Tuesday 5 May 1668

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home to dinner and Creed with me, and after dinner he and I to the Duke of York’s playhouse; and there coming late, he and I up to the balcony-box, where we find my Lady Castlemayne and several great ladies; and there we sat with them, and I saw “The Impertinents” once more, now three times, and the three only days it hath been acted. And to see the folly how the house do this day cry up the play more than yesterday! and I for that reason like it, I find, the better, too; by Sir Positive At-all, I understand, is meant Sir Robert Howard. My Lady [Castlemaine] pretty well pleased with it; but here I sat close to her fine woman, Willson, who indeed is very handsome, but, they say, with child by the King. I asked, and she told me this was the first time her Lady had seen it, I having a mind to say something to her. One thing of familiarity I observed in my Lady Castlemayne: she called to one of her women, another that sat by this, for a little patch off her face, and put it into her mouth and wetted it, and so clapped it upon her own by the side of her mouth, I suppose she feeling a pimple rising there. Thence with Creed to Westminster Hall, and there met with cozen Roger, who tells me of the great conference this day between the Lords and Commons, about the business of the East India Company, as being one of the weightiest conferences that hath been, and managed as weightily. I am heartily sorry I was not there, it being upon a mighty point of the privileges of the subjects of England, in regard to the authority of the House of Lords, and their being condemned by them as the Supreme Court, which, we say, ought not to be, but by appeal from other Courts. And he tells me that the Commons had much the better of them, in reason and history there quoted, and believes the Lords will let it fall. Thence to walk in the Hall, and there hear that Mrs. Martin’s child, my god-daughter, is dead, and so by water to the Old Swan, and thence home, and there a little at Sir W. Pen’s, and so to bed.

7 Annotations

JWB   Link to this

god-daughter

"She (Mrs. Martin) doth tell me that this child did come la meme jour [ the same day ] that it ought to hazer after my avoir ete con elle [ having ? been with her ] before her marido [ husband ] did venir [ come ] home..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/12/18/

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"And to see the folly how the house do this day cry up the play more than yesterday! and I for that reason like it, I find, the better, too..." Classic study of the power of group persuasion by S. Pepys, 1668.

***

Poor Betty. She's a doughty type and will no doubt come through fine but one hopes her good buddy Sam will drop by with condolences. In many ways she often seems just about the best friend he has in the world.

Georgiana Wickham   Link to this

“She (Mrs. Martin) doth tell me that this child did come la meme jour [ the same day ] that it ought to hazer after my avoir ete con elle [ having ? been with her ] before her marido [ husband ] did venir [ come ] home…”

Does this mean "the child was born nine months to the day after I had been with her" and is the implication therefore that this might have been Pepys' child?

Georgiana Wickham   Link to this

I like the juxtaposition of Lady Castlemayne's pimple and the authority of the House of Lords.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Lords tell a story that was retold in the US Congress last year

Shortness of Time never to be used as an Argument for passing Bills without due Consideration.

Upon Report made by the Lord Chamberlain, from the Committee of the whole House, concerning the Bill for raising Three Hundred and Ten Thousand Pounds by an Imposition on Wines and other Liquors, "That, in regard the said Bill being very long, and consisting of many Paragraphs, came from the House of Commons so near the Time of Adjournment; he was commanded to report it as the Opinion of the Committee, That it might be entered into the Journal Book of this House, that there may be no such Argument hereafter used in this House (as was upon this Bill of Shortness of Time), for the passing of Bills, to precipitate the passing of them; but that due Consideration may be had hereafter, according to the Course of Parliaments:"

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Mary   Link to this

Mrs. Martin's claim.

There seems little doubt that the lady was trying to pin paternity onto Sam, but he wasn't playing the game, beyond agreeing to become the child's godfather. A position of responsibility, but a deal less expensive than accepting parental responsibility.

Presumably the child was not born on such a date as to make Mr. Martin suspicious. At no point in the diary so far has Sam even hinted that he might have fathered a child (though he would plainly have wished to have a child of his own) and one has the impression that he had come to accept his own incapacity in this regard. It's possible that either Mrs. Martin genuinely couldn't tell whose child the little girl was, or she was just trying it on with Sam in the hope of financial support.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Sir Positive At-all"

L&M note Sir Positive was described in the Dramatis Personae as "a foolish Knight, that pretends to understand everything in the world, will suffer no man to understand anything in his Company; so foolish Positive, that he will never be convinced of an Error, though never so gross."

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