Friday 23 March 1665/66

Up, and going out of my dressing-room, when ready to go down stairs, I spied little Mrs. Tooker, my pretty little girle, which, it seems, did come yesterday to our house to stay a little while with us, but I did not know of it till now. I was glad of her coming, she being a very pretty child, and now grown almost a woman. I out by six o’clock by appointment to Hales’s, where we fell to my picture presently very hard, and it comes on a very fine picture, and very merry, pleasant discourse we had all the morning while he was painting. Anon comes my wife and Mercer and little Tooker, and having done with me we all to a picture drawer’s hard by, Hales carrying me to see some landskipps of a man’s doing. But I do not [like] any of them, save only a piece of fruit, which indeed was very fine. Thence I to Westminster, to the Chequer, about a little business, and then to the Swan, and there sent for a bit of meat and dined; and after dinner had opportunity of being pleased with Sarah; and so away to Westminster Hall, and there Mrs. Michell tells me with great joy how little Betty Howlett is married to her young son Michell, which is a pretty odd thing, that he should so soon succeed in the match to his elder brother that died of the plague, and to the house and trade intended for him, and more they say that the girle has heretofore said that she did love this little one more than the other brother that was intended her all along. I am mighty glad of this match, and more that they are likely to live near me in Thames Streete, where I may see Betty now and then, whom I from a girle did use to call my second wife, and mighty pretty she is.

Thence by coach to Anthony Joyce to receive Harman’s answer, which did trouble me to receive, for he now demands 800l., whereas he never made exception at the portion, but accepted of 500l.. This I do not like; but, however, I cannot much blame the man, if he thinks he can get more of another than of me. So home and hard to my business at the office, where much business, and so home to supper and to bed.

11 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and after dinner had opportunity of being pleased with Sarah..."


Perhaps in a way we should be pleased regarding Harman...

"500Ls for this most suitable husband...Gentlemen I ask you, if you have a troublesome female whom you woujd wish to have taken off your shoulders could you find a better suitor than our Richard...Har...mon...Do I hear 550Ls!"


"550. I have 550...Do I hear 600Ls? Come on, folks...Look at this choice fellow."

"Sam'l..." Bess hisses... "Come on..."

"Bess...600Ls? When he was ready to go for 500?"

"You want Paulina settled or living with us at Brampton in our retirement?"

"I say, 600Ls!"

"600Ls!! I have 600Ls...Do I hear 650?!"


"Damn...Who the devil is bidding against us?" Sam looks round.

"650Ls...I have 650...Do I hear 700?!!"

"Our declining years...Paulina in our parlor every night..." Bess whispers.

Sigh... "700."

"700Ls...I have 700Ls. Do I hear 750?!"


Hmmn...Bess hesitates...

Geesh...Uncle Wight only offered 500L for me.

"Now who the deuce is...?" Sam looks round.

"My Lady Robinson?..."

Lady Robinson, removing mask... "Never could resist a pretty man, Mr. Pepys. You know..." eyes Sam, toe-to-periwig, smiling to Bess. "I might even be inclined to..."

"Make us an offer..." Bess, hurriedly.


Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"I spied little Mrs. Tooker, my pretty little girle, which, it seems, did come yesterday to our house to stay a little while with us, but I did not know of it till now."

Really? Certainly she couldn't have been purposely staying away from you, Sam...?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Hales carrying me to see some landskipps"

n. 1. A landscape.

Straight my eye hath caught new pleasures,
Whilst the landskip round it measures.
- Milton. [L'Allegro, ll. 69-70]
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

What's always curious is Sam's lack of nervousness regarding Frances Tooker's constant visits. With Bagwell or Betty Martin or Diana Crisp or even brief encounters with young women like Sarah Udall he's always careful but he seems completely unafraid that little Miss Tooker might say a word to Bess, particularly now that she's "almost a woman" and therefore a potential source of jealously for our Bess.

"Ah, my dear Frances...Does uncle Samuel get a hug?"

"Oh, yes 'uncle'...'Uncle'? What would you give me for a basket of kisses?"

