Friday 30 January 1662/63

A solemn fast for the King’s murther, and we were forced to keep it more than we would have done, having forgot to take any victuals into the house.

I to church in the forenoon, and Mr. Mills made a good sermon upon David’s heart smiting him for cutting off the garment of Saul.1

Home, and whiled away some of the afternoon at home talking with my wife. So to my office, and all alone making up my month’s accounts, which to my great trouble I find that I am got no further than 640l. But I have had great expenses this month. I pray God the next may be a little better, as I hope it will. In the evening my manuscript is brought home handsomely bound, to my full content; and now I think I have a better collection in reference to the Navy, and shall have by the time I have filled it, than any of my predecessors. So home and eat something such as we have, bread and butter and milk, and so to bed.

57 Annotations

First Reading

Josh  •  Link

A temptation scene!---and a chance for David to show magnanimity. (The Jewish Study Bible confirms what one might suspect, in verse 4: when Saul goes into a cave "to cover his feet" it is the literal translation of the idiom meaning "to relieve himself.") Good show, Terry F.

Now, can someone define "solemn fast," which apparently doesn't mean not eating anything, just not eating anything you don't already happen to have in the house?

Glyn  •  Link

I’m sure there’s a technical term for it but “d” and “th” seem to have substituted for each other in a lot of English words, eg “modor” developed into “mother” before Pepys’ lifetime, and as here, the other way, “murther” became “murder”.

And there’s no carry-outs or take-aways from foodshops today - it’s amusing that a man who is partly paid to get provisions for the fleet hadn’t allowed for that in his own household.

Terry F  •  Link

"my manuscript is brought home handsomely bound, to my full content; and now I think I have a better collection in reference to the Navy, and shall have by the time I have filled it, than any of my predecessors."

Previously referred to as "sea manuscript", "Navy manuscript", "book manuscript", "manuscript book", "manuscript", and "Navy collections" -- though it did not survive, in a note to 9 January, 1663, L&M conjecture (shrewdly) that "it was a work of reference, with, e.g. lists of ships", perhaps the draft version of "the book of 'Naval Precedents' he made in retirement after 1688."

Hard to believe such inventories had not been routinely kept by the Navy Office given what Glyn has established about its provenance:…

A. Hamilton  •  Link

I’m sure there’s a technical term for it

This is clearly a job for Language Hat. But my half-educated guess is that the "th" to "d" in murther to murder is Verner's Law at work.

JWB  •  Link

"Grimm's law shows that the classical voiceless stops (k,t,p) became voiceless aspirates (h,th,f ) in English and mediae (h,d,f ) in German, e.g., the initial sounds of Latin pater, English father, German Vater, and in the middle of Latin frater, English brother, German Bruder."…

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

'eat something such as we have, bread and butter and milk, and so to bed.'
'tis good to diet.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Solemn fast

All shops were shut up, so if you hadn't got food in, you were stumped.The new Book of Common Prayer had a special service in for the anniversary of Charles I's execution and to show loyalty you would be advised to be seen at church and the wise parson would make sure he said the service. Wonder if Parson Josselin keep this feast or no? The "fanatiques" seem either to have kept a low profile (sensible chaps - and chapesses) or else Sam may hear tomorrow if there were any demonstrations aginst this service. Many would view such a service as bordering on Papistical.
My old BCP (which is early 18th century) describes the service thus:
"A form of PRAYER with FASTINGS, to be used yearly upon the 30th of January, being the Day of the Martyrdom of the blessed King Charles the First: to implore the mercy of God, that neither the Guilt of that sacred and inoocent Blood, nor those other sins, by which God was provoked to deliver up both us and our King into the hands of cruel and unreasonable men, may at any time hereafter be visited upon us or our Posterity."

The service is not just one but gives versions of Morning Prayer, Communion and Evening Prayer. Sam probably heard Morning Prayer: beginning with Scripture sentences, then, instead of the Venite, a hymn is sung - one verse by the Clerk, one by the congregation in turn, which consists of different verses from different Psalms. Then the whole of Psalms 9, 10 and 11; then readings - The first chapter of the second book of Samuel and the 27th chapter of Matthew. Then a Collect which links Charles death with Christ's. Then The Litany and then other prayers, mainly centred on expiating our collective guilt for the martyrdom. The readings at Communion are from The first letter of Peter, Chap. 2 and from Matthew Chap. 22. The sermon to be used at all services is set down as "the Homily against Disobedience and wilful Rebellion". More prayers are provided dwelling on the "Violent and Barbarous men" who "murdered" Charles. Readings at Eevening Prayer are from Jeremiah 12 or Daniel 9 and Hebrews 11:32-12:7. And more prayers about "bloodguiltiness" and "so foul an act" and so on - it makes for an overwhelming experience just reading it. Must have been very impressive to hear all these phrases rolling off the tongue of the Minister, especially if he was inclined to a theatrical delivery.
But Sam just seems more concerned about his tummy. Very human. Probably a bit irked with Elizabeth for not remembering this innovation in thier lives.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Mr Mill's Sermon

