Thursday 3 May 1666

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home, and contrary to my expectation find my little girle Su worse than she was, which troubled me, and the more to see my wife minding her paynting and not thinking of her house business, this being the first day of her beginning the second time to paynt. This together made me froward that I was angry with my wife, and would not have Browne to think to dine at my table with me always, being desirous to have my house to myself without a stranger and a mechanique to be privy to all my concernments. Upon this my wife and I had a little disagreement, but it ended by and by, and then to send up and down for a nurse to take the girle home and would have given anything. I offered to the only one that we could get 20s. per weeke, and we to find clothes, and bedding and physique, and would have given 30s., as demanded, but desired an houre or two’s time. So I away by water to Westminster, and there sent for the girle’s mother to Westminster Hall to me; she came and undertakes to get her daughter a lodging and nurse at next doore to her, though she dare not, for the parish’s sake, whose sexton her husband is, to [have] her into her owne house. Thence home, calling at my bookseller’s and other trifling places, and in the evening the mother come and with a nurse she has got, who demanded and I did agree at 10s. per weeke to take her, and so she away, and my house mighty uncouth, having so few in it, and we shall want a servant or two by it, and the truth is my heart was a little sad all the afternoon and jealous of myself. But she went, and we all glad of it, and so a little to the office, and so home to supper and to bed.

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"desirous to have my house to myself without a stranger and a mechanique to be privy to all my concernment."

Gentlemen only permitted at the table, no mere manual laborers.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Browne, a published artisan, is good enough to give painting lessons to Madame, but at board is a mere tradesman. Is this contumely on Pepys's part? or...? Where does the class-line fall?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

To be fair, last time when Pembleton joined the dinner table Bess leaked word of Sam's jealousy.

***
Poor kid...Not even Mum and Dad would take her in? Kudos to Sam for at least providing health care benefits...And apparently rather generous ones.

You know, off-today's but considering that Susan's dad's a sexton, one wonders how Sam gets away with his treatment of the staff...At least at the level of a Mary Mercer who ought to be able to threaten him with exposure or a Susan (if he were to add her to the grope list) whose father is a presumably respected figure. While a poorer girl, say a Jane Birch, might have to accept a little grab now and then, it's surprising Mercer would tolerate it unless she were exceptionally fond of Sam...And he makes no hint that she pines for our little hero which I'm sure he would were it so. I suppose it's accepted as fact of life but still...You would think she'd complain to Bess or threaten to at the very least...

Spoiler...

All the more surprising as Bess will not take a future revelation of Sam's favorite sport lightly...

Heaven...

"Say? How did you manage that, you little...?" Bess asks. "Don't cower, I'm actually interested. Mercer was an intelligent girl, after all. You didn't tell the poor thing you loved her or anything ridiculous like that?"

"Certainly not...Would I be here now if..."

"Well?"

"You really want to know?" sly look.

"Unless it's something awful...Sam'l, the girl didn't take money from you?"

"Bess...Mercer's a family friend..." shock.

"Not if she did that..."

"Oops..." stumble, grab... "Oh, so sorry my dear..."

"Mon Dieu. What the hell was that?!" Bess pulls back.

"You asked..." Sam notes, arch look.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... at my table with me always, being desirous to have my house to myself without a stranger and a mechanique to be privy to all my concernments."

Perhaps it is the 'always' that is the governing word here.

Despite having written a book, Brown is a shopkeeper who earns his living through the labor of his hands - I assume Lely would be welcome at table, because of the knighthood and the social arena within which he practices: Hayls might be the liminal case, his studio seems to be an acceptable place for people to visit and hang out but no one so far has been mentioned as having him to dinner. This is before the 'romantic' movement and painters, musicians and the like are a species of skilled artisan -- for example we know that at the time Hooke was thought of and treated as as an artisan and superior servant (Curator of Experiments), and bridled at this; despite his relatively genteel origin and university degree, the Micrographia evidence of his use of superior mechanical skills. Robert Boyle, his former employer, was a gent and a theoretician however much he may have used his hands from time to time.

Jesse   Link to this

"my heart was a little sad all the afternoon"

I confess mine too. Written w/some sympathy competing w/the need to be practical. Even the poor child's mother "dare not ... [have] her into her owne house."

Yet all "glad" (maybe relieved) she went.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... without a stranger and a mechanique to be privy to all my concernments. Upon this my wife and I had a little disagreement, ..."

"We know no time when we were not as now;
Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'd [ 860 ]
By our own quick'ning power, ..."
Our puissance is our own, our own right hand
Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try [ 865 ]
Who is our equal: ..."

Paradise Lost, V, 859-61, 864-6.

Michael McCollough   Link to this

Robert, does 'sexton' still mean literally gravedigger at this point? I'd think Sam would have more to worry about than Susan's dad's social standing if so.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Michael, Thank you for helping this Yank (and California native at that) sort out the class distinctions of a not so-remote Britain.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

My class insensitivity is complicated by being the grandson of a farmer and a dentist, son of an oil-co executive, my own educational pedigree and residence in a small town in the midsouth.

cgs   Link to this

Just a case of Samuell now that he has a few quids for some pearls of wisdom, not liking to be reminded of the good old days when he could not find a farthing for the link lad to find his way home when he be a little imbibed.
Who does want to reminded?
Nouveau riche,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nouveau_riche

Robert Gertz   Link to this

“We know no time when we were not as now;
Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais’d [ 860 ]
By our own quick’ning power, …”
Our puissance is our own, our own right hand
Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try [ 865 ]
Who is our equal: …”

But will Sam conclude that it is better to rule in the Naval Office than to serve Lady Castlemaine?...

"One and the same thing, knave..." Barbara frowns. "Gauden! That payoff from the Tangier accounts!!"

Log in to post an annotation.

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