Thursday 11 February 1668/69

Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning, and at noon home and heard that the last night Colonel Middleton’s wife died, a woman I never saw since she come hither, having never been within their house since. Home at noon to dinner, and thence to work all the afternoon with great pleasure, and did bring my business to a very little compass in my day book, which is a mighty pleasure, and so home to supper and get my wife to read to me, and then to bed.

6 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

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

Feb. 11. The Curator Absent a Comitte appointed for Expts. [which neuer did any thing]

The operator [… ] orderd to speak to Mr Hooke that the new great microscope of Mr Coxes making be brought to the Society the next meeting --

about plyable wax. minerall waters…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Conceded this Royal Society meeting reminds of Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and The Carpenter"

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."…

(See the published minutes:) "Mr. Hoskyns produced a new kind of sealing-wax,, soft and tough, not sticking, and when burnt at a candle, and dropt on paper, growing hard, like Spanish; wax, and taking the impression as well as that wax. Some of the members con? jectured, that it was made up of lacca mingled and wrought with some gum or; other, perhaps gum tragacanth, or the like.

"The amanuensis produced some of the water, brought out of Sussex near Rye, said to be very medicinal, which formerly had been mentioned in the society. The water being in a wooden vessel, it was desired,, that some of it might be sent for in glass-bottles, well stopt; and that in the mean time the Journal be searched, to find out upon what account it was formerly commended in the society. [&c.]…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"did bring my business to a very little compass in my day book"

L&M note the day-books for this period are not extant.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... a very little compass in my day book, ..."

I'm guessing this means he caught up his Day Book to his satisfaction, making himself sound like the hero of the day as usual.

But having recently bought some new equipment, maybe he was playing with his compass, and doodling in a disposable notebook?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


1. go around (something) in a circular course.
"the ship wherein Magellan compassed the world"
2. contrive to accomplish (something).
"he compassed his end only by the exercise of violence"…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Colonel Middleton’s wife died, a woman I never saw since she come hither, having never been within their house since."

Sounds like the Commissioner never shared with his colleagues that Elizabeth Middleton was sick ... plus he spent a lot of 1668 at Chatham, so entertainment hasn't been a priority for them. How sad, she was probably lonely.
I wonder why Elizabeth Pepys or one of the other Navy Board wives didn't initiate a visit, or maybe they did and forgot to report it to Pepys.

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