Friday 12 July 1667

Up betimes and to my chamber, there doing business, and by and by comes Greeting and begun a new month with him, and now to learn to set anything from the notes upon the flageolet, but, Lord! to see how like a fool he goes about to give me direction would make a man mad. I then out and by coach to White Hall and to the Treasury chamber, where did a little business, and thence to the Exchequer to Burges, about Tangier business, and so back again, stepping into the Hall a little, and then homeward by coach, and met at White Hall with Sir H. Cholmly, and so into his coach, and he with me to the Excise Office, there to do a little business also, in the way he telling me that undoubtedly the peace is concluded; for he did stand yesterday where he did hear part of the discourse at the Council table, and there did hear the King argue for it. Among other things, that the spirits of the seamen were down, and the forces of our enemies are grown too great and many for us, and he would not have his subjects overpressed; for he knew an Englishman would do as much as any man upon hopeful terms; but where he sees he is overpressed, he despairs soon as any other; and, besides that, they have already such a load of dejection upon them, that they will not be in temper a good while again. He heard my Lord Chancellor say to the King, “Sir,” says he, “the whole world do complain publickly of treachery, that things have been managed falsely by some of his great ministers.” — “Sir,” says he, “I am for your Majesty’s falling into a speedy enquiry into the truth of it, and, where you meet with it, punish it. But, at the same time, consider what you have to do, and make use of your time for having a peace; for more money will not be given without much trouble, nor is it, I fear, to be had of the people, nor will a little do it to put us into condition of doing our business.” But Sir H. Cholmly tells me he [the] Chancellors did say the other day at his table, “Treachery!” says he; “I could wish we could prove there was anything of that in it; for that would imply some wit and thoughtfulness; but we are ruined merely by folly and neglect.” And so Sir H. Cholmly tells me they did all argue for peace, and so he do believe that the King hath agreed to the three points Mr. Coventry brought over, which I have mentioned before, and is gone with them back. He tells me further that the Duke of Buckingham was before the Council the other day, and there did carry it very submissively and pleasingly to the King; but to my Lord Arlington, who do prosecute the business, he was most bitter and sharp, and very slighting. As to the letter about his employing a man to cast the King’s nativity, says he to the King, “Sir,” says he, “this is none of my hand, and I refer it to your Majesty whether you do not know this hand.” The King answered, that it was indeed none of his, and that he knew whose it was, but could not recall it presently. “Why,” says he, “it is my sister of Richmond’s, some frolick or other of hers of some certain person; and there is nothing of the King’s name in it, but it is only said to be his by supposition, as is said.” The King, it seems, seemed not very much displeased with what the Duke had said; but, however, he is still in the Tower, and no discourse of his being out in haste, though my Lady Castlemayne hath so far solicited for him that the King and she are quite fallen out: he comes not to her, nor hath for some three or four days; and parted with very foul words, the King calling her a whore, and a jade that meddled with things she had nothing to do with at all: and she calling him fool; and told him if he was not a fool, he would not suffer his businesses to be carried on by fellows that did not understand them, and cause his best subjects, and those best able to serve him, to be imprisoned; meaning the Duke of Buckingham. And it seems she was not only for his liberty, but to be restored to all his places; which, it is thought, he will never be. While we were at the Excise office talking with Mr. Ball, it was computed that the Parliament had given the King for this war only, besides all prizes, and besides the 200,000l. which he was to spend of his own revenue, to guard the sea above 5,000,000l. and odd 100,000l.; which is a most prodigious sum. Sir H. Cholmly, as a true English gentleman, do decry the King’s expenses of his Privy-purse, which in King James’s time did not rise to above 5000l. a year, and in King Charles’s to 10,000l., do now cost us above 100,000l., besides the great charge of the monarchy, as the Duke of York 100,000l. of it, and other limbs of the Royal family, and the guards, which, for his part, says he, “I would have all disbanded, for the King is not the better by them, and would be as safe without them; for we have had no rebellions to make him fear anything.” But, contrarily, he is now raising of a land-army, which this Parliament and kingdom will never bear; besides, the commanders they put over them are such as will never be able to raise or command them; but the design is, and the Duke of York, he says, is hot for it, to have a land-army, and so to make the government like that of France, but our princes have not brains, or at least care and forecast enough to do that. It is strange how he and every body do now-a-days reflect upon Oliver, and commend him, what brave things he did, and made all the neighbour princes fear him; while here a prince, come in with all the love and prayers and good liking of his people, who have given greater signs of loyalty and willingness to serve him with their estates than ever was done by any people, hath lost all so soon, that it is a miracle what way a man could devise to lose so much in so little time. Thence he set me down at my Lord Crew’s and away, and I up to my Lord, where Sir Thomas Crew was, and by and by comes Mr. Caesar, who teaches my Lady’s page upon the lute, and here Mr. Caesar did play some very fine things indeed, to my great liking. Here was my Lord Hinchingbroke also, newly come from Hinchingbroke, where all well, but methinks I knowing in what case he stands for money by his demands to me and the report Mr. Moore gives of the management of the family, makes me, God forgive me! to contemn him, though I do really honour and pity them, though they deserve it not, that have so good an estate and will live beyond it. To dinner, and very good discourse with my Lord. And after dinner Sir Thomas Crew and I alone, and he tells me how I am mightily in esteem with the Parliament; there being harangues made in the House to the Speaker, of Mr. Pepys’s readiness and civility to show them every thing, which I am at this time very glad of. He tells me the news of the King and my Lady Castlemayne which I have wrote already this day, and the design of the Parliament to look into things very well before they give any more money, and I pray God they may. Thence, after dinner, to St. James’s, but missed Sir W. Coventry, and so home, and there find my wife in a dogged humour for my not dining at home, and I did give her a pull by the nose and some ill words, which she provoked me to by something she spoke, that we fell extraordinarily out, insomuch, that I going to the office to avoid further anger, she followed me in a devilish manner thither, and with much ado I got her into the garden out of hearing, to prevent shame, and so home, and by degrees I found it necessary to calme her, and did, and then to the office, where pretty late, and then to walk with her in the garden, and so to supper, and pretty good friends, and so to bed with my mind very quiet.

