Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Al Doman has posted 6 annotations/comments since 30 May 2013.
The most recent…
About Thursday 18 October 1660
@Zexufang: Pepys is often described as an early civil servant, and I consider that more accurate than "politician". Yes, he sought and/or received various positions and appointments but IMO a major incentive was to secure a good and steady income for himself and his family. He came from modest beginnings and rarely, if ever, took money for granted.
Once ensconced in a position SP was energetic and sought to do it well. On occasion that influenced policy, but so might an energetic senior civil servant in a modern government. He was political as much as required - to be able to keep working with people he disliked or disdained, or to help ensure he maintained enough authority to be able to carry out his responsibilities. But I don't think it's accurate to consider him either a professional, or even primarily, a politician.
Re: execution - public executions of the day were by no means limited to supporters of the "regime" carrying out the execution, nor would attendance be considered support for the "regime". Some would view an execution as an act of catharsis, or simple revenge. Others might witness them to take the measure of the ruling government - its rationality, determination etc. An important consideration in a time when there was not rule of law as we know it today.
It's worth pointing out that as a teen-ager SP witnessed the public execution of Charles I. He has literally seen "what goes around, comes around".
About Thursday 27 September 1660
An elegant definition of progress is "doing more with less". That principle is a major reason why a middle-class Westerner today lives a life that is in many ways better than that of Charles II's at the time of the diary.
About Saturday 15 September 1660
I was wondering what interior artificial lighting might be like. No doubt nowhere near as good as daylight, but if there were interior lamps available that might allow starting one's day before daylight.
@Nix: what was the state of artificial lighting at that time? Lamps etc.?
There are references to "link boys" - presumably with enough illumination to allow navigation of streets at night.
About Tuesday 29 May 1660
Thanks for the heads-up - seems to be July 4, 1662 however.
More info at http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/370/
@ Dick Wilson: re: 5x5:
My British parents once told me one strength of the old English currency was the ability to easily divide up a pound (240p) into a number of shares:
I would have thought that would give some incentive for anyone who handled money, to know at least a few multiplication products above 5x5.