Saturday 29 November 1662

Before I went to the office my wife’s brother did come to us, and we did instruct him to go to Gosnell’s and to see what the true matter is of her not coming, and whether she do intend to come or no, and so I to the office; and this morning come Sir G. Carteret to us (being the first time we have seen him since his coming from France): he tells us, that the silver which he received for Dunkirk did weigh 120,000 weight.

Here all the morning upon business, and at noon (not going home to dinner, though word was brought me that Will. Joyce was there, whom I had not seen at my house nor any where else these three or four months) with Mr. Coventry by his coach as far as Fleet Street, and there stepped into Madam Turner’s, where was told I should find my cozen Roger Pepys, and with him to the Temple, but not having time to do anything I went towards my Lord Sandwich’s. (In my way went into Captn. Cuttance’s coach, and with him to my Lord’s.) But the company not being ready I did slip down to Wilkinson’s, and having not eat any thing to-day did eat a mutton pie and drank, and so to my Lord’s, where my Lord and Mr. Coventry, Sir Wm. Darcy, one Mr. Parham (a very knowing and well-spoken man in this business), with several others, did meet about stating the business of the fishery, and the manner of the King’s giving of this 200l. to every man that shall set out a new-made English Busse by the middle of June next. In which business we had many fine pretty discourses; and I did here see the great pleasure to be had in discoursing of publique matters with men that are particularly acquainted with this or that business. Having come to some issue, wherein a motion of mine was well received, about sending these invitations from the King to all the fishing-ports in general, with limiting so many Busses to this, and that port, before we know the readiness of subscribers, we parted, and I walked home all the way, and having wrote a letter full of business to my father, in my way calling upon my cozen Turner and Mr. Calthrop at the Temple, for their consent to be my arbitrators, which they are willing to. My wife and I to bed pretty pleasant, for that her brother brings word that Gosnell, which my wife and I in discourse do pleasantly call our Marmotte, will certainly come next week without fail, which God grant may be for the best.

44 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"Sir G. Carteret...tells us, that the silver which he received for Dunkirk did weigh 120,000 weight"

L&M note: "Carteret had been commissioned to receive the Dunkirk money (paid in silver *écus*) on the King's behalf in France.....A thousand-weight was 1000 lbs."

A transaction in écus! = premature Euros!
Those of us who followed the nascent EU closely (my maven in 1993 was a British lawyer who'd been an EC transportation-law specialist in Brussels for 20 years) recall how this older French coin was linked to the European Currency Unit: "The acronym ECU is considered a word and in French is the name of ancient French coin" Ancient? 20th century virtual humbuggery, vintage 1987!
"In the 17th and 18th centuries, the name écu was applied exclusively to a large silver coin worth five livres tournois"

"my Lord and Mr. Coventry, Sir Wm. Darcy, one Mr. Parham...with several others, did meet about stating the business of the fishery"

L&M note: "Of the persons mentioned only Sandwich was a member of the Royal Fishery Council. Richard Parham was a freeman of the Fishmongers' Company; Darcy a courtier with Northumbrian interests."

Australian Susan  •  Link

Could they have paid the Russian debt with this Dunkirk money?

Bradford  •  Link

Making Balty Useful: perhaps his French "charm" was thought appropriate for this mission to "our Marmotte"?

Insert here brief essay on the predilection, not restricted to the English, for choosing, as pet names for those we feel tenderly toward, the most unlikely of animals.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"which my wife and I in discourse do pleasantly call our Marmotte"
marmotte= woodchuck, groundhog,not a very pleasant thing to say,but methinks Sam is playing games with his wife! who me? attracted to that marmotte!?

Jeannine  •  Link

"do pleasantly call our Marmotte". Time to get a group weigh in here--I have a funny feeling about this and think that perhaps Sam is a little 'too" excited about Gosnells' arrival, etc. for his (and perhaps' Elizabeth's) own good--any others care to weigh in on this.

I just can't remember him being so full of anticipation about any other servant's arrival, but could be wrong here.

