Thursday 1 October 1663

Up and betimes to my office, and then to sit, where Sir G. Carteret, Sir W. Batten, Sir W. Pen, Sir J. Minnes, Mr. Coventry and myself, a fuller board than by the King’s progresse and the late pays and my absence has been a great while.

Sat late, and then home to dinner. After dinner I by water to Deptford about a little business, and so back again, buying a couple of good eeles by the way, and after writing by the post, home to see the painter at work, late, in my wife’s closet, and so to supper and to bed, having been very merry with the painter, late, while he was doing his work.

This day the King and Court returned from their progress.

11 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

The King is back!

In an alternate universe (thanks for the construct, Robert Gertz) men tend to business no matter where the "boss" is.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

having been very merry with the painter, late, while he was doing his work

Hard on the painter, unless he's paid by the hour (your plumber would really enjoy your stories)

Australian Susan  •  Link

"the painter at work, late, in my wife's closet"

So, Bess has been alone all day with a painter (presumably male) and Sam is not bothered? he 's obviously a convival laddish chap, but Sam does not seem to think he if can be "very merry"with the painter, might he not appeal to Bess too........

Xjy  •  Link

Hey, Sam's feeling good! Quids in despite expenses. Two fat juicy eels, full complement at work, a little business outside the office, the painter working for him all day, the wife onside...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The team is back at full strength...


Since Bess' closet was apparently hung with fabric I wonder just what the painter was doing that took so much time. As for Sam's confidence and lack of jealousy, perhaps it was because he insisted on the poor man coming in when he got home and then working to God knows when. Merry perhaps for Sam...

Anyone get the impression Sam is designing a most elegant and comfortable prison cell for Bess in this elaborate study of hers?

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Since Bess' closet was apparently hung with fabric I wonder just what the painter was doing that took so much time. "

"About noon dined, and then to carry several heavy things with my wife up and down stairs, in order to our going to lie above, and Will to come down to the Wardrobe, and that put me into a violent sweat, so I had a fire made, and then, being dry again, she and I to put up some paper pictures in the red chamber, where we go to lie very pretty, and the map of Paris....That done downstairs to dry myself again, and by and by come Mr. Sympson to set up my wife’s chimney-piece in her closett"…

The dockyard painter had the closet woodwork, trim and molding to do.

David G  •  Link

I can't help but wonder about the cooking arrangements chez Pepys. Did Bess say, "Sam, if you're going to Deptford, please pick up a couple of eeles on the way home and we'll have them for supper," or did Sam arrive home and surprise Bess with the eeles and she was annoyed because she and the cook had spent hours making pies, or is their household so used to Sam's unpredictable schedule that Bess's practice was to wait until Sam got home (if he got home) before thinking about what to serve for supper?

Jonathan V  •  Link

I for one would love to know _how_ he bought the eels. Was it a street vendor? Did he go through the Fishmongers' guild ... market? Maybe he wants to eat them the next day for dinner, because he doesn't mention eating them that night, yet seemed so proud of getting them. Remember, their big meal was dinner - lunch. I'm not sure he bought them for that night's dinner (supper).

Tonyel  •  Link

Not so long ago you could still buy live eels at the market, maybe still can?
So no urgency to eat them, they would keep for a while although they are slippery customers.

David G  •  Link

Since he came home by water from Deptford, I picture Sam buying the eels from a fishing boat coming up the river. Sounds nice, anyway.

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