Monday 28 May 1660

Called up at two in the morning for letters for my Lord from the Duke of York, but I went to bed again till 5. Trimmed early this morning.

This morning the Captain did call over all the men in the ship (not the boys), and give every one of them a ducat of the King’s money that he gave the ship, and the officers according to their quality. I received in the Captain’s cabin, for my share, sixty ducats. The rest of the morning busy writing letters. So was my Lord that he would not come to dinner.

After dinner to write again in order to sending to London, but my Lord did not finish his, so we did not send to London to-day.

A great part of the afternoon at nine-pins with my Lord and Mr. Hetley. I lost about 4s.

Supped with my Lord, and after that to bed.

At night I had a strange dream of … myself, which I really did, and having kicked my clothes off, I got cold; and found myself all much wet in the morning, and had a great deal of pain … which made me very melancholy.


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A. De Araujo  •  Link

"At night I had a strange dream of-myself" very confusing!was it a wet dream? after all he had been away from Elisabeth for a while! but then why the pain? after effects of the surgery he had two years before?

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Eric Walla  •  Link

"A strange dream of--myself ..."

Yes, an interesting turn of phrase. Are there subconscious torments in the Pepys soul? Does he perhaps feel the strain of rising in rank so quickly, and on the back of an as-yet-shaky Restoration?

Or did he just dream he went out on deck and forgot to put on his trousers?

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language hat  •  Link

"A strange dream of -- myself ":
This sounds like a clear case of bowdlerization. Come on, L&M readers, give us the R-rated version!

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Paul Brewster  •  Link

At night I had a strange dream of bepissing myself, which I really did, and having kicked my clothes off, I got cold; and found myself all muck wet in the morning, and had a great deal of pain in making water which made me very melancholy
Per L&M. Another case of Mr Wheatley at work. Note that within the same sentence he indicates deletion both with a long dash (for "bepissing") and a long dash (for "in making water"). Ah, consistency. I think the much-muck translation made be a matter of interpretation.

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Paul Brewster  •  Link

Missed several other L&M differences in the same passage:
This night I had a strange dream of bepissing myself, which I really did, and having kicked the clothes off, I got cold and found myself all muck-wet in the morning, and had a great deal of pain in making water which made me very melancholy
sorry about that ...

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Paul Brewster  •  Link

Where would we be without L&M?
This passage is obviously almost incomprehensible with the deletions. The full text is very real and quite haunting. It is also quite wonderfully understated. For the first time that I can remember he doesn't fully reveal to the diary the nature of his feelings. An obvious surmise is a fear of the stone's return. Less obviously it may be a worry about some form of sexually transmitted disease.

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Paul Brewster  •  Link

I received in the Captain's cabin, for my share, sixty ducats
L&M etimates the value at 27L. Given the information elsewhere in their glossary (Ducket(t), Ducat: Spanish gold or silver coin worth 9s. 4d. and 3s. 6d. respectively) these must have been gold ducats. Note that SP was promised 30L just 2 days ago and doesn’t seem to feel he’s been shorted.

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Brian McMullen  •  Link

Being a 'fellow of the stones' the first thing that comes to mind is a recurrence of SP's urinary problems. If this were to happen to me I would be very melancholy as well! As to the possibility of a transmitted disease has SP given any indication that he has found sexual favor from other than his wife? I remember the reference to the Dutch lady from last week but nothing else.

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Sam P  •  Link

60 ducats or £30…. obviously just a highly variable or vague exchange rate!

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Glyn  •  Link

(Sam P? I suspect that that's an alias.)

Surely he is justifiably concerned that it might be a symptom of something serious to do with his old wound. But look at his irregular sleep pattern again: yesterday he went to bed late, was woken at 2am and then got up at 5am for a busy day's work.

With apologies to any younger readers for raising this, but would languagehat or any other expert explain if there is any difference in meaning between “be-p…ing myself” and simply “p…ing myself” – presumably there is. But I’d be beholden to you if you would tell me what it is.

