Wednesday 3 July 1661

To Westminster to Mr. Edward Montagu about business of my Lord’s, and so to the Wardrobe, and there dined with my Lady, who is in some mourning for her brother, Mr. Saml. Crew, who died yesterday of the spotted fever. So home through Duck Lane to inquire for some Spanish books, but found none that pleased me. So to the office, and that being done to Sir W. Batten’s with the Comptroller, where we sat late talking and disputing with Mr. Mills the parson of our parish. This day my Lady Batten and my wife were at the burial of a daughter of Sir John Lawson’s, and had rings for themselves and their husbands. — [?? D.W.] Home and to bed.

48 Annotations

First Reading

Louis  •  Link

"This day my Lady Batten and my wife were at the burial of a daughter of Sir John Lawson's, and had rings for themselves and their husbands.”

This suggests they received rings as memorial tokens, a custom that lasted into the next century.

dirk  •  Link

Spanish books

What books in Spanish might have been available?

Spain's "Golden Age" (ca 1550-1650) had just faded away, and had produced a whole range of magnificent literature...

The most famous:
Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha
Theatre: Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca
Poetry & prose: Francisco de Quevedo

To name just a few. Some of these must have been available in English translation.

dirk  •  Link

Spanish books - cont'd

But then again, Sam was able to read the original. He didn't need translations.

Ruben  •  Link

I see you remember the April annotations on this subject.
As someone asked me for an explanation about "Memento mori", I find useful to copy a definition from an Internet site:
"A memento mori is a form of image that urged a European person of the late Middle Ages to "remember thy death." To do this, a memento mori might represent death as a human skeleton--perhaps as the Grim Reaper gathering his harvest--or it might depict human bodies in an advanced state of decay. Its purpose is to remind the viewer that death is an unavoidable part of life, something to be prepared for at all times. Memento mori images are graphic demonstrations of the fact that death was not only a more frequent, but a far more familiar occurrence in medieval Europe than it is today.

vicente  •  Link

"...who died yesterday of the spotted fever..." today would mean Lyme disease[Rickettsia rickettsii infection (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). ] from the tiny tick but naturally it could mean any of the diseases that have red spots and/or a rash?.[medico in the house ?]

Stolzi  •  Link

"death a more frequent event"?

In the Western world, as compared to today, more people died early in life, more people died outside the seclusion of hospitals and nursing homes. But surely then as now it was "one to a customer."

vicente  •  Link

reading this again , I'm lost:"...This day my Lady Batten and my wife were at the burial of a daughter of Sir John Lawson's, and had rings for themselves and their husbands…” does this mean that Sam and Sir Willy also got a ring each? Or ?

Ruben  •  Link

spotted fever:
any eruptive disease will do...
The most popular in the old days were Measles and scarlatine. Some of them are produced by virus and other by bacteria (Vicente: years ago I would write bacteriae, but no more). A Lyme infection would be very rare indeed, then and today.
To speculate more we need to know more details, like time of incubation, what kind of fever (high, continuous, in bouts), where did she had the "spots" (face, body, members), whether the spots were eleveted and from the same size or not...
Well, I think all this is irrelevant. Till the XX century, lots of children died just like this poor girl. This was discussed previously and here we have one more case.
The most interesting detail for us is that the European population developed some resistance from one generation to the other, because those with natural resistance survived and passed this inheritance to their siblings. This same spotted fever, when translated by the Europeans to America, decimated the local population by the millions.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"spotted fever" most likely Typhus, same disease that killed Ann Frank, but like Ruben said it could be a number of childhood diseases: Scarlet Fever etc.

Mary  •  Link

One bacterium, several bacteria.

(With muted apologies for the pedantry.)

dirk  •  Link

Vicente: "does this mean that Sam and Sir Willy also got a ring each"

That's the way I read this too.

vicente  •  Link

Ruben "(Vicente: years ago I would write bacteriae, but no more" if ye be a medicus, you may rite it but i be not able to reed it, I would need a pharmacist to tell mee.

Hic Retearius  •  Link


Oy! You lot, "goes like bellum"; bellum, bellum, bellum…, second declension neuter.

"Come up here and hold out your hand, Ruben, and stand still. Don't sniffle, boy!"

Ruben  •  Link

Of course.

Ruben  •  Link

"spotted fever"
A. De Araujo suggests it could be Thypus. He may have a point in that the disease appeared some time before the Plague, when rats and the like were plenty.

Ruben  •  Link

Hic Retearius:
thank you for your effort to educate me in the old ways system. It is already some 50 years since the last time I declined Latin, but that, of course, is not an excuse.
May I ask you to do something about Vicente. I know I write Spanglish (you cannot blame me for that), but he is writing I do not know what. Sometimes I can not find his words in the dictionary and I can not understand his annotations. Can you put him in the corner or something?

Peter  •  Link

Sounds like Hic has forgotten his plurals.

