Tuesday 2 September 1662

Up betimes and got myself ready alone, and so to my office, my mind much troubled for my key that I lost yesterday, and so to my workmen and put them in order, and so to my office, and we met all the morning, and then dined at Sir W. Batten’s with Sir W. Pen, and so to my office again all the afternoon, and in the evening wrote a letter to Mr. Cooke, in the country, in behalf of my brother Tom, to his mistress, it being the first of my appearing in it, and if she be as Tom sets her out, it may be very well for him. So home and eat a bit, and so to my lodging to bed.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Jesse  •  Link

"mind much troubled for my key"

Still, but why? The inconvenience of getting in the office, the security risk, the general principle, or just the damn hassle of it all?

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"mind much troubled for my key"
Or does he keep his £686 19s 2d savings under the bed? A little carelessness in those days could be disastrous.

Australian Susan  •  Link

It's the office key he has lost, not the house key. But we don't know where he has stashed his coins. Maybe in the "further cellar" which has been used before to store money. Maybe in the office somewhere, but that does not seem to be regarded as particularly safe (no nightwatchman). Actually, I am wondering if there was a porter or similar for the whole Navy Office complex of houses and office, which is built round a courtyard so presumably had limited entrances. (But Sam speaks of a back door to his house, so maybe the security isn't that crash hot.) Are there any plans of this set of buildings in L&M?

Peter  •  Link

Don't forget the ha'penny, Tony.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Cook(e)ing" things along for Tom, eh successful bro?

Yes, I have just won the worst pun of the year award, thank you.

Isn't there a porter at the complex gate for the Naval Office who locks up at night? I remember, Tomalin I think, saying it was an early example of a gated community.

(Linda F, hope you're ok)

Terry F,  •  Link

No mention today of yesterday's social vexations -- the meeting of the higher powers, and the vexations Elizabeth had written about -- she walks! she talks! reads and writes!

Though today San does not dine alone, he does not mention wine.

(Like others, I sometimes find what he does NOT mention of considerable curiosity.)

Jeannine  •  Link

The only thing worse than Sam having lost his key is that Elizabeth isn't around to see him do something that he'd be chiding her for had she done the same. Oh for her to sit on the sidelines and to hear her say, "it's okay Sam dear, now you're human, just like the rest of us"....

Robert Gertz  •  Link

No doubt our boy wrote his girl to tell her of the amusing incident. (I'm trying hard to keep a straight face on that one.)

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

There be a Official Greeter of the finer persons, he be paid officially, I doth Believe 25L a year, all found, plus a little gratuity for sevices rendored to getting 'me Lady' onto the Coach and not dirty her anklets and how well he tells one and all the candle time. Of course he [Sam that is] will have to hand over a farthing for the walk from the street, across the Quad, inserting a key and then unlocking the ofice, Sam will feel bad about that expense, now that he be counting his 'apences.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam seems a bit edgy...Being forced to move to the "lodgings" and secure his goods in the unfinished house, perhaps.

Linda F  •  Link

Yes, this entry has an edgy mood: terse, flat, all business. Not a clue describing those temporary lodgings, and would not think lunch with the Sirs William very congenial: both (at this point) still ensconced and no doubt presenting to SP a united unspoken front dedicated to keeping him civilly and deliberately in what they are determined shall remain his place. And Coventry and Montagu engaged in other things, at the moment, than appreciating Sam. Must have been much easier for him to make progress without both Sirs William about.

Current events bring home the far-reaching effect of diligence by a single soul (Sam). He is (while a cultivated man of parts) a sort of naval bureaucrat (before the term was coined) bent on reforming negligence and abuse in the supply of naval stores and certain related contracts (among other things), if not exclusively for unselfish motives (i.e., wants to advance; loves to learn and make things happen; wants to expose Sir William B.). But over time, the effect of small efforts and duty-at-the-post can make all the difference far, far down the line in ways we never imagine and won't know until we reach infinity. We need more Sams!

Robert Gertz, thanks for your good wishes: we Louisianians try to think of ourselves as emigres and not refugees. It's a cross between the diaspora of Acadians expelled from Canada and those fleeing Paris in the Reign of Terror. As our ancestors probably said then, by the grace of God, we are alive. Thanks again.

Second Reading

Bridget Davis  •  Link

Was a "mistress" the same then as it is now?

JayW  •  Link

Bridget, 'Tom's mistress' was the lady he seeks to marry. The word did not have the same meaning as in modern speech.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Bridget, good Q: it's complicated. Latham & Matthews' Larger Glossary (in the Companion, Vol. X of their critical edition of the diary) has this:

MISTRESS (prefix): used of unmarried girls as well as of young married women

MISTRESS (23 October 1667) : sweetheart

Mrs. the abbreviation of Mistress, in Pepys's time often stands for it.

Bill  •  Link

MISS [contracted of Mistress] a young Gentlewoman; also a kept Mistress, a Lady of Pleasure.
MISTRESS, the Mistress of an House; a Sweetheart or kept Mistress.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1731.

Miss/Mrs/Mistress was a topic in the annotations of 29 January 61/62 http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

Bill  •  Link

(Of course, one can depend on the French.)

MISS, jeune Demoiselle; Maitresse, Concubine.
---A short dictionary English and French. G. Miège, 1684.

John York  •  Link

Two contrasting posts by Cumgranissalis. The second has a fascinating link to background information about the Navy Board and its staffing, both in the 1660's and into the future. Cumgranissalis I thank you.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

This is the sense here:

‘< Anglo-Norman and Middle French maistresse . .

. . 5. a. A woman loved and courted by a man; a female sweetheart. Obs. By the late 19th cent. this usage was generally avoided as liable to be mistaken for sense 7. In proverbial use in quot. 1755.
. . 1616 Shakespeare Two Gentlemen of Verona (1623) iv. iv. 174, I giue thee this For thy sweet Mistris sake, because thou lou'st her.
. . 1750 Johnson Rambler No. 28. ⁋3 How few faults a man, in the first raptures of love, can discover in the person or conduct of his mistress.
1755 J. G. Cooper Lett. Concerning Taste xiii. 90 This grand secret..lies in this short Precept, Never lose the Mistress in the Wife; a Text of Bullion sense . . ‘

and here’s the sense NOT intended:

‘ . . 7. A woman other than his wife with whom a man has a long-lasting sexual relationship . .
. . 1631 J. Donne Serm. (1959) V. 302 Those women, whom the Kings were to take for their Wives, and not for Mistresses, (which is but a later name for Concubines).
1675 W. Wycherley Country-wife i. i. 5 And next, to the pleasure of making a New Mistriss, is that of being rid of an old One.
. . 1749 J. Cleland Mem. Woman of Pleasure I. 184 Had he a mistress?—was she prettier than me?—could he love such a one as I was? . . ‘

The senses in OED number 15: how many can you think of?

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