Sunday 4 May 1662

(Lord’s day). Lay long talking with my wife, then Mr. Holliard came to me and let me blood, about sixteen ounces, I being exceedingly full of blood and very good. I begun to be sick; but lying upon my back I was presently well again, and did give him 5s. for his pains, and so we parted, and I, to my chamber to write down my journall from the beginning of my late journey to this house.

Dined well, and after dinner, my arm tied up with a black ribbon, I walked with my wife to my brother Tom’s; our boy waiting on us with his sword, which this day he begins to wear, to outdo Sir W. Pen’s boy, who this day, and Sir W. Batten’s too, begin to wear new livery; but I do take mine to be the neatest of them all.

I led my wife to Mrs. Turner’s pew, and the church being full, it being to hear a Doctor who is to preach a probacon [?? D.W.] sermon, I went out to the Temple and there walked, and so when church was done went to Mrs. Turner’s, and after a stay there, my wife and I walked to Grays Inn, to observe fashions of the ladies, because of my wife’s making some clothes. Thence homewards, and called in at Antony Joyce’s, where we found his wife brought home sick from church, and was in a convulsion fit. So home and to Sir W. Pen’s and there supped, and so to prayers at home and to bed.

4 May 2005, 11:17 p.m. - david ross mcirvine

"a probacon sermon" Probacon=probacion?

4 May 2005, 11:28 p.m. - A. De Araujo

"mine to be the neatest of them all" Wayneman, I am so proud of you! Sorry for all the beatings,but they were for your own good!!

4 May 2005, 11:47 p.m. - Bradford

Medical students, abet us! How long would it take Pepys's spleen to replenish 16 oz. of blood? Holliard must have let it into a measuring cup, conjuring up a picture which makes one come over all queer, like. A pretty diversion, to feel well, feel sick while undergoing the trial, then to feel well again. Thrills come in many sorts.

4 May 2005, 11:48 p.m. - Josh

The Doctor at church is likely preaching a probation sermon---either in order to receive some sort of official certification ("is capable of producing a decent sermon, sound in doctrine"), or as an audition in hopes of securing a post, a practice (under sundry names) which still goes on today, in many denominations.

4 May 2005, 11:49 p.m. - daniel

"brought home sick from church, and was in a convulsion fit." This entry brings us a bit too close to seventeenth century medical practices/health conditions for comfort. I hope that Mrs. Joyce need not be bloodlet.

5 May 2005, 12:53 a.m. - Nix

Probacon -- I'm guessing it is what we would now say as "probation" or "probationary" -- perhaps a hot shot Doctor of Divinity come down from Oxford or Cambridge to speak to the teeming masses of London? Would that draw a big crowd? Or would it be some young up-and-comer doing something equivalent to his "orals" to get his D.D.? Curiously, this passage is quoted at the end of the OED entry on probation -- "1662 PEPYS Diary 4 May, The church being hear a Doctor who is to preach a *probacion sermon. 1813 A. BRUCE Life A. Morus ii. 37 He heard the probation sermons of the students of divinity." -- but it seems to be among a bunch of miscellaneous usages set off apart from the main grouping of definitions and examples. I'm not sure what this signifies -- perhaps that the sense of it is unclear? Any lexicographers out there who can help? (Language Hat?)

5 May 2005, 1:53 a.m. - Michael Robinson

In order to preach (even if ordained) a licence from the Bishop of the Diocease, London in this instance, was required; might the Doctor's licence be "probationary?"

5 May 2005, 2:44 a.m. - Cumgranissalis

'...did give him 5s. for his pains..." Dah!

5 May 2005, 3:04 a.m. - Cumgranissalis

I doth think Our Sam is in a right good mood. Pro Bacon. This Good Doctor [takes years to get his DD] remembering some pre revolution stuff. Our Sir Francis Bacon did 'rite' some good stuff. The last chance before good doctor must toe the line and/or lose 'is living. Sam be getting over his little disagreements with Sir Willy and is busy swaging 'is conscience with Beth, he be writing it in his little black book. Well well, ain't 'e 'alf 'appy with 'is little Lord Fontenroy.

5 May 2005, 3:07 a.m. - Australian Susan

Wayneman with his sword - let's hope he doesn't poke it in any lion's ears....

5 May 2005, 4:18 a.m. - Robert Gertz

Hmmn...That rogue Wayneman armed with sword. Cut to Wayneman with Calvin-like smile holding sword and fantasizing having his dear employer at his mercy... So Beth makes her clothes as well as going to Unthanke the tailor. Pity the same can't be said for Sam, think of the God-praised savings if he'd inherited his dad's skills. Though he did obviously inherit Dad's appreciation of good material.

5 May 2005, 5:21 a.m. - DrCari

Sam's Bloodletting of 16oz really is comparable to the amount collected by my local bloodbank when I last donated. I donated a pint and was told that I should be able to donate again in about 6 weeks.

