Monday 3 July 1665

Up and by water with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes to White Hall to the Duke of Albemarle, where, after a little business, we parted, and I to the Harp and Ball, and there staid a while talking to Mary, and so home to dinner. After dinner to the Duke of Albemarle’s again, and so to the Swan, and there ‘demeurais un peu’de temps con la fille’, and so to the Harp and Ball, and alone ‘demeurais un peu de temps baisant la’, and so away home and late at the office about letters, and so home, resolving from this night forwards to close all my letters, if possible, and end all my business at the office by daylight, and I shall go near to do it and put all my affairs in the world in good order, the season growing so sickly, that it is much to be feared how a man can escape having a share with others in it, for which the good Lord God bless me, or to be fitted to receive it.

So after supper to bed, and mightily troubled in my sleep all night with dreams of Jacke Cole, my old schoolfellow, lately dead, who was born at the same time with me, and we reckoned our fortunes pretty equal. God fit me for his condition!

26 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"so to the Swan and there 'demeurais un peu de temps con la fille' [spending a little time with the babe (Sarah Udall)]. And so to the Harp and Ball and alone 'demeurais u peu de temps besandola' [spending a little time kissing (surely the very ‘formosa’ [gorgeousl] mayde, Mary, Dr Williams' purported sweetheart)]; and so away home "

Hey, Bess is away -- it's party time!
Anyhow, it's a nice distraction for a lazy afternoon from the Bills of Mortality.

JWB  •  Link

July 25,1664
"...Mr. Cole (my old Jack Cole) comes to see and speak with me, and his errand in short to tell me that he is giving over his trade; he can do no good in it, and will turn what he has into money and go to sea, his father being dead and leaving him little, if any thing. This I was sorry to hear, he being a man of good parts, but, I fear, debauched. I promised him all the friendship I can do him, which will end in little, though I truly mean it, and so I made him stay with me till 11 at night, talking of old school stories, and very pleasing ones, and truly I find that we did spend our time and thoughts then otherwise than I think boys do now, and I think as well as methinks that the best are now. He supped with me, and so away, and I to bed. And strange to see how we are all divided that were bred so long at school together, and what various fortunes we have run, some good, some bad."…

The Mollusc  •  Link

Activity in the face of danger seems to stimulate the brain and body to urgently seek an opportunity of procreation. Even if it does not succeed in propagating the species, it should take your mind off the problem for a little while.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Funny how Sam slips into French here, when his activities are pretty innocent, compared to what he's done in the past.

And also funny, as others have pointed out, how thoughts of sex and death seem to co-mingle and even drive each other on. Eat, embrassez les femmes and be merry, for tomorrow we may die! Oh, and put your papers in order, lest others think thee a slacker.

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary today:

"I tooke order for 150 men to be carried on board, (who had ben recovered of their wounds & sicknesse) the Clove-tree, Carolus quintus & Zeland, ships that had ben taken by us in the fight: & so returnd home."

deepfatfriar  •  Link

Passing no judgment whatever, I am continuingly struck at the relationship Sam draws between his sexual adventures and his religion: none. He writes of minor dalliances in this entry without regret or a hint that he feels any guilt (though the French indicates he does not want to be found out by anyone who breaks his code??). A few lines later, he writes almost a prayer that God will make him ready for death (and presumably, judgment). He thanks God most months for his increase in wealth, and occasionally feels the need for God's forgiveness for one thing or another, but he seems to process his extramarital sexual activities (alone or with others) quite outside the context of his religion. As in so many other ways, his is a very different world compared to ours. Vive la difference!

CGS  •  Link

His conscience [alto ego ]be speaking in foreign tongues lets him off the hook.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"God fit me for his condition."

So say we all... Courage, simply and movingly stated.

Well, he's done his duty by Bess...He's doing his duty for King and Country...His affairs are in order or heading that way...And if God wills it, he's ready to go. But while he's still breathing the man who survived the stone cut is going to live life to the full...Within reasonable limits and not neglecting the need to keep the old accounts moving in the right direction, of course.

andy  •  Link


"baiser" is also the f--- word, as in the Virginie Despendes book "Baise-moi".

