Monday 19 April 1669

Up, and with Tom (whom, with his wife, I, and my wife, had this morning taken occasion to tell that I did intend to give him 40l. for himself, and 20l. to his wife, towards their setting out in the world, and that my wife would give her 20l. more, that she might have as much to begin with as he) by coach to White Hall, and there having set him work in the Robe Chamber, to write something for me, I to Westminster Hall, and there walked from 10 o’clock to past 12, expecting to have met Deb., but whether she had been there before, and missing me went away, or is prevented in coming, and hath no mind to come to me (the last whereof, as being most pleasing, as shewing most modesty, I should be most glad of), I know not, but she not then appearing, I being tired with walking went home, and my wife being all day at Jane’s, helping her, as she said, to cut out linen and other things belonging to her new condition, I after dinner out again, and, calling for my coach, which was at the coachmaker’s, and hath been for these two or three days, to be new painted, and the window-frames gilt against May-day, went on with my hackney to White Hall, and thence by water to Westminster Hall, and there did beckon to Doll Lane, now Mrs. Powell, as she would have herself called, and went to her sister Martin’s lodgings, the first time I have been there these eight or ten months, I think, and her sister being gone to Portsmouth to her husband, I did stay and talk and drink with Doll … [and hazer ella para tocar mi thing; and yo did the like para her but <did> not the thing itself; having not opportunity enough; and – L&M] so away, and to White Hall, and there took my own coach, which was now come, and so away home, and there to do business, and my wife being come home we to talk and to sup, there having been nothing yet like discovery in my wife of what hath lately passed with me about Deb., and so with great content to bed.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M disclose what the ellipsis hides

"I did stay and talk and drink with Doll and hazer ella para tocar mi thing; and yo did the like para her, but [did] not the thing itself, having not opportunity enough; and so away and to White-hall...."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Up, and with Tom (whom, with his wife, I, and my wife, had this morning taken occasion to tell that I did intend to give him L40 for himself, and L20 to his wife, , towards their setting out in the world, and that my wife would give her L20 more, that she might have as much to begin with as he) ..."

In February 1668, Pepys wrote: "I do intend to give her 50l. in money, and do them all the good I can in my way. "…
L&M think this was perhaps for both of them.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder if Bess actually pulled 20Ls from her dress allowance...A pretty large slice...Or if she had saved it. If so, it suggests Sam had been allowing her to keep what she could save from the housekeeping expenses.

"You saved 20Ls Bess? Why that's remarkable."

Hmmn...Flashback to various "bad dinner" entries...

"Wait a mo!"

"Dear...You can either believe I saved it from the housekeeping money by cutting a few corners once in a while or consider the alternatives." Smile.

"'The alternatives'? Bess? What do you mean, alternatives?"


Mary  •  Link

Monday morning .... and no Deb.

NJM  •  Link

Robert G. You are not thinking of that old joke are you where the man finds that his wife has £20 and sixpence and asks her "who gave you the sixpence ?!" whereupon she answers "They all did !"

Strange for Sam to have taken a boat from Whitehall to Westminster Hall - a walking distance of just a couple of hundred yards.

Mary  •  Link

Short boat trip.

Perhaps the streets were particularly sloppy today.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

by water to Westminster Hall

Sam's been up and down the way from Whitehall to Westminster and back all day, and only records one one-way trip by water, so my inference is that the street wasn't particularly sloppy. First he took a coach trip to Whitehall and then proceeded (on foot or by coach not clear) to the hoped-for rendezvous at Westminster. The distance appears to be less than half-a-mile, an easy walk After becoming weary with waiting, he goes home for dinner, probably by hackney picked up somewhere in the area. After dinner another hackney coach from home to Whitehall and the boat trip to Westminster, then back to Whitehall (presumably by land) and a coach home. Maybe the street was clogged when he chose the water route or maybe he was hoping not to be seen. Or maybe it was a nice day for a short boat trip. Sam does say that after walking around Westminster for more than two hours he was "tired with walking."

languagehat  •  Link

"expecting to have met Deb., but whether she had been there before, and missing me went away, or is prevented in coming, and hath no mind to come to me (the last whereof, as being most pleasing, as shewing most modesty, I should be most glad of), I know not"

The cognitive dissonance is truly astonishing. It's amazing that he was aware enough of it to set it down so clearly, but not enough that his head exploded.

john  •  Link

To give 80l in toto. On 02 Jan 1660, he wrote: "I take myself now to be worth 300l. clear in money"

Quite the journey for us all!

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"The cognitive dissonance is truly astonishing."

Well put, LH. I too was struck by the conflicting thoughts in this passage.

Second Reading

Autumnbreeze Movies  •  Link

Was Sam Pepys a sex addict ?
Sexual addiction is a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Like all addictions, its negative impact on the addict and on family members increases as the disorder progresses. Over time, the addict usually has to intensify the addictive behavior to achieve the same results.

