Monday 9 May 1664

Up and to my office all the morning, and there saw several things done in my work to my great content, and at noon home to dinner, and after dinner in Sir W. Pen’s coach he set my wife and I down at the New Exchange, and after buying some things we walked to my Lady Sandwich’s, who, good lady, is now, thanks be to God! so well as to sit up, and sent to us, if we were not afeard, to come up to her. So we did; but she was mightily against my wife’s coming so near her; though, poor wretch! she is as well as ever she was, as to the meazles, and nothing can I see upon her face. There we sat talking with her above three hours, till six o’clock, of several things with great pleasure and so away, and home by coach, buying several things for my wife in our way, and so after looking what had been done in my office to-day, with good content home to supper and to bed. But, strange, how I cannot get any thing to take place in my mind while my work lasts at my office. This day my wife and I in our way to Paternoster Row to buy things called upon Mr. Hollyard to advise upon her drying up her issue in her leg, which inclines of itself to dry up, and he admits of it that it should be dried up.

35 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and there saw several things done in my work to my great content"

What?!? Is something wrong, Sam? Oh. You're talking about the workmen making alterations to your office. For a moment I thought that you actually believed some of your co-workers were doing a good job.

"This day my wife and I in our way to Paternoster Row to buy things called upon Mr. Hollyard to advise upon her drying up her issue in her leg, which inclines of itself to dry up, and he admits of it that it should be dried up."

Okay, I get that the issue in her leg needs to dry up, but can anyone shed more light on this? It's not Beth's "other problem," is it? That's not in her leg, after all.

No Monday visit to the Duke today?

Australian Susan  •  Link

"issue in her leg"
I took this to mean a scrape or cut which has become infected and, as all injuries on the shin (lack of blood vessels), is taking a long time to heal and is 'weeping'. Wonder what they used to dry wounds up? Better left to the air I would have thought.

cape henry  •  Link

Pepys exhibits further evidence of his genuine affection for Lady Sandwich. He also exhibits that universal tendency of creative types to utilize distractions to their fullest with his admission that he "cannot get any thing to take place in [his] mind" while his design is taking shape.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"that it should be dried up"
Cauterise? Ouch

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"but she was mightily against my wife's coming so near her;"

One heck of a sweet lady is our Lady Jemina. By the way where is my Lord S anyway? Hopefully he's minding his wife a little in her illness, not off seeking another Chelsea Betty in some more secluded location...

Lord, Sam...If your leg were running pus, we'd have six pages of descriptive narrative. You could at least have told the how and when of Bess' injury or 'issue'?

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Cutting oneself on the cutting board be no big deal on most occasions, but if it turns gangreus then it warrants a word a two. This diary is not a treatise to be set in concrete for a Tutor to recommend for a doctorate, just highlights of the day that needed to be noted, the mundane scratch be left to winds of change.
'Tis wot makes it interesting to connect the dots, allowing a few fertile twigs of the mind to help us understand while we lay on our couch..

kilroy  •  Link

"drying up her issue in her leg, which inclines of itself to dry up,"

Hope this isn't the cyst from back in November… that left a 3 inch hollow. Ugh.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Lady Jemina receives the "poor wretch" accolade? Why, Sam...You rogue. Before we know it you'll be tocar suing something a'la milady with great pleasure.

"Pepys?..." an open-mouthed Lord Sandwich staring at the sight of Sam busily tocaring.

"Ah...Ah...Ah..." Sam has lost the power of speech...

"Edward...!" Lady Jemina gives a slight squeal. "I can explain. Cousin Samuel was just..."

"Living...But I'll remedy that." Sandwich notes grimly, reaching for sword at side.


Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and after dinner in Sir W. Pen's coach ..."

Gee, things are busy in wartime...

Seriously, a bit interesting that Sam can happily accept a ride from our perfidious rogue who hates him with his heart, Sir Will. But it's probably all part of the act our clever Sam sees through so well...And he will make use of it whilst he can. Oh, yes.

Come to think of it I use to carpool with a perfidious rogue whom I knew hated me with her heart.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"Lewisham children to get a free education thanks to a wealthy Clerk: as well the unemployed get a good nites kip and soup too"

Lewesham Free-schools, &c. Bill.
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for settling the Charitable Gift of Abraham Colfe Clerk, for erecting and endowing Two Free-schools and an Almshouse at Lewisham in Kent."

