Friday 27 December 1661

In the morning to my Bookseller’s to bespeak a Stephens’s Thesaurus, for which I offer 4l., to give to Paul’s School; and from thence to Paul’s Church; and there I heard Dr. Gunning preach a good sermon upon the day (being St. John’s day), and did hear him tell a story, which he did persuade us to believe to be true, that St. John and the Virgin Mary did appear to Gregory, a Bishopp, at his prayer to be confirmed in the faith, which I did wonder to hear from him. Here I met with Mr. Crumlum (and told him of my endeavour to get Stephens’s Thesaurus for the school), and so home, and after dinner comes Mr. Faulconberge to see me, and at his desire I sent over for his kinsman Mr. Knightly, the merchant, and so he came over and sat and drank with us, and at his request I went over with him, and there I sat till the evening, and till both Mr. Knightly and Mr. Faulconberge (for whom I sent my boy to get a coach to carry him to Westminster) were both drunk, and so home, but better wine I never drank in all my life. So home, and finding my wife gone to Sir W. Pen’s, I went thither, and there I sat and played at cards and supped, and so home and to bed.

14 Annotations

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"being St. Johns' day"
John the Evangelist, John the Baptist is in June 24th.

Australian Susan  •  Link

John and Mary
In the Gospel of John, Jesus is depicted as entrusting His Mother to the care of John. According to legend, both John and Mary ended up near Ephesus, where John wrote the Book of Revelation. They were supposed to have appeared to many early Church leaders in visions. Another legend has Mary living near Caesarea in Galilee and telling her stories to Luke, who then wrote them into his Gospel (an explnation for the uniqueness of some of Luke's Gospel). Our Sam's Puritan soul is somewhat disturbed by the seemingly Papistical nature of the sermon: anything approaching idolatry towards the Virgin made him queasy.

Bradford  •  Link

This Thesaurus, as clicking reveals, is Greek; more details solicited as to just what the term means in this instance.
As for one in English as we know it, that seemingly had to wait for its supreme manifestation until Peter Mark Roget (Whom God Preserve) brought out his "Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition" in 1852.

Imagine a trans-historical dinner wherein we sample, in chronological order, every item of food and drink that Sam finds to the best he ever had "in all my life" up till then. Again, we should have been keeping a list.

vicenzo  •  Link

Oh! Sam ye told the under master you would spend 5 quid and then ye go and see if ye can get one for four pounds. oh! yea yea.
Merchants should know their vino plonk.

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

..every item of food and drink that Sam finds to the best he ever had "in all my life" ..
Not at all Bradford! Every time I say to my sweet wifey That’s the best dinner I ever had, she says For Gawd’s sake, you say that every time we have porkchops!
It’s all in the moment: today Sam has splurged on an endowment for his choice school, revelled in his virtuousity in church, didn’t miss the opportunity to trumpet it to Crumlum, reeled from one place to another until he ended up quite drunk. What a bonus to find his wife not home and thereby getting an extension to play cards and sup some more.
No wonder the wine tasted the best ever!

Mary  •  Link

Stephen's Thesaurus.

L&M note that this was first published, 1572, in five volumes and was the greatest lexicon of its day.

Bradford  •  Link

Thanks, Mary---in other words, a "word book," perhaps a complete dictionary of the classical Greek vocabulary as was then known. Am I right, Language Hat?

Bradford  •  Link

Apologies: my guess was not quite right. Please click on "Stephen's Thesaurus" again to find Vicenzo's clarification of what such volumes contained.

language hat  •  Link

Am I right, Language Hat?

Yup. It translated Greek words into Latin (the international language of the day), and was so well done it's still cited (see for instance note 15 here: ) and the current online project Thesaurus Linguae Graecae is named for it and now is hosted on a server named "Stephanus" in honor of the original compiler (see under July 16, 2002 at ). Here's a report on the Etienne/Stephanus family (#3 is our man):

Bill  •  Link

"St. John and the Virgin Mary did appear to Gregory, a Bishopp"

St. Gregory of Nyssa, in the life of his Namesake, called the wonder-worker, has this story, that the Virgin Mary, accompanied by St. John the Evangelist, appeared to Gregory in a vision, and explaned to him the mystery of Godliness, in a short Creed or divine summary of faith, which he took down in writing, as they dictated it to him, and left the copy of it, a legacy to the Church of Neocaesarea, of which he was Bishop: and if any one, says he, has a mind to be satisfied of the truth of this, let him inquire of that Church, in which the very words, as they were written by his blessed hand, are preserved to this day: which, for the excellency of the divine grace, may be compared with those tables of the law, made by God and delivered to Moses.
---A free inquiry into the miraculous powers. C. Middleton, 1749.

Gregory Thaumaturgus, 'wonder-worker' (c. 210-270), the apostle of Pontus, was born at Neocaesarea in Pontus, became a disciple of Origen, and was consecrated Bishop of Neocaesarea.
---Chambers's Biographical Dictionary. F.H. Groome, 1898.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Gregory Thaumaturgus or Gregory the Miracle-Worker (Ancient Greek: Γρηγόριος ο Θαυματουργός, Grēgórios o Thaumatourgós; c. AD 213 – 270), also known as Gregory of Neocaesarea, was a Christian bishop of the 3rd century. He has been canonized as a saint in the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

". . . and did hear him tell a story, which he did persuade us to believe to be true, that St. John and the Virgin Mary did appear to Gregory, a Bishopp, at his prayer to be confirmed in the faith, which I did wonder to hear from him. "

Then I did write about it in my diary.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘1. Archaeol. A treasury, as of a temple, etc. . .

2. a. A ‘treasury’ or ‘storehouse’ of knowledge, as a dictionary, encyclopædia, or the like.
[1565 T. Cooper (title) Thesaurus Linguæ Romanæ et Britannicæ [etc.].
1736 R. Ainsworth (title) Thesaurus Linguæ Latinæ compendiarius; or..Dictionary of the Latin Tongue.] . .

b. A collection of concepts or words arranged according to sense; also (U.S.) a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms.
1852 Roget (title) Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases classified and arranged [etc.] . .

. . c. A classified list of terms, esp. key-words, in a particular field, for use in indexing and information retrieval.
1957 H. Brownson in Proc. Internat. Study Conference on Classification for Information Retrieval 100 The best answer..may be the application of a mechanized thesaurus based on networks of related meanings . . ‘

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