Thursday 23 July 1668

Up, and all day long, but at dinner, at the Office, at work, till I was almost blind, which makes my heart sad.

23 Jul 2011, 10:03 p.m. - Terry Foreman

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online Iuly 23. 1668. The Curator produced seuerall petrifyd teeth sayd to haue found in sheernesse and there taken out of a rock on the seaside. conceiud to haue been the teeth of shark fishes. mr Skippon produced the like teeth & seuerall other stones & medicated earths, brought by him out of malta. (Dr. merrit a vinous liquor of english plants) about viniger making). Recouering sowr beer by chalk) hartburning cured by swallowing chalk [ ]) D. about velocity of grauity &c. Expt of [mercury] & [aqua fortis] incorporated was prosecuted and the ball being weighd in the mixture which was 4 [ounce] weighd 56 gr. & in the tartar 168 1/2 gr. after which there was put 1/4 [ounce] of oyle of tartar into the mixture to precipitate the [mercury] but without any effect for want of Room orderd again next Day. Birds also then).

23 Jul 2011, 10:05 p.m. - Terry Foreman

John Evelyn's Diary 23d July, 1668. At the Royal Society, were presented divers glossa petras, and other natural curiosities, found in digging to build the fort at Sheerness. They were just the same as they bring from Malta, pretending them to be viper's teeth, whereas, in truth, they are of a shark, as we found by comparing them with one in our repository,

23 Jul 2011, 10:14 p.m. - Terry Foreman

Mr. Thomas Henshaw, FRS, discovers Alka-Selzer! "Mr. Henshaw affirmed, that some persons being troubled with the heart-burning (caused perhaps by some extraordinary acidity in the blood about the heart) use to swallow chalk, and thereby cure themselves."

24 Jul 2011, 1:14 a.m. - Robert Gertz

Heaven... "Another hanky?" Sob... "Please...Oh, Sam'l...My poor brave Sam'l." "Bess, there's no need to cry...I didn't actually..." Eyes him, red-eyed... "Sam'l? Word of advice? Given what's coming?...Take it while you can get it." "Right...Carry on."

24 Jul 2011, 1:04 p.m. - Phoenix

Terry I think rather Tums (calcium carbonate) than Alka-Selzer (sodium bicarbonate). And if neither provide relief then a tablet or two of Gertz should do the trick.

24 Jul 2011, 1:30 p.m. - Robert Gertz

"Sam'l? About your eye trouble...Balty says Papa has a wonderful new invention...All he needs is a few hundred pounds to..." "Sam'l? Where are you going? This isn't like his flying machine..."

24 Jul 2011, 1:58 p.m. - Carl in Boston

About the chalk curing an acid stomach The pH of gastric juice is 1.0, acid enough to burn your skin (or throat if you have an eruptive burp, I keep a stein of water by the bedside just in case) but held in check by the mucous lining of the stomach. The intestine is more like a pH of 7.5, very tame. That eating of chalk did a lot of good. Too bad there wasn't a simple cure for Sam's astigmatism.

24 Jul 2011, 2:31 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"I keep a stein of water by the bedside " might Pepys or Henshaw, had they had potable H2O, alas.

24 Jul 2011, 6:47 p.m. - Terry Foreman

@Phoenix, yes Tums: why didn't chalk seem to catch on (aside from Henshaw)?

24 Jul 2011, 8:45 p.m. - john

Carl wrote: "Too bad there wasn’t a simple cure for Sam’s astigmatism." In the words of Wilson, Fields, and Fullteron: "We conclude that the origin of Pepys’ asthenopia was multifactorial: a low amount of uncorrected hypermetropia and astigmatism, convergence insufficiency with near exophoria, nonspecific low-grade ocular inflammation that was exacerbated by alcohol, paranasal sinus inflammation contiguous with or referred to the eye or orbit, a contributing functional element, and an obsessional personality." A reference to an article on Pepys' malady was given earlier (by Mary or Australian Susan, forgive my lapse of memory) but the link was inoperable so here is the full reference. G.A. Wilson, A.P. Field, S. Fullerton, "The Big Brown Eyes of Samuel Pepys", ARCH OPHTHALMOL/VOL 120, JULY 2002 (WWW.ARCHOPHTHALMOL.COM)

24 Jul 2011, 10:56 p.m. - AnnieC

"In the words of Wilson, Fields, and Fullteron: ...and an obsessional personality.” I'd be a bit obsessed, too, if I thought I was going blind.

