Tuesday 18 September 1666

Strange with what freedom and quantity I pissed this night, which I know not what to impute to but my oysters, unless the coldness of the night should cause it, for it was a sad rainy and tempestuous night. Soon as up I begun to have some pain in my bladder and belly, as usual, which made me go to dinner betimes, to fill my belly, and that did ease me, so as I did my business in the afternoon, in forwarding the settling of my house, very well. Betimes to bed, my wife also being all this day ill in the same manner. Troubled at my wife’s haire coming off so much. This day the Parliament met, and adjourned till Friday, when the King will be with them.

19 Annotations

First Reading

CGS  •  Link

touch of oyster food poising?????

CGS  •  Link

guess I be dreaming or thinking of polka dots or peas?.
......pois poisson poison

Mr. Gunning  •  Link

Was it acceptable to say 'piss' in polite society? When exactly did it change? Did this also happen in other languages?

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

'Piss' and 'shit' certainly appear in the King James translation of the Bible - no idea where, but I remember the passage being found to embarrass our schoolmaster many years ago.
The slightly weary acceptance of Sam and Bess's health problems underline the almost permanent state of poor health that even comparatively wealthy folk suffered at the time.

Phoenix  •  Link

Piss? - Kings 2.18.27. Others as well.
Shit? - Nope.

Bradford  •  Link

"Troubled at my wife’s haire coming off so much." Not as much as Elizabeth was, no doubt. And no medicated shampoo off the rack to help, though no doubt popular remedies were plentiful. Of course, Mercer is no long there to help her dress it.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

How "shit" was handled in Judges 3 in the KJV:

"[16] But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. [17] And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man. [18] And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present. [19] But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
[20] And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat. [21] And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: [22] And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out." http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/k/k…

GrahamT  •  Link

Re: "Was it acceptable to say ‘piss’ in polite society? ... Did this also happen in other languages?"
Although pisser (to piss) is not often used in polite French society, (faire pipi is more common) dandelions are called pis-en-lit (wet-the-bed) and the little round urinals found on Parisian streets are still called pissoirs.

FJA  •  Link

Whether or no it was acceptable in polite society, Samuel here is speaking onely to his personal and confidential, secret diary, in coded shorthand, no less.

Australian Susan  •  Link

This discussion reminds me of an anecdote of Queen Elzabeth I: a gentleman at Court on being presented to her, made the expected deep bow and obeisance. Unfortunately, he let off wind very loudly as he did this. So mortified was he, he did not appear at Court for two years. When he next appeared, the Queen, passing him offered her hand to be kissed and as he bowed low over it, assured him (in a loud clear voice): " Dear Sir John! We have forgot the fart."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bess' baldness...

Poor kid...Sick from oysters and dear husband noting hair loss...Dear philandering, generally insensitive to anything about her, husband...

Diet, perhaps?...She and Sam don't seem big on vegetables and fruits generally.

Then again there's wash day...But whatever they use, it should be affecting poor Jane as well and Sam is likely to note it.

PTSD from the Fire? If a new occurence, perhaps...Sam's having bad dreams, Bess is losing her hair?

PTSD from living with Sam? She'd be long since bald as an egg.

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"Bess!!! Stop!!!...OW!!!"

"You tole them?!!!" Whack! Whack!! "How could you tell the world I was losing my hair?!!!!"

"Bess, my Diary is a honest testament to our lives..." OWW!!! "...together..."

"That didn't work for James Joyce with Nora, it won't work for me!!!"

She was never this angry about my affairs...Sam reflects, running.

"Should we intervene?" assistant to St. Peter aside to Peter. "I mean...This is Heaven..."


"Nah...It's only Heaven for her...He's just here on her recognisance. Let her have her fun."

Australian Susan  •  Link

Wonder if Elizabeth has been experimenting with bleaching her hair? This might be disastrous for her hair.

Mary  •  Link

hair colour.

According to Liza Picard (Restoration London) the fashionable hair-colour of the time was dark - brunette - so Elizabeth is unlikely to have been bleaching her hair. However, if she had been using ceruse ( a cosmetic based on white lead) to lighten and smoothe her complexion, it is possible that she could have suffered a depilatory effect on her eyebrows and hairline.

In this particular case I should have thought that over-use of ceruse was unlikely; the only comments that Sam has ever made on 'painting' have been less than complimentary.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"it was a sad rainy and tempestuous night. "

L&M: Dr D. J. Schove writes: 'Wood (L. & T., ii. 88) has a description of what was presumably the same wind(? tornado) on the previous day. "All the morning a grievous and blustery wind: the devil appeared at Westminster at [?and] Whitehall and frighted the gards out of their wits."

Peach  •  Link

Perhaps the stress of the last week or so got to Elizabeth? Hair loss due to stress happens.

Samuel Powrie  •  Link

"Troubled at my wife’s haire coming off so much." Given her relative youth and what we know about her, I would suspect Hashimoto's Disease or some similar form of progressive hypothyroidism.

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