Monday 17 May 1669

Up, and to several places doing business, and then home to dinner, and then my wife and I and brother John by coach to the King’s playhouse, and saw “The Spanish Curate” revived, which is a pretty good play, but my eyes troubled with seeing it, mightily. Thence carried them and Mr. Gibson, who met me at my Lord Brouncker’s with a fair copy of my petition, which I thought to shew the Duke of York this night, but could not, and therefore carried them to the Park, where they had never been, and so home to supper and to bed.

Great the news now of the French taking St. Domingo, in Spaniola, from the Spaniards, which troubles us, that they should have it, and have the honour of taking it, when we could not.

11 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Great the news now of the French taking St. Domingo, in Spaniola, from the Spaniards"

L&M note the French had taken not San Domingo (a town in Eastern Hispaniola under Spanish control), but the Island of Totuga (now Ile de la Tortue)… ,
thus denting to the Spanish effective control of Western Hispaniola.

In 1664-4 an English expeditionary force under Penn andd Venables had failed to take Hispaniola.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Geraldo the Unfortunate Spainard... I could like this play.

"Commander Cortez has delivered an ultimatium to the Aztec emperor...And our camera crew is...Arghh!"

Yes, I could like this one.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

I've read the various theories about Sam's eyesight, and can understand why "close work" would bother it, but still am puzzled why plays bother him so much.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Todd, a while back he specifically complained about being painfully dazzled by the brightness of the stage lights.

Robin Peters  •  Link

"Dazzled by stage lights" sounds more like cataracts to me.

john  •  Link

My guess is that he is trying to accommodate bilaterally to see figures on the stage, which would indeed cause him strain.

Geoff Hallett  •  Link

Do we have any information about what Sam did with his eyes post diary?

Jenny  •  Link

Well, Geoff, Sam went on to a very illustrious career and lived to a ripe old age so we can assume his eyes didn't hold him back too much. The Diary is really the lead up to his "real" career - if only, if only he'd continued it.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"carried them to the Park, where they had never been"

Where had they never been in Hyde Park? What did they see or do there today?
(Pepys is not writing as much of it down.)

Sam Ursu  •  Link

Geoff (or anyone else), if you're asking about the medical treatments that Pepys underwent "post-diary" then there is some interesting information here from probably one of the best articles on the subject:….

Phil C.  •  Link

Thanks Sam, that’s a great article, though I’ll need a dictionary to understand it! A shame science hadn’t advanced enough to help him.

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