Monday 8 December 1662

Up, and carrying Gosnell by coach, set her down at Temple Barr, she going about business of hers today. By the way she was telling me how Balty did tell her that my wife did go every day in the week to Court and plays, and that she should have liberty of going abroad as often as she pleased, and many other lies, which I am vexed at, and I doubt the wench did come in some expectation of, which troubles me.

So to the Duke and Mr. Coventry, and alone, the rest being at a Pay and elsewhere, and alone with Mr. Coventry I did read over our letter to my Lord Treasurer, which I think now is done as well as it can be. Then to my Lord Sandwich’s, and there spent the rest of the morning in making up my Lord’s accounts with Mr. Moore, and then dined with Mr. Moore and Battersby his friend, very well and merry, and good discourse. Then into the Park, to see them slide with their skeates, which is very pretty. And so to the Duke’s, where the Committee for Tangier met: and here we sat down all with him at a table, and had much good discourse about the business, and is to my great content. That done, I hearing what play it was that is to be acted before the King to-night, I would not stay, but home by coach, where I find my wife troubled about Gosnell, who brings word that her uncle, justice Jiggins, requires her to come three times a week to him, to follow some business that her mother intrusts her withall, and that, unless she may have that leisure given her, he will not have her take any place; for which we are both troubled, but there is no help for it, and believing it to be a good providence of God to prevent my running behindhand in the world, I am somewhat contented therewith, and shall make my wife so, who, poor wretch, I know will consider of things, though in good earnest the privacy of her life must needs be irksome to her. So I made Gosnell and we sit up looking over the book of Dances till 12 at night, not observing how the time went, and so to prayers and to bed.

38 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"our letter to my Lord Treasurer"

begun 6 November, a letter describing and justifying accounts payable 19 March to 10 September by the Navy Office to be reimburse by a parliamentary grant described in detail here:…

Glyn  •  Link

This is an object lesson in how Not to negotiate a contract. Stupid, stupid Balty; and stupid Sam for using his brother-in-law as his agent.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"and believing it to be a good providence of god to prevent my running behindhand in the world..."
What is he talking about? Unless Justice Jiggins (wonderful name!) is of some importance that we don't know about.

Jeannine  •  Link

"the wench"!!!!!! wait a minute I thought she was "Our Marmotte" , "gracefull", a pretty companion" and that his "mind much please with her".......oh yes, perhaps that was when he was expecting something of her, but now that she "did come in some expectation of" her relationship with them, she's a wench! Hmmmm, and I suppose if she starts asking for money all of a sudden she'll be ugly too!

So Glyn, am I understanding correctly, you're not too impressed by Balty's negotiation skills? Maybe there's an opening for a job as a "village idiot" that he could apply for....

Terry F  •  Link


Adj. - behind schedule; "was behindhand with the rent"
Adv. - behind: in debt; "he fell behind with his mortgage payments"; "a month behind in the rent"; "a company that has been run behindhand for years"; "in arrears with their utility bills"…

From the contrast he uses I'd say Sam has the second meaning in mind.

Terry F  •  Link

So 'Justice Jiggins' is an agent of providence, he being the straw that breaks the camel's back and sets our hero free to let the wench go (and saves him from having to pay for her, ah, services).

Linda F  •  Link

And the scales fell from his eyes, and he saw. . . . We know that Sam detests lying (in other people, and especially his hired help). Gosnell, realizing how taken the Pepyses are with her, appears to attempt to trade on that. In saying that he doubts (as opposed to does NOT doubt) that G. came to them with unrealistic expectations, is Sam saying that she is the one lying? Odd that Justice J. would insist that Gosnell have three days a week to pursue legal matters, or not work at all. Sam does not pursue his own legal business that often. And why the "or else" phrasing? Sam sees that Gosnell is not what she seemed, and his concern for Beth is touching.

dirk  •  Link

"and I doubt the wench did come in some expectation"

Re - Linda F

"doubt" should be translated here as "am inclined to think" (obsolete form now).

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"all that glitters or flitters, be not golden, or one may be led to the wood shed"

Australian Susan  •  Link

"Good providence"
I took this to mean that Sam now only has to pay her for 4 days a week, not 7 as she is to spend those days with her relative, but I too find it odd that she has to spend so much time on this "business" every week. We are given no end-date for this either.

