Friday 20 April 1666

Up, and after an houre or two’s talke with my poor wife, who gives me more and more content every day than other, I abroad by coach to Westminster, and there met with Mrs. Martin, and she and I over the water to Stangold, and after a walke in the fields to the King’s Head, and there spent an houre or two with pleasure with her, and eat a tansy and so parted, and I to the New Exchange, there to get a list of all the modern plays which I intend to collect and to have them bound up together. Thence to Mr. Hales’s, and there, though against his particular mind, I had my landskipp done out, and only a heaven made in the roome of it, which though it do not please me thoroughly now it is done, yet it will do better than as it was before. Thence to Paul’s Churchyarde, and there bespoke some new books, and so to my ruling woman’s and there did see my work a doing, and so home and to my office a little, but was hindered of business I intended by being sent for to Mrs. Turner, who desired some discourse with me and lay her condition before me, which is bad and poor. Sir Thomas Harvey intends again to have lodgings in her house, which she prays me to prevent if I can, which I promised. Thence to talke generally of our neighbours. I find she tells me the faults of all of them, and their bad words of me and my wife, and indeed do discover more than I thought. So I told her, and so will practise that I will have nothing to do with any of them. She ended all with a promise of shells to my wife, very fine ones indeed, and seems to have great respect and honour for my wife. So home and to bed.

9 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Up, and after an houre or two’s talke with my poor wife, who gives me more and more content every day than other, I abroad by coach to Westminster, and there met with Mrs. Martin, and she and I over the water to Stangold, and after a walke in the fields to the King’s Head, and there spent an houre or two with pleasure with her..."

Admirable compartmentalization... "I love my wife but oh you kid"?

***

"Thence to talke generally of our neighbours. I find she tells me the faults of all of them, and their bad words of me and my wife, and indeed do discover more than I thought."

Gee, what did Bess do?

Who would these neighbors be?...Penn, Minnes, Turner...Batten lives elsewhere with his young wife, right?...Lord Bruncker and Mrs. W?

More important...What did Sam 'discover'? The world must know.

Martin   Link to this

Yesterday the Pope's Head, today the King's Head, tomorrow...?

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"She ended all with a promise of shells to my wife, very fine ones indeed"

Would these be seashells? Or what?

Mary   Link to this

These would indeed be seashells. There was quite a vogue for collecting seashells from exotic, foreign locations.

[Off topic: this vogue never completely died out and in the 19th century Marcus Samuel made his initial fortune out of trading in seashells before diversifying into oil and eventually calling his company Shell].

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... to get a list of all the modern plays which I intend to collect and to have them bound up together."

L&M footnote "Pepys eventually acquired a collection, in two volumes, of what was called in the binder's title "Loose Plays." (now PL 1075, 1604) The first has 14 plays published between 1638 and 1667; the second, 13 published between 1664 and 1685."

GrahamT   Link to this

Doesn't Sam realise that if Mrs Turner is gossipping about the neighbours, and "tells [him] the faults of all of them", then she is probably doing the same thing about him to the neighbours?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Why Graham? What could there possibly be about Sam and Bess to gossip about?

"Mr. Pepys? Uh...No comment." Jane Birch, newly re-employed head cook.

"Mr. Pepys is a dear, dear little man. Uh, Mrs. Pepys?Pardon me whilst I lace up." Mary Mercer, companion to Mrs. Pepys.

"Samuel Pepys? A wonderful man...Soul of a true artist, really. And so very appreciative of those of us in the artistic professions." Elizabeth Knipp, actress.

"If I be catching that little #@% about me wife again..." Christopher Knipp, horse trader.

"Mr. Pepys? Uh, weell...Certainly my best customer." Elizabeth Martin, linens dealer.

"Sam Pepys? Bit of a rogue, that little lad. But very charming and rather amusing on a dull afternoon...All in all not really any problem for a sensible woman to handle. Be careful with the man's quill pens, Mary! Sorry. James, if you don't stop that right now, when your father comes home....!" Elisabeth Pierce, family friend.

"No comment." William Bagwell, ship's carpenter, subordinate to Mr. Pepys in the Royal Navy.

"As Will says..." Moll Bagwell, personal friend.

"Very busy little fellow...Always fussing about in the office...Some appreciation of Shakespeare but not really all that much of a scholar, you know. Seems to know a lot about whatever it is we do." Sir John Minnes, colleague.

"Scheming, rapacious, backstabbing little... You may quote me." Admiral Sir William Penn, colleague.

"He refused me nothing...(wink)" Diana Crisp, former neighbor.

"Excellent lad, capable, quick. Just the sort we want to have in office these days. Can't say as to his personal life but that's no concern to me." Sir William Coventry, superior.

"Excellent lad, catches on well, no fool, keeps his wits about him for the main catch. Just the sort I want to have in office these days." Sir William Warren, business associate.

"I couldn't really say...Nice fellow." Thomas Povey, colleague.

"Charming fellow, capable in his way...Not exactly an intellectual, you know but...Capable. No idea as to his personals." John Evelyn, colleague.

"Ah, my old friend...Well. Best to focus on the good and forget the many flaws...Personal and public, I should say. However, if I should be pressed at some future time by Parliament, there might be a few things I should hate to be forced to reveal..." John Creed, colleague, business associate.

"My brother Sam?" Looks around... "Close the door...And sharpen those quills..." Paulina Pepys, sister.

"Pepys? @#$#! Let me tell you about that #$%^ Pepys!" Wayneman Birch, former employee.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

What could there possibly be about Sam and Bess to gossip about?

And doesn't his triangle go "up to eleven"?

Paul Dyson   Link to this

"I find she tells me the faults of all of them, and their bad words of me and my wife, and indeed do discover more than I thought."

Depending on whether the subject of "discover" is she (Mrs Turner) or I (Sam) the word may carry here (as often) the meaning of "uncover" or "reveal". It's not so much what Sam is finding out as what Mrs Turner is telling him - though that's pretty much the same thing!

Log in to post an annotation.

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