Wednesday 10 July 1667

Up, and to the office betimes, and there all the morning very busy causing papers to be entered and sorted to put the office in order against the Parliament. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again close all the afternoon upon the same occasion with great pleasure till late, and then with my wife and Mercer in the garden and sung, and then home and sung, and to supper with great content, and so to bed. The Duke of York is come back last night from Harwich, the news he brings I know not, nor hear anything to-day from Dover, whether the enemy have made any attempt there as was expected. This day our girle Mary, whom Payne helped us to, to be under his daughter, when she come to be our cook-mayde, did go away declaring that she must be where she might earn something one day, and spend it and play away the next. But a good civil wench, and one neither wife nor I did ever give angry word to, but she has this silly vanity that she must play.

8 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"she has this silly vanity that she must play"

Pepys, of course, has no such thing.

cum salis grano  •  Link

The expectation to have spending money on trinkets, wow!
This must be the golden age, have money for self aggrandizement, ribbons, bows and other giddy items.

Jesse  •  Link

"and play away the next"

At first I thought this was Pepys' sarcastic supplement, but "silly vanity" nixes that. Now was it vain simply because of her social status or did frivolity have something to do with it?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'm amazed she hasn't become Pepys' favorite mistress or at least, given he'd quickly become upset by her demands for "play money", received Diary immortality with several ... episodes.

All-in-all, with a girl like that around, Sam is one lucky fellow to have avoided a dangerous minefield. Apart from that she must hear something from Neil about Sam's playful ways...That she doesn't rush to Bess and blab all is perhaps tribute to her fundamental kindness.

Of course it's also possible she sees such a course as the best way to escape Sam's attentions without the danger of seriously antagonizing a powerful man. Running to Bess and demanding out because Sam is a loathsome cad would hardly do her good in seeking new employment.

Jesse  •  Link

...the best way to escape Sam's attentions

I think in those days she might run but she couldn't hide from that sort of thing. My take was that she was miffed because she was to be "under [Payne's] daughter." Not much chance of "earn[ing] something one day" when you're effectively being demoted.

Second Reading

Marquess  •  Link

Credit to Sam's mayde Mary, who obviously realised that if she wanted to have a decent life, then it wasn't going to be found in the Pepys' household.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It occurs to me that sister-in-law Esther is living at Leigh-on-Sea, which is at the mouth of the Thames, and 58 miles from Harwick (via Chelmsford and Colchester). She's got a grandstand seat for this part of the action.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.