Saturday, October 27, 2012
The Diary of Samuel Pepys: 45% Complete
Well, to be perfectly honest, I've been putting off writing a blog entry until I buckled down and did some more reading, but I finally came to my senses and decided that that's not what this blog is for. I'm not here to impress you all with my reading skills but to share my journey, the ups and and the downs. So in terms of numbers, this week has been a down. The truth is, I'm getting a little discouraged by the length of this book. I feel like I've spent so many hours and hours reading it and I'm not even halfway done.
Now, having said that, my plan is to reach the halfway mark by the end of this weekend. That should be doable, I think.
The vocabulary word for today is a political term: "prorogation" which means to discontinue a session of parliament or another legislative assembly without dissolving it.
Today's quote is a long one, but rather funny, I think. Ever since the beginning the of the journal, (and presumably before that, as well) Pepys and his wife have been trying to have a baby. They were never successful at this, and some historians speculate that a surgery Pepys had for kidney stones as a young man may have left him infertile. So in this passage Pepys asks a group of his male friends for some advice on getting his wife pregnant, and they give him a ten point list that reads as follows:
"...(1) Do not hug my wife too hard nor too much; (2) eat no late suppers; (3) drink juyce of sage; (4) tent and toast; (5) wear cool holland drawers; (6) keep stomach warm and back cool (7) upon query whether it was best to do at night or morn, they answered me neither one nor other, but when we had most mind to it; (8) wife not to go too straight laced; (9) myself to drink mum and sugar; (10) Mrs. Ward did give me, to change my place. The 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 10th they all did seriously declare, and lay much stress upon them as rules fit to be observed indeed, and especially the last, to lie with our heads where our heels do, or at least to make the bed high at feet and low at head."
I'm not even sure what number four means, and the rest are more comical to me than practical, except maybe seven and eight, which actually might be good advice.