Saturday 10 October 1663

Up, and not in any good ease yet, but had pain in making water, and some course. I see I must take besides keeping myself warm to make myself break wind and go freely to stool before I can be well, neither of which I can do yet, though I have drank the other bottle of Mr. Hollyard’s against my stomach this morning.

I did, however, make shift to go to the office, where we sat, and there Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten did advise me to take some juniper water, and Sir W. Batten sent to his Lady for some for me, strong water made of juniper. Whether that or anything else of my draught this morning did it I cannot tell, but I had a couple of stools forced after it … [and did break a fart or two – L&M] but whether I shall grow better upon it I cannot tell.

Dined at home at noon, my wife and house in the dirtiest pickle that ever she and it was in almost, but in order, I hope, this night to be very clean.

To the office all the afternoon upon victualling business, and late at it, so after I wrote by the post to my father, I home.

This evening Mr. Hollyard sends me an electuary to take (a walnut quantity of it) going to bed, which I did. ‘Tis true I slept well, and rose in a little ease in the morning.

28 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

"I had a couple of stools forced after it and did break a fart or two;"

Wheatley can deal with "stools" and "wind," but not "fart," "piss" or "shit" - some of the seven words George Carlin once said could not be said on TV in the US ("tits" is another); L&M transcribe what they find writ.

TerryF  •  Link

Juniper berries

"---Medicinal Action and Uses---Oil of Juniper is given as a diuretic, stomachic, and carminative in indigestion, flatulence, and diseases of the kidney and bladder. The oil mixed with lard is also used in veterinary practice as an application to exposed wounds and prevents irritation from flies.

Spirit of Juniper has properties resembling Oil of Turpentine: it is employed as a stimulating diuretic in cardiac and hepatic dropsy.

The fruit is readily eaten by most animals, especially sheep, and is said to prevent and cure dropsy in the latter.

The chief use of Juniper is as an adjuvant to diuretics in dropsy depending on heart, liver or kidney disease. It imparts a violet odour to the urine, and large doses may cause irritation to the passages. An infusion of 1 oz. to 1 pint of boiling water may be taken in the course of twenty-four hours."…

Hiplew  •  Link

Is "strong water made of juniper" gin?

TerryF  •  Link

Hiplew, nice nose - indeed, 'tis!

"It is the berries that give gin its distinctive aroma. Although first made in Holland, Gin was popularized by the English. It was the drink of the working class and they brought to the US. The majority of Gin sold in the US is Dry."…

Just whisper "vermouth".....

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor fellow...As humorous as his condition may be, after so many days it is becoming serious.

Gin, eh? Well at least he'll be a lot more comfortable.

"Oh, my..." Sam gasps with blessed relief...And release.

"'The Moor...I know his trumpet'..." a relieved Bess teases.

Brian  •  Link

I hope the "strong water made of juniper" proves a useful tonic . . .

Pedro  •  Link

Juniper berries and Mother’s Ruin.

Some information from Flora Britannica by Richard Mabey…

The oil extracted from the juniper has an ancient reputation as an abortifacient (which may have echoes in the Victorian belief in the effectiveness of gin for the same purpose). In Lothian, in the medieval period, giving birth “under the savin tree” was a euphemism for a miscarriage or juniper provoked abortion. Until at least the mid 1980’s juniper pills (still on the market in 1993) were being advertised as the “Lady’s Friend” in the small ads in ladies’ journals.

Some contributions to the survey…

“…120 years ago the berries were collected by families who travelled from Weardale, who would grind the berries down to flavour bread and cakes.”

“The local limestone hill, Arnside Knott (Lancashire) provides us with juniper berries to cook with venison. Used whole they give a bitter, crunchy bite to savouries.”

Tom Burns  •  Link

It seems as if cures for the colique are second only to those for the hiccups...

Martin  •  Link

The dirtiest pickle
How does the house keep getting so filthy? Back in August Sam told us it was a disaster, but would soon be all cleaned up. Mid September it seemed to be in good shape ("all well" upon return from their excursion). Now it's a mess again. Can't get good help, it seems.

Don McCahill  •  Link

I'm wondering if all these potions Sam is taking are binders that add to the problem, rather than helping. Were prunes available then?

mary mcintyre  •  Link

must be my literary bent, but I am seeing parallels between the state of the house and the state of Sam's GI tract -- great disorder & discomfort in both, and Sam tries to console himself that all will come right... just a few days more...

jeannine  •  Link

Were prunes available then?"

