Friday 22 February 1666/67

Up, and to the office, where I awhile, and then home with Sir H. Cholmly to give him some tallies upon the business of the Mole at Tangier, and then out with him by coach to the Excise Office, there to enter them, and so back again with him to the Exchange, and there I took another coach, and home to the office, and to my business till dinner, the rest of our officers having been this morning upon the Victuallers’ accounts. At dinner all of us, that is to say, Lord Bruncker, [Sir] J. Minnes, [Sir] W. Batten, [Sir] T. Harvy, and myself, to Sir W. Pen’s house, where some other company. It is instead of a wedding dinner for his daughter, whom I saw in palterly clothes, nothing new but a bracelet that her servant had given her, and ugly she is, as heart can wish. A sorry dinner, not any thing handsome or clean, but some silver plates they borrowed of me. My wife was here too. So a great deal of talk, and I seemingly merry, but took no pleasure at all. We had favours given us all, and we put them in our hats, I against my will, but that my Lord and the rest did, I being displeased that he did carry Sir W. Coventry’s himself several days ago, and the people up and down the town long since, and we must have them but to-day. After dinner to talk a little, and then I away to my office, to draw up a letter of the state of the Office and Navy for the Duke of York against Sunday next, and at it late, and then home to supper and to bed, talking with my wife of the poorness and meanness of all that Sir W. Pen and the people about us do, compared with what we do.

17 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"[I]nstead of a wedding dinner for his daughter, whom I saw in palterly clothes, nothing new but a bracelet that her servant had given her, and ugly she is, as heart can wish. A sorry dinner, not any thing handsome or clean, but some silver plates they borrowed of me. . . . [T]o bed, talking with my wife of the poorness and meanness of all that Sir W. Pen and the people about us do, compared with what we do."

"Lord, I thank thee, that I am not as other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this civil servant, my co-worker."

"palterly": a delicious alternative to "paltry."

cape henry   Link to this

Difficult to embellish this entry in any way. Pepys is obviously taking great delight in writing this post, you can imagine him pausing, pen to temple, smile on his lips, to concoct the perfect pejorative.

cum salis grano   Link to this

"...whom I saw in palterly clothes,..."
Samuell if he saw some of to-days fashions would use the word Garbage.
He has another entry for this miserable situation.

paltry n Origin uncertain.....worthy of exploring
{"Garbarge"?}

palterly, adv.

In a paltering manner; deceitfully, trickily.
1598 R. BERNARD tr. Terence Eunuch I. ii, in Terence in Eng. 120 Thou lewd woman,..dealing thus paulterly with me.

palterly, adj.
Paltry; mean, shabby.
a1637 B. JONSON For Honour of Wales (1640) 31 The first time he ever play Dance, to be pit up in a Mountaine (got knowes where) by a palterly Poet.

1667 S. PEPYS Diary 22 Feb. (1974) VIII. 77 It is instead of a wedding dinner for his daughter, whom I saw in palterly clothes, nothing new but a bracelet.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Well, Sam...Fine as your parties may be, Penn still beats you, if one considers how you treated your infant niece against how he treats his daughter. And if we wish to be charitable we could consider Admiral Sir Will as perhaps not having your access to ummn..."extra" income.

Michael L   Link to this

It's cute that Sam is so proud of that silver plate that lets him play the wealthy gentleman. But if I recall, isn't its provenance a little murky?

Margaret   Link to this

Sam and Bess are very much nouveau riche. Just a few years ago they were practically penniless, living in a single room in his wealthy cousin's mansion. They've come a long way in a short time, and are a little too proud of it.

Ruben   Link to this

Exceptional entry!
I see here the differing ways in which people reacted to the Restoration.
Pepys way is the ostentation of wealth and the relax of some social mores.
Penn is the opposite, something that will stand out later, forcefully, in his son.
Pepys, the clerk, has only his plates and some coins stashed away in the cellar of his dwelling, that does not belong to him...
Admiral Sir Penn is the owner of extensive estates in Ireland and elsewhere. He married the daughter of a famous and wealty Dutch merchant. Ergo, money was not his problem. Modesty was more important.
Our Sam is blinded here, comparing his precarious position with that of one of the pillars of the Restoration.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Now, Batten."