JWB  •  Link

Justice Jiggins's importance?
The ideal @ the beginning of the century was that no Englishman would live greater than 7 miles from a "Justice" & so there were a great many who carried that title, thus diluting cachet.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Sam's under master did not emphasize enough the good stuff, when Samuell be a studying "The Aeneid" Virgil
It still be used by a misogynist
"varium et mutabile semper femina: "Virgil Aenid , IV, 569
Woman is always a slippery and capricious thing.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

7 miles {a two hour trip there and two back } be the protection for all worthy men of business so they could get a fair price for goods and services without some cheapskate offering sumat on the cheap. [that dirty word monopoly, that lost the free access to cheap navy masts and dumping ground for the misbehaved].

mary house  •  Link

Is it just a coincidence that Gosnell now reveals this obligation to her uncle after she has found that Elizabeth does not go to plays and the court every day?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Compensation Samuell? "...So I made Gosnell and we sit up looking over the book of Dances till 12 at night, not observing how the time went,..." not mention but. 'Let us try that' ...1 a 2 then 1, 2,3. DIP, DiP lower?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Would Sam be reading this
The song "A Cup of Old Stingo" from the Merry Drollery Complete (1661):
There's a lusty liquor which
good fellows used to take-a;
It is distilled with Nard most rich
And water of the lake-a.
Of hop a little quantity,
And Barm to it they bring too;
Being barrelled up, they call't a cup
of dainty good old stingo."
lifted from:…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Methinks one or two somewhat quiet afternoons spent working round the house with our Bess was enough to get Gosnell to seek an exit strategy...

"Today is parlor day." Bess notes happily, sleeves rolled.

"Great." Gosnell looks round hopefully for exciting Court visitors as promised by the dashing Balty...

"Here." Bess hands a broom. "Jane!" Winifred stares at said broom. Jane in working outfit, smiling a bit slyly at the newcomer...Whose measure she has taken.

"So when do we head for the playhouse?"

"Oh, Mr. Pepys' vow forbids it this month. He might weaken next week if he feels we can afford it."

Uh-huh... "So, will we be heading to Court later?"

"Court?" Bess stares. "Why would we go to Court?"

"Mr. St Michel said you go every day."

"Balty said that?" Elisabeth blinks. "But I don't know anyone but Lady Jem. Sam does take me to see the Queen once in a great while."

Uh-huh...Gosnell sighs a bit.

"I think I gotta go see my uncle, the reknown judge Jiggins for my mom. Right now."

But today is parlor day, Bess notes again.

Nice that Sam has kept his head about "the wench".

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and shall make my wife so"
First she becomes obsessed with Gosnell that does not seem that interested;then she fires poor Sarah;now this
La donna e mobile
Qual piuma al vento
muta d'accento
e di pensiero;
Francesco Maria Piave,probably following Virgil

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Would be nice to think that this experience with the flighty Ms. Gosnell would make our boy appreciate his devoted Bess a little more...But we're idiots, I admit it freely.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

And I notice he couldn't resist checking the playhouse schedule...No doubt at least in part hoping to please Gosnell with a treat.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Think Balty's been sleeping with her? I'd suspect so...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Balty contacted me from the beyond, somewhat put out

"Sir, you are speaking of Balthazar St. Michel, a gentleman and noble of France, though of reduced means, who would never..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Thinking on it, it’s of course quite possible the Balty-Gosnell relationship is quite innocent, Balty merely trying to maintain his standing in the little circle about him by demonstrating his connections to the high and mighty. Useful for obtaining small loans, deferment of bills from tradesmen…Probably owes Gosnell’s mom for linen and things… and in any case I don’t mean to blacken Winnie’s character, even if she was involved. I actually think she’s a clever, talented, somewhat giddy young lady who’s laid out a fairly well defined campaign…Become a court lady’s companion, catch someone’s notice at the theater or Court and make her way. The only question being is she an aspiring and dedicated actress or merely hoping to be the next Castlemaine in time.

As for Balty and her I still think he has gotten or come close to getting in deep with her but fortunately neither is interested in marriage, she (and I’m sure, Mom) having too much sense to take on a penniless French “aristocrat” however grand his pretensions…
Very likely his discussing his marriage plans with her as well as Bess was his way of reminding Winnie he can’t go further in their relationship…

So who should play Balty in the movie?...

Nix  •  Link

"the wench" --

OED cites the Diary (10 March 1659/60) for the sense of: "A female servant, maidservant, serving-maid; also handmaid, bondwoman."

language hat  •  Link

Phil, it might be a good idea to set up vocabulary pages so that you could link easily misunderstood words like this and "doubt" -- we might avoid some of the endless explanations.

