Tuesday 10 November 1668

Up, and my wife still every day as ill as she is all night, will rise to see me out doors, telling me plainly that she dares not let me see the girle, and so I out to the office, where all the morning, and so home to dinner, where I found my wife mightily troubled again, more than ever, and she tells me that it is from her examining the girle and getting a confession now from her of all … [even to the very tocando su thing with my hand – L&M] which do mightily trouble me, as not being able to foresee the consequences of it, as to our future peace together. So my wife would not go down to dinner, but I would dine in her chamber with her, and there after mollifying her as much as I could we were pretty quiet and eat, and by and by comes Mr. Hollier, and dines there by himself after we had dined, and he being gone, we to talk again, and she to be troubled, reproaching me with my unkindness and perjury, I having denied my ever kissing her. As also with all her old kindnesses to me, and my ill-using of her from the beginning, and the many temptations she hath refused out of faithfulness to me, whereof several she was particular in, and especially from my Lord Sandwich, by the sollicitation of Captain Ferrers, and then afterward the courtship of my Lord Hinchingbrooke, even to the trouble of his lady. All which I did acknowledge and was troubled for, and wept, and at last pretty good friends again, and so I to my office, and there late, and so home to supper with her, and so to bed, where after half-an-hour’s slumber she wakes me and cries out that she should never sleep more, and so kept raving till past midnight, that made me cry and weep heartily all the while for her, and troubled for what she reproached me with as before, and at last with new vows, and particularly that I would myself bid the girle be gone, and shew my dislike to her, which I will endeavour to perform, but with much trouble, and so this appeasing her, we to sleep as well as we could till morning.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Wheatley elided this wrenching passage L&M disclose:

"I found my wife mightily troubled again, more than ever, and she tells me that it is from her examining the girl and getting a confession now from her of all, even to the very tocando su thing with my hand -- which doth mightily trouble me, as not being able to foresee the consequences of it as to our future peace together. "


martinb  •  Link

Very painful reading, but his concluding use of the 1st person plural is encouraging -- despite everything, they are still "we".

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Deb...That must have been some "examination".

And assuming Bess-Penelope's list of would-be suitors isn't largely fantasy...And there's good reason to believe Samdwich at least was interested...Sam remains a very lucky fool to have her raging at him and not simply shrugging, telling him to be a little more discreet about the servants, and asking when the coach will be ready for her to use. Might have been wise to knock off late work for one evening, Sam.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"He even brought his guitar over..."

"The guitar?...Oh, I don't want to hear any more, Bess!!"

At the very least, this should make for an interesting next Tangier Committee meeting...

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Bess is putting Sam through the hoops. He's not going to forget this rowfing.

Allen Appel  •  Link

If ever there was a cautionary tale about these matters, this is it. So painful to read because you're rooting for Sam, rooting for the wife, sneakily glad that he finally got caught yet sorry that he got caught. The drama is killing me.

mary k mcintyre  •  Link

It's remarkable to be getting such an intimate view of the Pepys' marital crisis. For those of us who've been through one or two (more or less), this seems very fresh, despite the 343-year time difference.

What hits me particularly is the cycle of emotions: tense mornings, (semi)rational discussion after the day's work, sleepless and emotional in the night... rinse and repeat.

[spoiler] This day next year will leave its own painful memories, and makes this series of entries all the more poignant... Oh Sam, make it right as fast as you can.

Barry P. Reich  •  Link

Sam's account of the Deb/Bess fiasco reads like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, with Sam as Larry David.

r l battle  •  Link

Why hasn't Sam found a place for Deb? It's 17 days of ranting & its got to be obvious that the only thing that will begin the healing is for Deb to be gone. Why not send her to the country until something permanent can be found?
this has been 17 days of pure hell for Sam & I'm pretty sure that his philandering days are over.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I hate to think what a hell this must be for Jane and the other servants...Bess no doubt in the foulest of foul moods when she's not utterly depressed during the day and the sounds of her raving alternating with Sam's weeping and pleading all night. Meanwhile Deb...Whose involvement here, it's highly unlikely, to say the least, has escaped the staff's notice...On the receiving end of Bess' attentions and the staff's probable wrath. One hopes someone, perhaps Jane, who knows how Sam can be...In detail...Is showing the poor kid some sympathy. Though, in fairness to Bess, she doesn't seem to be tormenting the girl...Deb has an aunt at least near to run to, after all, were Bess really "getting physical", so one can assume it's bad but not unspeakably bad. Perhaps she's quite clear on whom to blame, particularly after poor Deb's "confession of all".

