Monday 16 July 1666

Lay in great pain in bed all the morning and most of the afternoon, being in much pain, making little or no water, and indeed having little within to make any with. And had great twinges with the wind all the day in my belly with wind. And a looseness with it, which however made it not so great as I have heretofore had it. A wonderful dark sky, and shower of rain this morning, which at Harwich proved so too with a shower of hail as big as walnuts.

I had some broth made me to drink, which I love, only to fill up room.

Up in the afternoon, and passed the day with Balty, who is come from sea for a day or two before the fight, and I perceive could be willing fairly to be out of the next fight, and I cannot much blame him, he having no reason by his place to be there; however, would not have him to be absent, manifestly to avoid being there.

At night grew a little better and took a glyster of sacke, but taking it by halves it did me not much good, I taking but a little of it. However, to bed, and had a pretty good night of it… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

16 Annotations

First Reading

cape henry  •  Link

Given that this illness has carried over into Monday, I suspect the "milke." More interesting is the hail. I wonder how often it hails in England?

cgs  •  Link

hail: Summer hail be quit popular in UK : I did witness one time, table tennis size hail stones wipe out an acre of ready to be cut cabbage lettuce, there went our Christmas bonus, or normal the fortunes of gardening, one of the reasons I rather use lead in wood than a plough.

cgs  •  Link

Errata: it did not quit till it was quite done

Mr. Gunning  •  Link


Broth is a liquid in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce. It can be eaten alone or with garnish. If other ingredients are used, such as rice, pearl barley, oatmeal, et cetera, it is then generally called soup.

In Britain, broth is a nourishing thick soup with chunks of vegetables, pulses and sometimes meat.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So it seems Balty, though willing apparently to do what he must, is the administrative type...Despite his supposed career as a soldier earlier. Kind of Sam to show some understanding of his nervousness. Interesting that we never get any hint of Bess' concern for him. Despite his self-centeredness our drama-loving Sam one would think would find an emotional scene of sister and brother too good to pass on.

language hat  •  Link

"So it seems Balty, though willing apparently to do what he must, is the administrative type"

Huh? I don't think it's exclusively "administrative types" who would rather not be in the thick of battle any more often than necessary. Boy's Own war novels do not accurately represent the feelings of actual soldiers.

Bradford  •  Link

What a waste of good sack, Sam! (See background article on this article.) At least it would have improved your spirits had you drunk it.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"glyster of sacke"
Can one get drunk this way?

cgs  •  Link

clyster sacke?
May be it be good for removing little cysts on the exit tube linings?????????

3. A contemptuous name for a medical practitioner (cf. CLYSTER-PIPE). Obs.

1621 FLETCHER Thierry i. sc. 1 [addressing a physician] What's that to you, or any, Ye dross, you powder'd pigs~bones, rubarbe glisters?

1733 FIELDING Quixote in Eng. II. xiv, I shall order him bleeding, glistering, vomiting..and cupping.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Balty does seem to have changed since the days he spoke of wanting a post that would not disgrace a gentleman and of going to fight for either the Emperor or the Dutch or both...

On the other hand, Balty has little option between the soldier's profession and whatever he can get from Sam. And Sam was genuinely moved by the younger man's sufferings...Pity he didn't care to write them out...In Holland (suspected of being an English spy by his background perhaps?) earlier and perhaps Balty's willingness to take on anything contrasts well with John Jr, who...


...seems little inclined to make use of his advantages (college education, high-profile contacts including a well-placed brother).

I wonder though if perhaps Sam came to the belated conclusion it was better to help Balty out than face the risk that eventually his wanderings about Europe for work would cause embarassment...

Spoiler...A wonder that Shaftsbury either never learned of or never made use of Balty's time in Holland as a follow-up charge against Sam...Particularly when Balty went abroad as Sam's rather capable detective.

And I still can't help suspecting some significant happened in Holland...Either Balty was deliberately sent or at least made a useful report to Sam on his return...That helped to cement good relations between the two in-laws.

Pete D  •  Link

A. De Araujo: Can one get drunk this way?

Yes. There are a lot of small blood vessels close to the surface of the skin inside the rectum, which effectively absorb alcohol. Heroin solution enemas are occasionally promoted as an alternative to injection for drug users:…

cgs  •  Link

Asking too many questions [Who, which, why, where, what and When]
"In Holland (suspected of being an English spy by his background perhaps?)"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

No time to get you a date but Balty went to Europe to be a soldier. He was considering fighting the Turk but later was supposed to have tried joining up in Holland, then returned and Sam spoke of being moved by his sufferings. Since Sam's attitude toward Balty changed quite a bit at that time, I can't help feeling he'd made himself useful in some way, possibly by reporting on what he'd seen over there. And the "suffering" makes me wonder if he'd been linked to Sam while over there. Naturally had Balty really offered his services to the Dutch that would have been a potential problem for Sam, though perhaps in their day not so much an act of treason as it would be now. All speculation of course...

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"A wonderful dark sky, and shower of rain this morning, which at Harwich proved so too with a shower of hail as big as walnuts."

L&M: Dr D. J. Schove writes: 'There were storms , with heavy rain and sometimes hail, in many parts of England and Scotland on or about this date. See e.g. CSPD 1665-6, p. 543, Philosophical Transactions/Volume 2/Number 26…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

“A wonderful dark sky, and shower of rain this morning, which at Harwich proved so too, with a shower of hail as big as walnuts.” How did Pepys know this?

Taking my estimate of 4 hours of hard riding for a Navy messenger to get from Harwich to Westminster, if he left after the hail – guess 10 a.m. – he’d be at Westminster and meeting with Coventry by 2 p.m.

“Up in the afternoon, and passed the day with Balty, who is come from sea for a day or two before the fight, …” The fleet is at or riding off Harwich. So perhaps Balty is the messenger???

Wednesday 25 April 1666 – “So I away to Westminster (Balty with me, whom I had presented to Sir W. Coventry)” So Coventry knows Pepys is Balty’s brother-in-law. Coventry therefore logically sends Balty to Pepys, and notifies the offices that if they have mail to go to Harwich, they have about 36 hours to get it written up and to Balty before he returns for the fray.

Also on April 25: “I to present Balty to Sir W. Penn, who at my entreaty did write a most obliging letter to Harman to use him civilly,…”

And on Sunday 25 March 1666 L&M tells us that Balty St. Michel served the summer of 1666 in Sir John Harman's fleet in the capacity of Muster Master.

With his background of a year fighting with the Dutch, Balty is the perfect, trusted, experienced messenger. Instead, Balty asks Pepys if there is anything he can do so he can honorably miss his ship sailing. I think Pepys was gracious about that … but I don’t think he wants Esther Watts St. Michel as another dependent either.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.