Thursday 15 October 1663

Up, I bless God being now in pretty good condition, but cannot come to make natural stools yet …

So up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon dined at home, my head full of business, and after stepping abroad to buy a thing or two, compasses and snuffers for my wife, I returned to my office and there mighty busy till it was late, and so home well contented with the business that I had done this afternoon, and so to supper and to bed.

17 Annotations

Terry F  •  Link

L&M fill in as usual

"; and going to enjoy my wife this morning, I had a very great pain in the end of my yard when my yard was stiff, as if I strained some nerve or vein, which was great pain to me."

Very graphic insight into this marriage and perhaps previous entries concerning morning "enjoyments" (if that's a word).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Ahhhh!" Sam screams in pain...

"Ahhhhhh!" a startled Bess' earlier cry turns to one of extreme fright.

"Right. Rub it in, Pepys." Sir Will Penn grumbles in his bedroom chair as he nurses his ever-gouty toe.

"Good God? Is that the Pepys? Again?" Sir Will Batten stares from his bedcovers. "Yes..." Lady Batten beside him grumbles. Damned lucky French b...

"Ah. Boy, when I was a lad, they all cried just like that." Sir John Minnes happily notes to his servant.

"Hark." Charles puts hand to his ear, looking over the bedclothes. "Pon my soul, I could swear I heard... I wonder just who the dear lady could..."

"I'm louder..." Barbara frowns, pulling him back.

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

Damnit Robert, it's not fair to make me laugh so hard the coffee comes out my nose!

MissAnn  •  Link

All this interest in bodily functions makes me think of the bloke in the back office who wears a beige cardigan and is obsessed with his blood pressure -- not a subject I'm happy to discuss with him every time I get my coffee. I suppose Sam is in the same situation as Mr Beige in that this is the only way they can gauge their body's health.

I heartily agree with Jacqueline Gore - not a nice look to have coffee running out your nose while laughing aloud - but notwithstanding that keep up the good work Robert.

alanB  •  Link

If a yard be 3 feet, it is evident that Our Sam is not one of the little people as reckoned to be by vincento only a few days ago!

Ruben  •  Link

a)Yesterday Samuel went to a very gay ceremony at a sinagogue.
b) today he complains "pain in the end of my yard when my yard was stiff",
the conclusion: Pepys forgot to put on paper that yesterday he had a circumcision done ...
Well, I am not happy with this annotation, but then I am not Robert...

Ruben  •  Link

a) yesterday Pepys went to a Safari in a very gay Sinagogue,
b) today Pepys wrote "very great pain in the end of my yard when my yard was stiff",
Conclusion: Maybe yesterday he had a circumcision done and he forgot they told him to forget sex for a week?

I am not happy with this annotation, but then I am no Robert!

language hat  •  Link


This is not from the "three feet" sense; rather, both are developments (first attested in the late 14th century) from the sense "stick or rod." OED, with selected citations:

11. a. The virile member, penis; also = PHALLUS 1. (So L. virga.) Obs.
1379 Glouc. Cath. MS. 19 No. I, lib. 1, ca. 3, fo. 5 [The urine] passith out by the yerde. 1588 SHAKES. L.L.L. V. ii. 676. He may not [love her] by the yard. 1613 PURCHAS Pilgrimage VI. iv. 479 This yard, which they called Phallus, was vsually made of Figge-tree. 1693 WOOD Life (O.H.S.) III. 420 A monstrous child.. It hath three yards and he makes use of them all at once. 1884 J. PAYNE Tales fr. Arabic I. 30 Aboulhusn.. abode naked, with his yard and his arse exposed.

Patricia  •  Link

Thank you, LH, for the etymology of yard. I thought it might be a euphemism coined by a particularly egotistical macho-man. So the term "yardstick" is a redundancy.

Matt Lee  •  Link

"I had a very great pain..." Is it possible that Sam passed the stone that we were all speculating about a few days back?

Ruben  •  Link

I think that Matt Lee is right to say that it is possible the strong contractions of the uretra during eyaculation delivered a stone! The pain was felt at the tip because that's the place with the most sensation along the uretra and in many the meatus has a little stricture that can impede delivery of a small stone.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Sam passing a stone

Matt and Ruben, I don't think this is possible, simply because the symptoms Sam has been describing are not symptoms associated with kidney or bladder stones! My theory (based on my own recent experience with restaurant food) is that Sam's "collique" most likely came from eating some bad meat when they had take-out on 6 October:

Plus, given that (to simplify greatly), a man's body "shuts down" the urinary tract's access to the urethra during sexual activity, so it's highly unlikely that he "delivered a stone" during ejaculation. Possible, if a stone had been in his urethra before he got aroused, but pretty unlikely...

andy  •  Link

re: Sam passing a stone

My wife is a GP (doctor) and I asked her about this theory. She snorted "Don't you know any biology? There's no connection with the bladder when you ejaculate. He's got urethritis - it's a STI" (sexually transmitted infection).

Q: did he get it himself (quite possible!) or via Bess (Pembleton?)

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: urethritis

It's true that there's no connection with the bladder when you ejaculate, but I seriously doubt Sam has an STI. The pain in his "yard" most likely is associated with the pain he'd recently experienced in the area where he was cut for the stone, which he strained while dealing with his constipation and collique. Pain in that area can "radiate" to the penis.

Canongate  •  Link

I feel sorry for anyone who has read this diary in any other way (without annotations). It's hard to imagine that reading Pepys alone could make a reader so merry and at the same time so informed. Thanks to these funny and erudite annotators.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"and going to enjoy my wife this morning, I had a very great pain in the end of my yard when my yard was stiff, as if I strained some nerve or vein, which was great pain to me."

Dr C. E. Newman writes: 'Pepys attributed all compatible symptoms to stone, but this is more likely to have been a not uncommon transient pain of no significance.' (L&M footnote)

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