Tuesday 7 February 1664/65

Up and to my office, where busy all the morning, and at home to dinner. It being Shrove Tuesday, had some very good fritters. All the afternoon and evening at the office, and at night home to supper and to bed. This day, Sir W. Batten, who hath been sicke four or five days, is now very bad, so as people begin to fear his death; and I am at a loss whether it will be better for me to have him die, because he is a bad man, or live, for fear a worse should come.

19 Annotations

Pedro  •  Link

"and I am at a loss whether it will be better for me to have him die, because he is a bad man, or live, for fear a worse should come."

Much better the Devil that you know!

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Live or let die, that is the question.
Sam's writing is so perfect. He writes at a stroke and his sentence (in shorthand) needs no editing. It's like listening to a cat playing jazz and it's so perfect it could be recorded on the fly without another take.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Watch it, Samuel. Fate has an odd way of punishing such remarks.

Maurie Beck  •  Link

"Watch it, Samuel. Fate has an odd way of punishing such remarks."

Apparently not. Sam lives to a ripe old age.

Ralph Berry  •  Link

Live or let die.

One has to admire how totally open Sam is with his diary. It does seem to indicate he never expected anyone else will read it, or at least never expected at the time of writing.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

“Watch it, Samuel. Fate has an odd way of punishing such remarks.”

"Apparently not. Sam lives to a ripe old age."

Never said I was speaking of Sam's death.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

And yet as an old man he made the great decision not to destroy it but to protect it as best he could. No doubt, he realized its worth at the end but in part like "Doc Brown" finally decided... "What the hell."

And of course...Spoiler...

Killing the Diary was seeing poor Bess die all over again. While it lives, she does.

CGS  •  Link

Sam did not fritter away the morn, no did he call fritters , fritatado or frittaddo nor was it from a whale that could have been beached.
;early record 1420.
but does get a mention again for his august version.
fritter, n.1 [a. Fr. friture = Sp. fritura, It. frittura:{em}Lat. type *fr..ct..ra, f. fr..g..re to FRY.]

1. Usually pl. A portion of batter, sometimes containing slices of apple, meat, etc., fried in oil, lard, etc. Often preceded by some qualifying word, as apple-, oyster-, rice-fritter; also, in 15-16th c., in some semi-anglicized French terms, as fritter-bounce, -pouch, -sage, -viant (meat) (obs.).

c1420 Liber Cocorum (1862) 55 Tarts and daryels and custan dere, Rysshene and pome dorres, and frutur in fere. ....

1664 PEPYS Diary 19 Aug., Home to supper to a good dish of fritters....
1631 E. PELLHAM Preserv. 8 Englishm. in Green-land 22 We agreed..to keepe Wednesdayes and Fridayes Fasting dayes; excepting from the Frittars or Graves of the Whale. (marg. note. These be the Scraps of the Fat of the Whale, which are flung away after the Oyle is gotten out of it.)

3. pl. Whaling = FENKS.
[Perh. a transferred use of F. friture fat in which something is fried.]

A fritter.
1635 J. HAYWARD tr. Biondi's Banish'd Virg. 46 Making her a frittado of egges and milke he set it before her.

frittata, n.A thick, well-cooked Italian omelette,

Mary  •  Link

"some very good fritters"

So the kitchen survives well enough, despite Jane's recent departure.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"so as people begin to fear his death"
I wonder how Mingo felt.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"If I may say, a good master, my Lady."

"Yes, thank you, Mingo. And remember, he always thought of you and your wife as part of the family..."

"Thank ye, my Lady." heads off...

"George, remember to describe Mingo as well-trained and strong in the ads. And that the woman is available alone or as part of a set with him."

"Yes, Lady Batten."

Ant  •  Link

Shrove Tuesday fritters

Shrove Tues otherwise still known here in the UK as Pancake Day ...

Don McCahill  •  Link

> It does seem to indicate he never expected anyone else will read it, or at least never expected at the time of writing.

I was just thinking yesterday that if you could go back in history, and tell Sam how much you enjoyed reading his diaries, he probably would have headed straight home and burned them.

It is clear that with all his recounting of his love life, and impressions that might be considered libelous if published.

Ralph notes that he decided later not to destroy the books. I wonder if he would have if he knew how famous they would become. Perhaps he just considered them a way for an old man to recapture his randy youth by rereading them, and couldn't let them go until it was too late.

Mary  •  Link

Shades of Oscar Wilde?

" I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."

CGS  •  Link

fritter morphs to pancake:

Pancake Day n. Shrove Tuesday, so called from the custom of making pancakes on this day to use up eggs and fat before Lent.
1700 F. WILLIS Let. 13 Feb. in M. M. Verney Verney Lett.
(1930) I. v. 70 This being

*Pancake and Fritter Day & I have Companey makes me to begin my letter this morning.

1. a. A thin flat cake of batter, fried on both sides in a pan.
In Britain made without a raising agent, and similar to a crêpe (cf. CRÊPE n. 3);
in N. America made with a raising agent, and similar to a drop scone or

Scotch pancake (cf. drop-scone n. at SCONE n. 1 and

Scotch pancake n. at SCOTCH adj. and n.3 Compounds 1).
a1400 A

[< PAN n.1 + CAKE n. Cf.
Middle Dutch pankoeke, pannecoeke, pannekoeke (Dutch pannekoek),

Old Saxon (diminutive) pannok..kel..n

(Middle Low German pank..ke, pannek..ke,
German regional (Low German) Pannk{omac}ken, Pannek{omac}ken),

Old High German pfankuohho, pfannakuohho (Middle High German phankuoche, German Pfannkuchen),

Old Danish pannækaghe (Danish pandekage). With sense 8 cf. slightly earlier PANCAKE v. 2.

a1600 T. DELONEY Gentle Craft (1637) I. xvi. sig I3v, Let them lacke neither Pudding pyes nor Pancakes.

1619 Pasquil's Palin. (1877) 152 And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.

1723 J. BARKER Patch-work Screen for Ladies Introd. sig. a3v, The Blankets were of Thread-bare Home-spun Stuff, which felt and smelt like a Pancake fry'd in Grease.

b. As the type of something thin and flat. Usu. in (as) flat as a pancake: completely flat.
The phrase is also used with fig. senses of flat.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

for fear a worse should come

Unlike Jim, who was eaten by a lion, Sam seems to have learned early on that one should "always keep a-hold of Nurse/For fear of finding something worse"

John  •  Link

So Shrove Tuesday, the same day as mardi gras, was 7 February. This year was the 5th, a near coincidence and early in the year.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

John, I think that near coincidence relates to the near synchrony, which we've noticed before, of the lunar cycle in dictionary time and our time. The liturgical calendar, which is responsible for the date of Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras, depends in part on the lunar cycle.

CGS  •  Link

lunar cycle along with more sun dothe raise the body fluids along with all that fresh young food.

Log in to post an annotation.

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