Sunday 8 June 1662

(Lord’s day). Lay till church-time in bed, and so up and to church, and there I found Mr. Mills come home out of the country again, and preached but a lazy sermon. Home and dined with my wife, and so to church again with her.

Thence walked to my Lady’s, and there supped with her, and merry, among other things, with the parrott which my Lord hath brought from the sea, which speaks very well, and cries Pall so pleasantly, that made my Lord give it my Lady Paulina; but my Lady, her mother, do not like it.

Home, and observe my man Will to walk with his cloak flung over his shoulder, like a Ruffian, which, whether it was that he might not be seen to walk along with the footboy, I know not, but I was vexed at it; and coming home, and after prayers, I did ask him where he learned that immodest garb, and he answered me that it was not immodest, or some such slight answer, at which I did give him two boxes on the ears, which I never did before, and so was after a little troubled at it.

29 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

"I did give him two boxes on the ears"

Is that four boxes?

Bradford  •  Link

If you can't dish it out, don't even try: you have subtracted from your authority, not added to it.
Why would a Ruffian display his trade by a coded fashion statement, anyway?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"his cloak flung over his shoulder"
Very stylish our man Will!and that control freak Sam beating him up! what a shame!!!

Clement  •  Link

I think 'Ruffian' is more a life-style or demeanor than a trade--more like blackguard than brigand.
So Will had the temerity to disagree with his boss' criticism, and Sam mended the tear he perceived in the social fabric with a couple (or four, ha!) cuffs about the head. No quarter for young anarchists from our Sam.

It's interesting to read that the impulse to train parrots to say "Pall" (Polly?) is at least 350 years old. We are odd creatures.

Clement  •  Link

...or is "Pall" meant to be a transcription of the parrots natural call?

Pauline  •  Link

"...whether it was that he might not be seen to walk along with the footboy, I know not..."
Are both Will and the footman in livery, and Will trying to strike a note independent of his position? Could this be the impetus for this fashion of carrying the cloak by all the young ruffians--refusing to be indentified and classed by their "work" clothes.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Remember master Will be a Clerk at the Office, besides doing work for Sam at Home. He is under Sam's guidance, Sam controls the his Salary from the Admiralty. So Will has to feel his oats a bit, to get afield, out of Sams REACH so that he can get the lasses to titter.
[just remembering the good old days]

JWB  •  Link

"...apprehension of the fall of the office"
The insecure make the worse martinets. Was Sam lolling away in comfort on a warm Sunday morning or was he fretting in bed? Vane had been on Parliamentary Bd. of Admiralty, and the insinuation of York's secretary into the office at this time could have been seen as Crown's effort to measure the loyalty of the present board & staff.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The parrot
Maybe My Lady does not like it because of either the mess - parrot crap everywhere - also parrots are the rabbits of the bird world - they will investigate and nibble everything being curious and intelligent birds. They also throw things about and seem to get a thrill out of simple destruction: on the NZ ski fields there live a breed of Alpine parrot (yes, really) which has taken a liking to stripping the rubber out of car window surrounds. Many a happy skier returns to their car only to find torn up ribbons of rubber all around. These parrots enjoy tobogganing down the ski slopes on their backs. Wonder what the Sandwich's parrot has had a go at? Some cockatoos in Queensland have learnt how to push in wheel valves and enjoy the blast of air which results.

andy  •  Link

with his cloak flung over his shoulder, like a Ruffian

Will, the rebel, the urban "Hoody" of his time, baseball caps not invented yet so can't be worn backwards, no doubt he'll be banned from the shopping centres soon?

Mary  •  Link

with his cloak flung over his shoulder....

Immediate comparison with today's teenage schoolboys springs to mind. They attempt to make their school uniform look more 'cool' by wearing their shirts outside their trousers and their ties at half-mast.

Xjy  •  Link

Antipodean parrots
Wonderful, Oz Sue! Made my day. Now the Norwegian Blue has a worthy mate, the Kiwi Tobaggan-Back...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Surrogate son Will strikes an independent pose and surrogate dad Sam is displeased...And outraged when his (increasingly beloved, I think) 'son' gives a rude answer. Sam doesn't say if he quizzed Will in the maids' and Beth's presence but if Will gave a sharp return in front of everyone...

One has to remember although Will retains his old Puritan independence he should know what a master expects from his apprentice/servant...And what even a relatively good and generous master of the day like Sam has the right to do when he doesn't feel he's getting it.

