Tuesday 23 September 1662

Up betimes and with my workmen, taking some pleasure to see my work come towards an end, though I am vexed every day enough with their delay.

We met and sat all the morning, dined at home alone, and with my workmen all the afternoon, and in the evening by water and land to Deptford to give order for things about my house, and came back again by coach with Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Batten (who has been at a Pay to-day), and to my office and did some business, and so to supper and to my lodgings, and so to bed.

In our coming home Sir G. Carteret told me how in most cabaretts in France they have writ upon the walls in fair letters to be read, “Dieu te regarde,” as a good lesson to be in every man’s mind, and have also, as in Holland, their poor’s box; in both which places at the making all contracts and bargains they give so much, which they call God’s penny.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"they give so much, which they call God's penny.”

L&M note: “The *denier-a-Dieu*. Since 1656-7, when the *Hôpital-Général* had been founded in Paris, there had been a considerable movement for the building of poorhouses in France. In some places keepers of drinking-houses had to make contributions. C.W. Cole, *Colbert”, i.126+.”

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Dieu te regarde

The 17th century's (and others') Big Brother...

He knows when you are sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows when you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sounds like just the place for our boy, tossing in his penny as he makes a new oath.

"...things about my house..." sounds like Sam's a mite weary with the architectual/remodeling trade. I suppose the boys need a few more planks, tar, and paint to finish up but it would be interesting to know if Sam is doing a little filching from the Deptford warehouse.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"I am vexed everyday enough with their delay"
Were they paid by the hour?

Australian Susan  •  Link

I was reminded of the movie Jack and Sarah, when an exasperated homeowner (played by Richard E. Grant) visits, once again, his far from completely partially renovated new house. The workmen spot him coming and there is a hasty hiding of newspapers, coffee mugs, fags, and much taking up of paintbrushes, hammers etc. The builder gives Grant a guided tour, complete with excuses, ending up with them on the roof, which is still open to the sky and deprived of tiles.(as Sam's was). From there, Grant sees his car being clamped and whirls down through the house to take his wrath out on the clamper, having been frustrated by the builder's glibness and plausible excuses for the non-completeion. Maybe we should watch out for Sam being cross with other menials: he doesn't seem to be getting anywhere with the workmen - just recording he is "vexed". He cannot make them get on with it.

Nix  •  Link

Filching from the warehouse?

I have been assuming that the house is Navy owned, Navy maintained, and Navy remodeled -- one of the benefits of the office, in which case it would be an appropriate (by 17th century standards) use of Navy materials. Has Samuel indicated that he is paying for the remodeling?

He seems to be irritated by the inconvenience of being out of his quarters for so long, especially with Elizabeth's anticipated return, but I don't recall him complaining about the cost.

Terry F  •  Link

The time factor in this Navy remodeling job:

Methinks Australian Susan's invoking of "Jack and Sarah"'s not bad -- the remodeling is cushy indoor work by men who are used to working out of doors in all weather, perhaps at Deptford; despite Pepsy's micromanaging, this job's to be extended until the Mistress of the House returns.

In the US we call this slo-mo, sarcastically, "government work."

A. Hamilton  •  Link

re: Dieu te regarde

Total Information Awareness the latest manifestation of the all-seeing eye.

What in Sam's time was a "cabarett"?

Terry F  •  Link


I wonder if the L&M note provides a clue: "in France. In some places keepers of drinking-houses had to make contributions."

Wikipedia has: "The term is a French word for the taprooms or cafés, where this form of entertainment was born, as a more artistic type of café-chantant. It is derived from Middle Dutch cabret, through Old North French camberette, from Late Latin camera. It basically means ‘small room.’” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caba…

Mary  •  Link


Glossed by L&M as 'tavern'.

The cost of Sam's home improvements was indeed being born by the Navy. The Navy Treasurer's accounts give the sum of £320 as the estimated joint cost of the works to Batten’s and Pepys’ houses.

language hat  •  Link

cabaret, OED:

2. a. A drinking house, a pot-house. (Now almost exclusively an alien word referring to France, etc.; but formerly somewhat naturalized.)
1655 BP. BRAMHALL Agst. Hobbes (J.) Suppose this servant passing by some cabaret, or tennis court, where his comrades were drinking or playing. 1662 PEPYS Diary 23 Sept., In most cabaretts in France they have writ upon the walls..

Peter  •  Link

What is a cabaret? Life, old chum.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"and have also, as in Holland, their poor’s box; in both which places at the making all contracts and bargains they give so much, which they call God’s penny."

Has Sam forgotten that he observed this practice himself 2 years ago?

"Observing that in every house of entertainment there hangs in every room a poor-man’s box, and desiring to know the reason thereof, it was told me that it is their custom to confirm all bargains by putting something into the poor people’s box, and that binds as fast as any thing."

Clark Kent  •  Link

Speaking of remodeling projects in the movies brings to mind the classic Cary Grant/Myrna Loy 1948 movie "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House." It should be mandatory viewing for anyone contemplating taking on such a project.

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