Wednesday 6 September 1665

Busy all the morning writing letters to several, so to dinner, to London, to pack up more things thence; and there I looked into the street and saw fires burning in the street, as it is through the whole City, by the Lord Mayor’s order. Thence by water to the Duke of Albemarle’s: all the way fires on each side of the Thames, and strange to see in broad daylight two or three burials upon the Bankeside, one at the very heels of another: doubtless all of the plague; and yet at least forty or fifty people going along with every one of them. The Duke mighty pleasant with me; telling me that he is certainly informed that the Dutch were not come home upon the 1st instant, and so he hopes our fleete may meet with them, and here to my great joy I got him to sign bills for the several sums I have paid on Tangier business by his single letter, and so now I can get more hands to them. This was a great joy to me: Home to Woolwich late by water, found wife in bed, and yet late as [it] was to write letters in order to my rising betimes to go to Povy to-morrow. So to bed, my wife asking me to-night about a letter of hers I should find, which indeed Mary did the other day give me as if she had found it in my bed, thinking it had been mine, brought to her from a man without name owning great kindness to her and I know not what. But looking it over seriously, and seeing it bad sense and ill writ, I did believe it to be her brother’s and so had flung it away, but finding her now concerned at it and vexed with Mary about it, it did trouble me, but I would take no notice of it to-night, but fell to sleep as if angry.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I...saw fires burning in the street, as it is through the whole City, by the Lord Mayor’s order."

Fumigation and purging of the London aer.

JWB   Link to this

London Fires, p217 Moote & Moote:
http://books.google.com/books?id=_NxY6b_OyUgC&p...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"The prevention and cure of the plague" by lighting fires - how many and where - and firing guns

*Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550-1680: 1550-1680* By Andrew Wear, CUP, 2000 pp.321-323 http://books.google.com/books?id=ENphAl918SIC&p...

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"seeing it bad sense and ill writ, I did believe it to be her brother's"
Interesting. Apparently Balty isn't all that literate.

CGS   Link to this

Distemper it be so abracadabra.

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

and here to my great joy I got him to sign bills for the several sums I have paid on Tangier business by his single letter, and so now I can get more hands to them. This was a great joy to me

Has Samuel been paying Tangier bills with his own money - and just on the word of a Duke? No wonder he has great joy.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Has Samuel been paying Tangier bills with his own money - and just on the word of a Duke?"

Hasn't he been holding talleys for the amount the "Tangier treasury" has been alloted, and converting them to cash little by little?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I doubt Sam could have afforded the sums paid out on Tangier from his own funds but they most likely have been tallies accepted on his signature.

***

I'm sure it was Balty's letter and Bess just worried Sam will see it's another request for cash which she's been siphoning off in tiny sums from the household funds.

Unless of course I was right about she and Balty working for the Dutch...

"Sam'l has your last letter from Admiral DeRuyter's agent, Balty."

"Arr..ch...agg...Grrg..."

"Calm down, brother. He threw it away, assuming it was a plea for something from you. Only problem is I think I overdid it, complaining about Mary and said it was from a strange man I did a kindness to..."

"Oh, well that was brilliant, sister. Simply brilliant."

"I thought he might realize it wasn't your handwriting. Besides the man used code...The letter looks like it was written by a simpleton. I really should just have stuck with 'another cry from Balty'."

"Merci bien, sister. Well, what now...If he should realize..." Makes pantomine of noose about neck, hanging.

"Obviously we need a beard, Balty."

"A what?"

"Some clown to fit the role of simpleton wooer...Unless you prefer option b?"

"Option B?"

"My poor dear husband makes a very wrong turn coming home late."

Hmmn... Has its merit. Still, brother Samuel has been good about the occasional favor and such...Not to mention our value to the Dutch High Command would plummet immediately on their learning of his tragic "accident".

"Creed and Howe are always available..." Bess notes.

"Sister? Your own husband...?"

"My philandering, abusive, neglectful Sam'l? How could I contemplate such a thing?

He's lucky it's only option B." grim look.

Still...The little pop-eyed lecherous bastard does his charm. Would miss his tales...

And that stupid Diary of his does have some sweet things in it about us.

Besides...There's still a few men I'd rather see at the bottom of the Thames courtesy the most charming assassins in England. Particularly...

"Oh, it's option A, Balty...Don't look so... And, I have just the perfect mark for the job."

"Really?"

Cut to scene of sobbing Bess in bedroom...Angry Sam...

"...And worst of all..." she gives tearful look.

"He cut his price to 300Ls."

"300!! That cad!! Bess?! You didn't accept?"

"Sam'l?!!"

"I mean, darling, you're easily worth 1000...2000... I mean wife of the Clerk of the Acts. I mean...If you were such a woman as to be willing to accept such monstrous lewdness."

Option B...Looking better...Bess grimly thinks.

"I think I need to finally have a talk with my uncle." Stern look.

Option B...Fading...

"Or rather, have a couple of my friends speak with Uncle."

Option B...Ruled out...Bess, smiling...Though wanly through tears.

***
"Mr. William Wight, I presume?" Creed, bowing.

"Gentlemen...? Friends of my nephew, aren't you?"

"Indeed, sir." Howe nods.

***

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Well, so much for that troubling little monger...eh, matter. Well, another painting of Chatham and Shearness, dear?"

"A copy for my brother."

"And so detailed... Heaven help us if it were to fall into enemy hands, ha, ha."

"Really? Oh, but you describe it so well, Sam'l dear."

Log in to post an annotation.

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