Sunday 10 May 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and to the office, there to do business till church time, when Mr. Shepley, newly come to town, come to see me, and we had some discourse of all matters, and particularly of my Lord Sandwich’s concernments, and here did by the by as he would seem tell me that my Lady —[Lady Sandwich.]— had it in her thoughts, if she had occasion, to, borrow 100l. of me, which I did not declare any opposition to, though I doubt it will be so much lost. But, however, I will not deny my Lady, if she ask it, whatever comes of it, though it be lost; but shall be glad that it is no bigger sum. And yet it vexes me though, and the more because it brings into my head some apprehensions what trouble I may here after be brought to when my Lord comes home, if he should ask me to come into bonds with him, as I fear he will have occasions to make money, but I hope I shall have the wit to deny it. He being gone, I to church, and so home, and there comes W. Hewer and Balty, and by and by I sent for Mercer to come and dine with me, and pretty merry, and after dinner I fell to teach her “Canite Jehovae,” which she did a great part presently, and so she away, and I to church, and from church home with my Lady Pen; and, after being there an hour or so talking, I took her, and Mrs. Lowther, and old Mrs. Whistler, her mother-in-law, by water with great pleasure as far as Chelsy, and so back to Spring Garden, at Fox-hall, and there walked, and eat, and drank, and so to water again, and set down the old woman at home at Durham Yard: and it raining all the way, it troubled us; but, however, my cloak kept us all dry, and so home, and at the Tower wharf there we did send for a pair of old shoes for Mrs. Lowther, and there I did pull the others off and put them on, elle being peu shy, but do speak con mighty kindness to me that she would desire me pour su mari if it were to be done … Here staid a little at Sir W. Pen’s, who was gone to bed, it being about eleven at night, and so I home to bed.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M provide what Wheatley censored both in and before the ellipsis above

"...we did send for a pair of old shoes for Mrs. Lowther, and there I did pull the others off and put them on, and did endeavour para tocar su thigh but ella had drawers on, but yo did besar la and tocar sus mamelles, elle being poco shy, but doth speak con mighty kindness to me that she would desire me pour su marido if it were to be done. Here staid a little at Sir W. Penn's, who was gone to bed, it being about 11 at night, and so I home to bed."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Yikes...Meg Lowther in love? Careful Sam, this could be real trouble.

"Meg! Pepys!! Good God!!!"

Ah...Hah...ah...ah... "Admiral Sir Will..."


"Meg, go to I will speak to Mr. Pepys alone. I and the sword I carried ashore at Jamaica..."

Oh, Lord...Sam pauses in his trembling as Penn goes hunting for the famed sword...

"No, Father..." Meg interposes herself...Penn still looking for dratted sword... "Samuel and I love each other...It is a passion long nutured in the dark, hidden from view."

"Hidden in my closet, you mean..." Penn glares... "Damn the bloody thing, where is it? Meg, you've got to tell your mother to stop putting my battle trophies away in storage."

"Twas Will who asked it be put away, Father...He cannot bear the sight of weapons of..."

Penn rolling eyes...

"Well...You all are busy, I'll be..." Sam tries to take advantage of the lull...

"Pepys!! You stay right there, you bug-eyed little philanderer...And to think I took you in friendship just the other day to a play. And you disgrace my..."

"Oh, but it is a love true, Father...And Samuel would do right by me..." Meg, eagerly.

"What nonsense is this? Pepys has done every servant girl from here at Seething to Deptford...Meg, are you an utter fool? And you, sir? You treacherous little..."

Me, the innocent party, Sam sighs...Merely trying to spread my sunshine and joy in living...

"Black rumor will not poison our love, Father...We shall run away, to the Continent, where none know us and we can live as we please, eh, Samuel?"

The heck you say?...he stares.

"Now, Mrs. Lowther...Perhaps there's been a misunderstanding..."

"None on my part..." Penn, grimly... "And if I can't find the sword you don't deserve to be run through with..." Opens desk drawer... "A round of lead through that inflated skull should do just fine..." Raises pistol...

"Father, no!" Meg, howling...

"Really, Admiral Sir Will...People will hear..." Sam tries the social propriety argument.

"Oh, they'll hear...Everything...Tomorrow!!..." Penn rages...Waving pistol. "When I have your dead corpse dragged through the streets in the mire, while telling Parliament who the real culprit in the prize goods affair was..."

Now that is a bit unfair, Sam, resenting...We all did well out of that little run behind Sandwich's broad back...

