Saturday 26 August 1665

Up betimes, and prepared to my great satisfaction an account for the board of my office disbursements, which I had suffered to run on to almost 120l.. That done I down by water to Greenwich, where we met the first day my Lord Bruncker, Sir J. Minnes, and I, and I think we shall do well there, and begin very auspiciously to me by having my account abovesaid passed, and put into a way of having it presently paid. When we rose I find Mr. Andrews and Mr. Yeabsly, who is just come from Plymouth, at the door, and we walked together toward my Lord Brunker’s, talking about their business, Yeabsly being come up on purpose to discourse with me about it, and finished all in a quarter of an hour, and is gone again. I perceive they have some inclination to be going on with their victualling-business for a while longer before they resign it to Mr. Gauden, and I am well contented, for it brings me very good profit with certainty, yet with much care and some pains. We parted at my Lord Bruncker’s doore, where I went in, having never been there before, and there he made a noble entertainment for Sir J. Minnes, myself, and Captain Cocke, none else saving some painted lady that dined there, I know not who she is. But very merry we were, and after dinner into the garden, and to see his and her chamber, where some good pictures, and a very handsome young woman for my lady’s woman. Thence I by water home, in my way seeing a man taken up dead, out of the hold of a small catch that lay at Deptford. I doubt it might be the plague, which, with the thought of Dr. Burnett, did something disturb me, so that I did not what I intended and should have done at the office, as to business, but home sooner than ordinary, and after supper, to read melancholy alone, and then to bed.

25 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Andrews and Mr. Yeabsly, who is just come from Plymouth"

The two, with Mr. Lanyon, were victualers for Tangier; their contract is about to be taken over by Denis Gauden, who may be a bit more problematic for Pepys.

"in my way seeing a man taken up dead, out of the hold of a small catch that lay at Deptford. I doubt it might be the plague, which, with the thought of Dr. Burnett, did something disturb me"

Here surely "doubt" carries the connotation of "suspect."

Australian Susan  •  Link

" read melancholy alone..."

what an evocative phrase. Poor Sam! The macabre situation has seeped into his consciousness. Hope he can find something to cheer him up tomorrow. More money perhaps?

Yeabsly - what a wonderful name! Sounds like something made up by Mervyn Peake!

Conrad  •  Link

Susan, we have here, in New South wales an ex politician, Michael Yabsley Liberal Party 1988-1994.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

“… read melancholy alone…”

It will make you melancholy, Monsieur Jaques.

I thank it. More, I prithee, more. I can suck
melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs.
More, I prithee, more.

As You Like It..... If you ever have a quote and think it's new, bethink yourself, the Sweet Bard of Avon said it all before.

CGS  •  Link

fear not? in my opinion it not be flea related

"...I doubt it might be the plague..."

[ME. duten, douten, a. OF. duter, doter, douter, (14-16th c. also doubter):{em}L. dubit{amac}re to waver in opinion, hesitate, related to dubius wavering to and fro, DUBIOUS. The normal 14th c. forms in Fr. and Eng. were douter, doute; the influence of Latin caused these to be artificially spelt doubt-, which in 17th c. was again abandoned in Fr., but retained in Eng.
Branch II ‘to fear, to be in fear’, a development of the verb in OF., was an early and very prominent sense of the vb. and its derivatives in ME.: cf. also REDOUBT, etc.]

I. 1. intr. To be in doubt or uncertainty; to be wavering or undecided in opinion or belief. Const. of

2. trans. To be uncertain or divided in opinion about; to hesitate to believe or trust; to feel doubt about; to call in question; to mistrust.
b. with clause, introduced by whether, if, that. (Often with but, but that, when the main clause is negative or interrogative: see BUT conj. 21.) Also formerly with inf.
3. To hesitate, scruple, delay: with inf.
4. impers. To cause to doubt, make doubtful.
II. 5. trans. To dread, fear, be afraid of. a. with simple object. Obs.

b. With infinitive phrase or objective clause: To fear, be afraid (that something uncertain will take or has taken place). arch. and dial.
6. In weakened sense (app. influenced by I.): a. To anticipate with apprehension, to apprehend (something feared or undesired).

b. To suspect, have suspicions about. arch.
c. With infin. phrase or clause: To apprehend; to suspect. arch.
7. refl. To fear; to be afraid. [= OF. se douter.] Cf. FEAR v. 3. Obs. or arch.

8. intr. To be fear; to be afraid of. Obs.

b. to doubt of: to fear for, be in fear about.
1577 H

9. impers. To make (a person) afraid. to be doubted, to be afraid. Obs.

JWB  •  Link

Painted Lady @ dinner

Brouncker mathematician and lepidopterist?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"some painted lady"

Perhaps not a butterfly

L&M say she was 'Madam' Williams, sometime actress in the Duke's Company, and Brouncker's mistress.
Pepys will note his dislike of heavy makeup more than once.

Beryl Timbrell  •  Link

Am I misunderstanding something? I presumed they are moving the offices because of the plague and also have found quarters for the officers, then why does Pepys return to the dangers of London at night and not stay out of London.

Mary  •  Link

Why still return to London?

Because he is still putting everything in order in preparation for the move. He has a load of personal stuff to secure (not least the accumulated savings that he regularly mentions in the monthly accounts) as well as naval affairs and though melancholy and more fearful of the plague than previously, he's hardly in a blue funk about remaining in London whilst he settles matters.

He also gives the impression that, with the exception of the death of the good Dr. Burnett, he associates susceptibility to the plague more with the working classes and labourers than he does with the middle-class/merchant class/ nobility with whom he has the most regular dealings.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Why still return to London?"