Note that Mr Mills does not read the Homily set down, but the Prayer Book does say in a rubric that the Minister can "preach a Sermon of his own composing upon the same Argument." Hmm. Doesn't sound much like a diatribe against "Disobedience and wilful Rebellion."

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin's Diary today

"Fast, and sad frost[.]
preached. Rom. 6.23.
not a 100. people hearing the word"

dirk  •  Link


For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(King James version)

dirk  •  Link

"The Gentlewoman's Companion: or, A Guide to the Female Sex", 1675
p.159: Bills of Fare for fasting days or Lent

"Out of these following Dishes, you may conse what Messes you please of several sorts and kinds. Oysters, if in Season. Pole of Ling, Greenfish and Eggs. Prawns butter'd, or Craw-fish. Pike boil'd. Carp stew'd with Oysters. Soles fried. Spitchcock Eels roasted. Fried Smelts, Salmon, Lobsters, and Sturgeon. Butter'd Eggs. Barley-broth, or Rice-pottage. Stew'd or fried Oysters. Boil'd Gurnet. Haddocks, fresh Cod, or Whitings, Eel or Carp- Pye. Soust Turbut. Potato's baked, or Oyster-Pyes. Butter'd Crabs. Fried Flounders. Joles of fresh Salmon. Fried Turbut. Fried Skirrets. Soust Conger; with what else your own judgments shall think proper for that Season."…

Soles fried, fried turbut, oysters,...
Not exactly food for a fast, according to our modern standards.

Benvenuto  •  Link

Doesn’t sound much like a diatribe against "Disobedience and wilful Rebellion."
That's what I was thinking -- this passage of David's life is more like a tutorial in how to get away with it!

Ruben  •  Link

food for a fast
All the foods in the fasting days had no meat but fish and the like.
No one got thinner because of the fast.

Ruben  •  Link

"where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave."
When you read the original (it is in Hebrew, not in English) you read that Saul went to the cave to treat his feet, and David and his men where in the inner parts of the cave.
Nowhere written that King Saul used the cave to urinate.
In those days Saul, David ant the rest walked. The Hebrew words used mean Saul massaged some oil or water on his hurting feet. To do this he had to seat, something he did looking toward the ligth, i.e. to the entrance of the cave... In the meantime David, who was at his back...

Clement  •  Link

Germanic Consonantal Mutations

To justify saving a 25yr old text book let me point out that De Saussure writes about this in his "Course In General Linguistics."

He cites the correction of Verner's Law ("Every internal þ (thorn) became ð (eth) unless the change was opposed by the placing of the accent on the preceding vowel," (p. 146, First McGraw-Hill paperback edition, 1966) and he points out that Grimm tripped on the common error of confusing written language with spoken: "...the transcription 'th' (for the fricative þ) caused Grimm to think not only that 'th' was a double sound but also that it was an aspirated occlusive, and he accordingly assigned it a specific place in his law of consonantal mutation..." (p. 25)

However my favorite word in the annotations today is "Papistical!"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hmmn...I dunno, Charlie. Every year for your people to be reminded that Cromwell defeated and executed God's Anoited.

Round a family hearth on this sacred day...

"So Dad, this means we could hope to kill that b***d Stuart like his sanctimonous, bug-up-his-bum as you always calls 'im dad, right?"

"Close yer trap, lad and be quick about it." Nervous glance round the room

"Absolutely, boy"...thin whisper.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Feet is a Hebrew euphemism for genitals. In the OT when it says feet it means male genitalia, so references to feet usually mean sex or urinating. So Saul was either relieving himself or committing the sin of Onan. Probably the former.

In a Bible translation [sic] for children that some misguided person gave one of my children it says "And Saul went into a cave to go to the bathroom." Seriously.

