Friday 2 August 1667

Up, but before I rose my wife fell into angry discourse of my kindness yesterday to Mrs. Knipp, and leading her, and sitting in the coach hand in hand, and my arm about her middle, and in some bad words reproached me with it. I was troubled, but having much business in my head and desirous of peace rose and did not provoke her. So she up and come to me and added more, and spoke basely of my father, who I perceive did do something in the country, at her last being there, that did not like her, but I would not enquire into anything, but let her talk, and when ready away to the Office I went, where all the morning I was, only Mr. Gawden come to me, and he and I home to my chamber, and there reckoned, and there I received my profits for Tangier of him, and 250l. on my victualling score. He is a most noble-minded man as ever I met with, and seems to own himself much obliged to me, which I will labour to make him; for he is a good man also: we talked on many good things relating to the King’s service, and, in fine, I had much matter of joy by this morning’s work, receiving above 400l. of him, on one account or other; and a promise that, though I lay down my victualling place, yet, as long as he continues victualler, I shall be the better by him. To the office again, and there evened all our business with Mr. Kinaston about Colonel Norwood’s Bill of Exchange from Tangier, and I am glad of it, for though he be a good man, yet his importunity tries me. So home to dinner, where Mr. Hater with me and W. Hewer, because of their being in the way after dinner, and so to the office after dinner, where and with my Lord Bruncker at his lodgings all the afternoon and evening making up our great account for the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, but not so as pleased me yet. So at 12 at night home to supper and to bed, my wife being gone in an ill humour to bed before me. This noon my wife comes to me alone, and tells me she had those [?? D.W.]— upon her and bid me remember it. I asked her why, and she said she had a reason. I do think by something too she said to-day, that she took notice that I had not lain with her this half-year, that she thinks that I have some doubt that she might be with child by somebody else. Which God knows never entered into my head, or whether my father observed any thing at Brampton with Coleman I know not. But I do not do well to let these beginnings of discontents take so much root between us.

9 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"[S]he said she had a reason. I do think by something too she said to-day, that she took notice that I had not lain with her this half-year, that she thinks that I" have been taking pleasure elsewhere. . . . Odd, or characteristic, that such a thought does not cross Pepys's mind?---for if it had, he would have written it down. A reason indeed, Elizabeth. Several reasons.

Eric Walla   Link to this

OK, that answers my question, as I asked some while back why Sam no longer reported having relations with his wife (events he had noted earlier in the diary).

They seem to have been on good terms for the most part lately--what would lead him to quit her bed?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I do think by something too she said to-day, that she took notice that I had not lain with her this half-year, that she thinks that I have some doubt that she might be with child by somebody else. Which God knows never entered into my head, or whether my father observed any thing at Brampton with Coleman I know not. But I do not do well to let these beginnings of discontents take so much root between us."

Does sound like Bess has had Coleman and John's opinion of him on her mind for some time. Apparently she's certain John bad mouthed about the incident, even to the point that Sam's absence from her bed could be ascribed to it. Of course, given she hasn't brought it up before it does seem like she's trying to get a rise out of Sam by playing on his jealousy. Knipp has got her very worried...Perhaps because she's a talented, clever woman Sam respects(?) in some ways of a slightly better social class than most of his bargirls and desperate wives of desperate employees.

It looks as if the key problem is Sam's neglect has reached epic proportions and Bess is becoming certain it must be another woman. Oddly enough, it's not really so...At least in the sense of a real threat to her...Seems like he's just been too busy, not wishing to disturb her, and getting the basics of what he needed from a variety of sources. We can't know how Bess feels about sex but certainly the initimacy of having Sam chatting away about his epic struggles of the day and hearing out her troubles must mean a good deal to their bonding. If he's not spending time with her alone at night it's bound to leave her wondering and lonely and to hurt their bond over time.

Wise closing statement, Sam...

Ruben   Link to this

" I had not lain with her this half-year,"
If instead of writing a diary in an impossible shorthand he would dedicate that time to his wife, their family life would have been much better but our life would have been poorer.

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

Apologies if I have missed something, but do we know why Sam resigned his victualling post? It cost him quite a lot of money (a matter dear to his heart) and it seems his superiors thought well of him for doing so.

JWB   Link to this

"...like places in general raised during this war..."

The war's over. Coventry has drawn up papers for Duke of York to sign decomissioning navy posts. Pepys got his letter of resignation in ahead of his dismissal from the '65 Pepys created office of Surveyor-general of Victuals. See 1st sentence:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/07/29/

JWB   Link to this

6 months & a day:

"... and then home, and merry with my wife..." Feb 1.

arby   Link to this

Thanks, JWB. She must have marked the calendar, or maybe she just checked the Diary archives too.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"But that was for you, dear...I thought you wanted some relief from my attentions when you asked for your own closet. As for me, well, the pressures of work and my own incredible self-control have prevented me any anxiety on the matter from my point of view."

Hah, got her there...The high and noble road...Apart from a few...Dozen...Minor incidences of straying from that high and noble road.

"I wanted my own study...I never said I didn't want sex."

"Elisabeth Pepys!!" covers a shocked Hewer's ears.

"...Once in a while. It's very curious to me, Sam'l that you should show such interest in Knipp and pay no heed to your own truest love at home. Given you so resolutely fight your manhood for my benefit."

Hmmn...I sense my position slipping...Time for a counteroffensive...

"Oh, so you are interested in...Relations? Does this mean my father's concerns about your behavior with Mr. Coleman should be of concern to me?" Narrow-eyed look...

"After six months, I'd chase after Will Hewer..."

Oh?...Hewer beams from his spot near Pepys...

"Mrs. Pepys?! Is this worthy behavior of the wife of the Clerk of the Acts?!" Sam, feigning shock.

"Wish he were living up to his title..." Bess, dryly.

Whoa...Score...Hewer, concealing beam.

Counteroffensive smashed, all driven back, Sam thinks. On the other hand...

"Bess, I am shocked! And getting a mite...We should have a little privacy to discuss this matter further."

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