Friday 9 October 1663

And did keep my bed most of this morning, my body I find being still bound and little wind, and so my pain returned again, though not so bad, but keeping my body with warm clothes very hot I made shift to endure it, and at noon sent word to Mr. Hollyard of my condition, that I could neither have a natural stool nor break wind, and by that means still in pain and frequent offering to make water. So he sent me two bottles of drink and some syrup, one bottle to take now and the other to-morrow morning. So in the evening, after Commissioner Pett, who came to visit me, and was going to Chatham, but methinks do talk to me in quite another manner, doubtfully and shyly, and like a stranger, to what he did heretofore. After I saw he was gone I did drink one of them, but it was a most loathsome draught, and did keep myself warm after it, and had that afternoon still a stool or two, but in no plenty, nor any wind almost carried away, and so to bed. In no great pain, but do not think myself likely to be well till I have a freedom of stool and wind.

Most of this day and afternoon my wife and I did spend together in setting things now up and in order in her closet, which indeed is, and will be, when I can get her some more things to put in it, a very pleasant place, and is at present very pretty, and such as she, I hope, will find great content in.

So to bed.

25 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

"methinks [Commissioner Pett] do talk to me in quite another manner, doubtfully [suspiciously] and shyly, and like a stranger, to what he did heretofore."

Methought, in the last exchanges between them, Peter Pett was rather sullen, having been chastened by the upstart Pepys, for having failed to command the yard at Chatham as the Clerk of the Acts would have had him do it.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and will be, when I can get her some more things to put in it, a very pleasant place, and is at present very pretty, and such as she, I hope, will find great content in..."

Bird in a gilded cage...Still, not many London housewives of the era could expect a room of one's own.

Get her more things to put in it?! My God, Samuel...Spend good coin upon Bess? Are you feverish? What the heck did Hollier give you?

TerryF  •  Link

"My great fit of Collique"

Anent that, L&M claim that the entries 5-13 October, 1663, are "one of the best-documented attacks of flatulence in history."

Apart from dispensing nostrums and collecting fees, Mr. Hollier likely has the clinical interest in Pepys's bowel movements that my R.N. mother-in-law had in her grandsons'. Just as her husband tired of hearing about it, so may we tire of the minute and repeated reports of symptoms.

TerryF  •  Link

"Wind" (gas) was a matter of great medical moment.

Cf. *The Anatomy of Melancholy*, by Democritus Junior [Robert Burton] 6th ed., 1652.

"SUBSECT. IV.--_Causes of Hypochondriacal, or Windy Melancholy_.

"In repeating of these causes, I must _crambem bis coctam apponere_, say that again which I have formerly said, in applying them to their proper species. Hypochondriacal or flatuous melancholy, is that which the Arabians call mirachial, and is in my judgment the most grievous and frequent, though Bruel and Laurentius make it least dangerous, and not so hard to be known or cured. His causes are inward or outward. Inward from divers parts or organs, as midriff, spleen, stomach, liver, pylorus, womb, diaphragma, mesaraic veins, stopping of issues, &c. Montaltus _cap. 15._ out of Galen recites, [2444] 'heat and obstruction of those mesaraic veins, as an immediate cause, by which means the passage of the chilus to the liver is detained, stopped or corrupted, and turned into rumbling and wind.'...."
[there are, in all over 50 remedies thereof]…

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Poor Sam.

I'm traveling this week (in New Orleans, doing a week of volunteering) and last night ate some bad fish. I am in the throes of the Collique -- pain, pressure, constipation, low-grade fever, even some vomiting. Senna has helped a little, but I've been through this before, and it's no picnic. I wonder if this was food poisoning that brought this on for Sam?

I've taken a muscle relaxer (wish I had some simethicone (sp?), so hopefully that'll help with the cramping and let me get a good nights sleep (I've been up since 3 a.m. today) ... and so to bed, with thoughts of our boy swimming in my head....

A.Hamilton  •  Link

"So he sent me two bottles of drink and some syrup, one bottle to take now and the other to- morrow morning"

and tied round the necks of the bottles were paper labels, with the words "DRINK ME" beautifully printed in large letters.

After Commissioner Pett left, Sam did drink one of them, "but it was a most loathsome draught."

"What a curious feeling!" said Sam. "I must be shutting up like a telescope!"

And so it was indeed: he was now only ten inches high.

To be con't...