Eric Walla  •  Link

Yes, I must agree that Sam has begun considering their "Marmotte" as a companion for himself every bit as much as for Elizabeth. This is a situation that, had we not known his amorous proclivities, would have only been a scene of delight, with his love of music and dance. But instead we are fully aware that our Sam has a love of more than the arts.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Moi be an ***** "...I in discourse do pleasantly call our Marmotte..." mouthing the word I come up with one bad word used in the english hedgerows, and in me parlaising a few words come up with F. 'motte' sod or "mot de beure" pat of butter. Of course Ma as in Mon female "My" I cannot remember the word for sounding the same but spelt oddly, And as the Englis' dothe luv to misuse The Sun God's language.
so over to the Experts.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Jeannine's "excited about Gosnells’" Oh! La! La! THAT Voice, those dance steps .... such Harmony?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

" écus!" MF lit. abbreviation for Escutum for the shield on the coin L. scutum

Terry F  •  Link

Today's theme is Pepys solving practical problems:

-- He deputizes Balty to trap la Marmotte;

-- His motion solves a potential problem of an over-subscription of setting out of Busses;

-- He replaces his cozen Roger Pepys and his brother, Dr. John, with cozen Turner and Mr. Calthrop to be his arbitrators.

Jesse  •  Link

"our Marmotte"

I think Pepys is anxious for some good company for the Mrs. - in fact they both are as indicated by the "we did instruct" and the shared nickname. Elizabeth's not had it easy during the remodeling and Sam's not exactly the doting husband. I think they both have high hopes that spending some time with her sister will make Elizabeth's settling into the 'new' house happier.

Terry F  •  Link

The King's £200/Busse seems an incentive!
Or so methinks can be inferred from Pepys's motion to send "these invitations from the King to all the fishing-ports in general, with limiting so many Busses to this, and that port, before we know the readiness of subscribers" -- in order to prevent the long-standing fishing-war with the Dutch from becoming a Civil War among the English ports.

Terry F  •  Link

Sam enjoys the sharing of the hard-won fruits of experience:

"I did here see the great pleasure to be had in discoursing of publique matters with men that are particularly acquainted with this or that business."

Good listener he, and then he makes the practical motion that brings the business to a prudent end.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam tends to refer to women he knows and likes by pet names. I feel uneasy about this! He sounds a bit sweaty-palmed to me.

Good to see Sam lunching on a pie and a pint - traditional Australian lunch tucker.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Re: The World Ending on Tuesday.
Well, it is 4.40pm on Wednesday here and I am still around. I think.

Australian Susan  •  Link

I was wondering if what Sam and Elizabeth meant by their nickname was a Marmoset - they are quite cuddly, endearing and appealling. See…

Linda  •  Link

My French husband has called me a marmotte. I have seen one from a distance and they are rather cute in a fuzzy animal sort of way. They are known to sleep alot and, when I need a nap, that becomes my nickname.

Mary  •  Link

our marmotte

'Marmotte' is very similar in sound to the affectionate term 'mommet.' Not recorded in the OED as far as I can see, so perhaps dilectal or slang, but I have come across it more than once used as a term of endearment, always addressed to a young girl, usually used by an older woman. Has anyone else encountered it?

Peter  •  Link

Mary, yes I have heard "mommet" used as a term of endearment.. usually applied to children. The connection you make to marmotte here sounds plausible...

GrahamT  •  Link

These are very common in the Alps.
They are very cute looking but have a taste for brake fluid, so nibble car brake lines. Not a very popular habit with people living and driving in the mountains.
The name comes from Latin mus montis - mouse of the mountains, via French. In French Marmotte means to murmur, but marmottes actually whistle, and in Quebec are called siffleux - whistlers.
In Aqua Scripto is guessing an etymology of "ma motte" which is "my mound", fairly meaningless French, but attributing the English slang crudity motte which is from the medical word for "a tuft of hair on the body". I will leave it to your imaginations to guess which part of the female body he is referring to.

Xjy  •  Link

"solving practical problems"
An incredibly busy day, at many levels - domestic, royal, office, legal, naval.
Here we see the payoff for all the preparatory work he does. When things come to a head he can move like lightning and retain his balance.
Hegel defined freedom as "bei sich sein" being (at home) with yourself. Today Sam was free in this sense. Very centred, all day.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Re: The World Ending on Tuesday.

