Sunday 8 May 1664

(Lord’s day). This day my new tailor, Mr. Langford, brought me home a new black cloth suit and cloake lined with silk moyre, and he being gone, who pleases me very well with his work and I hope will use me pretty well, then Deane and I to my chamber, and there we repeated my yesterday’s lesson about ships all the morning, and I hope I shall soon understand it. At noon to dinner, and strange how in discourse he cries up chymistry from some talk he has had with an acquaintance of his, a chymist, when, poor man, he understands not one word of it. But I discern very well that it is only his good nature, but in this of building ships he hath taken great pains, more than most builders I believe have.

After dinner he went away, and my wife and I to church, and after church to Sir W. Pen, and there sat and talked with him, and the perfidious rogue seems, as he do always, mightily civil to us, though I know he hates and envies us.

So home to supper, prayers, and to bed.

27 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

A suit and cloak in four days!

Mr. Langford's shop's not busy yet, and he hopes Pepys's custom will set a trend.

jeannine  •  Link

"A suit and cloak in four days!"

Gee Terry, at the risk of being a cynic here -- I'm rather surprised that Sam hasn't sold Langford his brother Tom's customer list! Not like today when Data Privacy laws would prevent such things! At least Sam could set up a deal where he'd get a finder's fee for each new customer, or become a designer diva where he gets clothes for free just to parade around in them! Our Sam on the red carpet wearing Langford! Wonder what critique Joan Rivers would have!

Terry F  •  Link

"At least Sam could set up a deal...."

Jeannine, wheeler-dealer! Compliments. Pepys passing up plus pence?

Terry F  •  Link

Reducing expectations (getting real) re the building of a ship:

Yesterday: "I think I shall soon understand it."

Today: "I hope I shall soon understand it."

A familiar experience.

cape henry  •  Link

Thinking back over what we know, Tom's customer list probably did not amount to much. I don't think Sam even used him very much and found his work shabby when he did.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think when Langford moved in he took over the whole business in one piece including customer list. It was likely still a good deal for him. Tom may have lost some trade through poor service and workmanship but as in my old neighborhood near Boston, Massachusetts, most of the neighbors probably kept coming for convenience and out of respect for John Sr.

Jesse  •  Link

"the perfidious rogue"

There's (to me) a slight comic element to the way Sir W. sets Pepys off. Was Pepys completely right about how "he hates and envies us"? I wonder if Penn's 'civility' was shaded by a wit that didn't make it into the diary.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...the perfidious rogue seems, as he do always, mightily civil to us, though I know he hates and envies us."

"I don't know, Sam'l." Bess sighs, listening as he reads the latest (as always, censored) entry. "Sir Will seems to actually have a great deal of respect for..."

"He's plotting constantly to cut me out of my rightful place at the office...Constantly working against me whilst he smiles...Oh, yes...Look at him smile. Yes, I know him for the false rogue he is. Oh, yes. He praises my work to the others to my face while stabbing me in the back the moment I'm away. But no one ever put one over on Samuel C. Pepys. And that Batten, scheming away, day after day!...Watching me as I sit in my closet. And that Minnes, a fool and dotard but pretending to be even worse than he is, as if he could fool me. All of them little knowing that through my holes and my loyal clerks, I see all. All!!"

"Though perhaps not all my clerks are loyal...I see treachery in some..."

"Sam'l...I really think..."

"Are you turning against me now, too, Bess?!! It's that Pembleton, isn't it?"

"Uh, no. No, dear..." "No?" "No, my sweet darling...Say, how's about a nice posset and maybe I'll just have Mr. Hollier stop by tonight? You seem a little...Ummn..."

"What?!! What do I seem?!! You think me ill? My stone cut, the suffering I endure, and my years of constant effort has left me...Stronger! More focused!!"

"...Ummn...Maybe just a little...Costive?"

"Costive?" Sam pulls up short at the infamous, feared word. "I seem...Costive?"

"Oh, yes. And you know what you must immediately do...By the Rules for Your Health which you posted on our bedroom door. And the kitchen door...And the front door...And inside the house of office..."

"I must get warm at once! Loose my clothing, take purge! A clyster, a clyster! My position for a clyster! Costive, you say? And bound, next?! I'll to bed! Send for Hollier at once!!"

"Yes, darling." ...or should be bound perhaps the better way to put it, Bess thinks. "Susan, send a note to Mr. Hollier."

Hopin' the Missus'd tell me to take a note to Mr H...Susan sighs, fearfully eyeing the ranting Pepys now scurrying upstairs.

"Bess?!! You are coming?!! You won't leave me alone?!"

"Never, honey."


Terry F  •  Link

Robert, 'tis a pity we aren't all connected by audio/webcams so you can hear the laughter when we read your stuff!

sub zona  •  Link

"Never, honey."

as long as yee have the money?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Holland...The Hague...Session of the Dutch State Council...