Bradford  •  Link

ELIZABETH loquitur: "If he'd just work out on that Stairmaster I got him last Christmastide it'd do him a wonder."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam's worsening condition...And Bess' anxiety has at last prompted a visit from father-in-law Alex.

"Papa, while I appreciate your desire to help..." Bess tries at the end of "Professeur" St. Michel's explanation of his latest remarkable invention. Sure to be of use in this crisis if Balty's description of his brother-in-law's aliment was correct.

"Ohhhh..." low agonized moan from Sam...Four days now without, you know.

Still, a worried Bess eyes her groaning beloved...Mr. Hollier's remedies having so far failed...And even her heroic attempts to assist proving futile. He couldn't last much longer at this rate.

Perhaps... "Papa? Are you really sure this can help?"

"Ma chere..." Alexander pats her head fondly. "The suctioning power of this device...Le Cleaner du Vacuum as I call it...Is incroyable."

"But Mr. Hollier said we must be careful...No risk of rupture..." she noted.

"Ooooohhhhh..." Sam lent his bit to the conversation.

"Too much wine and too little water. These English..." Alexander shook his head. "Daughter, I assure you this device will provide your dear husband with immediate relief."

One way or the other, a watching Balty thinks.

jeannine  •  Link

"My great fit of Collique"

(“Anent that, L&M claim that the entries 5-13 October, 1663, are "one of the best-documented attacks of flatulence in history." ~~thanks Terry!)

What a lovely delight for L&M to exclaim
That Sam will make history with his colic’s great pain!
He’ll bring forth unpleasant details and reveal every mystery
With the best-documented attack of flatulence in history!
Sam is famous for writing of his fun and his frolic
And now our hero will tackle the case of his colic!
These entries are not to be read by those who are thin skinned
As Sam writes boldly of his stool and his passing of wind!
Those daring among us will read with guarded delight
But when it comes to annotating what dare we to write?

Distinguished doctors amongst us take the medical route
Explaining with dignity what is blocking Sam’s chute.
The fiber content Sam eats our nutritionists will compute
With insightful lines about the attributes of eating fruit.
From these indelicate entries the polite will quietly scoot
On the subject of Sam’s gas we’ll find them entirely mute!
Of course there will always be those that just don’t give a hoot
Writing bawdy jests about Sam and his polluting toots!
When all has been written we owe our Sam a steadfast tribute
For his honesty about his farts there is no substitute!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Brilliant Jeannine...Should there be an afterlife Sam will be truly touched, I'm sure. Driving Bess crazy no doubt as he proudly recites the tributes to his honesty and boldness...His forthright contribution to medical science...His...

"It was only a damned case of constipation!" shriek from an exasperated Bess.

Ira  •  Link

Brave Jeannine!
So Sam would add to Franklin D. Roosevelt's four freedoms (freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear) freedom of stool and freedom of wind.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

A seedy tavern in the darkest bowels (all right, enough) of the city...

Where a nervous looking figure in cloak is revealed as he throws hood back to be nonother than our dear Commissioner Pett. Scanning the motley crew of drunks, low-lifes, cutthroats...And scheming businessmen...

"Winter?" he eyes a large, portly man sitting with ale mug in one hand, comely if somewhat slatterny lass in the other...

To his right a rather perturbed looking Sir William Batten...And another fellow, unknown to us, tall and Sir Will's right.

"Pett, my dear fellow..." Winter releases the lass and offers a large hand. "Have you seen our poor Mr. Pepys? His condition any better?"

"No worse or better." Pett takes a seat.

"Most unfortunate." Winter frowns. "I should have thought for sure the dear boy would have earned his Heavenly crown by now."

"If I could've had my doctor look at him before he got to that Hollier..." Batten shakes head...

"A pity, a pity. Still we can hope our friend will do us right and commence his shuffling off from this mortal coil shortly." Winter taps table with free hand.

"Gentlemen, the Republic requires the elimination of Mr. Pepys before war breaks out. Failure vil not be tolerated." the blonde man now speaks.

"A goal sought sincerely by us all, Heer Evarston." Winter notes. "Mr. Pepys has done his level best to make enemies of us all...Promoting Warren over me in the mast contracts...Cutting our dear Sir Will out of his lucrative arrangements with me and the other naval suppliers...Humilating our dear Commissioner Pett..."

"I should've given him twice the dose..." Pett glares.

"We will find another way, Pett. Should it be necessary."

"I've always said, a good knifing on a dark corner's the proper way to deal with the little pricklouse." Batten.

