Up, and being called on by Mr. Commander, he and I out to the ground behind Sir W. Pen’s, where I am resolved to take a lease of some of it for a stable and coach [house], and so to keep a coach, unless some change come before I can do it, for I do see it is a greater charge to me now in hackneys, and I am a little dishonoured by going in them. We spoke with him that hath the letting it, and I do believe when I can tell how much it will be fit for me to have we shall go near to agree. So home, and there found my door open, which makes me very angry with Nell, and do think to put her away for it, though it do so go against me to part with a servant that it troubles me more than anything in the world. So to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Mr. Goodgroome and Creed, and I have great hopes that my wife will come to sing to my mind. After dinner my wife and Creed and I being entered a hackney coach to go to the other end of the town, we espied The. Turner coming in her coach to see us, which we were surprised at, and so ‘light and took her and another young lady home, and there sat and talked with The., she being lately come out of the North after two or three years absence. She is come to put out her sister and brothers to school at Putney. After a little talk, I over Tower Hill with them to a lady’s they go to visit, and so away with my wife, whose being dressed this day in fair hair did make me so mad, that I spoke not one word to her in our going, though I was ready to burst with anger. So to White Hall to the Committee of Tangier, where they were discoursing about laws for the civil government of the place, but so dull and so little to the purpose that I fell to slumber, when the fear of being seen by Sir W. Coventry did trouble me much afterwards, but I hope he did not. After that broke up. Creed and I into the Park, and walked, a most pleasant evening, and so took coach, and took up my wife, and in my way home discovered my trouble to my wife for her white locks,1 swearing by God, several times, which I pray God forgive me for, and bending my fist, that I would not endure it. She, poor wretch,2 was surprized with it, and made me no answer all the way home; but there we parted, and I to the office late, and then home, and without supper to bed, vexed.
- Randle Holmes says the ladies wore “false locks set on wyres, to make them stand at a distance from the head,” and accompanies the information with the figure of a lady “with a pair of locks and curls which were in great fashion in 1670” (Planche’s “Cyclopaedia of Costume; Vol. i., p. 248). ↩
- A new light is thrown upon this favourite expression of Pepys’s when speaking of his wife by the following quotation from a Midland wordbook: “Wretch, n., often used as an expression of endearment or sympathy. Old Woman to Young Master: ‘An”ow is the missis to-day, door wretch?’ Of a boy going to school a considerable distance off ‘I met ‘im with a bit o’ bread in ‘is bag, door wretch’” (“A Glossary of Words and Phrases used in S.E. Worcestershire,” by Jesse Salisbury. Published by the English Dialect Society, 1894). ↩