Wednesday 19 August 1663

Up betimes, and my wife up and about the house, Susan beginning to have her drunken tricks, and put us in mind of her old faults and folly and distractednesse, which we had forgot, so that I became mightily troubled with her. This morning came my joyners to new lay the floors, and begun with the dining room.

I out and see my viall again, and it is very well, and to Mr. Hollyard, and took some pills of him and a note under his hand to drink wine with my beere, without which I was obliged, by my private vowe, to drink none a good while, and have strictly observed it, and by my drinking of small beere and not eating, I am so mightily troubled with wind, that I know not what to do almost.

Thence to White Hall, and there met Mr. Moore, and fell a-talking about my Lord’s folly at Chelsey, and it was our discourse by water to London and to the great coffee house against the Exchange, where we sat a good while talking; and I find that my lord is wholly given up to this wench, who it seems has been reputed a common strumpett. I have little encouragement from Mr. Moore to meddle with it to tell my Lord, for fear it may do him no good, but me hurt.

Thence homewards, taking leave of him, and met Tom Marsh, my old acquaintance at Westminster, who talks mightily of the honour of his place, being Clerke Assistant to the Clerke of the House of Commons, and I take him to be a coxcombe, and so did give him half a pint of wine, but drink none myself, and so got shut of him. So home, and there found my wife almost mad with Susan’s tricks, so as she is forced to let her go and leave the house all in dirt and the clothes all wet, and gets Goody Taylour to do the business for her till another comes. Here came Will Howe, and he and I alone in my chamber talking of my Lord, who drives me out of love to my Lord to tell my Lord of the matter we discoursed of, which tend so much to the ruin of his state, and so I resolved to take a good heart and do whatever comes of it. He gone, we sat down and eat a bit of dinner fetched from the cooke’s, and so up again and to my joyners, who will make my floors very handsome. By and by comes in Pembleton, which begun to make me sweat, but I did give him so little countenance, and declared at one word against dancing any more, and bid him a short (God be with you) myself, and so he took as short a leave of my wife and so went away, and I think without any time of receiving any great satisfaction from my wife or invitation to come again.

To my office till it was dark doing business, and so home by candle light to make up my accounts for my Lord and Mr. Moore. By and by comes Mr. Moore to me, and staid a good while with me making up his accounts and mine, and we did not come to any end therein for want of his papers, and so put it off to another time.

He supped with me in all my dirt and disorder, and so went away and we to bed.

I discoursed with him a great while about my speaking to my Lord of his business, and I apprehend from him that it is likely to prove perhaps of bad effect to me and no good to him, and therefore I shall even let it alone and let God do his will, at least till my Lord is in the country, and then we shall see whether he resolves to come to Chelsey again or no, and so order the stopping of him therein if we can.

21 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

Pepys's indigestion's due to carbonic acid

"by my drinking of small beere and not eating, I am so mightily troubled with wind, that I know not what to do almost."

Carbonic acid (ancient name acid of air or aerial acid)…

The cure's in Dr. Hollier's pills, perhaps bicarbonate of soda, not in the wine.

Miss Ann fr Home  •  Link

"common strumpett" - just love this turn of phrase, haven't heard it since my Grand Mother was around.

Sam is usually so proud of his position with the Navy Office, but to experience another's self-pride is not to be tolerated - talk about double standards.

This problem of the house being all dirty, etc. - surely with so few people living in the house there wouldn't be that much dirt around, I have the vision of Sam not being someone who picks up after himself, but is happy to leave it to the underlings - well, if you can't recruit staff and retain them a little longer you'll just have to learn to do a little around the house to help out, it seems like the staff have come and gone in quick succession over this past year or so, not a good HR outcome.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "talk about double standards"

Miss Ann, I get the impression from Sam's writing that, though he feels inwardly proud at his accomplishments and the way he's treated by the people who work for him (directly and indirectly), he endeavors to not show this pride outwardly. I think this public display of pride is what causes Sam to label Marsh a "coxcombe."

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and a note under his hand to drink wine with my beere, without which I was obliged, by my private vowe, to drink none a good while, and have strictly observed it"

This is *hilarious*. Sam's gotten a note from the doctor to excuse him from the vows he's made to God ... wonder how he's going to show this note to "teacher."

aqua  •  Link

Sam do mot meddle, or come between a man and his his amour.
The messenger gets his head handed to him on a plate of salt.

