Wednesday 18 November 1668

Lay long in bed talking with my wife, she being unwilling to have me go abroad, saying and declaring herself jealous of my going out for fear of my going to Deb., which I do deny, for which God forgive me, for I was no sooner out about noon but I did go by coach directly to Somerset House, and there enquired among the porters there for Dr. Allbun, and the first I spoke with told me he knew him, and that he was newly gone into Lincoln’s Inn Fields, but whither he could not tell me, but that one of his fellows not then in the way did carry a chest of drawers thither with him, and that when he comes he would ask him. This put me into some hopes, and I to White Hall, and thence to Mr. Povy’s, but he at dinner, and therefore I away and walked up and down the Strand between the two turnstiles, hoping to see her out of a window, and then employed a porter, one Osbeston, to find out this Doctor’s lodgings thereabouts, who by appointment comes to me to Hercules pillars, where I dined alone, but tells me that he cannot find out any such, but will enquire further. Thence back to White Hall to the Treasury a while, and thence to the Strand, and towards night did meet with the porter that carried the chest of drawers with this Doctor, but he would not tell me where he lived, being his good master, he told me, but if I would have a message to him he would deliver it. At last I told him my business was not with him, but a little gentlewoman, one Mrs. Willet, that is with him, and sent him to see how she did from her friend in London, and no other token. He goes while I walk in Somerset House, walk there in the Court; at last he comes back and tells me she is well, and that I may see her if I will, but no more. So I could not be commanded by my reason, but I must go this very night, and so by coach, it being now dark, I to her, close by my tailor’s, and she come into the coach to me, and je did baiser her … I did nevertheless give her the best council I could, to have a care of her honour, and to fear God, and suffer no man para avoir to do con her as je have done, which she promised. Je did give her 20s. and directions para laisser sealed in paper at any time the name of the place of her being at Herringman’s, my bookseller in the ’Change, by which I might go para her, and so bid her good night with much content to my mind, and resolution to look after her no more till I heard from her. And so home, and there told my wife a fair tale, God knows, how I spent the whole day, with which the poor wretch was satisfied, or at least seemed so, and so to supper and to bed, she having been mighty busy all day in getting of her house in order against to-morrow to hang up our new hangings and furnishing our best chamber.

20 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Details of the encounter with Deb replaced by the ellipsis.

"and she come into the coach to me, and yo did besar her and tocar her thing, but ella was against it and laboured with much earnestness, such as I believed to be real; and yet at last yo did make her tener mi cosa in her mano, while mi mano was sobra her pectus, and so did hazar with grand delight. I did nevertheless give her the best counsel I could,,...."

(L&M text)

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Poor Deb

Michael L  •  Link

"I did nevertheless give her the best council I could, to have a care of her honour, and to fear God, and suffer no man para avoir to do con her as je have done"

The mind boggles. What can possibly add to such a statement?

Dorothy  •  Link

My mind is also boggling to think that the man went home and wrote this all down. I have tried to keep a diary from time to time and know how hard it is to write the truth about something I am ashamed about. He not only does wrong, he also writes it down in detail even though he must know how it would make him look to anyone reading the account. Amazing!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In the audio Diary, Kenneth Brannaugh is both utterly hilarious and moving here as Sam shifting between unbridled passion and earnest lectures on the proper deportment of a young lady with men. Apparently Deb is not without some feeling for Sam, she could have refused to come...I'm not putting any blame on her end, simply observing that it seems she may be getting into this too deep herself. Not at all surprising in a young and innocent girl awed by the impressive and charming Mr. Pepys. It's clear women do like Sam...He has a knack for winning their affection and friendship, even if some are calculating in their response to his advances.

Uh, Sam...Remember, Bess knows about the good Dr...And if you can find him out...She could be keeping some sort of eye on him.

