Friday 12 April 1667

Up, and when ready, and to my office, to do a little business, and, coming homeward again, saw my door and hatch open, left so by Luce, our cookmayde, which so vexed me, that I did give her a kick in our entry, and offered a blow at her, and was seen doing so by Sir W. Pen’s footboy, which did vex me to the heart, because I know he will be telling their family of it; though I did put on presently a very pleasant face to the boy, and spoke kindly to him, as one without passion, so as it may be he might not think I was angry, but yet I was troubled at it. So away by water to White Hall, and there did our usual business before the Duke of York; but it fell out that, discoursing of matters of money, it rose to a mighty heat, very high words arising between Sir G. Carteret and [Sir] W. Coventry, the former in his passion saying that the other should have helped things if they were so bad; and the other answered, so he would, and things should have been better had he been Treasurer of the Navy. I was mightily troubled at this heat, and it will breed ill blood, I fear; but things are in that bad condition that I do daily expect when we shall all fly in one another’s faces, when we shall be reduced, every one, to answer for himself. We broke up; and I soon after to Sir G. Carteret’s chamber, where I find the poor man telling his lady privately, and she weeping. I went into them, and did seem, as indeed I was, troubled for this; and did give the best advice I could, which, I think, did please them: and they do apprehend me their friend, as indeed I am, for I do take the Vice-chamberlain for a most honest man. He did assure me that he was not, all expences and things paid, clear in estate 15,000l. better than he was when the King come in; and that the King and Lord Chancellor did know that he was worth, with the debt the King owed him, 50,000l., I think, he said, when the King come into England. I did pacify all I could, and then away by water home, there to write letters and things for the dispatch of Balty away this day to sea; and after dinner he did go, I having given him much good counsell; and I have great hopes that he will make good use of it, and be a good man, for I find him willing to take pains and very sober. He being gone, I close at my office all the afternoon getting off of hand my papers, which, by the late holidays and my laziness, were grown too many upon my hands, to my great trouble, and therefore at it as late as my eyes would give me leave, and then by water down to Redriffe, meaning to meet my wife, who is gone with Mercer, Barker, and the boy (it being most sweet weather) to walk, and I did meet with them, and walked back, and then by the time we got home it was dark, and we staid singing in the garden till supper was ready, and there with great pleasure. But I tried my girles Mercer and Barker singly one after another, a single song, “At dead low ebb,” etc., and I do clearly find that as to manner of singing the latter do much the better, the other thinking herself as I do myself above taking pains for a manner of singing, contenting ourselves with the judgment and goodness of eare. So to supper, and then parted and to bed.

13 Annotations

cape henry   Link to this

"...though I did put on presently a very pleasant face to the boy, and spoke kindly to him, as one without passion..."Oh please, he's a footboy, not a moron.What a scurvy little scene.

L. K. van Marjenhoff   Link to this

In modern times Sam would have been in jail so many times by now. The business with the cook-maid sounds like Russell Crowe assaulting a hotel employee with a telephone about five years ago. That almost cost Crowe ANY further entry into the U.S. -- which probably wouldn't have bothered him at all if he didn't need Hollywood to make his millions.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and was seen doing so by Sir W. Pen’s footboy, which did vex me to the heart, because I know he will be telling their family of it;"

"You know you left out the part where Luce kicked you back right in the old scar and I had to rescue you..."

"Bess..." nervous hiss.

"Well, your fans would be interested...Like that Mr. Woods gentleman telling all."

"Bess. Not everything has to be told here."

"Oh, but Sam'l....That green look on your face and the desperate way you tried to cover it up to that boy while I practically carried you back in the house. How could you cheat all these lovely strange people you so love to tell the details of my ... to of such a hilarious scene?"

"I talk about my stone cut...And my illnesses, flatulence..."

"Oh, Lord, yes. In vivid detail... And those delightful scenes of my arguing with Ashwell and Mercer...And that black eye you gave me. So why leave out this? It's positively unfair to your readers. Though you were lucky poor Luce felt sorry for you and badly about leaving the door and hatch open. When you started screaming after she landed that last kick..."

Michael Robinson   Link to this

“At dead low ebb,” etc.

