Sunday 13 September 1663

[continued from yesterday P.G.] (Lord’s day) …so that Griffin was fain to carry it to Westminster to go by express, and my other letters of import to my father and elsewhere could not go at all. To bed between one and two and slept till 8, and lay talking till 9 with great pleasure with my wife. So up and put my clothes in order against tomorrow’s journey, and then at noon at dinner, and all the afternoon almost playing and discoursing with my wife with great content, and then to my office there to put papers in order against my going. And by and by comes my uncle Wight to bid us to dinner to-morrow to a haunch of venison I sent them yesterday, given me by Mr. Povy, but I cannot go, but my wife will.

Then into the garden to read my weekly vows, and then home, where at supper saying to my wife, in ordinary fondness, “Well! shall you and I never travel together again?” she took me up and offered and desired to go along with me. I thinking by that means to have her safe from harm’s way at home here, was willing enough to feign, and after some difficulties made did send about for a horse and other things, and so I think she will go. So, in a hurry getting myself and her things ready, to bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Lazy Sunday...Nice.

What...harm could outweigh Sam's usual desire to enjoy his trips alone? Perhaps one, for Bess, positive benefit of Pembleton insanity?

Our guys are going traveling...This is so neat.

"Careful there...Leg up. Mind how you place those reins."

"Sam'l I know how to sit a horse. My father had me doing it when I was five. Just watch your fellow there, he looks a bit high-strung."

"Nonsense, mild as a lamb. Now Bess, let me show you the proper way to...Whoa! Whoa!!"

"Heigh ho, Silver." Bess eyes the rather frantic Sam trying to calm his rearing, now galloping horse. "Well, lets go save our gallant cavalier." she taps her horse, setting out at fast pace.

Jesse  •  Link

"safe from harm’s way"

I wonder if that's what the Mrs. was thinking too.

Aqua  •  Link

No Poste haste or Sunday pickup of Mail "...So that Griffin was fain to carry it to Westminster to go by express, and my other letters of import to my father and elsewhere could not go at all. ..."
Griffin: "Sire 'tis my day off, Sire"
Pepys "My Man You must make up for forgetting to latch the outer Door"
G: "Sur, It be Sunday and I do not have 6 groats for the carriage, or suxpence to get me death of cold on the Tems or ".........." [expletive deleted] bob for the vicar for not showing me face at Service.Besides Shanks ponie be needing shoeing"
S: "ye will not hear the end of this"
Sam Muttering . These Levellers and Shakers, Quakers, Ana Baptis be the death of us middling ones and Betters, next they demanding Saturday afternoon off too, so that they can go to the Parks. Should never have provided those R's, revolting, revolutionary, riotus lot.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Although most of the summer's visitors had returned to their usual occupations, one dancing master from the Court had stayed on in the area.

Late that night as an exhausted Samuel snores away, a whistle at the Pepys' window...Back yard gate conveniently left open.

A nervous Bess emerges from the house. No sign of the Watch or any neighbor or the help noticing. She follows the waiting figure in black silently to their "usual place".

"I have to be quick. We're off traveling tomorrow."

"He's trying to take you away from me. Bess...Are you mine, all mine?" Pembleton eagerly grabs her.

"Uh, yeah. Sure." Nervous look round...Phew.

"Leave this narrow life. Come with me...To the Court!" Pembleton conjures up a vision of the exotic life, even for minor functionaries, at Court. A vision dancing over their heads.

"And what of...My Husband?" she eyes him.

"Hmmn...Well, if you are traveling tomorrow. Couldn't he get...Drowned?"

"We're going by horseback."

"Oh. Well, if you cross a river or something. See it's less suspicious than a runaway horse or a chance fatal meeting with a highwayman. Look, you take these reeds." hands her bundle.

Comes well prepared, this one, Bess notes.

"And when you're out on the water, turn the boat over."

"I did say we were going by horseback."

"Yes, yes. But the boat thing puts you both in danger. Only you use the reeds to float off to safety. Then you call out the search parties after sufficient time and head back to me."

