Tuesday 4 August 1663

We were called up about four a-clock, and being ready went and took a Gravesend boat, and to London by nine a-clock. By the way talking of several businesses of the navy. So to the office, where Sir Wm. Pen (the first time that he has been with us a great while, he having been long sick) met us, and there we sat all the morning.

My brother John I find come to town to my house, as I sent for him, on Saturday last; so at noon home and dined with him, and after dinner and the barber been with me I walked out with him to my viall maker’s and other places and then left him, and I by water to Blackbury’s, and there talked with him about some masts (and by the way he tells me that Paul’s is now going to be repaired in good earnest), and so with him to his garden close by his house, where I eat some peaches and apricots; a very pretty place. So over the water to Westminster hall, and not finding Mrs. Lane, with whom I purposed to be merry, I went to Jervas’s and took him and his wife over the water to their mother Palmer’s (the woman that speaks in the belly, and with whom I have two or three years ago made good sport with Mr. Mallard), thinking because I had heard that she is a woman of that sort that I might there have lit upon some lady of pleasure (for which God forgive me), but blest be God there was none, nor anything that pleased me, but a poor little house that she has set out as fine as she can, and for her singing which she pretends to is only some old body songs and those sung abominably, only she pretends to be able to sing both bass and treble, which she do something like, but not what I thought formerly and expected now; nor do her speaking in her belly take me now as it did then, but it may be that is because I know it and see her mouth when she speaks, which should not be.

After I had spent a shilling there in wine I took boat with Jervas and his wife and set them at Westminster, and it being late forbore Mrs. Lane and went by water to the Old Swan by a boat, where I had good sport with one of the young men about his travells as far as Voxhall, in mockery, which yet the fellow answered me most prettily and traveller-like unto my very good mirth. So home, and with my brother eat a bit of bread and cheese, and so to bed, he with me.

This day I received a letter from my wife, which troubles me mightily, wherein she tells me how Ashwell did give her the lie to her teeth, and that thereupon my wife giving her a box on the eare, the other struck her again, and a deal of stir which troubles me, and that my Lady has been told by my father or mother something of my wife’s carriage, which altogether vexes me, and I fear I shall find a trouble of my wife when she comes home to get down her head again, but if Ashwell goes I am resolved to have no more, but to live poorly and low again for a good while, and save money and keep my wife within bounds if I can, or else I shall bid Adieu to all content in the world. So to bed, my mind somewhat disturbed at this, but yet I shall take care, by prudence, to avoid the ill consequences which I fear, things not being gone too far yet, and this height that my wife is come to being occasioned from my own folly in giving her too much head heretofore for the year past.

47 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

Mother Palmer

Her singing "in the belly" (Mongolian double-tones?) and the sport made with her previousely are not recorded in the Diary; are they
ante 1660?

Wheately has it that she sang "some old body songs" which, as L&M transcribe are "some old bawdy songs" - (too bad they weren't at least well sung).

kilroy  •  Link

"speaking in her belly" A ventriloquist?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"the woman that speaks in the belly"
methinks ventriloquist;translated from Latin "ipsis litteris"

TerryF  •  Link

"A ventriloquist?"

"I...see her mouth when she speaks, which should not be."

Is it that unusual?

Bradford  •  Link

What an intriguing curriculum vitae---a possible madam who not only throws her voice (did Edgar Bergen move HIS mouth?), but has a vocal range to rival Cleo Laine's. (One cannot but recall classical-musical comedienne Anna Russell's apology, before performing a mock Gilbert & Sullivan "madrigal" for four male voices all by herself, "You'll have to be indulgent with me on this one, because my quartet singing isn't what it is used to be.")

Now if Pepys could only collate the fact that his difficulties with Elizabeth have increased in tandem with his pleasure-seeking where he shouldn't---but then, he might allot the blame for the second to the first.

Would swaggering about traveling to Vauxhall be akin to living in Lambeth and bragging about having seen Charing Cross?

Patricia  •  Link

Wheatley and L & M could both be right about Mrs. Palmer's songs; perhaps, as she could sing "in her belly", they could be called "old bawdy body songs."

Kilroy  •  Link

Found an $800 Jepordy question "From the Latin for 'to speak from the belly', it's the art of throwing one's voice."

