Sunday 30 April 1665

(Lord’s day). Up and to my office alone all the morning, making up my monthly accounts, which though it hath been very intricate, and very great disbursements and receipts and odd reckonings, yet I differed not from the truth; viz.: between my first computing what my profit ought to be and then what my cash and debts do really make me worth, not above 10s., which is very much, and I do much value myself upon the account, and herein I with great joy find myself to have gained this month above 100l. clear, and in the whole to be worth above 1400l., the greatest sum I ever yet was worth. Thence home to dinner, and there find poor Mr. Spong walking at my door, where he had knocked, and being told I was at the office staid modestly there walking because of disturbing me, which methinks was one of the most modest acts (of a man that hath no need of being so to me) that ever I knew in my life. He dined with me, and then after dinner to my closet, where abundance of mighty pretty discourse, wherein, in a word, I find him the man of the world that hath of his own ingenuity obtained the most in most things, being withall no scholler. He gone, I took boat and down to Woolwich and Deptford, and made it late home, and so to supper and to bed. Thus I end this month in great content as to my estate and gettings: in much trouble as to the pains I have taken, and the rubs I expect yet to meet with, about the business of Tangier. The fleete, with about 106 ships upon the coast of Holland, in sight of the Dutch, within the Texel. Great fears of the sickenesse here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve as all!

20 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Great fears of the sickenesse here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve as all!"

SP's first notice of what will become the 'Great Plague'.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"The sickenesse"
"transmitted via a rat vector";it should be transmitted via a flea vector; the rat is the carrier;one gets it through(=via) a flea bite.

JWB  •  Link

Mark the marks of admiration:

Bang1: 30 Apr " God preserve as all!"

Bang 2: 27 Apr "... men of warr..., whom God bless!"

Bang 3: 22 Apr "God go along with them!"

I don't recall Sam using an exclamation point before, not that he hasn't, but certainly not with this regularity so as to cause notice.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

A cloud no bigger than a man's hand... Of course the plague had been raging in Amsterdam earlier so there would have been some expectation that it might surface in strength.

War and pestilence on a Sunday...Sam must have had a biblical reflection or two thinking on it.

"...wherein, in a word, I find him the man of the world that hath of his own ingenuity obtained the most in most things, being withall no scholler." Nice to see Sam still reserves his greatest respect for genuine ability.

Still no word of Margaret's coming to town?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

By the way, Sam...Kudos on one of the greatest cliffhanger endings in reported history. Still sends a shiver and thrill to read after countless rereads...Tell me you let your novel-reading missus in on it.

Are you sure you didn't go back and touch 'er up a little?

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin's diary entry today discusses the divine art of weather making...

"God good in manifold outward mercies, the season windy and dry, yet showers in some places, lord in due time command them. god good in the word and work of the day the lord in mercy accept me for good"

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: exclamation points

JWB, if I remember correctly, almost all punctuation in the Diary is from the editors, so in this case I'm pretty sure the exclamation points are Wheatley's...

Michael Robinson  •  Link

re: exclamation points -- Diary punctuation etc.

The L&M text contains none of the three exclamation points JWB notes.

L&M on 'Punctuation' etc., (I have removed the discussion of their particular textual choices and solutions to problems) vol i, p lxiv:-

"The normal marks of punctuation are seldom used in the manuscript, probably because some of them are used instead as arbitrary symbols for common words: the colon and full-stop are thus employed to represent 'owe'/'oh' and 'eye'/'I' respectively. Except for the extremely rare use of a comma (which is used a few times to separate words in series), the only normal punctuation marks found in the manuscript are parentheses (the practice with these is not always the same as ours), new lines for paragraphs (usually flush with the left hand margin, but sometimes indented), hyphens in compound words and compound names (although hyphens are restricted to longhand and even there they are used only seldom), apostrophes for possession (these too are rarely used and only in longhand), colons and full-stops for some abbreviations, dashes and full-stops occasionally in sums of money, full stops and oblique strokes after some title headings, etc., a rarely used square bracket for marking off a quotation. Pepys's standard stops, however, are two devices for indicating a break in a statement or the completion of it. These are a pyramids of three dots used in the earlier part of the diary, and ticks which Pepys begins to use at 16 March 1667. ..."

L&M continue to discuss: 5.'Abbreviations and Corrections'; 6.'Numerals' and dating in the diary entries; 7.'Mr. and Mrs.'; 8.'Capitals and hyphens in place names'; 9.'Pepys's Corrections' (@ p.lxvi):

... In addition, Pepys has often added words, phrases and sentences. These he inserts over a line or in the margins, though sometimes he crowds them in to the spaces between paragraphs and daily entries. ... Other peculiarities of the manuscript ... are the sections that Pepys, for various reasons, writes in extremely small characters or in very large ones. ...