"Nay, Father..." Meg spreads arms to cover Sam...

Never thought I'd say this but...Thank God for those big arms and hands...Sam thinks...

"Meg, stop this nonsense and let me resolve this little difficulty in the easiest manner possible. Think of your poor husband, girl."

"Poor and sorry indeed, father. And him with his loathsome condition..."

Oh, lovely...Sam sighs...Pray Hooke's right and mere touch doesn't do it.

"Meg..." Penn frowns, a bit nervous. "Tis a cruel thing to bandy about such things about Lowther...Not true, of course Pepys..." Frown returns. "...though ye'd be deserving it if it were."

"Father..." Meg eyes firmly...

"Meg...Lowther may not be the greatest catch, but...The poor fellow honestly didn't know..."

"Ah, well..." Sam tries again... "I don't wish to intrude where private matters..."

"No, wait, Samuel. We shall be free to go shortly. Yes, I shall leave with Samuel for the Continent. He has a sufficient fortune decked out with mine to keep us..."

Hardly that sufficient, Sam thinks...

Though...One does wonder just exactly how much Meg might kick into the pot...

"Pepys, this is nonsense...What about your poor wife? Surely you have a little sense."

Down from immediately killing me to beseeching me to be reasonable...A good sign, Sam thinks.

"Yes..." Sigh... "My poor, poor wife...Oh, I have done wrong here. Meg? Surely you see your dear father is only thinking of your best interests here. We must not be selfish."


"We must think of your poor pox-ridden..."


"Sorry...Your poor, ill husband...And my dear, poor wretch...Meg, we cannot cause them further pain."

She blinks... "They don't know about us yet, Samuel."

"And to spare them any pain, they must never, dearest Meg."

"For once...I agree with Pepys." Penn, curtly. "Be sensible, Meg...You care for poor ole Lowther, you wouldn't abandon him now."

"For better or worse...For richer or poorer..." Sam solemnly intones. "Oh...How could I have temporarily forgot those beautiful words? Oh, Meg...Tis a far, far better thing I do now...In parting from you...Then I have ever done before."

"Oh, Samuel."


"Oh, God..." he turns to eye Bess, standing shock-struck in Penn doorway.

"Admiral Sir Will wrote me to say I should come home at once cause there was something I should be here to see..." Bess, voice increasingly brittle.

Sam whirling to see Penn and Meg eyeing him coolly...

Maevainwen Adaniel  •  Link

"ella had drawers on, but yo did besar la and tocar sus mamelles, elle being poco shy, but doth speak con mighty kindness to me that she would desire me pour su marido"

What language is Sam using there? I thought it might be French at first but there are a lot of words I don't recognise...could someone please enlighten me on this?

M'seiur Gertz, would you happen to be a member of FanFiction? Your little fics are absolutely brilliant! They really brighten up a boring day of college studies :)


Mary  •  Link

ella had drawers on.

Interesting that Sam finds this article of clothing both unexpected and worthy of comment. We must presume that most of the lucky women that he gropes do not wear drawers. A class-marker, perhaps?

As for "my cloak kept us all dry" the apparent generosity of this garment may go some way to explaining how Sam is, on occasion, able to let his hands wander where they shouldn't without arousing the suspicion of other passengers in coaches etc.

jd Balt  •  Link

@Maevainwen Adaniel "but yo did besar la and tocar sus mamelles, elle being poco shy"
with the exception of "mamelles' (breast, bosom but usualy more for cows) the other words are spanish:
yo = I
besar la = kiss her
tocar sus = to touch her (to stroke)
poco = not much

Christopher Squire  •  Link

Sam is much more fun when his wife is away in the country!

Nate  •  Link

Bloomers or drawers for the ladies, I've been told, were not used much until hoop skirts started becoming popular (in the mid 1800s?) when they were needed to preserve modesty as the skirts could tip up quite a bit.

Women were told by pontificating male physicians not to wear drawers for health reasons (same people who use bleeding as a cure and who, in general, didn't wash their hands much).

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Apparently Meg Penn Lowther wore "drawers" since "bloomers" -- invented by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Peterboro, New York and Fabrizia Flynn, wife of the Italian ambassador to Penrhiwceiber, South Wales, an early pioneer of the vulcanized rubber girdle -- were popularized by Amelia Bloomer in the early 1850s (hence the name, a shortening of "Bloomer suit"). A surprising find, but not as much as Pepys's own.

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