Monday 26 December 1664

Up, and with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, and there with the rest did our usual business before the Duke, and then with Sir W. Batten back and to his house, where I by sicknesse excused my wife’s coming to them to-day. Thence I to the Coffeehouse, where much good discourse, and all the opinion now is that the Dutch will avoid fighting with us at home, but do all the hurte they can to us abroad; which it may be they may for a while, but that, I think, cannot support them long.

Thence to Sir W. Batten’s, where Mr. Coventry and all our families here, women and all, and Sir R. Ford and his, and a great feast and good discourse and merry, there all the afternoon and evening till late, only stepped in to see my wife, then to my office to enter my day’s work, and so home to bed, where my people and wife innocently at cards very merry, and I to bed, leaving them to their sport and blindman’s buff.

24 Annotations

First Reading

John M  •  Link

From yesterday

"such as my having of a stopcock to keepe the water from them"

I don't understand this business with the stopcock. I thought Sam's house (and all the other Navy Office houses) had no plumbing, we know that out in the yard is a communal pump from which the maids are obliged to get water.

So where is Sam's stopcock, and why would he deny water to his neighbours?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"blindman's buff"
Sounds like a nice game;groping without consequences!

cgs  •  Link

water pipes were around, piped in from the Tems via a water wheel, made from cored out of elm trees, also lead piping was used. Also fresh Herts water came to town via a home made river known as the new river.
For more on this topic see pages 9/10 Liza Picard Restoration London.
London could not have grown without the water from them their hills Hampstead and 'ighgate, along with good Essex water of the Lea Valley and this new River [1612].

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So poor Bess misses out on the great feast and merry discourse because of her dear husband's sock in the eye and Sam can't even skip an after party evening's work to play with her?

"So our Pepys stepped out?"

"Off to see his Missus...Ill, you know." roll of eye.

"Yes, our Nan saw her eye. I was tempted to offer to go along with him just to watch him squirm out of it."

cape henry  •  Link

As Sam has become more successful, Elizabeth has become less important. She is an adjunct servant, more or less. One would not batter an equal. I have no doubt he has feelings for her, but they are no match for the feelings he has for himself.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"I regard my wife as a servant I cannot fire..." Albert Einstein.

JWB  •  Link

T. E. (?), from The Law's Resolutions of Women's Rights; Or, the Law's Provision for Women

"This remarkable work, published in 1632, was designed by its still unknown author or compiler, who signed himself T. E., to help women understand how the law impinged on them in their three estates of life (unmarried virgin, wife, and widow). "

"Sect. vii. The baron may beat his wife.

* * * If a man beat an out-law, a traitor, a pagan, his villein, or his wife, it is dispunishable, because by the Law Common these persons can have no action. >> note 19 * * * [But] she may sue out of chancery to compel him to find surety of honest behavior toward her, and that he shall neither do nor procure to be done to her (mark, I pray you) any bodily damage, otherwise than appertains to the office of a husband for lawful and reasonable correction. How far that extendeth I cannot tell, but herein the sex feminine is at no very great disadvantage, for first for the lawfulness: if it be in none other regard lawful to beat a man's wife than because the poor wench can sue no action for it, I pray why may not the wife beat the husband again? What action can he have if she do? * * * So the actionless woman beaten by her husband hath retaliation left to beat him again, if she dare."…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Or perhaps hire thugs to beat him, if she hath sufficiency thereof?

"An unusual charge, eh, Howe?"

"Most unusual, Mr. Creed. Still one does find a sort of rough satisfaction in seeing what one can only consider true justice being done."

Faint screams from the large sack behind the men in their cart.

"Indeed. Though I am no longer a strictly religious sort of man, I do find it pleasant to consider that God's Will might be said to be being done here this evening."

"And for such a pleasant, gentle lady..." Howe notes.

More muffled screams, vague whimpering noises...

"Yes...I must say I did find our friend's usage of the lady rather...Unappealing..."

"Somewhat so, truly. Bit startling to find our friend capable of stooping so low. Reversion to the beast, Itself, Creed. Sign of our unfortunate times, I fear."

"Indeed, Howe. All too true, I fear. I say, Pepys..." pats sack. "We're nearly at our final destination, please try and gather yourself together, old friend."

"We must all encounter such one day..." Howe notes solemnly.

"Too true, Howe."

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Robert Gertz got the point dead on with the quote from Albert Einstein, renowned for understanding the universe, couldn't add up a grocery slip, and had no idea what his wife and the other enablers were doing for him when he said:
“I regard my wife as a servant I cannot fire…” Albert Einstein.
Hissss. Let him say that to my wife, and die.
Check out
which is Arthur Fiedler, the conductor of the Boston Pops. Everybody knew he was a pill to his family and a pussycat to the public, but they put up a statue anyway. If you stand by the ear, close to him as the family would, he looks like nothing on earth. If you stand far away, you see the likeable pussycat. If you stand where the photo was taken, you see both personalities at once, kind of a Cubist thing. That's our Samuel Pepys, bitter vinegar and soothing oil all in one person. The statue is very mellow from a distance. I remember the public discussion when the statue was put up, and it was understood by all that he was a pussycat to the public and a provocation to his family, as is so common among artists.

