Friday 3 October 1662

Rose, and without taking leave or speaking to my Lord went out early and walked home, calling at my brother’s and Paul’s Churchyard, but bought nothing because of my oath, though I had a great mind to it.

At my office, and with my workmen till noon, and then dined with my wife upon herrings, the first I have eat this year, and so to my workmen again. By and by comes a gentleman to speak with my wife, and I found him to be a gentleman that had used her very civilly in her coming up out of the country, on which score I showed him great respect, and found him a very ingenious gentleman, and sat and talked with him a great while.

He gone, to my workmen again, and in the evening comes Captain Ferrers, and sat and talked a great while, and told me the story of his receiving his cut in the hand by falling out with one of my Lord’s footmen. He told me also of the impertinence and mischief that Ned Pickering has made in the country between my Lord and all his servants almost by his finding of faults, which I am vexed to hear, it being a great disgrace to my Lord to have the fellow seen to be so great still with him. He brought me a letter from my father, that appoints the day for the Court at Brampton to be the 13th of this month; but I perceive he has kept the letter in his pocket these three days, so that if the day had been sooner, I might have been spilt. So that it is a great folly to send letters of business by any friend that require haste. He being gone I to my office all the evening, doing business there till bedtime, it being now my manner since my wife is come to spend too much of my daytime with her and the workmen and do my office business at night, which must not be after the work of the house is done. This night late I had notice that Dekins, the merchant, is dead this afternoon suddenly, for grief that his daughter, my Morena, who has long been ill, is given over by the Doctors. For both which I am very sorry.

So home and to bed.

25 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

Pepys already knew about Captain Ferrers' fight with the servant. His father had told him about it three weeks ago:…

Since Pepys doesn't express any sympathy in this entry I imagine he still disapproved of the incident, although probably didn't tell Ferrers that.

Bradford  •  Link

In case anyone else has as much trouble untangling this sentence as I did at first go, perhaps a little annotated vers libre might help:

I to my office all the evening,
doing business there till bedtime,
it being now my manner---
since my wife is come [home]---
to spend too much of my daytime with her and the workmen
and [thus requiring me to] do my office business at night,
[a habit] which must not be [indulged in]
after the work of the house is done.
[i.e., once the endless renovations are finished.]

Jeannine  •  Link

Thank you Bradford!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

...the ingenious gentleman...

"Well, sir, milady." Nod to extremely pleased Bess. "Your kindness has far exceeded my trivial courtesy in escorting fair Mrs. Pepys and I must be off." throwing cloak about shoulders in style a waiting Will Hewer takes detailed mental note of...

"Remember, Mr. Pepys." A smile from horseback. "Even the roads round Brampton are not always so safe for so fair a lady as your dear one."

"But sir..." Pepys hesitates.

"Your name?"

"Ah...MacHeath, sir. Captain MacHeath." a bow with flourish...

"And I would love you all the day...Every night we'd kiss and play...If with me you'd fondly stray...Over the hills and far
away." MacHeath's pleasant song
echoing as he rides off...

Hmmn. Catchy tune, Sam notes.

Terry F.  •  Link

"I might have been spilt."

Prithee, what say L&M here, or what means this?
Methinks "it might have been spilt" fits better here....

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Terry, I think Sam means I as in "Had the case been a day sooner I might have been lost, ruined...screwed..."

A. Hamilton  •  Link

RG: shrewd reading.

I too was puzzled.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Spilt as in spilt milk? (no use crying over spilt milk).
How did Sam know Capt F had had the letter in his pocket for 3 days?
There was no franking involved? Did he know Capt F had been back in London for 3 days? Or maybe the date his father wrote in the letter? Puzzling.
If Capt F has been in London for 3 days without coming to the Pepys household, he cannot be so enamoured of the charm of Mrs P and *who* is this mysterious gentleman? Surely someone cannot call at someone's house without the householder getting to know their name? Wonder why it is not recorded? Curiouser and curiouser (Alice, again)

