Tuesday 19 January 1663/64

Up, without any kindness to my wife, and so to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon I to the ’Change, and thence to Mr. Cutler’s with Sir W. Rider to dinner, and after dinner with him to the Old James upon our reference of Mr. Bland’s, and, having sat there upon the business half an hour, broke up, and I home and there found Madame Turner and her sister Dike come to see us, and staid chatting till night, and so away, and I to my office till very late, and my eyes began to fail me, and be in pain which I never felt to now-a-days, which I impute to sitting up late writing and reading by candle-light. So home to supper and to bed.

6 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

No "kindness" to Elizabeth, and the eye trouble begins. A. Roger Ekirch's superb "At Day's Close: Night in Times Past" (W. W. Norton, 2005) has the details on how late seventeenth-century candles and lamps compare to even a 50W bulb today, and cites Pepys; but the short answer is, pretty puny.

Pedro  •  Link

The year of 1664

The 19th of April is Sandwiched between the 18th and 20th of January, which is quite a remarkable thing!

Dan Jenkins  •  Link

I can personally attest to the difficulty of reading by candlelight or even by oil lamp. For some years while I was growing up, I effectively lived in a previous century with my grandfather, with candles, oil lamps, wood heat, and hunting, fishing & trapping for food. Reading by a candle was barely possible for my young eyes, but the bitter cold of my bedroom made that infeasible for long. Reading by the wood fire using the oil lamp was better, but the strain was painful. So, I have respect for the difficulties experienced by Sam and all those who read, wrote & lived in earlier times. Though, those difficulties are amplified by our hindsight. In their days, there was nought better.

Patricia  •  Link

I'm all for having the 19th of April in January! It's -12°C here, with icy roads and a foot of snow.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Some kind of quantum accident to Sam's universe like that portrayed in R. Sawyer's "Flashforward" no doubt...

No kindness to Bess?!...Why we'll beat the cad till the kindness pours from him like milk from a spilt jug.

Second Reading

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