Tuesday 28 June 1664

Up, and this day put on a half shirt first this summer, it being very hot; and yet so ill-tempered I am grown, that I am afeard I shall catch cold, while all the world is ready to melt away. To the office all the morning, at noon to dinner at home, then to my office till the evening, then out about several businesses and then by appointment to the ‘Change, and thence with my uncle Wight to the Mum house, and there drinking, he do complain of his wife most cruel as the most troublesome woman in the world, and how she will have her will, saying she brought him a portion and God knows what. By which, with many instances more, I perceive they do live a sad life together. Thence to the Mitre and there comes Dr. Burnett to us and Mr. Maes, but the meeting was chiefly to bring the Doctor and me together, and there I began to have his advice about my disease, and then invited him to my house: and I am resolved to put myself into his hands. Here very late, but I drank nothing, nor will, though he do advise me to take care of cold drinks. So home and to bed.


26 Annotations

Terry F  •  Link

Our man feels out of sorts, out of season and out of step.

"[S]o ill-tempered I am grown, that I am afeard I shall catch cold, while all the world is ready to melt away." Wet however resolved he may be to put himself in Dr. Burnett's hands, he stubbornly resists humoral treatment: "I drank nothing, nor will, though he do advise me to take care of cold drinks."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Dr. Burnett.

Alexander Burnet d. 1665.
Pepys' physician, and a friend of his Uncle Wight. He appears also to have waited on Sandwich. M.D. (Cantab) 1648: hon F.R.C.P. 1664. He lived on the south side of Fenchurch Street in a large house (taxed on nine hearths.) He died in the Plague, after performing a post-mortem on a plague victim.

from L&M Companion

cape henry  •  Link

"...I perceive they do live a sad life together." OK Mr. Pepys, now just put 2 and 2 together as you normally do pretty well and what do you get? C'mon, we're all waiting.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"but I drank nothing, nor will"

Too bad -- doctors nowadays push fluids for those with "the stone." Helps flush away the minerals that contribute to them.

"saying she brought him a portion and God knows what"

Can someone help w/this? What does he mean by "brought him a portion"?

"By which, with many instances more, I perceive they do live a sad life together."

Count your blessings, Mr. (Samuel) Pepys...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Oh, that Burnett.

Spoiler...A very brave and decent man by Sam's future account.

***

Iuduco still lurking about, I see. Just what the heck is he up to, anyway?

***

"By which, with many instances more, I perceive they do live a sad life together."

We rather guessed that, Sam, when he offered your wife cash for sex.

"So, how went your partying with that idiot fop of a nephew?"

"Oh, please. Nothing but complaints from him about that poor wife of his...'Bess is always demanding attention', 'Bess always wants pleasure', 'Bess always spends too much', 'Bess always wants new dresses', 'Bess brings me nothing, no portion at all', on and on... I do perceive they lead a rather sad life together."

"Yeah, yeah." Aunt Wight waves hand.... "But did he agree to let you try and...You know..."

"Well..."

"Billy Wight, I want a living child to care for. I've done my best...And at no little risk, you know. And you gave your word you'd try."

"I know, I know. And I have...To the point of true humiliation, I should point out...tried. But while I think I could win Samuel over, I don't think our niece is quite in step with our thinking."

***

Roy Feldman  •  Link

Any guesses what a "half shirt" is? I'm wondering myself if it means something he wears during the day or to bed.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Todd, the portion spoken of means she brought a dowry.

Unlike some people we know...Sam is no doubt thinking.

Terry F  •  Link

"how [Aunt Wight] will have her will, saying she brought him a portion and God knows what."

Mary brought him a dowry and has the gall to have an idea of her own as to how she wants the lawyers to write her own will -- it being term time and they active! (apparently in a way other than Uncle Wight would have it?!).

Terry F  •  Link

Does Aunt Wight always throw her weight around?

JWB  •  Link

"...ill-tempered I am grown..."

"Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name..
Behind the hands that wove.
The intolerable shirt of flame.
Which human power cannot remove.."
T.S. Eliot

Betty Lane's the source of Sam's half-shirts.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/08/25/

ellen  •  Link

I love that first sentence. The reader knows exactly how he feels.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

should have kept mum and not mumble but keep on chewing or was S Pepys just saying " mum,mum I see..:"
"...thence with my uncle Wight to the Mum house, and there drinking, he do complain of his wife most cruel as the most troublesome woman in the world, and how she will have her will, saying she brought him a portion and God knows what. By which, with many instances more, I perceive they do live a sad life together. ..."
OED: 1677 J. LEANERD Country Innocence II. 14, I smell my Landlord: butno more words but mum.

Ruben  •  Link

take care of cold drinks
How cold where cold drinks?
I presume S. P's idea of cold drinks was a warm lager or wine.
Coffee, Chocolate and Tea were hot and so some cocktail's.
Ergo, Dr. Burnett's advice was to drink the new and more expensive, fashionable drinks around town...

Pedro  •  Link

"as the most troublesome woman in the world"

When this gossip reaches Brampton it should make Mrs P chuckle!

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Ruben,hot and cold foods in this case did not have much to do with temperature.

GrahamT  •  Link

Ruben,
It certainly wouldn't have been warm lager; that wasn't invented until the 18th century.
Ale might have been at cellar temperature, so cold compared to a hot summer's day.

C.J.Darby  •  Link

"so ill-tempered I am grown" does this mean that he feels he is unable to withstand extremes of heat and cold rather then that he is foul humoured?

Clement  •  Link

"...that I am afeard I shall catch cold, while all the world is ready to melt away."

Full sentence seems to support that, C.J.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...put on a half shirt first this summer..."

I'm trying to picture Pepys in periwig and no sleeve T-shirt "Verily, England doth rule the waves!" stenciled (with affection by Bess) on the front.

Terry F  •  Link

"he feels he is unable to withstand extremes of heat and cold rather then that he is foul humoured?"

An ambiguity in "humour"?! He's also distressed. The medicine of the time didn't make the same physical/psychological distinctions we do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_humours

Terry F  •  Link

Pepys is reporting a system-imbalance. for which one consults a physician.

Terry F  •  Link

"half shirt"

My first thought. like Robert, was a sleeveless something. There are at least two other contemporary possibilities. There us the cutoff "belly-shirt":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_shirt A quick web search shows India-based merchants mean by it what in the US is called a "short-sleeved shirt."

What did Pepys have in mind (and on body)?

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

When I be frollicking the The Wealds and other sundry places, I would love to stop at an Inn, that be far from civilisation, and it be without all the mod cons, and participate in a cool drink, be it formented or fruited, and it would be so delicious on an 'ot summer shirtless day . A good Cellar would keep its liquids and roots in a temperature range of 50-55 D's Fa.[good for beer and Red wines.]

Under the sod the heat flow be quite slow, the summer Temps be reached in the Cellar in December.
Nature provided the necessary labour saving devices.

?? When we run out of means to provide lazy means of keeping cool we will revert to building nice coool caves and cellars.

Australian Susan  •  Link

An ordinary shirt in those days had long bits that hung down over the bottom and the private bits at the front, so maybe a half shirt was one without those bits.

Cold drinks

Sam is convinced that his stone first became a nuisance after he drank a lot of very cold water drawn from a deep well when he was a student at Cambridge and went for a walk into the countryside on a hot day and was tempted to quench his thirst by quaffing large amounts of this spring water. So he is wary of risking bringing on the same degree of pain again.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.