Saturday 10 March 1665/66

Up, and to the office, and there busy sitting till noon. I find at home Mrs. Pierce and Knipp come to dine with me. We were mighty merry; and, after dinner, I carried them and my wife out by coach to the New Exchange, and there I did give my valentine, Mrs. Pierce, a dozen payre of gloves, and a payre of silke stockings, and Knipp for company’s sake, though my wife had, by my consent, laid out 20s. upon her the other day, six payre of gloves. Thence to Hales’s to have seen our pictures, but could not get in, he being abroad, and so to the Cakehouse hard by, and there sat in the coach with great pleasure, and eat some fine cakes and so carried them to Pierces and away home. It is a mighty fine witty boy, Mrs. Pierces little boy. Thence home and to the office, where late writing letters and leaving a great deale to do on Monday, I home to supper and to bed. The truth is, I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it; and out of my observation that most men that do thrive in the world, do forget to take pleasure during the time that they are getting their estate, but reserve that till they have got one, and then it is too late for them to enjoy it with any pleasure.

29 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"The truth is, I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it; and out of my observation that most men that do thrive in the world, do forget to take pleasure during the time that they are getting their estate, but reserve that till they have got one, and then it is too late for them to enjoy it with any pleasure."

Too bad it's too long to embroider on a sampler.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...The truth is, I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it; and out of my observation that most men that do thrive in the world, do forget to take pleasure during the time that they are getting their estate, but reserve that till they have got one, and then it is too late for them to enjoy it with any pleasure...."

Oh, yes! yes! yes! Three hundred years later that observation resounds clamorously in our society. Remember watching "Hook"? and the mother saying "you're missing it?" to the Robin Williams character (ironically the 'real' Peter Pan). There is an invidious culture here (Oz) of executives being expected to work 60 hours a week, no matter what your contract says. You may be earning the money, but what is it going on? Probably alimony.........

Australian Susan   Link to this

Hmmm. talking of expenditure: Isn't what Sam bought as a Valentine's gift rather excessive? What did Bess get, i wonder? Or is this a sign of conspicuous consumption Now We Are Wealthy?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Tempus fugit! SP, you are in this respect prematurely wise.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"What did Bess get, i wonder?"

Presumably an equally excessive gift, so it all balances out...?

cape henry   Link to this

Elizabeth is getting to sit for the brave painting, at least. But I find Pepys' rationalization so interesting in light of the stern vows and self criticism of just a year ago. This could be attributed, in part, to the wealth effect, certainly. But he has also just navigated a tricky and ambitious voyage past the shoals of Sandwich's troubles and through the muddle of his own various financial schemes, self-dealings, and political tangles. This is a wealthy young man with a new attitude and the support of king and prince. The question for us readers is: Whither Pride?

Carl in Boston   Link to this

All the girls get gloves, while Elizabeth gets just a few gloves. She knows, she knows, but she's got the M. R. S., so there.
Yes, gather ye rosebuds while ye may, the seasons are a flying.
Tis good to be reading of Samuel Pepys.

Terry W   Link to this

"But I find Pepys’ rationalization so interesting in light of the stern vows and self criticism of just a year ago." (Cape Henry)

....... or even in light of his comments and deliberations earlier this month!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Of course he'll be back to those incredible hours tomorrow...Though while Bess no doubt appreciates the fun, she'd probably appreciate it more without the constant presence of Knipp and Pierce.

Say, who is minding that house full of Pierce offspring while she's at the Pepysian version of Xanadu? James? Be interesting to know more about that household, they're both fascinating characters.

***

The Cakehouse...

"Sam'l...This is so delightful..." Bess sighs.

"That it is..." Knipp nods. "Yes, indeed." Pierce beams, eyeing new stockings.

Hmmn...Perhaps not all that delightful, Bess frowns a bit.

"Yes, time to kick back and smell the roses..." Sam happily tells his little harem as he downs another cake piece.

"Pepys!!"

"Mr. Coventry...er, Sir William?"