From: 'House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 9 May 1664', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 11: 1660-1666, pp. 610-11. URL:…. Date accessed: 10 May 2007.

Mary  •  Link

Abraham Colfe, clerk: a side-note to the above.

Colfe's School still exists in Lewisham, though it is no longer a free school. Colfe made the Leathersellers' Company (one of the London liveries) trustees of his will and links between the company and the school remain strong.

tel  •  Link

Robert G, I thought I was up to speed with American idioms but "tocar suing"? Translation please.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Strictly nonsensical comic play on Sam's mix of French, Spanish, etc in l'amour. I've been waiting for someone to very carefully explain to me that su is a personal pronoun, but it's just fun. Come to think of it I should've thrown in besaring and me manoing and but-not-the-main-thinging, praise God...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Though even without the main thinging, Sandwich would
ve killed him...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

...And of course it's possible Sam meant Bess in using "poor wretch" but it was fun for me to speculate that he's taken a tiny liberty today with his worshipped milady Jem...And Sam, being Sam...Where it might one day lead.

jeannine  •  Link

"He also exhibits that universal tendency of creative types to utilize distractions to their fullest with his admission that he "cannot get any thing to take place in [his] mind" while his design is taking shape."

Hmmm, I was going to come home from my am trip to the gym and immediately catch up on a project at work, but as got home I noticed my flowers starting to bloom and had to stop and note what colors & textures needed to be added to the garden mix; came in through the kitchen to see the recipes for the kid event celebration cake to be baked and decorated; paused in the den to look at the ¾ knit sweater, knitting books and assorted piles of other yarns for the next projects that I know I'll never find time to design; noticed the pile of Pepysian library books on the coffee table with pending 'due back' dates and little sticky flags where there is 'stuff' that I'd love to share with my pals here if I could manage to ever pull it together; moved to my office to glance at the 4th grade poems and self-portraits to be scanned, formatted & edited for my daughters' school yearbook; shuffled the pile of other Pepysian books and half written articles (Carteret???, a few interesting letters from Sam???, a Mountague???, etc.) which will sit indefinitely fermenting in my mind in their disorganization; moved the box of festive decorations and information to be put into some thematically 'cute' invitations for the kid music recital; made the 'mistake" of quickly looking in to the Diary and stopped to pause, look away into some faraway nowhere and wondered for some lost amount of time what rhymes with the word "measles"; then read on to realize that for today that I might just have something in common with Sam, except for noting that the only thing that will keep my distractions from realizing their full potential is that slight little issue of remaining employed in order to pay the bills! Sometimes it seems the realities of life rob one of the ability to grow and expand into the more creatively rewarding (and sadly less financially lucrative) areas of the mind, leaving only piles of things that would be wonderful adventures to fully develop through the creative process and explore........................

jeannine  •  Link

Sam's Distraction

It's time for Sam to take definitive action
To rid his mind of creative abstraction
That leaves his career in a state of inaction

This standstill offense and most frightful infraction
Could cause the whole Navy a dissatisfaction
With the man whose our hero and star attraction

Sam's creative thoughts need immediate redaction
But how from his mind to make this subtraction
Ensuring he maintains his employer's satisfaction

Creative new thoughts can cause such a chain reaction
Ideas mix with emotions in an inventive interaction
Stopping us in other areas from making traction

Inventiveness sparks an overwhelming reaction
But how does one quell abundant brain action?
By thinking about a wage paying distraction!

(P.S. Sometimes the only thing keeping me from my
distractions is my other distractions.........)

Bradford  •  Link

Three hours is plenty long enough to catch anything.

If the consultant says the issue should dry up, and the patient wants it to dry up, and it is drying up, perhaps the best thing is to let it---but I digress. "I cannot get any thing to take place in my mind while my work lasts at my office." Whereas most of can't get anything to take place in our minds while the task at hand keeps us in our office.

cape henry  •  Link

It is not for nothing that she is referred to as Mean Jeannine the Poetry Machine...

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Count me as a member of the Jeannine faction.

Terry F  •  Link

Jeannine! -- now performing at the Mitre with The Perfidious Rogues.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Reaction to Jeannine's versification.

Thee always give more work to the busy one,
Thee who contemplates, never gets work done.
and the first rule of life , have funds to eat., Then be like Descartes , then thee can stir up thy grey matter.