5 May 2005, 6:10 a.m. - Australian Susan

1 English pint = 20 fluid ounces. Presumably it is fluid ounces that Sam is referring to, not the other sort. If it is the other sort, I am not sure how much 1 pint of blood would weigh. A pint of water weighs 1lb. 12oz. (we used to chant in school "A pintofwaterweighsapoundandthreequarter")

5 May 2005, 6:41 a.m. - Clement

Wayneman with his sword. What is the origin of this fashion? Does he represent the gallant image of the page bearing his leige's weapon whilst he's not swinging it in defense of God, King and Country, or is he truly meant to represent a pint-sized, needle-wielding protector while Pepys presumably "bravely runs away?"

5 May 2005, 7:35 a.m. - George R

"A pint of water weighs 1lb. 12oz." (we used to chant in school "A pintofwaterweighsapoundandthreequarter)" Slightly out Susan. Blood and water virtually same weight and 20 fluid ounces is pound and a Quarter.(1lb. 4 oz.)

5 May 2005, 8:02 a.m. - Australian Susan

So that's why I was never any good at Maths.....

5 May 2005, 8:08 a.m. - Mary

"my wife's making some clothes" This does not necessarily mean that Elizabeth is doing the dressmaking herself but may simply mean that she is having some clothes made. (cf. modern usages such as, "We're building an extension to the house". Nine times out of ten this means that the work will actually be done by contractors).

5 May 2005, 10:05 a.m. - Maud

Could it perhaps have been a pro-Bacon sermon, referring either to the philosophical/scientific writings of, and/or the political controversy involving Sir Francis Bacon, or to the theological approach of Roger Bacon, also a figure of some controversy in his own time? Either seems to be a figure who might still have been the subject of a sermon in Sam's time although, of course, Sir Francis was much more recently departed.

5 May 2005, 10:20 a.m. - Mary

No bed for Bacon. L&M reading is probacion = Mod.E probation.

5 May 2005, 12:03 p.m. - A. De Araujo

"I begun to be sick" Don't know if he means that he vomited or felt dizzy, most likely the later; nowadays you always give blood lying down and they give you plenty of juices,and afterwards might give you some ferrous sulfate.

5 May 2005, 12:34 p.m. - Tom Burns

What's old is new again! Believe it or not!

5 May 2005, 1:47 p.m. - Ruben

Believe it or not! Maggots are also being used in wounds to get rid of dead tissue. (They will digest only the dead tissue). No pain involved.

5 May 2005, 2:22 p.m. - Rex Gordon

Dress swords ... On February 3, 1661 Sam wrote, "This day I first begun to go forth in my coate and sword, as the manner now among gentlemen is." This fashion, "a French mode, displaced the old cloak and rapier. The sword may have been a short one, as fashion demanded." (L&M ii, p 29.) Although a proclamation of September 1660 forbade pages, footmen and lackeys to wear swords or weapons in London and Westminster (Steele, no. 3261), fashion proved too strong. (L&M, note 2 to today's entry.) For Wayneman's livery, see the entry for March 23, 1662.

5 May 2005, 3:51 p.m. - Jim

Volume and weight mnemonics... My mother used to tell me that she learned in school that "A pint is a pound, the world around." This isn't quite true in terms of volume and weight; that is, a pint of water (U.S.) does not weight exactly one pound (although it isn't that far off). It actually is supposed to be a mnemonic for 16 ounces per U.S. pint and 16 ounces per pound. Of course that "world around" isn't really true because the U.S. pint isn't the same as a British pint.

5 May 2005, 4:33 p.m. - GrahamT

Weights and measures: I thought there was a backgroumd section on this, but can't find it. One British fluid ounce weighs one ounce avoirdupois, so "a (20 ounce) pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter". A gallon therefore weighs 10 lbs. A US fluid ounce weighs slightly more than one ounce so a US pint weighs 1lb and 2/3 ounces and a gallon weighs 8lb 5 1/5 ounces. Metric is so much simpler: 1cc of water weighs 1 gram, 1000cc = 1 Litre weighs 1Kg, 1000 Litres = 1 cubic metre weighs 1 tonne

5 May 2005, 4:46 p.m. - Pedro

"and let me blood, about sixteen ounces" All this reminds me of Anthony Aloycious Hancock, in The Blood Donor (23rd June 1961). "A pint? That's very nearly an armful!"

5 May 2005, 6:23 p.m. - Cumgranissalis

Pro Bacon : this be a nice sermon for a Doctor of Divinity.

5 May 2005, 7:02 p.m. - language hat

"set off apart from the main grouping of definitions and examples" That's because the citation is for the phrase "probation sermon" and is thus in the grouping of phrases at the end. The sense is referred to definition 2a "Of a candidate for membership in a religious body, order, or society, for holy orders, for fellowship in a college, etc," so Josh would seem to be right about the meaning. ("Pro-Bacon" forsooth!)

