Friday 30 September 1664

Up, and all day, both morning and afternoon, at my accounts, it being a great month, both for profit and layings out, the last being 89l. for kitchen and clothes for myself and wife, and a few extraordinaries for the house; and my profits, besides salary, 239l.; so that I have this weeke, notwithstanding great layings out, and preparations for laying out, which I make as paid this month, my balance to come to 1203l., for which the Lord’s name be praised!

Dined at home at noon, staying long looking for Kate Joyce and my aunt James and Mary, but they came not. So my wife abroad to see them, and took Mary Joyce to a play. Then in the evening came and sat working by me at the office, and late home to supper and to bed, with my heart in good rest for this day’s work, though troubled to think that my last month’s negligence besides the making me neglect business and spend money, and lessen myself both as to business and the world and myself, I am fain to preserve my vowe by paying 20s. dry money into the poor’s box, because I had not fulfilled all my memorandums and paid all my petty debts and received all my petty credits, of the last month, but I trust in God I shall do so no more.

12 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

"for which the Lord's name be praised!"

Sam has thanked the Almighty on a number of occasions, but is this the first time that he has used an exclamation mark?

Australian Susan  •  Link

"...sat working by me at the office, ..."
Bess doesn't very often come over the courtyard to the Navy Office, does she? Working in this context would be sewing - probably some of the yards and yards of plain sewing which women did in those days and up until the invention of the sewing machine. Gathering in groups to do charity sewing of shirts and baby linen was a wonderful excuse for indulgence in gossip by middle class ladies, but we never hear of Bess doing this: probably it came later. There's a sharp comment in Vanity Fair about sewing and its links to respectability: Becky keeps a workbasket with a half finished shirt for her son in it near to hand which can be made use of by her to create the right sort of impression. Thackery comments that the shirt was already several sizes too small for her son.

"..last month's negligence.."

This seems just to refer to monetary lapses and perceived extravagances and indulgence in plays, nothing to do with straying from his marital vows which Patricia reminded us of in a pertinent and tart comment recently. Sam seems to operate with differing moral codes as regards waste of money and breaking the 7th commandment. Remember that in those days, following the Elizabethan Church Settlement in the 1560s all Churches had to have the 10 Commandments (and the Lord's Prayer) prominently displayed. Probably St Olave's would have had that and so Sam would have been seeing these every Sunday he went to Church (which has been a bit infrequent recently). We might also argue he's breaking the 2nd commandment in that he is making an idol of money!

Terry F  •  Link

"is this the first time that he has used an exclamation mark?"

Pedro, this is surely Wheately's idea: L&M do not list an exclamation mark among the punctuation that is Pepys's own.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Sam's profits in the past month are 239 pounds beside salary!! Sam's edging up on an annual rate of income of L3000. No wonder the Brampton land issues seem of less interest than they used to.

Mary  •  Link

dry money.

Hard cash. No promissory notes in this case, then.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

239 extra in one month, with no injury to the King of course. And his annual salary 350 minus 100 to old Barlow.

Is the Clerk of the Acts position open these days?

GrahamT  •  Link

I am a little surprised that he uses memorandums, rather than memoranda, especially as he is a Latin scholar. I had thought that this was a modern habit. Apparently not.

language hat  •  Link

If anything, the situation is the reverse: in Sam's day people didn't worry about whether they were using English "correctly" or not, they pretty much wrote as they spoke, with rhetorical flourishes of course. The whole obsession with classical correctness came in the following century (and a great pity too, if you ask me). There's no good reason for using Latin and Greek plurals in English.

Bradford  •  Link

And a greater pity that God's favor has a pound tag attached, but I didn't say that, I would never say that.

Should like to know what play Elizabeth and Mary Joyce, unburdened by vows, saw together.

Second Reading

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ' . . paying 20s. dry money into the poor's box . . '

‘dry, adj. and adv. < Old English . .
. . 19. Of money, rent, or fees: Paid in hard cash, in actual coin. [Compare French argent sec, perte sèche.]
. . 1664 S. Pepys Diary 30 Sept. (1971) V. 284 I am fain to preserve my vowe by paying 20s. dry money into the poor's box . . ‘


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