Friday 10 May 1661

At the office all the morning, and the afternoon among my workmen with great pleasure, because being near an end of their work. This afternoon came Mr. Blackburn and Creed to see me, and I took them to the Dolphin, and there drank a great deal of Rhenish wine with them and so home, having some talk with Mr. Blackburn about his kinsman my Will, and he did give me good satisfaction in that it is his desire that his kinsman should do me all service, and that he would give him the best counsel he could to make him good. Which I begin of late to fear that he will not because of the bad company that I find that he do begin to take. This afternoon Mr. Hater received for me the 225l. due upon Mr. Creed’s bill in which I am concerned so much, which do make me very glad.

At night to Sir W. Batten and sat a while. So to bed.

15 Annotations

First Reading

vicente  •  Link

Sam has some worries at hand, beside the mess of improvements and his soul mate in pain. The boy is branching out in the wrong directions [Youth 'tis true is wasted on the young] and bills owed not paid up on time.[just another day?

roberto  •  Link

"bad company that I find that he do begin to take"

Do you think that this might be "gang related" or is he just hanging out with some undesirables?

Pauline  •  Link

"...bad company that I find that he do begin to take."
On Wednesday he was chiding his brother John for running off to Deptford with Will. Is that the bad company? So just which one is the "bad" influence? I think Sam is quite out of his element when it comes to guiding and admonishing "the young"--including his wife. And when I consider it as the turn about of how he was guided by Lord Sandwich, I don't know whether to think Sandwich too was awkward at it or if it is just Sam. Perhaps he had the model and just not the talent. Or maybe he lacks the lifelong expectation of influencing people to which Sandwich was more clearly born. (Or perhaps I misread Sam's skill at this; he just seems exasperated when it comes to governing--or extracting desired behavior from--the young people in his care.)

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Is it really as bad as we tend to think?
Will is young and sowing his wild oats, hanging about with the boys (and the girls) and staying out late with sometimes a few too much to drink maybe.
Grownups would like to hold the youngsters on a leash not remembering what they were and did themselves in their youth.

Pedro.  •  Link

"bad company that I find that he do begin to take."

Looking in the Diary references for Will, apart from two occasins last year on 11/Aug and 25/Sep, his staying abroard at night seems to have increased.
Lately (9/Feb, 16/Mar, 31/Mar and 19/April) has seen him out late, and on the 9/Feb Sam had asked Will’s uncle Blackburne to have a word with him.

Mary  •  Link

Is brother John 'bad company'?

On Wednesday, Sam's wrath seemed to be reserved for John. My impression is that Sam was annoyed that John should attach himself to an official party making the Deptford visit without any sort of official by-your-leave. We don't know to what extent Will was involved in this arrangement. He could have suggested it himself but, equally, he could have felt unable to gainsay a proposal coming from the boss's brother. Perhaps he disappoints Sam by allowing himself to be too easily led by others into following bad company in general.

Australian Susan  •  Link

I think Sam is either ashamed or at best exasperated with his brother. Furthermoret, to have Will going against his wishes and being seen to do this reflects badly on him, Sam, as head of a household, just as not getting the house in order as fast as he would like does too. Sam is anxious to hold onto his newly acquired status and appear the powerful controller of a little empire. Thus he gets crosser than he might otherwise do when Will goes off "on the razz" (as they say here) or when his wife does what he doesn't want (coming home when the house is a shambles) or when his workmen don't perform to his liking (slacking off when he's away).

JWB  •  Link

Rakehell streets of Restoration London- 'nuff said.

E  •  Link

Pepys deserves credit here...
He is trying to decide on proper behaviour when he is recently converted from puritanism, and has just risen a large step up the social scale. The world around him has had a huge unpheaval in the return of a whole different method of government after a period that included a destructive war, and as Vincent says, the general response is a byword for licentiousness.

In these shifting sands Pepys seems to have a clear idea of right and wrong and applies it steadfastly (given that attitudes to extra-marital dalliance and to cash payoffs were somewhat different then). Annotators occasionally make snide comments about his concern about his standing in the world, but there is little evidence that he would go along with what he thought was wrong just to keep in with the crowd.

Of course, he had his (changed) religion as a guide. From my modern viewpoint, I feel that I might have looked at the see-sawing fortunes of the Royalists and the Parliamentarians and decided that neither side appeared to have divine blessing, and have doubted that divine blessing was available at all.

Ruben  •  Link

I feel you are right. We cannot forget the future, and we know that SP will pay (in the future) a high price for having his own opinion. (but no diary in those future days)...

vicente  •  Link

The master undertook to feed, clothe and instruct the apprentice, 'with due manner of chastisement' one of the very few justifiable reasons for an apprentice to walk out was if the [Mistress] the Master's Wife took it upon herself to beat him as well. From Restoration London, Liza Picard P.173. Using Rose'almanac 1667. Guide lines are guidelines, they were in force for the next 300 years in the brain washing centers [centres ] of Britain [Now UK]
For some Apprentices it was warn out Knees that was the problem.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

I think it is one of Sam's strongest attributes that he cares enough about his duties and the order of his household to set down his small annoyances (and small pleasures) daily.

Second Reading

Tonyel  •  Link

A small further thought on Sam's worries and complaints about Will, John, Bess, etc.
He probably has no-one that he can talk to frankly about these sort of problems - except for his diary.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys's struggles as a guide to youth amidreligious and cultural change

In time he will acquire moral literature that addresses the task:

December 22 1662:
Heydon's 'Advice to a daughter in opposition to the advice to a sonne ; or,
Directions for your better conduct through the various and most
important encounters of this life. by Eugenius Theodidactus'…

Apr 5 1663:
Osborne, Francis, 1593-1659. Advice to a son; or, directions for your better conduct through the various and most important encounters of this life.…

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