Tuesday 28 April 1663

Up betimes and to my office, and there all the morning, only stepped up to see my wife and her dancing master at it, and I think after all she will do pretty well at it. So to dinner, Mr. Hunt dining with us, and so to the office, where we sat late, and then I to my office casting up my Lord’s sea accounts over again, and putting them in order for payment, and so home to supper and to bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Joe  •  Link

"...only stepped up to see my wife and her dancing master at it, and I think after all she will do pretty well at it."

Pepys would be a good judge.

Miss Ann fr Home  •  Link

Well, a pretty ordinary day for Sam, but our girl is getting better and better at the dance, with the 17C version of Arthur Murray!
Sam is very critical of those around him but once he's impressed with them is more than willing to say so, I hope he also says something to the person who impressed him.

TerryF  •  Link

Methinks "casting up my Lord’s sea accounts over again, and putting them in order for payment" extraordinary, Miss Ann fr Home.

Recall the accounts are those of the Straights (Tangier and Lisbon, 1661-2) "wherein [Pepys 11 April] had found [Sandwich] to stand debtor 1200l..:" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

We seem to be in deep yogurt here, as a friend of mine said (she's a copy-writer by profession, and clearly very skilled ).

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

From the Dance book "...see my wife and her dancing master at it, ..."
Cuckolds all a row. For Foure * ) ( * _______________________________________________________________________________ Meet all forwards and back _._ That again _:_ Turn back to to back to the Co. We. faces again, goe about the Co. We. not turning your faces _._ Turn back to back to your owne, faces again, goe about your owne not turning faces _:_ ________________________________________ Sides all with your owne _._ Sides with the Co. _:_ Men change places We. change places, hands all, goe round_._ We. change places, men change places, hands all and goe round, to your places_:_ ________________________________________ Arms all with your own_._ Arms with the Co._:_ Men put the Co. We. back by both hands, fall even on the Co. side men cast off to the right hand, your We. following, come to the same places again _._ put them back again, fall on your owne side. men cast off to the left hand, and come to your places, the We. following. _:_

TerryF  •  Link

"Sam is very critical of those around him but once he’s impressed with them is more than willing to say so, I hope he also says something to the person who impressed him."

Miss Ann fr Home, how much I am sure not only I but many others join you in this hope; but I have the feeling that what he confides to his Diary (and to us) isn't shared in public, unless he tells the Diary that he does so - all having to with maintaining his public status.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Nothing like popping round to catch...er see...the ole beautious wife and the dancing master hard at it.

"So Mrs. Pepys was doing well with her dancing master, Mr. Pepys?" Hater asks, caution in his tone.

"I was...Concerned...When you left to check on them." he notes. The picture of the concerned and devoted junior.

"Concerned,Hater? Why? What would concern you?"

"Oh...Nothing, sir. Don't even think about it, Mr. Pepys. Put any worries out of your mind."

"Hater?" slight nervous tone as Sam goes to door, checks round and closes.

"What worries, Hater? You're being very mysterious."

"My only concern always is of the honor and security of my employer, Mr. Pepys. Forgive me if I am overly anxious about things which should not be taken notice of by me."


"Things, Hater? What 'things'?"

"Nothing, sir. As I said, put it out of your mind. Tis' my old-fashioned fussiness, for as an honest old fellow I don't fit well into this modern court way of life. Forgive me for mentioning anything, sir."

"Hater, what is this? Have you something to tell me about my wife's dancing master?"

"Not really,sir. But, sir. He is Mr. Pembleton, sir? That is the man, sir?"

"Yes? What about him?"

"Well, sir. I have heard, sir. The, eh, man is very charming is he not, sir? That sort usually is..." a sigh. "But I have said too much, sir. Pray excuse me,sir."

"Hater, you are an honest man. What 'sort' is he? What have you heard?"

"Sir, you must not force me to speak that which will cause you...pain."



"What have you to say about my wife and Pemberton?!"

"Nothing...Of any consequence, sir. But,sir. Were they...Close by each other,sir?"

"They were dancing, Hater. Of course they were close by each other."

"Yes, sir. I'm sure that was all it was, sir. I'll be getting back to my duties in my ridiculously subordinate position now, sir."



"As you are my junior employee and an honest man, I charge you to speak what you would say of my wife and Pemberton."

"I should say no more, sir. But, as you force me, sir. They were...Laughing as they danced, sir?"


"It is Pemberton's way...With ladies, sir."


"His way, so they say, sir. First the close dance, then the laughing and the gallant compliments, then the whispered confidences..."

"Confidences? About...?"

"Generally the husband, sir."


"Then...Well. Best to ignore it, sir. Tis the way of the wicked modern world, sir."


"Oh, beware, sir, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;But O, what damned minutes tells he o'er who dotes, yet doubts-suspects, yet fondly loves!"

"O misery."

"I'll be getting back to work now, Mr. Pepys."

