Friday 1 August 1662

Up, my head aching, and to my office, where Cooper read me another lecture upon my modell very pleasant.

So to my business all the morning, which increases by people coming now to me to the office. At noon to the Exchange, where meeting Mr. Creed and Moore we three to a house hard by (which I was not pleased with) to dinner, and after dinner and some discourse ordinary by coach home, it raining hard, and so at the office all the afternoon till evening to my chamber, where, God forgive me, I was sorry to hear that Sir W. Pen’s maid Betty was gone away yesterday, for I was in hopes to have had a bout with her before she had gone, she being very pretty. I had also a mind to my own wench, but I dare not for fear she should prove honest and refuse and then tell my wife.

I staid up late, putting things in order for my going to Chatham to-morrow, and so to bed, being in pain … [in my cods – L&M] with the little riding in a coach to-day from the Exchange, which do trouble me.

40 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

Elizabeth's carriage was scarce out of sight, when---but let us just say the natural cycle of Work and Love is in play once again.
The "Shorter Pepys" does not extend to the ellipsis, and probably the word "cod."

Terry F.  •  Link

Aye, Bradford, "in my cods" say L&M.

Terry F.  •  Link

By his cods! The Sunday Oaths fail to mention lust, do they? Sam's a man knows himself a bit: he would not want to eschew an opportunity to pray for God's forgiveness, would he?!

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"it raining hard"
So Saint Swithin's lore has something to it.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder how Jane takes the master's...Ummn..."interest". It appears she does not fall under the category of "not so good as she should be..." a la Crisp...

He doesn't mention the threat of Will Hewer's disapproval, I see.

"Mr. Pepys?!" a shocked Will stares at the unGodly spectacle...

Ah, ah...Hah-hah...Ah... "Will, my boy..." a hasty pull at trousers...

Lo, Will...Jane waves, pulling as well.


All right, I'm going back in time through the first open wormhole and shake some sense into that boy of ours. Who's with me?!

"Who the devil are you, sir?!" Sam stares as we emerge from our portal into his home office.

"Umnn...I am Almighty God, Samuel. And these are my archangels. And We have come to tell you...To knock it off!"

You know what We mean...Fierce glare.

Unfortunately, Beth then appears, home early and beats us all silly for threatening her boy...We flee for our lives.

"What were those women wearing, Sam?" she asks as the Pepys ponder this strange occurence.


Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

I don't know Robert, I foresee danger in our little excursion to save Sam from himself. (apologize to our Jane,sir) You know, as in that "Outer Limits" episode where the two well-meaning aliens try to prevent a murder using time travel. Maybe we'd succeed and Sam would reform. Charles might reform. England might love his reformed self so much he becomes an absolute monarch like his pal Louis in France. Parliamentary democracy set back. No American Revolution. French under Napoleon subvert a downtrodden English peasantry and create a United French Europe. Hitler conquers weak,crumbling West French Europe including England. Roosevelt starts nuclear war to stop Nazis. Radiation levels wipe out all life in solar system.

Galaxy collides with Andromeda.

Think about it, oh favorite author. (And apologize to our honest Jane!)

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

Oops. FDR being United West French Europe's viceroy of the Americas in this scenario, of course.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, a disturbing scenario, Ms. Gore.

And if I apologize to Jane...(Most handsomely, miss. A thousand pardons for suggesting any hint of indiscretion on your part.)...And let you have the role of the Almighty in lecturing Sam during our journey?

Australian Susan  •  Link

According to Tomalin, most men in charge of households regarded fumbling around with the maids or having a "bout" as Sam puts it, normal behaviour and nothing to worry their consciences about. All that concerns Sam is not what effect groping Jane will have on her (and there is no indication to show she in any way encouraged him), but what will happen if Elizabeth finds out: the need to keep harmony in the household is what is important. Domestic female servants remained prey to their masters for centuries and this was accapted as long as it was kept out of sight and no pregnancies resulted: then it was the girl's fault and they were shunted off to the poor house. Tomalin makes the point that Sam, along with many others, did not usually engage in full intercourse with the serving girls he pursued, because of the risks of pregnancy and disease.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Again, Kenneth Brannaugh does a terrific job as Sam in this passage in the audio book...

I dunno know Susan, I hate to admit it but I thinks Sam's worries are still pretty much the way most men fret about the possibility of a "bout" with any pretty girl thrown in their path. Until our modern conscience and morality kick in, of course.

Yes, my wife is setting me on fire as you read this...

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

Pain in the "cods"? Mr. Gertz, you took that trip already without us, didn't you?

And here my little boy had me all dressed up to play God.