14 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Cholmly tells me he [ Clarendon ] did say the other day at his table, “Treachery?” says he, “I could wish we could prove there was anything of that in it,....""

So read L&M.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hmmn, curious...Sam often dines out unless he especially asked for dinner at home. Bess likely has been hearing rumors.

martinb  •  Link

Still, it's easy enough to sort out, isn't it? Just give the wife a "pull by the nose and some ill words" and before too long you'll be "pretty good friends" again and you'll be able to go to bed with your "mind very quiet".

Something tells me it's probably best not to try this one at home...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, to be fair, he lost his temper, acted like a jerk, and then seems to have apologized...Perhaps more so than he lets out here. I'd suspect we'll hear of a trip to Unthankes or some other new Bess purchase soon. He may even have convinced her she was being unfair to hard-working King's man Sam, bearing the Nation's burden in this time of chaos, poor lamb. No doubt his recent sessions with her on flageolet were brought in to prove poor Sam, good and virtuous family man, is the innocent victim of false and baseless rumors. And oddly enough, this was one time when he was innocent, more or less, which no doubt added to his sense of injury.

I wonder if Neil may have played a backstairs role here...Some knowing crack about where Mr. Pepys might well be spending his dinner hour, perhaps, that set Bess off?

At that he should count himself lucky she still cares enough to chase after him, demanding explanations. Beware the day when she doesn't, Sam.

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"Amd to you, sir."

"No, no Greeting."


"About this piece you selected..."

"Ah, yes. Actually Mrs. P's choice, sir."

"'Bad Moon Rising'? What the devil is that?"

"Quite appropriate today, Mr. Pepys, believe me."

Paul E.  •  Link

When he says he "did give her a pull by the nose" is that just a figure of speech or did he, Three-Stooges-like, actually grasp her by the nose and pull her? I'm having a hard time picturing this. Clearly SP is under great pressure at the office and knows he might well be fighting for his career, or more, when parliament convenes. And the grumbling about the Merry Monarch's expeditures, well, some things never change.

I'm a long-time off-and-on lurker on this site and I've found the recent entries exceptionally facinating, albeit longer than normal.

cum salis grano  •  Link

tis a figure of speech I doth think

the old nose ring thing like with a bull does 'urt.

to pull or to lead by the nose

b. to lead (a bride) to the altar, to church ({dag}also simply: ? after L. ducere): To marry.

c. fig. (a) In opposition to drive: To guide by persuasion as contrasted with commands or threats. (

(b) to lead by the nose (for the allusion cf. quot. 1604): to cause to obey submissively. Also to lead by the sleeve.