Bess safely away in the country.

Mary  •  Link

Elizabeth is not yet 'safely' away in the country.

Sam has taken her to see Sheldon's house, but she has not yet removed out of town. Patience, gentlemen, patience!

jean-paul  •  Link

Interesting "slippage" of meaning of "baisant" (kissing). It was a favorite of my students at the time i was teaching French in LA. A kiss is "un baiser", but the verb "baiser" definitely does not mean "to kiss" (though it may include it, hopefully!)—thanks to Andy for pointing it out first. For "to kiss", you'll have to say "embrasser", or "donner un baiser".
Our friend Samuel was obviously referring to the usage of his time…
PS: Being French, and hopelessly pathetic at pronouncing English, i remember stressing during a lesson to my mostly-women students: "This is a very important rule, and you have to f*ck us on it!" Their stunned looks slowly turned into hilarity, before one of them charitably pointed out to me; FO-CUS, it's pronounced FO-CUS!!! Twenty years later, i'm still careful about pronouncing that one!

language hat  •  Link

"As in so many other ways, his is a very different world compared to ours."

Not in this matter; people still find it easy to break the rules of the religion they profess. It's the human condition.

deepfatfriar  •  Link

Generally, that is true, LH. But in what is left of Christendom and its practitioners, breaking of rules aside, sexual behavior now has a very firmly established religious context that I don't see in the diary.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"demeurais un peu de temps con la fille"
avec Sam, avec;go ask your wife,she knows french!

Ant  •  Link


(Bit off-topic perhaps, sorry). You're not the only non-native English speaker to encounter problems with the f word.

Apparently the Hollywood director Michael Curtiz was berating his subordinates one day: "You think I know fuck nothing, but I tell you this: I know fuck all!"

language hat  •  Link

"in what is left of Christendom and its practitioners, breaking of rules aside, sexual behavior now has a very firmly established religious context"

I simply don't believe this. In tight little religious communities, perhaps, but in the vast world of churchgoing but otherwise unfervent Christians, attitudes are (and probably always will be) much like Sam's. Human nature is what it is. (And sexual behavior had a very firmly established religious context in Sam's day, too, for those who cared.)

A. Hamilton  •  Link

More on treacherous foreign locutions (and unintended connotations).

In Dutch the jib sail is known as the fok, and the sailing command for preparing to change direction is "fok los." I was constantly amused by this command during a sail with my brother-in-law in Friesland.

JonTom in Cambridge  •  Link

'baisant la'

"Our friend Samuel was obviously referring to the usage of his time…" --Jean-Paul

But I'm still in the dark: what /was/ the usage of his time? Can anyone tell us when "baiser" changed its meaning from kissing to coitus? In the past SP has resorted to foreign languages when his activities are less than innocent, which makes me wonder if the "slippage" in usage has already occurred.

JonTom in Cambridge  •  Link

"I am continuingly struck at the relationship Sam draws between his sexual adventures and his religion: none" -- Deep Fat Friar

I've been long convinced that SP's religion is pro forma. Over five years, there has been a drop off in church attendance, at first gradual, and finally dramatic. At the start of the diary, he went to church twice on most Sundays. Now he frequently doesn't go at all, and yesterday didn't even mention /not/ going, as if it were too trivial to mention.

He rarely speaks of God, except in reference to his current well-being. Usually he's specifically referring to his wealth, and his invocations of God strike me as almost superstitious, of the "knock on wood" variety.

His prayers here to, basically, be prepared for death, are of a different order. They strike me as heart-felt, and rather moving in their fatalism, considering how death was closing in around him.

Still, it doesn't my impression that religion is ordinarily distant from his waking thoughts.

CGS  •  Link

[corrupt f. prec.; but cf. F. baisement (Cotgr.), f. baiser.]

c1654 R. FLECKNOE Trav. 18 My most humble Baisements, I beseech you, to the Lady Marquesse.