Harry  •  Link

casting up my Lord’s sea accounts

When I was going through my articles to become a chartered accountant, a great deal of time seemed to be spent "casting" hand-written ledgers, basically adding up each page (without a calculator!) and writing down the total, generally doing it a second time to make sure the result was the same, or, since most of our time was spent on audits, just checking that the client's total was right. To the best of my recollection, we never "added" the figures.

Another activity was "calling over" or "ticking over", ensuring that every single entry in one ledger column had been correctly transcribed into another ledger. We had to be two for this soporific task, with the audit senior calling out details of each item to his junior who cried out "right" when he had located it in his ledger, after which both clerks would place a "tick" in coloured ink against his item as proof it had been checked. Sometimes the senior would deliberately call out a wrong amount to make sure the junior was not falling asleep.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Thank you in Aqua Scripto, now we need the music and some easier illustrations;the ones you've shown look pornographic to me; may be it is just my immagination.

PegH  •  Link

On April 24 Sam writes "...all the afternoon fiddling upon my viallin... while Ashwell danced above in my upper best chamber, which is a rare room for musique." Why wasn't Sam playing upstairs? Well, OK, it would be pretty strange to dance to a viallin being practiced. Or was she dancing in spite of Sam's playing, or to drown him out with her stomping? On April 25 we have "...after supper...merrily practising to dance..." And today Bess and her teacher are again cutting the rug, as it were.

It just dawned on me that they didn't have a CD player, and weren't hooked up to twin earplugs on his iPod. Here's my question: Was there music when they practiced dancing? On the 24th Bess could have been plinking away on the tryangle in the background, in the evening Ashwell could have done same, as she could have today (in which case there would also be a chaperone and no need to check up on the lesson), but Sam never says there's musique, so are we to think that the dancing master said "anda one, anda two, anda squeeze" and that established the rythm?

TerryF  •  Link

Thanks, all (i.A.S., R.G., Harry) for illuminating the action!

Harry, would you further clarify "To the best of my recollection, we never 'added' the figures"?

Martha_R  •  Link

Casting the accounts

According to my husband, who was trained as an accountant, American accountants do not cast the ledgers but rather foot them, since they put the total at the foot of the column.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Samuell be not cast {chase}, has casted his lot with the OED for this word he gets two entries.;"...to my office casting up my Lord’s sea accounts over again, and putting them in order for payment,..." lead me to cast a glance at the OED and found here :
j. To add up, reckon up, calculate. 1660 PEPYS Diary 10 Dec., Did go to cast up how my cash stands.
VI. To reckon, calculate.
37. To count or reckon, so as to ascertain the sum of various numbers, orig. by means of counters, to the manipulation of which the word probably refers. a. intr. Formerly in the phrases to cast in or at accounts. Now, to add a column of figures.
b. trans. To reckon up, sum up; now technically, to add up (a column of figures or amounts).
c. esp. in to cast accounts, originally to sum up or reckon accounts (so to cast reckonings); now, to perform the ordinary operations of arithmetic.
1655-60 STANLEY Hist. Philos. 26/1 Counters used in casting accounts..sometimes stand for a great number, sometimes for a lesser
38. a. To reckon, calculate, estimate. Obs.
a1642 SIR W. MONSON Naval Tracts III. (1704) 341/2 He must be..perfect in Casting the Tides. 1666 PEPYS Diary 29 Oct.

Casting around for a meaning, the OED be the place for LH to cast his eyes on.
[ME. cast-en, a. ON. kasta wk. vb. to cast, throw (Icel. and Sw. kasta, Da. kaste, North Fris. kastin): cf. kös (kasu), köstr (: re (ges-) gestus. It took in ME. the place of OE. weorpan (see WARP), and has now in turn been largely superseded in ordinary language and in the simple literal sense by THROW, q.v. ‘Cast it into the pond’ has an archaic effect in comparison with ‘throw it into the pond’. But it is in ordinary use in various figurative and specific senses, and in many adverbial combinations, as cast about.]
General arrangement: I. To throw. II. To throw down, overthrow, defeat, convict, condemn. III. To throw off so as to get quit of, to shed, vomit, discard. IV. To throw up (earth) with a spade, dig (peats, a ditch, etc.). V. To put or place with haste or force, throw into prison, into a state of rage, sleep, etc. VI. To reckon, calculate, forecast. VII. To revolve in the mind, devise, contrive, purpose. VIII. To dispose, arrange, allot the parts in a play. IX. To cast metal, etc. X. To turn, twist, warp, veer, incline. XI. To plaster, daub. XII. Hunting and Hawking senses, those of doubtful position, and phrases. XIII. Adverbial combinations.
VI. To reckon, calculate.

So do not cast thy clout to May be out
I will now cast off.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Heaven...About 20 years from now...

Bess Pepys' birthday...Sam having at last learned his lesson, taking pains to celebrate it with distinguished guests from all human history...

