Saturday 16 January 1663/64

Up, and having paid some money in the morning to my uncle Thomas on his yearly annuity, to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon I to the ’Change about some pieces of eight for Sir J. Lawson. There I hear that Collonell Turner is found guilty of felony at the Sessions in Mr. Tryan’s business, which will save his life. So home and met there J. Harper come to see his kinswoman our Jane. I made much of him and made him dine with us, he talking after the old simple manner that he used to do. He being gone, I by water to Westminster Hall, and there did see Mrs. Lane … [and de là, elle and I to the cabaret at the Cloche in the street du roy; and there, after some caresses, je l’ay foutée sous de la chaise deux times, and the last to my great pleasure; mais j’ai grand peur que je l’ay fait faire aussi elle même. Mais after I had done, elle commençait parser as before and I did perceive that je n’avait fait rien de danger à elle. Et avec ça, I came away; and though I did make grand promises à la contraire, nonobstant je ne la verrai pas long time. – L&M] So by coach home and to my office, where Browne of the Minerys brought me an Instrument made of a Spyral line very pretty for all questions in Arithmetique almost, but it must be some use that must make me perfect in it.

So home to supper and to bed, with my mind ‘un peu troubled pour ce que fait’ to-day, but I hope it will be ‘la dernier de toute ma vie.’

43 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"un peu troubled pour ce que fait'to-day,but I hope it will be "la dernier de tout ma vie"
Now Sam what did you and Mrs Lane do?

Glyn  •  Link

We're shocked. How does a man of your education not know the French for 'troubled'? Presumably you can't find an early dictionary this late at night.

Pepys appears to have made vows about not drinking excessively; conducting evening prayers for his household twice weekly; not going to the theatres; and not buying books - apparently no mention of pretty Betty Lane.

Is the instrument of spiral line, some sort of slide rule?

djc  •  Link

well according to L&M:
...there did see Mrs. Lane, and de là, elle and I to the caberet at the Cloche in the street du roy; and there, after some caresses, je l'ay foutée sous de la chaise deux times, and the last to my great pleasure; mais j'ai grand peur que je l'ay fait faire aussi elle même. Mais after I had done, elle commencait parler as before and I did perceive that je n'avais fait rien de danger à elle. Et avec ça, I came away; and though I did make grand promises à la contraire, nonobstant je ne la verrai pas long time

Glyn  •  Link

Oh, I should have read the link for the spiral instrument.

Moving swiftly on, how will being convicted of a serious crime save Colonel Turner's life? - surely it would do the opposite?

James in Illinois  •  Link

Is this the first time that SP lapsed into languages other than English in discussing his dalliances? He evidently wanted to make sure that, if his wife could decipher his shorthand, she still could not read his confession. Warning--you will need your French, Spanish, Latin, and Greek dictionaries before he's done.

Terry  •  Link

"... if his wife could decipher his shorthand, she still could not read his confession"
His wife WAS French! Which makes French a strange language to choose for this purpose. I wonder who Sam thought might pry into his diary? Evidently not Elizabeth.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: French

Terry, that was my question, too -- obviously, the shorthand is what is keeping it from Elizabeth's prying eyes (if she ever knew the Diary existed), not the choice of language. Perhaps Sam lapses into pidgeon Français because, in his mind, c'est la language d'amour?

(BTW, as my fraçtured Français above ably demonstrates, I ain't exactly fluent ... could someone who is better than I please provide a pure English translation of Sam's dalliance for our ... okay, *my* ... salacious satisfaction? I can parse about 85% of it, but the devil's in the details! :-)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The 'cabaret'...

"Life is the cabaret, old chum. It's only...A"

"Bess?!" a shocked Sam stares at the singer on stage...Arm moved from round plump Betty so quickly as to cause serious friction damage.

Uncle Wight, the 'silent' cabaret owner, hastily slinking out of sight from his box.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Approximate translation? "She began to speak as before and I did perceive that I had nothing to fear from her..."

...Until I got her note, delivered by her boy this afternoon late to my office. Wherein she does accuse me of all manner of shameful and unlawfully lewd behavior towards her person and further doth threaten to tell my wife which do put me in a grand pickle. In such state indeed was I that I did perceive my man Will to notice and did endeavour to regain myself by walking out for a moment into the garden. And on my return I did find that Sir William Penn having come across Mrs. Lane's unfortunate letter was reading it aloud to the office general, Sir William Batten making lewd commentary and laughing beside him. In blind fury I did grab the letter and didst stagger for the door, not knowing what was I do as forever I must quit my place being now subject as I must be to the scorn and laughter of every man present, even to my clerks and throwing the door open did find my wife staring, having at the door in a kind of stunned frenzy heard every word Sir William Penn had just read...

B Chan  •  Link

Souviens-toi, Sam, l'amour c'est ne la fait bonheur...

Patricia  •  Link

It's that "foutée" that defeats me. The closest I can come is "fouetté" (whipped). Whatever it is, he did it under the chair twice and is greatly afraid he did it also to her. (Have I got that right?) Anyway, despite his grand promises to the contrary, nevertheless he's not going to see her (again) for a long time.