[f. BASS v.1 + -ER1.]

A kisser.
1552 HULOET, Basser or kysser, basiator.

CGS  •  Link

OED versions:
A kiss, a kissing.
c1450 Merlin XX. 323 Hit is the baisyers, yef to the lady it plese. 1475 CAXTON Jason 99b, And their began there amorouse baisiers or kyssinges.
baisemain obs
A kiss of the hands: in pl. compliments, respects.
[1596 SPENSER F.Q. III. i. 56 Every Knight..Gan choose his dame with basciomani gay.] 1656 in BLOUNT Glossogr. 1707 FARQUHAR Beaux’ Strat. III. ii. 25 Do my Baisemains to the gentleman, and tell him I will..wait on him immediately.

baisement obs rare

Hide etymology* Hide quotations* Show date charts*

[corrupt f. prec.; but cf. F. baisement (Cotgr.), f. baiser.]

c1654 R. FLECKNOE Trav. 18 My most humble Baisements, I beseech you, to the Lady Marquesse.

[f. BASS v.1 + -ER1.]

A kisser.
1552 HULOET, Basser or kysser, basiato
previous was truncated in final Loading

GrahamT  •  Link

Baiser, in modern French, is a difficult word for foreigners to get right. It definitely means kiss in many senses, e.g. baiser le main (kiss the hand), Baisers Volés (Stolen Kisses - Truffaut film), and I love the French saying "Chaque baiser est un monde à explorer" (Each kiss is a world to be explored).
it can also mean intercourse in other senses, especially used in the first person, e.g baise-moi, je te baise, etc
Personally, I avoid it and used embrasser (verb) or bissou (noun)
However, put baisant into Google Translate and it only gives you one meaning, and I suspect it is the one Sam means.

language hat  •  Link

Modern usage is irrelevant; the earliest cite for the "carnal relations" sense in the Trésor de la langue française informatisé is mid-19th century.

Second Reading

psw  •  Link

On this religion thing: back in the very beginning Sam with some surprise recorded his Boss's position on religion to which his Boss spoke more of it as fantasy and fiction. Sam thought hard on this and seemed to think of Atheism (wholly sceptical).

Sam is now quite the man of experience and recently (several months at least) seems to be swinging toward Sandwich's scepticism. His school buddy Boyle passing away reveals the chance and luck in life as well plus all of life's unanticipated turns. His comments on the Sermons too: a poor sermon proving life after death, etc.

From 15 May 1660 (… ): “In the afternoon my Lord and I walked together in the coach two hours, talking together upon all sorts of discourse: as religion, wherein he is, I perceive, wholly sceptical” .

Some thought Agnostic was what the Boss really meant but it sounds like Sam thought differently. The Boss has seen some things in his day that would make many a disbeliever (having someone's brains splashed on you when that horrible chained shot came whizzing across the deck); the nuances of the court including betrayal, backstabbing, etc.

On the sex thing: I get more and more the impression that Sam cavorts with all these girls without full intercourse probably for safety reasons: kissing, touching, holding, smelling and perhaps a hand job, not full pen. Sam would be more afraid of the girls. A smart pro will do all the above for recompense but will insist on wrapping that big thing up before anything more; her safety the greater risk.

The Fo Cus remembrance reminds me of the 2 girls having their pictures taken: Focus ? Bofus?

Marquess  •  Link

With death so much more graphically on show in Sam's day along with the more precarious medical situation, it is no wonder that he is making himself ready for the call. Also despite his weaknesses he knows that he has to ultimately square things with God.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

RE: Sam, religion and guilt. SP strikes me as unusual for his time. I recall Amanda Vickery reading diary passages from the Georgian period and they were filled with sexual guilt and only 1 person was involved!

As a Quebecois sergeant once said to his wayward english speaking reservists; "You think I know f*ck nothing when I really know f*ck all!"

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