Thursday 24 October 1667

Up, and to the office, where all the morning very busy, and at noon took Mr. Hater home with me to dinner, and instantly back again to write what letters I had to write, that I might go abroad with my wife, who was not well, only to jumble her, and so to the Duke of York’s playhouse; but there Betterton not being yet well, we would not stay, though since I hear that Smith do act his part in “The Villaine,” which was then acted, as well or better than he, which I do not believe; but to Charing Cross, there to see Polichinelli. But, it being begun, we in to see a Frenchman, at the house, where my wife’s father last lodged, one Monsieur Prin, play on the trump-marine, which he do beyond belief; and, the truth is, it do so far outdo a trumpet as nothing more, and he do play anything very true, and it is most admirable and at first was a mystery to me that I should hear a whole concert of chords together at the end of a pause, but he showed me that it was only when the last notes were 5ths or 3rds, one to another, and then their sounds like an Echo did last so as they seemed to sound all together. The instrument is open at the end, I discovered; but he would not let me look into it, but I was mightily pleased with it, and he did take great pains to shew me all he could do on it, which was very much, and would make an excellent concert, two or three of them, better than trumpets can ever do, because of their want of compass. Here we also saw again the two fat children come out of Ireland, and a brother and sister of theirs now come, which are of little ordinary growth, like other people. But, Lord! how strange it is to observe the difference between the same children, come out of the same little woman’s belly!

Thence to Mile-End Greene, and there drank, and so home bringing home night with us, and so to the office a little, and then to bed.

26 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Oct. 24. 1667. there was made a magneticall Expt. seeming to shew that the poles of the magnet doe as well attract as direct ordd. tht the Expt. be repeated the next day in a bigger box closed wth. glasse as also that an account of it be brought in in writing by the Curator

(Dr Lowers account of broken winded dogq whether perforating Diaphragme will not doe the same). mr Hookes account of the Expt. of keeping a dog aliue by blowing into his Lungs, and euen wthout the motion of his lungs only by keeping them extended wth. a constant supply [In margin]V. of fresh air. was Read & orderd to be Registred. wth. thanks to the Authour.

(mummy) Dr. Lower giuing a dropsy to a dog)

D King [ Sir Edmund King, MD… ] method of transfusion) It being moud that the expt. might be made accordingly as it had been done already in forrein parts. Sr. G. Ent suggested that he thought it most aduisable to try it vpon some mad person in Bedlam this suggestion being seconded by diuers other physitians of the Society. Dr. Lower Dr King mr Th: cox & mr. Hooke were desired to speake wth. Dr. Allein the present Phys: of Bedlam about the Execution of this tryall & to let him know the opinions here declared concerning the same which the said persons vndertook to doe

(Collins Presented Double horizontal Diall. [… ] Art of Dialling. Sector on the mariners plaine Scale. merchants account. Decimall Arith Remalini Anatomy.) merret of Colprese paper)

Expt. for next day magneticall p'etd 2. passing blood without the lungs. 3 dog dropsy 4 piercing diaphragme 5 Rarifying box -…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"that I might go abroad with my wife, who was not well, only to jumble her"

JUMBLE: to take for an airing. (L&M Select Glossary)

Christopher Squire  •  Link

Terry F's definition of 'jumble' is plausible but not supported by the OED, who offer instead:

‘Jumble v. [Known only from 16th c., and without cognate words. Prob. onomatopeic: cf. bumble, fumble, mumble, rumble, stumble, tumble.] 
. . 2. trans. To mingle together or mix up in confusion or disorder; to muddle, confuse.
. . 6.    a. intr. To have carnal intercourse.    b. trans. To know carnally. Obs.
1582 STANYHURST Æneis IV. (Arb.) 100 Dido and thee Troian captayne doo iumble in one den.
1611 COTGR., Toquer, iumble a woman.
a1693 URQUHART Rabelais III. xxv. 202 The Lackeys..jumbled..his Wife.’

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Not my definition, but Robert Latham and William Matthews'.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, it was sweet of Sam in any case. I wonder if nervousness over the situation with Parliament is causing him to turn to Bess a bit more these days for comfort. In the supportive sense as well as the OED jumble sense...

Paul Chapin  •  Link

From the RS notes (thanks again, Terry): "he thought it most aduisable to try it [experimental blood transfusion] vpon some mad person in Bedlam this suggestion being seconded by diuers other physitians of the Society."

Even allowing for the context of the times, this bit gives me the shudders. My 15-20 minutes of research on the matter clearly indicates that the Hippocratic Oath was a part of medical training in the 17th century, and those "physitians" should have been entirely familiar with the precepts of primum non nocere [first do no harm] and working only for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice. They must have considered the unfortunates in Bedlam less than human, as valid subjects for experimentation as dogs.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Paul, last week I pointed out Hooke's RS notes included a that “(transfusion to be tryd on men)” was at least discussed, when others were concerned with "dog torture"…

Given the desire to see if transfusion works on men as well as it (seemed it) worked on dogs, what to do?