"A basket of kisses, Frances? Why, Uncle would give you a bushel of hugs. Now, Frances...You know your uncle Samuel loves you. And you love your dear old uncle Samuel, eh?"

"Yes, 'uncle'..."

"And you know when uncle Samuel gives you a little hug and kiss, it's only that uncle Samuel loves his little Frances, eh? And would never mean to hurt his little Frances, eh?"

"You mean when uncle gets all sweaty and makes me put my hand on..."

"Dear child...That's only because uncle Samuel loves you so much. Having no little girl of his own. But...You know, as I told you last time..."

"Don't tell Auntie..."

"That's right... Auntie Bess might be upset if she thought...So foolishly...That Uncle Samuel loved his Frances more than Auntie Bess...And we would never want to hurt Auntie, eh?"

"No, 'uncle'..."

"That's good."

" 'Uncle'? How upset would Auntie Bess be?"


"Would she be very upset? Being such a hot-tempered French lady and all?"


"Say maybe so upset it might be worth oh...A hundred pounds for her not to be upset?"

"Dear little..."

"I think she'd be a hundred pounds' worth of upset, 'uncle'."

"Why, you little..."

"Cheap at that, dear 'uncle'...Is that Auntie I hear?"


"Mayn't I have my present now, 'uncle'? In gold, if you please."



"All right, all right." angry hiss... "Just give me a bit to get it."

"Isn't the cellar where you keep them chests? I've been keepin' an eye out, 'uncle'."

"What? Why you..." Whoa...Eyes dagger in dear little Frances' hands.

"Hands off, bug-eyes...Less you want a taste. Lets go."

Hmmn...Cellar...Yes...Just the place for a little... to have a little...Accident...

"Oh, why not..." sigh...

"You first, dear 'uncle'."

Hmmn...Eyes dark cellar...Sighs...

"Now Frances...Hardly the way to treat your good friend and uncle, dear girl."

Just a few steps more, where it really gets dark here...Just a minor household tragedy...

I shall weep bitterly at the funeral...

"Wait. You know, come to think of it, 'uncle'...A thousand pounds wouldn't be enough."

"A thousand...? Now, Frances...Frances, put that down..."

Slash, slash...High-pitched scream. Soft thud of body down stairs...

Uncle screams like a girl...Frances notes, closing the cellar door.

"Frances? Where is Mr. Pepys? I thought I heard him screaming. Is he all right?"

"Oh, Auntie. Uncle Samuel fall down, go boom..." points to door.


You can't be serious...Frances eyes the distraught Bess...

"Help, Will?! Sarah?!! I fear Mr. Pepys has had an accident!!"

Oh, lady...Every self-respecting woman in London only wishes he'd've had an 'accident' long ago.

Oh, well...Love, I suppose.

"Sam'l?!!!" peers down stairs.

Hate to see the poor thing suffer...And those steps are mighty slippery.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Robert: Thanks for the trip inside Miss Tooker's imagination. Could it have happened? Nah. Too many diary entries still to be written. But with Todd I too can't help seeing the creepy aspect of this entry.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Yes, but in an infinite universe, all alternate realities are potentially possible.


"What?! The man is joking, isn't he?!" looking round for a psychotic Frances...

"Sam'l. You would deserve it, you know." Bess notes. "Wasn't it meted out to you as punishment in Purgatory before I sprang you?"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the house and trade intended for him"

L&M say this seems to have been "a strong-water" [ = distilled spirits] house."

cgs  •  Link

have a peep:
"...I out by six o’clock by appointment to Hales’s, where we fell to my picture presently very hard, and it comes on a very fine picture, and very merry, pleasant discourse we had all the morning while he was painting..."
by John Hayls
oil on canvas, 1666
29 3/4 in. x 24 3/4 in. (756 mm x 629 mm)
Purchased, 1866

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"after dinner had opportunity of being pleased with Sarah;"

Can't be bothered to disguise his joys in pseudo-French any more? Ot do I have an overly-dirty mind?

JB  •  Link

No, I think you are spot on, San Diego Sarah.

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