Sunday 23 February 1661/62

(Lord’s day). My cold being increased, I staid at home all day, pleasing myself with my dining-room, now graced with pictures, and reading of Dr. Fuller’s “Worthys.” So I spent the day, and at night comes Sir W. Pen and supped and talked with me. This day by God’s mercy I am 29 years of age, and in very good health, and like to live and get an estate; and if I have a heart to be contented, I think I may reckon myself as happy a man as any is in the world, for which God be praised. So to prayers and to bed.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Miss Ann  •  Link

Dr Fuller's "Worthys" - is our Sam compiling lists in his head of those "worthys" that will be worthwhile knowing? Who's who and all that ... let's not waste time with people who won't be worth knowing as we climbs the corporate ladder, OR, is it a matter of "know thine enemies" and being prepared just in case ...

Ruben  •  Link

He did not tell us about it before, but now he has his own Worthys...
You may see a 20 years later version of the book in the excellent site of Otago's library in the net, were you will also find pictures of cards and pictures Pepys collected, and more extraordinary material. He left some 3000 books collected. Our man was really a bibliophile!…

Pete Zicari  •  Link

Here we have a true measure of the man, that enabled him to rise so high in the esteem of his friends and noble patron: Fighting a cold and feeling it get worse, he can write in his diary -- in code that no one will read for centuries -- that "I think I may reckon myself as happy a man as any is in the world." Happy birthday indeed.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"my cold being increase"
Obviously the something warm he got yesterday did not work as it should not have.

PHE  •  Link

What joie de vivre
"I think I may reckon myself as happy a man as any is in the world"

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Re: PHE's comment: and what a great motto for one's birthday!
I wonder though if the 'getting an estate' is thought essential by Sam to reckon himself happy.

Carolina  •  Link

I find it quite interesting that he says he has an increasing cold yet later on he says he finds himself in very good health.
A cold was not considered an illness in those days?

Australian Susan  •  Link

"very good health"
I took that to mean that he has no long term ailments or disabilities - the cold was perceived as transitory and something he would assume he would get better from. It's like the difference between a horse being sound and being fit. It may be "sound in wind and limb", but not "fit to race", if either ill-conditioned or with a slight infection somewhere. Not that I am comparing Sam to a horse.....

Mary  •  Link

Sam's very good health.

Australian Susan has the right of it. The clue lies in Sam's assessment of himself "and like to live and get an estate". After enduring a sickly childhood and surviving his cutting for the stone, Sam fully appreciates his own essential good health. A cold is seen as merely a passing nuisance, even if he does cosset himself a little with '"something warm" before bed.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Colds and Estates

Do we know that a "cold" back in Sam's day meant the same thing that it did today? Or could it encompass a wider variety of ills?

As for Wim's comment about an estate being essential to Sam's happiness, I think it's a matter of him simply saying "my prospects are good," which is a reason for his optimism. Remember, this was a time when a comfortable retirement was by no means assured, and building an "estate" (which I assume does not necessarily involve land, but could also mean ample money in the bank/under the mattress) was the sole responsibility of the potential retiree (unless they got lucky in marriage, had a rich relative who remembered them, etc.)

Carolina  •  Link

Do we know that a "cold" back in Sam's day meant the same thing that it did today? Or could it encompass a wider variety of ills?

Todd has phrased the question better than I did !

I thought that because Sam mentioned his cold had got worse and he stayed indoors that he perceived it as serious.
They must have been a lot hardier in those days - or not ?

vicenzo  •  Link

Retirement: so many gattered the coin of the realm, only to end up in debtors prison [there be at least 5 prisonsfor those that angered their creditor] . Even some rich bankers ended their days destitute. Take Sams last boss [Slingsby]of the navy, his family had to petition the House of Lords to sell all, to pay his Creditors. So Sam will be aware of the consequencies of spending more than he can he can lays his hands on. [never count one's eggs 'till the bird lays them, even be more foolish to count the chickens ye be getting from the eggs laid, let alone those that maybe laid.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Retirement: "Better to go down dignified, with boughten friendship at your side, than none at all. Provide, Provide."

vicenzo  •  Link

"boughten friendship" only as long you keep a buying.
"Frugalitas miseria est rumoris boni"
or frugal misery is a good rumour…

Frugality is wretchedness with a good name...Syrus, Maxims.
Fidem qui perdit, nihil pote ultra perdere.
Lose credit and one lose no more.

Second Reading

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Pepy's missed Montaigne's essay on happiness--

Scilicet ultima semper
Exspectanda dies homini est; dicique beatus
Ante obitum nemo supremaque funera debet.
[“We should all look forward to our last day: no one can be called happy till he is dead and buried.”—Ovid, Met, iii. 135]

Bill  •  Link

@Gerald, Aristotle (and Solon) in the Nicomachean Ethics got there first: "Must no one at all, then, be called happy while he lives; must we, as Solon says, see the end?"

Bill  •  Link

"My cold being increased, I staid at home all day"

3. A disease caused by cold; the obstruction of perspiration.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘cold . . 5. b. As a mass noun: disease attributed to an excess of the quality of coldness within the body or part of the body, to a superfluity of cold humours (esp. phlegm), or to exposure to low temperature; (in later use) spec. acute and self-limited catarrhal illness of the upper respiratory tract . .
. . 1646 T. Juxon Jrnl. (1999) 134 My Lord General Essex died at his house..of an apoplex, having been sick about a week, taking cold in hunting the stag.
. . 1747 J. Wesley Primitive Physick p. xxiii, Obstructed Perspiration (vulgarly called catching Cold) is one great Source of Diseases . .

c. As a count noun: an instance of such disease . . now known to be caused by any of numerous viruses . .
. . 1600 Shakespeare Henry IV, Pt. 2 iii. ii. 178 A horson cold, sir, a cough sir.
1679 London Gaz. No. 1436/4 His Majesty..has been indisposed for some days by a Cold he took . . ‘

Mary Ellen  •  Link

Now in the US, a common cold is now often called 'the FLU'. Where a (once known as) common head cold or chest cold is now being treated by the flu shot. No evidence to prove that the inoculation actually works. It does give some people peace of mind.

Log in to post an annotation.

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