5 May 2005, 7:38 p.m. - Cumgranissalis

Probation is usally for those on trial or a test for competence. A Doctor of Divinity is rarely one who needs such an examination, he has already been accepted into the higher orders of a religeous body. The cause of such a probation maybe because of the problems of complying with the new standards being pushed thru Parliament at this time [see the Dailies at Lords, Commons. As a DD, he could have an ear of one of the many Bishops that are sitting on their rumps, and may need the blessings of some Deans. There being no name attached to this Reverend Doctor, his political stance reguarding his leanings to The Calvistic view are unknown. The 'In group' be Catholic in leaning without sending the monies and power to Roma [Vatican][even Charles and James are try to hide that element of thinking.] If this particular Rev. wants to have a nice living then he must satisfy the the Merchants and the old bishop school of Laud. Those that failed are now moving to the land of opportunity, The 13 states as their be no room at the font in London town.

5 May 2005, 11:17 p.m. - dirk

Old and new background info on weights & measures

5 May 2005, 11:41 p.m. - Australian Susan

Priests and conforming In August this year, 1662, on St Bartholomew's Day (24th) nearly two thousand priests will resign their benefices and seek alternative employment because they would not conform and use the new prayer book (the 1662 Book of Common Prayer - still authorised for use today throughout the Anglican Communion worldwide). People thought very strongly about these things. This Doctor being tried out before a congregation would have been well aware of the need to conform or lose his livelihood.

7 May 2005, 4:01 a.m. - david ross mcirvine

Thank you, Aussie Susan. It is good to remember these things.

7 May 2005, 5:28 a.m. - Pauline

"...our boy waiting on us with his outdo Sir W. Pen's…" and "…to observe fashions of the ladies, because of my wife's making some clothes." Many readers have concluded from more subtle evidence that Sam is fairly agressively ambitious. Today he seems to be spelling it out for us. So, do you think he often pulls back a bit in the diary to leave a margin to think of himself as a decent fellow, or to claim "merit" rather than "guile"? Is he figuring this all out as he goes along?

8 May 2005, 1:36 p.m. - Todd Bernhardt

re: Is Sam figuring this out as he goes along? I do believe that, Pauline. I firmly believe that he wrote this diary only for himself, and that only when he re-read it later in life did he decide to leave it for future decoders and posterity. I believe it's an honest internal dialogue -- or, as honest as Sam is allowing himself to be to himself on each given day he writes an entry or three. That's one of the things that fascinates me so much about the diary ... it's almost like being a fly on the wall in Sam's therapist's office, or summat. Does this mean we're all voyeurs?

8 May 2005, 5:39 p.m. - dirk

Does this mean we're all voyeurs? Yes.

8 May 2005, 8:22 p.m. - Robert Gertz

Voyeurs and proud of it...So long as we have a Sam and Bethie Pepys to watch. Charlie, Jamie, Sandwich, and co are fun to observe too. "...To Sir W. Penn's and there supped." Sir W., much to his annoyed surprise has two unexpected supper guests... "What are they doing here...Again?" a hiss to Lady Penn. No wonder I'm short grainwise with these two always dropping in. Who do they think I am, Lord Sandwich? "Didn't you invite them?" she hisses back...Throwing a phony smile at Elisabeth's praise of the meat as Sam downs another glass of wine.

23 Oct 2006, 7:12 p.m. - Terry Foreman

Bloodlet - but is Pepys really so bilious?

5 Mar 2015, 11:16 p.m. - Bill

On 7 December 1661 we had this footnote: " Swords were usually worn by footmen. See May 4th, 1662, host. — B." [i.e. post, not host]

5 May 2015, 12:57 a.m. - Nate Lockwood

"Maggots are also being used in wounds to get rid of dead tissue. (They will digest only the dead tissue). No pain involved." What matters to me is what's bitten off, not what's digested.

5 May 2015, 12:01 p.m. - HRW

"my arm tied up with a black ribbon". Can anyone explain the need for a ribbon?

5 May 2015, 1:50 p.m. - Nate Lockwood

The black ribbon is probably the (outer) bandage for the wound on his arm from giving blood and black so as not to show the blood.

9 Apr 2021, 8:10 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"Mr. Holliard came to me and let me blood, about sixteen ounces, I being exceedingly full of blood and very good." L&M: This operation (which Pepys had hoped to have on 17 April) was common. Cupping and leeching were used as well as venesection. The aim was to normalise the balance of the body's 'humours'; in Pepys's case, presumably to relieve his kidney condition. The amount of blood was not unusual (anything up to 20 oz. being normal); on 13 July 1668 he had 14 oz. removed. Cf. V. Woodall, Surgeon's Mate (1639), pp. 18-20.

9 Apr 2021, 8:34 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"I walked with my wife to my brother Tom’s; our boy waiting on us with his sword, which this day he begins to wear, to outdo Sir W. Pen’s boy, who this day, and Sir W. Batten’s too, begin to wear new livery; but I do take mine to be the neatest of them all." L&M: Fashion was too strong for the proclamation of September 1660 which forbade pages, footmen and lackeys to wear swords or weapons in London and Westminster: Steele, no. 3261.