What is ventriloquism?

I also see ventriloquus used. Is it one of those Latin words like gravitas that held on all these years?

P.S. Sort of feel using Jepordy as a source is like using Wiki for reference. But just found it amusing where you find some stuff.

verbosus  •  Link

Latin has ventriliculus, -i, belly [heart] ventrical :
wind be ventus, -i : Ventare to blow : ME venten vent OFr venter to blow;
ventri loquist loquax loquacist speak leading to verbose
Breeze = ventulus
ventriloquist connection, sideways be wind speaking from the belly ; direction is not mentioned.s

Australian Susan  •  Link

It sounds as though Elizabeth is bored rigid.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam finds that brother John has been at his house for four days - having been sent for by brother Sam - and proceeds to neither talk family or money business with him or entertain him or do anything much. So why send for him?

Aqua  •  Link

PS: ventus est ventus; verbum sum ventum

TerryF  •  Link

Brother John's summons

Samuel, the family success, takes a rather paternal interest in John, who's trailed him via (nearby) St. Paul's (these are John's old haunts too) to Cambridge; who knew when he would come so his brother could see how his studies progress. He shares meals with John; and they will have a chance to visit as Samuel's. ah, activities permit.

Jesse  •  Link

"my mind somewhat disturbed at this"

It's easy to pick up the frustration from Pepys. Of course Elizabeth's bored. Thus far I tend more towards Bryant's "little chit of a foreign beauty who could bring him nothing but trouble” http://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth… though I wish I could be more charitable. Given Pepys' lusty character, his jealousy, and the young age Elizabeth was married at it's clear where his attraction to her lies - there's more than one way to a man's heart. So probably nobody is surprised when there's "a deal of stir". Had she more character one could see her rising above her situation rather than exchanging blows with the help.

Bergie  •  Link

"did Edgar Bergen move HIS mouth?"
Yes, he did, but audiences didn't notice until he moved from radio to television.

Mary  •  Link

"one of the young men"

L&M suggest that this is one of the young watermen who plied their trade from the Old Swan jetty.

It sounds to me as if Sam and the waterman are indulging in a little bit of mutual banter about a 'lengthy' passage to Vauxhall mentioned by the latter.

"My last fare took me all the way to Vauxhall. Fair knackered me, that did."

"Vauxhall? Good Grief! Dangerous territory, you know; almost off the edge of the known world."

"Exactly. You never know what you're going to find when you go south of the river. Us watermen takes our lives in our hands every day of the week, but are we appreciated? No!"

"Never mind, my man. Rest assured that I shall recommend you as a fellow of extraordinary courage and daring."

[Non-Londoners may not appreciate that the modern London cabbie often shows reluctance to take a fare south of the river, especially during the evening.]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"and then left him..."

John Pepys, Jr....Loose in London.

And off to the Duke's House theater...John being a true Pepys.

"Looky, girls. It's our little John-John back in town!"

John overrun by adoring actresses...

If only brother Sam could see him now.

Sketching paparazzi in corner taking his likeness for the next edition of "Entertainment Monthly".

To feature:

"The London theater scene gets heated up as John-John Pepys graces the Duke's House again." Sketch of John wreathed by adoring and lovely actresses and various hangers-on.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Jesse, I have to defend our Bess. Past entries have shown Bess to be very supportive of Sam and eager to be taken as his companion and partner. She has a temper and she can behave badly but she's put up devotedly with many hardships and Sam's selfishness and sometimes pettily domineering ways. She has a sense of humor and fun but she's lonely, frustrated, and wants his attention, that's obvious. I think she's shown she admires and supports his efforts to rise and she's tried to win his respect, particular in the episode of her letter, and in trying to show him she can be a dutiful wife. I also think she's deeply troubled by not bearing him a child-they've both wanted one badly and she's seemed eager to claim pregnancy at any hopeful sign. For his part, for all his lust Sam has shown he does care deeply (within whatever emotional depths he has and the limits imposed by the sort of 17th century "good" husband model he feels obliged to follow) for her. He's never so content as when she's in harmony with him.