"What if we don't go over any water?"

"In 17th century England? Please... Now, darling, for us..."

"I couldn't...I mean Sam'l been a jerk at times but..."

"Bess...The Court...Me." Strokes her.

"Overturn the boat and float on the reeds, eh?"

"That's it. Just try and do it at night and the whole thing should come off like clockwork."

"Well...There are some ferry crossings on the way."

A deeply troubled, coldly grim Bess returns home, reeds under arm. Moving along almost robotically.

Couldn't he get...Drowned...

I dunno about this scheme, she sighs.

Next morning...

Bess still and withdrawn, prepping for the trip.

Sam rather jaunty and eager. "Hewer, Mrs. Pepys and I are off together on my little trip. We may not be back for some time."

Ummn...Bess stares. They head out for the waiting horses.

"Say why is our little dog barking like that?" Sam eyes the dog yelping for dear life as he mounts on horseback.

The dog breaks free of his rope and runs for Bess...As if to drag her back from the abyss.

She carries it back to Hewer, saying nothing to Sam or to Will's puzzled, somewhat worried look. Returning to her horse, she mounts without a word and they ride off, Sam happily pontificating as to the sights.

After crossing several rivers and a fair set of miles, the sun is starting to set as they reach the last river crossing before their inn. Bess now so nervous and grim as to make Sam uneasy.

Their horses secured for crossing on raft, they enter a small boat and together begin rowing across.

Bess suddenly stopping about midway, out of sight of the crossing. Standing in the boat, eyeing Sam.


"Is it true about Mrs. Lane?" a cold question.

"Uh...Darling, could we discuss this safe on shore? Bess?"

She tenses, staring grimly...

Sam looking nervously about now...Sweetheart?

"Did you pray today, Sam'l?"


More tensing...But...

Look at that sweet little face with those bulbous lips. Oh...

She hurries to sit and resumes rowing. Sam after a moment of seeing them spin round, joining...

And running off like a rabbit on their grounding on the opposite shore...

"Sam'l! Wait! Don't be afraid of me! Darling!"

They reach the waiting attendants with their horses.

Mounting and riding silently...Sam now long-faced and pale, saying nothing. They ride on to a village where Bess urges they dismount for something to eat. Sam slowly, sadly getting off, eyeing her grimly...

She offers a plate of rolls purchased from a nearby vendor. He can't touch it. She with tears in eyes...Sam...

"All this about Mrs. Lane?" he eyes her.

"Uh..." Mental image of a previous sexual encounter with Pembleton... "Yeah. I was crushed, mad with jealousy. Forgive me, Sam'l."


He sighs sadly...Staring off.

To a small church where a little wedding party has just entered...

"Pon my soul it's the Scot." he notes.

"Here, mun." the Scot intones. "Wilt ye take this young lass and be true on to her. Guide her and keep her on the straight and narrow, for she is but young and unexperienced."

The groom nods...

Bess starting to tear up mammothly at her seat by Sam...Likewise moved...

"And ye, gurl. Wilt ye take this lout of a fellow and stand by him in sickness and health, long as ye both shall live?"

She nods...

Bess dissolving now...Oh...Taking Sam's hand...

"Oh, Sam'l."

"Bess... Oh, Bess."

"I still think the Scot's a bore." he notes quietly as they head out arm-in-arm, surprising waiting guests at the door.

Nice day in town, boat ride home, storm, Sam gets the reeds from Bess...Seems lost but is found floating with reeds at last by the local lovable coot just as Bess nearly strangles the waiting, scheming Pembleton. (You've seen "Sunrise".)

And the saved Sam never looked cuter than in the final bedside shot, an overjoyed Bess by his side.


MissAnn  •  Link

Apropos Aqua's little dittie -

Is Griffin from New Zealand? "Suxpence" is a dead giveaway.

And Mr Gertz - I haven't head the description "coot" since my dear grand father was alive (1897-1980).

Bryan M  •  Link

fain & feign

A couple of points of confusion in what otherwise seemed like a very pleasant day.

