Sunday 4 October 1668

[In this part of the “Diary” no entry occurs for thirteen days, though there are several pages left blank. During the interval Pepys went into the country, as he subsequently mentions his having been at Saxham, in Suffolk, during the king’s visit to Lord Crofts, which took place at this time (see October 23rd, host). He might also probably have gone to Impington to fetch his wife. The pages left blank were never filled up. — B.]

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Robert Gertz  •  Link

(Secretly reactivated) Star Chamber...

"So? You started a personal Diary on the eve of Restoration?" Charles eyes Sam, then Bess, bound in their chairs.

"And he had a terrific eye for the telling detail...As Lord Sandwich can testify, I'm sure." Bess, proudly.

Thanks...Sam, aside, pleased...

Always said so...Bess hisses back...

"But...When he read it back to me...I thought it marvelous but lacking just a little..." Bess, carefully.

No offense ever intended, love...

"A little...What?" Charles, curious. Panel collectively leaning forward...

"Well...Color, sire...A bit of fire and passion...See I'm very fond of French novels. Did you ever read 'Raoul, Beast of Lyons'?"

"Can't say I have..." eyes Creed, who nods, jotting title down.

"Anyway I just thought...For our amusement...It might be fun to add a few bits. And it gave us good reason to travel about London together...You've never seen London really unless my Sam shows it to you. Though as you've all read the work, you ought to know what I mean..." beam to rather pleased Sam.

I'll say...the UF nods. Never knew London had so much to offer in variety of life and spice. Certainly changed my world view...

"You say you two traveled about London for this work?" Jamie cuts in.

"Never during office hours, your Grace. At least not both of us..." Sam hastily notes. Bess nodding...Never...

"See we needed to...Shall we say...Experience some of the events depicted..." Bess explains.

Cut to home of Betty Martin, nee Lane...

"So...You want me to imagine I'm havin' an affair? With Mr. P?" Betty stares at eager Bess, quill in hand. Sam trying to avoid direct look...

"Yes...Just imagine how it would go from your end, Miss Lane. What you would do, what you'd expect from Mr. Pepys...And of course I know nothing about it." Bess explains.

"Me and Mr. P?" Betty blinks. "Well. I never thought about such a thing."

"Oh, you do like him, don't you? In the friendliest way...Right?" Bess, encouragingly.

"Oh, of course...Mr. Pepys is always very nice...And good-humored...One of my favorite customers. And I enjoy his tales of his walks about the City. But, an affair...?"

"Just for fun, Betty...Miss Lane...Imagine it. And go as wild as you like. This is for literature." Bess urges.

Wild? Sam eyes Betty...

"Wild, Mrs. P? Me?"

"I've always seen you as a passionate woman at heart, Betty." Bess notes. "Really, go all out...We want any future readers in Posterity green with envy of Sam...And perhaps chuckling a bit at the comic end of it."

"An affair between me and Mr. P would certainly have that aspect." Betty nods...Eyeing Sam...

Hmmn...He's not all that bug-eyed...And he is rather sweet in his way. "I suppose...Just as a fantasy...And it's for Literature, you say."

"Posterity and Literature, Betty. Let them know how a full-blooded, hard-headed Englishwoman engages a man she really likes. Just tell us how you would go about it...And what you'd do."

"Well..." sly smile... "Always did like to imagine some gentleman might take an interest one day..."

"That's the spirit, Betty..." Bess beams.

"Could we do it over a chair? Always wanted to do it over a chair."

A what? Sam blinks.


"What a subject! Sam, you were so right about her, she's wonderful. What an eye you have for character. I love that bit about the chair...I can picture it...And we should add someone catching you two at it, comically, I mean. You do realize you never shop here alone again?" Bess notes as they leave.

"I figured that..." he nods.

"Well, there's your first steady mistress..." she beams.

"Diana Crisp...?"

"Too eager for the job." Bess, coolly. "And you're right...Definitely not as good as she should be. No, I much prefer Miss Lane. Miss C remains a one-afternoon stand..."

"What, are you disappointed?" frown...

"Just...If my personal rep is to be dragged through the muck for Art's sake...I would like some choice..."

"Don't you like Betty? I'm sure you like her...Help me here." Sam lifts her over a reeking cesspool.

"No...I mean yes...Betty's very nice...She's just not...Exactly..."

"Exactly..." Bess, coldly. "Don't worry, you'll have more variety." Seats self on carriage seat, nodding...

"Driver, on..." Sam whacks ceiling. Settling back...

"Well, long as it's all fantasy...Why not Barbara Palmer?"

"Barbara Palmer?" stern look...

"Ummn...Well...Bess...Every man's fantasy...Only the King's likely reality..."

"She'd have us beaten and left for dead, first of all...Second of all, I'm not having that...Woman...In my bedroom in any way, shape, or form. Say, do we get our patent today?...For the office? Or no?"

"Have to bully a clerk who's being an ass about it. And I have to finalize things with Mr. Barlow."

"I've got to see that..." Bess beams.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hmmn...Charles stares.

"Sorry if the bit about my Lady Castlemaine..." Bess, carefully.

"Oh,no..." Charles shrugs. "You were well advised to steer clear of Babs, Pepys. Far better to keep her fantasy, I assure you...You missed out on nothing, believe me."

Really? Jamie, shaking head. Always thought there was more to Barbara...Well, lucky me, I suppose.

On the other hand, that Betty...Always thought she must be quite a lass...

"Pray continue, Pepys...Both..." Jamie urges.


"Should we kill Barlow?" Bess asks, pensively.


"I mean in the Diary. He's an obstacle, you're an ambitious man..."

"Bess...I'm not killing anyone...Here or in the Diary...You've already promised Betty Lane she could read it and Lord knows what someone coming across it one day, should a fragment survive, might think. Sam Pepys, homicidal maniac?"


"Perhaps you're right...It would be a bit out of the character with his love of life and all...And rather melodramatic. No, we'll leave Mr. Barlow as he really is, a 100L burr in our side. We don't want you seeming inhuman...Just fallably, loveably human."

"You're starting to worry me, Bess. Just how bad do I get in this thing?"

"Now, Sam'l. For Art, sacrifices must be made...And you'll remain as charming as you are..." pat...

"And with Betty Lane as my initial mistress, I'll seem fallably human, all right."

"What's wrong with dear Betty? She's not too old..."

"She's a bit...Hefty, Bess."

"All the better that our audience sees you've the depth...Even in your philandering...To value a good heart and spirit over the mere physical. It enobles you, dear."

"Could I be 'enobled' with Mrs. Palmer? Helping her find her Humanity and all..."


"Bess...I did get you. People will think I'm inept in the mistress game."

"Yes, but I'm a woman of exceptional intelligence, good taste, and sensitivity. Besides, I chose you...And don't worry...You'll be a master of the game on your own level, I promise."

Oh...Well, then...

"So tell me more about what really goes on at the office?...What's your impression of your mates there?"

"Well, we've just gotten started...But..."


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