Is it a good marriage? Their call, not ours. Would it hold up today? It might surprise us. Sam would be held to different standards and Bess would have opportunities to experience the world and use her abilities.

language hat  •  Link

I agree with Robert.
It's the height of folly to unthinkingly take sides in a marital spat where we're getting only the husband's presentation of the situation. If we had the wife's diary as well, we could compare and contrast, but we don't, so we can only make allowances.

PegH  •  Link

Jesse, what would “rising above her situation” look like in 1663? When I think of Liz’s somewhat dilapidated family, it looks to me like at the age of 15 she had the gumption to “rise above her situation” by marrying an up-and-comer like Sam! And the Cat with the Hat is right, we have only half of the picture of this marriage.

I agree with Robert G. that Elizabeth does her best in this marriage. And she’s clearly a hard worker. On Monday 16 January 1659/60 we find the following: “...thence home, where I found my wife and maid a-washing. I staid up till the bell-man came by with his bell...and cried, ‘Past one of the clock, and a cold, frosty, windy morning.’ I then went to bed, and left my wife and the maid a-washing still.’ At that point, Elizabeth was 19 years old, so I assume that since the age of 15 had been doing the laundry - by hand, mind you - until the wee hours on many a cold night. It’s been said that “It’s difficult to pull yourself up by the bootstraps when you don’t have boots.” In 1663 the hubbies owned all the boots.

Aqua  •  Link

Bryant's misogamy and dislike of foreign product showing: He would support barefoot and pregnant attitude. "towards Bryant’s “little chit of a foreign beauty who could bring him nothing but trouble” "

TerryF  •  Link

Lest the return of Sir W. Penn go unremarked -

The gout that's kept him away and abed had been known as a crippler. Its cognitive complications might also have been remarked. SP's vows and relative absention unintionally helps stave off gout, whose ravages on the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1516-1556) have been been reported within the last week. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/…

Aqua  •  Link

Gout: latin, podagra f ; articularis morbus m .
Gouty adj, arthriticus. articulatim adv. joint by joint : articulus, -i m joint , Knuckle limb
in ipso articulo temperis: in the knick of time.
Moderation be the answer to many problems, excess has to be disposed of one way or another. Shortage be bad too, thy get skinny.
Most of the animal kingdom in the wild when have excess, sit back and enjy the view, man must have more.

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile in Jamaica...

On the 4th August 1663 the ship Friendship arrives at Port Royal in Jamaica with orders to Sir Charles Lyttleton, lieutenant-governor, to desist from hostilities against the Spanish. Very soon criers were reading the King's proclamation at Port Royal, St. Jago and Passage Fort.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Bryant's portrait of Sam is very different from Tomalin's. To my mind, Tomalin's Sam accords more with what I read in the Diary.
My views of Bryant are,perhaps, tainted, as he (after he wrote the books on Sam) became a Nazi and had some most odd views on nationhood, race and so on.

"exchanging blows with the help". Ashwell is not a servant, but a paid companion and a gentlewoman. Seen in that light, a cat fight is a better descrption of what we are seeing rather than an autocratic mistress taking it out on the servants. I don't think we ever hear of her behaving like this with Jane, Sarah, Susan or any of the other cooks and maids who troop through the Seething Lane household. She has plenty of problems with the servants, but it seems to amount to screeching and door slamming and foot stamping - not beating.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

The article referred to by Terry is in the current edition of The New England Journal of Medicine; some scientists in Spain examined the mummified distal phallanx of the Emperor Charles V, King Carlos I of Spain,and made the definite diagnosis.
Galen described Gout as a discharge of drops(Gutta in Latin)of the 4 humors of the body.

Jesse  •  Link

"I shall find a trouble of my wife when she comes home"

Thus far, this is typical of the small 't' troubles (a la Bryant) that Elizabeth occasions her husband with "my mind somewhat disturbed at this." While we're not privy to Elizabeth's letter I don't think it's 'the height of folly' to assume that the 'catfight' related was an insignificant part of it nor that the incident reflects particulaly well on Elizabeth who seems to often behave like a young and foolish girl http://dictionary.cambridge.org/d… however much she cares for and supports her husband.

With regard to the general issue of not having Elizabeth's side - who knows? I don't think it's unreasonable to speculate that given an opportinuity to testify perhaps she'd be better off pleading the fifth.

