Sunday 7 February 1668/69

(Lord’s day). My wife mighty peevish in the morning about my lying unquietly a-nights, and she will have it that it is a late practice, from my evil thoughts in my dreams, … and mightily she is troubled about it; but all blew over, and I up, and to church, and so home to dinner, where she in a worse fit, which lasted all the afternoon, and shut herself up, in her closet, and I mightily grieved and vexed, and could not get her to tell me what ayled her, or to let me into her closet, but at last she did, where I found her crying on the ground, and I could not please her; but I did at last find that she did plainly expound it to me. It was, that she did believe me false to her with Jane, and did rip up three or four silly circumstances of her not rising till I come out of my chamber, and her letting me thereby see her dressing herself; and that I must needs go into her chamber and was naught with her; which was so silly, and so far from truth, that I could not be troubled at it, though I could not wonder at her being troubled, if she had these thoughts, and therefore she would lie from me, and caused sheets to be put on in the blue room, and would have Jane to lie with her lest I should come to her. At last, I did give her such satisfaction, that we were mighty good friends, and went to bed betimes …

16 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

[What the first ellipsis above replaces ]

"she will have it that it is a late practice, from my evil thoughts in my dreams; and I do often find that in my dreams she doth lay her hand on my cockerel to observe what she can. And mightily she is troubled about it "

[ and the entry above continues in L&M ]

"and went to bed betimes, where yo did hazer very well con her, and did this night by chance poner my digito en her thing, which did do her much pleasure; but I pray God that ella doth not think that yo did know before -- or get a trick of liking it. So para sleep.


Chris Squire  •  Link

‘Naught adj.
. . 2.c. to be naught with : to have illicit sexual relations with, to commit adultery with. Obs.
1552 H. Latimer Serm. & Remains (1845) 30 His mistress, perceiving his beauty,‥would have him to be naught with her.
1606 P. Holland tr. Suetonius Hist. Twelve Caesars 3 But her afterward he divorced, suspecting that she had been naught with P. Clodivs.
. . 1699 T. Cockman tr. Cicero Offices iii. xxv. 305 Upon a false Suspicion, that he had been naught with his Mother-in-law.’ [OED]

Jenny  •  Link

Without dwelling on the ellipsed (my own coined word) part of the entry, it is amazing to read that Sam and Elizabeth's married relations didn't include "ponering of digits". I would have thought that "getting a trick of liking it" would be to Sam's advantage. Obviously, it's not a myth that married women were not meant to enjoy sex and you could only do certain things with "that sort" of woman. Humans being what they are, I find it hard to believe that some married couples didn't enjoy all forms of pleasure.

tld  •  Link

"...ella doth not think that yo did know before — or get a trick of liking it. "

Bit hard to parse but I took this to imply Sam was worried his wife might think he learned this with someone else and / or it might be something he liked doing, or had done it during his dalliances with great frequency - a special trick he had never shared with his wife.

That would lead to a whole level of aggravation in context of her imagining all sorts of behaviors by Sam this day.

Jenny  •  Link

Yes, I took the first part as meaning he hoped she didn't think it was something he'd learned somewhere else but read the second part differently. As you say, hard to parse.

Bill  •  Link

" ..where I found her crying on the ground, and I could not please her"

I have several times thought of the possibility that Elizabeth may be a little bipolar. Just something that has crossed my mind more than once.

martinb  •  Link

There's more about men and women in this entry than in most 300-page novels.

Elizabeth's not bipolar, just fighting to save her marriage.

I like "rip up" as used here. Presumably this is the meaning:

rip up
3.trans. fig. To bring again into notice or discussion #esp. something unpleasant or which is to a person's discredit#; to open or rake up. Now rare. #OED#

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Considering Sam has had a "mind" to Jane in the past, even to a bit of fondling, Bess' concerns are not unwarranted. One wonders if our Jane let a hint or two drop regarding Sam's past advances during this time.

"Oh...My...Sam'l. Whatever made you think of...That?"

"Just...Occurred to me, dear. Perhaps it came up during some of the animal lectures at the Royal Society."

"What? Just what do you people do at those meetings?"
grim look. "I've heard some women do attend..." grimmer look.

Sigh...Might have guessed it would go this way. Mrs. Martin, this is all your fault...Hmmn...Or was it Diana Crisp who taught me?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Duke of York's closet...Tomorrow...

"Yes, gentlemen...Well, that will be all." All rise.

"Pepys, just a mo...A private word."

Ah, yes...Once again the man to be consulted...Fairwell, less essential colleagues.

"Pepys, I understand you've had a major breakthrough in matters...Well, physical?"

"Your Grace? You mean the new method of accounting at Deptford?"

"No, Samuel. It's all over London among the ladies that one Samuel Pepys has discovered an entirely new...Method?"

"Your Grace?"

"Samuel. The Duchess wants something new. And the King himself is rather intrigued."

Lovely...Thank you for spreading the news, Bess...And in record time. Still, my fault for ever getting that coach...

"Well, Pepys?"

"Well, Your Grace...If I might use my new parallelogram to demonstrate..."

Phoenix  •  Link

Wonder if, during his surgery, Sam lost more than his stone.

languagehat  •  Link

"I have several times thought of the possibility that Elizabeth may be a little bipolar."

Once again, I wish people would not be so ready to treat Elizabeth as a mental case because she is not a Stepford wife. Marriage can be stressful on several levels, and I find it hard to believe that anyone who has had a close relationship with another human being over a considerable period of time has not occasionally acted in ways that would look bad or bizarre taken out of context. Life is not a sitcom.

Furthermore, as RG says, her concerns are not unwarranted.

Phoenix  •  Link

It's reasonable to suggest that Elizabeth's behaviour is a tad extreme. Sam has acquiesced to all of her demands . He has kept his promise but still endures false accusations, threats of physical violence and now must put up with an attempt to access his dreams. My god - his dreams!

languagehat  •  Link

You are looking at things entirely from Sam's point of view, which is understandable, since that's all we get. I would ask you, as an intellectual exercise, to try to imagine what events might look like from his wife's perspective -- what she might have been telling a trusted confidante over the years, or might have written in her own diary. Sam might come off as a bullying, priapic miser, and she herself as a well-nigh saintly wife, suffering unfairly for her love and concern. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that no two people will look at things the same way; while we cannot correct for Sam's perspective, since we have no other, we can at least discount it considerably out of a sense of justice to his wife. It is also worth noting that Sam, while often upset by his wife's reactions, does not seem to consider them outside the bounds of sane behavior.

Furthermore, we know that "He has kept his promise," but she doesn't.

Phoenix  •  Link

No one has suggested Elizabeth was insane.

Putting oneself imaginatively in her shoes is unnecessary - I have worn those shoes.

To considerably discount Sam's perspective is to discount the diary itself. Where would that leave us?

It is difficult to invoke a sense of justice on behalf of a stranger centuries dead.

Daily reading over many years can create a kind of literary Stockholm Syndrome - this is where perspective is lost.

We share a love of "truths universally acknowledged" - in books; in life, are there really any?

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

I'm with LH. Don't dismiss Elizabeth's tirades. She has ample reason to distrust Sam and it is a shrewd guess (or possibly based on her confession) that he has fooled with Jane. She knows Sam wants marital concord, and denying it is practically the only weapon she has in her effort to break Sam of his habit of indulging his lecherous instincts.

languagehat  •  Link

"No one has suggested Elizabeth was insane."

“I have several times thought of the possibility that Elizabeth may be a little bipolar.”

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