11. 'Obscurities.' Pepys's shorthand is almost always extraordinarily neat and clear; even the passages written in minute characters are all very distinct. Sections written when his eyes were very painful are large and commonly less precise than elsewhere, but they, too, give little trouble to the editor.
Nevertheless, a few shorthand forms are illegible, or almost so, because of blots or poor writing. His longhand, which is less clear than his shorthand, also contains a few doubtful readings. And there are occasions where the inefficiencies of Shelton's stenography makes for ambiguity. ...

Bradford  •  Link

Is Pepys "balancing his double-entries"?:

"between my first computing what my profit ought to be and then what my cash and debts do really make me worth, not above 10s., which is very much,"

---but out of L1400, 10s. "is [not] very much"---or at least when I'm balancing my checkbook it wouldn't be. Sic L&M, or what?

JWB  •  Link

TB & MR thanks. I forgot just what it is that I'm reading.

Mary  •  Link

"which is very much" is indeed the L&M reading. Sam is guilty of an elliptical expression here. I think that the 'which' refers back to 'what my cash and debts do really make me worth.' His relative clauses are sometimes rather loosely attached to their referends.

cgs  •  Link

elliptical expression
Oh ! Dear !
`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

Phil  •  Link

Plague in Holland, fleas on rats, rats on ships...taking the prize ships in battle home. All that glitters is not gold.

Pedro  •  Link

And with the Fleet…

Sandwich reports a Council of War to discuss further tactics. It is decided not to stand between Texel and the Wielings to hinder the conjunction of Dutch forces, and they stay 15 leagues away. The Duke proposes consideration of what attempt could be made on the Dutch Fleet at Texel that had been hinted by Prince Rupert, Sandwich and Downing. They we left to consider.

L.A. Lee  •  Link

I've been reading along with you all for many years, but this is the first time I've had anything significant to contribute. In case it hasn't been mentioned before, I'd like to recommend what I feel is an outstanding book on the Great Plague; "The Great Plague" by A. Lloyd Moote and Dorothy C. Moote (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004). The authors are an historian and a microbiologist respectively and provide a unique insight into the terrible effects of the plague. Lots of quotes of course from Samuel Pepys, but we are also introduced to many other people that I think don't appear in the Diary.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"Great fears of the sickenesse here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve as all!"

For a recent review:

Stenseth NC, Atshabar BB, Begon M, Belmain SR, Bertherat E, et al. (2008) Plague: Past, Present, and Future. PLoS Med 5(1): e3 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050003

Link to a podcast at the MicrobiologyBytes Blog:-
"Plague: From the 14th to the 21st century and still going strong"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Great fears of the sickenesse here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve as all!"

L&M: This entry marks the beginning of Pepys's notices of the attack of Plague in London -- the most serious since that of 1625 -- which has become known as the Great Plague. His account forms some of the best contemporary evidence. In its commonest form plague in England at this time was a bubonic infection caused by a baccilus carried by rat fleas. (The pneumonic variety spread by droplet infection was much less common.) It was endemic in Asia and parts of Africa, and according to most authorities came to W. Europe only as epidemics (though some believe that it was endemic here too), spread at intervals from the Mediterranean and Middle East by the rats which infested the trading ships. The outbreaks always abated in the winter when the fleas hibernated. They ceased altogether in England after 1671 for reasons which are still a matter of dispute. Possibly both rats and human had developed an immunity. The illness took the form of a high fever, with swellings ('buboes') of the lymphatic glands, and sometimes spots ('tokens') on the skin. Contemporary medicine was unable to discover the cause or to prescribe any effective treatment. Whole households -- the healthy with the sick -- were isolated, sometimes virtually immured. Patients were bled, sweated and blistered, but usually died within a few days. The present outbreak was the most famous attack, as well as the last on a large scale in England, though that of 1561 in London is held to have caused more deaths in proportion to population. About 100,000 now died in London before November 1665 -- between one-quarter and one-third of the total population. By the, apart from outbreaks in the provinces in 1666, it was virtually over. See J.F.D. Shrewsbury, Hist. bubonic plague in Brit. Isles; Bell, Plague; Latham and Matthew, Companion, The Plague
[Partial article:

Mary Ellen  •  Link

Terry, very helpful information. Thank you.

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