Xjy  •  Link

Sam's cods
Makes you wonder how much of the pain was due to the coach, and how much to being horny... or whether the horniness was inflamed by the ailment. Any medical angles on this?
Re sexual predation, the Observer's current series on rape makes it clear that respectable besuited gentlemen still get away with rape very easily, and increasingly so. Only a 5 per cent conviction rate in the few cases to get to trial.
Rapists of the world arise! Maybe Ratzi should make Sam the patron saint of respectable rapists. Saint Sam...

Australian Susan  •  Link

"Modern conscince and morality"
The point I was reiterating from Tomalin's book was that Sam and all the othersfelt they had a pefect right to fumble or paw at any female they fancied *who was in their control* or of a lower social standing. Sam would never dare touch up an equal or upper class lady just because he wanted to. And the girls of their households were expected to put up with it.
Nowadays, yes, as ever throughout history men will fantasise about the pretty females they encounter (yes, and women with the hot men too), but men nowadays (I hope anyway) would not think they had the right to lunge at girls they fancied just because they were employees or otherwise in their control. There's a difference.

deepfatfriar  •  Link

Pepysian fanfic--never whould have guessed.
Meanwhile, interesting to see Sam use "honest" in the same way as Hamlet who, if memory serves, was but indifferent honest himself.

Hugh  •  Link

"and nothing to worry their consciences about"

I'm not sure this is entirely true, as Sam does preface his entry with "God forgive me." He certainly seems to recognise that his behaviour wouldn't be entirely above board. He just isn't prepared to let that little fact stop him...

Terry F.  •  Link

"wonder how much of the pain was due to the coach..."
Xjy, the first time Sam's Codds were discussed, there was a Coach-ride…
Last month the day after moving stuff in the house "Having by some mischance hurt my cods. I had my old pain..."…
(A search shows “my old pain” occurs 24 times before today, but just those ellipses, or at least “cods” were discussed just these times — don’t know what to do with those data.)

There is this: Late last year there was an ellipsis where a man who called the King of Portugal a cuckhold “was run into the cods with a sword and had been killed,"…

Do you suppose Wheatley had a problem with HIS cods that was too painful for words?

pjk  •  Link

Ship Models
The National Maritime Museum has an interesting discussion of Navy Board (and other) ships models. They appear to be a type of 'tender' or contract document intended to illustrate what a ship builder was offering to provide. Sam shows however they could also be a useful teaching aid. Walking down Pall Mall on Sunday I noticed some very beautiful models of both luxury yachts and container ships in 'shop' windows. So despite current day technical drawings and specifications perhaps the tradition lives on.…

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Ship Models

Thanks, pjk, for a useful and informative link. Sam, to fight corruption, seems to be moving toward formalizing procurment regulations that a later Navy Board will have to relax in order to get more efficient fighting ships. I sense that Sam and Coventry want to regularize and improve the efficiency of Navy Board practices and are about to create the bureaucracy that enforced the conservatism of design mentioned in the National Maritime Museum article at your link. The design rules, or "Establishment," helped control costs but became an obstacle when the Navy needed better ships to match advances in French shipbuilding in the 18th c. That conservatism (aka red tape) found its counterpart in the 19c. when the Royal Navy was slow to innovate ship design, propulsion and armament, and finds its counterpart today in the formal "specifications" that bedevil creativity (and raise costs) in defense procurement. It has its virtues -- and its risks.

Jeannine  •  Link

Unfortunately for the female servants of this period the treatment that Susan provided above (Tomilin's books) is pretty common (albeit quite sad). In Antonia Fraser's the "Weaker Vessel", she gives examples where sometimes a maid would be "lucky" and deliver a baby boy and the master would accept it --for a girl, it was dismissal and degradation of the maid (even if she had been forced). Basically, the plight of women at this time offered them little choice in life. As they were not educated they did not have many choices. By law they were considered a man's "property" as in daughter, sister, wife, or (stretched definition) a maid. For the lucky Catholics, there was the option of the convent to escape being "owned". For others, there was prostitution or some menial other employment, if they were lucky. It wasn't until the reign of Charles II that women were allowed on the stage, therefore extending the ability to self-support (again, usually tied to a man in this role too). Overall, their fate generally depended on the man who "owned" them. They had no "voice" and pretty much had to accept the treatment handed out. In Sam's case, Jane escapes this situation only becasue of his fear of being "found out" and having his true personality revealed. A credit to Jane's personality as she somehow raised enough doubts in Sam to make him fear that he wouldn't be able to get away with that type of behavior with her.
Sadly for the entire culture Fraser points out that the best role for a female to have at this time was that of a wealthy widow--able to self support and a "loop hole" in the laws where male "ownership" no longer applied.

