Thursday 15 January 1662/63

Up and to my office preparing things, by and by we met and sat Mr. Coventry and I till noon, and then I took him to dine with me, I having a wild goose roasted, and a cold chine of beef and a barrel of oysters. We dined alone in my chamber, and then he and I to fit ourselves for horseback, he having brought me a horse; and so to Deptford, the ways being very dirty. There we walked up and down the Yard and Wett Dock, and did our main business, which was to examine the proof of our new way of the call-books, which we think will be of great use. And so to horse again, and I home with his horse, leaving him to go over the fields to Lambeth, his boy at my house taking home his horse.

I vexed, having left my keys in my other pocket in my chamber, and my door is shut, so that I was forced to set my boy in at the window, which done I shifted myself, and so to my office till late, and then home to supper, my mind being troubled about Field’s business and my uncle’s, which the term coming on I must think to follow again. So to prayers and to bed, and much troubled in mind this night in my dreams about my uncle Thomas and his son going to law with us.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and did our main business, which was to examine the proof of our new way of the call-books, which we think will be of great use"

Can anyone help with interpreting this?

A vexing evening for our boy ... Sam's *got* to come up with a system for keeping his keys nearby!

Australian Susan  •  Link

"wild goose" Probably shot or trapped on the Essex or Kent marshes.
We hear mention today of Sam and Coventry's "boys" - because they form part of his narrative, but we have to remember that when Sam talks of going out and about and meeting people, he would always have Wayneman in tow and would be meeting Coventry, Creed et al, similarly accompanied. Wayneman obviously gets on OK with Coventry's boy. These lads (Wayneman is about 12 I think) must have spent a great deal of time kicking their heels somewhere. Wonder what they did? Where they allowed to play games in office courtyards? Anyone know of any studies done on this invisible undergroup?
About the keys: why weren't there other people in the house whom Sam and Wayneman could rouse to open the door for them?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sorry "were" not "where".

Glyn  •  Link

I believe he's using the word "proof" in the sense of "test" (as in proving grounds, or the proof of the pudding is in the eating). So they've tested out his new system, and now they're examining the results.

In turn, I'm wondering whether Wayneman was with him all day - could he have kept up with the men on horseback? - or whether Pepys just called out to him when he got home. Presumably the house is more safely guarded than it appears, because of the nightwatchman at the gate.

Glyn  •  Link

Todd, but he's already got a good system. It involves shoving the boy through the window.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

vexed and torubled in mind

dreams about lawsuits.No thought of poor wife and her unresolved complaints, nor of his role as household tyrant....

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"“wild goose” Probably shot or trapped on the Essex or Kent marshes.", even clobbered in the blinds at the park of St James. So long as it not be a swan [ it be under Carlos's II protection] , then Tyburne has a branch ready and waiting.
I dothe think Our Samuell be thinking of his ride to Deptford and he be glad that he did not leave his keys down there, for that, be a chase to think about. [ a secret message to himself for future ref.]

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"which done I shifted myself" The Valet be not ready, Oh! Dear!.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Trip be approx. an hour[one way 6 miles] in luverly fresh invigorating wet drizzle. [otherwise known as dirty weather], and did not stop at the halfway house for a brew up, just wanted to get on with it and then when he gets back be mad, there he be wringing wet and cold and the boy has to be shoved thru a open window[so much for security ].
It dothe appear that Coventry has his nags stabled near the Lambeth palace. Not too long ago, he mentions the Horse ferry.
As for the lads, ther3e be duties to be done else there be some yelping to be heard.

Terry F  •  Link

"dreams about lawsuits.No thought of poor wife and her unresolved complaints, nor of his role as household tyrant…."

In this remarkable passage -- evidently recorded on a subsequent day --, he records what he learns (reminds hinself) are are some deeply troubling "events off" that he 'knows' (and has previously considered to) threaten his independence and shake his very foundations.

This is a "bad dream" over which he has no control and for which he should not be censured, about terrifying matters over which lacks both ken or way to respond, beyond the horizon of what he can fathom.

He can ameliorate Bess's condition and essay to amend his deplorable conduct and has indeed *thought* of these things even as he has self-critically recorded them. The substance of the dream, however, has no *apparent* connection to the events of the day and its prequels. We post-Freudians realise how in dreams what is deep-seated surfaces and have resources to deal with it that were unavailable in the 17th century.