Ruben  •  Link

Saul and the WC
I am using and perusing Hebrew some six decades and had not noticed that the Bible had any problem using the explicit words for any part of the body, including genitalia.
Never herd of the Hebrew word for feet being used for something else.
The original Hebrew words of the Bible have a very clear meaning (in Hebrew), as I explained in a previous annotation.
May be someone got lost translating the original words to Greek, from Greek to Latin and from Latin to English.
Here in Israel we use the original words till this day.

"lehasej" is still the Hebrew word used to lubricate your car or bicicle. This is also the word used (in the Bible) to rub with oil the altar in the Temple.

Come to the desert and look for David. After a few hours you will also look for the shade of a cave, there to seat down and rub some oil onto your feet!

language hat  •  Link

"“d” and “th” seem to have substituted for each other"

There are several historical processes at work. Neither Grimm's Law (which made *pater become father) nor Verner's Law (which gives us dead and (for)lorn versus death and lose) is at work in your examples. Modor > mother is an example of a common development before -r that took place around the 15th century (cf. father, hither, weather). The change murther > murder is a little earlier, and according to the OED is "prob. partly attributable to the influence of Anglo-Norman, Old French, and post-classical Latin forms" (in other words, it's an irregular change that cannot be explained by reference to similar words).

language hat  •  Link

Saul and the WC

Ruben, knowing Modern Hebrew and occasionally reading the scriptures does not license you as a biblical scholar. It is a common mistake to think that modern-day Israelis can pick up the Bible and read it as if it were the newspaper. Not only idioms but basic verbal syntax has changed completely in the last few millennia. I suggest you stop insisting you're right and listen to people who have actually studied biblical usage.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Thank you,Language Hat, regarding d>th and th>d in the two examples above. Lucid, succinct and non-formulaic.

Pedro  •  Link

“according to the OED”

Last night, watching the BBC programme in partnership with the OED, Balderdash & Piffle, I take heart that even they can be wrong once in a while!

Terry F  •  Link

1 Sam 24.3, New Revised Standard Version (1989)

"3 He came to the sheepfolds beside the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself." The whole passage (vv. 1-10) is here:…

Josh  •  Link

Re: “Disobedience and wilful Rebellion.”

This neat summary---again from "The Jewish Study Bible" (Tanakh Translation) of the Jewish Publication Society---points up the application of text to theme:

"David has the opportunity to kill to Saul, but refrains from doing so. When the king falls into his hands, David does not take revenge, but shows himself magnanimous and loyal towards him."
The narrative is structured thus:
1. Description of what happened.
2. Speech by David, saying he never wrong the king.
3. Speech by Saul, "impressed by David's generosity."
"The word 'hand(s)' recurs frequently (in the Hebrew even more than in the translation): Though he has Saul in his hands, David will not raise his hand against him."

An exemplum contra regicide.

In the words of the editors, "May this be for a blessing."

Mary  •  Link

Seeking relief.

When 'gentlemen' have wetted their whistles thoroughly in a pub, they can sometimes be heard expressing an intention of going outside 'to splash their boots.' However, no-one would suggest that 'boots' is a commonly used euphemism for male genitalia in English.

Perhaps the Hebrew scribe was using a parallel circumlocution?

Glyn  •  Link

Thanks Language Hat. This site would be very much impoverished if you weren't around.

Coincidentally, there was a discussion about this in the "London Linguistics" segment of the Robert Elms show on Monday. By Professor Laura Wright, a historical linguist with Oxford University. Go to:…

and on the bottom right of the page click on Robert Elms show/Monday and then after it loads repeatedly click on the 15 minute button at the top left until you reach 1.45 - 2 pm of the broadcast. It's just after a Nina Simone song and a sports report. It'll be there for a week.

JWB  •  Link

Once more into the cave-
Mathew Henry, in his 1706 Commentary, notes "the easing of nature" interpretation, but thinks it more probable that Saul took a nap in the heat of the day. How else could David cut off the skirt of his robe w/out Saul knowing it?

Terry F  •  Link

Matthew Henry was, like everyone else, including all the annotators of this day, doing their best. The modern study of biblical texts did not reach early maturity until the later 19c when photography permitted MS fragments and codices from the world over to be compared; the comparative study of ancient Near Eastern languages began to mature, fed by fruits of archaeology; AND the historical ('critical') method of biblical study underwent several critical growth-spurts.

