Tuesday 30 October 1666

Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, where late, very busy, and dispatching much business. Mr. Hater staying most of the afternoon abroad, he come to me, poor man, to make excuse, and it was that he had been looking out for a little house for his family. His wife being much frightened in the country with the discourses of troubles and disorders like to be, and therefore durst not be from him, and therefore he is forced to bring her to towne that they may be together. This is now the general apprehension of all people; particulars I do not know, but my owne fears are also great, and I do think it time to look out to save something, if a storm should come. At night home to supper, and singing with my wife, who hath lately begun to learn, and I think will come to do something, though her eare is not good, nor I, I confess, have patience enough to teach her, or hear her sing now and then a note out of tune, and am to blame that I cannot bear with that in her which is fit I should do with her as a learner, and one that I desire much could sing, and so should encourage her. This I was troubled at, for I do find that I do put her out of heart, and make her fearfull to sing before me. So after supper to bed.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

October 30 To Lond. to our Office, & now had I on the Vest, & Surcoate, or Tunic as ’twas cald, after his Majestie had brought the whole Court to it; It being a comely, & manly habite: to[o] good to hold, it being impossible for us to leave the Monsieurs Vanitys in good earnest long:

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/1914/ed...

Lawrence   Link to this

Mr. Hater staying most of the afternoon abroad, he come to me, poor man, to make excuse, and it was that he had been looking out for a little house for his family. His wife being much frightened in the country with the discourses of troubles and disorders like to be, and therefore durst not be from him, and therefore he is forced to bring her to towne that they may be together. This is now the general apprehension of all people; particulars I do not know, but my owne fears are also great, and I do think it time to look out to save something, if a storm should come
And there it is in a large nut shell? plague, the fire, men being pressed, and let's face it? the war could be going better, pepy's himself struggled recently to hear the women shreiking! to see the men that had been pressed taken by boat down to the naval yards, the conflict at the top about the want of money, and the King to attend business? and he doesn't even mention the refugee camps/people living under canvus? imagine taking a long hard look around you, 30th october 1666, make's our modern reccession look somewhat like the swan's feet! (out of sight), The town is raised to the ground, everyone you know as lost someone close! to the plague, or the fitter one's/younger? have been pressed, but I'm sure it can only get better?

Jesse   Link to this

"disorders like to be...if a storm should come"

Pepys, buried in his work and pleasures, seems to have left us in the dark on most of this ("particulars I do not know"). Yes, he's been somewhat busy looking into his 'solid' assets, but I think that was mostly due to the fire. I wonder whether this visit will be another wake up call or will his apprehension soon blow over?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"This I was troubled at, for I do find that I do put her out of heart, and make her fearfull to sing before me."

Sam, have you ever sung for someone who wasn't anxious to please you or hoped for a favor from you? It might well be your voice isn't really as grand as Knipp, your father, and other interested parties insist.

***
Bess, fearful:

"Father once spoke of an angel...I used to dream he'd appear. Then one fair day at the bookseller's I did see him there...

Angel of Music, guide and guardian! Grant to me your glory!...Samuel, dear, speak...Impart your wisdom. Take me in hand, master."

Sam...Commanding:

"Too long you've wandered in darkness...Far from my all-knowing gaze..."

Bess: "Wildly... (and I mean wildly, Sam'l!) my mind beats against you."

Sam, confidently: "But your soul obeys..."

Bess: "Angel of Music, composer...Husband...I have been weak, forgive me."

Sam: "Flattery always can win me...Jealousy I must despise. Here is the note you must sing me. This one try to rise..."

Bess: "AHHHHHH...Angel of Music!! Whatuhuhuh was...That about...Jealousy? Why would you mention such a flaw, unless there was reason be?"

Sam: "Bess, love, you must have been dreaming...You know here in office I hide. Just check in with our good Will Hewer, who is there inside."

Will:"Angel or demon...Dark seducer. Who is it the man inside? Yes, angel or madman...Ancestor of 'Don Draper', what does your dark soul hide?"

Sam: "Hewer you're fired."

Mary   Link to this

Marital singing lessons.

