Saturday 17 June 1665

My wife come to bed about one in the morning.

I up and abroad about Tangier business, then back to the office, where we sat, and at noon home to dinner, and then abroad to Mr. Povy’s, after I and Mr. Andrews had been with Mr. Ball and one Major Strange, who looks after the getting of money for tallys and is helping Mr. Andrews. I had much discourse with Ball, and it may be he may prove a necessary man for our turns. With Mr. Povy I spoke very freely my indifference as to my place of Treasurer, being so much troubled in it, which he took with much seeming trouble, that I should think of letting go so lightly the place, but if the place can’t be held I will. So hearing that my Lord Treasurer was gone out of town with his family because of the sicknesse, I returned home without staying there, and at the office find Sir W. Pen come home, who looks very well; and I am gladder to see him than otherwise I should be because of my hearing so well of him for his serviceablenesse in this late great action. To the office late, and then home to bed.

It struck me very deep this afternoon going with a hackney coach from my Lord Treasurer’s down Holborne, the coachman I found to drive easily and easily, at last stood still, and come down hardly able to stand, and told me that he was suddenly struck very sicke, and almost blind, he could not see; so I ’light and went into another coach, with a sad heart for the poor man and trouble for myself, lest he should have been struck with the plague, being at the end of the towne that I took him up; but God have mercy upon us all!

Sir John Lawson, I hear, is worse than yesterday: the King went to see him to-day most kindly. It seems his wound is not very bad; but he hath a fever, a thrush, and a hickup, all three together, which are, it seems, very bad symptoms.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Of course, the fever could be a very bad symptom.

JWB  •  Link

So could the thrush & hiccupping- indicating weakness in fighting off infection and electrolyte imbalance brought on by loss of blood.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam is grudgingly giving Sir WP his due and acknowledging his skill. Though his greeting is not as effusive as his touching reunion with Coventry yesterday.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

"he was suddenly struck very sicke, and almost blind, he could not see; so I ‘light and went into another coach"
This is the sort of writing that made Pepys famous. In Lord Peter Wimsey "Strong Poison" there is a passage by a journalist how he put a bit into his story about cats, and it was a Pepysian touch. Everyone wants to write like Pepys with little details that lend a sense of accuracy to the whole story. Charles Dickens was always putting little details into his fictions so we could believe the whole. Samuel, our Great Leader, wrote truthfully and not fictionally.

JWB  •  Link

"Pepysian touch"

"...I ‘light and went into another coach..." Would you today get into another cab and drive away? W/ cell phones and "911" getting assistance is easy. Contrast Sam with Dr. Johnson, who when he found a prostitute lying in the steet, carried her home. Would Johnson have done as Sam if he had suspected plague?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In fairness to Sam there might have been other cabbies and their boys near at hand and better able to lead the horses and their poor driver home.

Well, what a bit of news to bring home to Bess...

"Bess, guess what happened today on my way home?"

I remember being told back when SARS hit that when one of our most brilliant and experienced researchers received some of the first samples and was examining them alone he also received the first in-depth reports of how astonishingly rapid and deadly the syndrome was and he by his own admission, nearly freaked. He had to put away the material, get out of the containment lab, and find a quiet place to sit down for a few minutes. Then he went back to work.

As Sam will, despite knowing far less about his plague.
It is intriguing in light of Dr. Burnet's action to immediately shut up his home, that Sam doesn't feel concerned about changing his clothes, warning Bess, etc. Perhaps he did all those things, but he doesn't seem to feel any urgency about it, aside from the immediate fear of plague contact.

Wild night at the swinging bachelor pad of the rakish William Hewer, eh?

"Well, Mother Pepys, I'm sure you and my mum will have a very nice evening together..." Will slams door before Margaret can begin her protest.

"Wine, Mrs. P.? Miss Mercer?" Elegantly offers expensive wineglass...

"Will? How do you afford these on a clerk's salary?" Bess stares.

Will eyeing her...

Right...My Sam's clerk...Of course he can afford them.

"Have a seat...Mary...Mrs. Pepys." Pulling out beautifully carved French chairs. Each a Louis XIV, just out of the workshop, he notes, rakishing settling his cloak on chair pulled for Bess.

"Thanks, Will...Uh...Bit dark in here, isn't it?"

Loud bang on the door to Mrs. Hewer's room...