"The war suddenly end that you can go off for an afternoon without leaving word?!! I've been seeking you everywhere...I thought perhaps you were engaged in something to do with what the King pays you for?! I certainly receive enough self-congratualatory letters from you on the subject of your unceasing efforts!!"

"Uh, Sir William...I..."

"Mr. Pepys was just giving us our Valentine's presents." Pierce tries.

"Indeed. I'd no idea the day had been expanded into another twelve days' holiday."

"My apologies, Sir William...I'd lost track of the time..."

"Damn you, Pepys! Men are being pressed from their homes, dying on the seas!!"

"Now just a moment!" Bess rears up. "My Sam'l has been killing himself in his job for years. This awful year he risked death working alone in London and traveling back after the office moved. He's barely had time to speak with me for months, let alone make love. And I think I can safely say it's a dedicated man who can refrain from making love to me."

Indeed...? Coventry stares...

"I've been begging him to take some time and relax a bit and the one day I get him to do it, you come, denouncing him...The one man in England who keeps the Fleet functioning. At his work, morning, noon, night..."

Ah, well...Sam waves a hand...Duty...

"...Never thinking of himself. And worrying so over those poor men in Tangier. Trying his best to see that Mr. Gauden and the other merchants supply the men properly."

"Here, here." Knipp and Pierce in chorus.

Just an ordinary man, trying to do his humble bit...Sam sighs.

"Staying up all hours counting those bags of gold for the poor soldiers..."

Uh...Saint Pepys blinks.

"What bags of gold?" Coventry, sternly."

"Just Tangier accounts, sir...Nothing at all."

"No, no, Sam'l...The gold from Mr. Gauden's office that you count before he sends it to the poor soldiers."

"Oh, indeed?" Coventry, smiling coolly. "Up all hours counting bags of gold from the principle Tangier supplier, are we?"

Margaret   Link to this

Why would anyone want twelve pairs of gloves? Did they keep getting dirty so quickly that most would be waiting for the laundry?

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it [etc.]"

Sam's version of "Nobody ever lay on their deathbed wishing they'd spent more time at the office."

Glyn   Link to this

I think that Margaret is correct about these (silk?) gloves being worn only one day at a time and then being discarded for a another pair. But why are they having Valentines presents in March? Did they do anything on St Valentine's Day (Feb 14)?

Pepys has come through a harrowing year because of the Plague, and must have seen a lot of young and middle-aged men suddenly die of it. Who's to say that it might soon come back in the summer, especially as it hasn't quite gone away. No wonder he's prepared to enjoy himself a little more than he did a year ago.

Mary   Link to this

Consider; these may be kid gloves, in which case they will have to be thrown away once they get dirty, especially if they are pretty, light-coloured ones. Perhaps they are intended to last until next Valentine's Day at the rate of one pair a month.

Rod McCaslin   Link to this

Elizabeth probably received no Valentine's Day gift.
The custom was that one's Valentine was the first person of the opposite sex you saw (other than your wife and servants) on 14 Feb. Most of the time the practice was carefully arranged, and then the individual would provide Valentine gifts to their appointed at different times throughout the year as a nicety- sort of like a secret sister might do in sorority practice even today. It was all good fun.
The following Valentine's Day a different Valentine would be selected.
I think its too bad that the old Valentine's customs have disappeared. A lot of pressure today on making Valentine's Day (the day itself) a special event rather than remembering your valentine throughout the year.

jeannine   Link to this

"I think its too bad that the old Valentine’s customs have disappeared. A lot of pressure today on making Valentine’s Day (the day itself) a special event rather than remembering your valentine throughout the year."