Where St. Michel...Balthazar St. Michel...Continues his covert efforts for Brother-in-law (and he better show some gratitude), King, and adopted country, attempting to learn the identity of the agent who has penetrated the Naval Board in England.

"Gentlemen, a very special courier has arrived, bearing the latest news from our...Person...In England." A young, rather familiar-looking man is waved in, looking somewhat anxious...

"Mon Dieu..." Balty can't suppress a gasp...He's the somewhat thinner spitting image of...

"Our friend in England is well?" the Council Chairman addresses the visitor who nods. "And sends us word of the English fleet's operations?"

"Yes. But, gentlemen..." the young visitor eyes all... "I must tell you I bear this to you only from a sincere desire to avert a long war, a war especially odious to me. Being as I am, of both English and Dutch extraction." He lays a packet down on the Council table. "May God open all hearts to the ways of peace."

"A decisive victory by our fleet and the war will end
quickly, young man. Please tender our thanks to our dear friend, your mother." the Chairman beams, passing the packet to Balty's superior who hands it to Balty...For immediate copy.

"My secretary, M. St. Michel..." Balty's superior makes introduction...

"Mr. William Penn, Jr."

"St. Michel?" young Penn stares.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "the perfidious rogue"

May I point out that The Perfidious Rogues would be an excellent name for a band?

Perhaps on a double bill with The Sub Zonas (MV, man of a thousand nom de plumes...)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Or a music group specializing in 17th century ballads...

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"the perfidious rogue"

Maybe Sam has been listening to Elizabeth's French sympathies? The adjective "perfidious" has been a favorite pejorative in continental views of England since the 13th century, according to the Wikipedia article linked below. Even in Sam's day "la perfide Albion" was a known phrase, it seems. Is Sir William being recruited synecdochically to stand in for the nation? Perhaps there is even a bit of admiration in Sam's use of the phrase.…

Robert Gertz  •  Link



"Rotten-hearted dog!!" (ok, spoiler)


"Fustarian rascal!!"

"Oooh, Shakespeare, very good." "Thanks."


"Wretch!!" "Hmmn?" "Well, it's bigenderal, right?"

"Light-hearted Frenchwoman!!"

"Hey?...Perfidious rogue!!!"


"Sorry. The 'light-hearted' stuck a little."

"Sorry. Poxy chewed meat!"

"Good one. Hmmn...Ah...Cross-eyed CCClllerk!!"

"Ow! Ow!!...We have a winner!"

"And still champion...Naturally. How are your eyes anyway?" "Little better with the rest, thanks."

Nix  •  Link

"the perfidious rogue seems, as he do always, mightily civil to us, though I know he hates and envies us" --

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

-- Stephen Stills

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

May I point out that The Perfidious Rogues would be an excellent name for a band?

Could it be that's where the Pogues got their hint? (Well, apparently not. Their original name "Pogue Mahone" is "the Anglicisation of the Irish póg mo thóin, meaning 'kiss my arse'." Live and learn)

Terry F  •  Link

"After dinner he went away, and my wife and I to church"

Again, minimally observant -- he's a public servant -- and not engaged by the worship service. In piety, an ebb season, for some reason.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"...Again, minimally observant -- he's a public servant..." This is the age where the cloistered ones do not have the final say over the thinking ones, this is the age of Locke, Descartes, Hobbes, Bacon et al and many others that read more than the bible for their knigtley entertainment, inspite of the law that said that thee must fill the coffers with coin of the realm and only follow Jimmies version of the Word. There be many preachers of differing stripes vying for thy pennies.
May be, it be that by drowning the higher talented ones in Greek, Latin, Hebrew and even Arabic , Aristolean, and minimal addition, created some backlash, as there be many ejected and dejected pennyless vicars, running around publishing seditious news print, saying 'wot to render under Kaiser and wot be thy salvation'.
Locke had published " Two treatises on the Civil Magistrate" and "Essays on the Laws of Nature"
Locke a man of the same age as our Hero, but educated at Wesminster rather than St Pauls, spent his ill gotton youth at Christ Church Coll. Oxon rather than going to the the Coll on the the Granta.
Just because People attend the Party of choice to be seen, it does not mean that they be in awe, there be many good Catholicks that would be showing up to be counted so not counted as seditious radicals.

Jesse  •  Link

"So home to supper, prayers, and to bed"

I think Pepys maintains a steady personal piety that seperates his inner church, if you will, from that of the state church.

Terry F  •  Link

Jesse, I agree. I should have writ "In public piety, an ebb season...." The inner Puritan and moralist is still there.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bess on Sam and religion...

"Is quite a thing the stone of the kidney..." Dr. Tom reflected. "All salts and solidified rheum, I'm told. Makes a very nice physick when ground up."

"For what?..." Snow stared. "Oh, whatever ails." the doctor Pepys waved a hand.

