Thursday 12 November 1663

Lay long in bed, indeed too long, divers people and the officers staying for me. My cozen Thomas Pepys the executor being below, and I went to him and stated reckonings about our debt, for his payments of money to my uncle Thomas heretofore by the Captain’s orders. I did not pay him but will soon do it if I can.

To the office and there all the morning, where Sir W. Pen, like a coxcomb, was so ready to cross me in a motion I made unawares for the entering a man at Chatham into the works, wherein I was vexed to see his spleene, but glad to understand it, and that it was in no greater a matter, I being not at all concerned here.

To the ’Change and did several businesses there and so home with Mr. Moore to dinner, my wife having dined, with Mr. Hollyard with her to-day, he being come to advise her about her hollow sore place.

After dinner Mr. Moore and I discoursing of my Lord’s negligence in attendance at Court, and the discourse the world makes of it, with the too great reason that I believe there is for it; I resolved and took coach to his lodgings, thinking to speak with my Lord about it without more ado. Here I met Mr. Howe, and he and I largely about it, and he very soberly acquainted me how things are with my Lord, that my Lord do not do anything like himself, but follows his folly, and spends his time either at cards at Court with the ladies, when he is there at all, or else at Chelsy with the slut to his great disgrace, and indeed I do see and believe that my Lord do apprehend that he do grow less too at Court.

Anon my Lord do come in, and I begun to fall in discourse with him, but my heart did misgive me that my Lord would not take it well, and then found him not in a humour to talk, and so after a few ordinary words, my Lord not talking in the manner as he uses to do; I took leave, and spent some time with W. Howe again, and told him how I could not do what I had so great a mind and resolution to do, but that I thought it would be as well to do it in writing, which he approves of, and so I took leave of him, and by coach home, my mind being full of it, and in pain concerning it. So to my office busy very late, the nights running on faster than one thinks, and so to supper and to bed.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

the Captain

Is this the first time S. Pepys has referred to his Uncle Robert Pepys using this title?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"he being come to advise her about her hollow sore place"

Poor Elizabeth. I hope your husband nurses you half as well as you attend to him and his ills...

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"hollow sore place"
Thats a gynecological place I assume.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam trembling on the brink...

"My Lord, I..."

"Pepys? What be the matter, man?"

"My Lord, I...Ummn..."

"Cousin Pepys? What's on thy mind, lad? Some problem at the Naval Office? An occurence in the City I should know of?"

"Well, my Lord I..."

"You know, Pepys, I've been wanting to speak to you. You being my good astute reporter of events...The best man I have for keeping me informed, I'll warrant. There's been some nonsense about the Court recently about me and my lack of attendance."

"Indeed, my Lord? I..."

"Yes, ridiculous hints that I'm slipping out of favor...Even that I've taken a mistress out of town. Seems some idle fools have nothing better to do than stick their noses into my personal life. Worst of all, I've been led to understand..." confidential low tone... "...that even a few of my own have been spreading tales around. So, I was hoping you, Pepys, might be able to nose about and find out the man or men spreading these silly rumors. I'll deal with the fellows properly, mark my words. Why if he were as close to me as you, yourself, Pepys, I'd have him flayed him alive and then... Pepys?"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...indeed I do see and believe that my Lord do apprehend that he do grow less too at Court..."

I wonder if this suggests Sandwich's recent rash behavior is that of a man who sees he's being cut out of favor after sacrificing his conscience for a faithless, ever suspicious King and increasingly giving himself up to folly and despair.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"sacrificing his conscience ... and giving himself up to folly and despair"
Or maybe my Lord is just having his mid-life crisis.

GrahamT  •  Link

"...the nights running on faster than one thinks...
Although the solstice is more than 4 weeks away for Sam (approx 14 Dec by his calendar) the earliest sunset is about one week earlier on the 7th December.
Sunset for him "currently" would be around 4:07 pm.
When it is dark so early, it is easy to carry on working and not notice the actual time: "So to my office busy very late..."

andy  •  Link

her hollow sore place.


Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

my Lord do apprehend

I think Sandwich is in eclipse and knows it. Monck, his military peer and colleague in supporting the restoration, was made Duke and unquestioned leader of the Army, but Sandwich did not get similar honors. He is on the shelf now, being second to York, who lacking sea command experience and the loyalty of the captains not unnaturally sees Sandwich as a rival. Sandwich is clearly a man of action at his best with a mission in hand, and it may well be that he's suffering from a loss of self-respect as well as a loss of standing at court.

jeannine  •  Link

"her hollow sore place" --herpes?
Andy, Probably not. There is a discussion about Elizabeth's medical background under her name in the people section. David Quidnunc had supplied this note from Tomilin's biography about Sam, which points us in another direction....His entry read:

"Fair warning: The following quote is not for the squeamish. Here's an excerpt from footnote 15, page 53 (footnote appears on page 389; I've capitalized the most relevant phrase):"