Like Aqua, I thought that Griffin was unwilling to go to Westminster (a perfectly reasonable response at 1 am). However after checking the meaning of fain, it looks otherwise.

Fain, archaic
• adjective 1 pleased or willing under the circumstances. 2 obliged.
• adverb gladly.

From the Online Etymology dictionary:
O.E. fægen, fagen "glad, cheerful, happy," from a common Gmc. root (cf. O.N. feginn "glad," O.H.G. faginon, Goth. faginon "to rejoice").

The Merrium-Webster Online has:
1 archaic : HAPPY, PLEASED
3 a : WILLING b : being obliged or constrained : COMPELLED

So Griffin was happy or (more likely) obliged to go to Westminster. But then why was that the other letters couldn’t go?

“was willing enough to feign, and after some difficulties made did send about for a horse and other things”

Does this mean that Sam was only pretending to want Bess along but she convinced him that she was serious (“after some difficulties made”)?

C.J.Darby  •  Link

No allusion to his non-attendance at the kirk today, perhaps he knew that the scot was on.

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

Murnau would be proud, or furious, Robert.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Are you kidding? He'd have me shot or fed to Nosferatu. But I couldn't resist seeing Sam in the Janet Gaynor role.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Uncle Wight staring at his unguested table tomorrow...

In altae aquae  •  Link

Much thanks for the the correction on Feign, I never tort Fegan be a willing one, One can always learn. Ta ever so.

TerryF  •  Link

Good for Pepys that he lives in lax times
- no fine for church non-attendance (for the second Sunday in a row).

Last Sunday Robert's loverly scenario played out in his mind...6 September "(Lord’s day). My pill I took last night worked very well, and I lay long in bed and sweat to get away the itching all about my body from head to foot, which is beginning again as it did the last winter, and I find after I am up that it is abated. I staid at home all day and my wife also, whom, God forgive me, I staid along with me for fear of her seeing of Pembleton."…

Aqua  •  Link

LIZ POV :Sam be telling us by action not by written word? Elizabeths view point "...all the afternoon almost playing and discoursing with my wife with great content......where at supper saying to my wife, in ordinary fondness, “Well! shall you and I never travel together again?” she took me up and offered and desired to go along with me. I thinking by that means to have her safe from harm’s way at home here, was willing enough to feign, and after some difficulties made did send about for a horse and other things, and so I think she will go. So, in a hurry getting myself and her things ready, to bed.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder if we're dealing here with a Sam who in part simply doesn't want to admit (even to himself) that he's so been enjoying his wife's company and conversation that he's willing to be put and let her be put to some considerable effort to have her with him tomorrow.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Church Fines for non-attendance

I think these would be organised by the Church Wardens and probably done monthly or even quarterly. We'll see if there is any mention at the end of the month (which is a quarter day too - Michaelmas).

Aqua  •  Link

We all see thru rose tints, for some it be like looking at the moon, never seeing the reverse side, and rest of the time in small slithers. Here to_day Sam allows us lurkers to see more than usual.

Daniel  •  Link

With all due respect, Sam and all involved, is it not the fifteenth of September?

Pedro  •  Link

Poste Haste.

The General Letter Office was located in Clock Lane, Dowgate until 1666.

The domestic mails, including those for Ireland and Scotland, left for their destinations on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Domestic mail arrived in London on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The mail for France, Spain and Italy left each Monday and Thursday; that for the Netherlands, Germany and Northern Europe each Monday and Friday, while there was a daily post to Kent and the Downs.

Arrivals of post from the continent were of the same number, although they were subject to the weather.

Routes used by the General Letter Office.

Inland mail went on the six great roads to Holyhead, Bristol, Plymouth, Edinburgh, Yarmouth and Dover.

(Summary from Intelligence and Espionage in the Reign of Charles II by Alan Marshall.)