Ruben  •  Link

“I regard my wife as a servant I cannot fire…” Albert Einstein
Poor Einstein. There is no aspect of human life were a few words from the man considered to be the prototype of the "genius" are not found.
The sentence above is attributed to Albert Einstein, but I found no recorded reference to it. I may be wrong, but this looks to me like an unfounded make-up, like so many others in the Net.

language hat  •  Link

“I regard my wife as a servant I cannot fire…” Albert Einstein

I can't find any backup for this either. What was your source, Robert?

Louise H  •  Link

Here's a source for Robert's quotation, attributing it to a letter Einstein wrote to his mistress in 1913:…

According to the appended editor's note, this PBS web site proved controversial, so was later subjected to extra scrutiny for historical accuracy. That said, it doesn't provide an actual citation to this letter and where it can be read.

language hat  •  Link

Thanks, Louise! With that to guide me, I found the letter quoted in Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson:…

"I treat my wife as an employee whom I cannot fire. I have my own bedroom and avoid being alone with her."

It's footnoted; unfortunately, Google won't let me see the page (either 589 or 591) with the reference, but it's clearly a solidly attributed quote.

(While it certainly sounds unpleasant, guys say all kinds of things to their mistresses about their wives that shouldn't be taken as literal fact.)

language hat  •  Link

And I found it in German: "Ich behandle meine Frau wie eine Angestellte, der man nicht kündigen kann."

laura k  •  Link

"and it was understood by all that he was a pussycat to the public and a provocation to his family, as is so common among artists."

Perhaps that should be "as is so common among humans". No need to single out that portion of humanity that creates art. Those that create wealth, law, medicine, science - and those that are merely famous for being famous - are equally susceptible.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The usual warning to the famous/bane to the historian/biographer...Leave nothing behind to your discredit.

On the other hand, Stalin tried to kill everyone who knew him and it still wasn't enough...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Of course, Albert was writing to his mistress...And would not have been the first husband to lie to his girlfriend regarding relations with the Missus.

"Oh, it's over babe...My wife just doesn't understand me."

"I'm asking my lawyer about a divorce."

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

How did this happen? It's Boxing Day and no one asked about it's origins? Bah Humbug. So for your enjoyment, a Pepys' mention, and a reminder of its connection with the Feast of St, Stephen which is also today, I give you:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sadly my Boxing Day / St. Stephen page has been combined with other posts which have nothing to do with this day ... scroll down through two irrelevant (but interesting) posts and you'll find what I am talking about. Lots of local color.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Adding this below the fun Boxing Day entry is a downer, but following JWB's enlightening citation on "The Law's Resolutions of Women's Rights; Or, the Law's Provision for Women," I feel I must add this legal ruling which still provides the legal basis for deciding rape and assault cases against women in many places. Perhaps T.E. was explaining to women their rights after Judge Hale made this pronouncement?

"It is true that rape is a most detestable crime, and therefore ought severely and impartially to be punished with death; but it must be remembered, that it is an accusation easily to be made, hard to be proved, but harder to be defended by the party accused, tho innocent." -- Judge Sir Matthew Hale (1609 - 1676)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I've found more about Sir Matthew Hale's activities:

He was Chief Baron of the Exchequer in March of 1662 when he presiding as judge in the witch trial of two elderly women, Amy Duny and Rose Cullender in Bury St. Edmunds. During court, three of the children fell into violent screaming fits. In a test, the girls were blindfolded and touched by strangers. Tricked into thinking the touches had come from the accused women, the girls had a "bewitched" reaction. The father of one of the girls stated that sorcery was the cause of their mistake.

Sir Matthew refused to allow this evidence to come before the jury -- and failed to give the speech (above) he normally delivered to rape jurors on how easy it is to accuse, and how difficult for the defendant to prove innocence. In fact, he gave the opposite explanation and lectured the jury about the evils of witchcraft. Quickly the jury delivered the expected guilty verdict for 13 counts of witchcraft and sorcery. With the conviction, the children were restored to good health and walked out of the courtroom, healed.

Amy Duny and Rose Cullender were hanged on March 17, 1662.

For more, see…

Otherwise, Hale gets high marks. Although he was a pious Puritan, he was selected to defend Laud, Wentworth and King Charles, because he was known to be honorable and smart. He lost those cases, but not his reputation. He stayed away from politics and strove to improve the law. As such, Charles II kept him on, and by the time he died his reputation and law theory were recognized to be on a par with Sir Edward Coke.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Interesting annotations about Hale Sarah. Contrary to popular belief, courts were often reluctant to convict alleged witches, but puritans were more zealous than others.

This description of the Pendle Witch case gives a lot of the general social context of witch trials.…

I also strongly recommend Robert Neill's novel, 'Mist Over Pendle', which, like his others, is a work of scholarship as well as of fiction.

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