Aqua  •  Link

artheritic Gout; Culpeper had a success in solving the problem; his reward was to marry the patients daughter, one Amy Field.


language hat  •  Link

"Elizabeth who seems to often behave like a young and foolish girl"

I see. Whereas Pepys clearly behaves with the wisdom, maturity, and morality proper to a married man. Excellent analysis.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

A tangential query
R. Gertz propounds,
"Is it a good marriage? Their call, not ours. Would it hold up today? It might surprise us."

What is the name of this rhetorical trope, if it has one? I mean, posing a question and giving the answer, as above, often in a brief, volley-like form? I find that it has become a frequent device in american political discourse. Don Rumsfeld is the most prolific abuser I've encountered. (Sorry, Robert.)

Does anyone know of a discussion of this device?

Language Hat, I'd be grateful for any guidance.

Clement  •  Link

tangential logic

"Erotesis" is the commonly referred to "rhetorical question" wherein the question implies the answer, but that doesn't describe this example.

This device may result from our live media culture, in which a speaker distills or repeats a question from one member of an audience, ostensibly so that it may be understood by the rest of the audience, which is increasingly electronic.

I don't know that this is a "named device" per se, but I notice it used for distortion when combined with a "straw man fallacy," in which an inaccurate or exagerated version of an opposing position is set up (as a question here), so that it may be easily destroyed by the speaker.
E.g. "Why does Sam seek to deplete the resources of the royal treasury through profligate naval spending? Only God and Pepys himself know for sure; perhaps he is an agent for the influence of popery, but we must put more money into jewelry for our King's safe keeping instead."

dirk  •  Link

"Is it a good marriage?"

Technically this is a rhetorical question. A RQ isn't necessarily a question that implies the answer, but a question posed for rhetorical effect rather than for the purpose of getting an answer. It seeks to encourage reflection within the listener. No answer is expected, as it would interrupt the speaker's line of thought -- or rather the speaker will often provide his own answer himself.

There's a good discussion of the subject on:

Other rhetorical devices:

laura k  •  Link

"I also think she’s deeply troubled by not bearing him a child-they’ve both wanted one badly and she’s seemed eager to claim pregnancy at any hopeful sign. "

[I apologize for the lateness of this annotation. I read the Diary in weekly installments. Hopefully folks will see this in "Recent Annotations".]

This is something that's troubled me nearly since we all began reading and annotating, on Day One. Is there any evidence in the Diary for Pepys & Elizabeth being troubled that they don't have children? Or is this an ongoing assumption made by annotators?

I don't recall ever reading Pepys himself expressing sadness or loss or even wistfullness about his not having children. Of course it's highly possible I simply missed it, but as this is a frequent theme in annotations - and as I'm very sensitive to these types of assumptions - I've been looking out for it, and I don't recall ever seeing one.

At times when, if Sam was keenly feeling his lack of children, one might expect him to reflect on his child-less family - such as when he mentions a woman being "brought to bed" or how someone else's child behaves - he never mentions it.

Also, we've noted how Sam refers to all the members of his household, including servants, as his "family". This also seems to be an opportunity, if Sam were sad about an incomplete family, to mention that his family lacks his own progeny - or perhaps to mention Elizabeth's sadness. Yet again, to my knowledge, nothing.

To my knowledge, Sam never says anything like, "If God would grant my wife and I children..." or words to that effect. (I'm not very good at imitating Sam's writing style.)

If Pepys has made statements expressing his wish to have children and his sadness at not having any, could anyone point them out?

And, if Pepys has never expressed sadness, loss, sorrow, etc. about this in the Diary, I don't think we should assume how he and Elizabeth feel. It's possible that they accept their condition with equanimity and don't feel much loss at all. Others might dispute this, but either way, we shouldn't assume.

laura k  •  Link

I find that it has become a frequent device in american political discourse.

It's a frequent device in all English-speaking countries right now. Watch interviews after any sporting event from Canada, the UK, Australia or the US, and you'll hear it over and over. "Should we have won this game? Yes. Do I think this means we're out of contention? No."

It's one of many speech tics currently making the rounds.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: evidence about the desire for children

Laura, look at the Diary's first entry, and you'll see the following:
"My wife, after the absence of her terms for seven weeks, gave me hopes of her being with child, but on the last day of the year she hath them again" (Pepys refers to her period as her "terms").