Linda F  •  Link

Re: Gosnell, a/k/a, The Wench:
Dirk, thinks for explanation of the term "doubt" as used here. Mary and Robert G. make a wonderful point: entirely possible that something about her situation at the Pepyses has G. wanting to leave it: dull days, unwanted attention from Balty, inklings of same from Sam? Is it possible that she is trying to quit her post without appearing to do so?

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

“and believing it to be a good providence of god to prevent my running behindhand in the world…”
As I read it, Sam has decided that Gosnell won't work out, because she expects to come and go as she pleases, including at least three weekly visits to her uncle). As much as he likes her singing (and looks and the status she brings), he's actually relieved, because the expense of this companion has been weighing on him from the beginning, and he's afraid of getting "behindhand" in his budget. He knows that Elizabeth will be upset to lose Gosnell, since she's been so lonely (the "privacy of her life"), and she has been looking forward to a companion so much. Yet he feels sure that he can persuade her to see the necessity of it (when she "considers of things").

A. Hamilton  •  Link

As I read it, Sam has decided that Gosnell won’t work out

I find this a plausible reading of an obscure passage. Better to let her go. She may very well have invented the condition of three days off with the hope that Sam would let her off the hook. We saw a similar situation in the failed negotiation over tailor Tom's wife.…

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

A. De Araujo “and shall make my wife so”
La donna è mobile
The rest plus trans be here at…
La donna è mobile, the Duke's aria from Rigoletto and here be
Luciano Pavarotti with the London Symphony Orchestra Lyrics
Song: La Donna E Mobile Lyrics…
If Sam were to read this, he would be a humming.

GrahamT  •  Link

In current usage, behindhand mean behind schedule with a payment, (i.e. in debt) whereas to be "in hand", as in "I am two weeks rent in hand", means ahead of schedule. Sam'l is saying (I think) that Gosnell's not working out was God's way of saving hime from getting into debt.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"So I made Gosnell [ sing ] and we sit up looking over the book of Dances" (L&M)

Bill  •  Link

“believing it to be a good providence of God to prevent my running behindhand in the world”

1 In a state in which rents or profits are anticipated.
2 Not upon equal terms with regard to forwardness.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Bill  •  Link

“and I doubt the wench did come in some expectation of, which troubles me”


4. To suspect, to have suspicion.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Bill  •  Link

Perhaps Gosnell has used both conversations with the Pepys (Balty's story of plays and Court, and her need to be gone 3 days a week) to induce SP to let her go, rather than her quitting and ruining other opportunities. Both inducements may have been inventions, Balty surely knew that Mrs. Pepys did not go to plays and the Court "every day."

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Justice Jiggins! A truly Dickensian name, though Dickens would not be born for another 150 years.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘behindhand, adv.
1. a. In arrear as to the discharge of one's liabilities, in a state of insolvency, in debt. (Const. with.)
. . 1618 a1645 W. Browne tr. M. Le Roy Hist. Polexander (1647) i. v. 134, I finde my selfe behindehand with him more than I am able to pay him.
1704 Swift Tale of Tub ii. 73 Having run something behind-hand with the World.
1752 Johnson Rambler No. 191. ⁋1 A cold which has..put me seventeen visits behind-hand.

b. In the position of a creditor, entitled to money which is in arrear.
1666 S. Pepys Diary 19 Dec. (1972) VII. 414 Many..are ready to starve, they being five years behindhand for their wages.’


‘doubt, v. < Middle English duten , douten , < Old French duter,
. . II. 5. trans. To dread, fear, be afraid of.
. . b. With infinitive phrase or objective clause: To fear, be afraid (that something uncertain will take or has taken place). arch. and dial.
. . 1665 S. Pepys Diary 27 Nov. (1972) VI. 387 Doubting that all will break in pieces in the Kingdom.

. . 6. In weakened sense
. . c. With infin. phrase or clause: To apprehend; to suspect. arch.
. . 1705 Wesley in T. Hearne Remarks & Coll. 28 Sept. My Flax [was] I doubt willfully fir'd and burnt . . ‘

It's sense 6.c. here. It is labeled ‘arch.’ =archaic. Our Hero still uses many turns of phrase current in the East Anglian countryside where he grew up but wholly or partly out of use in London in London English. It is still in common use in North Country vernacular: . . Long silence, then: “Ah doubt it’ll rain later” “Aye” Another long silence . .

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