Thursday 26 February 1662/63

Up and drinking a draft of wormewood wine with Sir W. Batten at the Steelyard, he and I by water to the Parliament-house: he went in, and I walked up and down the Hall. All the news is the great odds yesterday in the votes between them that are for the Indulgence to the Papists and Presbyters, and those that are against it, which did carry it by 200 against 30. And pretty it is to consider how the King would appear to be a stiff Protestant and son of the Church; and yet would appear willing to give a liberty to these people, because of his promise at Breda. And yet all the world do believe that the King would not have this liberty given them at all.

Thence to my Lord’s, who, I hear, has his ague again, for which I am sorry, and Creed and I to the King’s Head ordinary, where much good company. Among the rest a young gallant lately come from France, who was full of his French, but methought not very good, but he had enough to make him think himself a wise man a great while. Thence by water from the New Exchange home to the Tower, and so sat at the office, and then writing letters till 11 at night.

Troubled this evening that my wife is not come home from Chelsey, whither she is gone to see the play at the school where Ashwell is, but she came at last, it seems, by water, and tells me she is much pleased with Ashwell’s acting and carriage, which I am glad of.

So home and to supper and bed.

16 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Always fascinates me the late hours both Sam and Bess keep, considering the problems of lighting and all. Unless Sam went home and spoke to Bess when she arrived earlier then returned to the office, she didn't get home from Chelsea till 11 or so.

Plenty of time for her own little "Adventure of Five Hours"...

And if dear Balty escorted her...I'd expect quite an adventure.

"Pepys." Coventry eyes the figure before him as he swivels his remarkable desk chair. "We've word of a threat to the Nation only you can deal with."

"I do trust as always your husband knows nothing of your...Activities."

"Sam'l thinks I'm all day at Chelsea examining my new companion." Bess notes.


" 'ere now..." the innkeeper eyes the handsome young man and the even more attractive woman, his relative by the looks of her. "And who might you be? As the sign outside says, we've closed for renovation."

"Pepys." Bess eyes him coolly.

"Elisabeth Pepys."

"And Balthazar St. Michel." Balty adds hastily, trying to match his sis' steely cool.

"Here to see...?"

"The Dutchman." Bess flings a purse at the man.


"After tonight. When I demonstrate the power of my improved version of my father's invention by sinking your puny fleet. All England...All Europe will tremble, Mrs. Pepys! With the Van Drebel IV submersible, Holland shall again rule the seas! Ha! Ha!" Cornelius Van Drebel, Jr. notes. Patting the Van Drebel IV as it sits, ready to sail from its secret mooring.

And that won't be good for my poor Sam'l. Bess thinks, sighing.

"Who is this irksome little fellow, sister?" Balty tied up, back-to-back with Bess notes with sniff.


Usual near death last minute escape.

Usual action fight scene. Bess clobbering Dutch and French agents.

The Van Drebel IV and its creator sent to a watery grave. Bess and Balty escaping the usual explosive villain's ending on a stolen water barge.

And home by 11 to find a somewhat anxious Sam writing letters.


TerryF  •  Link

LOL, Robert Gertz! *****

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Samuells version? "... All the news is the great odds yesterday in the votes between them that are for the Indulgence to the Papists and Presbyters, and those that are against it, which did carry it by 200 against 30...."
H of C. this House do now proceed in Debate upon the King's Majesty's Declaration and Speech
House be divided Noes 30, Yeas 269 to discuss
so debate goes ahead , The relief from the Act of Uniformity touching on Indulgence to Dissenters, from the Act to adjourne until Morrow 161 to 119 Yeas there by there be no discussion,. thereby no indulgence.

Pauline  •  Link

" the Parliament-house: he went in, and I walked up and down ..."
Batten is an MP, Sam isn't. Wonder in what humour Sam pens this?

Xjy  •  Link

"much pleased with Ashwell’s acting and carriage"
Culinary attitude to the art of the theatre. The acting was OK but the main thing was that she looked yummy. Plus ca change...

OzStu  •  Link

Possibly showing my ignorance here but were Europeans making much steel at this time ? Cast iron yes, and heavily worked iron for specialist uses such as swords, but I thought that steel-making in any quantity awaited the industrial revolution. Or does "steel" have another derivative or meaning at this time ?

Dan Jenkins  •  Link

Bravo, Mr. Gertz!

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

here be free trade?

Sumptuary Laws.
Resolved, &c. That a Committee be appointed to prepare and bring in Sumptuary Laws, and Laws to prevent Incroachments in Trade by the Jews and French, or any other Foreigners

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 26 February 1663', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 440-41. URL:…. Date accessed: 28 February 2006.

Michael Robinson  •  Link


Thought this was generaly accepted slang across Europe for the location of the residence of the Hansiatic (Lubeck) merchants in several cities, not just London.…

Paul Brightwell  •  Link

here be free trade? Sumptuary Laws
in Aqua Scripto:
this ref. to Sumptuary Laws made me sit up. Picard, while drawing attention to Pepys' often-noted anxiety about dressing appropriately, says that such laws regulating dress 'were obsolete by the seventeenth century', and presumably nothing came of the Committee's endeavours, but there must have been a serious debate about it for the C'tee to be set up in the first place. I think that the idea of sumptuary legislation may by now have been largely discredited in England at least by its association with Puritanism - here for instance (…) is a fascinating document, the text of a sumptuary law passed by the Massachusetts colony as late as 1651.

language hat  •  Link

"Thought this was generaly accepted slang across Europe"
How could an English word be generally accepted slang across Europe? Perhaps you mean that the English occasionally used "Steelyard" to refer to other European Hanseatic centers, which is true.

As for the Wikipedia article, take with the usual grain of salt. "The Steelyard gave its name to a type of portable balance..." is extremely misleading; the word for the balance is simply steel + yard, though as the OED says, "the formation was prob. suggested by the existence of STEELYARD [in the Hanseatic sense]."

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

adding to Paul Brightwells :

sumptuary definition from the Dictionary of Words Online…,
Elizabethan Sumptuary Statutes . ...…
Colonial Laws of Massachusetts, 1651. Sumptuary Laws (Laws Regarding What One May or May Not Wear).
ALTHOUGH SEVERAL DECLARATIONs and orders have been made ...
...It is therefore ordered by this Court, and authority thereof,
that no person within the jurisdiction, nor any of their relations depending upon them,
whose visible estates, real and personal,
shall not exceed the true and indifferent value of £200,
shall wear any gold or silver lace, or gold and silver buttons,
or any bone lace above 2s. per yard, or silk hoods, or scarves,
upon the penalty of 10s. for every such offense
and every such delinquent to be presented to the grand jury...

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"and yet would appear willing to give a liberty to these people"

OMG, yikes and even WTF! I should have realized that the phrase "these people" is as old as the English language. As in, "why do these people want to vote?" "Why do these people want to go to my school?" "Why do these people want to get married?" "Why do these people want what I have?"

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘These people’ in Bill’s pejorative sense is not in OED but the non-pejorative phrase is certainly in common use: it’s in 8 etymologies, 36 definitions and 446 quotes. This is the pejorative sense here:

‘ . . II 3.d. Used instead of this with a sing. noun of multitude (formerly with company, number; now only with collectives in pl. sense, as vermin); or esp. with kind, sort (†form, †manner) followed by of with pl. n. (cf. kind n. 14b, those pron. and adj. 6c).
. . 1797 R. Southey Lett. from Spain xxv. 473 A faithful picture of these vermin.’

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