Still, it's a clear sign of Sam's growing affection that he's first hurt and angered by Will's attitude...And later, troubled by his own response. Be interesting to hear what Beth had to say. Clearly she didn't take up Will's case heatedly...But she may have encouraged Sam's remorse.

Tom Burns  •  Link

Moe, Larry and Curly

Admiral Penn slapped Sam on Tuesday; Sam turned around and slapped Will on Sunday.

Now poor Will will turn around and there will be nobody to slap...

Seriously, this is not the first time Sam has exhibited displacement behavior. He had a fit of rage the evening after seeing Harrison drawn and quartered.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Good point Tom ; that olde anxiety, being checked on by a well known and connected to the Royals, it be very intimidating.

Jackie  •  Link

In those days it was very much felt that the Master was held accountable for the behaviour of his underlings. If Will did not go to Church, for instance, it would have reflected badly on Sam. Accordingly, Sam must have felt that it was his duty to ensure that Will behaved in a way which made Sam look like a fine and respectable citizen.

It's an attitude which did not start to fade amongst those who had servants until early last Century. In Victorian times, when the Great Reform Acts were passed, it was decided that servants who qualified to vote by property should not be premitted to do so, as their Master would cast the household's votes and it would reflect badly upon the Master if people thought that his servants might vote differently to himself.

David Keith Johnson  •  Link

The Social Contract binds like an ill-fitting suit of clothes. Pity he couldn't fling IT over his shoulder.

Ticket to the Colonies, anyone? If not for Will, for his next available descendent.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"with the parrot which my Lord has brought from the sea"
What kind of parrot could that be? It is known that the Romans kept parrots;
could it be an african grey? or from the Caribean( tiny Dominica has a parrot on its flag)or maybe an amazon aestiva?too bad they did not get themselves painted with their parrots.

Eric Walla  •  Link

I don't remember: did Sam previously refer to Will as his "boy"? (Or was that confined to Wayneman?) In any case Will is now eighteen going on nineteen and has become his "man."

Sam considers it very important for Will to shake off the posturing of adolescence and play his role with dignity. Otherwise what does it say about the master's own status and ability to command respect?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Re Eric and Tom's comments - yes! I think if Will had displayed this type of behaviour within the walls of home, Sam would not have minded nearly so much. Sam is very sensitive about his status. Will may have a go at Wayneman in private, if we go down the hieracrchy in the household.

Australian Susan  •  Link

What kind of parrot?
Maybe the African Grey, which is not native to North Africa, but is a widespread parrot, is easier to tame than some species, has a very wide range of vocalisation and is therefore favoured as a pet species.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

at the above site:A Still Life with Fruit, Dead Game and a Parrot url shown
FYT, Jan, attributed to late 1640s
Portrait of a Girl with a Parrot
A Woman in a Red Jacket feeding a Parrot
MIERIS the Elder, Frans van about 1663
William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh
VAN DYCK, Anthony about 1633-4
, who points out a parrot in a palm tree.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

One other more subconscious source of Sam's anger at Will-Will's the nephew of Robert Blackborne and of a dangerously Puritan background. Sam has taken a risk in keeping him, one which probably figures in his mind after the recent tragedy with poor Sir Harry Vane. Further, Sam was forced to be involved in that tragedy on a small scale-He was ordered to turn over any of Sir Harry's naval work documents and letters at hand in the office. He doesn't say that this affected him, but it may very well have been gnawing at him. Now Will, the boy he's stood up for, gives him defiance instead of thanks?

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

'In those days it was very much felt that the Master was held accountable for the behaviour of his underlings.'

This faded much more recently than the nineteenth century - doesn't anybody else remember the Lady Chatterley trial in 1963, when the prosecutor, Mervyn Griffith -Jones, famously asked the jury 'Is this a book you would permit your wives or your servants to read?'

Hogan  •  Link

Cloak flung over shoulder makes it easier to get to one's weapon in a brawl.

Think of The Man with No Name flipping up his serape.

Sam's penitence after delivering the blows shows him to be very far in outlook from Detective Inspector Harry Callahan, our American answer to La Rochefoucauld:

"Well, I'm all broken up about that man's rights!"

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin's diary today:

"God good to me and mine in many outward mercies, the health of my family. heard of a brother of my neighbours shot and killed by another, blessed be god in my preservation, the lord accept me all my days, and help me to serve him with delight."

Kyle  •  Link

If so, how can his ears have so many boxes? Those must be big ears.

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