Thursday 1 November 1666

Up, and was presented by Burton, one of our smith’s wives, with a very noble cake, which I presently resolved to have my wife go with to-day, and some wine, and house-warme my Betty Michell, which she readily resolved to do. So I to the office and sat all the morning, where little to do but answer people about want of money; so that there is little service done the King by us, and great disquiet to ourselves; I am sure there is to me very much, for I do not enjoy myself as I would and should do in my employment if my pains could do the King better service, and with the peace that we used to do it.

At noon to dinner, and from dinner my wife and my brother, and W. Hewer and Barker away to Betty Michell’s, to Shadwell, and I to my office, where I took in Mrs. Bagwell and did what I would with her, and so she went away, and I all the afternoon till almost night there, and then, my wife being come back, I took her and set her at her brother’s, who is very sicke, and I to White Hall, and there all alone a pretty while with Sir W. Coventry at his chamber. I find him very melancholy under the same considerations of the King’s service that I am. He confesses with me he expects all will be undone, and all ruined; he complains and sees perfectly what I with grief do, and said it first himself to me that all discipline is lost in the fleete, no order nor no command, and concurs with me that it is necessary we do again and again represent all things more and more plainly to the Duke of York, for a guard to ourselves hereafter when things shall come to be worse. He says the House goes on slowly in finding of money, and that the discontented party do say they have not done with us, for they will have a further bout with us as to our accounts, and they are exceedingly well instructed where to hit us. I left him with a thousand sad reflections upon the times, and the state of the King’s matters, and so away, and took up my wife and home, where a little at the office, and then home to supper, and talk with my wife (with whom I have much comfort) and my brother, and so to bed.

22 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Grammar history lesson, please

Where Pepys writes "finding of money" (etc.), we'd write "finding money."

How and when the evolution?

Glyn  •  Link

Don't Americans write "outside of" something when British would say "outside"? So it's still developing.

By the way, I was going to write "Britons" in the above sentence but it's now sounding more and more old-fashioned, and I'm not ready to switch to "Brits" just yet.

Glyn  •  Link

When necessary, Pepys can be a fast thinker.

He's unexpectedly given a fine cake, and immediately suggests that his wife should take it with some wine as a house-warming present to the recently-married Betty Mitchell (still his mistress?). And once his wife is safely on the other side of the river he summons Mistress Bagwell and has his lecherous way with her.

So Elizabeth is happy with him for allowing her to get out of the apartment and have a gossip with Betty; Betty is happy with the presents and being noticed by her fine friends; and Pepys is Pepys.

Doesn't he think it dangerous putting Elizabeth and Betty together like that?

Glyn  •  Link

CORRECTION: I was confusing Betty Mitchell with Betty Martin. Betty Mitchell is a pretty young woman but never a mistress of Pepys, who wasn't as reckless as I thought.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Don’t Americans write “outside of” something when British would say “outside”?"

Depends. Yanks say "outside the lines," etc. Don't know if there's a rule.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

I say "I'm outside" when I am. (At the moment I'm not.)

CGS  •  Link

outside of the way of thinking ...outside the way of thinking.

Dropping of an 'of' saves key strokes and one breath
We do what we can get away with, this rush rush ....

Larry Bunce  •  Link

"finding of" vs "finding." I have noticed that many of Pepys' expressions sound like old Virginia. (Carried someone into town. We ate of it.) My impression is that American/British differences are the result of change in England since 1800. I once saw a word list translating Scots to English, written for English visitors, and noticed that most of the time the Scots use the same expression that Americans do.

andy  •  Link

Larry - re "My impression is that American/British differences are the result of change in England since 1800" I think the same is true of French and Quebecois. Now we are seeing the gloabalisation of English, with Denglish (deutsch/English) and Chinglish (Chinese/english)as well as american english.

Cactus Wren  •  Link

Sam, seeing as how you have so "much comfort" in your wife, you might consider -- just out of respect for her -- the possibility of spending a bit less time following Little Sam around London.