Clement  •  Link

OED access, Balderdash and Piffle

Not unrelated, since Sam is so frequently cited in usage references: the OED online is offering free, limited search access until February 13:

pedro  •  Link

“This site would be very much impoverished if you weren’t around.”

For me this goes for all annotators of this site, whether their views are right or wrong. We are all learning, and enjoying the expierience. If some are more intelligent than others, then be magnanimous to us other mortals.

(Strike, I hope I have the right meaning of magnanimous!)

E  •  Link

I am still not quite convinced what Saul was up to, but at least I now know why the seraphim had an extra pair of wings to cover their "feet".

I found this page with a roundup of biblical feet quite entertaining (some four letter words for excretory functions). On the Abnormal Interests blog:…
I hadn't realised what Ruth was up to either -- nor probably did my parents when they named me after her.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

RE: Translation and interpreting of religious text, it be a time consuming function. At this time 6 billion egos are floating around, and no two brains match, like in Maths it can be only a close approximation to what be written eons ago. There be those that say that the encounter did not take place and even if it did, there be no third party to record it, and even if there was a film of the event to record, some would doubt what they did see, The forensic team of A would find a glitch and forensic team B say no. So it ends up, does it match thy own grey matter.
I still like Carrol's words that he put in the mouth of the March Hare "Then you should say what you mean," .......
"I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least at least I mean what I say that's the same thing, you know.".....
There be those that be literal. and those that hide the pain in nice words , like "colateral damage".

Pauline  •  Link

'site, whether their views are right or wrong'
Bravo, Pedro. 'Wrong' so often the position that makes us pull together to get to 'right'.

I don't suppose at all that the less magnanimous are the more intelligent.

See just above this post: Aqua Scripto embodies smarts plus fun plus generosity and acknowledgment of the intelligence coming in from other annotators.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"E" beat me to it!

I was also going to cite Ruth 3:4 & 8 and Isaiah 6:2.
Both the two study Bibles I use (the New Revised Standard Version - NRSV - and the New Jerusalem)state that Saul is reliving himself and that the phrase is a Hebrew euphemism, which is also probably being used in the Isaiah and Ruth quotations also.
Washing and oiling the feet of a traveller is a traditional desert practice from the ancient past as a courtesy to your visitor. Abraham does this in the book of Genesis and it is probable that the gesture of Mary of Bethany in pouring perfumed oil on Jesus's feet and wiping them with her hair (John 12) has an echo of this hospitality ethos as well as others (puting perfumes on a body, a sexual reference, a gesture of extravagance and others). There are other instances in the Bible as well about this but I don't think it is appropriate for me to go on: it is straying too far, but I bet Sam would have enjoyed this discussion!

language hat  •  Link

"If some are more intelligent than others"

I don't know if this is meant to refer to me, but I certainly don't consider myself "more intelligent than others" -- I've simply spent a lifetime studying and thinking about language, and I enjoy sharing what I've learned. Everyone here has his or her own areas of expertise, and I've learned a tremendous amount from the other posters here. That's why this is such a great site.

Miriam  •  Link

Noblesse oblige.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Now, now ... I don't take it that way. In fact, I really enjoy the frank discourse we're able to have here. There are times LH and others have had the forthrightedness (is that a word?) to steer the discussion away from some of the far-away shores we tend to veer toward, but I applaud that, and have never taken it as intellectual bullying or anything along those lines.

Let me go all Pollyanna-ish on yo' asses for a bit here -- I've found the annotators on this site, and the community that has grown up here, to be really intelligent, generous, kind, and patient. And I'd say that even if I didn't have the backdrop of the Wild Wild Internet to compare it to. Except for some scraps early on with Hhe Who Must Not Be Named (inside joke for the vets, that), I think we've gotten on remarkably well, and I look forward to my visits. I *always* learn something here, and there are very few places in life that I can dependably say that about.

Pauline  •  Link

Hhe Who Must Not Be Named
Dear Todd, how wide my smile at this!

Pedro  •  Link

Forthright is cool.

First apologies to Ruben, Sir John Lawson and Sam’s Mother, for taking up the cudgels on their behalf, when they may not want me to. Further apologies to Ruben for, by implication, bringing him down to my level.

And of course apologies to Language Hat to whom my remarks were refering to. I did not, in 343 years, expect you to be upset by my remarks, after the manner you addressed a fellow annotator. If forthwright is the right adjective to use the I will eat my hat, and the OED.

So don’t expect to hear from me for sometime!

