Sunday 2 February 1667/68

(Lord’s day). Wife took physick this day, I all day at home, and all the morning setting my books in order in my presses, for the following year, their number being much increased since the last, so as I am fain to lay by several books to make room for better, being resolved to keep no more than just my presses will contain. At noon to dinner, my wife coming down to me, and a very good dinner we had, of a powdered leg of pork and a loin of lamb roasted, and with much content she and I and Deb. After dinner, my head combed an hour, and then to work again, and at it, doing many things towards the setting my accounts and papers in order, and so in the evening Mr. Pelling supping with us, and to supper, and so to bed.


2 Feb 2011, 11:08 p.m. - Robert Gertz

I wonder how "content" Bess was with that heavy dinner after a nice morning's course of physick. *** An hour? That must have been some combing... *** A rather sweet turn of phrase, "my wife coming down to me..."

3 Feb 2011, 12:58 a.m. - Christopher Squire

I note that even then the problem of having too many books for one's shelves arose; and that the only solution was a policy of 'one out for each one in'.

3 Feb 2011, 1:05 p.m. - john

"being resolved to keep no more than just my presses will contain." Ah, the horror. Aside, I note that he always mentions the meat but never the vegetables consumed. (I can surmise the reasons.)

3 Feb 2011, 2:18 p.m. - Mary K

Combing/nit-picking. An hour? Not so very long when it comes to getting rid of the little devils. Pepys may enjoy the process when it's effected by dear Deb, but small children hate it.

3 Feb 2011, 3:22 p.m. - language hat

"the only solution was a policy of ‘one out for each one in’." If, of course, you were a neatnik. Some of us keep ever-growing piles of books at varying distances from our desk, and that solution was available even in Sam's day.

3 Feb 2011, 4:29 p.m. - arby

Powdered pork?

3 Feb 2011, 5:33 p.m. - Mary K

powdered pork Rubbed with spice (and possibly salt, too) before cooking. Still a tasty way of preparing pork for roasting, especially if you use Chinese five-spice powder.

3 Feb 2011, 7:04 p.m. - Terry Foreman

Five-spice powder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-spice_powder Was there a 17th century English equivalent?

3 Feb 2011, 9:44 p.m. - arby

Thanks, and I now remember that powdered something has come up before.

4 Feb 2011, 1:05 a.m. - walkley

Allspice?

4 Feb 2011, 11:58 p.m. - Australian Susan

Head Lice They are stubborn to remove - catching the adult ones is akin to catching fleas on a dog; but the eggs adhere to individual hairs and are more problematical to remove. Shaving the head is the easiest way to deal with the egg problem, which is possibly why Sam did this at one point (also to deal with the heat and his periwigg may have been easier to wear on a bald head.) Shaving the head used to be the way to deal with children with head lice, but then it evolved (in England) into the School Nurse checking your heads once a term. Although they did many other things (such as screenings for scoliosis, speech impediments, sight and hearing problems), these doughty ladies were always, always known as The Nit Nurses.

5 Feb 2011, 12:53 a.m. - jeannine

“the only solution was a policy of ‘one out for each one in’.” If, of course, you were a neatnik. Some of us keep ever-growing piles of books at varying distances from our desk, and that solution was available even in Sam’s day. Where Sam tends towards having a few OCD tendencies I can imagine that he couldn't cope with piles of books but would really need to have them neatly arranged. He's always struck me as a 'neatnik to the max'!

5 Feb 2011, 6:36 a.m. - Michael Robinson

“being resolved to keep no more than just my presses will contain.” Prior to the arrival of the bookcases http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/08/24/ ever growing piles was the solution: "my books ... now growing numerous, and lying one upon another on my chairs, I lose the use to avoyde the trouble of removing them, when I would open a book." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/07/23/ "but would really need to have them neatly arranged." *Spoiler* There can be as many as nine different Pepys press-mark numbers, in pencil and pen, on the pastedown and free eendsheets of the volumes, for an illustration of one see 'Catalogue of the Pepys Library ... Volume VI Bindings' (1984) reproduced plate 3, discussed p.xiv- xv. In general the books from the diary period have six, seven or eight numbers, and in some instances there are still traces or fragments of external paper spine labels from the early organisations. The primary activity of Pepys's retirement seems to have been the books; the intellectual energy formerly devoted to the entire Navy was shifted to cataloguing, classifying, indexing, arranging adding and subtracting volumes. The final set of indices survive in two substantial manuscript volumes which have been published in facsimile.

5 Feb 2011, 10:27 a.m. - Australian Susan

Neatnik, etc. I have a bookcase by my bed just for the unread books. Alas, this now has a pile of books on top.....Sigh.

16 Dec 2016, 2:10 a.m. - Terry Foreman

Pepys is vexed about books because he now had two presses. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/01/10/ These, L&M say, would hold [only] about 500 books.

2 Feb 2021, 5:01 p.m. - mountebank

"these doughty ladies were always, always known as The Nit Nurses" Or as Nitty Nora, the Hair Explorer.

2 Feb 2021, 8:12 p.m. - San Diego Sarah

Very good, Mountebank! My Christmas present to myself was another bookcase. Fortunately, it absorbed my overflow, and still has space ... like Pepys I often swear NO MORE BOOKS, but they arrive anyways. Like nits, they know who are the suckers.

3 Feb 2021, 1:32 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

"I note that he always mentions the meat but never the vegetables consumed." Phil has given us a page for information about Fruits & Vegetables ... the beginnings of the Vegan movement was in the 17th Century, but did not include the Pepys household. https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/397/

3 Feb 2021, 1:48 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

In our encyclopedia there is an index to FOODS, listing the 28 fruits and veggies mentioned by Pepys https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/fooddrink/food/fruitveg/

3 Feb 2021, 5:37 p.m. - john

SDS, thank you for fruit & veg link. I missed that the first time round. As for books, I have always found it easier to buy another bookcase then discard books -- though I have donated tomes to charitable book sales.