Sunday 26 March 1665

(Lord’s day and Easter day). Up (and with my wife, who has not been at church a month or two) to church. At noon home to dinner, my wife and I (Mercer staying to the Sacrament) alone. This is the day seven years which, by the blessing of God, I have survived of my being cut of the stone, and am now in very perfect good health and have long been; and though the last winter hath been as hard a winter as any have been these many years, yet I never was better in my life, nor have not, these ten years, gone colder in the summer than I have done all this winter, wearing only a doublet, and a waistcoate cut open on the back; abroad, a cloake and within doors a coate I slipped on. Now I am at a losse to know whether it be my hare’s foot which is my preservative against wind, for I never had a fit of the collique since I wore it, and nothing but wind brings me pain, and the carrying away of wind takes away my pain, or my keeping my back cool; for when I do lie longer than ordinary upon my back in bed, my water the next morning is very hot, or whether it be my taking of a pill of turpentine every morning, which keeps me always loose, or all together, but this I know, with thanks to God Almighty, that I am now as well as ever I can wish or desire to be, having now and then little grudgings of wind, that brings me a little pain, but it is over presently, only I do find that my backe grows very weak, that I cannot stoop to write or tell money without sitting but I have pain for a good while after it. Yet a week or two ago I had one day’s great pain; but it was upon my getting a bruise on one of my testicles, and then I did void two small stones, without pain though, and, upon my going to bed and bearing up of my testicles, I was well the next. But I did observe that my sitting with my back to the fire at the office did then, as it do at all times, make my back ake, and my water hot, and brings me some pain. I sent yesterday an invitation to Mrs. Turner and her family to come to keep this day with me, which she granted, but afterward sent me word that it being Sunday and Easter day she desired to choose another and put off this. Which I was willing enough to do; and so put it off as to this day, and will leave it to my own convenience when to choose another, and perhaps shall escape a feast by it. At my office all the afternoon drawing up my agreement with Mr. Povy for me to sign to him tomorrow morning. In the evening spent an hour in the garden walking with Sir J. Minnes, talking of the Chest business, wherein Sir W. Batten deals so unfairly, wherein the old man is very hot for the present, but that zeal will not last nor is to be trusted. So home to supper, prayers, and to bed.

26 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Yet a week or two ago I had one day's great pain; but it was upon my getting a bruise on one of my testicles, and then I did void two small stones, without pain though, and, upon my going to bed and bearing up of my testicles, I was well the next. But I did observe that my sitting with my back to the fire at the office did then, as it do at all times, make my back ake, and my water hot, and brings me some pain."

The episode of testicle pain and bladder-stone passage began 6 March 1664/65, his complaining of pain from sitting with his back to the fire at the office was 7 March The whole concluded 8 March.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So Bess is still on good terms with Mercer? This must be a record.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Wonder what the long-term effects of that turpentine will be?

"Damnit, Hollier he's had enough turpentine to kill ten men." Bess fumes.

"Patience, my dearest...Patience. Still, it is remarkable." Hollier notes with professional interest. "That man should have been dead seven years ago."

"Find something else. I've waited long enough."

"Well,dear...Given his energy in business, it has been a profitable wait."

"Fine. You try living with the little... I want this over! Find a reason to cut him open again and finish him off! There'll be no Jane Turner watching over him this time."

"Bess? Jeopardize my professional standing?...And he's my star patient."


"I suppose I could tell him arsenic was all the rage for stone treatment in France."

JWB  •  Link

Easter '62 (Mar.30)
"....leaving the two Sir Williams to take the Sacrament, which I blame myself that I have hitherto neglected all my life, but once or twice at Cambridge.1"
"This does not accord with the certificate which Dr. Mines wrote in 1681, where he says that Pepys was a constant communicant. See Life of Pepys in vol. i. "

Jesse  •  Link

"to take the Sacrament, which I blame myself that I have hitherto neglected"

"Dr. Mines wrote in 1681, where he says that Pepys was a constant communicant"

1681 seems to leave plenty of time yet to form the habit. Now we've evidence that the spirit had been willing for quite some time though.

Ralph Berry  •  Link

Thanks Dirk.

SP, you are becoming very navel gazing about your health, does this get worse? I guess time will tell.

Mary  •  Link

Navel gazing?

Given his history of being cut for the stone, Sam is more or less in the position of a modern man who is in remission from a nasty form of cancer, with no guarantee that this state of affairs is more than temporary. Hardly surprising that he watches his own health pretty closely. He is certainly getting on with his life with vigour and ambition, but cannot ignore the fact that he has cheated death once and may not be so lucky another time.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

The Diary looks just fine to me, except for today's entry, which is MIA. I'm sure Phather Phil has all in hand, however.

Mary, nice explanation of Sam's attitude. Death was much more of a constant presence in people's lives back then, and I think one of the reasons that Sam lives his life with such gusto is because he's very aware he's been given a "second chance."