Mr. Gunning  •  Link

British English is slowly turning into American English.

British people can now be heard saying such things as, "Dude, That sucks, I was like, Whatever".

No Americans can be heard using British words.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...which I presently resolved to have my wife go with to-day, and some wine, and house-warme my Betty Michell, which she readily resolved to do."

Fiendish plot of Fu Sam Pepys...Using Bess,with whom he has "much comfort"...My God, how can the man write that in this passage?...To prepare the way for his assault on poor Betty Mitchell.

Gee...Bagwell sighs, reading. I thought I was his source of great comfort this day.

Oh, I dunno Mr. G. I find myself preferring grey to gray and speaking about having a go or seeing here every so often. Right is certainly one we get courtesy John Cleese. I think it's less noticeable but there is some exchange the other way.

mary mcintyre  •  Link

"I took in Mrs. Bagwell and did what I would with her... "

Good to know the ol' cods are back in order.

Phoenix  •  Link

Mary has finally nudged me over the edge.

I do not recall whether Pepys ever has intercourse with any of his women including his wife. I've always thought of him being impotent and so can put himself nigh but not otherwise. Does he ever make an unambiguous reference to coitus?

He seems to 'fool around' a lot. I think it's fair to say that once a man starts on this kind of journey he is pretty intent on his destination.

Would explain why childless.


R Kadish  •  Link

re. the cake: is this the first recorded instance of re-gifting?
re. the language discussion, Mark Twain was crowing about this in 1894: "There is no such thing as the Queen's English. The property has gone into the hands of a joint stock company and we own the bulk of the shares."
But if it's any comfort, when we Yanks hear an English accent we tend to assume the speaker is brilliant and / or superbly well educated. Growing up watching Masterpiece Theatre etc. hardwires that.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Colin Firth made a remark once that we Americans all seem to assume Englishmen stride about quoting Shakespeare all day.

Actually we assume Conan Doyle and all wearing deerstalker caps...Just a mo, let me put down my rifle and Bible, take off my John Deere tractor cap, and scratch my tubby belly. Or should it be take off my backward cap and my gold chains, and put down my assault weapon?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"I’ve always thought of him being impotent..."


"Oh my dear God..." gasping Sam.

"Bwahahahaha...You and your tell-all Diary...Ha, ha..." Bess, rolling on cloud floor.

Wait...Sits up.

"You didn't tell about...?"

"We'll...See..." Sam, arch look.

Mary  •  Link

Considering the number of times in the early years of the diary that Sam and Elizabeth both think that she may be pregnant, only to be disappointed when she menstruates, it seems more likely that he is sterile rather than impotent.

This seems to be the conclusion that most commentators (both here and elsewhere) have reached.

Glyn  •  Link

R Kadish: "But if it’s any comfort, when we Yanks hear an English accent we tend to assume the speaker is brilliant and / or superbly well educated."

Perhaps you also assume people with English-accents to be the villains, for example, in the current "Fantastic Mr Fox" :-)

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"with a very noble cake"
from the book "Pepys at table"
"Take half a bushel of the best flour you can get, very finely searced,and lay it on a large pastry board, make a hole in the middle thereof,put to it three pounds of the best butter you can get;with 14(sic) pounds of currants finely picked and rubbed, three quarts of good new thick cream,warmed,2 pounds of fine sugar beaten,3 pints of new ale barm or yeast,4 ounces of cinnamon beaten fine and searsed,also an ounce of beaten ginger,2 ounces of nutmegs beaten fine and searsed;put in all these materials together,and work them up into indifferent stiff paste,keep it warm till the oven be hot,them make it up and bake it."
There is the recipe for the icing too, but thats enough.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

ADA, one cake that size would take care of Sam's victualing problems for the navy, or at least for one ship.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The rumors and blame game were running wild: “I be much deceiv’d if any have so dearly purchased their Reputation … than [through] an expensive, though necessary, War, a consuming Pestilence, and a more consuming Fire.” – John Dryden (1631 – 1701)

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