Plainly as disheartening as marital driving lessons - though with more regret and less bad temper.

FJA   Link to this

An interesting piece of information this bit about Bess and the singing lesson, in that Sam should have the reflection to record her self-consciousness and his own inability to control impatience when teaching a particular skill to one with whom he has a whole range of daily interactions. These seem like modern traits, but of course they show how similar we are across the ages.

And yet Sam rarely, if ever, tells us of his feelings about being with Bess after his tumblings and playfulness in foreign languages with other bettys about town. A couple days ago annotators discussed his dalliance with Doll in the Dog, wondering does word not get back to Bess. Then, the next day, he enjoys a three-some "all afternoon", only to go thence with Bess to sit and sup at uncle Wight's (of all people). Does Sam not ever have a red face? If so, the shame never seems to slow him down.

Bess can get jealous and cause a scene from time to time with Mrs. Pearse, or object to sharing a carriage with Knipp, but that's such small potatoes, she must not really know. Yes, she fired Mercer, but only in the heat of the moment and with "good cause". I cannot remember ever reading of Bess confronting Sam with, "Well, well, I know what you've been doing", or "A little bird told me..." She must be ignorant of his sordid affairs or it would be in the Diary. He certainly tells us of their other arguments, petty grievances and goings to bed angry.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Sam, like other famed real and fictional philanderers, is above all an excellent liar (er, storyteller). I think Bess still lives partly on the romance of their courtship and what he sacrificed in terms of dowry, etc to marry her, as well as that incredible charm of his that keeps us liking him in spite of his behavior. Plus, for all their fighting he and she have been quite the team Pepys over the years and he probably encourages her to see it that way, at least when other men aren't around. It's actually a revelation to see how many of the marriages at here in the Diary have strong partnerships at their core-Martin and Betty Martin (for all Martin's weakness, Betty is committed to advancing him); Betty Pierce pretty much ran the prize goods business for the Pierce family; Lady Batten seems to handle Sir Will well and he seems to complain when Sam and Bess treat her with less than appropriate respect; Jemina has less official control, but runs the Sandwich family business affairs while my Lord is off cooling heels in Spain; Bagwell may be a louse but he clearly has a essential business asset in Mrs. B.; Chris Knipp may morosely chafe at it, but Betty Knipp is at least his partner if not his superior in the breadwinning.

Spoiler...

In fact, perhaps even to Sam's future shock, she has no real clue, despite fears. But the explosion will come...

CGS   Link to this

male female relationships at the best, are misleading,
all partnerships must have value for each party, not necessary to be same 'quid quo pro', the moment that it becomes one sided, the the balloon goes up.
Just because some relationship do not fit our perception or brain washed fantasy or idealistic romantic concept, we think they are a failure, but this is not necessary true. This makes the human an interesting animal, the rules are modified by the human success/failure experience.
See Hobbes and the first law of nature and man.

FJA   Link to this

You are right, of course, Salty. Humans are forever modifying the rules to fit their present circumstances. What human society in general and that of our early 21st century, after a healthy dose of sexual equality consciousness-raising, might judge as improper behavior by our Mr. Pepys could be viewed in a number of ways by his wife. Assuming she knows of his marital transgressions, she may decide that she loves him too much to leave, or that she now has leverage to be husbanded until the right time, or that her own world leaves her no option but to put up with this otherwise excellent bread-earner, and endure.
At this point, we do not know what Bess knows about Sam's philandering, nor what she thinks about it, nor why she makes the choices she does, nor even what options she sees as open to her. We do know that she rid the household of Sam's ready singing partner, Mercer, observes Sam co-opting Mercer's replacement in this regard, has sought to be taught by her husband that she might at least be present at the music sessions, and has now reacted to his impatient teaching method in a manner to give him pause for reflection.
It is an interesting entry in that shows Sam's thinking about an aspect of his relationship with Bess. He may not be the man to teach her, but he seems genuinely to want her to learn and be able to join him. And she seems to recognize it would enhance her position to do so. Or is she merely being petulant, demanding her rights to his attention and blaming him for her failure to learn on this latest attempt?

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