"Penn, I have been treated like...That Carcasse! Apt, as he soon will be a rotting one! And did you see our damned little bastard, Pepys? Mr. Public Interrogator, as if he and Carcasse weren't thick as..."

"Now, Will."

"The little show-off was sneering all the way through your dinner...And that wife of his with her airs. Did you hear his continual referrences to his silver plate? How you tolerate his insolence is beyond me."

"Yes, yes...But t'was relief from hearing his stone cut tale." chuckle. "But one must indulge our bright young man, though I do worry for him, Batten. After all our dear boy can certainly testify that I've never made much of a public display. In fact, Will...Given your lovely place is accounted for by your previous wealth, can you think of anyone in the office whom fortune has favored so suddenly as our dear boy?"

"Plate,furnishing, all those toys of his...And I hear from my girl he keeps a couple of iron chests in the cellar. And all on a clerk's 350Ls. Plus of course his other jobs."

"A diligent young man, undoubtedly...And yet, should there ever be a more careful prying into Mr. Carcasse's or others' charges. I would worry for our boy, with all his love of display. Though I would never bring it up myself, one day Parliament might find it...A bit curious given he had nothing when he came to join us, eh?"

"Shocking, some might find it."

"I have tried to warn the boy...Show him good example of probity in public business. A pity, Batten, a pity...Bright and promising lad like that. Just the sort of ambitious young fellow the Commons likes to slap down every now and then... But what can one do if the lad is determined to make a public spectacle of his gains?"

"Not a thing, Will." smile.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Sam and Bess are very much nouveau riche. Just a few years ago they were practically penniless, living in a single room in his wealthy cousin’s mansion. They’ve come a long way in a short time, and are a little too proud of it."

It is an amazing progress, though Sam as a University grad should have been marked for success. Perhaps it explains Bess' tolerance or plain refusal to see some of Sam's "little faults".

Spoiler...

Of course just comparing Sam's career with brother John's, one can see the classic proof that a mere degree/education, even with a degree of achievement, does not in any way ensure success in the outer world.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"At dinner all of us, that is to say, Lord Bruncker, [Sir] J. Minnes, [Sir] W. Batten, [Sir] T. Harvy, and myself, to Sir W. Pen’s house, where some other company."

Evelyn, Clarendon, Carteret, The King, Queen, Jamie, Castlemaine, Mrs. Stewart, the entire House of Lords...

"Sam'l, there's Mr. Betterton!" Bess points.

"Oh...An actor, too, eh? Some fine company, Penn's dragooned here." Sam morosely twiddling favor with finger.

"Is that man with the bandaged head Prince Rupert? My, he's still pretty fine." Bess beams. "Can't we dance? It's the finest orchestra ever assembled in England, the Queen told me."

"And she would know? Please, I had better fiddlers at our last party."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"God, our plate looks so cheap next to the Penns' magnificent stuff." Bess sighs, eyeing dining set. "Rather wish we hadn't lent them a few for trays."

"Oh, will you shut up?!" sulking Sam.

Rod McCaslin   Link to this

As I am reading this entry on the 23rd, I feel free to wish Sam and all his followers a Happy Pepys (Birth)Day!

R Kadish   Link to this

Can anyone recommend a guided walking tour (or self-guided tour) of London that focuses on 17th century / Pepys' London?
Thanks...

Mary   Link to this

Pepys' London.

If you go to the "in depth articles" at the head of this page and then link to the entry for September 2005, you will find illustrated information on a walk through Pepys' London from Whitehall to Fleet Street and St. Paul's.

For the area east of St. Paul's (i.e. Pepys' home territory) it could be useful to contact the official City of London Guides at

http://cityoflondontouristguides.com

I should be surprised if they do not have someone who could put together a well-informed tour of this part of Pepys' 'beat.' City of London guides can sometimes get you into buildings that would otherwise be difficult of access.

[This blog has its own, unofficial, guide to Pepys' London - Glyn - but I was unable to locate any 'anthology' of the various sites, walks and hints that he has supplied over the years].

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Glyn Thomas's Pepys walks

Pepys walks in London

http://www.pepysdiary.com/about/archive/2004/08...

A new Pepys walk around Westminster

http://www.pepysdiary.com/about/archive/2005/03...

Mary   Link to this

Thanks, Terry.
I was looking in the wrong place.

R Kadish   Link to this

Many thanks!!

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