Hic Retearius  •  Link


Your English is superb and your posts a delight. I can speak for almost all of us here by urging you and others to post even if you are a bit worried about grammar, vocabulary or syntax. Where an English word or construction is elusive, just use the Spanish (or Italian or Latin or Slavic or whatever word or construction. We will have the resources among us to figure out the post.) The great majority of us here will have at least a nodding acquaintance with other languages and will appreciate what a horror the English language is. (Please disregard complainers who emerge from time to time and whose view it is that idiomatic North American English is the sole valid language to be spoken upon the planet. Our Sam was competent in Spanish, Italian and especially Latin. Can we not accommodate a few tags from these languages and others now and then on a Pepys board?)

El Vincente is not being obtuse, Ruben. He is an alert gentleman who wishes to stuff into the minimum "parvo" the maximum "multo" and doing so whilst entertaining us native speakers of English with a vocabulary constructed on the spot. It is a time honoured exercise among schoolboys. The result is diverting for native English speakers but impenetrable for anyone else.

Vincente: you have just seen what happened to Ruben for putting "bacterium" into the first declension ("goes like mensa") when it should have been in the second declension neuters ("goes like bellum"). If you do not make yourself a little more clear to Senor Ruben and others who struggle mightily with this already grotesque, disorganized jumble that we attempt to dignify by calling it a "language", the master will be obliged to call you, too, to the front of the room for a swat on your little hand!!!

Pedro.  •  Link

Understanding Vincente.

Let's face it -- English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweet-meats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat...…

This site would not be the same without our old china Vinnie!

Mary  •  Link

Obtuse or obscure?

Whilst agreeing with HR that Vicente is certainly not being obtuse, the fact that Ruben (and perhaps a whole number of others who haven't cared to raise the matter) find his annotations obscure is a matter for regret ... but one that only V. himself can rectify.

Ruben  •  Link

Vicente is phenomenal. I enjoy every one of his annotations and learnt a lot from him.
I visited (in most cases) or revisited places and Latin authors forgotten by me decades ago, just because of his comments and associations.
May I suggest that, as he does with Latin, he should give us a short translation into plain English for those that did not had this language as mother tongue?
I pressume that his last entry here was written in such a way that people like me would understand. And still...

Ruben  •  Link

"spotted fever":
H.W.Haggard wrote some 70 years ago a History of Medicine. One of the illustrations in his book is a list of defunctions from the year 1665, the year of the Plague. It is titled “The diseases and casualties this week”. I do not know how to make this list available to you, so I will cite a few numbers:
Plague: 4237, Feaver 348, Spotted fever 166, Teeth 118, etc.
The reason to post this primitive statistics is that you can see that Doctors knew then how to make a differential diagnosis between “spotted fever” and “plague”.
This may confirm my presumption that the daughter of Sir John Lawson died from measles or scarlet fever and not from the plague.

Ruben  •  Link

from John Graunt's "Bills of Mortality"
chapter II:"being Kil'd by several Accidents, &c. do the like, whereas Epidemical, and Malignant diseases, as the Plague, Purples, Spotted-Feaver, Small-Pox, and Measles do not keep that equality, so as in some Years, or Moneths, there died ten times as many as in others."(…)
and in chapter IV:
" 13. It may be also noted, that many times other Pestilential Diseases, as Purple-Feavers, Small-Pox, &c. do forerun the Plague a Year, two or three, for in 1622; there died but 8000. in 1623; 11000: in 24. about 12000: till in 1625 there died of all Diseases above 54000. "
This, I think, confirms my assumption.

Hic Retearius  •  Link


Thesis amply demonstrated. Might we be permitted to say q.e.d?

Glyn  •  Link

Just how heavily pregnant is Lady Montague on this day? Surely in her condition she should be staying away from people with contagious diseases. What are the odds on her surviving the birth - and didn't she already have a baby earlier in the year?

vicente  •  Link

To one and all: Thank you for all the blank. Perfect grammar is not necessarily perfect thought. I was hoping by being imperfect it would excite those with great ideas to post regardless of the Imperfect accent. Refrigeration was not invented by an Engineer,TV was envisioned by a ploughman, Education is a polishing stone to bringing forth thoughts that can be impinged on other thoughts to improve the life of the world [or communicate].[see the caste of characters that were standing around Gresham Hall subjecting various lives with home remedies.]
To those that find my train of thought be a pile of [*], please Email me [just drop GR ]and I will attempt to explain the said typing error.
Re: Bacterium, tho be neutered it acts fundament-al, so neuter it be as we do not know the object or subject of its invasion.
Seriously, it was derived, I am led to believe, from the Greek 'bakterion' so when first observed by a new fangled prospective they saw rod shaped squigglies and promptly look a for a new word . The classic latinist would think of the word baculum [staff]. Every one brings a better understanding to way we all see these writings of Samuel Peepies.
Remember, I not be lettered or mortarboard'd.
P.S. A doctors hand-writing is nototious for being undecipherable, the Chemist being the only one that can issue the correct dossage of asperin.

language hat  •  Link

Another vote for the glory of Vicente.
Not everything can be immediately comprehensible to everyone, and if it like you not [nb: ye olde syntaxis], ye are free to pass on to more transparent waters. I don't always understand what he's on about myself, but oh how I love the music.

