Sunday 24 February 1660/61

(Sunday). Mr. Mills made as excellent a sermon in the morning against drunkenness as ever I heard in my life. I dined at home; another good one of his in the afternoon. My Valentine [Martha Batten. P.G.] had her fine gloves on at church to-day that I did give her.

After sermon my wife and I unto Sir Wm. Batten and sat awhile. Then home, I to read, then to supper and to bed.

24 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"excellent a sermon ...against drunkenness" since he liked it so much either he is a masochist or he interpreted it as being against drinking in excess because he drinks alcohol almost everyday!

Nix  •  Link

But seldom to excess.

Bob T  •  Link

Sam had to drink something, and a glass of water was a short-cut to the cemetery. If he drank milk, then he ran the risk of getting tuberculosis, so what was he going to do? Wine and beer were the only safe liquids that he could drink. In his times beer was not considered to be a recreational drink, but a food. That meant that brewers fell into the same category as farmers, and could be presented at court, whereas lawyers could not.
Were tea and coffee making their appearances around this time?

William Crosby  •  Link

Bob--this has been discussed throughout the last year. Commercial coffee as a beverage and coffee shops were becoming an important place to meet and be seen as I recall. If you go to background annotations you'll see excellent annotations relating to food and beverages.

Josh  •  Link

Gallant souls all, not to remember those occasions when our toper-by- necessity did not feel so very well come the next morning, his old complaint acting up, usw.
But Pepys has Keats's negative capability avant la lettre, able to hold contrarieties simultaneously---A good Sermon against What I sometimes do Myself anyhow---with aplomb. As who does not, if we were we to tell truths like Sam.

vincent  •  Link

The unspoken words, 'Just like a man', now't said how wifey is going to fiddle?"...Then home, I to read, then to supper and to bed...." oh! what a day cold maybe wet? One good sermon about one of the great distractions facing man, after that a bite to eat [may I say drink] then to another berating of the mind [not worthy of comment?], then to see the possessor of his gloves [very chase, wife around] then back to the Casa, to enjoy a restful evening, indulging maybe in ones those lighter readings in french maybe [no music, so quiet] ? [not inspiring of comment][the cat snoring, the dog sleeping and the monkey ?][the help resting ?]

roberto  •  Link

"My Valentine"

Sam appears to reference St. Valentine Day again and again after St. Valentine's Day is long past. Perhaps I was a longer occasion then than it is today.

skutch  •  Link

sam is drunk all the time when he writes these, remember when he thought there was a monkey loose in the house?

David Goldfarb  •  Link

Tea and coffee were indeed making their appearances around this time, but were still somewhat luxury items. Our Sam had his first-ever cup of "tee" back on 25 September 1660.

Xjy  •  Link

The Valentine references
Maybe it was just Carnival time? Early spring stirrings...
Arranged marriages and a rigid system of property based on them opened the door to a vast subculture (and sometimes not so very sub, depending on the Zeitgeist) of flirtation and sexual intrigue. Rule no. 1, don't get caught. In other words, write about if you must, but do it in shorthand.

Susan  •  Link

Interesting. No mention of whether Elizabeth was wearing her Valentine's gifts??!!

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Roberto, of course Sam is only remembering. On February 18th he spent 40 shilling on six payre of plain white gloves for 'his' Valentine, Mrs Martha Batten, and now he recognizes them as she is chastely wearing them in church.

Pedro.  •  Link

"excellent a sermon in the morning against drunkenness as ever I heard in my life." He drinks every day, but seldom to excess? Well, he has had a few sore heads in the morning, but many times he admits to being "merry!" Perhaps it was the presentation that was excellent.

Scott  •  Link

Sam must think the sermon is for those other folks that can't handle their drink. This is well before Demon Gin causes a national crisis isn't it? I think I need to hear that sermon after living thru another Mardi Gras this year.

Emilio  •  Link

Or, like many of us, he thinks it's wonderful moral advice that he just can't follow most of the time. We've seen (and will see again) Sam vow to give up drink when in the clutches of an especially nasty hangover, but then return to his same old carousing self a few days or weeks later.

vincent  •  Link

St Augustine said it correctly, I want to be good, but not today. [ tomorrow]
Da mihi castitatem et continentiam,sed noli modo. St Augustine, Confessiones,VIII,7
Give me chastity and restraint, but at another time.

StewartMcI  •  Link

And of course Lord Byron...

"Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after."

Rich Merne  •  Link

Hi Skutch, Not so sure about Sam's monkey being a figment. Thinking that there is a monkey, isn't just 'drunk', it's the bottom end of disfunctional delirium. If he was that bad I think we'd have no diarist or diary. Maybe he had a monkey in a cage.

Second Reading

meech  •  Link

Regarding "drunkenness"...
It's a matter of degrees, I think. In my parent's youth, the 30's and 40's, the alcohol flowed freely, and I'm talking about the hard stuff. No Cab or Chardonnay for them. Probably a reaction to Prohibition. Although from stories they've told it doesn't sound like there was much lessening of the flow even then. Having several high balls was fine as long as you could "handle your liquor". Looking back now I'm surprised at how much they drank, so by today's standards they and Sam imbibed overmuch, but in his case, that's all he had to drink. My parents generation didn't have that excuse. However he does occasionally overdo it, and has had a few bad mornings where he's been repentant, but in his mind this probably does not make him a drunkard. A 'drunkard' and 'drunkenness' may be something much worse to him than just having a hangover.

AndreaLouise Hanover  •  Link

Sam drunkeness - I count the number of times he is not feeling well due to his excessive drinking. Actually I delight in it.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Diary of Ralph Josselin (Private Collection)
24.2.1661 (Sunday 24 February 1661)
document 70012935

Feb. 24. God good to us, yet our little Bett's ague continues, sanctify lord the stroke and remove it, this day we broke bread together without any disturbance(.) poor Mr R.H. very sad, and backward to receive, lord heal his melancholy temper, *said on this match proffered by Portugal that the King is married to the Princess de Ligne. oh lord what is doing in the world.*

The rumors about Charles II's marriage have reached the wilds of Essex. As usual with rumors, there is a kernal of truth and a lot of erronious speculation. They can't blame Facebook or X/Twitter or Fox News: it's a function of human nature to seek out the latest news -vs- try to keep possibilities secret until decisions become certainties.

What is making the Rev. Ralph despair is that the royal family of Portugal and the family of Claude Lamoral, 3rd Prince of Ligne are all Catholics. Either way, he fears this influence cannot be good for his Puritan flock.

* my emphasis.
Mr. R.H. is Richard Harlakenden, the local Puritan gentry and Josselin's friend, who evidently fears the worst.

徽柔  •  Link

It is very interesting thinking how those people in 17th century were actually drunkards according to today's standard. Did people in restoration period boiled the water before they drink it , just like what my ancestors did in China? That could really help reducing pathogens in water.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Interesting you mention boiling the water. Once tea became an affordable and widespread drink of choice -- about 100 years in the future -- some people noticed a change in the Bills of Mortality statistics, but they didn't know why the incidents of certain illnesses had changed.

Not only the Chinese but also the Egyptians had figured out how to purify water, but the quantity needed in towns of any size made these methods inffective.

"Sir Francis Bacon revealed his ideas about desalination in his writings "A Natural History of Ten Centuries". He had come across an experimenter who had succeeded in purifying seawater by passing it downward through 20 vessels, and he assumed that if he dug a hole close to seashore, he would get pure water after the seawater had passed through the sand.

"Also in the 17th century, an Italian physician by the name of Lucas Antonius Portius provided details of a multiple sand filtration method in his writings entitled "Soldier’s Vade Mecum". This method employed the use of three pairs of sand filters, each of which had an upward-flow filter and a downward-flow filter. Water would enter the settling compartment of the system after it had been strained through a perforated plate.

"Between the 17th and 18th centuries, filtration became the preferred water purification method for many communities, and more and more town officials were considering the possibility of providing clean drinking to all their residents.

"In 1703, French scientist La Hire proposed to the French Academy of Sciences that every household in Paris should have a rainwater cistern and a sand filter. His system included a covered and elevated cistern, which could prevent the growth of moss and freezing.

"About a century after La Hire’s proposal was made, Paisley in Scotland introduced the first municipal water purifying plant in the world. Established in 1804, this plant used gravel filters and concentric sand to treat water, and the water is distributed with the use of a horse and cart."
Taken from…

But none mention just plain old boiling the water at home.

Perhaps someone else knows?

徽柔  •  Link

Thank you ,San Diego Sarah,for answering my question~
I too did my research and found there was no mentioning boiling water at home. That's totally unexpected.
In that case Pepys should better stick to wine or beer.

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