Tuesday 19 June 1666

Up, and to my office, there to fit business against the rest meet, which they did by and by, and sat late. After the office rose (with Creed with me) to Wm. Joyce’s to dinner, being invited, and there find my father and sister, my wife and Mercer, with them, almost dined. I made myself as complaisant as I could till I had dined, but yet much against my will, and so away after dinner with Creed to Penny’s, my Tailor, where I bespoke a thin stuff suit, and did spend a little time evening some little accounts with Creed and so parted, and I to Sir. G. Carteret’s by appointment; where I perceive by him the King is going to borrow some money of the City; but I fear it will do no good, but hurt. He tells me how the Generall —[The Duke of Albemarle.]— is displeased, and there have been some high words between the Generall and Sir W. Coventry. And it may be so; for I do not find Sir W. Coventry so highly commending the Duke as he used to be, but letting fall now and then some little jerkes: as this day, speaking of newes from Holland, he says, “I find their victory begins to shrinke there, as well as ours here.”

Here I met with Captain Cocke, and he tells me that the first thing the Prince said to the King upon his coming, was complaining of the Commissioners of the Navy; that they could have been abroad in three or four days but for us; that we do not take care of them which I am troubled at, and do fear may in violence break out upon this office some time or other; for we shall not be able to carry on the business.

Thence home , and at my business till late at night, then with my wife into the garden and there sang with Mercer, whom I feel myself begin to love too much by handling of her breasts in a’ morning when she dresses me, they being the finest that ever I saw in my life, that is the truth of it.

So home and to supper with beans and bacon and to bed.


19 Annotations

cgs  •  Link

Blame blame, never us, twose them, sitting on their stools, eating the whey and best of the cheeses.

cgs  •  Link

Mercer mercy me, 'tis nice to have been rerobed so early in the morning before the Mistress of the Manor finds out I be with the wardrobe mistress, getting the master to try on all the new suits to see which be better for trip to the hideaways.

JWB  •  Link

"It's bacon and beans most every day,
I'd just as soon be eating prairie hay.
Come a-ti yi youpy youpy yea youpy yea
Come a-ti yi youpy youpy yea"

cape henry  •  Link

“I find their victory begins to shrinke there, as well as ours here.” This is a truly great line.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...sang with Mercer, whom I feel myself begin to love too much by handling of her breasts in a’ morning when she dresses me, they being the finest that ever I saw in my life, that is the truth of it."
***

"Dad, come and feel these...Aren't they magnificient?"

"My God, son. So they are."

"Oh, Mr. Pepys...And Mr. Pepys...You two are just so kind."

"What's going on, fellas?"

"Bess, have you ever had a good look at Mary's breasts? Come and see..."

"My goodness. Mercer, have you been keeping these under a bushel or what?"

"Oh, you wonderful folks..."

"I always said they was grand..."

"And so you did, Tom."

"Mr. Penn, Mr. Pepys." Jane calls.

"Ah, young Will..."

"Brother Pepys...Just dropped by to say hello."

"Come up, come up. We need a budding Quaker's opinion..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Seriously, it's hard to imagine an intelligent and capable young woman like Mary Mercer putting up with this...I want to believe Sam found some way to do it without an open grope..."Oops, so sorry, Mercer." But I suppose, given the times...And how servants are treated in most of the world even today...

Bradford  •  Link

Pardonable hyperbole, Ms. Mercer, though it leads to the interesting sociological speculation: just how large a sampling has Sam seen?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... the finest that ever I saw in my life, ..."

Given the court painting fashion SP may have been exposed to a wider sample than his direct experience might suggest, for example:

Peter Lely, 1618-1680
Portrait of an Unknown Woman, as 'The Penitent Magdalene,' circa 1670-5
http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?workid=85…

It's hard not to see SP in the restless spaniel emerging from the folds of her dress being quieted as he attempts to move upward to the exposed nipple.

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile around this time in Madrid…

Sandwich meets frequently with the Duke of Medina, often at the Buen Retiro of whose gardens and pleasure houses he made a number of sketches and scale drawings. He records the presence of camels there as beasts of burden: “their load ordinarily 60 arrobas (15 cwt.) and many more times…They are kept with less charge than a horse and eat less.” Their only disadvantage for general use was that they themselves were considered good eating by the population at large and could not just be turned out and left.