14 Aug 2011, 11:18 p.m. - Australian Susan

"Potable H2O" Recently here in Australia, we have had repeats of a lovely series called Supersizers go....., where two modern day people gamely live according to a different period for a week. This is especialy focussed on the food. This week we had the 1660s and the pair ended up constipated, permanently drunk, longing for water and with livers in bad condition after only 7 days on a Pepysian diet. Much mention was made of stones and one of the meals was a recreation of Sam's 1663 Stone Feast - which, of course, was just the sort of food likely to produce *more* stones. A greatly enjoyable programme!

29 Jun 2021, 2:36 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

'Charles II: July 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 469-516. @@@ July 23. 1668 Nic. Beebey to [Williamson]. I have made choice of some as good white wine as any in London, at 4s a gallon, if you will send your bottles to Joseph Mower, at the Ship in Mark Lane. [S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 110.] --- Yes, this really is in the official domestic files of England. @@@ July 23. 1668 -- 8 a.m. Rushall, near Tunbridge Wells. Lord Keeper Bridgeman to Williamson. The affair of St. Christopher’s makes me think that the French are playing a speedy game. If they cannot break with Holland by an union with England, they will pick a quarrel against England upon a single account; I do not, because of their jollities at home, and disbanding of some men, think all safe this summer, and if it is true that the Duc de Beaufort is remanded to the ships upon pretence of some stir in Portugal, I shall be the more confirmed that they do not lay aside all thoughts of action this year. [RECALLED AMBASSADOR FROM THE STATES GENERAL] M. Meerman came thither on purpose to dine with me. I told him of the Swedish minister’s ratification and that all would be ready by Saturday; he gave great assurances of the fidelity of his State, and desired me to use all endeavours to conserve mutual confidence and correspondence, being sensible that arts would be used to breed jealcusies, but that they would not prevail with his masters. I sent my own coach with him to Tunbridge, on his way to Gravesend. I am glad that a resolution is taken in the business of Monaco to have a positive answer in writing from France; if it is speeded by the English minister in France, Sir Thos. Allin may have instructions on that point time enough, by sending letters by land to Sir John Finch, with whom he must keep intelligence. What is the precise time of Monsieur Colbert’s coming to London? The people are generally startled by the suspicious surmises made upon his coming. Mr. Lach, Registrar of the Commissioner of Bankrupts, being dead, Mr. Norden, having got a reversionary patent, has come to demand admittance. I think the right is in me, and desire that the patent may be stopped till I come. [S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 111.] @@@ July 23. 1668 Pembroke. John Powell to. Williamson. A small vessel from Bordeaux, laden with salt, reports that the Duc de Beaufort is at Brest, with 60 ships, and that there is great rejoicing for the league between France and Spain. [S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 113.]

29 Jun 2021, 2:44 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

July 23. 1668 Portsmouth. Hugh Salesbury to Williamson. The Monmouth and Mary intend setting out for Spithead, the Sovereign will follow, and the other ships appointed under Sir T. Allin’s command are almost ready to sail. [S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 112.] @@@ July 23. 1668 Sir John Chicheley to Samuel Pepys. On June 2, 1668, Sir John wrote Pepys he was going to his ship at the Downs Sir Wm. Penn being ill, I request your assistance to get signed an imprest bill for money disbursed out of my own pocket, in conduct money to 200 men that were honest enough to come to the ship. [S.P Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 114.]