On 28 June 1661, he writes of having "our bed set up in our room that we called the Nursery," which seems to show that they did indeed have hopes for a child (or children). Does Sam continually fret or stew about it in the pages of the Diary? No, not in what I've read so far. But I think he and Elizabeth did want children.

laura k  •  Link

re: evidence about the desire for children

Thanks, Todd. This shows the expectation that they would have children, and the desire that they would.

However, my question was: "Is there any evidence in the Diary for Pepys & Elizabeth being troubled that they don't have children? Or is this an ongoing assumption made by annotators?"

Sam being sad that he doesn't have children is a fairly regular theme in annotations. I have always suspected it was based on projection and assumption, not evidence.

I'm very interested to see what other annotators turn up on this.

Aqua  •  Link

"...a Gravesend boat..." has the earmark of a regular service, not unlike the Margate Hoy.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Elizabeth who seems to often behave like a young and foolish girl"

Young Elizabeth certainly is: she's 22 1/2 -- going on 35 (Samuel is 30) and some days 16 (the age she married him plus one) .

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Blackbury...tells me Paul’s is now going to be repaired in good earnest"

On 18 April commissioners had been appointed to collect money and supervise the work; on 27 July they had ordered a survey of the building to be made by Sir John Denham, John Webb and Edward Marshall. Wren later made a survey and drew up plans. The building had been in bad repair since the fire of 1561; attempts at renovation begun under Charles I had been interrupted by the civil war, during which further damage was done; by now the central tower was in danger and the s. transept in ruins. About £3600 was now subscribed and spent (mostly in repairs to Inigo Jones's portico) before the fire of 1666 completely gutted the building. (Per L&M footnote)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... if Ashwell goes I am resolved to have no more, but to live poorly and low again for a good while, and save money and keep my wife within bounds if I can, ... this height that my wife is come to being occasioned from my own folly in giving her too much head heretofore for the year past."

Poor Bess ... she was lonely and asked for a companion; she was bored and suggested dancing lessons for them both ... a social skill Pepys has yet to put to good use. Now he's decided to save money by sending her back to embroidery by the fire alone as a way of enforcing "good" behavior. It can't work, Samuel. She needs something to do.

Bill  •  Link

“the woman that speaks in the belly”

VENTRILOQUIST, a Person who speaks inwardly, or as it were from the Belly; as those who are possessed with an evil Spirit.
---An universal etymological English dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

There was one Honeyman, a blacksmith, who was famous for speaking, as if his voice proceeded from some distant part of the house; a ventriloquist, or speaker from his belly, as these persons are called.
---A New and General Biographical Dictionary. 1784.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Originally, ventriloquism was a religious practice. The name comes from the Latin for to speak from the stomach, i.e. venter (belly) and loqui (speak). The Greeks called this gastromancy (Greek: εγγαστριμυθία). The noises produced by the stomach were thought to be the voices of the unliving, who took up residence in the stomach of the ventriloquist. The ventriloquist would then interpret the sounds, as they were thought to be able to speak to the dead, as well as foretell the future. One of the earliest recorded group of prophets to utilise this technique was the Pythia, the priestess at the temple of Apollo in Delphi, who acted as the conduit for the Delphic Oracle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ven…

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I think that most married people in those days before birth control expected to have children. Not only would the couple expect them but so would the extended family. It was probably rare and disconcerting when a young, seemingly healthy, couple did not produce children on a regular basis. Their knowledge of biology would have been scant, and I can imagine both Sam and his wife wondering why babies had never appeared. Women of that time didn't have much else to do, childless women usually lending a hand to family members who had more than they could handle. Though it's true that Sam doesn't write much about it, most likely he assumed pregnancy and childbirth were women's business. It would be interesting to know how Liz felt about it. I expect she felt a great emptiness in her marriage and her life.

Edith Lank  •  Link

Someone has written a book (sorry, have forgotten the exact title) -- the Diary of Mrs.Pepys.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ' . . it being late I forbore Mrs. Lane . . '

‘forbear v. . . 4. a. . . do without, spare (a person or thing). Obs.
. .1667   Milton Paradise Lost ix. 747   Fruits..Whose taste, too long forborn, at first assay Gave elocution to the mute . . ‘

Log in to post an annotation.

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