Now Wednesday AM on this side of the world. I take Australian Susan's post as verification that the world around me today is real, though I have yet to look outside. So, another practical problem solved!

Sam's getting around a lot by carriage today. Going to get plump at that that rate.

J A Gioia  •  Link

Re: The World Ending on Tuesday

an empirical/philosophical question that has troubled me for years: if the entire world and everything in it vanished in a flash, how would we know it happened?

a pie and pint for me too, thank you.

and to keep the discussion on our sam: it strikes me that, keen as the lad is for eye candy, it is gosnell's (and why don't they call her 'little goose'?) musical ability that really has him enchanted. liz gets a companion and sam a home entertainment system.

Glyn  •  Link

Is that what marmotte means? I don't think they would have known yet about groundchucks or woodhogs. I had wondered if it was a name of a servant in one of the plays that they had seen, but have no evidence of that.

Roger  •  Link

If I could comment(as a meteorologist) on the 'cold snap' referred to by Sam on the previous couple of days. Although it is not unusual for snow to arrive in November it is rarer for it to settle as there is still plenty of heat in the ground. That would have been the case in 1662 as well. After a cold winter of 1658 it seems that there were a few 'milder' ones before the one that Sam finds approaching. It will turn out to be a cold one with severe frosts (I dont know if he'll mention it more!?). The Thames froze over this winter(first time since 1648/9)and I believe skating was introduced at this time to England). This cant happen any more(we hope!) as the river Thames has been embanked and so it flows much faster. (refer to 'London Weather', JH Brazell, HMSO, 1968)

language hat  •  Link

I don't think we can tell what Sam and Madame mean by this. Besides its zoological meaning, it has the metaphorical sense 'sleepyhead' and the less common senses 'woman's kerchief (wound round the head)'; 'box of samples'; 'kind of plum.' There's also French marmot 'kid, brat' and the verb marmotter 'to mumble, mutter' to confuse the issue. Anyway, it's clearly affectionate.

I don't think the use of a nickname for the prospective maid says anything about Sam's evil intentions; if so, he would hardly be sharing it with his wife.

Glyn  •  Link

A. Hamilton. I think this is one of the busiest days that Pepys has had so far, with his own work before and after going to the office, then business meetings in Westminster with undoubted experts in their area (the kind of people that Pepys always likes meeting). And not even a time for a proper meal.

Not seeing William Joyce would seem like a calculated snub as they don't much like each other, but Pepys literally doesn't have time for him.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

But if we are figments of Sam's dying mind, he could have imagined us experiencing Tuesday while he and the world perished.


What worries me is the "Our Marmotte"...But I suppose that's merely 21st century sensibilities creeping in.

"My wife does inform me she loves Gosnell very dearly which does please me greatly." Sam pauses.

"Make that 'loves her beyond all thought'" Bess suggests.


Sjoerd  •  Link

"Our Marmotte"

Our Sam has been declared guilty before the crime, I would say.

A "coiffure à la Marmotte" was in fashion in the 17th century, so I would suggest "Our Marmotte" is an innocent french husband and wife insider joke about the young ladies' hair style or head dress.

"La nomenclature de toutes ces coiffures est par elle-même fort curieuse. Les noms qu'on leur donnait venaient quelquefois de leur forme, comme ceux-ci : le hérisson à quatre boucles, coiffure au Colisée, à la laitière, à la baigneuse, à la marmotte, à la dormeuse,"

See http://www.englishcountrydancing.…
for a picture (scroll down).

A. De Araujo  •  Link

methinks you are thinking about marotte

Terry F  •  Link

"A 'coiffure à la Marmotte' was in fashion"

Sjoerd, this is a fabulous clue to W. Gosnell's real aspiration, which is acting career.

Bradford  •  Link

The link Sjoerd provides shows why some women of the time needed to be stiff-necked. A pity that "dormeuse" means "female sleeper," and not "dormouse," which would fit right in with our Marmotte!

dirk  •  Link

"if the entire world and everything in it vanished in a flash, how would we know it happened?"