P2. In phrases with verbs, implying something done to another person. Freq. colloq. Also to lead by the nose:

see LEAD v.1 4c. to pull by the nose: see PULL v. 5.

a. (a). to lay to (also cast in) a person's nose: to reproach or upbraid a person with. Cf. to cast (a thing) in one's teeth at CAST v. 65. Obs.
1526 W. BONDE Pylgrimage of Perfection I. sig. Div, He wyll obiecte it to the and caste it in thy nose.

1579 L. TOMSON tr. J. Calvin Serm. Epist. S. Paule to Timothie & Titus 256/1 Let euery one of us..take such heede to him selfe, that this reproch bee not laide to our noses.
a1600 Floddan Field (1664) 75 Let it never be laid unto our nose, That Scotchmen made us turn our back.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think at the very least he physically manhandled her and probably by the nose...We know he gave her a black eye one merry Xmas season, albeit accidentally, though he struck out in anger.

In fairness to our resident cad... "Straight to the moon, Alice! Bang! Zoom!" was considered a sure-fire laugh on the 1950's Honeymooners TV show while in 1982 born-to-the-purple, Groton/Harvard graduate, grandnephew of Theodore Roosevelt, and distinguished journalist Joseph Alsop suggested in his "FDR:A Centenary Remembrance" that his distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt ought to have handled his "troublesome" Eleanor with an occasional slap in the face.

No need to delve into certain forms of popular music to add to the case that things haven't changed all that much, though a well-placed citizen like Sam would want to be a tad more cautious in public.

language hat  •  Link

"I did give her a pull by the nose"

This doesn't sound like a figure of speech to me. I think he actually grabbed her nose and twisted it. People do that kind of thing when they're mad.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

“I did give her a pull by the nose”

An earlier example of literal nose pulling:

"And to shew how mad we are at home, here, and unfit for any troubles: my Lord St. John did, a day or two since, openly pull a gentleman in Westminster Hall by the nose, one Sir Andrew Henly, while the judges were upon their benches, and the other gentleman did give him a rap over the pate with his cane, of which fray the judges, they say, will make a great matter: men are only sorry the gentle man did proceed to return a blow; for, otherwise, my Lord would have been soundly fined for the affront, and may be yet for his affront to the judges."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" but the design is, and the Duke of York, he says, is hot for it, to have a land-army, and so to make the government like that of France, but our princes have not brains, or at least care and forecast enough to do that."

L&M note Clarendon (Life, iii, 252-60) describes the difficulties which arose from the levy of troops and appointment of officers and justifies the King's actions on the ground that peace was not yet concluded and the kingdom still in danger. He says the privy council was divided, but does not mention James's attitude. James, in his memoirs, claims that he was merely preventing a few hot-heads like Northumberland from disbanding the guards. Some members of the government and most of its critics saw danger in the King's unwillingness to recall Parliament, which stood prorogued until 10 October.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" It is strange how he and every body do now-a-days reflect upon Oliver, and commend him, what brave things he did, and made all the neighbour princes fear him;"

L&M note the Medway disaster had heightened Cromwell's posthumous reputation, although none of this admiration was allowed to appear in print. Sobière in 1664 had reported that the coffee-house talk consisted of complaints about taxes, and regrets that the achievements of Cromwell were glories now gone. ('Relation d'un voyage en Angleterre') Megalotti remarked in almost the same terms in 1669 that people 'cannot refrain from odiously comparing the present government with the late one of Cromwell, magnifying the power of the fleets, the alliances, and the reputation of their nation in those times, with many other reflections of like nature...'.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir H. Cholmly, as a true English gentleman, do decry the King’s expenses of his Privy-purse, which in King James’s time did not rise to above 5000l. a year, and in King Charles’s to 10,000l., do now cost us above 100,000l., besides the great charge of the monarchy, as the Duke of York 100,000l."

L&M say these figures are wildly wrong. Charles II's annual privy purse expenditure averaged c, £20,000 in the 1660s; about £5,800 less than James I's in 1603-8. That of Elizabeth at the end of her reign was c. £5,000 p.a.

The exact figure for the Duke of York has not been worked out: he received in cash from the Exchequer some £63,500 in 1666-7, but that was probably not his net income.

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