Jeannine  •  Link

One more thought... On a somewhat unrelated note but depiciting the plight of a female servant (Griet)--the movie "The Girl With the Pearl Earring" takes place during this period, although not in England, but in Holland. In the movie there is a scene where van Ruijen, a wealthy & lecherous patron of the artist Vermeer sets his sights on Griet. Van Ruijen stalks her until finally cornering her while she's hanging out laundry. Griet's fear of agressively fighting him or even crying out loudly in self-defense gives a rather sickening potrayal of the plight of far to many of these poor young girls whose need for maintaining a job and feeding themselves overrode what we'd consider today a person's right to say no and be respected. The movie also highlights a visual picture of the housing, life, drudgery, etc. of a maid and the running of a standard household. The portrayal of the household probably bears similarities to that of the Pepys, and unfortuantely the actions of the patron probably reflect the actions of our man Sam, a man we'd all like to think better of than we may with today's entry.

Movie (and book) are avalable at Amazon in the US and/or UK.

Ruben  •  Link

do not judge Sam by today's standarts.

Terry F.  •  Link

Being 'in the control' of [a man] does not = being his 'property.'

Jeannine, what you or someone says: "By law [{uneducated?) women] were considered a man's "property" as in daughter, sister, wife, or (stretched definition) a maid” is a rhetorical stretch, as though a person were a piece of furniture: one has no obligations to the latter!

Moreover, marriage put the wife in a distinctive legal relation to the man, and vice-versa.

Don McCahill  •  Link

Ruben: But they are the only standards we have.

Although I agree with your point. We have to realize that those days were different. I am currently reading Moby Dick, and notice the treatment of blacks as cartoon buffoons would be considered racist today (Twain was never as nasty as Melville).

We must, of course, compare our standards to Pepys, but you are right that we should not judge him.

Terry F.  •  Link

Persons and property (chattel)

It's become popular to blur the difference between these when speaking of women in a society* in which men are "superior" in a legal/customary sense. But though what Australian Susan, says about the "scene" Tomalin depicts be true, the other side -- the reciprocal obligations of the men -- also need be noted: there was a cost on both sides: God help the man who would not provide his maid bread and board!

But with Australian Susan, I should think that times have changed: indeed, the current employer/employee relationship in advanced societies would have been literally inconceivable in the 17c.

*I stipulate [that's legalese] the validity of the argument of Gerda Lerner's superb *The Creation of Patriarchy" (Oxford, 1986), i.e., that there was a time before which it did/or may not have prevailed.

Candace Hooper  •  Link

Sam does, however, worry that she might refuse him, which suggests he was not planning to force anything.

Glyn  •  Link

Hmm, I wonder if Betty decided to move to a new job Before or After Pepys moved in? He's been living there for some time now so you would thought he would have known, unless this was a sudden decision for any of a variety of reasons.

Certainly it's easy enough to imagine him trying to kiss and cuddle her in the last few days but whether she would accept that as a matter of course is unknown.

Clement  •  Link

Pepys, Twain, Melville, et al.

Certainly personality and prejudice are products of culture, but there remain examples of persons who are able to identify a "higher" standard to follow, and conduct themselves according to that standard in opposition to prevalent cultural norms.

I was thought pollyannaish by some when I mentioned names here previously, but there are examples that stand out as persons who have stood upon principle, flawed though they may be otherwise, and whose principles happen to seem modern to us. Twain is a favorite example, and Erasmus, Thomas More and Epicurus also come to mind. Yes, they were flawed (Twain smoked cigars) but all shared humanistic sensibilities (religiously based or not) that would seem at least modern to us.

The disappointment I feel toward Sam (pointless though it is) is that his "God forgive me" utterance is completely perfunctory and insincere; so he is sometimes the pig that I wish the 1st person narrator of this story weren't. But that personal identification with the character is my issue, not his, he being long dead.

Amongst the abuse and horror they've also engendered, a benefit of the threads of religious and philosophical thought through the ages is that most seek to discern and propogate "higher" ideals that work toward social progress, which to our modern sensibilities usually means tolerance of diversity and the ability to live in close proximity with rules that prevent us from feeling the need to kill each other. That is the higher standard that Sam nods toward with "God forgive me" but that he doesn't live up to.

It seems purposeless to bother liking or disliking Sam or anyone else of a previous age based on our sensibilities. Perhaps the impulse to do so exists because there is so much injustice still abundant in our contemperary political experience that we feel the impulse to actively point to brutish behaviour and label it, just to make sure others are paying attention to what 'bad' looks like; and perhaps thereby apply that lesson to contemporary experience.

Glyn  •  Link

I'm just wondering what would have happened if Sam had ever met Buffy the VS (any ideas RG?)

Robert Gertz  •  Link


Quiet, you.

But I do hope you enjoyed it so far and thanks.