Terry F  •  Link

This is the fifth troubling dream Sam has recorded, at least four of them revealing deep anxieties. Does the published literature discuss them? One would want to have a longer history with the Diary, IMHO, before venturing many grand conclusions about them.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

"so that I was forced to set my boy in at the window"
On 27th December Pepys had agreed with Jane and her other brother William that Wayneman would only stay another week, due to his bad behaviour. Since then he has had a fight with Mr Creed's boy and been "basted" for it. But obviously he has his good qualities, such as an ability to wriggle through small windows. If Wayneman (assuming it is in fact he) has accompanied Sam to Deptford and back, has he walked while Sam rode, or ridden pillion? Coventry's boy is given the responsibility of taking his master's horse home to Lambeth, including crossing the river, in the dark. It seems a lot was asked of such youngsters as these in terms of running errands, waiting around, being ever-ready at their masters' beck and call. Small wonder they sometimes got bored and impatient or were distracted into trouble. What hopes for their later life did they have? Are they aspiring to better positions in their masters' or other households, the valets of the future, the Jeeveses of the 17th century?

AlanB  •  Link

Following another troubling dream (day on horseback followed by nightmare:))I have visions of Sam hailing Wayneman from his closet window -aka Scrooge - to go buy that goose from the corner shop and make a present to Uncle Tom.

language hat  •  Link

"Call-books recorded the allocation of men to jobs."

From Pauline's link to the archive. Phil, would it be possible to link words like this to background pages, as well as names? Otherwise we have to keep defining them each time they appear.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Some obscure words already have background pages. If you come across a word that isn't linked, but should be, do just email me to ask!

I've created a page for "Call-book" and linked the word in this entry.

jeannine  •  Link

"he’s already got a good system. It involves shoving the boy through the window". Thank you Glyn--you made my day with this one!

A. Hamilton  •  Link

This is the fifth troubling dream Sam has recorded

Sam has an active subconscious that continually alerts him to threats to the uneasy balance in his situation. ( Lets call it his spider sense.) But in spite of this alertness and a conscience that argues with him over the justice of his treatment of Elizabeth, I can see no evidence that he perceives the threat to his domesic happiness that comes from his own behavior, and wonder again about the relations between Sam's father and mother, remembering that Sam describes her as a difficult person.

Pauline  •  Link

I read it as the boys left behind at the Navy Office while their masters rode off on horse. Coventry's boy to hang around to bring the horse lent to Sam on home.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Idleness , 'tis why Charles' government encourage sports to keep idle feet and hands from being the devils hands & feet. There be Moorfields that was very useful haveing the sport of archery, to have a skill, fun plus useing the boys competative spirit to unwind and be productive [The [Ap]prentices be kept at it for 6 days from dawn to dusk and beyond, but still have energy to burn], I do believe Soccer and other sports were encourage at this time?.
[It be a shame that we do not do the same now to stop the gangs being negative force, but turn gangs into a positive force].
The young enjoy being responsible for tasks like taking the old grey mare back, to be rub down and fed, 'tis better than mucking out.

Australian Susan  •  Link

More on the boys.
I agree with Pauline that Coventry's boy was left at the Navy Ofice, but I think W accompanied Sam, presumably on pillion. But I still don't understand why there was no-one in the house to let Sam and Wayneman in?
Sam has mislaid keys before. His mind seems distracted. But he gets "vexed" by the forgetfulness, so it is obviously not seen as the norm. I keep a key hidden in the garden, but Sam's curtilage was probably too public for him to do the like.

Pauline  •  Link

More on the key
I thought the key was to his chamber. But then I didn't know how locks of the time worked and whether it was possible to lock yourself out and your key in. And going in the window sounds like a ground floor maneuver.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: call-books

Thanks, Pauline. That'll teach me to search for a term in all its derivations, including the singular! (Although, if I'd searched the annotations as well as the Diary, I would have found it in the plural.)

And Glyn, who'd you think I meant by "our boy"? ;-)

Second Reading

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘call, v. . . < Old Norse kalla . .
. . call-book n. (a) a muster-roll (obs.) . .
1663 S. Pepys Diary 15 Jan. (1971) IV. 15 To examine the proof of our new way of the Call-bookes.
1803 Naval Chron. 15 57 Are copies of the muster or call book sent to the Navy Board? . . ’

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.