"Elizabeth probably was suffering from Bartholin's abcess or cyst, a relatively common condition treated today with antibiotics and, if necessary, surgery; in the seventeenth century there was no effective treatment, and the condition tended to recur, as it clearly did in Elizabeth's case. Although it was not caused by venereal infection but by bacteria living on the skin, Elizabeth may have suspected her husband of infecting her. It does not begin until puberty because it is the action of the glands that produces it, and IN ELIZABETH'S CASE PUBERTY PROBABLY COINCIDED MORE OR LESS WITH HER MARRIAGE. I am indebted to Patrick French for the medical information. [Tomalin then cites information from diary entries for 29 Oct. 1660 and 24 Oct. 1663.]"…

Jesse  •  Link

"my Lord do apprehend"

So is Pepys enough on his own two feet to make these observations and feel "in pain concerning it" in an impersonal way or is there an unwritten (because obvious?) concern about his own standing as his Lordship seems to "grow less.. at Court"?

aqua  •  Link

If thee want to rise in to the hot steamey political aire, then thee must network, or have a sponsoring ally in the inner sanctum. That usually starts by having person of quality, taking a notice of thy attributes and able to take thee from the font in the aisle to the font on the schooldesk, all the way to the font of power.
Other wise be at the crissroads with thy impromtures duly practised when thee get a chance to wear the glass slipper of opportunity.

Joe  •  Link

"I thought it would be as well to do it in writing, which he approves of"

Ah, but no mention of who will do the said writing. Who wants this job? Anybody?

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Graham's post: "her hollow sore place..." continued:
Maybe this new discovery should be considered:…"

Unfortunately the article no longer exists ... Terry or any other reader from back then, do you have any idea what it said?

In fact, it seems to me we should always summarize articles as well as provide the link, because often these pages go away and it is so frustrating to be completely denied the information.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Lay long in bed, indeed too long, divers people and the officers staying for me." Was it his cold, or did he oversleep?

No wonder "I was vexed to see his spleene, but glad to understand it," -- Penn was irked at being kept waiting, besides wanting revenge for Pepys humiliating him in the same way at their last meeting. Just as well Pepys didn't really care about who got the job.

Linda  •  Link

San Diego Sarah, the article came up for me. It concerns a rare allergy to semen.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

". . . he being come to advise her about her hollow sore place."

Could be an ovarian cyst. Quite common, in women of child-bearing age, which produces pain low in the abdomen. Usually benign.

StanB  •  Link

Lay long in bed, indeed too long, divers people and the officers staying for me.
several; various; sundry:
divers articles.
(used with a plural verb) an indefinite number more than one:
He chose divers of them, who were asked to accompany him.

Divers a fascinating word such a long way off from it's actual meaning how do you get from Divers to Several ?
Can anyone shed light on the origin of this word ?
If i shout loud enough would 'Language Hat' hear me way back in the Noughties

GrahamT  •  Link

San Diego Sarah, The article still exists when I click on it. Here it is again:…
It is about an allergy some women have to semen. I suggested it tongue-in-cheek, so if you still can't see it, you are not missing much.

James Louder  •  Link

Stan B...Allow me to strike a light in the philological darkness, with a the help of the OED.

The word 'divers,' like so many others, came into Middle English from Old French, derived in turn from Latin 'diversus' = turned away, set apart (pplp. of 'divertere'), a sense we still retain in the verb, 'to divert.' The OED's first citation of the modern sense (='several') dates to 1340.

Of its many synonyms (sundry, several, various, different) all but the first followed the same trajectory: Latin --> French --> English. 'Sundry' alone is truly English, derived from the Old English 'syndrig' = separate (900), appearing in the sense of 'several' in Middle English (1260).

The word 'divers' is now considered archaic, but we still speak of 'diversity.' Sam's use of it, instead of the good old English 'sundry'--now also an archaism--may simply exemplify the frenchified diction that was fashionable at the time. 'Divers' is still current and common in French.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thank you, Graham ... it came up on your link.

StanB  •  Link

James Louder

Thanks for the interpretation I had never thought to link Divers with Diverse/Diversity it now makes a lot more sense to me given that context

Appreciate that thanks again

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘Lay long in bed, indeed too long, divers people . . staying for me . .’

divers, adj. < Middle English divers < Old French < Latin diversus . .
. . 3. Various, sundry, several; more than one, some number of. Referring originally and in form to the variety of objects; but, as variety implies number, becoming an indefinite numeral word expressing multiplicity, without committing the speaker to ‘many’ or ‘few’. Now somewhat archaic, but well known in legal and scriptural phraseology.
. . b. with that of indefinite number more prominent: Several, sundry.
. . 1614 W. Raleigh Hist. World i. i. viii. §3. 134 If Nimrod tooke diuers yeares to find Shinaar.
1751 T. Smollett Peregrine Pickle II. lxxi. 266 The old gentleman..made divers ineffectual efforts to get up . . ‘

‘stay, v.1 < Old French . .
. . 14. to stay for —— v.
a. To remain or wait in a place for (a person or thing) . .
. . 1616 Shakespeare Two Gentlemen of Verona (1623) iii. i. 360 Thy Master staies for thee at the North gate.
a1665 K. Digby Jrnl. Voy. to Mediterranean (1868) 9 But they steyed for us and made readie for fight . . ‘ (OED)

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