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Pedro: keep finding us other view points, [from one of the great unwashed], I like seeing other view points[it does not mean I agree], nothing is written in concrete and if it were, it will crumble someday. The diamond has many facets, more the merrier, if we want a one sided view, then read only one book of the Bible or other tracts that claim to be the Truth. Every coin has three sides [disputed by some ] heads , tails and the edge, even an orb has three sides, light, dark and twilight, see the poor old moon or this orb of so many fundamental elements 100 + [incl.Homo lascivus versions].

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

I couldn't agree with our water writer more. The more points of view we get, the closer we get to the truth...

Pauline  •  Link

"...I suggest you stop insisting you’re right and listen to people who have actually studied biblical usage...."
But this does come across as quite rudely stated.

From one of our more valuable annotators in other respects.

Pauline  •  Link

"...and I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned...."
Makes an interesting following sentence to the one I quoted above.

sharon  •  Link

Please stop it. Let this playground come to order.

I suggest that you all try to remember that you are not alone here. You have a loyal, if generally silent, public who is endlessly grateful for the discourse and has high expectations from this site. I and several lurker friends who take in Pepys with our morning coffee (a couple of days in arrears to insure we get all the annotations) do not care to be trifled with. We have been here from the first and plan on enjoying your wit, wisdom and foolishness to the end.

And please, no sulking....

Pedro  •  Link

And please, no sulking….

OK, well apologies to you Sharon and all the world, at breakfast I have reached ar*****e in the OED, and by tea time I should reach “humble pie”

And so I will put it to bed.

language hat  •  Link

"apologies to Language Hat"

No need to apologize; I didn't take it personally, and didn't intend my remarks to be taken personally. I'm sorry if it sounded "rude" (as Pauline thinks); I tend to get impatient when people insist on supporting statements that have been shown to be incorrect, simply because people will be using this site as a reference and it seems important to me that they not be misled even about so trivial a matter as what the Bible means by "cover his feet," but I think Ruben is a fine commentator in general. I'm not clear on why Pedro is upset with me, since I have no problem with anything he said; my response to the "intelligent" remark was self-deprecatory, not "upset." Apologies to anyone I inadvertently offended.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Thanks to everyone for this discussion. On many forums a thread such as this would have snowballed out of control and be unrecoverable. It looks like we're a more friendly and reasonable place than that.

Thank you for apparently bringing this to a sensible conclusion -- let's now get back to business!

Second Reading

Linda  •  Link

As for me, I'm busy looking up Ruth 3:4 & 8 and Isaiah 6:2.

Bryan  •  Link

Linda, this might help. It's an update for E's link above:
"I found this page with a roundup of biblical feet quite entertaining (some four letter words for excretory functions)."…
Not only Ruth and Isaiah but Ezekiel as well.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I'm surprised no-one picked up on Robert Gertz:
"I dunno, Charlie. Every year for your people to be reminded that Cromwell defeated and executed God's Anointed ... "

The missing ending of this thought is that many expected a millennial catastrophe as punishment for the execution, which seems not to have struck. (If you lived in London, 1665 and 1666 could be interpreted as that, quite reasonably. But this is 1663, and the sky had not fallen when Charles I died 13 years before.)

Charles II and James, Duke of York spend much time quelling insurrections and conspiracies, so that conversation was being had in some homes. Of course, Cromwell had the same problem.

To me the message is that God didn't care either way, which is something Charles II wouldn't like.

Frequent elections make things so much easier.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Eikon Basilike and its portrait of King Charles' execution as a martyrdom were so successful that, at the Restoration, a special commemoration of the late King on 30 January was added to the Book of Common Prayer, directing that the day be observed as an occasion for fasting and repentance.
On 19 May 1660, the Convocation of Canterbury and York cannoned King Charles at the urging of Charles II, and added his name to the prayer book. Charles I is the only saint formally canonized by the Church of England.

StanB  •  Link

Interested to read todays passage concerning the Fasting for Charles. i am an avid collector of Tudor and Stuart ephemera i was fortunate enough to add to my collection recently a pamphlet titled,

A Sermon Preach'd Before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, on Friday, January 30. 1729. Being the Fast-Day for the Execrable Murder of King Charles I published by Joseph Trapp

Its a fascinating read

Clark Kent  •  Link

The transmogrification of "genitalia" into "feet" puts a twist on the expression connoting being tripped up--to "stub one's toe."

Gerald Berg  •  Link

What I need is a good foot massage.

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