Also I believe from Tomalin he has been writing Coventry, painting himself as dutifully manning his post facing the pestilence as Coventry faced the Dutch. Hard to back down easily from such a pose, especially with the reasonably selfless and dedicated boss one respects and admires most.

And to be fair, I believe he really does conceive it to be his duty as well as being of benefit to him personally. Hopefully, as befitting the good boss he seems, he gives Hewer, Hayter, and the rest of Team Pepys credit as well. I've no doubt, despite his occasional melancholy, it means a lot to those stuck in London to see and speak with him and experience his ever-buoyant spirit and charm. With all his flaws, he is one of those life-affirming people who, by example not lecture, makes daily life a joyful experience and worth living. As long as one can still meet Sam Pepys for a drink, dinner, or chat in London, things can't be too bad.

Bradford  •  Link

This is not the first time that Pepys, in good company, is neither introduced to someone he does not know, nor apparently seeks to learn who that person is. When did it stop being socially ept to spend an evening in the company of a stranger? Likewise, what holds him back from inquiry? With Sam, it certainly is not lack of curiosity.

Nate  •  Link

Likewise, what holds him back from inquiry?

I have the impression that in his polite society personal information is given, not directly requested, and that formal introductions may have had implications that we no longer observe.

dirk  •  Link

Some politics...

From the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library

W. Coventry to Ormond

Written from: York
Date: 26 August 1665

After giving a summary of late continental advices from various quarters, the writer dwells on the necessity of "pressing the King and my Lord Chancellor not to lose one day's time in making a league with [the King of] Spain, and all his allies. If we cannot have what alliances we would, let us save what we can & make some use of them. It is not to be doubted that even Spain will give us worse conditions now than he would have done some weeks since"...

Sean Adams  •  Link

"prepared to my great satisfaction an account for the board of my office disbursements, which I had suffered to run on to almost 120l."
I see Sam has straightened out his expense account - he has let it run up a bit too. I bet he got reimbursed in cash and not in scripts, to be discounted 10-20%, like the poor sailors.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

If Sam suspects the painted lady is Mrs. Williams, Brouncker's mistress, this dislike of asking directly could be an attempt at "don't ask, don't tell". Ask and he might be forced to accept an introduction.


Which, much to his dislike...He will.

" see his and her chamber, where some good pictures, and a very handsome young woman for my lady’s woman." But then is Brouncker married? That would certainly make Sam extra squeamish about the possibility of being introduced to my Lord's kept lady.

CGS  •  Link

painted lady be the human female of ill repute before the brightly coloured flitter by.
OED snippets and liftings.
1. A woman wearing cosmetics; a prostitute; = painted woman n. at PAINTED adj. Special uses 2a.
1621 B. JONSON Gypsies Metamorph. in Wks. (1692) 623/1

A reverend painted Lady was..coffin'd in Crust till now she was hoary.

2. A migratory nymphalid butterfly, Cynthia (or Vanessa) cardui, having brownish orange wings with black and white markings, and found worldwide (except in South America). Also (in full American painted lady): the painted beauty, C. virginiensis, of North America.
1699 J. PETIVER Musei Petiveriani 35 Papilio eleganter variegat. agilis..The Painted Lady.

painted woman n. a woman wearing cosmetics; spec. (euphem.) a disreputable woman, a prostitute.
1675 J. CROWN Countrey Wit IV. i. 66,

I hate a *Painted Woman in my heart, I suspect their Virtu

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Painted ladies" is also the local term for the lovely multi-colored Victorian row houses that grace the streets of San Francisco. OED doesn't recognize this usage.

language hat  •  Link

Yes it does (the entry was just revised this March):

4. U.S. A style of 19th-cent. house decorated with brightly coloured paintwork, particularly associated with parts of San Francisco.
1978 E. POMADA & M. LARSEN Painted Ladies 7/1 San Francisco is a haven for people who can appreciate as well as create Painted Ladies... The Colorist Movement developed spontaneously but haltingly in the 1960s... Thanks to the passion and creativity of painters, colorists, and homeowners, the Painted Ladies.. are now more beautiful than ever. 1983 Washington Post (Nexis) 20 Mar. (Book World section) 11 A house tour of San Francisco's ‘Painted Ladies’, Victorian row-houses tarted up with gaudy colours. 1996 Mid-Atlantic Weekends Spring-Summer 63/1 The estate also includes the Wedgewood House, built in 1870, a Victorian ‘painted lady’ with a wraparound veranda.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Thanks, LH. OED should provide periodic updates to its CD-ROM purchasers.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"some painted lady"

God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another.
- Hamlet, Act III, Scene I
William Shakespeare

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“some painted lady” is satirized in the Elizabethan poem “The Steele Glas”:

Behold, behold, they neuer stande content,
With God, with kinde, with any helpe of Arte,
But curle their locks, with bodkins and with braids,
But dye their heare, with sundry subtill sleights,
But paint and slicke, til fayrest face be foule,
But bumbast, bolster, frisle, and perfume:
They marre with muske, the balme which nature made,
And dig for death, in dellicatest dishes.

George Gascoigne, 1576

(Of course, at that time Queen Bess herself " was poisoning her complexion with ceruse, a lead-based skin whitener used in ancient Rome and revived in the Renaissance.")

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I think we shall do well there, and begin very auspiciously to me by having my account abovesaid passed, and put into a way of having it presently paid."

L&M: On this day Will Hewer collected £119 10s. in prest- and conduct-money for seamen: National Archives, Admin. 20/6, p. 170.

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