Wednesday 30 May 1666

Up and to my office, there to settle some business in order to our waiting on the Duke to-day. That done to White Hall to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, where I find the Duke gone out with the King to-day on hunting. So after some discourse with him, I by water to Westminster, and there drew a draught of an order for my Lord Treasurer to sign for my having some little tallys made me in lieu of two great ones, of 2000l. each, to enable me to pay small sums therewith. I shewed it to Sir R. Long and had his approbation, and so to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s, and did give it him to get signed. So home to my office, and there did business. By and by toward noon word is brought me that my father and my sister are come. I expected them to-day, but not so soon. I to them, and am heartily glad to see them, especially my father, who, poor man, looks very well, and hath rode up this journey on horseback very well, only his eyesight and hearing is very bad. I staid and dined with them, my wife being gone by coach to Barnet, with W. Hewer and Mercer, to meet them, and they did come Ware way. After dinner I left them to dress themselves and I abroad by appointment to my Lord Ashly, who, it is strange to see, how prettily he dissembles his favour to Yeabsly’s business, which none in the world could mistrust only I, that am privy to his being bribed. Thence to White Hall, and there staid till the Council was up, with Creed expecting a meeting of Tangier to end Yeabsly’s business, but we could not procure it. So I to my Lord Treasurer’s and got my warrant, and then to Lovett’s, but find nothing done there. So home and did a little business at the office, and so down by water to Deptford and back again home late, and having signed some papers and given order in business, home, where my wife is come home, and so to supper with my father, and mighty pleasant we were, and my wife mighty kind to him and Pall, and so after supper to bed, myself being sleepy, and my right eye still very sore, as it has been now about five days or six, which puts me out of tune. To-night my wife tells me newes has been brought her that Balty’s wife is brought to bed, by some fall or fit, before her time, of a great child but dead. If the woman do well we have no reason to be sorry, because his staying a little longer without a child will be better for him and her.

14 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my father, who, poor man, looks very well..., only his eyesight and hearing is very bad."

Surely Pepys will recall this when assessing his own eyesight three years on.

Louise  •  Link

"If the woman do well we have no reason to be sorry"
Callous sounding. It is around death and the casual expectation and acceptance of death that Sam seems most foreign to me.
Most other characteristics e.g. Greed, lust, friendliness, curiosity,conscientiousness, guilt, seems to be expressed in a reasonably familiar way but his behavior round death boggles me every time. That said he did seem to mourn "normally" for his brother Tom, but like Mr Bennett's shame, it passed quickly enough.

Mary  •  Link

"my Lord Ashly ...... being bribed"

This rumour was first mentioned ten days ago by Pepys, but was to prove false.

Bradford  •  Link

If you cannot decrease the surplus population, at least you can delay it. No doubt Pepys's view of Mrs. Balty's miscarriage has practicality on its side; but imagine his feelings if the woman in question had been Elizabeth, whom one would think would deliver this news with sisterly pathos.

Not uncommonly, Pepys's extension of sympathy is in ratio to his proximity to the sufferer: he's more likely to feel for someone directly in front of him as opposed to misfortune heard only by report. Had he ever met Balty's wife? Can't recall, or whether the current discussion of "bribe" is the first time he employs this term, found hitherto largely in the annotations.

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"Sam'l..." Bess, shocked. "You said it was terrible about Esther and the baby. Would you have shrugged and said it was just as well cashflow-wise if I'd lost our baby?"

"Ha, ha. No chance of that, eh?"


"Ummn... Bess...My right eye was very sore, I was out of tune. Ummn, Bess...Now Bess, you can't do that in Heaven...Bess!"


"Where am I?"

"In The Village."

"Who are you?"

"The new Number Two."

"What? This 'Village' looks strangely like..."

"It is Hell. 'The Village' just gives you people hope."

"But I was in Heaven."

"Subject to Aunt's approval, Uncle. She revoked your pass. Seems you finally manage to push the wrong button with her."

"Wait...Uncle...Who are you?"

"The new Number Two..." Elisabeth Taylor steps forward into view. "But you can call me 'Tom's little problem', Uncle. We're going to have a nice long Eternity to get to know each other."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Had he ever met Balty’s wife?"

Eight days ago we read: "Balty being gone back to sea and his wife dining with us"

Bradford, Esther's forgettable because we don't get a verbal "portrait" of her and her name is mentioned by SP about as often as his own wife's.

JWB  •  Link

"...hath rode up this journey on horseback very well..."

Hernia & all? Sometimes in dooryards of old houses see steps for old folks & women to mount horses & would have relieved sufferers such as Pepys' Pop from the strain of getting on and off. But all that time in the saddle? The thought makes me squirm in my chair.

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

"mighty pleasant we were, and my wife mighty kind to him and Pall"

Bess, John, and Pall all getting on? Maybe RG's "little foxes" scenario regarding Sam's new will wasn't so very far off at that.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and there drew a draught of an order for my Lord Treasurer to sign for my having some little tallys made me in lieu of two great ones, of 2000l. each, to enable me to pay small sums therewith"

Smart man, that Samuel Pepys. Much likelier to get small sums paid in real money than larger ones, and as long as it adds up to the same amount at the end, so much the better.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

"my Lord Ashly …… being bribed”

"This rumour was first mentioned ten days ago by Pepys, but was to prove false."

The tale of bribing was told to Pepys by Mr Yeabsly, who claimed that he had just that day personally bribed Lord Ashley with 100l. So it's more than just a simple rumour. It seems strange that Mr Yeabsly would lie about that.

CGS  •  Link

one mans bribe be another man's gratuity.

It is not a bribe when all those in the know get a slither, it becomes a bribe if it is not shared by those that believe that they should participate.

e4.g. King John got to live and give us the Magna Carta when he saw that he had t0o share his wealth with his Barons.
Charles I forgot.
So have many others.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"his eyesight and hearing is very bad."

John Pepys, Sr. is now just over 65 years old.

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