But he is taken aback to find...
Bess, The and Jane Turner, Jane Birch Edwards Penny, Mary Ashwell, Claire Tomalin...A few of our now-deceased fellow commentators...An eye-winking, twinkling Neil Gwyn, and beaming at her reasonably reformed Charles seated by Pepys, Queen Catherine(who'd been eager to accept the invite, having read the kind and charming things Sam said about her in the Diary).

Conducted to a watching Sam's chagrin by none other than Mr. Pemberton...

"Will?" Sam goggles as Hewer shyly takes the stage.

"Mrs. Pepys asked me, sir."

"Sit down and be grateful for forbearing wives, Pepys!" Bess shouts.

The Ladies:

"Think of what you're losing
By constantly refusing to dance with me."
Bess alone: "You'd be the idol of France with me!"

The Ladies:
"And yet you stand there and shake
Your foolish head dramatic'lly.
While I wait here so ecstatic'lly
You just look and say emphatic'lly
Not this season! There's a reason!"

"I won't dance! Don't ask me;
I won't dance! Don't ask me;
I won't dance, Madame, with you.
My heart won't let my feet do the things they should do!
You know what? You're lovely,"

"And so what? I'm lovely!"

"But oh! What you do to me!
I'm like an ocean wave that's bumped on the shore;
I feel so absolutely stumped on the floor!"

"When you dance you're charming and you're gentle!
'Spec'lly when you do the "Continental"."

"But this feeling isn't purely mental;
For heaven rest us, I'm not asbestos.
I won't dance! Why should I!
I won't dance! How could I?
I won't dance! Merci beau coup!
I know that music leads the way to romance:
So if I hold you in my arms I won't dance."

(Bess pulls Sam to stage...)

The ladies:

"He won't dance! Why should he!
He won't dance! How could he?"

Bess (holding a nervous Sam in dance grip):
"He won't dance! Says 'Merci beau coup'!"

"I know that music leads the way to romance:
So if I hold you in my arms I just won't...dance."

(Others from the audience now urged on to the stage. C'mon Eleanor...Mother, you promised...Doris Kearns Goodwin and Anna Roosevelt Jr. pull Eleanor Roosevelt to the floor. FDR naturally already on stage in chair with a number of others from the audience, waiting.)

Sam, Pemberton, Hewer, FDR, James Joyce, Will Shakespeare, Charles II, Carl Sagan, Harry Truman, Edward Montagu(Earl of Sandwich), Michel de Rutyer (shaking hands with Sandwich), a beaming Winston Churchill (hearty backslap to FDR), and dragged up by his son, a reluctant but persuaded on seeing Henrietta take the floor, Charles I...


"We won't dance! Don't ask us;
We won't dance! Don't ask us;
We won't dance, Madame, with you.
Our hearts won't let our feet do the things they should do!
You know what? You're lovely,"

"And so what? We're lovely..."

"But oh! What you do to us!
We're like an ocean wave that's bumped on the shore;
We feel so absolutely stumped on the floor!"

"When you dance you're charming and you're gentle!
'Spec'lly when you do the "Continental"."

"But this feeling isn't purely mental;
For heaven rest us, We're not asbestos.
We won't dance! Why should we!
We won't dance! How could we?"

Bess (to a grinning Pemberton):
"They won't dance! They say 'Merci beau coup'!"

"We know that music leads the way to romance:
So if we hold you in my arms we just won't dance."

dirk  •  Link

Great scene, Robert Gertz... One of your best!

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

That's one party I definitely want an invite to, Robert!

But don't forget Will Howe, the senior Pepys, and Mr. Coventry! And Clemy Churchill oughta be there if Winston is!

TerryF  •  Link

Robert Gertz, I cannot help but recognize your gift for 'sampling'!!

IMHO, it does not diminisn your accomplishment one bit - indeed, it enhances it!! - to say how admirable is your passing homage to Iago (Othello 3.3.178-184); and your extensive cover of the lyrics of "I Won't Dance" by Dorothy Fields, Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach and Jimmy McHugh (whew!), with your original choral adaptation of a Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire number!

Kudos to you! Keep it up!!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The actual inspiration for Bess' birthday dance are the patients of FDR's beloved Warm Springs Foundation who actually did perform the number as above for him and Eleanor from their wheelchairs, beautifully renacted in the recent film "Warm Springs".

But Hewer getting to go on with the ladies is all mine.

language hat  •  Link

“To the best of my recollection, we never ‘added’ the figures”

I think he means they said "cast" rather than "add."

jeannine  •  Link

Thank you Robert! As always, you're a joy to read!

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

“ I to my office casting up my Lord’s sea accounts“

… 21. To compute; to reckon; to calculate.
… 40. To cast up. To compute; to calculate.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Bill  •  Link

The clerk of Chatham: he can write and read and cast accompt.
---Henry VI, part 2. W. Shakespeare.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I wonder if Sam realizes the importance of a lady's partner on the dance floor to make her look good. Once the dance instructor has gone how well will she dance with Sam's two left feet?

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