Saturday 12 March 1663/64

Lay long pleasantly entertaining myself with my wife, and then up and to the office, where busy till noon, vexed to see how Sir J. Minnes deserves rather to be pitied for his dotage and folly than employed at a great salary to ruin the King’s business. At noon to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, and then down to Deptford, where busy a while, and then walking home it fell hard a raining. So at Halfway house put in, and there meeting Mr. Stacy with some company of pretty women, I took him aside to a room by ourselves, and there talked with him about the several sorts of tarrs, and so by and by parted, and I walked home and there late at the office, and so home to supper and to bed.

16 Annotations

deepfatfriar  •  Link

"...vexed to see how Sir J. Minnes deserves rather to be pitied for his dotage and folly than employed at a great salary to ruin the King's business."

Which, some days, is an accurate description of my own feelings about some of my superiors in a different, latter-day navy.....

cape henry  •  Link

"Lay long entertaining myself with my wife..." No doubt that puppy-dog water is having the desired effect.

Terry F  •  Link

"Sir J. Minnes...employed at a great salary"

Pepys whines about others' relative wealth for a second day running. William Matthews notes that Mennes's salary was £500/yr compared to Pepys's £350.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"It fell hard a raining"
I like that!

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Despite the presence of pretty women, our hero chooses to talk to Mr. Stacy in private about tar -- and without even invoking his oaths. Stout fellow.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there meeting Mr. Stacy with some company of pretty women, I took him aside to a room by ourselves, and there talked with him about the several sorts of tarrs..."


"You did what?" Bess blinks at the Diary page. Re-reading carefully.

Thank you, God. Sam notes fervently. God nodding benevolently from His big chair.

Now if you could just keep her from reading the Bagwell and 1669 entries...

"'Tarr' is some kind of slang for cheap slut, right?" Bess frowns.

"Ah, Mr. P...I see I have a fellow admirer of the beautiful with me." Mr. Stacy smiles at Sam leaving the door open...Both looking as a lovely young woman passes.




"Pretty women...Fascinating. Slurpping (dishes of) coffee, glancing. Pretty women...Are God's wonder. Pretty women, pretty women."


"Blowing out the candles or...Over a chair...Some thing about them cheers the air."


"Oooohh...Ooooh...Oooh..." Hmmn...When did we become three? Sam looks round.

"Hewer, go back to the coach!"

"Yes, sir."


"We do think alike, Pepys."

"Pretty women stay within you. Breathing lightly, dancing. Pretty women grace forever. Pretty women, pretty women..."


"Towsing them a Monday, peeping through (my holes) to stare. Stacy, they do cheer the air."


"Pre...tty women...They're God's wonder. Strolling round us, smiling. Pretty women grace forever. Pretty women, pretty women."


"Lying bed a'morning, combing out her hair...Something precious and so rare...So...Rare..."

"Pepys?" Stacy looks at a trembling, staring Sam...A tear running down his cheek.


"Pepys? Is something..."

"I think we should be settled for now, Stacy. I must go home now. Yes." he rises.

"Are you quite well, Pepys?"

"Oh, yes. Quite. Stacy?" a brief grimace...Just a vision, not real...God...Not real. "Do you believe in premonitions?"

"Premonitions? My dear Pepys? I should hope the age of such fanatique beliefs ended with the King's return."

"Yes, of course. Just...I thought I saw..." Sam pauses.

Nonsense...Like that day at Ware when for a moment I thought...Lost, forever.


"Nothing, nonsense...I must be off."

"Well, I shall see you later, my friend. And remember..." broad smile as a lovely young lady passes the door. "They are a wonder..."

"...And a treasure we seldom value till they're lost forever." Sam nods. "Oh, my journal notes for today...Where...?"

"Those?" Stacy points. "What are they? Business notes? I say, Pepys, you are a through one."

"Just a way to keep something of what's truly important with one, Stacy." Sam smiles faintly.


Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Gives a new meaning to "tar," what?

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"Tarrs" a mistranscription for "tarts?"

language hat  •  Link

"Gives a new meaning to "tar," what?"
"'Tarrs' a mistranscription for 'tarts?'"

I'm not sure where this is coming from. Stacey is a tar merchant, Pepys is researching supplies for the navy, where's the mystery? (In case anyone is thinking this might be the slang word for 'sailor,' that's not attested until 1676: WYCHERLEY Pl. Dealer II. i, Nov. Dear tar, thy humble servant.)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Not absolutely sure, LH but I think they were having fun with my bit about Bess reading the Diary and assuming Sam couldn't not have been up to something with Stacy regards those "pretty women" and so she assumes 'tarr' is some code word. Which of course it is not...And much to the surprise of many of us Sam is innocently focusing on business over his favorite hobby.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Then again, you never know...

"So Pepys..." Stacy leans to look out the open door as a grinning young lady passes coyly by...

"Do you prefer your 'tarr' thin...Or ample and fully formed?"

Sam, likewise leaning to eye the comely young lady and a second passing friend...

"Oh, ample and fully formed, Stacy. Yes. Definitely."

Gerry  •  Link

Yes Robert, I think you are right. In fact Andrew Hamilton pipped an identical posting by me. I was going to add that maybe his activities with Elizabeth had left him unable to carry on in this area.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

It was tongue in cheek, LH, and definitely playing off Gertz.

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

That was moving, Robert. I hope Sam does one day display such wisdom as to treasure Bess properly. Maybe, in keeping the Diary and thereby keeping Bess alive when self-interest should have prompted him to destroy it in his old age, he does.

language hat  •  Link

"It was tongue in cheek, LH, and definitely playing off Gertz."

Ah, sorry then.

Pedro  •  Link

On March 12, 1664,

Charles granted to his brother James a patent for Long Island and the whole country between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers. In May a small expedition under Colonel Nicolls set sail from Portsmouth to put the Duke in possession.

By C. H. FIRTH, M.A., LL.D., F.B.A., Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford.

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