Samuel should have consulted John Locke
" I cannot get any thing to take place in my mind while my work lasts at my office..."

""...I suppose it may be of use to prevail with the busy mind of man to be more cautious in meddling with things exceeding its comprehension sit down in a quiet ignorance of those things which, upon examination, are found to be beyond the reach of our capacities...."

para 4 an essay concerning human understanding John Locke

just a thought.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Count me as a member of the Jeannine faction...

Second that.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Count me as a member of the Jeannine faction...

Second that.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Count me as a member of the Jeannine faction ...


jeannine  •  Link

To those kind souls joining the "Jeannine faction"
You must take an oath pledging Pepysian distraction.....

Michael Robinson  •  Link

an oath pledging Pepysian distraction...

Rules, glorious rules!
What wouldn't we give for
That extra bit more --
That's all that we live for
Why should we be fated to
Do nothing but brood
On rules,
Magical rules,
Wonderful food,
Marvelous food,
Fabulous rules.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

If Jeaninne had joined the Mark Anthony and Cleopatra faction, they would have won the Battle of Action .:)

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Jeannine, Jeannine
one of my
favorite human beans

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Aw, now A DeAraujo...

31BC, August 9...

"To the office where I did a great deal of business regarding the victualling of the fleet. Anon comes our gracious Emperor Antony and our most exquisite queen, along with my Lord Lucius Vorenius and my Lord taking me aside, much to my profound satisfaction, doth tell me that I am the life of this office and further that the whole success of this our great civil war for the Empire will lie upon my efforts as much as any man...At which I did take not a little pride, though I could not but think that should things turn out to our disfavor it might be well that I have as much put by me as I may against a black day.

The Emperor and our most glorious Queen did then make a turn round the fleet camp, at which all present did make lusty noise and cheer. I, to my great satisfaction, did find myself a place where I did glut myself with looking upon the most royal and most wonderously beautiful Queen who wore her robes and made her procession and speech at the end I thought with the rarest dignity and sublime grace. Methink though the Emperor was not so impressive, indeed his speech was of little import and delivered in such commonplace style so as might make men wonder given the busy time which brings us here to Actium.

At night, Creedius Maximus did come and after discoursing on our poor condition, the fleet bottled up here as it is...And the Emperor clearly not himself, frittering his time away on his pleasures and allowing us to be trapped here by Lord Agrippa when we might well have given battle in open sea long beforehand. And indeed, he tells me as a great secret that the fortresses along the coast which the Emperor did intend to provide us with some haven should we miscarry are all, every one already taken. This did put me in the greatest confusion of mind not knowing what might be the outcome of such dire events. And I perceive Creedius to be anxious himself to be away...Would that I were, though I did not show it to him. He then introduced me to one Titus Pullo whom I did remember to have been one as close to Octavian Caesar in Rome. However I pretended not to recognize him and merely saluted him...Whereupon he did, with I thought, rather bold disclaim, proclaim himself one of Caesar's and what was more astonishing to me, did tell me that Lord Octavian did hold me in the highest regard and would willingly welcome me to his service should I ever wish to consider such a change. To the which I did for now say nothing...But will hold it in my heart, perhaps to make good use of it when time shall tell.

Great and increasing is the sickness in our fleet and camp, our sole relief being that we are told the enemy does no better.

Bergie  •  Link

Jeannine, though this site's poet laureate,
Was compelled to suspend her day's story at
Sam'l's mention of measles,
For no rhyme, short of "weasels,"
Could make the verse something to glory at.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

To Sam and Jeannine, and anyone else who "cannot get any thing to take place in [their] mind" because of distractions, I recommend Robert Benchley's wonderful essay "How to get things done," which explains how to make constructive use of distractions. You can find it at…
P.S. Today's poetic outpouring has been marvelous.

Second Reading

Louise Hudson  •  Link

". . . after dinner in Sir W. Pen’s coach he set my wife and I down at the New Exchange . . . "

Hmm, it looks as if pronoun errors are not new.

Bridget Carrie Davis  •  Link

I wish I understood Elizabeth's malady and treatment better. Do we know that this is a reference to the cyst?

JayW  •  Link

In my experience, just having workmen in the house stops you getting on with anything else whether you want to work or not. Distraction techniques as described by earlier annotators can be used deliberately at any time, with or without the workmen, to keep you away from what you should be doing but don't really want to do.

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