Thursday 30 November 1665

Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon comes Sir Thomas Allen, and I made him dine with me, and very friendly he is, and a good man, I think, but one that professes he loves to get and to save. He dined with my wife and me and Mrs. Barbary, whom my wife brings along with her from Woolwich for as long as she stays here. In the afternoon to the office, and there very late writing letters and then home, my wife and people sitting up for me, and after supper to bed. Great joy we have this week in the weekly Bill, it being come to 544 in all, and but 333 of the plague; so that we are encouraged to get to London soon as we can. And my father writes as great news of joy to them, that he saw Yorke’s waggon go again this week to London, and was full of passengers; and tells me that my aunt Bell hath been dead of the plague these seven weeks.

5 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Great joy we have this week in the weekly Bill [of Mortality], it being come to 544 in all, and but 333 of the plague; so that we are encouraged to get to London soon as we can."

L&M note these figures were for the week of 21-28 November, and "the previous week the figures had been 905 [total deaths] and 652 [from the plague]." The trend, then, is clear. and London again habitable as John Pepys the Elder's letter confirms.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...and a good man, I think, but one that professes he loves to get and to save...."

I wonder what Sam is qualifying by his "but"? As one whom we have - particularly recently - been seeing as who "loves to get", it would seem blindness or hypocrisy on Sam's part to be nice on this point, and Sam also likes to save and joyfully offer thanks to God for his accumulated wealth at each month's end. So it seems odd. Or is it that Sam does not think one should "profess" these character traits out loud?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Sam may, I think, mean that he believes Sir Tom to be fundamently a decent man who is simply being open and honest about acquiring wealth being among his goals.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

L&M note Admiral Sir Thomas Allin had been a merchant and ship-owner in Lowestoft, and that Ollard in *Pepys: A Biography* says he was greedy.

cgs   Link to this

Greed be good in moderation, else we be still living in a cave, but we still be making caves???

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