Monday 28 May 1666

Up and to my chamber to do some business there, and then to the office, where a while, and then by agreement to the Excise Office, where I waited all the morning for the Cofferer and Sir St. Foxe’s coming, but they did not, so I and the Commissioners lost their labour and expectation of doing the business we intended. Thence home, where I find Mr. Lovett and his wife came to see us. They are a pretty couple, and she a fine bred woman. They dined with us, and Browne, the paynter, and she plays finely on the lute. My wife and I were well pleased with her company. After dinner broke up, I to the office and they abroad. All the afternoon I busy at the office, and down by water to Deptford. Walked back to Redriffe, and so home to the office again, being thoughtfull how to answer Sir W. Coventry against to-morrow in the business of the Victualling, but that I do trust to Tom Wilson, that he will be ready with a book for me to-morrow morning. So to bed, my wife telling me where she hath been to-day with my aunt Wight, and seen Mrs. Margaret Wight, and says that she is one of the beautifullest women that ever she saw in her life, the most excellent nose and mouth. They have been also to see pretty Mrs. Batelier, and conclude her to be a prettier woman than Mrs. Pierce, whom my wife led my aunt to see also this day.

16 Annotations

Jean in MD   Link to this

Wait. . .this is Alexander Browne, Elizabeth's painting teacher and the "mechanique" about whom Samuel pitched such a fit at the beginning of the month? And here he is again, sitting in the company at the dinner table. I wonder how Elizabeth won that one?

Bradford   Link to this

Elizabeth "says that she is one of the beautifullest women that ever she saw in her life, the most excellent nose and mouth. They have been also to see pretty Mrs. Batelier, and conclude her to be a prettier woman than Mrs. Pierce, whom my wife led my aunt to see also this day." How soon shall Samuel check out these claims for himself?

cgs   Link to this

"the Cofferer " the same Mr. Ashburnham, I presume

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Interesting that he's described as "Browne, the painter" as if Sam has subconsciously tried to elevate his status to someone worthy of dining with the glorious CoA. Unless of course this is another Browne which seems unlikely.

***

"My wife...If you would believe it...Wishes to have her painting teacher, that fellow Browne, dine at our table."

"Alexander Browne? The famed painter whose latest work was purchased by Lady Castlemaine for 1000Ls?"

Hmmn...

Jesse   Link to this

"...conclude her to be a prettier woman than Mrs. Pierce"

No doubt. I'd wager the ranking's inverse to popularity among the not-so-fair sex.

Mary   Link to this

"he will be ready with a book for me"

a book = a set of accounts.

The modern book-keeper still prepares sets of accounts and we refer to 'the books' meaning 'the accounts' but no longer use the noun in the singular quite as Pepys does. One type of accountant does normally keep a (singular) book these days and that is a turf-accountant, or bookie.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"Thence home, where I find Mr. Lovett and his wife came to see us. They are a pretty couple, and she a fine bred woman. They dined with us, and Browne, the paynter, and she plays finely on the lute. My wife and I were well pleased with her company."

I think SP gets himself off the hook with a conscious gesture of egalitarian generosity, allowing "mechanique” to dine with “mechanique” -- while himself enjoying the company of Mrs Lovett (very beautiful woman) but well pleased only on account of her being well bred and playing finely on the lute, personal characteristics that can be discussed safely with EP: everyone wins!

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"They have been also to see pretty Mrs. Batelier, and conclude her to be a prettier woman than Mrs. Pierce"

Given Elizabeth's previously voiced jealousy of Mrs. P, I'm not too surprised by her assessment. It'll be interesting to see if Sam agrees.

cgs   Link to this

cooked or uncrooked?
"...I do trust to Tom Wilson, that he will be ready with a book for me to-morrow morning...."

Sam into day's world, would be in his element with his laptop, down on the commons padding his cut of the hemp [hashish]

DiPhi   Link to this

I find it interesting that the shape of Sam's day is so different from ours. In Sam's life, it isn't unusual for folks stop by in the middle of a work day, have a bite to eat, play a little music together, and then disperse back to work.

OTOH, our days run from 8 to 5 (or later), and we only have a little fun after work.

I think I prefer Sam's way!

FJA   Link to this

I wonder how many times people wait all the morning or afternoon at Sam's office, in vain because he is out with Mrs. Martin or some such. Difficult to conduct business without calling ahead to confirm the appointment. Of course, in a "small" town where everyone knows everyone else:
"Oh, Mr. Pepys is it? Well, I saw him not an hour ago, holding court at the Exchange...or was it the Swan? Have you made inquiry with his clerke? Did you leave your card?...Ah, yes, I remember now, he set out walking to Deptford with a book in hand. You might await him there if you go by water while the tide is still in your favour."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Walked back to Redriffe, and so home to the office again, being thoughtfull how to answer Sir W. Coventry against to-morrow in the business of the Victualling, but that I do trust to Tom Wilson, that he will be ready with a book for me to-morrow morning."

So much anxiety and a long, therapeutic walk!

djc   Link to this

FJA "Difficult to conduct business without calling ahead to confirm the appointment."

Note how often Pepys himself calls on someone to find they are elsewhere etc. There is a social order to who waits upon whom, and as everybody work within the same system of expectations it probably works out overall as well as any modern system of appointments and schedules, and re-schedules etc..

FJA   Link to this

You catch my meaning as at the top of this date's entry, Sam reports waiting "all the morning" for the Cofferer and Sir St. Foxe, despite having come "by agreement". Perhaps they suddenly had more pressing business, or perhaps one or both were out with their own "Mrs. Martin". In any event, they left no word for Mr. Pepys who waited in vain at the Excise Office and lost an opportunity to do business. But, doubtless, he has been as inconsiderate of others on occasion.

cgs   Link to this

'twas why the calling card be invented.

the silent reminder of you doth not ignore me.

Pedro   Link to this

Meanwhile in Madrid.

Sandwich’s entertainment by the Queen of Spain ended with supper on the 28th May “which was indeed very handsome, but ye viz. 7000 reals vellon per diem large enough to have afforded better”...Sandwich calculated that at 17 real vellon to a piece of eight the actual value was 411.764 pieces.

(Cromwell’s Earl by Ollard)

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