Re - J A Gioia

We wouldn't. It's a bit like Socrates (and the Epicurists) view of death. If you're dead, you won't be able to care about it any more -- so don't care about it to begin with -- for as long as you're alive, there's no reason to care about it either.

As a matter of fact, what we might care about is the manner of our death, and the effect it will have on the ones we love -- something the Epicurists overlooked.

Terry F  •  Link

It seems Sam blamed not his "choice of relations" per se to be his arbitrators for Monday's failed attempt at a conclusion, but his choice of WHICH relations -- having now replaced two of them with another of them and one non-relation -- his cozens Roger Pepys and his brother, Dr. John, with cozen Turner and Mr. Calthrop. So, I misunderstood Sam's Monday declaration, or he reconsidered it since then -- or both!

Jeannine  •  Link

Sjoerd! What a great link, but now you have created a fashion dilemma for me....hmmmm..what "bandeau d'amour" to wear at the right time of day?? When reading about Sam's Navy adventures, obviously the fashionable a la Belle Poule would be fitting, for writing annotations, perhaps the en Ailes de Papillion panache might suffice.... but what about the rest of my day?

Mary  •  Link

coiffure a la marmotte.

Lovely fashion plates, but the fashions shown with the coiffure a la marmotte date from 100 years later than anything that La Gosnell might be wearing. (Louis XVI, not Louis XIV.

AnferTuto  •  Link

Hola faretaste

Second Reading

Sjoerd Spoelstra  •  Link

From a site on french fashion:

In the 17th & 18th century peasants from the alpine region of Savoy would train marmots and dance with them as street entertainment. Basically they were a precursor to the more-famous organ grinders with monkeys of the 19th century. Only, y’know, with GROUNDHOGS.
<,,,,,>Mid-17th century Savoy had a strong link to France, as the Duchess of Savoy, Christine Marie of France, was Louis XIII’s sister. From 1637 onwards she was regent of Savoy, and the Duchy was effectively a satellite state of France. The close ties between the two countries saw her son marry two French princesses, and Savoyarde peasants, including the dancing-marmot street entertainers, travelled to Paris to find work during the economic depressions that plagued Savoy. The dancing marmots were so iconic that Savoyarde peasants were soon called ‘marmottes‘

arby  •  Link

"Whistle pig" is a common name for our marmots (groundhogs) in the southern US. Sweet animals, as long as it isn't your garden that's being eaten.

Bill  •  Link

"Gosnell, which my wife and I in discourse do pleasantly call our Marmotte, will certainly come next week without fail"

Marmotte is mentioned 29 times in the annotations and I would like to add to that total with the word Marmote. Please remember that Sam's spelling is not always exact - even in English! The pronunciation of Marmote would have been the same as Marmotte.

Marmote, (petite fille) a young Jade. [small girl]

Jade, Et aussi un terme d'injure qui est affecte aux femmes. (And also an insulting term that affects women)

Ex. A saucy Jade, une impertinente. (a sassy girl)
---The Royal Dictionary Abridged : French and English. 1755.

And in another dictionary:

Marmote, petite fille, petite morveuse. (small girl, small brat.)
---Le grand dictionnaire François & Flamand. 1733.

John York  •  Link

It makes sense that Balty is sent to find out Gosnell's true intention as he introduced the sisters to Elizabeth "by my wife’s appointment came two young ladies, sisters, acquaintances of my wife’s brother’s" (…)
and he was answering for them again two days later
"and her brother (Balty) coming I did tell him my mind plain, who did assure me that they were both of the sisters very humble and very poor"…

Whilst accepting that spellings are variable in the days of the diary I do not think the use of Marmote as a small girl, brat or jade would be a useage between Pepys and his wife for someone they were about to bring into the household as a companion for Elizabeth.

Bill  •  Link

@John York. Remember that 2 weeks ago SP had this to say about one of the Gosnell sisters:

"The youngest, indeed, hath a good voice, and sings very well, besides other good qualitys; but I fear hath been bred up with too great liberty for my family" 12 November 1662.

I think "sassy girl" fits better as a pleasant nickname than "groundhog."

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