JWB  •  Link

In re Mary's naval gazing-

All the more reason to be thankful, repentant and take communion. I don't think Sam has holes in the soles of his shoe's and wonder at his reluctance to take the sacrament, especially since it would be politic to do so. Perhaps Momma Pepys has introduced a Quaker-like meme into the family (for Quaker view of sacraments see: ) or maybe Sam just wants to go on seeing Mrs.'s Martin & Bagwell & not think of himself, at the bottom of his soul, a hypocrite. Then, again, perhaps this "Early Modern" man is like his "Modern" counterpart and hasn't given it much thought or finds ritual mildly embarrassing.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I love Tomalin's description of Sam and mom Margaret's different approaches to stone trouble...Sam treats it as a life-defining experience and keeps the thing in a box, Maggie passes hers while doing her daily routine and tosses it in the fire.

Admittedly, Sam's was probably a bit worse and it does seem as though the family paid it serious attention. Still, it's a hilarious contrast.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Was Margaret cut for it? Only 5% of BLADDER STONES are had by females. Mary is onto something: SP celebrates the successful stone-surgery in such a high manner that it serves as an annual Eucharist, his own Sufficient Sacrament.

Albatross  •  Link

I did think it was notable that Pepys spent as much time as he did summing up his health, followed by summing up his business, and yet gave his spouse only brief initial mention. How long did she spend dressing for the holiday, and it doesn't garner a mention...

Yes, he has reason to obsess about his health. Nevertheless a less self-absorbed man would spend at least as much time discussing his wife as he does silly Mr. Povy...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Yes, he has reason to obsess about his health. Nevertheless.... "

Albatross, I demur. (1) This is Stone Day, the PTSD Anniversary of the Op. (2) Elizabeth's a constant and her life is a relatively routine feature of Samuel's; Povey's doings are not everyday events (mercifully): the very definition of NEWS in each day's diary entry is the novel.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam has been fairly diligent about recording Bess' illnesses, particularly her sufferings with her monthly periods.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Rubric from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer

"And note, that every Parishioner shall communicate at the least three times in the year, of which Easter to be one. And yearly, at Easter, every Parishioner shall reckon with the Parson, Vicar or Curate, or his or their deputy or deputies, and pay to them or him, all Ecclesiastical Duties, accustomably due, then and at that time to be paid."

Mr Mills to his Curate: "Mr Pepys has not stayed for the Sacrament *again*. We'll never get a chance to get his Parish money off him."
An alternative explanation for Sam avaoiding the Sacrament?? Not serious!

But it * was* serious that he was not conforming and staying to receive on this day of all days. Sam needed to prove this later (post Diary) and obtained a certificate of conformity, but one wonders if suddenly all Ecclesiastical Duties were paid in full and more....

Mary  •  Link

Elizabeth's indispositions.

Indeed, RG, he has also been frank enough to record the days on which she was not fit enough to leave the house (i.e. fit to be seen) because he had given her a spectacular black eye.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

And indeed Mary, one of Sam's most fascinating and all-too-human traits noted by us and his best biographer to date, Tomalin, has been his ability to oscillate from passionate, tender husband to petty boor and philanderer and back again. Though not a beater by nature he can be a brute and he can be a loving man terrified by his wife's sudden illness or ready to weep at the thought of his having to be cut even by his trusted surgeon Hollier. We have to honor his fundamental honesty in telling us the worst he does as well as the best...And I fear many of us, women as well as men, would not bear up too well if their full lives faced his microscope of frankness.

Pedro  •  Link

on this day...

Sandwich is anchored two leagues short of Shoe Beacon..."This night a comet was seen to rise about NE and was about E when day broke."

Pedro  •  Link

The second comet.

There is a footnote included for the above saying that "the comet of 1665," was discovered at Aix on March 17th-27th, 1664-5. Its perihelion passage was on April 24th.

Pedro  •  Link

Shoe Beacon mentioned in his Tour through the Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe (1724)…

It is on this shore, and near this creek, that the greatest quantity of fresh fish is caught which supplies not this country only, but London markets also. On the shore, beginning a little below Candy Island, or rather below Leigh Road, there lies a great shoal or sand called the Black Tail, which runs out near three leagues into the sea due east; at the end of it stands a pole or mast, set up by the Trinity House men of London, whose business is to lay buoys and set up sea marks for the direction of the sailors; this is called Shoe Beacon, from the point of land where this sand begins, which is called Shoeburyness, and that from the town of Shoebury, which stands by it. From this sand, and on the edge of Shoebury, before it, or south west of it, all along, to the mouth of Colchester water, the shore is full of shoals and sands, with some deep channels between; all which are so full of fish, that not only the Barking fishing-smacks come hither to fish, but the whole shore is full of small fisher-boats in very great numbers, belonging to the villages and towns on the coast, who come in every tide with what they take; and selling the smaller fish in the country, send the best and largest away upon horses, which go night and day to London market.

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile Allin…

“In the morning a little breathing WSW, thick. At 6 began to clear up. We loosed our fore topsail and went a-heaving up our anchor. Flat calm. At 8 a little breathing at W and W by S. We saw the fleet within us; they might bear off us WNW. We kept our wind what we could to get to them and the flood coming away and the gale freshening we laid it in upon a tack. I went aboard His Royal Highness, who was glad to see me and ordered me to the Rainbow.”

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Ralph Josselin today:

"26. March: 1665. Easter day. 12 of us received the sacrament of the lords supper publicly for which I bless god, I believe its 22. or 23. years since received on that day and occasion, the lord good to us in the season, and in the word, he accepts and blesses us, my daughter Jane a communicant with us"

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Happy Easter.
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