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thanks, Pedro - this really gives us some infrastructure and just the sort of thing Sam would not record (unless something went wrong) but which helps us get a clearer picture of what we are reading.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I was pondering on why Thomas Povy would send Pepys a haunch of venison. Then I realized it is (a cold, admittedly) summer in London. If you had too much food, it's better to give it away quickly to a colleague (who will hopefully return the generosity at a later date) than let it go bad. Povy had a wealthy wife, and some very powerful connections, so would often find himself blessed with largess from others:

Highlights from a Wikipedia text copied on 10 September 2016 at 3:24AM. (it's only 9:25 p.m in California)

Thomas Povey was a London merchant-politician, active in colonial affairs from the 1650s, but neutral enough in his politics to be named a member from 1660 of Charles II's Council for Foreign Plantations, making him a powerful figure in the not-yet professionalized First English Empire, both "England's first colonial civil servant" and at the same time "a typical office holder of the Restoration".

Both Samuel Pepys and William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia, railed at times against Povey's incompetence and maladministration. [ I.E. Things fell off ships for him! ]

Thomas Povey was a cousin of Thomas Povey, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, and of Sir John Povey, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.

Following the Restoration he was appointed in July 1660 Treasurer to James, Duke of York.

He was First Treasurer to the Lords Commissioner for Tangier, a lucrative post ...

Povey family interests in the English Caribbean were extensive: Thomas' brother, Richard Povey, looked after the family interests in Jamaica, where he was officially Commissioner General for Provisions, while another brother, William, attended to affairs in Barbados, where he was officially Provost-General.

Povey was one of the original members of the Royal Society in May 1663 and had acted in the interests of its less formalized predecessor at Gresham College.

And he was a friend of John Evelyn.

I am sure a lot of things came Mr. Povy's way that could be "shared".

Terry Foreman  •  Link

On 8th February 1665 Pepys was proposed as a Fellow by Thomas Povey FRS, a financier and colleague on the Tangier Committee. Pepys was unanimously elected and admitted the following week. In this period the Society was open to anyone interested in its activities; funds were short and more weekly subscriptions most welcome! The origins of Pepys’s interest in the Royal Society may have been his friendship with John Creed, who became an FRS in 1663. The two discussed scientific matters and Creed accompanied Pepys to his inauguration, at which Hooke and Boyle undertook one of their famed air-pump experiments.
Read more at…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

SPOILER ALERT ... Pepys was probably targeted for membership as Charles II had intelligence from his sister and Sir Robert Moray that the Dutch intended to continue the war started by Cromwell.

In 1659 Moray was sent to spy on the Dutch through his Masonic connections, and then went to Paris to see what their reaction would be. After the Restoration Charles II welcomed Moray to Whitehall like a brother, set him up in an apartment, and gave him the job of modernizing the Navy with no funds.

Moray discovered fellow-Masons amongst the poor, unemployed scientific College professors (including John Wilkins, Cromwell's brother-in-law, and Seth Ward) at Gresham College. So he contacted other rich Royalist Masons who supported science and persuaded the two groups to cooperate to defend the nation.

Using Masonic rules of no politics or religion to be discussed during meetings, Moray spent the next 2 years guiding the discussions about ship technology, weapons and navigation. He showed his influence by getting Charles to agree to their Charter in one week. The Royal Society was able to leave its Masonic beginnings and under its first President after the Charter (15 July 1662), Viscount William Brouncker, went on to change science for ever.

For more, see…

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘I . . was willing enough to feign . .’

‘feign, v. < Latin . .
. . 8. b. absol. To practise simulation.
. . 1612 T. Taylor Αρχὴν Ἁπάντων: Comm. Epist. Paul to Titus i. 2 He seemeth to faine, by vttering things clean contrary to his mind.
1671 Milton Paradise Regain'd i. 474 It may stand him more in stead to..feign .

. . 9. b. intr. To pretend, make oneself appear. Const. to with inf. . .
. . 1632 J. Hayward tr. G. F. Biondi Eromena 6 Fayning to goe recreate himselfe..gave order publikly. . . ‘

Sam made her keener by dangling the trip in front of her as a casual remark and then raising difficulties when she wanted to go and letting her win him over. Clever!

Log in to post an annotation.

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