Monday 13 May 1667

Up, and when ready, to the office (my wife rising to send away Barker, according to our resolution last night, and she did do it with more clothes than have cost us 10l., and 20s. in her purse, which I did for the respect I bear Mr. Falconbridge, otherwise she had not deserved half of it, but I am the more willing to do it to be rid of one that made work and trouble in the house, and had not qualities of any honour or pleasure to me or my family, but what is a strange thing did always declare to her mistress and others that she had rather be put to drudgery and to wash the house than to live as she did like a gentlewoman), and there I and Gibson all the morning making an end of my report against Carcasse, which I think will do our business, but it is a horrid shame such a rogue should give me and all of us this trouble. This morning come Sir H. Cholmly to me for a tally or two; and tells me that he hears that we are by agreement to give the King of France Nova Scotia, which he do not like: but I do not know the importance of it. Then abroad with my wife to my Lord Treasurer’s, and she to her tailor’s. I find Sir Philip Warwicke, who I perceive do give over my Lord Treasurer for a man of this world, his pain being grown great again upon him, and all the rest he hath is by narcotiques, and now Sir Philip Warwicke do please himself, like a good man, to tell some of the good ejaculations of my Lord Treasurer concerning the little worth of this world, to buy it with so much pain, and other things fit for a dying man. So finding no business likely to be done here for Tangier, I having a warrant for tallies to be signed, I away to the New Exchange, and there staid a little, and then to a looking-glass shop to consult about covering the wall in my closet over my chimney, which is darkish, with looking- glasses, and then to my wife’s tailor’s, but find her not ready to go home, but got to buy things, and so I away home to look after my business and finish my report of Carcasse, and then did get Sir W. Batten, Sir J. Minnes, and [Sir] W. Pen together, and read it over with all the many papers relating to the business, which they do wonder at, and the trouble I have taken about it, and like the report, so as that they do unanimously resolve to sign it, and stand by it, and after a great deal of discourse of the strange deportment of my Lord Bruncker in this business to withstand the whole board in behalf of such an impudent rogue as this is, I parted, and home to my wife, and supped and talked with her, and then to bed, resolving to rise betimes to-morrow to write fair the report.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"we are by agreement to give the King of France Nova Scotia, which he do not like: but I do not know the importance of it. "

Here in the 1893 edition, Lord Braybrooke noted:
"Nova Scotia and the adjoining countries were called by the French Acadie. Pepys is not the only official personage whose ignorance of Nova Scotia is on record. A story is current of a prime minister (Duke of Newcastle) who was surprised at hearing Cape Breton was an island. "Egad, I'll go tell the King Cape Breton is an island!" Of the same it is said, that when told Annapolis was in danger, and ought to be defended: "Oh! certainly Annapolis must be defended,— where is Annapolis?"—B."

andy  •  Link

and then to a looking-glass shop to consult about covering the wall in my closet over my chimney, which is darkish, with looking- glasses,

mirror tiles of the 17th century. Plus ça change,....Will Sam sponsor a DIY chain?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'd have that chimney checked, Sam.

How could Barker give up all the fringe benefits of being a lady's companion in the Pepys' household? Endless instruction in music with Mr. Pepys' unremitting correction, morning humor with Mr. Pepys as one dresses him with fondle thrown in for free, carriage rides with the Pepys with grope by Mr. P again all free.

Then to be fair, it must be a bit dull for a young girl who isn't likely a great conversationalist to dance attendance all day on Bess, even if the work's not physically hard. And our fair lady isn't exacty known for her placid temper, especially with servants.

I wonder too if there wasn't a lot of tiresome Henry Higgins in all the efforts to make Barker into a proper companion fitting the rising Mrs. Pepys. The professors Pepys, Sam and Bess, endlessly trying to dress and instruct a teenaged kid into their version of perfection would probably drive her up the wall quickly. Throw in the above fringe benefits of working with Sam and Bess and one could see where she might not find employment at Seething Lane a pleasant experience.

John in Newcastle  •  Link

"and all the rest he hath is by narcotiques"

What narcotics would have been available to a wealthy man in great pain? Opium? Coca leaves? Alcohol?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"all the rest he hath is by narcotiques"
Methinks opium no doubt.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Ignorance of countries: reminds me of the time Queen Victoria thought Bolivia had been a bit uppity and demanded a gunboat be sent to remind them of Britain's superiority. Somebody then had to explain to her that Bolivia, um, has no coastline.....

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Australian Susan,in Queen Victoria's time Bolivia did indeed have a coast line but alas it lost it to Chile.

cum salis grano  •  Link

an aside [lifted from Wiki]
The modern Bolivian Navy.
Naval Ensign of Bolivia

"The Bolivian Naval Force (Fuerza Naval Boliviana in Spanish), formerly Bolivian Navy (Armada Boliviana) is a naval force about 5,000 strong in 2008.[52]

Although Bolivia has been landlocked since the War of the Pacific in 1879,

Bolivia established a River and Lake Force (Fuerza Fluvial y Lacustre) in January 1963 under the Ministry of National Defense. It consisted of four boats supplied from the United States and 1,800 personnel recruited largely from the army. Bolivia's naval force was renamed the Bolivian Naval Force (Fuerza Naval Boliviana) in January 1966......"

Australian Susan  •  Link

Bolivia did not have a coastline when Queen V ordered the gunboat!

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

A belated annotation regarding ignorance of geography. A young man from away attended a social event in Boston. Asked where he was from, he relied, "Iowa." "Ah, yes," replied the matronly questioner. "But here we pronounce it Ohio."

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