Saturday 12 May 1666

Up to the office very betimes to draw up a letter for the Duke of Yorke relating to him the badness of our condition in this office for want of money. That being in good time done we met at the office and there sat all the morning. At noon home, where I find my wife troubled still at my checking her last night in the coach in her long stories out of Grand Cyrus, which she would tell, though nothing to the purpose, nor in any good manner. This she took unkindly, and I think I was to blame indeed; but she do find with reason, that in the company of Pierce, Knipp, or other women that I love, I do not value her, or mind her as I ought. However very good friends by and by, and to dinner, and after dinner up to the putting our dining room in order, which will be clean again anon, but not as it is to be because of the pictures which are not come home. To the office and did much business, in the evening to Westminster and White Hall about business and among other things met Sir G. Downing on White Hall bridge, and there walked half an hour, talking of the success of the late new Act; and indeed it is very much, that that hath stood really in the room of 800,000l. now since Christmas, being itself but 1,250,000l.. And so I do really take it to be a very considerable thing done by him; for the beginning, end, and every part of it, is to be imputed to him. So home by water, and there hard till 12 at night at work finishing the great letter to the Duke of Yorke against to-morrow morning, and so home to bed. This day come home again my little girle Susan, her sicknesse proving an ague, and she had a fit soon almost as she come home. The fleete is not yet gone from the Nore. The plague encreases in many places, and is 53 this week with us.

10 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Walked half an hour with Sir G. Downing, talking of the success of the late new Act"

The Act for an Additional Aid of £1 1/4 m. (17 Car. II c.i passed on 31 October) was “a new venture in English public finance” (L&M) in which bills would be paid by the Exchequer on credit, bypassing the Treasury, denying Carteret his poundage and other profits. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/11/06/#c26...

Australian Susan   Link to this

SPOILER ALERT
"..where I find my wife troubled still at my checking her last night in the coach in her long stories out of Grand Cyrus, which she would tell, though nothing to the purpose, nor in any good manner. This she took unkindly, and I think I was to blame indeed; but she do find with reason, that in the company of Pierce, Knipp, or other women that I love, I do not value her, or mind her as I ought. However very good friends by and by, ..."

Another wonderful comment on married life. This sort of writing is unique for the 17th century - and probably very rare in published diaries since. Sam truly is a marvel. And maybe it was for memories of his Elizabeth that he retained the diary as was suggested a day or so ago. I am glad, really, that Sam did stop writing in 1669. I don't think I could have borne to read diary entries about Elizabeth's illness and death.

Lawrence   Link to this

"And maybe it was for memories of his Elizabeth that he retained the diary as was suggested a day or so ago"
Susan I think I agree with you, I remember visiting his Library and discussing, whether he would have wished them read? I think most people that have read, and cared for them, have come to feel? that even if he didn't wish them read, he clearly couldn't bring himself to cast them away, which make's you wonder, how many other men/women did cast their diaries off, and so we students of History never got to peep into their lives? love him? hate him? he seem's to never have lied to his Diary? but I guess without His famous Diary? he may be as un~known as one of his many Servants? whom we would have never heard of, if it were not for Sam mentioning them? What a genius in my eyes he is?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Perhaps the primary reason our couple managed to keep being "very good friends by and by" was Sam's honesty. It's nice to hope he admitted fault to Bess as sincerely as he does here.

Poor Bess trying to show her bookish side and tell stories clearly dear to her while our scholar keeps correcting and urging her to the point... She ought to have read one of his longer-winded, rather- bordering-on-fawning letters out to Pierce and Knipp... "And so my good lord, in conclusion, if I may thank my gracious lord for his excellent advice, that is to say with regards to the matter in hand, namely to wit..."

GrahamT   Link to this

So poor Susan didn't have the plague, it was "only" malaria.

One assumes that malaria (ague) was so widespread in the 17th C. that the people had some immunity to its worst effects, though it was still oftentimes fatal: "Coastal southern and eastern England had unusually high levels of mortality from malaria from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century (Dobson, 1994)." [http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.as...]

It would be another 200+ years before it was discovered that it was carried by mosquitoes and not caused by 'mala aria' (bad air)

rob   Link to this

"I am glad, really, that Sam did stop writing in 1669. I don’t think I could have borne to read diary entries about Elizabeth’s illness and death."

Susan, my feelings exactly.

(spoiler) Even after the whole Deb Willet affair he still genuinely loves his Bess and totally freaks out just thinking of a life without her. To me these parts of the Diary reflect one of his "Big Fears".

The other ones of course being Physical harm, being snubbed at by his superiors, losing or spending money etc.

You can only imagine how emotional he would have reported on the illness and sudden death of Elisabeth after a glorious report of a journey to France.

JWB   Link to this

Thanatophobes:

I disagree. I, for one, would have liked to have read how Sam got on.

Phoenix   Link to this

JWB. I agree. Given the confessional aspects of the diary the flood of regret, self-recrimination, guilt and (one can dream) reminiscence might have given much detail about their relationship and the sincerity of his grief.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

SPOILER?

There is Pepys's wrenching letter to his dear friend John Evelyn -- who'd provided them a detailed guide to France before they went -- about Elizabeth's death. I've sent a copy to Phil for posting as he will.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Spoiler...

One pities poor Mary Skinner...That portrait of Bess staring down on her day and night...Sam and co constantly commenting on Bess...The statue of Bess eyeing her at St. Olave's...Balty no doubt pressing some new suit upon Sam every day...One can only hope she didn't know about the Diary.

Yes, it would have been fascinating as well as heartbreaking to have the Diary continued through Bess' death. Much as I would like more years, can't say as to whether I could read the poor man's suffering and self-recriminations however deserved. If you'd only known, eh Sam? Yet in a day or two, a week, you'd likely be back to normal...Though perhaps a bit watchful of her health.

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