Friday 21 December 1666

Lay long, and when up find Mrs. Clerk of Greenwich and her daughter Daniel, their business among other things was a request her daughter was to make, so I took her into my chamber, and there it was to help her husband to the command of a little new pleasure boat building, which I promised to assist in. And here I had opportunity ‘para baiser elle, and toucher ses mamailles’ … Then to the office, and there did a little business, and then to the ‘Change and did the like. So home to dinner, and spent all the afternoon in putting some things, pictures especially, in order, and pasting my Lady Castlemayne’s print on a frame, which I have made handsome, and is a fine piece. So to the office in the evening to marshall my papers of accounts presented to the Parliament, against any future occasion to recur to them, which I did do to my great content. So home and did some Tangier work, and so to bed.

21 Annotations

Michael L  •  Link

"...pasting my Lady Castlemayne’s print on a frame, which I have made handsome, and is a fine piece."

I wonder if Sam would have hung up the Farrah Fawcett poster?

Eric Walla  •  Link

We probably have discussed this before. I get the distinct impression that mother and daughter come to Mr. Pepys, fortified with the rumour if not the knowledge that minor molestation is the price to pay for receiving Sam's assistance. It's downright chilling how matter-of-fact Sam reports the activity.

CGS  •  Link

The Ends justify the means??????????????

Hunger rumbles loudly.

More money, more pleasure be available.

'tis why The Leviathan be writ.
see first law of nature.
Man dothe do want he wants unless the fear of the consequences be be more painful .

cape henry  •  Link

Continuing along the lines of EW's thoughts above, there is a juvenile banality to Pepys' lechery and predation, and I think that the reporting is matter-of-fact because the actions are. There is, indeed, a bloodlessness in his behavior. And EW might be onto something else as well: that women knew what to expect, either generally, or specifically from Mr. Pepys.

Mr. Gunning  •  Link

History is littered with sexual predtors. I recall in A. N. Wilson's 'The Victorians' how Asquith and Kitchener were shown to be sexual abusers. It makes one wonder how much must have gone on that we have never heard about.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Please...Ms. Fawcett had a little more class. If not a great actress, a hard-worker at her acting profession, with at least to my knowledge no tales of threatening to bash infants' heads against walls or significantly helping to disgrace the government.

"And here I had opportunity ‘para baiser elle, and toucher ses mamailles’ …"

"Mum?! The man's a pig! He touched me breasts and..."

"Price of doin' business, me love. We'll tell his wife if he doesn't come through with Daniel's promotion. But he always does, Mr. P...Unlike some...A deal's a deal with Mr. Samuel P."

"I want to kill him, Mum! Bug-eyed little..."

"After the promotion, love...A little sense, girl."

Makes one wonder if Mrs. Crachit had more to be angry about with Ebenezer than just his treatment of poor Bob...

But we've no reason to let Sam entirely off the hook...The attitude he takes continues to the present day among those with a little power and fear of punishment and exposure are still generally the best restraints. We just at last give them a little more teeth, in some cases. Even in his day, Sam knew it was wrong...And went ahead knowing the chance of punishment was small, in case of women of a certain social rank. Above that rank, he knew he'd face danger so he is cautious. Betty Pierce for example is apparently just above the line, thanks to James' position at Court.

To be fair to Sam, many women seem to have liked him. He was charming, gay, and willing to spend money on women whose lives were probably fairly dull and work-burdened. It's unfortunate he couldn't choose to go with the Martins, Lanes, Knipps who honestly enjoyed him and had to press the defenseless... Sadly, as Tomalin notes, what he always really wanted was a great lady to love him...A witty, well-connected, elegant mistress.


And despite making friends with some very well-placed, elegant ladies, he never quite rose to the level of being able to acquire one...At least until he was too old to enjoy it and already had a devoted companion. In his favor he never abandoned Bess or Mary once he'd settled into a relationship with them.
And by then he had seen that even some of the greatest men in the land were happier with ladies not quite of the rank he aspired to...And that they...At least the best of such ladies, generally protected themselves with solidly well-connected husbands, so that to some extent they could afford to chose lovers carefully. Perhaps, in the end, Bess' early death, his self-reproach, and such revelations as above, led him to accept things as they were and to settle for the friendship he could get.

Perhaps Mary had to tie him down on his dying day to keep him from fondling the latest maid...

Anyway were it not for his honesty in the Diary his escapades and the light they throw on such practices in his time would have escaped notice.

Mary  •  Link


'para besar elle, and tocar sus mamelles, so as to make mi mismo espender with great pleasure' is the L&M reading.

martinb  •  Link

When all is said and done, this is still remarkably grubby behaviour...

JKM  •  Link

"tocar sus mamelles..."
A literal case of tit for tat.

arby  •  Link

I too suspect word has got out about Sam being willing to trade a favor for a favor, Eric. "Juvenile banality", "bloodlessness" and "remarkably grubby behaviour" are exactly right. Sheesh. rb

Jacqueling Gore  •  Link

"Perhaps Mary had to tie him down on his dying day to keep him from fondling the latest maid…"

I'd go with this scenario, RG.

CGS  •  Link

'twas why some wise lasses had pins in their pinafore.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, again...Much as I clearly despise Sam's conduct toward the more helpless and defenseless among his ladies...His honesty puts him in the spotlight. There are after all terrible rumors about Hooke, many tales of horror from the era, and Sam himself has borne witness to vile treatment-The time he saw a woman being dragged off by a gang for example (sadly he was more eager to join in then rush to her defense). He's currently intoxicated by the power of being able to force others to do his will as much as by lust...We can hope as an older man he learned better.

Sort of like watching "The Tudors"...Much as you want to help poor Mary, the rebels, and others flay Henry VIII alive, he's what he is because he's allowed to be and at that he's probably not the absolute worst of kings at the time.

language hat  •  Link

Oh, it's clear Sam isn't one of the worst specimens of his day; I'm sure many of the women he molested were grateful he didn't insist on more and was relatively nice about it. But that doesn't make it any more pleasant to read about. It's like those "kindly" slaveowners who didn't whip the slaves any more often than necessary and tried not to separate families when they sold them; one can only muster up a feeble half-cheer.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He’s currently intoxicated by the power of being able to force others to do his will as much as by lust…"

Does motive matter? And apparently it is now (in the 21st century) known that rape flows as much from a power-trip as from any other motive.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

123. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The king has used his utmost address and dexterity to bring about a good understanding between the duke of Albemarle and the Lord Chancellor and to make them lay aside their quarrels.....
However, differences have come about between the two Houses, as the House of Commons has taken in ill part the assent given by the Upper House and the king to the nomination of the [city of Liège as the] place for the peace negotiations, insisting that they ought to be conducted in England for the honour and greatness of the country. Against this it has been pointed out to them that the neutral place is for treating with the crowns of France and Denmark and that the Dutch must send some one to London.....

In the mean time the British monarch is applying himself to obtaining money from the two Houses, and to settling the ways for the exaction of the tax last imposed. When provision has been made for this, parliament will dissolve and they will devote themselves to transactions for an accommodation with more liberty.....
Paris, the 21st December, 1666.

John Wilson  •  Link

Any translations of "mi mismo espender"?

CGS  •  Link

mismo dothe rhyme nicely with gismo,

Paul Chapin  •  Link

to make mi mismo espender = to make myself come ('spend' in the English of the time)

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