"It's all right, Mother Pepys!" Bess calls, rolling eyes.

Knew she was listening at the keyhole.

Will snapping fingers..."Let there be light..." swagger.

Uh...He blinks at lack of response.

"Lucy?!! Lights!"

Serving girl trudges about, lighting strategically placed candles.

Tole you to light 'em soon as I did the Genesis line, Will fumes at her...

The little fellow's so cute...Mercer beams.

Of course if this gets back to Mr. Pepys...

"Music! Hey?!" Will calls into the next, now darker room.

Various instruments start up...

"Will, this is so nice..." Beaming Bess...Now, if only I could find some way to get Sam'l over here...
I'm sure I could keep him from killing or firing Will...

"What be that catchy tune?" Mercer staring toward the sound of the players.

"Mingo, Sir Will Batten's servant wrote it up for me. A very talented musician, actually...He's the one with the deep voice, singing it."

"Nice. Bit risque though, isn't it?" Mercer notes.

Louder bang on door...

"Not at all, ma'am." Will solemnly. "'My First, my last, my everything' has a deep religious connotation..."


"...'And the answer...To all of my dreams...'" Mingo's voice.

"Likewise...You can see the religious depth." Will sitting by Bess. "Stirs the very soul with that...Church of England, of course...Fervor."

"Oh, yeah." Bess sighs. "I feel stirred to my very core."

Oh, brother...Mercer sighs.

"'You're the first...The last...My everything...'"

"Perhaps, Mary would like to go and see the men performing?" Will, hopefully.

"I don't think so..." Mercer, frowning.

Sound of door splintering a bit...

CGS  •  Link

Thrush not the worm nibbling songster
Thrush2:1. A disease, chiefly of infants, characterized by white vesicular specks on the inside of the mouth and throat, and on the lips and tongue, caused by a parasitic fungus (see thrush-fungus in 3); scientifically called aphtha or parasitic stomatitis. Also, an infection of any other part with the same fungus, esp. of a woman's vagina.

1665 PEPYS Diary 17 June, He hath a fever, a thrush and a hickup.

1712 Pomet's Hist. Drugs I. 47 A Gargle of it cures the Thrush.

Ruben  •  Link

JWB “Pepysian touch”

"Contrast Sam with Dr. Johnson, who when he found a prostitute lying in the street, carried her home."
Lets turn tables.
Would Sam have done as Dr. Johnson if he had found a prostitute lying in the street?
Let Robert answer this!

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"I had much discourse with Ball, and it may be he may prove a necessary man for our turns. "

Possibly irrelevant, but might explain his ability to be a "necessary man for our turns ", according to L&M Companion Ball was " awarded a [governmental] pension in 1668 for 'special service.' "

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"according to L&M Companion Ball was ' awarded a [governmental] pension in 1668 for "special service."’"

What one might expect from the [Royal] employer of a successful Treasurer to the London Commissioners of Excise in time of war.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Somehow I don't think Sam would take a stricken prostitute home to Bess.

"Bess, look what I found lying in the street! Can I keep her?"

Bradford  •  Link

"The Carriage held but just Ourselves ---
And Immortality.

"We slowly drove --- He knew no haste. . . . "

---Dickinson, #712, c. 1863.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"but he hath a fever,a thrush and a hickup"
Methinks the man has developed septicemia and is in very bad shape;he has become dehydrated and the coating of the tongue is being misdiagnosed as thrush.

Pedro  •  Link

Good news for the Queene…

On 7/17th June the Portuguese gained a crucial victory with the help of English troops under Schomberg. He sent his troops to cut of a Spanish advance at Montes Claros, and the Spanish loss of 4000 dead, 6000 prisoners and the capture of 3500 horses crippled the Spanish offensive power.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary (in lieu of Dirk)

[continuing a three-day entry] so on Saturday got home being 17: June.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"at the office find Sir W. Pen come home, who looks very well"

L&M note: He had recently been ill: Pepys to Coventry, 10 June 1665.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

“Sheds to be erected round the [city] pesthouse ground … in case the sicknesse continue to increase within the city and liberties.” – ORDER OF THE LORD MAYOR OF LONDON, Sir John Lawrence, June 17, 1665 -- The Great Plague, Lloyd and Dorothy Moote, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004, page 190.

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