Both men turned as a knock at the door brought Jane scurrying back. Nell striding out of the kitchen towards the stairs, wiping hands with an aggrieved look. "Nell!" Elisabeth's voice was sharp. "Cumin', cumin'...I be cumin'." Nell called as she began trudging upstairs.

"Mr. Penn?" Jane eyed the dark-haired, young William Penn in his sober dress as he stood smiling at the door. His father's best features on a considerably thinner frame.

"My good Jane. How do thee do this glorious day?" he disconcerted her as she curtsied by offering a hand for a shake. Ummn...Jane took it hesitantly. He pumping enthusiastically.

"Is Mr. Pepys any better? Father told me he was ill?"

"A little, sir. Please..." the maid waved the young man in. "Have a seat. I'll tell the missus you're here."

Ale's on the table...she smiled at him mischievously. He glanced reprovingly back as she left...Jane...

"Greetings, friends." Penn smiled at the two. "Will Penn, a neighbor of Mr. Pepys." he offered a hand to Dr. Pepys, then Snow.

William Penn?...Surely not the conquering admiral, Snow thought. Oh...

The crazed Quaker, right...

"Dr. Tom Pepys, a cousin of Samuel's." Dr. Tom nodded at young Penn, waving at Snow. "And this is, Mr. John Snow, an old friend of Mr. Pepys."

"So thou..." Snow eyed Penn. "Are one of those Quaker radicals?. Peace on Earth, universal brotherhood, equality..." he chuckled. "...of women?"

"Indeed, friend..." Penn smiled. "But we prefer 'Religious Society of Friends'. 'Quaker' is a name bestowed on us by those who little understand our worship or purpose. 'Friend' is our preferred form of address."

"Quaker?" Dr. Pepys blinked. Not perhaps the best company for a doctor dependent on clients' good opinion. Still, interesting bunch...And the King is said to rather like them.

"Aye..." the Friend nodded, sighing slightly.

Elisabeth appeared on the stairs, hurrying to their neighbor's rescue. Penn beamed at her as she moved to them.

"Sam'l is somewhat better. Just needed a few things to get him settled. He hates having nothing to do."

"May our Lord send dear Brother Pepys good health." Penn smiled. "But nothing seriously...?"

"Just strained himself a bit." she shook her head...And smiled back... "And thou may see him about thy pamphlet...Please...He's dying for anything to divert him."

"Merci, madame." Penn grinned. "Pardonnez-moi." he rose, pulling same pamphlet from a pouch. "Friends, excuse me whilst I see if Brother Pepys can spare a moment."

The men eyed him as he headed upstairs. Dr. Tom looking at Elisabeth in confusion...And slight panic...

"Samuel hasn't joined those fellows?"

"Sam'l?..." she gave a genuine giggle, "No, Lord bless you, Thomas...A firm son of the Church of England is my boy. Though, truth be told, Sam is of a decidedly practical faith. He prays, goes to church dutifully, keeps vows, and God bestows good fortune...So long as the Almighty continues to do his part, Sam will keep his."


Michael Robinson  •  Link

Rules for Pepys' Health

" ... in the afternoon had a natural easily and dry stoole, the first I have had these five days or six, for which God be praised, and so am likely to continue well, observing for the time to come when any of this pain comes again

1. To begin to keep myself as warm as I can.
2. Strain as little as ever I can backwards, remembering that my pain will come by and by, though in the very straining I do not feel it.
3. Either by physic forward or by clyster backward or both ways to get an easy and plentiful going to stool and breaking of wind.
4. To begin to suspect my health immediately when I begin to become costive and bound, and by all means to keep my body loose, and that to obtain presently after I find myself going the contrary."…

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

Dr. Gertz, between your portrayal of Bess' babbling obsession with her red, red room and Sam's wild-eyed Poeish Penn paranoia (it only took me half an hour to come up with that), the family Pepys is starting to look more like the Addams family :))

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

"The inner Puritan and moralist is still there."

Buried somewhere under the fellow who can lewdly sport with Mrs. Lane, plot to manuever poor Mrs. Bagwell into his clutches at the office, and accept money in paper (without looking to see in case he was ever questioned) from a captain whom he's done a favor. Though to be fair he has been a relatively good boy recently.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Jacqueline Gore"s "... Though to be fair he has been a relatively good boy recently...."
Bess has got our 'Ero to part with some monies, forgoing his rush to the thousand mark, would you not think there be some guilt hidden, although he has not told his written conscience his reason for freely spending.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"At noon to dinner, and strange how in discourse he cries up chymistry"

L&M: Deane was perhaps talking about the controversy between the apothecaries and physicians which Pepys had heard discussed on 3 November 1663:…
"the debate between the followers of Galen and those who believe in 'chymistry'.

This was also an asymmetrical struggle for prestige between upstart members of The Royal College of Physicians (chartered 1518) and members of a livery Company, The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London (chartered 1617), who followed an older practice.

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