Saturday 10 June 1665

Lay long in bed, and then up and at the office all the morning. At noon dined at home, and then to the office busy all the afternoon. In the evening home to supper; and there, to my great trouble, hear that the plague is come into the City (though it hath these three or four weeks since its beginning been wholly out of the City); but where should it begin but in my good friend and neighbour’s, Dr. Burnett, in Fanchurch Street: which in both points troubles me mightily. To the office to finish my letters and then home to bed, being troubled at the sicknesse, and my head filled also with other business enough, and particularly how to put my things and estate in order, in case it should please God to call me away, which God dispose of to his glory!

23 Annotations

First Reading

Michael L  •  Link

"... and particularly how to put my things and estate in order, in case it should please God to call me away"

It might be interesting to see how Pepys conducts himself in coming weeks while mindful of the possibility of death. Will he strive to live piously in case he is answerable at the Pearly Gates soon, or will he be of the "live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse" mindset? Or perhaps he may merely tend to his estate and live pretty much as usual?

Robert Gertz  •  Link


Dr. Alexander Burnet, a brave and honorable man who will well deserve the tribute to be paid to him.

Dr. Burnet can be ranked with Carlo Urbani, who died identifying and fighting SARS in Hanoi in 2003, Matthew Ludwiya who died identifying and fighting Ebola in 2000, and the many others who still die courageously in plagues and epidemics, doing all they can for their patients in the midst of baffling diseases, desperate situations, and all-too-often incompetent and/or indifferent governmental/public support.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... particularly how to put my things and estate in order, ..."

SP made his first will on leaving for sea in March 1660:
"This day, in the presence of Mr. Moore (who made it) and Mr. Hawly, I did before I went out with my wife, seal my will to her, whereby I did give her all that I have in the world, but my books which I give to my brother John, excepting only French books, which my wife is to have. "…

and concluded his second in January 1664:
" ... and in the evening Mr. Commander came and we made perfect and signed and sealed my last will and testament, which is so to my mind, and I hope to the liking of God Almighty, that I take great joy in myself that it is done, and by that means my mind in a good condition of quiett."…

which he altered following the death of his brother Tom:
"So to my office, and there till late at night, Mr. Comander coming to me for me to sign and seal the new draft of my will, which I did do, I having altered something upon the death of my brother Tom."…

cape henry  •  Link

Many in these annals have remarked on the stark immediacy of death in the minds of Pepys and his contemporaries. The matter-of-factness with which he deals with the "it" that is out there is quite a remove from the mobilization which would take place in our world to combat it. A war. A plague. Life goes on; or it doesn't.

tg  •  Link

Death indeed is the great leveler,cape henry.

dirk  •  Link

Pepys' will

Some time ago Phil put Sam's will (downloadable as PDF, 4 files) on the Pepys discussion group pages…

You will have to log in though (an easy procedure), then go for "Files" in the left menu.

jeannine  •  Link

Off topic, but where the "Recent Annotations" aren't working yet, you won't see this otherwise. I saw the Pepys concert this evening and wrote a review of it --it was a pure delight. There are 2 more showings in the Boston area so please see the 'recent news' link below. Hopefully anyone local to the area will be able to make it!…

dirk  •  Link

Evelyn's diary today

He "dined at Canterbury" (see yesterday's entry) and then "lay at Deale where I found all in readinesse: but the fleete hindred by Contrary winds"

Res Ipsa  •  Link

With the plague in town, I'm surprised Sam doesn't send Mum and Elizabeth off packing to the country. Wasn't that SOP at the time during plague?

Albatross  •  Link

Regarding the bill posted by JWB, I am reminded how confused I am by the use of the character "f" for "s", particularly in cases like the word "blessing" in the last paragraph, which is printed "blefsing." I'm assuming that there is a relationship between the "f" and the German ß, or 'eszett,' but I'm not sure hat the rules are regarding applying one or the other.

Cape Henry, "The matter-of-factness with which he deals with the “it” that is out there is quite a remove from the mobilization which would take place in our world to combat it."

These sentiments are rather at odds with the West's complacent acceptance of a quarter century of the AIDS plague, our ongoing tolerance of U.S. military actions in the Mideast, and our astonishing apathy in the face of genocides in Rwanda and Darfur. We haven't 'mobilized' to end any of these things, we seem to have accepted them into the overall landscape of our culture.

Margaret  •  Link

Here's a quote from "Language Visible" by David Sacks:

"Between the 300s and 800s A.D. in European handwriting... S developed TWO handwritten shapes: the "short" s, basically our modern lowercase letter, and the "long" s, shaped rather like an f. Long s, easy to write, was by custom used at the start or middle of a word, never at the end.

"With the spread of printing in the second half of the 1400s, the long s became one of the printer's lowercase letters (along with the short s). This f-like s continued to appear in English-language print and handwriting right through the 1700s, before falling out of vogue. It still is used occasionally in German print, where certain medieval typefaces remain popular."

However, like you, I find the long-s very disconcerting when I come across it.

Jesse  •  Link

Sorry, too lazy to post this elsewhere. There's a wikipedia entry for the long s…. Not sure why the confusion, it doesn't have a stroke like the small f (of if it does it's on the left side only). Just kidding. Didn't know Leibniz used it for is integral (as in summa) sign. Also somewhat disconcerting is v = u.

Bert Mongoose  •  Link

With reference to long s, see the conclusion to Robert Graves's "Wm. Brazier"
Let them copy it out on a pink page of their albums,
Carefully leaving out the bracketed lines.
It's an old story--f's for s's--
But good enough for them, the suckers

GrahamT  •  Link

I have been transcribing some 1861 handwritten census forms into Excel, and can assure you all that the long s was still being used - in hand writing at least - at that period. In names, a double s often used the long form for both, unlike the German ß. It can be very confusing when it is used as an initial capital, e.g. ʃiʃʃie ʃmith.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"More than just a pumped up B: ..."

"The Eszett, or ß, which is unique to the German alphabet and is pronounced like the letter s, has been officially accepted as a lower and upper case alphabet figure by the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) which has granted it status in its club of "special consonants found in western European languages".…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"it hath these three or four weeks since its beginning been wholly out of the City"

L&M footnote: In the crowded out-parishes.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Excerpted from Rupert, Prince Palatine

Late Scholar of Somerville College, Oxford


Rupert, although in an extremely weak state of health, had shown his usual courage and energy in the action. The official reports did not give satisfaction to his admirers. "Not a word is said of Prince Rupert, though the seamen say that none excelled him in valor and success," they complained.[21]
[21] Dom. State Papers, June 10, 1665.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Rupert had on-going problems with a leg wound, which caused the Prince problems during the last years of his life.

Michaela  •  Link

Is anybody reading this after our own pandemic and feeling a chill of empathy?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Yes, Michaela. I always wondered why no one seemed particularly worried when Pepys said the plague had reached the Continental ports, and quarantine was sort of imposed on foreign ships. Now I understand the state of denial that the plague could possibly happen here. I honestly thought the lockdown would last a few weeks, and it would be gone, even after watching China try to contain it for months. Now we're going into year three, I wonder how I could have been so naive having read the Diary.

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