29 Jun 2021, 3:19 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

July 23. 1668 -- 10 p.m. Lord Keeper Bridgeman to Williamson. Bridgeman is convalescing at Rushall, near Tunbridge Wells I have received the two instruments of the ratification of the Triple Alliance, and I sent the Swedish resident’s letter to Lord Arlington instead of to you. Sir Wm. Temple has taken leave for London. I sent him his Majesty’s commands for going away, and suppose he will be with you this evening. The instructions for Sir Wm. Temple should not be left to Sec. Morice. I send the heads, as drawn up by Temple, for his lordship to make such alterations as he thinks fit, and get them signed by the King; I have passed my word to Sir William, that after the alterations, the draft shall be burnt, being in Sir William’s hand. I see no cause for confirming instructions concerning the Swedish pay by the Spaniard; the entry into the guarantee by the Swede as a principal is not to be denied, but Lord Arlington has offered reasons (though M. Meerernan pressed for it to me), why we should offer no guarantee to France, till we did equally to Spain, and this latter is deferred till the business touching the money for Sweden is adjusted. [S.P Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 128.]

24 Jul 2021, 6:58 a.m. - Harry R

The "Supersizers Go" show mentioned above by Australian Susan (10 years back!) is available on YouTube: -

24 Jul 2021, 7:25 a.m. - John G

A dose of Gertz would send me running to the house of office.

24 Jul 2021, 8:39 a.m. - James Little

Thank you for that link Harry, enjoyable and informative.

24 Jul 2021, 9:23 a.m. - Tonyel

Yes, thank you Harry. If nothing else, it has confirmed my doubts about time travel (unless I can take my own food with me).

25 Jul 2021, 4:34 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

"(Dr. merrit a vinous liquor of english plants) about viniger making)." Pepys met Dr. Christopher Merritt FRS on three occasions: October 19, 1662; January 11, 1666 and January 22, 1666. He was the Somerset farmer who discovered fermentation which led to the hard cider industry ... decades before Champagne was developed, but he was working with what he had, apples and not grapes.

25 Jul 2021, 6:40 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

Harry R ... spectacular. What fun: they cooked one of Pepys' stone feasts! HOWEVER, if they had featured a dinner with John Evelyn, they would have met with a vegetable salat. In fact, this was the time of the beginning of the vegetarian movement. Doctors for 100 years had recommended veggies if people were ill. For a discussion of the religious and biblical injunctions to eat meat, and the movement towards vegetables, see "In the writing of Thomas Tryon something else emerges. In his 1691 work, Wisdoms Dictates, Tryon advised his readers to ‘Refrain at all times such Food as cannot be procured without violence and oppression … For know, that all the inferior Creatures when hurt, do cry and send forth their Complaints to their maker, or grand Fountain whence they proceeded.’ "The literary critic Nigel Smith has described Thomas Tryon as ‘the backbone of an 18th-century vegetarian canon’, a man whose writings moved the debate about the consumption of animal flesh forward to the work of Joseph Ritson, William Cowherd, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Henry Salt and on to the vegetarian movement we have today. ..." And our own Encyclopedia page on ABOUT FRUIT AND VEGETABLES has some information: Another thing to point out is that Pepys and his pals are in the top 1 per cent of economic income ... poor people were eating veggies all the time and very little meat, so they were actually healthier than the rich folk. (Same thing was observed after WWII in Britain; people were lean and very healthy on what we today would consider rations verging on starvation diets.)

25 Jul 2021, 7:06 p.m. - San Diego Sarah

"at work, till I was almost blind, which makes my heart sad." SPOILER: Yes, it is scarey thinking you're going blind, and annoying you can read all night long by yourself ... BUT today you must have been preparing yourself for what turns out to be a very good day tomorrow. Did you assemble examples, compile statistics, write and memorize speeches? I wish we knew.

15 Aug 2021, 3:32 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

"annoying you can read all night long by yourself ..." Proofreading lacking again. I mean't "can't" obviously. Sorry.

15 Aug 2021, 3:33 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

'Charles II: July 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 469-516. @@@ July 17. 1668 John Cooke to Williamson. Sec. Morice wants the States General's letter of revocation of M. Meerman, that a letter residential may be drawn thereupon. [S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 58.] --- Johan Meerman is the recalled Dutch Ambassador