And what exactly does the prefix “be-“ mean in English words – it seems to appear in a lot of medieval words but to be becoming more rare. I suspect that it is similar to suffixes such as “monger” (i.e. “seller) which are part of older words (fishmonger, costermonger) but not used to create new ones – you wouldn’t say computermonger or itmonger, for instance.

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Nix  •  Link

I'm no languagehat, but a quick check of OED gives the following as one of several uses of the prefix "be-" (bepiss is about two-thirds of the way down):

"4. Making verbs transitive, by adding a prepositional relation: primarily "about," as in BE-SPEAK, speak about (or for, to), BE-MOAN, moan about (or over); which sense can usually be detected under the various against, at, for, to, on, upon, over, by, etc. required by modern idiom: {dag}bebark, to bark around or at; {dag}becack, to deposit ordure on; bechatter, to environ with chattering, etc.; {dag}bechirm, to chirm (as birds) around; {dag}bechirp, to chirp about; beclang, beclatter; {dag}becrave (OE. becrafian), to crave for; becrawl, to crawl all over; becroak, to croak round or at; {dag}becry, to cry at, accuse; bedin, to fill with din or noise; bedribble, to dribble upon (e.g. as a dog); bedrivel; bedrizzle; {dag}bedwell, to dwell in or around; {dag}befleet, to flow round; {dag}befret, to fret or gnaw away; befuddle, to make stupid with tippling; begaze, to gaze at; {dag}beglide, to slip away from, escape; {dag}beglitter, to irradiate; begroan, to groan at; {dag}begruntle, to make uneasy; behoot, to hoot at; bejuggle, to get over by jugglery, to cheat; {dag}belag, to make to lag; {dag}beleap, to leap on, "cover"; {dag}bemew, {dag}bemoult, to mew or moult upon; bemurmur, to murmur at or against; {dag}bemute (of birds), to mute or drop dung on; beparse, to plague with parsing; bepiss, to piss on, wet with urine; bepreach, to preach at; bereason, to reason with, overcome by reasoning; {dag}bireme, to cry out upon; beride (OE. ber?dan), to ride beside, to override; {dag}berow, to row round; {dag}bescumber, to scumber on; beshine (OE. besc?nan), to shine on; beshit(e (OE. besc?tan) = becack (Obs. in polite use, but common in ME. and early mod.E. literature); beshout, to shout at, applaud; {dag}beshriek, to shriek at; {dag}besigh, to sigh for; {dag}besmell, to smell out; besmile, to smile on; {dag}bespew, to spew on; bestare, to stare at, to make staring; bestraddle, to straddle across, bestride; bestream, to stream over; beswarm, to swarm over; {dag}beswelter; beswim, to swim upon; bethunder; {dag}betipple, to muddle by tippling; betravel, to travel over, to overrun with travellers: bevomit, to vomit all over; bewhisper, to whisper to; bewhistle, to whistle round.”

The usage examples of bepiss in this entry are:

“1481 CAXTON Reynard (Arb.) 6 There he hath *be-pyssed my chyldren where as they laye. 1658 FORD Witch of Edm. IV. i, Ready to bepiss themselves with laughing. 1764 T. BRIDGES Homer Travest. (1797) II. 16 Ye all bepiss’d yourselves for fear.”

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language hat  •  Link

Well done, Nix.
Yes, in this case it basically transitivizes the verb; the same happens with (be)shit.

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Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Regarding the 'be' form of a verb - about the only contemporary example I can think of is to 'bespeak' something, and that is quite archaic now and seems only to live on in the form of a 'bespoke' suit. Am I right in thinking this verb form is connected with our linguistic heritage from Anglo-Saxon?

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Tina  •  Link

How about beholden?...
As in "he doesn't want to feel beholden to anyone over this".

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Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Hmm - didn't think that one through, did I? Should have used a dictionary...

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sorry  •  Link

no wonder the bard had to ask "to be..."

