Tuesday 9 October 1660

This morning Sir W. Batten with Colonel Birch to Deptford, to pay off two ships. Sir W. Pen and I staid to do business, and afterwards together to White Hall, where I went to my Lord, and found him in bed not well, and saw in his chamber his picture,1 very well done; and am with child2 till I get it copied out, which I hope to do when he is gone to sea.

To Whitehall again, where at Mr. Coventry’s chamber I met with Sir W. Pen again, and so with him to Redriffe by water, and from thence walked over the fields to Deptford (the first pleasant walk I have had a great while), and in our way had a great deal of merry discourse, and find him to be a merry fellow and pretty good natured, and sings very bawdy songs.

So we came and found our gentlemen and Mr. Prin at the pay.

About noon we dined together, and were very merry at table telling of tales.

After dinner to the pay of another ship till 10 at night, and so home in our barge, a clear moonshine night, and it was 12 o’clock before we got home, where I found my wife in bed, and part of our chambers hung to-day by the upholster, but not being well done I was fretted, and so in a discontent to bed.

I found Mr. Prin a good, honest, plain man, but in his discourse not very free or pleasant.

Among all the tales that passed among us to-day, he told us of one Damford, that, being a black man, did scald his beard with mince-pie, and it came up again all white in that place, and continued to his dying day. Sir W. Pen told us a good jest about some gentlemen blinding of the drawer, and who he catched was to pay the reckoning, and so they got away, and the master of the house coming up to see what his man did, his man got hold of him, thinking it to be one of the gentlemen, and told him that he was to pay the reckoning.

22 Annotations

First Reading

stephen waterman  •  Link

Great gag at the end there. It's the way Sammy tells them!

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"part of our chambers hung to-day by the upholster,"

Could the material be the "household stuff" Elizabeth bought the day before?

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

Shurely some mistake..?
Did we really travel to Deptford, (quite a ways down the river if you look at the map) to pay off two ships, then back to White Hall, where we went to my Lord, and found him in bed not well, back to Redriffe by water, and from thence walked over the fields to Deptford (merry discourse, bawdy songs) and then "About noon we dined together.."
Sure Deptford must have got a lot closer to Central London than when I worked out that way!

helena murphy  •  Link

This is an absolutely marvellous entry so full of gusto and animation that the reader participates with Pen and Pepys over the fields and in the listening to the bawdy songs and merry tales.Dare I say that it has a Dickensian touch?

Mary  •  Link

The trip to Deptford

No discontinuity here; Pepys starts the entry with a brief, headline note of the principal occupation of the day and then later recounts details of its place, nature and duration in their chronological sequence, i.e. Pen and Pepys first took care of affairs in London and then proceeded to Redriffe (Rotherhithe) and Deptford.

Jon  •  Link

Trip to Debtford
On my reading, Batten and Birch went to Deptford first without Pepys, while he and Pen "staid to do business". It was only later that he went to Deptford with Pen, "and found our gentlemen" - Birch and Batten.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

"... blinding of the drawer". Does this mean an inpromptu game of 'blind-man's buff', where the loser pays. Seems so... but I do like the 'BotD' phrase... must being it back into usage! Reminds me of the death of Kit Marlowe in Deptford in late Elizabethan times... a 'so-called' fight over the reckoning; but more likely a murder by Walsingham's Spies.

Funny too to think of Deptford with surrounding fields... and another famous diarist lived there... one John Evelyn (is that how you spell it)?

Mary  •  Link

The trip to Deptford.

Jon's comment (above) is perfectly correct and I am guilty of a misreading. Sorry.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: The trip to Deptford

Even so, that's a full morning! I was surprised by all the two P's had managed to do by noon: business (not too much, I assume); travel to Whitehall; a visit to Montagu; back to Whitehall; travel to Redriffe by water; then a walk to Deptford (full of merry discourse and bawdy songs), where they find Batten, Birch and Prin; then lunch at noon. Whew.

Matthew  •  Link

Drawer here means barman - the man who draws the ale.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

blinding of the drawer
The OED doesn't seem to catch the rowdy sense of this particular figurative use of the word.
OED on "blinding, vbl. n."
1. The action of making blind.
1868 Freeman Norm. Conq. ... So striking an event as the blinding of an Emperor.

2. fig. Darkening of the mental or moral sense.
c1380 Wyclif De Dot. Eccl. Sel. Wks. ... Love of God is quenched bi blyndyng of þe world. c1449 Pecock Repr. ... Pointis of wicchecraft and blindingis. 1705 Stanhope Paraphr. ... The blinding of Passion.

Peter  •  Link

Eric Partridge in his dictionary of Historical Slang gives:"To Blind - to cheat a person".
"Capt. Grose" in his 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue does not define a verb, but does define the noun as " a feint, pretence, or shift"

However, my reading of the story is more literal. I believe it goes something like this:
A group of gentlemen in the pub talk the simple-minded barman into helping them decide who is to pay the bill. They blindfold him and tell him that the one he first catches will have to pay. Of course, as soon as he is blindfolded they "do a runner". The barman's boss then walks in and the barman catches him and, with the blindfold still on, demands payment of the bill.
I imagine that told by a good raconteur, in the right atmosphere, and after a few drinks, it probably was hilarious.
Sam obviously likes stories like this, where simpletons are taken in (blinded?). It is reminiscent of the story he mentions on June 2nd ("the best story that ever I heard") about the simple chap who was talked into gutting his oysters.

vincent  •  Link

Gags: put on people, reminds me of sending out the new apprentices for a gallon of elbow grease., or tuppence worth of common sense. Oh well!

Peter  •  Link

Vincent, I find that "a long stand" is a good one ....

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to White Hall, where I went to my Lord, and found him in bed "
Sandwich had quarters in Whitehall, so these were not separate destinations.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I went to my Lord, and found him in bed not well, and saw in his chamber his picture, very well done"

On 22 October instant L&M will note "Lely had already painted at least two portraits of Sandwich; this was probably the portrait (head and shoulders in black, wearing the insignia of the Garter) later at Hinchingbrooke." This is the only portrait fitting that description I have found: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeys…

Dick Wilson  •  Link

"one Damford, that, being a black man, did scald his beard "
I think that in this usage of the word "black", Damford was a white man with black hair. He may have had a swarthy complexion.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘with child in child n.
. . 17.c. fig. (a) Full (of a thing) so as to be ready to burst with it; teeming, pregnant; = big adj. 6b; (b) Eager, longing, yearning (to do a thing). Obs.
1548 N. Udall et al. tr. Erasmus Paraphr. New Test. I. Luke xxiii. 8 The man had of long tyme been with chylde to haue a sight of Iesus.
. . 1660 S. Pepys Diary 14 May (1970) I. 138, I sent my boy—who, like myself, is with child to see any strange thing.
1660 S. Pepys Diary 9 Oct. (1970) I. 262, I went to my Lord... And saw..his picture..and am with child till I get it copyed out . . ‘

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This morning Sir W. Batten with Colonel Birch to Deptford, to pay off two ships."

L&M: The Griffin and the Hector: PRO, Adm. 20/1, pp. 108, 109.

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