"Now, now..." Winter raises a hand. "Gentlemen. We mustn't let our own hurt feelings cloud the issue. Young Mr. Pepys has powerful friends who would investigate any strangeness in his death."

"You must succeed in destroying him, my friends. Else our relationships with you all may suddenly be...Regretably, exposed...Much to your discomfort..." Evarston smiles. "I believe drawing and quartering is still the punishment for treason here, is it not? Barbaric but certainly a punishment to be dreaded."

Batten eyes Pett who eyes Winter...Who pastes a jovial smile...

"Heer Evarston...I would hardly call the actions of the three of us...Treason. Simply, we are men of good sense who feel a long, necessarily drawn-out war with our old ally the Republic is not in the Nation's best interests. Indeed it can only benefit our common Catholic enemies of Spain and France."

"Selling and knowingly purchasing inferior equipment and attempting the murder of the one man in your office outside the Duke's secretary, Coventry, who might bring your fleet to effective service would pass for treason in many countries, Heer Winter."

"Such harsh talk, Heer Evarston...I prefer to describe our efforts as preventiving useless conflict and...Providing early retirement for a clearly overworked government official."

"Forgive my poor understanding of English, Heer Winter."


Peter  •  Link

"I made shift to endure it, and at noon sent word to Mr. Hollyard of my condition, that I could neither have a natural stool nor break wind...." Well, I suppose "sent word" could just mean that he sent a letter....but the wording does suggest an oral communication sent via a servant. I wonder which poor soul took the message and in what terms it was finally delivered (probably with much smirking and barely supressed laughter)

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam should try eating figs!

Lurker  •  Link

Is it just me or has Wheatly thrown up his hands and just run today's verbatim? Previously he was any mention of stools and winds.

Debra Matheney  •  Link

I think Bess said, "You'll be fine when you shit." And then prayed for some movement.
Seriously, the diet, including the alcohol consumption, then must have contributed to all kinds of gastric and intestinal upset and there likely were many cases of food poisoning as well. Unlike we wimps of today, their tolerance must have been great given no antibiotics or other medicines. What didn't kill you made you stronger.

Bradford  •  Link

Somehow Mr. Nietzsche's own experience doesn't exactly persuade one of that, Debra!

Am I psychic, or will we be reading of enemas next?

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin's diary for today:

"God good to me in my journey to London where I found all friends well, and welcome most hearty. the Turks prevail(.) the Hungarian protestants incline a submission to him, and so do the protestants much hope deliverance by him as a means to ruin the Austrian and pope(,) yes said the German princes incline to French protection, and at home news of a triennial parliament."

On of the few occasions the Rev. has something to say about contemporary geopolitics -- anyone knows what exactly he's referring to here?

Cum grano salis  •  Link

Lurker fake: 'stool' when thee search, it comes up more times in conjunction with toilet problems than with a three legged device which in fact be a seating device.
no 1 def of OED:
a. Any kind of seat for one person; often, a chair of authority, state, or office; esp. a royal or episcopal throne.
Teutonic word not a nice civil word from the Mediterranean
Teut.; OE. stól masc. = OS. stôl (Du. stoel), OHG., MHG. stuol (mod.G. stuhl), ON. stóll (Sw., Da. stol), Goth. st{omac}l-s throne:OTeut. *st{omac}lo-z, prob. f. root *st{omac}-: sta- to STAND. Cf. OSl. stol{ubreve} throne, seat.]
along with hi- chair, low rest, for feet as well as a place to remove body waste hence it seems the word comes from for faeces.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

If I'd been commissioner Pett, I'd have been nervous too, and looking to be able to make a quick getaway if "The Great Fart" arrived!

Incidentally, in French, "péter" means "to fart", and "pet" is the noun "fart": I imagine that visiting French shipwrights/merchants might have a bit of fun with his name!

John G  •  Link

Am I the only one who thinks Gertz is a bit of a pain in the arse? Now we have others copying him. Oh no.

NJ Lois  •  Link

Sam might have had renal colic. The pain is similar to labour pains during childbirth.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . I could neither have a natural stool nor break wind . . ’

‘stool, n. < Common Germanic;
. . 5. c. The action of evacuating the bowels; an act of discharging fæces. by stool: by fæcal as distinguished from other means of evacuation.
. . 1663 S. Pepys Diary 24 May (1971) IV. 153 Having taken one of Mr. Holliards pills last night, it brought a stool or two this morning . . ‘

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