Tuesday 8 September 1668

Up, and by water to White Hall, and to St. James’s, there to talk a little with Mr. Wren about the private business we are upon, in the Office, where he tells me he finds that they all suspect me to be the author of the great letter, which I value not, being satisfied that it is the best thing I could ever do for myself; and so, after some discourse of this kind more, I back to the Office, where all the morning; and after dinner to it again, all the afternoon, and very late, and then home to supper, where met W. Batelier and Betty Turner; and, after some talk with them, and supper, we to bed. This day, I received so earnest an invitation again from Roger Pepys, to come to Sturbridge-Fair [at Cambridge] that I resolve to let my wife go, which she shall do the next week, and so to bed. This day I received two letters from the Duke of Richmond about his yacht, which is newly taken into the King’s service, and I am glad of it, hoping hereby to oblige him, and to have occasions of seeing his noble Duchess, which I admire.

15 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the private business we are upon, in the Office, "

L&M note this is the skullduggery (my word) about the reforms to the office prompted by Pepys's draft of the "great letter" sent by the Lord High Admiral, the Duke of York to the Navy Office.

Mary  •  Link

"which she shall do the next week"

"shall" - so Elizabeth is given no choice about this. Perhaps a trip to Sturbridge Fair will hold more attractions than her summer visit to this part of the country.

Terry Foreman  •  Link


Merriam-Webster online is less clear about that, Mary:

Definition of SHALL
verbal auxiliary
1 archaic a : will have to : must b : will be able to : can
2 a —used to express a command or exhortation b —used in laws, regulations, or directives to express what is mandatory
3 a —used to express what is inevitable or seems likely to happen in the future b —used to express simple futurity
4 —used to express determination
"they shall not pass"

intransitive verb
archaic : will go

"he to England shall along with you" — Shakespeare


beryl Timbrell  •  Link

Not really related to today's entry but I am going to London in a few weeks time and I believe that somebody has set up a Pepy's walk. I can't find anything about it on the site; does anyone have any information?

Mary  •  Link

"shall" again.

Certainly modern SHALL is very often used to express simple futurity, but as used by an educated writer in the mid-17th century in such a context it would most likely imply necessity or determination when used as an auxiliary in the 2nd or 3rd person of the verb. In the 1st person it could imply simple futurity.

London Pepys walk: Glyn is probably the best person to supply this. Does anyone have his e-mail address to hand for Beryl's reference?

JWB  •  Link

Click 'site news' then 'events'

Second Reading

Ivan  •  Link

I remember well my old Latin teacher illustrating the different uses of "shall" and "will". First, we have the normal future use expressed by a drowning man:
1. I shall drown and no-one will save me!
Now invert them and you have the suicidal man:
2. I will drown and no-one shall save me!
You can clearly hear the determination to die in Sentence 2. I hope such nuances in English will never be lost tho' I suspect they will, unfortunately.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

There's lots of correspondence today, but I accidentally posted the sampling tomorrow. Sorry

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... being satisfied that it is the best thing I could ever do for myself; ..."

Pepys has changed. Many moons now since he justified his behavior by saying it was the best thing to do for the King, or it would save the King money

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... to have occasions of seeing his noble Duchess, which I admire."

Pepys is like an American teenager with a crush on an actress. You'd think an invitation from the King's cousin would be fix enough.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'"which she shall do the next week"
'"shall" - so Elizabeth is given no choice about this.'

I think Mary is right ... Pepys is ready to make the rounds of his other women again. He's been good for much too long.

Shall Deb will go as well?

James Morgan  •  Link

I think the earlier part of the sentence, "I will let my wife go.." implies that Elizabeth had some interest in going, and that he decided it's a good idea. I assume the fair is an attraction. But this is all speculation.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Hi James, ... it wouldn't be speculation if you clicked through on Sturbridge Fair in the text. Lots of great info to be had in our Encyclopedia.

I'm amazed Pepys even thought about letting Elizabeth go (SPOILER: in the event, she's escorted by two other women and Hewer, so the decision is about more than Elizabeth's attendance. Rich ladies don't go anywhere alone.).

That tantrum she threw about him having all the fun after her Spring visit to Brampton is really paying off.

Third Reading

Michaela  •  Link

“She shall have music wherever she goes”

“She shall” in the old nursery rhyme certainly appears to express a simple future fact, or even a prediction - today we would prefer to use will. Nowadays Shall tends only to be obvious /visible in questions with I or we to express an offer or a suggestion.

I feel that Pepys is using it as a future fact - which could also be inferred as a firm decision by him, making Bess’s plans for her.

Also: “Cinderella, you shall go to the ball!” Mind you, that might only be how I remember the story rather than a quotation.

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