AnnieC  •  Link

I, too, am puzzled as to why Deb hasn't moved out by now.

mary k mcintyre  •  Link

So, Robert -- care to re-cast this as a Mad Men-era imbroglio?

I'm thinking about Pete Campbell and that poor German au pair...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

House of Lord's Journal for today


King's Message to adjourn.

The Lord Chamberlain of His Majesty's Household delivered this Message from the King: "That His Majesty desires (according to the Proclamation He hath made to the Kingdom concerning the Adjournment of the Parliament), that this House may be adjourned to the First Day of March next."

And accordingly



Second Reading

Liz  •  Link

‘ I having denied my ever kissing her’
Given what he was found doing, kissing is the least of the problems.

LKvM  •  Link

IMHO, Elizabeth is caught up in misdirected anger. The person she is really mad at is herself, because she could have had flings with Lord Sandwich, or the dashing Captain Ferrers, or maybe young Lord Hinchinbroke, and probably countless others, because of her beauty, but didn't.
Over the years her consequent resentment has so eaten away at her that now, with it brought to a head by the Deb incident, she shall "never sleep more" and raves like Lady Macbeth.

David Garfield  •  Link

Probably not a spoiler for readers of the diary but what makes this entry even more poignant is the date and what we know one year from today brings .

Scube  •  Link

Interesting that Bess doesn't mention the music teacher as one of her rejected amours. Either Sam's jealousy was totally unfounded - that is, she saw the teacher as not even worth raising an eyebrow, or perhaps she was holding a card back. As noted by others, too bad Bess did not keep her own diary. What fun comparing the two would have been.

Scube  •  Link

Sorry, meant dance instructor, Mr. Pembleton

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Nor does Elizabeth throw Sir Robert Holmes in Pepys' face ... that was pre-Diary. Nor the gent. from her coach rides to Brampton a year ago. Maybe Pepys spared himself the recital of the full list of her suitors?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The volume of Domestic State Papers covering correspondence from Oct. 1668 to Dec. 1669 is at

Nov. 10 1668.
Capt. Wm. Poole to Thos. Hayter.

Asks for 80 blank tickets for the purser of the Crown, as the women tire him out of his life.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 54.]
Can you imagine writing a memo to headquarters like that about a colleague? The Stuarts enjoyed a good laugh.

Nov. 10 1668.
Capt. Silas Taylor to the Navy Commissioners.

Has gone on with the hulk as far as he is able without receiving the money imprested to him;
the seamen he is forced to make use of will not trust;
has expended 7/. or 8/.
The hulk stands still at present, and the muster boat will scarce come about without money to provide for them that sail her.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 55.]

Nov. 10 1668.
Sir Denis Gauden to the Navy Commissioners.

They will find Victualling by his account that he delivered sea victuals for 58,470 men for one day at Tangier, which has not been yet rated.
Desires they will determine it, that his accounts may be settled;
hopes they will allow him the same price as given at Leghorn, and where else the service abroad has called for supply, considering the charge and hazard of transporting it from England.

With note that he is to bring his demand of increase of price, and the grounds of it.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 56.]

Nov. 10 1668.
The Edgar, Spithead
Capt. John Wettwang to the Navy Commissioners.

We have had bad weather in the passage, and carrying sail to get about the Land's End,
both the main and fore mast gave way in the spavings, being tongued with oak;
he that made them deserves to be hanged, for if we had been on a lee shore, and forced to carry sail, all would have gone by the board;
3 of the chain plates have also broken.

We were forced to get down the main topmast on deck, and so come here with it, otherwise it would have been gone.

The ship is good, and sails and steers as well as any I have been in.

I desire orders as to entering the men that came from Portsmouth;
they were promised by Mr. Tippetts to be entered from the day they left,
and the officers hope to be paid from the date of their warrants.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 57.]

Nov. 10 1668.
Hugh Salesbury to Williamson.

The Edgar from Bristol has arrived for repairs, having sprung her mainmast, and lost her main topmast.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 59.]

Nov. 10 1668.
Note of the proceedings on the adjournments of the Houses of Parliament,
20 Dec. 1586, 15 Feb. 1587, 30 July 1661, 9 May 1668, 11 Aug. 1668, and 10 Nov. 1668.
[11 pages, Latin. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 60.]
I suppose Charles II needed inspiration on what to say?

Log in to post an annotation.

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