A Tale out of Anacreon

At dead low ebb of night, when none
But Great Charles Wayn was driven on;
When mortals strict cessation keep,
To re-recruit themselves with sleep;
‘Twas then a boy knock’d at my gate.
Who’s there, said I, that call so late?
O let me in! he soon reply’d.
I am a childe; and then he cry’d.
I wander without guide or light,
Lost in this wet, blind, moonless night
In pitty then I rose, and straight
Unbarr’d my dore, and sprang a light:
Behold, it was a lovely boy,
A sweeter sight ne’re bless’d mine eye:
I view’d him round, and saw strange things;
A bow, a quiver and two wings;
I led him to the fire, and then
I dry’d and, chaf’d his hands with mine:
I gently press’d his tresses, curles,
Which new faln rain had hung with perls.
At last, when warmed, the Yonker said,
Alas my bow! I am afraid
The string is wet; pray (Sir) let’s try;
Let’s try my bow.
Do, do, said I.
He bent it; shot so quick and smart,
As though my liver reach’d my heart.
Then in a trice he took his flight,
And, laughing, said; my bow is right,
It is O ‘tis! For as he spoke,
‘Twas not his bow, but my heart is broke.

Anon.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"... and I do clearly find that as to manner of singing the latter [Barker] do much the better, the other thinking herself as I do myself above taking pains for a manner of singing, contenting ourselves with the judgment and goodness of eare. "

How curious it was Barker who had the difficulty on the third with 'It is Decreed.'

but vexed with the unreadiness of the girle’s voice to learn the latter part of my song, though I confess it is very hard, half notes. So to supper and to bed.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/04/02/

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"We broke up; and I soon after to Sir G. Carteret’s chamber, where I find the poor man telling his lady privately, and she weeping. I went into them, and did seem, as indeed I was, troubled for this; and did give the best advice I could, which, I think, did please them: and they do apprehend me their friend, as indeed I, for I do take the Vice-chamberlain for a most honest man."

Interesting. The Carterets seem a close and fond couple. I'm also surprised by Sam's sudden faith in Sir George's honesty, given Carteret's poundage accounting in the past and his delight in portraying himself to Sam as a man of the world sharper than most...

August 1665
"I find him a very cunning man, whatever at other times he seems to be, and among other things he told me he was not for the fanfaroone to make a show with a great title, as he might have had long since, but the main thing to get an estate; and another thing, speaking of minding of business, 'By God,' says he, 'I will and have already almost brought it to that pass, that the King shall not be able to whip a cat, but I must be at the tayle of it.'"

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...but things are in that bad condition that I do daily expect when we shall all fly in one another’s faces, when we shall be reduced, every one, to answer for himself."

Impossible. I mean, given the harmony and brotherhood among the office members Sam so vividly chronicles.

JWB   Link to this

"...my door and hatch open..."

From this, I take the 'hatch' to be the half-door into the kitchen:

"A Dictionary of the Architecture and Archaeology of the Middle Ages ..." By John Britton, John Le Keux, George Godwin
http://books.google.com/books?id=kCwBAAAAQAAJ&p...

Mary   Link to this

hatch.

Pepys seems to be saying that Luce left not only the door (external door to the kitchen) open but that she also left the hatch (half-door between kitchen and the rest of the house) open.

This would have meant that an interloper could have gained easy access not just to the kitchen but also to the 'upstairs' part of the house where the valuables were kept.

Bradford   Link to this

"I did give her a kick in our entry, and offered a blow at her, and was seen doing so by Sir W. Pen’s footboy, which did vex me to the heart,"

---And while lamenting the ill-bred behavior on show, one cannot but be amused by the rapidity with which the punishment followed the offense---Pepys's, I mean.

anne   Link to this

While Mercer and Pepys just sing a song out straight, Barker performs in the mannered, dramatic style of art song. Pepys apparently approves.

JWB   Link to this

history's gyres

"...did vex me to the heart,..." and
"At dead low ebb" = 17th century vexed generation. Will Sam take to wearing hoodies & low-riding breeches?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"he was worth, with the debt the King owed him, 50,000l., I think, he said, when the King come into England. "

L&M note the debts arose mainly from his services as Governor of Jersey.

Log in to post an annotation.

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