(Cromwell’s Earl by Ollard)

cgs  •  Link

“thin stuff suit” 'tis 'ot houtside, Irish linen anyone?
Maybe material stretch too thin , great for seeing defective pieces.

cgs  •  Link

Stuff be stuff, you know stuff: so do not tell me to go and stuff it, yer know, what do you call it. Oh! stuff and nonsense:
Here be some stuff for cogitation

5. a. Material for making garments; woven material of any kind.
1462....
1617 MORYSON Itin. I. 208 My selfe and my brother bought each of us a long coat of as course stuffe as we could find.
b. In particularized sense: A kind of stuff; a textile fabric.
1604...
a1627 MIDDLETON Anything for Quiet Life II. ii. (1662) D1, But if you'd have a Petticoat for your Lady, here's a stuff.

1660 F. BROOKE tr. Le Blanc's Trav. 92 They make stuffes of the bark of a tree, to cover their nakednesse.
c. spec. A woollen fabric (see quot. 1882).
c1643 [cf. stuff suit 11a].

1712 STEELE Spect. No. 264 {page}1 He dresses himself according to the Season in Cloth or in Stuff.

some MORE stuff, n.1

[ME. stoffe, stof, a. OF. estoffe fem., material, furniture, provision (mod.F. étoffe material, stuff, esp. textile material) = Pr., Sp., Pg. estofa, cloth, quality, It. stoffa piece of rich textile fabric.

From the OF. word are med.L. estoffa, stoffa, Du. stoffe, stof fem., G. stoff masc., matter, stuff, whence Sw. stoff, Da. stof neut.

The ultimate etymology is obscure. Diez conjectured that the Rom. stoffa and the related vb. stoffare (STUFF v.) are derived from the OHG. *stopfôn (MHG., mod.G. stopfen) to plug with oakum, which (as explained s.v. STOP v.) represents a WGer. adoption of med.L. stupp{amac}re to plug, stop up, f. stuppa tow, oakum. This is open to strong objections: the likelihood of a specifically

HG. etymon for a Com. Rom. word is questionable, and the original sense of the Rom. verb appears to be, not ‘to plug or stop up’, but ‘to garnish or store with something’. Whether the n. is the source of the verb, or derived from it, is uncertain; the masc. form in It. stoffo, Pg. estofo quilted material, is undoubtedly a verbal noun.]

I. 1. Equipment, stores, stock. a. A body of soldiers; a garrison; an auxiliary force, reinforcement. Also stuff of people. Obs.
1375....

b. In ME. poetry, the quilted material worn under the mail, or itself serving in place of armour. In later use: Defensive armour. Obs.
c1330
c. The materials, stores, or supplies belonging to an army; munitions of war; more definitely stuffs of war. Obs.
1375...
d. The baggage of a soldier or an army; later gen. baggage, luggage. Obs.
?a1400..

e. Stock or provision of food. Obs. exc. Sc. Cf. 6c.
More definitely {dag}stuff of victual. lent(en stuff: fish procured as a provision for Lent.
1436 ..
f. Provision of corn; in full {dag}stuff of corn; hence corn or grain in any state (see quot. 1825-82). Obs. exc. Sc.
1461-2..
g. Property, esp. movable property, household goods or utensils; furniture; more definitely stuff of money, stuff of household. Obs. exc. in HOUSEHOLD-STUFF arch.
1438 ....
1635-56 COWLEY Davideis III. 220 Some lead the groaning waggons, loaded high, With stuff, on top of which the Maidens ly.

h. The furnishing proper to a place or thing; appurtenances, apparatus. Obs.
1406
...1596 SHAKES. Tam. Shr. IV. iii. 87 Oh mercie God, what masking stuffe is heere? What's this? a sleeue? 1679-88 Secr. Serv. Money Chas. & Jas. (Camden) 160 To Francis Duddell..for sevll provisions for church stuff for the chappel at Dublin, 267li. 4s. 10d.
j

II. That of which something is or may be made; material.

2. a. Material to work with or upon; substance to be wrought, matter of composition.
1621 DONNE Serm. xv. (1640) 147 In all the Potters house, is there one vessell made of better stuffe then clay?