Glyn  •  Link

I once read this story about aliens who wanted to conquer the world (or at least America) so as a first step they kidnapped someone to teach them colloquial English so that they could blend in initially while they were carrying out their nefarious schemes (I don't have the highest taste in literature). Anyway, the person that they kidnapped pretended to co-operate but instead sneakily taught them a weird type of English that meant they were identified and arrested immediately. I don't know why, but whenever I read Vicente's comments that story comes to mind.

So, how far up the duff is Ms Montague anyway?

Hic Retearius  •  Link

language hat

Most heartily seconded.

We are with you, Vincente, and we do follow. Press on. This board covers the world; where there's an important detail, please provide a window lest the treasured non native speakers among us say: "It's all Ελληνικά. to me" and drift away!

Laura K  •  Link

This is hilarious! This gang is nothing if not entertaining. Many thanks to all.

Psst, Hic: lest you think me hopelessly, rudely or crudely Americo-centric, rest assured I am merely poorly educated. That is, educated in the US. My plaintive pleas for translations are simply expressions of my desire to understand as much as possible on this board.

I don't, however, ask for translations of Vicente; I've long since given up the quest to understand his posts. I assume it's some inside joke I haven't been let in on...

vicente  •  Link

Thanks Reuben- A csi's delight. great…
I just remov'd the the brackets:
A Tip: if cube-ing the w's; then try it out when in preview; it will come aces up or blow up, your choice.

vicente  •  Link

My apologies; Ruben on the the miss- spelling of your name:
Pedro; great sight for slang :
cubeing the w = www ?

dirk  •  Link


"Ego alius quam sum esse non possum."(Erasmus)
I certainly think this adagium applies to you!

(Translation: Myself, I cannot be otherwise than I am.)

I can't say I understand every "new-ance" of your cryptic prose, but usually I get the gist of it - and I thoroughly enjoy all of it.

john lauer  •  Link

Talk about "off-topic"...

Hic Retearius  •  Link


"La vray science et le vray étude de l'homme c'est l'homme.” Qui? Et nous, ici, sommes “l’homme”. A little leeway, please.

Hic Retearius  •  Link

Laura K

Whoops, beg pardon. An exceedingly loose translation but one can't beat Al Pope!

"Know then thyself, presume not John to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man."

vicente  •  Link

Laura K. Nay, ye are not:[I am merely poorly educated,], As Long you keep your mind open. Read diverse items, you may not be able to quote Charlie Chaplin, or 'orice or sweep out the Aegean stables. It is nearly impossible to have it all [Knowledge that is] in ones little grey cells, all you need is the access code to the information that you may need to solve a problem. Life is just solving ones own set of dealt card of the day.

Ruben  •  Link

Reuben, reu ben: in Hebrew "see the son". The name of the first male born to Jacob. Genesis 35, 23:"the sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob's first born, then Simeon..." I prefer Ruben like in Spanish : "Ruben Dario".

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Can we please keep annotations relevant to the diary entry. While many of the annotators are regulars who are obviously happy to chat to and about each other in the annotations, I suspect most people come to the site because they're interested in Pepys.

So, please remind yourself of the annotation guidelines… , keep annotations relevant to the current diary entry, and use the discussion group… for discussion about annotators, annotation styles, and anything that isn't directly relevant to Pepys and the diary. Thanks.

I don't like to delete annotations but I do this if I feel they're getting in the way of understanding the diary.

Laura K  •  Link

thank you

Thank you Vincent. I am really quite happy with my education. I just don't read much Latin...

And thank you Phil. A very welcome reminder.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

House of Commons today

Regulating the Press.…

This House, taking Notice that several traiterous, schismatical, and scandalous Pamphlets have been printed and published since his Majesty's happy Restauration;

Ordered, That Sir John Maynard, his Majesty's Serjeant at Law, Serjeant Keeling, and Sir Solomon Swale, be desired to prepare and bring in a Bill for the Regulation of Printing; and for the calling in of all seditious and schismatical Books and Pamphlets, in whose Hands soever they be.

Bill  •  Link

"who died yesterday of the spotted fever"

John Wilkins in his semi-famous book "An Essay Towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language" (1668) (a forerunner of the thesaurus) differentiates as separate diseases: Spotted fever, Plague, Pox and Measles. All of these he categorizes as sicknesses with "spots in the skin."

John Wilkins:…

Bill  •  Link

Another contemporary text that differentiates between these four sicknesses:

But if Poison be taken into or generated in the Body ... then there breaketh out malignant Fevers, as the Measles, Small Pox, Spotted Fever, and the Plague itself.
---Cochlearia Curiosa. V.A.Moellenbrock, 1676.

Bill  •  Link

Whoops, didn't realize that the Wilkins book I mentioned had its own encyclopedia entry:

Wilkins' 'Essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language':…

Lightarch  •  Link

Sakespeare in his will leaves mourning rings for his friends,
a custom which survived well into Victorian times.

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