Sunday 22 September 1667

(Lord’s day). At my chamber all the morning making up some accounts, to my great content. At noon comes Mr. Sheres, whom I find a good, ingenious man, but do talk a little too much of his travels. He left my Lord Sandwich well, but in pain to be at home for want of money, which comes very hardly. Most of the afternoon talking of Spain, and informing him against his return how things are here, and so spent most of the afternoon, and then he parted, and then to my chamber busy till my eyes were almost blind with writing and reading, and I was fain to get the boy to come and write for me, and then to supper, and Pelling come to me at supper, and then to sing a Psalm with him, and so parted and to bed, after my wife had read some thing to me (to save my eyes) in a good book. This night I did even my accounts of the house, which I have to my great shame omitted now above two months or more, and therefore am content to take my wife’s and mayd’s accounts as they give them, being not able to correct them, which vexes me; but the fault being my own, contrary to my wife’s frequent desires, I cannot find fault, but am resolved never to let them come to that pass again. The truth is, I have indulged myself more in pleasure for these last two months than ever I did in my life before, since I come to be a person concerned in business; and I doubt, when I come to make up my accounts, I shall find it so by the expence.

5 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Spoiler...

Someone at the Pepys household enjoys Henry's tales...

***

"The truth is, I have indulged myself more in pleasure for these last two months than ever I did in my life before, since I come to be a person concerned in business..."

Hmmn...Debatable, Sam. Though you probably don't count ... as indulgence.

***

Accounts night...

An ill wind blows...Strains of "Bad Moon Rising"...As Sam begins the ritual of preparation, grimly eyeing Jane and Bess in turn. Periwig set with determination on head.

"That is a good book..." Bess tries, desperately cheery air. "Perhaps we should start now and leave the accounts for tomorrow."

Nervous glance to Jane...

Hmmn...Sam leans back... "I think not, Mrs. P. The good book can wait. Jane, fetch the household accounts. Thomas, boy...My pen and paper."

Jane, gulping, trudges off...

"Wouldn't you rather work on that fascinating journal of yours?" Bess, reaching. "You never read me any of it...Why don't you teach me shorthand tonight so I can read it back to you? I'm very interested."

Right after the King settles all his debts and Hell freezes over...Sam thinks. "Not tonight, dearest."

"Right. Well, let me go see what's keeping Jane. Jane? Oh, Jane!!" runs off.

Hmmn...Sam frowns.

"Pen and paper, sir." Tom sets both down on table.

Carefully noting as Sam fumbles for both...Hope, mayhaps...Clearly the eyes are giving trouble.

"Jane...?" Bess hisses as Jane pulls out large accounts books. Lugging with grimace as Bess hovers about her, circling like a terrified bird unable to flee a snake. "What should we do?"

"What can we do, Mum? You wouldn't take my suggestion..."

"Shoving my husband down the stairs and burying his body in the house of office isn't quite what I was hoping for as a plan of action, Jane."

"That was Tommy's idea...I said to slit him like a pig, then bury him in the ordure."

"Jane..."

"Do you want him to see the books?"

"Well...He'll be annoyed...But..."

"He'll rage, foam at the mouth, probably kill us all..."

"Jane, you exaggerate...A few pence for my family and a little play-going...And a shilling or two for your poor brother, Wayneman."

"That probably never reached him, oh... That's done it. Now I'm definitely for the slitting...And what about that loan to Mr. Coleman to help him save that twin brother in France?"

"Twas a far, far better thing than I have ever done..." Bess, dreamily, than shaking. "Jane...Sam'l will fume a bit, that's all. And we don't have to say we tried to send to Wayneman."

Or involve Mr. Coleman...

"He'll never let you near Unthankes again after he sees his bill, mum."

"Oh..." Bess blinks...Damn. "Right...He dies, then. No alternative. Just let me kiss him good-bye."

Well, that was easy...Jane thinks. Thought I might have to bring up the fondling.

***

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

'The truth is, I have indulged myself more in pleasure for these last two months than ever I did in my life before, and I doubt, when I come to make up my accounts, I shall find it so by the expence'.
Good old British pessimism! Only yesterday, looking at trees weighed down with apples and walnuts plus hedges full of berries, my country neighbour said "Ah, we'll be paying for this come the winter."

john   Link to this

"I was fain to get the boy to come and write for me"

What would this writing be?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I was fain to get the boy to come and write for me..."

Always a danger...

"So, by this letter, from Mr. Samuel Pepys of the Naval Office..." the man reading the official-looking document paused, eyeing the callow young boy standing before him... "...I am to hand command of this ship over to you, Mr. Edwards."

"Uh, Lieutenant Edwards, Commander...My commission is with the rest of the papers." Tom strikes pose as gallant young naval commander.

Mary   Link to this

Depending on the standard of his penmanship, the boy could have been writing from dictation (lists, schedules, rough drafts of letters), writing copy letters into the copy-book or (if he writes extremely well) writing out fair copies of documents, schedules, lists, maybe even letters for Pepys's signature.

It will all depend on how fair his hand and how far Pepys trusts the boy's powers of concentration and application.

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