1693 EVELYN De la Quint. Gard., Cult. Orange Trees 9 A Shovel-full of Stuff [F. matière] is thrown from each of the two or three separated Heaps [of ingredients for a compost].

b. collect. Materials or requisites for a piece of work; esp. building materials.
c. Predicatively, with epithet, of a person or a horse. Esp. in phr. bit of stuff: now chiefly in slang use, with or without epithet, of a woman or girl. Cf. BIT n.2 d..
4f, h.
1553 Respublica I. iv. 376 Els will some of youe make good hanging stuff one daie.
c. A manufactured material. Cf. sense 5. Obs.
4. In various operative trades, applied spec. to the kind of material used in the trade. a. Carpentry and Joinery: Timber.
clear, free stuff: timber free from imperfections. quarter stuff: see QUARTER n. 31. thick stuff: see quot. 1711.
1544

Australian Susan  •  Link

Tropical weight cashmere?

Over here City types are expected to wear the traditional dark suit, shirt and tie, but enterprising tailors (especially if you visit Hong Kong) have devised lightweight wool mixes which are as cool as these things can be for when you have to cease lurking in the air-con and stride the streets in search of lunch.

Marquess  •  Link

I suppose Pepys was a fine judge of female breasts, judging by the amount of maydes he must have gotten his hands on.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Duke of Medina ... not helpful, because there were several of them.

My nomination as to which Duke of Medina this might be comes from this 1664 entry in Lady Anne Fanshawe's memoires about her husband, Ambassador Richard Fanshawe (Sandwich's predecessor):

"October the 21st, we went to see the Buen Retiro. The Duke de Medina de las Torres, who has the keeping of this house of the King's from his Majesty, sent two of his gentlemen to show us all that belongs thereunto. The place is adorned with much water and fountains, trees and fine gardens, with many hermitages up and down the place, and a very good house for his Majesty; yet the pictures therein did far exceed the rest, they being many, and all very curious, done by the best hand in the world in their times."

###
While I'm sharing about Lady Fanshawe, here's her take on Sandwich's appointment:

"December the 17th, 1665, my husband, upon the part of our King his master, and the Duke de Medina de las Torres, on the part of his Catholic Majesty, did conclude and signed together the peace between England and Spain, and the articles for the adjustment between Spain and Portugal, which articles were cavilled at by the Lord Chancellor Clarendon and his party, that they might have an opportunity to send the Earl of Sandwich out of the way from the Parliament, which then sat, and who, as he and his friends feared, would be severely punished for his cowardice in the Dutch fight.

"He neither understood the customs of the Court, nor the language, nor indeed anything but a vicious life; and thus was he shuffled into your father's employment to reap the benefit of his five years' negotiation of the peace between England, Spain, and Portugal: and after above thirty years studying state affairs, and many of them in the Spanish Court: so much are Ambassadors slaves to the public ministers at home, who often, through envy or ignorance, ruin them!"

For more about this adventurous woman's incredible life in service to Charles I and II, see http://www.gutenberg.org/files/6064/6064.txt

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... the first thing the Prince said to the King upon his coming, was complaining of the Commissioners of the Navy; ... which I am troubled at, and do fear may in violence break out upon this office some time or other; for we shall not be able to carry on the business."

Another part in the puzzle as to what the Navy complex looked like. I imagine the "house" fronted on Seething Lane (and being an Elizabethan building probably had three "wings" out the back in which the Commissioners lived), with the garden enclosed by a wall with a gate out onto Tower Hill. But this sounds as if it was more open to the public than that, and if the sailors and/or their relatives were upset, the Commissioners were vulnerable.

Probably reminds him of the rocks coming through the windows at Greenwich last summer.

mountebank  •  Link

“I find their victory begins to shrinke there, as well as ours here.”

Dog in the manger thinking. Since we're very dissatisfied with the result let's take consolation from spinning the other side's view as also being one of dissatisfaction.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

At one time it was the fashion for women to tightly bind their breasts. Now I see why. Maybe Mercer will get smart.

Harvey L  •  Link

"... what the Navy complex looked like..."

Visiting London a few weeks ago, I walked round the area which is all modern buildings, having been heavily bombed in WW2.

Great to see Seething Lane and Crutched Friars (a street crossing the end of Seething Lane), and the (new) Pepys Street. Best of all is St Olaves, cnr of Seething Lane and Crutched Friars, which has a very nice small churchyard, side gate with skulls, the 'Navy staircase' now removed but clearly identified and leading into the Navy pews to the side near the altar. No need for them to mix with the common people on the way in or out. You can feel Sam's presence, with Elizabeth Pepy's bust high on the wall directly in view from the Navy pews, added after the diary period but so evocative to see. I sat a while in each of the 3 or 4 rows of Navy pews to soak up the atmosphere, and that now provides mental video to go with the diary entries. Any of us Pepys followers... definitely worth spending time at St Olaves.

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