Twain's movement on race is fascinating. During his trips round the world he came to question what was left of his previous notions on racial inferiority (he was already fairly advanced for the time, though not exactly an Abolitionist). In part as a result he took a prominent stand against the Spanish-American war and the annexation of the Philippines.

On the other hand, Twain wasn't exactly a great fan of female equality on all levels. He derided a number of women novelists and joined in the game of poking fun at the "bluestocking" woman.

Sam will disappoint us at times, surprise us at others. He is what is... Many's the man/woman of our own time whose true views on various subjects might startle us if they could be known in full, despite better education and opportunity. Our privilege is that Sam's honest enough to share all that he is.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"maid Betty......also a mind to my own wench"
If we consider sex as an aggression or as a danger to one's own health then Sam's attitude is reproachable,but if we consider it as recreational and fun as it is nowadays then probably not; maybe Betty and Jane enjoyed the attention and would have enjoyed some sex.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam would probably appreciate the enlightment attitude on his moves, AD and it's a valid argument but the element of coercion is so strong here it's hard for me to see it as anything but exploitive. Sam must have been a charmer and maybe they would have loved it, but...

And of course even in our enlighted age, for the spouse, it hurts...Poor Beth.

Now of course we can be sure Sam will take a tolerant, man-of-the-world, even-handed approach should Beth ever... (maintain solemn look)

Australian Susan  •  Link

Without being a spoiler, I would just like to ask us all to remember this day's annotations when we get to next year and the introduction of dancing lessons...........

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Yeah. It'll be a load of laughs...Heh, heh, heh.

But lets not forget our Beth in Brampton...Where even as her loving if philanderously-inclined husband contemplates his escapades in bucolic serenity...She faces that which even...Arraugh!

(Honey, I don't need a shock collar to keep from spoiling...Arrgh! It was just for dramatic...Arrrrgh!!)

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Sams mores, they better than the Leader of the kingdom, although a large group of Citizens condemned freedom of action. [strange word be freedom]
Unfortunately the female population had very limited education, 78% of females be Illiterate in 1670. The Catechism may have been explained to them by a minister that not be graduate [some 60% were self taught, it be a good living].
Survival for most part, would be to accomadate the MAN, as still is done in many parts of this Planet, where there be no education.
Man be always seeking gratification [called progress]in all its forms, 'tis the nature of the beast, He does have some means to control his behaviour [which varies depending on the chemical balance], very few think thru their actions and the concequencies. Take drinking , great until the 'ead be aking and then be wasting all that pleasure and money on recycling. Once to know the limit, OK, but to repeat, ????

Women did not have many choices even in the 20th century. One must eat, be clothed and housed, Masters that be wise would do a good job, but many would try to get full rewards and it still goes on now even in the so called enlighten world.
Read the LORD Rochesters poems to see what the well heeled , thought of the spare rib.

Second Reading

Louise Hudson  •  Link

For a man who goes to church nearly every Sunday, sometimes twice, Sam doesn't seem to have taken in much when it comes to Christian morality, especially adultery, yet there it is in black and white, in the 10 Commandments along with the one about coveting one's neighbor's wife. But, of course, the maids were not married, so were fair game. Perhaps he and his cohorts had defined adultery as taking a married woman and it was not adultery if she wasn't married. I suppose they didn't think it could be adultery if it didn't involve taking another man's "property." He, along with most men in his time, believed any poor, unmarried girl was fair game--a gift to men from God. As for his concern that he might be refused, I think it had more to do with his wife finding out if the girl was uninterested and might take revenge.  I don't have much respect for Sam's morals, even if he was only doing what other men like him were doing. Going to church was apparently just for show and to look like a respectable man to his superiors, not for any religious lessons. I shake my head in despair, but men's attitudes haven't changed much to this day. Just the laws have changed after centuries of resistance by men like Pepys. At least we have that.

Tonyel  •  Link

Reading this for the second time around, I'm struck by how USA- and Europe - centric our annotators are and were. The position of single, poorer women in India for example is exactly the same in the "enlightened" 21st century as it was in Sam's day.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Poor SP being so condemned for thinking out loud when all he is doing is writing to himself! I suppose what he should do is get a prostitute, contract syphilis and then spread that all around the house. Either that, or a good raree show. Personally, I think he was just getting ready to attend the Onan O'Brien show later this night.

joe fulm  •  Link

Samuel started the day with a headache, ended it 'in pain', and with a tincture of male frustration in between; sounds about right that little changes except the centuries.

jimmigee  •  Link

Interesting to read these in light of the current #MeToo phenomenon.

meech  •  Link

Was just thinking the same thing. Especially when Australian Susan said “but men nowadays (I hope anyway) would not think they had the right to lunge at girls they fancied just because they were employees or otherwise in their control.”

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