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Still true: "...So that it is a great folly to send letters of business by any friend that require haste..." of course he be a waiting the for the opertunity to see Mistress Eliza.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Ferrers is a book unto 'imself, raconteur, ladies man etc.. Sam enjoyed his company to the the teatro, quite a few times .
["...After that I and Captain Ferrers to Salisbury Court by water, and saw part of the 'Queene's Maske.' Then …”…
“…after dinner with Mr. Creed and Captain Ferrers to the Theatre to see 'The Chances,' and after that to the Cock alehouse,…”] for example.
Also quite young early 20’s be my guess.
see all the Xrefs under this ladd’s name and read his derring doo’s. he that seeks excitement. Naturally all the girls [including Mistress Pepys]be taken with his personna.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Sam knows the likes of our rascal Kapitan, stays till the B***** be off, never leave a fox stay near the hen house.

Diana Bonebrake  •  Link

Indeed, our Sam being quite the predator himself...

Dave Bell  •  Link

Er, Mr. Gertz...

Wrong century.

Bergie  •  Link

"Spilt" = "ruined."

The OED defines one of the obsolete senses of "spill" as "to destroy, ruin, or overthrow (a person); to bring to ruin or misery," with quotations from 950 to 1642.

"Spill" started out meaning "kill." It took on its modern meanings a few hundred years later.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

David, I contend that John Gay wrote, as most composer/authors do, of stories from a period encompassing earlier times to his present...And that the good Capt M might have been a figure based on tales he'd heard even as a boy of earlier times.

Besides, it was too much fun to pass up...And you're probably aware that in extra-Diary space Sam did encounter a somewhat (well, he was nice to the ladies) gallant highwayman...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sadly, it isn't Capt Ferrers who is so enamoured of our Bess, but in fact...

Damn bet...

Jeannine  •  Link

"never leave a fox stay near the hen house" & Sam as predator-Cumgranissalis & Diana have probably hit a tender spot in Sam as he knows his own inclinations towards a pretty face and no doubt doesn't want to let anyone near his turf. The conflict of the Restoration period is interesting as on one hand the atmosphere under Charles II is much more libertine and open to raunchy plays, publicly flaunting mistresses, etc. On the other hand there is still the culture of religion,lingering Puritianical morals and just plain having a good face in public. Court stories abound of men going after another man's wife regardless of the social status, so it's always "safer" for Sam to politely enusre that he's provided "coverage" for any potential preying by a predator (real or imagined) and then to catch up on his work in the later hours.

Tom Burns  •  Link

Oh, what I would give for a copy of the diary of Elizabeth Pepys...

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"Oh, what I would give for a copy of the diary of Elizabeth Pepys..."

You have but to ask... There are a half-dozen works of fiction. Mostly out of print, but available. see:…

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary today:

"To Lond. invited to the Colledge of Physitians, where Dr. Meret a learned man, and Library-keeper shewed me the Library, Theater for Anatomies, & divers natural Curiosities,especialy the Devil Fish (as he call’d it) which being very strong, had when taken nothing in its head save sheere water, & no other braine: There were also divers skelletons: I much admired the thigh bone of an Ostridge: The Statue & epigraph under it of that renouned Physitian Dr. Harvey, inventor of the Circulation of blood:..."

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Dah! "...inventor of the Circulation of blood..." how meanings dothe change.

Second Reading

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Re "I might have been spilt". L&M have it as "I might have been spoilt", which makes a little more sense.

Bill  •  Link

"I might have been spilt"

To SPILL, to spoil or waste, as Water or Liquor.
To SPILL, to spoil, to corrupt, to destroy; to dye, to perish.
---An universal etymological English dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

Bill  •  Link

"calling at my brother’s and Paul’s Churchyard, but bought nothing because of my oath, though I had a great mind to it."

Last December Sam wrote: "I have newly taken a solemn oath about abstaining from plays and wine, which I am resolved to keep according to the letter of the oath which I keep by me." I didn't realize that this oath extended to the buying of books. Perhaps it has mostly to do with spending excessive amounts of money? And we shouldn't read any moral dimension into it, as I myself was doing.

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