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jamie yeager  •  Link

These ducats and the earlier 30 pounds
These ducats, at about 27 pounds value, and the earlier 30 pounds, mean Sam has more than doubled his last reported net worth of 40 pounds by his service on this voyage alone...

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Linda Camidge  •  Link

Just in case jenny Doughty is still out there, I think Anglo-Saxon equivalent is the prefix "ge", with a hard "g" so a simialr sound

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Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Jenny Doughty is still out here, so thank you Linda.

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language hat  •  Link

I don't know what Linda means by "hard g," but the g in the ge- prefix was pronounced like y, which is why it's disappeared. Also, it wasn't the "equivalent" of be-, they were two different Old English prefixes, with different meanings.

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Mary  •  Link

OE, ME, ModE prefixes.

Many thanks, LH. You're absolutely right, but I'm feeling far too jet-lagged to ferret through Campbell, Mitchell and Dobson to provide germane examples.

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Terry Foreman  •  Link

Journal of the House of Lords this day http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

King desires the House to attend Him at Whitehall

The Lord Berkeley (One of the Lords Commissioners that were sent to the King) reported to this House, "That he was commanded, by the King, to let their Lordships know, that the King intends to be, Tomorrow, at Twelve of the Clock, at Whitehall; where he expects their Lordships to attend Him there in a full Assembly."

Letter from Him.

"To Our Right Trusty and Right Well-beloved the Speaker of Our House of Peers; to be communicated to the Lords there assembled.

"Charles R.

"Right Trusty and Entirely-beloved Cousins, Right Trusty and Right Well-beloved Cousins, Right Trusty and Well-beloved Cousins, and Right Trusty and Well-beloved, We Greet you well. After We had received your Invitation, We made all possible Expedition to embark, and return to Our native Kingdom. It hath pleased God to bring Us safe to Land; and We hope that Peace and Happiness shall be brought to Our Kingdoms with Us. We know Our own Heart to have nothing but Affection to the Good of Our People; and We cannot doubt of God's Blessing on Our Counsels and Endeavours for the advancing the Honour and Happiness of Our Kingdoms. We cannot distrust but that you will answer the Professions you have made of your Loyalty and Affection to Our Service. And you may be secure, that We will be deficient in nothing that becomes a Gracious Prince to His faithful Subjects. We hope shortly to see you; and do intend to set forward from hence on Monday next, and hope to arrive at London on Tuesday in the Afternoon, and will then give you timely Notice where and when to attend Us. And in the mean Time We bid you heartily Farewell.

"Given at Our Court at Canterbury, this 26th Day of May, 1660, in the Twelfth Year of Our Reign."

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Dick Wilson  •  Link

So, why did Pepys urinate in bed?

On another subject, I read the 60 ducats as being in fact the 30 pounds that had been promised earlier, not an addition to the 30 pounds.

At least he can afford to hire someone to wash his bed linen and night clothes.

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Richard Whittall  •  Link

This censorship is MOST annoying. Can someone direct us to an online version that isn't cut to ribbons?

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Dr Nigel  •  Link

Poor Sam,no wonder melancholic.The episode of nocturnal urinary incontinence and painful pissing -dysuria - could be symptoms of a urinary tract infection. A UTI could herald further urinary stone formation.
I wonder if Sam or his surgeon knew then that urinary stones have an approx 50% 5 year recurrence rate.
Also stones more likely to form if you have a low urinary volume due to inadequate water intake.I wonder how plentiful fresh water supplies were on board?

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Chris Squire UK  •  Link

RW: I think the answer is 'no': the uncensored versions are copyright and in print but not on the web.

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Nick Wisniewski  •  Link

Just as "Dr. Nigel" suggested above, I would say that it is likely that Pepys has a UTI. The only reason I am able to say this is because I have had experienced with this before, as it is common in my family. Although I think his cause, dehydration, is very plausible, one has to wonder whether he could have contracted the UTI from promiscuous behaviour?

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