Horace should have warned you when thee read " Cum Tua pervideas oculis mala lippus inunctis;
cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutum quam aquila " Satirae, III, 25-27
When thee survey thy own sins, thy eyes be dim;
so why , for a friend failings are you so eagled eyed.

aqua  •  Link

pretty Susan ; "...which we had forgot..." Samuell thy should have read they Journal, or could you only remember the tanner that you gave her for her good deed.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

First Mr. Moore and then Mr. Howe

wringing their verbal hands at My Lord's indiscretions. Makes me think of what it must have been like among the Clintpon White House staff when word got around about Monica Lewinsky, who quickly got branded ( by staff) as "a little nutty and a little slutty."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Moore, you do it."

"I? I'm not gonna do it."

"Hmmn... But, see here, if my Lord ruins himself, Moore, we both know what happens to his faithful dependents and retainers."

"Yes, we're doomed if he persists, Mr. Howe. But I'm still not gonna do it. You do it."

"What about Creed?" Howe eyes Moore. Both eye each other.

Creed speak to my Lord about his indiscretions.


"Say." Howe wipes his eyes. Just trying to picture John Creed risking everything...Anything...over this just bowls one over. "What about Pepys?"

"Are you kidding? He'd die of fright before getting within twelve feet of my Lord just to warn him that people might be talking."

"Yes, but he's always prattling about his duty towards his patron and cousin." Howe notes. "And he does love my Lady dearly. I'd bet we could nerve him up to it with a little butter. A few compliments about his courage in ferreting out corruption in the Naval yards, a solemn glance at his devotion to milady."

"Could work..."

"And if he fails and Sandwich kills him...Assuming he doesn't die of fear approaching him..."

"A vacancy at the Naval Office..." Moore nods. "Not to mention..."

Both conjuring mental images of the divine Bess...

"We should both speak to him, Moore. Each of us lauding him as the only man capable of restraining my Lord should be enough to screw him to the sticking post."

Mary  •  Link

"the house all in dirt and the clothes wet.."

As a minimum, floors probably needed sweeping and washing every day. Streets were, for the most part, not paved and, in this very wet season, would be foul with mud and all kinds of garbage, both fresh and rotting.

The clothes being all wet indicates that Susan had been engaged in the first stage of one of the Pepys's intermittent but marathon wash-days. This adds disorder to the dirt.

Red Robbo  •  Link

surely with so few people living in the house there wouldn’t be that much dirt around

Don't forget Sam has got the Joyners in, If modern experience is anything to go by, Dust and sawdust will get everywhere.

tel  •  Link

"a common strumpett"

My impression is that Sam is not too concerned by Montagu taking a mistress - more about the quality of the mistress and her effect on Montagu's social standing. In any case, very wise not to interfere in the affairs of a powerful man and his lower brain.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So how'd you leave things?"

"The house was a pigsty, workers everywhere troddin' in the mud, clothes half-done, soppin' about the place, the Master was fuming out the door, and the Mistress was screaming 'er Frenchie 'ead off, ma'am."

"Well done, Susie. And here's another five shillings to drink my health at the tavern." Ashwell grins.

"Thank ye, Miss. But beggin' yer pardon, 'twas me pleasure, Miss."

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"Tis...hic...Medi..Med...For me health, Bessie. Here, see...Wher' the hell? Ah." Waves note from pocket. "Doctor's...hic...Orders."

Patricia  •  Link

What an interesting day, for Sam and for us: drunken housemaid, house in the mess of renovation, plenty of gossip about a superior's sex life, and to top it all off, Pembleton shows up to stir up Sam's demon of jealousy. Good thing Sam has his doctor's note, methinks he'll be needing that drink!

bardi  •  Link

Todd, your view of the doctor's chit was how I saw it, and chuckled, but your note has me roaring with laughter.
Medecins sans Frontieres?

aqua  •  Link

Where ere ye be
let the aire go free,
an infamous poet.
"I am so mightily troubled with wind"

TerryF  •  Link

The Witches of Chelsea

- Uppity Ashwell

- Sandwich's Slutt

Kevin Peter  •  Link

Sounds like Sam has quite a dilemma. Does he stick to his vows and ignore the physician's orders or does he follow the physicians orders and ignore his vows? I could see him going either way on this one.

Second Reading

Marquess  •  Link

Pembleton never seems to be far from Sam's mind, it will be interesting to see, what becomes of their acquaintance.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Re "Hollyard" Hollier: this still happens today: a local teacher named Hillier was known as "Hillyard" by many of the students and parents.

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