The RS is thinking Bedlam — in 11 years James Carkesse?… ;-)

Human subject research has a long history…

SPOILER : This Wikipedia article is incomplete when it comes to the early modern period as we shall see.

Mary  •  Link

"so home, bringing home night with us"

Delightful expression.

arby  •  Link

"...better than trumpets can ever do, because of their want of compass." Compass? Direction? But why would trumpets lack direction?

arby  •  Link

Thanks, Terry. And thanks too, if I haven't said it before, for the Royal Society notes. rb

Ruben  •  Link

"he thought it most aduisable to try it [experimental blood transfusion] vpon some mad person in Bedlam this suggestion being seconded by diuers other physitians of the Society.”

May be the reason to try a blood transfusion "vpon some mad person" is not a lack of medical ethics. Au contraire. In those days the supposition that "bad blood" was to be blamed for madness prevailed, ergo, a transfusion could cure a mad person.
In 1667 Dr. Robert Lower was the first to perform a successful blood transfusion on a human being (so it is written).
That same year a French performed a "successful" animal-to-human transfusion. (I do not believe this either).
So no wonder they were trying to change the blood of the poor souls from Bedlam.

Do not forget that blood letting was popular with doctors and patients for 200 years after Pepys and blood (bad blood) was blamed for a lot of diseases.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Ruben, thank you for that insightful suggestion, which makes a lot of sense. I hadn't thought of that angle.

Katherine  •  Link

I want to know more about the two fat children. Mr. Pepys says "again", but I don't remember the first mention of the children.

Mary  •  Link

The fat Irish children.

Pepys mentions them first on 8th July 1667. Born in Limerick.
Boy - 4' 6" tall
Girl - nearly 6' tall "and in thickness proportionable."

The children were presented to Charles II on 10th May.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

(I hid an annotation of Robert Gertz's, and a few following which complained about or supported it. There is certainly a place for comparing Pepys' time with the present day, but sometimes this can cross the line into talking only about present day issues, and this isn't the place for that. I hope this isn't a huge deal. Thanks for all the continuing contributions everyone!)

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

The fat Irish children

Were from Limerick in the south. A century later London was amazed by a 7 foot 7 inch Irish giant named Charles Byrne, from northern Ireland. Recent genetic research has linked him to other persons from the same district suffering from a pituitary tumor that produced unusual growth.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“he thought it most aduisable to try it [experimental blood transfusion] vpon some mad person in Bedlam this suggestion being seconded by diuers other physitians of the Society.”

"Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital."…

pepfie  •  Link

CS: Jumbling (#6) his spouse at the Duke's playhouse?

The skipped OED #3 would be more in character and create less of a scandal:

..3 To stir up (a liquid, etc.) so as to mix the ingredients, or render turbid; to agitate, shake up, give a shaking or jolting to; hence colloq. to take for a drive. ? Obs.

   1667 Pepys Diary 24 Oct., That I might go abroad with my wife, who was not well, only to jumble her.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

A tromba marina, or marine trumpet (Fr. trompette marine; Ger. Marientrompete, Trompetengeige, Nonnengeige or Trumscheit, Pol. tubmaryna) is a triangular bowed string instrument used in medieval and Renaissance Europe that was highly popular in the 15th century in England and survived into the 18th century. The tromba marina consists of a body and neck in the shape of a truncated cone resting on a triangular base. It is usually four to seven feet long, and is a monochord (although some versions have sympathetically-vibrating strings). It is played without stopping the string, but playing natural harmonics by lightly touching the string with the thumb at nodal points. Its name comes from its trumpet like sound due to the unusual construction of the bridge, and the resemblance of its contour to the marine speaking-trumpet of the Middle Ages.…

Tonyel  •  Link

Thanks for renewing the Youtube link TF. A strange instrument with considerable volume but not what I would call tuneful. Perhaps Monsieur Prin's expertise made the difference.

mountebank  •  Link

That youtube link clarifies to me Pepys' comment "it do so far outdo a trumpet". It is certainly a trumpet-like sound.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Maybe compass is range but I feel more likely to do with pitch. Brass instruments of the time could only play one harmonic series (key) at any one time. To change keys required changing crooks. Not so with string instruments. Hence compass. Brass will always have a limited range compared to strings. Then as now.

mountebank  •  Link

I came back to this entry to make exactly that comment William Mearns!

I've been trying to get to see SSAI for ages. Looks like I'll be waiting a while longer.

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