Not sure if prunes were “dried” at that time, but did find the following quote from “Pepys At Table.” (The book also had a contemporary recipe for Pea Soup, which would have most surely done the trick!)

The authors (Driver & Johnson) explain that
"One puzzle about the diet of the prosperous English people in the second half of the seventeenth century is its relative neglect of vegetables and salad stuffs, even after a half a century of intensive development in the craft of gardening (much of it learnt from the Dutch). Evelyn, again, who wrote a whole book on the topic (Acetaria, a Discourse on Sallets) was far more enthusiastic then Pepys. The latter's frequent Diary references to food seldom mention greenstuffs, and his set-piece dinners often sound rather like the all-meat meals which travellers in the Périgord still sometimes encounter at old-fashioned country restaurants.

It is quite possible that Pepys ate roots and greens without caring about them enough to mention them. It is equally possible that he thought them bad for him. His digestion, though otherwise robust, was noticeable subject to wind and colic, and this was precisely the effect expected at the time from vegetables, not just from the tubers such as the Jerusalem artichokes and sweet potatoes (which preceded into English diet the types of potatoes now familiar). It is also considered inadvisable to eat vegetables and even much raw fruit.

However in Pepys time social cachet was attracted to exotic fruit rather then to vegetables. …One bill from Leonard Gurles’ nursery in Whitechapel lists twelve varieties of peach, two of nectarine, eight of plum, eight of pear, three of cherry, three of apple, two of apricot, and one of quince. …Fruit of this kind was a highly acceptable present, because –like venison and other game that so many of Pepys; feasts depend upon –it did not normally reach the main London markets.” (pages 9-10)

TerryF  •  Link

Prunes are dried plums, but perhaps fruits weren't dried, eaten only in season because prized for their aesthetic appeal, as has Pepys reported himself subject to on occasion?

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Fruit in the 17th Century diet

"What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head ;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine ;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach ;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Insnared with flowers, I fall on grass."

Andrew Marvell
From "The Garden,"
composed circa 1650 but
not published until 1681

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"but had pain in making water"
It is so obvious that it has to do with the urinary tract; now I understand why patient education is so important,and also taking a good history; the flatulence is probably caused by the RX.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

No, I don't think so ... it sounds as if the "pain in making water" he mentions is related to his straining so hard to empty his bowels, which of course hurts his stone incision. See tomorrow's entry (11 Oct) for more details.

Cum grano salis  •  Link

"...and go freely to stool before I can be well..."
This simply means 'go to the little room' or as was said many years ago went to the Jacques, now it be the loo.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"strong water made of juniper"

We used to keep a distilled spiritous water of juniper in the shops, but the vulgar getting an opinion of its being a pleasant dram, the making of it became the business not only of the apothecary, but of the distiller, who sold it under the name of geneva.
---A New and Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. 1763

GENEVA. [genevre, French, a juniper berry] A distilled spirituous water, made with no better an ingredient than oil of turpentine ...
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"strong water made of juniper"

Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). From its earliest origins in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved from a herbal medicine to an object of commerce in the spirits industry. Gin was developed on the basis of the older jenever, and became popular in Great Britain when William of Orange, leader of the Dutch Republic, occupied the English, Scottish and Irish thrones with his wife Mary. Gin is one of the broadest categories of spirits, represented by products of various origins, styles, and flavour profiles that all revolve around juniper as a common ingredient.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In answer to Martin and Mart's thoughts on Sam's dirty house, I refer you to last Sunday:…

Sunday 4 October 1663 (Lord’s day).
Up and to church, my house being miserably overflooded with rain last night, which makes me almost mad.
At home to dinner with my wife, and so to talk,
and to church again,
and so home, and all the evening most pleasantly passed the time in good discourse of our fortune and family till supper, and so to bed, in some pain below, through cold got.

The House of Office for two families is in the basement ... where did the rain go? So what's floating around besides dirty water? Yuck ... poor maids.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Gin ... other theories (Sam needed some Dutch Courage in his lifetime):

The Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius is credited with the invention of gin. By the mid 17th C numerous Dutch and Flemish distillers (400 in Amsterdam by 1663) had popularized the re-distillation of malt spirit with juniper, anise, caraway, coriander, etc., which were sold in pharmacies to treat problems like kidney ailments, lumbago, stomach ailments, gallstones, and gout.