GW  •  Link

It's interesting to compare Pepys' diaries with James Boswell's diaries a century later. Boswell had a similar degree of unrestrained frankness - and unrestrained amorousness - but he was also a lot more reflective and analytical about himself, and often quite self-critical, especially later in life.

Unfortunately his diaries are not in the public domain, because they were only published in the mid 20th century (as they had been supressed by his family and descendents).

People who enjoy Pepys will probably enjoy Boswell as well, and its interesting to compare them and see the similarities and differences.

See the first volume of Boswell's diaries…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I assume Tom is not with Sam...But one never knows. If so Sam's obsession has reached dangerously self-destructive proportions.

Whoa, met her by his tailor's? It has reached dangerously self-destructive proportions, regardless of whether he brought Tom. Sam...

Jane in hooded cloak, hanging on to coach from behind, waving off frowning driver, glancing back...Listening intently.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Robert, I share your suspicions. Why would Elizabeth hand out hints to Sam on how to find Deb if she was not testing him? Of course (to be seen) it may be that she didn't know what she was doing. But given her aroused awareness and jealousy, it seems to me that she would guard any knowledge of Deb's whereabouts from Sam with particular care, and if she didn't it would have been for a reason.

Clement  •  Link

Elizabeth has also felt a tremendous loss of control and was already without much economic or social power in their relationship, so dropping hints could have simply been an attempt to demonstrate to Sam that she holds a few secrets of her own.
I think she has been too distraught to devise a test that involved confederates in close confidence.
That being said, if she had, Sam is certainly reckless enough now to take the bait hook, line and sinker.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Even if Bess doesn't have eyes and ears out to track her wayward boy...To meet by his tailor's, even at night? What is he thinking? Surely his tailor lives at his shop and someone among his family could notice one of his best and most important customers meeting a young girl in a coach. Not to mention the whole neighborhood probably knows the famed Mr. Pepys quite well. I have to wonder if Sam wants Bess to find him out and kill this dangerous passion.

Or perhaps, kill him...

AnnieC  •  Link

I would guess Deb climbed into the coach naively expecting some tender hand-holding and concern for her situation. As Andrew Hamilton says, poor Deb.

Maurie Beck  •  Link

“I did nevertheless give her the best council I could, to have a care of her honour, and to fear God, and suffer no man para avoir to do con her as je have done”

'The mind boggles. What can possibly add to such a statement?'

From the perspective of biology, giving such counsel is not mind boggling at all. Sam is simply mate guarding, though he is unaware of it himself. By giving counsel to poor Deb he is attempting to increase the odds that she will not have sex with any other man.

In evolutionary biology the name of the game is to pass on more of one's genes to future generations than those of competitors. Sam is well aware of potential competitors. Every time he looks at other men (of power?), he sees himself. This is why he was and is so jealous of other men showing interest in his wife.

Unfortunately, Sam is involved in an evolutionary tradeoff; should he guard his mates or seek new copulations? He can't do both at the same time (unless he has multiple wives living under the same roof).

As I mentioned before, Sam and most people are unaware of the dynamics involved, only that their feelings impel them towards certain behaviors that increase their reproductive success. The fact that Sam is (almost certainly) infertile is nothing more than irony.

Tom C  •  Link

This completely honest documentation of such a lie to the most important person in Sam's life is really quite striking.

psw  •  Link

Maurice Beck pretty near nails it noting the Fast Thinking Pepys is doing what he is doing without fully understanding he is doing it. On automatic: Just swing through the trees looking for .... "love".

Have not counted but Pepys overtly (diary) has said he loves Deb many times...more so than any other of those he has desired.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I away and walked up and down the Strand between the two turnstiles,"

L&M: Possibly two of the narrow cuts running south from the Strand had turnstiles at their heads to prevent use save by foot passengers.

Sobhan  •  Link

where can I find the unabridged version of his diary, that is without ellipsis?

London Lynn  •  Link

As Andrew says ‘Poor Deb’. Samuel’s behaviour is something else!

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