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.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

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).…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

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,

Terry Foreman  •  Link

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."

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"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."

Phoenix  •  Link

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.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"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..."

Carl in Boston  •  Link

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.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

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

Terry Foreman  •  Link

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

john  •  Link

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)

AnnieC  •  Link

"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.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"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!

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