Well said Rod and in line with Sam's quote today that we forget to take time along the path to enjoy the walk because we're so focused on getting to the destination. There is always something to celebrate along life's way and we're blessed by those we can celebrate with. Even during the hard and upsetting times finding a little 'spot' of joy or appreciating someone else lifts the heart.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Whose Valentine was Elizabeth Pepys this year? We don't hear as much about hers as we do about the Diarist's. (How strange.)

cgs   Link to this

my experience of kid gloves, dingo, pig, that once they get wet they be useless. [Long live Dents]

cgs   Link to this

RE: live for the moment: money is but a tool [necessary yes] to use like any other tool, to produce and provide the life that thee desire. After seeing so many tombs that be big or small,pyramids or blocks, and meeting so many characters sipping,and sniffing their snifters, gouted up regurgitating battles of life gone by with sand buckets opened up at the chapter when I was a ....... My wife and I have lived the life that we dreamed of, maybe not that luxurious but only Alzheimer can destroy, and it matters not what others think, because they should chasing their own dream.

The Bard.

All the world's a stage,...
....
sans everything." — Jaques (Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166)
[I am at this line]
sans everything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_world%27s_...

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"[I am at this line]"

I don't believe it for a minute, CGS. I think thee still "full of wise saws and modern instances."

Ruben   Link to this

Dear Mr. S.G. Salty:
Dryden (in Samuel's days) said:

O early ripe! to thy abundant store
What could advancing age have added more?
It might (what nature never gives the young)
Have taught the numbers of thy native tongue.

Appropriate, I think.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

kid gloves
"If the glove don't fit you must acquit"
They were probably bloody and were washed and shrank and O.J.Simpson got away with murder.

JWB   Link to this

EARLY HISTORY OF SILK STOCKINGS

"April 30th 1560. Sir Thomas Gresham writes from Antwerp to Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth's great minister, 'I have written into Spain for silk hose both for you and my lady, your wife; to whom it may please you I may be remembered.' These silk hose, of black colour, were accordingly soon after sent by Gresham to Cecil.

Hose were, up to the time of Henry VIII, made out of ordinary cloth: the king's own were formed of yard-wide taffeta. It was only by chance that he might obtain a pair of silk hose from Spain. His son Edward VI received as a present from Sir Thomas Gresham—Stow speaks of it as a great present—'a pair of long Spanish silk stockings.'

For some years longer, silk stockings continued to be a great rarity. 'In the second year of Queen Elizabeth,' says Stow, 'her silk woman, Mistress Montague, presented her Majesty with a pair of black knit silk stockings for a new-year's gift; the which, after a few days wearing, pleased her Highness so well that she sent for Mistress Montague, and asked her where she had them, and if she could help her to any more; who answered, saying, "I made them very carefully, of purpose only for your Majesty, and seeing these please you so well, I will presently set more in hand." "Do so," quoth the Queen, "for indeed I like silk stockings so well, because they are pleasant, fine, and delicate, that henceforth I will wear no more cloth stockings." And from that time to her death the Queen never wore cloth hose, but only silk stockings.'"

http://www.thebookofdays.com/months/april/30.htm

cgs   Link to this

"For some years longer, silk stockings continued to be a great rarity." Always a good standby for getting a helping hand in times of great need.

RE: see Shaw G.B. on waste and youth.

Thanks Ruben

cgs   Link to this

I wonder ????? IF they be like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Glovesvanda.jpg

cgs   Link to this

for ref:
http://www.poetry-online.org/dryden_memory_of_m...

Thanks Ruben

Andrew Godsell   Link to this

One of my favourite entries in the diary. I often (perhaps not often enough) recall Samuel's point about enjoying pleasure in the present.

The cakes also sound great. I wonder what they were.

Andrew

Laura   Link to this

"Up, and to the office, and there busy sitting till noon."

I wish I was busy sitting until noon. What a great job!

Laura   Link to this

"Up, and to the office, and there busy sitting till noon."

I wish I was busy sitting until noon. What a great job!

Kevin Peter   Link to this

I believe Elizabeth Pepys was was Mr. Hill's Valentine, as he showed up early in the morning at the Pepys residence on Valentine's Day. Mr Hill, however, has left for Portugal, so there will be no Valentine's gifts from him.

Log in to post an annotation.

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