Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Louise Hudson has posted 63 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.
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About Friday 13 December 1661
Australian Susan wrote
"...while I all the while stood looking on a pretty lady's picture, whose face did please me extremely….”Oh Sam! Sam! Sam! Maybe Elizabeth didn’t notice? It’s the honesty of Sam’s remarks, such as this, which make this diary such excellent reading (one thing among many).
Louise: I'm sure if Elizabeth did notice he would have said something about studying the painting technique--certainly not the subject.
Susan: It’s good that he is much better pleased with Savill’s attempt on Elizabeth’s likeness than his own - he was becoming quite sour about his portrait.
Louise: Don't we all have a picture in our heads about what we look like? Isn't that picture far better looking than any "likeness," be it a painting in Sam's day or a photograph in ours? I'm always chagrined at what I look like in photos. They look nothing like the picture I have of myself in my head. But Sam knows what Elizabeth looks like so the painting might well have reflected her actual looks (even in dead color) . Sam, though, was probably convinced that he was much better looking than he was depicted on canvas.
About Thursday 5 December 1661
I think Paynter was just Sam's way of spelling painter. It isn't the first time nor will it be the last that he's using creative spelling.
Many painters won't allow subjects to see portraits until they are finished. Don't know if that was the practice in Sam's day. If it was Sam must have sneaked a peek when the paInter wasn't looking. Or he's just overly concerned.
About Wednesday 20 November 1661
"my Lady Wright being there too, whom I find to be a witty but very conceited woman and proud"
I wonder if he would describe an opinionated man as conceited and proud?
About Monday 18 November 1661
Too bad there was no Alcoholics Anonymous in Pepys' time. They would have told him that there is no difference between being merry amd being drunk and that alcoholics try to fool themselves that way all the time. Come on Sam. Up on your feet: "My name is Samuel Pepys and I am an alcoholic."
About Saturday 16 November 1661
Chancery Court in Pepys' time mst have been like Chancery Court in Dickens' time, which Dickens wrote about in Bleak House. Apparently not much had changed in Chancery Court in the approximately 200 years between Pepys and Dickens.
"At the novel's core is long-running litigation in England's Court of Chancery, Jarndyce v Jarndyce, which has far-reaching consequences for all involved. This case revolves around a testator who apparently made several wills. The litigation, which already has taken many years and consumed between £60,000 and £70,000 in court costs, is emblematic of the failure of Chancery. Dickens's assault on the flaws of the British judicial system is based in part on his own experiences as a law clerk, and in part on his experiences as a Chancery litigant seeking to enforce copyright on his earlier books. His harsh characterisation of the slow, arcane Chancery law process gave memorable form to pre-existing widespread frustration with the system.
About Monday 4 November 1661
Not in Sam's day, surely.
About Tuesday 5 November 1661
"After dinner, I having drunk a great deal of wine, I went away, seeming to go about business with Sir W. Pen, to my Lady Batten’s (Sir William being at Chatham) . . ."
"seeming to go about business"? Was Sam so inebriated that he didn't know whether he was going about business or not?
I wonder at the state of his liver.
Marrow is usually spread on bread.
About Sunday 3 November 1661
"which pleased me much to see my condition come to allow ourselves a dish like that"
Having a chicken to eat was probably something most of the population of London never experienced. Even in the US some 300 years later, in 1928, Herbert Hoover ran on the campaign pledge: "A chicken in every pot," which implied that the majority of the population didn't get chicken.Of course, many didn't get it after he was elected, either, for at least another 15 or 20 years.
As for toilet paper, anything might have been used, including a rag left near the latrine that everyone else used.