Saturday 17 March 1665/66

Up, and to finish my Journall, which I had not sense enough the last night to make an end of, and thence to the office, where very busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner and presently with my wife out to Hales’s, where I am still infinitely pleased with my wife’s picture. I paid him 14l. for it, and 25s. for the frame, and I think it is not a whit too deare for so good a picture. It is not yet quite finished and dry, so as to be fit to bring home yet. This day I begun to sit, and he will make me, I think, a very fine picture. He promises it shall be as good as my wife’s, and I sit to have it full of shadows, and do almost break my neck looking over my shoulder to make the posture for him to work by. Thence home and to the office, and so home having a great cold, and so my wife and Mrs. Barbary have very great ones, we are at a loss how we all come by it together, so to bed, drinking butter-ale. This day my W. Hewer comes from Portsmouth and gives me an instance of another piece of knavery of Sir W. Pen, who wrote to Commissioner Middleton, that it was my negligence the other day he was not acquainted, as the board directed, with our clerks coming down to the pay. But I need no new arguments to teach me that he is a false rogue to me and all the world besides.

12 Annotations

Australian Susan  •  Link

So Middleton told Hewer who told Sam. Who is trying to keep in with whom? This seems to have been a most foolish action of Pen's, though maybe he was just trying to cover all the angles.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Penn just used a tactic that is all too often used in offices and workplaces throughout the world, and throughout history (i.e., blame it on the other person). I don't know if it's so much foolishness on his part as much as hubris -- guess he figured he wouldn't get caught.

What a pleasure to read this entry and glance up at the image of Sam almost breaking his neck to look over his shoulder at us!

Mary  •  Link

"almost broke my neck.."

Ah, Sam, "il faut soufrir pour etre belle" (or "beau", in your case).

Robin Peters  •  Link

"But I need no new arguments to teach me that he is a false rogue to me and all the world besides."
Don't worry Sam, the old duffer is just using the usual tactic of taking the credit but ensuring that the rest of the world takes the blame.

Firenze  •  Link

'drinking butter-ale'. As it happens, there was a demonstration of how this was made of TV last night (Heston Blumenthal recreates Tudor cuisine). You heat beer, add sugar and, I think, cinnamon, and then 'a dish of butter'. Everyone given it to sample seemed to think it was delicious.

Mary  •  Link

Buttered Ale

Thanks, Firenze. I have just added Blumenthal's recipe to the Encyclopaedia under the Alcoholic Drinks subsection.

Anyone watching cholesterol levels might want to use it sparingly, but I can see that it could taste pretty good as a pick-me-up.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Buttered Ale

When I was a wee lad in Havre de Grace, Maryland my grandmother used to make a similar drink - hot buttered rum - to give me when I was sick. Maybe I should blame that upbringing for yesterday's tab at Slainte.

Bradford  •  Link

Odd, Pepys's position in the portrait doesn't look that arduous---but then ars est celare artem, innit?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

" almost break my neck looking over my shoulder to make the posture for him to work by..." Vanity, vanity...All is vanity.

JWB  •  Link

"... knavery of Sir W. Pen..."

Noone likes a tattletale, but weren't such letters under purview of Clerk of Acts? Sam responsible for not only what he does & directs, but what he does not.

phoenix  •  Link

Just reloaded the portrait, blew it up and took a good look. The eyes say it all. Am I imagining the rheum? The stress? Bedrock artistic principle - be honest. Sam's in good hands.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Seems to me besides the infamous contract episode this is the first time Sam has given us a solid incidence where Admiral Sir Will had done anything at all to deserve his resentment. Of course writing to himself and for himself, Sam may not have felt it necessary to spell out the details of each incident.

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