Sunday 7 January 1665/66

(Lord’s day). Up, and being trimmed I was invited by Captain Cocke, so I left my wife, having a mind to some discourse with him, and dined with him. He tells me of new difficulties about his goods which troubles me and I fear they will be great. He tells me too what I hear everywhere how the towne talks of my Lord Craven being to come into Sir G. Carteret’s place; but sure it cannot be true. But I do fear those two families, his and my Lord Sandwich’s, are quite broken. And I must now stand upon my own legs. Thence to my lodging, and considering how I am hindered by company there to do any thing among my papers, I did resolve to go away to-day rather than stay to no purpose till to-morrow and so got all my things packed up and spent half an hour with W. Howe about his papers of accounts for contingencies and my Lord’s accounts, so took leave of my landlady and daughters, having paid dear for what time I have spent there, but yet having been quiett and my health, I am very well contented therewith. So with my wife and Mercer took boat and away home; but in the evening, before I went, comes Mrs. Knipp, just to speake with me privately, to excuse her not coming to me yesterday, complaining how like a devil her husband treats her, but will be with us in towne a weeke hence, and so I kissed her and parted. Being come home, my wife and I to look over our house and consider of laying out a little money to hang our bedchamber better than it is, and so resolved to go and buy something to-morrow, and so after supper, with great joy in my heart for my coming once again hither, to bed.

15 Annotations

JWB   Link to this

"...to hang our bedchamber better than it is,..."

We must assume Sam did not know the story of Eyam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyam

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Being come home, my wife and I to look over our house and consider of laying out a little money to hang our bedchamber better than it is, and so resolved to go and buy something to-morrow, and so after supper, with great joy in my heart for my coming once again hither, to bed."

Sounds like a little peace offering to Bess...

And so ends Sam's wild plague year...During which he probably had the most fun, not to mention, profit, of his life to date.

Jesse   Link to this

"And I must now stand upon my own legs."

I think this is significant and can be seen in two ways. On one hand Pepys is spreading his wings, leaving his Lordship's nest. On the other hand he's a rat leaving a sinking ship. Personally, I can forgive the 'consultant fees' and "Dapper Dicky's" sexual peccadillos - but bailing on the Earl? That just ain't right.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Jesse, I had a more benign reading of that passage. It sounds to me as though it is written with a heavy heart. Sam is not "bailing" on Sandwich, he is being forced, because of Sandwich's current troubles, to lessen or end his dependence on his patronage. Sam has consistently risen to "my Lord's" defense, even angrily at times, when he hears people speak ill of him. I believe he would help him at once if he could think of any viable way to do so.

Of course, I always tend to give Sam the benefit of the doubt, so you have to take that into account in considering my argument.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... But I do fear those two families, his and my Lord Sandwich’s, are quite broken. And I must now stand upon my own legs. ..."

I also read it pretty much as Paul Chapin; SP sees that Sandwich is definitely out, the gossips are unanimous that Carteret on the way with his successor's name being bandied -- his 'own legs' is the only support he now has, the secure office world of the past five years and one of the major alliances he has worked to build have disappeared in a matter of three months.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"spent half an hour with W. Howe about his papers of accounts for contingencies and my Lord’s accounts"

L&M note Howe had been Deputy-Treasurer of Sandwich's fleet last year.

Pepys's status and expertise apparently cast him in the role of an auditor of sorts here.

Jesse   Link to this

"...stand on my own legs"

Good points. Stand on his own w/o the patronage crutch or stand on his own as to be apart from Sandwich and his 'troubles' or, most likely, some of both. While Pepys (and most readers) may think more of the former, I'm inclined to believe that he's been w/o the patronage crutch for awhile. Soon his Lordship's off to Spain.

(Spoiler) Standing apart, will it be his whoship?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Sam's hard work has paid off -- although he notes, with heavy heart, that now he has to stand on "his own legs," at least he's able to, due to his diligence and networking.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Factoring in Sam's rather nasty comment on Sandwich's fall a few entries earlier, that his actions were not to be excused, suffering a company of rogues to make off with thousands of pounds, knowing full well who one of those rogues was, it does seem as though Sam is cutting the ties a bit. Still, he's not completely abandoned my Lord to his fate and it may possibly be just a tad of buried resentment that Sandwich still treats him as his man, a dependent, when others see him as an increasingly important figure in the administration, that encourages him to wish, however unconciously, to be completely independent.

And...Spoiler...

He will continue to promote Sandwich's name and rejoice in any improvement in his fortunes. But his star is now to be increasingly tied to Jamie Stuart.

Pedro   Link to this

Pepys' Relationship with Sandwich.

Paul and Jesse, perhaps some information from Ollard's biography of Sandwich on his view of the cooling of their relationship may be of interest.

Sam had written his letter of reproof to Sandwich on his affair at Chelsea. Sandwich may have been to some extent been amused by this and made Sam sweat on his reaction.

Sam was used by Coventry to sound out about his going to sea, and Sandwich was too perceptive not to realize the growing influence that Coventry could have on Sam.

Sam became restive about the backing he had given Sandwich for the £1000 bill.

Sandwich had stood by Sam when he was in deep trouble for marking Clarendon's standing timber in Clarendon Park. Clarendon told Sam that Sandwich had spoken of his high character.

SPOILER

Sam was not involved in the people entrusted to arrange the marriage of Sandwich's eldest son in 1668 while he was still away, and Sam had admitted that he had been a neglectful correspondent in a time when his patron stood in need of all the political intelligence he could get and that Sam was very qualified to supply.

jeannine   Link to this

"I must now stand upon my own legs"

Reminds me of the idea that who you know may get you in the door but what you do once you are there keeps you there.

Also, the situation with Sandwich is truly sad stuff, but par for the course in this cut-throat cast of characters. The Court of Charles II was very fluid and nobody ever really knew where they stood. He would exercise his powers on and off to keep people and protect them if/when it suited him, but often people got jostled in and out with the waves of others in the political process. Although Sandwich is out of the Navy spotlight he is not totally cast aside (spoiler: just watch what happens to poor Clarendon when he gets the boot).

Sam is far too low on the totem pole to cause any concern with the likes of the DOY, Coventry, Albemarle, etc. so as long as he can manage to keep his distractions to a minimum (i.e. keep his pants zipped up while on the job, for instance) and get back to focusing on his work he will be welcomed (or at least accepted) as the change of command takes place. He is a very organized worker and can produce great things when he puts his mind to it. This change of command may be just enough to re-energize him as London begins to return to normal.

cgs   Link to this

zippers have not been invented yet, it be unraveling of cheap button cotton threads be Samuell's problem.

stars of the day, wax and wane, and "twoz' told me to watch how you use your boot on your way up because on the way down the boot can be heavier.

'tis rare for a body to stay in orbit for ever, it usually falls in flames.
Maxim from Syrus
"Fortuna vitrea est; tum cum splendit fragitur"

fortune be [valuable] wine glass, when it is at its brightest , pop.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Knipp"

Pepys's phonetic spelling of "Knepp" shows how early the medial e sound in English began its migration. In the US very few of us still SAY English as a matter of course; most of our compatriots say "Inglish."

Australian Susan   Link to this

We can now look forward to no more nasty reporting of incidents with Frances Tooker. Thank goodness.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The migration of the medial e sound in English

This was long ago shown by Pepys's writing of Mennes's name as "Minnes."

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