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A Little Happier: The Memory of a Delicious Night of Sleep, Four Hundred Years Later.


Samuel Pepys was an administrator of the navy of England and Member of Parliament who is most famous for the diary he kept from 1660-1669 while still a relatively young man. This diary combines scenes from his personal life with eyewitness accounts of significant historical events, such as the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London.

I’ve read parts of his diary, and I love this entry from Monday, September 23, 1661, when he reflects on a night he spent during a trip he took with his wife Elisabeth:

…and [I] still remember it that of all the nights that ever I slept in my life I never did pass a night with more epicurism of sleep; there being now and then a noise of people stirring that waked me, and then it was a very rainy night, and then I was a little weary, that what between waking and sleeping again, one after another, I never had so much content in all my life, and so my wife says it was with her.

love this description. It exactly captures that delicious half-asleep, half-awake state. And I love to sleep during a rainstorm.

It’s strange what we remember, what is remembered: in 1661, Samuel Pepys took a trip to visit a few cities, he went to a fair, he saw and did many things—and the thing that is remembered, so many hundreds of years later, is a delicious night of sleep.

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