Charles Munoz  •  Link

It's that "foutée" that defeats me. The closest I can come is "fouetté" (whipped). Whatever it is, he did it under the chair twice and is greatly afraid he did it also to her. (Have I got that right?)

Well, sort of almost. What he did is what you think he did. (Not "whipped.") Substitute a convenient four-letter word. And, according to the amateur's knowledge of the physiology of pregnancy, he's afraid that she did it too, and so might become pregnant. But she knew better.

Ruben  •  Link

"un peu troubled pour ce que fait'to-day,but I hope it will be "la dernier de tout ma vie"
This young Samuel Pepys was the first writer to use Franglais!
In due time he will also invent the Spanglish.

Mary  •  Link

"and the last to my great pleasure, mais j'ai grand peur....."

Maybe Sam is mindful of the old, popular, idea that a woman was unlikely to conceive a child unless she had had an orgasm. He was immediately fearful that a little bastard Lane might be presented to him during the year, but Mrs. Lane's nonchalant post-coital manner allows him to persuade himself that no such danger exists.

PHE  •  Link

For Todd's benefit:

'with my mind a little troubled about what I did today, but I hope it will be the last time in all my life' (oh yeah?!)

I suspect his use of foreign languages was something to do with his own conscience - a bit like crossing your fingers when you tell a lie. Interestingly for us, we know the moment that he lapses into a foreign language that his is referring to a 'daliance'. Otherwise, it could be more ambiguous.

Elizabeth must surely have known he wrote a diary, but Sam must have been comfident she would never be able to interpret it. Given her long dreary days at home, she must surely have tried at times. Unless he was always able to keep them under lock and key.

Ruben  •  Link

I would like to know if Samuel wrote is Franglais in shorthand or in the usual normal Latin alphabet.
Writing French in English shorthand can be more difficult to decipher.

GrahamT  •  Link

A less fanciful translation of L&M:
...there did see Mrs. Lane and from there she and I went to the tavern at the Bell in King's Street; and there, after some caresses I came twice under the chair(?), and the last to my great pleasure; but I greatly feared that she also came. But after I had done, she started to talk as before and I did perceive that I had done nothing to endanger her.

I wonder if sous de la chaise (sous la chaise in modern French) is some 17th century sexual slang, as it doesn't make much sense, unless it is describing coitus interruptus!

Pedro  •  Link

"Elizabeth must surely have known he wrote a diary"

Tomalin says on this subject in The Unequalled Self...

"Shorthand made the Diary inaccessible to casual curiosity, which was obviously his intention...In any case Pepys guarded it carefully, and says he mentioned its existence to only two people, Lieutenant Lambert, the young naval officer he first met in the Baltic, to whom he showed "my manner of keeping a Journall" in the Spring of 1660, and much later to a trusted senior colleague, William Coventry. At first he wrote it at home in Axe Yard, and on one occasion in February 1660, he mentions Elizabeth being in the room...she knew no shorthand; and it was not long before his circumstances changed and he could be sure of privacy when he wrote."

(She also says that Will Hewer learnt shorthand from Sam, and used it once to record a sermon.)

Ruben  •  Link

from the net:
"In France, the word "cabaret" initially referred to any business serving liquor. However, the history of cabaret culture began in 1881 with the opening of Le Chat Noir in the Monmartre district of Paris."

From the Wikipedia:"The term is a French word for the taprooms or cafés, where this form of entertainment was born, as a more artistic type of café-chantant. It is derived from Middle Dutch cabret, through Old North French camberette, from Late Latin camera. It essentially means "small room."

In Napoleon's time a "cabaret service" was a breakfast china service.

May be, Pepys and friend went to a liquor selling establishment. Or may be they took or rented a small room for themselfs?

Xjy  •  Link

"great pleasure", "grand peur", "un peu troubled"

Plaisirs et chagrins d'amour... The pleasure might not last too long, but the thought of it lasts a whole lifetime. Nonobstant his words, Sam will be back...

Piece of pussy, or peace of mind... as the saying goes.

Xjy  •  Link

Sam's macaronics

Just struck me how similar all this mixing up of languages is among people who are intimate with two or more. The letters of Karl Marx for instance (and his Grundrisse) positively froth with words and phrases popping up where they suggest themselves. My daughter has native competence in 3 languages and is quite capable of chopping and changing between them all in mid-sentence or mid-phrase, as the mood takes her.

The origins of pidgin and creole are found in this - bang a couple of languages about in an entrepot for a while and they will become a mother tongue with a structure of its own, though full of the genes (DNA scraps) of the mixed-up languages. As had happened with Old English and Norman French by the time of Chaucer.

The glory of it is that true (native) polyglots in fact (it has been demonstrated) perceive themselves as wielding ONE language, with rather strict rules (sometimes) on which pieces may be used in which social contexts. So they keep the "different" languages separate by will-power out of courtesy, not because of any oil-water repulsion.

Clement  •  Link

"how will being convicted of a serious crime save Colonel Turner's life?"

