Friday 6 November 1668

Up, and presently my wife up with me, which she professedly now do every day to dress me, that I may not see Willet, and do eye me, whether I cast my eye upon her, or no; and do keep me from going into the room where she is among the upholsters at work in our blue chamber. So abroad to White Hall by water, and so on for all this day as I have by mistake set down in the fifth day after this mark.1 In the room of which I should have said that I was at the office all the morning, and so to dinner, my wife with me, but so as I durst not look upon the girle, though, God knows, notwithstanding all my protestations I could not keep my mind from desiring it. After dinner to the office again, and there did some business, and then by coach to see Roger Pepys at his lodgings, next door to Arundell House, a barber’s; and there I did see a book, which my Lord Sandwich hath promised one to me of, “A Description of the Escuriall in Spain;” which I have a great desire to have, though I took it for a finer book when he promised it me. With him to see my cozen Turner and The., and there sat and talked, they being newly come out of the country; and here pretty merry, and with The. to shew her a coach at Mr. Povy’s man’s, she being in want of one, and so back again with her, and then home by coach, with my mind troubled and finding no content, my wife being still troubled, nor can be at peace while the girle is there, which I am troubled at on the other side. We past the evening together, and then to bed and slept ill, she being troubled and troubling me in the night with talk and complaints upon the old business. This is the day’s work of the 5th, though it stands under the 6th, my mind being now so troubled that it is no wonder that I fall into this mistake more than ever I did in my life before.

6 Annotations

Mary  •  Link

"my mind being now so troubled....."

Goodness, he really is in a state; diary records entered in the wrong order!

Robert Gertz  •  Link




"Deloused and secured..."


"Battened down..."


"Here..." "Bess...You have to follow the list...I can't see if all this is presentable..."

"Fine...Coat whatever you care to do with it..."


"Silver buttons..."

"Bit much..." "Bess...You promised..." "Right. Fastened..."

"Sword?...Bess, careful!..."

"Ooops...So sorry..."

"Sam'l!!...You forgot your pants!!"

Or maybe...He didn't forget... "Sam'l!!!!"

Clement  •  Link

"... my wife up with me, which she professedly now do every day to dress me..."

I was just posting this question when I saw Robert's vision of the scene, and it begs the same question.

Why does Sam require help getting dressed? It's not clear from the mid-late 17th C. fashion pages I've viewed online.

Is it arranging his wig that requires attention?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Chapter MDCLXVIII, In which Clement asks a perfectly good question:
Why did Bertie Wooster need a Jeeves to help him dress upon rising?
(And, ask I: Why in England but in neither New England nor Australia?)

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Prince Charles famously employs someone to put toothpaste on his brush for him and run his bath. I suppose in his case he has never needed to acquire these arcane skills but Sam must have managed alone in his poorer days.

djc  •  Link

It is the business of the wealthy man
To give employment to the artisan.

Hillare Belloc

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