke at a King, and a swaines eye hath as high a reach as a Lords looke.

d. 1609 R. ARMIN Maids of More-cl. (1880) 70 Ile baste their bellies and their lippes till we haue ierk't the cat with our three whippes.

1630 J. TAYLOR (Water P.) Brood Cormor. Wks. III. 5/1 You may not say hee's drunke..For though he be as drunke as any rat He hath but catcht a fox, or whipt the Cat.

language hat   Link to this

Just to be clear, the OED does not list the Pepys quote under any of those senses but under "In many other proverbs and phrases."

Australian Susan   Link to this

Shakepeare and The Bed

WS was not being mean. Under the law of inheritance at that time, a wife was entitled to the family bed and kitchen equipment, so those need not be mentioned in a will - but WS decided to leave her other household goods and so named the "second best bed", so she had two. What this tells us about the Shakespeare household and his relationships with his daughters and sons-in-law is that he may have thought they would not care for the widow, so he made more specific provision for her in the will, rather than leaving things for a friendly family divvying up after the funeral.

Sam and Billiards

All those games at Dagenhams have paid off: Sam has a new way of earning pin money (or whatever the male equivalent is). I am intrigued though about his sight and playing billiards: you need good sight to be able to pick your balls and pockets and Sam has never once complained about having to squint along a cue to get his next shot. And we have not had complaints about his eyes for some time. Maybe it's the long summer nights and not having to work by candlelight.

language hat   Link to this

"WS was not being mean."

If it were as clear as you say, there would be no controversy about this. Your theory is one among several.

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