It's not clear what Sam is thinking, though perhaps he thinks that the way the charges were drawn up may have spared Turner's life. But the contemperary description of "felony" from the is "all crimes which were, or had been at one time, punishable by death"…

Burglary (breaking into an occupied home at night) was generally considered a capital offense, because of the threat that it posed to the inhabitants.

Bradford  •  Link

Those who took language classes in high school can probably recall the fluency which some students could attain in Franglais, Spanglish, cod-Latin, or---what's the German equivalent?

Graham, perhaps the floor was the only area spacious enough, in their part of the cabaret ("Im chambre séparée," anyone?), to achieve what Dr. Pangloss called the most perfect conjunction of the male and female bodies.

Conrad  •  Link

Clement, it's not Colonel Turner's life being saved, he is executed on the 21st of January, it's Mr Tryan's life being saved, as Sam suspected the robbery as an inside job, when he first heard about it.

Robert Gertz  •  Link


Any way it will be quite a spectacle and we'll have the best reporter in England on the scene.

Just please, Sam...Don't keep running the video like CNN with Saddam.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

from Latin: futuere
Portuguese: foder

djc  •  Link

On the trial of Col. Turner
L&M note that Pepys is mistaken, Turner was found guilty of a felony and burglary. "If he had been convicted of felony alone, he could have pleaded his clergy (as a literate man), and perhaps have escaped with his life. But burglary was non-clergiable."

Paul Dyson  •  Link

from Latin: futuere

It all goes back to Latin again! The poets Catullus and Horace both use this word, which Lewis' dictionary translates coyly but without room for doubt. Sam would appear to have scored a double homer, or maybe six and out if his "grand peur" comes to -er- fruition.

Amidst the speculation as to what and where, and leaving aside moral issues, isn't Sam getting a bit rash? By coach to Westminster Hall, quite a public place where he is known, takes Betty (whether in the coach or walking together) to a pub where there are private rooms of some sort. Plenty of scope for being seen, noticed, heard and above all talked about. And how discreet is Mrs Lane when she explains where she has been?

J A Gioia  •  Link

This is the first entry where Sam has had recourse to using long French phrases in lieu of English. I believe it is also the first where he reports a complete climax during sexual congress with someone other than his wife. Up 'till today he's reported 'towselling' several babes, and even, uhm, spending in his trousers during such adventures. Today, though, seems like he and Mrs. Lane went the distance together.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Sam speaking (writing) in tongues.

James in Illinois asks if this is the first time Sam uses another language to record amorous events. There is one precedent, to my knowledge. On Tuesday 4 September 1660, Sam says, after an encounter with a young woman, "Nulla Puella Negat" ("no girl says no.") My impression is that the use of French somehow both distances Puritan Sam from the act and heightens its erotic content. Like the perfune ad says, "Tabu."

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"some pieces of eight for Sir J. Lawson"

On 16 and 18 January Lawson agreed with the Board to bring over from Calais 20,000 pieces-of-eight (half at 4s. 6d. each, half at 4s. 7d.) to be used in paying seamen. (Per L&M footnote)

Elyse  •  Link

Claire Tomalin's interpretation of the coded section is that Pepys is uncomfortable with female sexual pleasure: "he describes an athletic performance under a tavern chair, and how he was disconcerted by her showing her own enjoyment." I hope the tavern floor was clean.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I suspect Pepys had arranged this date with Betty Lane ahead of time, so she would expect him, and the private room at the Bell on King's Road for them to go to, etc. So this odd lunch with James Harper was a show for Elizabeth: "nothing much on my mind today, dear," It was odd to spontaneously invite dull James to lunch when James had gone there to see Jane Gentleman. I'm sure Jane wasn't included at lunch. Poor wench was probably washing the dishes.

RSGII  •  Link

When studying engineering in the days before computers, we all used slide rules to do the calculations. Since the longer the rule, the greater the accuracy, a spiral rule which wrapped a longer scale many times in a spiral out from the center could give one slightly more accurate results and was also easier to carry. The linear rule had more scales and could be used for different calculations. I used both.

Eric Rowe  •  Link

Va t' faire foutre = F off - très vulgaire

Kyle in San Diego  •  Link

"and I to the caberet at the Cloche in the street du roy; and there, after some caresses" does anyone know if these caberet's were like motels today where you pay by the hour? are him and lane doing the wild fandango in public or was this type of behavior expected at caberets? it'd be nice to know how much privacy they had.

Mary K  •  Link

According to "Inns and Taverns of Old London" by Henry C. Shelley. (published Boston 1909) King Street in Westminster appears to have been well supplied with taverns, though the only two specifically named in the 17th Century are The Leg and The Bell. The Bell had quite a long history and its existence was documented as early as the mid-15th Century.

That Pepys calls it a cabaret is surely just part of this attempt at franglais obfuscation. The Bell becomes La Cloche, King Street the route du roy. As for privacy, being an ancient establishment it may well have had one or several dark little corners where any amount of hanky-panky might be pursued in late afternoon without too much fear of being observed.

The above publication has a wealth of information about taverns and inns in all parts of London proper and the surrounding areas (e.g. Westminster).

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