Sex addicts do not necessarily become sex offenders. Moreover, not all sex offenders are sex addicts (about 55 % of convicted sex offenders were most likely sex addicts). Recently, an awareness of brain changes and brain reward associated with sexual behaviour points to powerful sexual drives that motivate sex offenses.

The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity has defined sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” In other words, a sex addict will continue to engage in certain sexual behaviors despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships or even arrest.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, Volume Four describes sex addiction, under the category “Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified,” as “distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used.” According to the manual, sex addiction also involves “compulsive searching for multiple partners, compulsive fixation on an unattainable partner, compulsive masturbation, compulsive love relationships and compulsive sexuality in a relationship.”

The definitions don't seem to QUITE fit Sam - he neglected Bess. But maybe he did this for some 'philosophical' reasons?

Kelvin Hard  •  Link

I don't think Sam was a sex addict. I think he was a man with an average or above average sex drive who took advantage of his social and financial position to dally with those over whom he had positional power or financial power. There is also an element of "seize the day" in a time when the plague (or a kidney stone) could carry you off at any time. Moreover there was a cultural double standard. A women must be faithful to ensure the lineage is carried on. But there were far fewer consequences, economic or social, for the adulterous man. Moreover Sam could always reassure himself that he was much more chaste than his King.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I'm with Kevin ... from my reading, the human species is sexually much more active than we are these "repressed" days (for which I choose to read considerate, kind, and otherwise occupied with work, education, commuting, sports, etc.).

We have also moved the age of experimentation to prenuptial. It used to be you got married, and for the women they then had an obligation to bear an heir and a spare, and after that they could play and the husband accepted whatever children turned up. It increased the gene pool, romance was in the air a whole lot longer, and there was no DNA testing.

Which makes Pepys just one of the boys. It's a shame Elizabeth didn't get to play or adopt, and became frustrated and jealous instead. Some little Pepys would have been fun for us all, if not for Sam.

I've come to this conclusion from watching HARLOTS, where I didn't see anything not in the Diary or from reading about the Hellfire Club. For the poor women, sex was an accepted way to make a living. Most of Pepys' daliances are with bored wives, and yes, he takes a bottle of wine or something. He's not into anything kinky (apart from unsuccessfully grooming Peg Penn, and that unfortunate episode with the young Miss Tooker). Mostly he likes to drink, chat, play, and go home to his Elizabeth.

Plus, we are unaccustomed to such frankness, albeit in fractured Spanish.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

This morning I read this article which reinforces my idea that we have lost connection sexually with our ancestors who accepted sex as a religious activity, an obligation, a blessing, a way of expressing oneness with God and the universe.

The pictures seen together are bit shocking and distasteful -- heretical may be a description? -- so don't look unless you're OK with that. They are old masters, on display all over Europe. But just not together.…

"Ostentatio genitalium (the display of the genitals) refers to disparate traditions in Renaissance visual culture of attributing formal, thematic, and theological significance to the penis of Jesus. That these images seem to have been created in good faith, with pious intentions, mystifies art historians, and many refuse to recognize the category as noteworthy or distinct from the nudity of angels and putti. Yet, as examples accrue, the conspicuous attention lent to Christ’s phallus cannot escape even the most disinterested gaze. “It is no exaggeration to say that this has probably been the most taboo topic in Christian thought for 2,000 years”, writes Stephen Sapp.

"In contrast to classical sculptural conventions, which — with exceptions like certain herma and statues of satyrs — often showcase male genitalia in a state of flaccid modesty (akin to Michelangelo’s Risen Christ), these Renaissance images shock us because they are so frequently ithyphallic: Christ has risen, but not in the way we have come to expect.

"Beginning around 1260 and enjoying widespread employment before finally tapering off in the 17th-century, ostentatio genitalium reversed a Byzantine tendency to depict Christ as sexless, his missing organs covered by flat, diaphanous veils. This was a symbol of purity and perfection, following from Augustinian notions that untimely erections are reminders of Adam’s “sin of disobedience”. Yet in the ostentatio genitalium tradition the opposite seems true: it is the visual virility of Christ that affirms his divinity.

"The natural question to ask, after blinking our eyes, would be why? How do practitioners of a religion, whose 7 heavenly virtues include prudence and temperance, decide to venerate, for centuries, an apparently prurient vision of their savior?"

He offers some possible explanations.

"Even more surprising than the content of these paintings is that this theological symbolism was accessible to numerous engravers, painters, and audiences. It’s a surprise that possibly speaks to a kind of oblivion: the modern world’s “massive historic retreat from the mythical grounds of Christianity”, a context in which these images were once legible."

He ends with:

"The communion with Christ’s body — an act erotic, Eucharistic, both, or more — offers a visual vocabulary that remains irreducible to any easy explanation."

I've omitted most of the argument. We have a massive disconnect.

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