English troops who were fighting against the Spanish in Holland in the Eighty Years' War noticed its calming effects before battle, which is the origin of the term Dutch courage.…

The first confirmed date for the production of gin is the early 17th century in Holland, although claims have been made that it was produced prior to this in Italy.

British troops fighting in the Low Countries during the Thirty Years' War were given 'Dutch Courage' during the long campaigns in damp weather through the warming properties of gin.

The formation by King Charles of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, where members had the sole right to distill spirits in London and Westminster and up to 21 miles beyond improved both the quality of gin and its image; it also helped English agriculture by using surplus corn and barley.…

The origins of Gin can be traced to 17th century Holland. Dr. Franciscus de LA Boie invented Gin in 1650. He was a medical professor at the University of Leyden and was known as Dr. Syivius.

Gin was intended to be a medicine. Dr. Sylvius sought an inexpensive, effective diuretic for the treatment of kidney disorders. He mixed oil of Juniper berries with grain alcohol, both of which have diuretic properties. He called his concoction 'genever', from the French word for Juniper. What made the recipe revolutionary was not the use of Juniper, but the grain alcohol.

Until Dr. Sylvius, most beverage alcohol was made from grapes or other fruit -- Brandies. The Scots and Irish made Whiskies from grain, but they tempered them with years of aging in wooded casks. Unaged grain spirits were considered too harsh for human consumption.

At the same time, English soldiers, who were fighting on the continent were introduced to what they termed, 'Dutch Courage'. They returned to England with a preference for this new drink, and the population at large soon grew fond of this inexpensive spirit, so it eventually became known as the national drink of England.

The dry Gin London distillers eventually developed is different from the Holland / Geneva Gin still made by the Dutch, which is heavy-bodied, strongly flavored with a pronounced malty taste and aroma.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"Dutch Courage" - well well well - thank you for that Sarah! :)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Good to learn they had a surplus of grain in 1638 so they needed a use for it. The Brits always did like a little tipple.

StanB  •  Link

Pain passing water 'Cystitis' maybe, more common in women but it can affect men

StanB  •  Link

Terry F notes on the 11th that L&M describe the following
"and my pain and frequent desire to make water; what I must therefore forbear." - L&M.
Again another indication this could be Cystitis and/or a Bladder Infection or Kidney Infection

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Talking about "Dutch" things from the era:

At the end of a restaurant meal, deciding who pays and how much involves either one person paying, or everyone agreeing "to go Dutch”: that is, pay their share.

The origin of ‘going Dutch” stems from the 17th century wars between England and the Netherlands which left behind some uncomplimentary English slang. For 30 years the Dutch Republic and the English competed over international trade, colonies, and domination of the seas. Starting in 1652, the Dutch and English fought three wars over everything from herring to Manhattan.

English and Dutch propaganda said plagues and fires in the other country were punishments from God.

The Dutch said the English were descended from the Devil, and therefore had tails.

The English called the Dutch “butterboxes” and drunkards.

Over time the word “Dutch” in the English language came to describe anything sub-par and insults grew.

Dutch soldiers needed “Dutch courage,” or alcohol-fueled bravado, to fight.

A “Dutch uncle” was a stern and authoritative figure.

“Dutch feasts” were parties where the host got drunk first, while a “Dutch reckoning” was an unitemized bill with unexpected charges.

“Dutch comfort” was small consolation when a bad situation could have been worse.

Even the Dutch oven (a lidded pot that can be used for baking) may be part of this trend: It’s not really an oven, but the Dutch were good at producing them.

But “to go Dutch” is an American term. “Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl” says one of the first references to a “Dutch treat” (i.e. not really treating someone else at all) appeared in a New York Times article in 1877. The term combined the old British sport of mocking the Dutch with a reference to the contemporary German-American practice of people buying their own drink (confusing ‘Dutch’ with ‘Deutsch’ or “German).

Finally in 1934 the Dutch government asked officials to avoid using the term, so “Dutch” slang today seems dated. That’s fitting for a linguistic practice based on centuries-old jealousies.

For more see:…

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