Tuesday 13 October 1668

Up, and to the office, and before the office did speak with my Lord Brouncker, and there did get his ready assent to T. Hater’s having of Mr. Turner’s place, and so Sir J. Minnes’s also: but when we come to sit down at the Board, comes to us Mr. Wren this day to town, and tells me that James Southern do petition the Duke of York for the Storekeeper’s place of Deptford, which did trouble me much, and also the Board, though, upon discourse, after he was gone, we did resolve to move hard for our Clerks, and that places of preferment may go according to seniority and merit. So, the Board up, I home with my people to dinner, and so to the office again, and there, after doing some business, I with Mr. Turner to the Duke of Albemarle’s at night; and there did speak to him about his appearing to Mr. Wren a friend to Mr. Turner, which he did take kindly from me; and so away thence, well pleased with what we had now done, and so I with him home, stopping at my Lord Brouncker’s, and getting his hand to a letter I wrote to the Duke of York for T. Hater, and also at my Lord Middleton’s, to give him an account of what I had done this day, with his man, at Alderman Backewell’s, about the getting of his 1000l. paid;1 and here he did take occasion to discourse about the business of the Dutch war, which, he says, he was always an enemy to; and did discourse very well of it, I saying little, but pleased to hear him talk; and to see how some men may by age come to know much, and yet by their drinking and other pleasures render themselves not very considerable. I did this day find by discourse with somebody, that this nobleman was the great Major-General Middleton; that was of the Scots army, in the beginning of the late war against the King. Thence home and to the office to finish my letters, and so home and did get my wife to read to me, and then Deb to comb my head…

7 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M provide the text of what was elided.

"so home and did get my wife to read to me, and then Deb to comb my head; and here I had the pleasure para touch the cosa of her and all about, with a little opposition; and so to bed."

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Lucky Thomas Turner, proving the old adage that it's not what, but who, you know. Not much beats a reference from a Duke and a Lord.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“so home and did get my wife to read to me, and then Deb to comb my head; and here I had the pleasure para touch the cosa of her and all about, with a little opposition"

I wonder how much of this dangerous didding with Deb would have been illuminated with candle-light used to make Samuel's head visible for delousing, or would have been hidden, below the reach of that light, and quite in the dark?


Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Sweetheart? What does this...What the hell?!!"


"Deb, you didn't drop the candle on my wig did you? Can't have that burning again? Gervais won't accept the same excuse twice."


"What? Where are you, Bess?"

"Here? What was that?!"

"What? Where? I can't see a thing. Deb, girl, did you see anything?"


"Well, go find that candle."


"Bess, be...Ow!!...Careful..."

"I saw...Well...I think...?"

"Deb, find that candle! It could still burn us down. What did you see, Bess? Poor Deb nearly dropped the candle on me...Is my wiggie all right?"

"Don't know, sir...Can't find it yet...Jane?! Come and help me find my candle?!"

"Sam'l...I saw...I think...What were you doing?"

"Getting me head combed and trying to keep Willet from dropping her candle on me. Why did you shout so?"


"What, Mrs. Pepys...?" slightly grim.

"Oh...Jane, help Deb find her candle before the house catches fire. It's...Around here."

"So? What was it?"

("I think over here...You look there." Deb hisses. "I'll look where Mrs. P. tells me, girl.")

"She was dropping the candle? You were just steadying her? Is that you?"

"Yes, it's me...Don't poke my eye out there. Of course...Why, what did you think, Bess?"

("Candle!!" Jane calls. "Hussy...Be warned from this time on. girl." hiss to Deb. Deb, poison look back.)

"Oh...Nothing..." sigh. "Say I wanted to know what this meant." Holds up book, finger on line.

"Ah, let there be light. Thank ye, Jane, Deb. What were you reading here? 'Oceania'? Lord, I thought I burnt it years ago...Bess, give me that. It's banned."

"Mind on other things, eh?"

Ian Greenwood  •  Link

Are we to assume (re lighting arrangements) that a candle was the sole light-source in the room? And will not Samuel have dismissed his wife and book before having a tocar of Deb's cosa?

Australian Susan  •  Link

I think the reading came before the head combing and not at the same time. I think Bess had safely gone to bed before Sam asked Deb for this personal attention.

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