Sunday 6 March 1663/64

(Lord’s day). Up, and my cold continuing in great extremity I could not go out to church, but sat all day (a little time at dinner excepted) in my closet at the office till night drawing up a second letter to Mr. Coventry about the measure of masts to my great satisfaction, and so in the evening home, and my uncle and aunt Wight came to us and supped with us, where pretty merry, but that my cold put me out of humour. At night with my cold, and my eye also sore still, to bed.

11 Annotations

First Reading

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

A grumpy day but not completely lost because of a letter "to my great satisfaction". A day not worked is a day lost.
I can see Sam veering away from human company nursing has cold and sore eye.

ann  •  Link

I don't think anyone's said it yet, but it sure sounds like Sam is suffering from Conjunctivitis (pink eye). As someone who gets it frequently myself, I can sympathize. I can't imagine having it without the availability of antiobiotic eye drops.

jeannine  •  Link

"drawing up a second letter to Mr. Coventry about the measure of masts"
Considering that the letter to Coventry is about 6 pages typed, including a chart which contrasts Sir William Warren's prices for Gottenburg masts vs. Mr. Wood's prices for New England Masts, we're lucky that Sam had energy to write anything in the Diary today. In regards to the letter there are 9 sections highlighting the details of the wood from New England vs. that from Sweden and Norway. Sam details differences in the wood, measurements, quality, etc. In the chart the Sam aligns the wood by yardage and hands in circumference side by side. The Gottenburg prices for Warren's masts measuring between 21-28 yards are all priced between 28-50% less than Wood's New England masts. However in the higher lengths (29-35 yards) there aren't any Gottenburg masts listed and only the New England masts cover that higher size on this chart. Where Sam often mentions his work on masts and his conversations about how other countries measure them, figure their quality, etc. he does provide a detailed summary to Coventry and has apparently not only learned quite a bit of detailed information along the way, but has managed to express it in a business like professional manner. It's always interesting to see the juxtaposition of his "business" writing vs. her "personal" writing. For the record (as if we didn't already know) , the Diary is by far more lively and fun to read ---which is good for all of us.

Bradford  •  Link

As with the common cold, it is said that one of the best preventative measures for avoiding eye infections is to wash your hands often. Naturally it was not as convenient for Pepys to do so---cheap soap and kitchen taps are still great benefits of modern life---and we know his skepticisim concerning baths; but if he has ever, in all these years, mentioned washing his hands (say after mucking out the basement that time), it escapes recollection.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"a second letter to Mr. Coventry"

Thanks, Jeannine. I'd wondered what it might contain. It sounds a lot more interesting than I had imagined.

Ruben  •  Link

one eye sore
may bring two eyes sore.
Candles and house fires (cooking, washing) do not help.
And lets not forget that Evelyn published lately Fumigium, about London's already problematic polluted air.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"my uncle and aunt Wight came to us and supped with us, where pretty merry, but that my cold put me out of humour. "

"Don't mind me. I'm all right, really. I'll just sit here with a cloth over my eye. No, no I'm fine. Just ignore me. I'll try not to groan too loudly. I just want you to enjoy yourselves....."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Hand washing

Alas, a couple of centuries to go before the observations of Holmes (1843) and Semmelweis (1847).

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Hand washing : Still a problem in the medical field
as there be a lot of handwringing over outbreaks of virus infections in the Hospital environment, along with standard commercial locations.
London, back pre-Coal embargo, that small white square used for nasal clearance, be black as midnight by days end.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Bess!!!!!! Jane!!!!!!!"

Another day of this and I will kill him...Bess sighs.

Second Reading

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