Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Paul Chapin has posted 851 annotations/comments since 17 January 2003.
The most recent…
About A new Pepys walk: Greenwich
Thank you, Glyn. Now I have yet another reason to go back to London. Your first two walks guided me through a full week in 2007, and made it a great experience.
About Monday 31 May 1669
And so the time machine that let us witness daily life for more than nine momentous years in London has come to rest. Although Sam won't be telling us about them, great things lie ahead in his lifetime. Jeannine's must-read essay about Sam's life after the diary gives us a well researched and beautifully written look at that life. Let me mention here just a few particularly significant events.
1685: J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel are born 1687: Newton publishes _Principia Mathematica_, with the imprimatur of S. Pepys, President of the Royal Society 1688: The Glorious Revolution establishes Parliament as the supreme political authority in England 1690: John Locke (SP's exact contemporary) publishes _Treatises on Government_, laying the philosophical foundation for the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution
Many have amply and justly lauded Phil for making this adventure happen, and Terry for filling in so many blanks. In farewell to our happy band of time travelers, I'd like to give a shout out to a few annotators who have not been so widely mentioned, but who have added immensely to the pleasure of this journey and its value as a learning experience:
- Michael Robinson, bibliographer extraordinary - Mary, whose brief contributions revealed her wealth of historical and linguistic knowledge - Language Hat, with whom I had the fun of debating several issues that only linguists could love - Australian Susan, for buoyant good humor and vast understanding of the religious milieu of SP's life - Glyn, whose walking tours were my guides during my visit to London at the diary's midpoint - Jeannine, for her wonderful sidebar essays - Our inimitable (in the strictest sense of the word) man of many monikers, Michael Vincent (CGS, IAS, etc., etc.), who shared with us his experiences of a world in some ways closer to Sam's than our own, in a delightfully eccentric prose style. Language Hat aptly said of him, "I may not understand all the words, but I sure like the music."
Thanks to all for an experience I'll never forget. And now, adieu.
About The Next Chapter of Samuel Pepys
Jeannine, a spectacular finale. Huge thanks for the time and effort you put into the research, and for the beautiful writing.
I was interested to read in the fine print on the base of Sam's monument in St. Olave's that the main force behind its erection was Henry B. Wheatley, our editor.
About Wednesday 26 May 1669
The most common use today of "monger" in American English, I believe, is in an extended or metaphorical sense, as in warmonger, fearmonger, rumormonger. Mary's 'scandalmonger' is in this class, but I don't remember ever encountering that particular word.
About What are your favourite diary moments?
For the writing: Sam's multilingual mashups when describing his amorous adventures - thanks to Terry and others for filling out the dots left in place of these passages by our prim editor.
For the content: May Day of 1665, when Sam spent the day in the company of intellectual giants - Robert Hooke, John Wilkins, William Brouncker, John Evelyn - and "noble discourse all day long did please me."
About Roll Call. Say hello!
My son John, who seems to be aware of everything that happens on the Internet, called my attention to the Diary during its first week, in January 2003 (or 1660). Having recently retired, I was just at the right time and frame of mind to get hooked. John, in his very busy life, soon gave up following it, but I stayed with it up until now, and I guess I might as well stay on through to the end and see how it comes out. No spoilers, please.
Maybe a little self-revelation is in order in this context. After some early flailing about, I got a Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT in 1967. I spent the first part of my career as an academic, at the University of California, San Diego. There I learned that my talents and interests were more in the direction of administration than research and teaching, and in 1975 I went to the U.S. National Science Foundation, where I became the first Program Director for Linguistics. That job suited me so well that I stayed there until I retired in 2001.
A couple of years after that my wife Susan retired from her career as a software engineer. We uprooted ourselves from the Washington, D.C. area and wandered in the wilderness for a while, finally settling in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we continue to live happily.
As a linguist, my special interest in the Diary has been the language, how it differs and how it doesn't from ours of the present. The Diary has been a time machine, taking me into the daily parlance of 17th century London, an enormous treat.
Last weekend I had the great pleasure to attend a gathering of Pepysians at Jeannine Kerwin's lovely home in Weston, Massachusetts. The redoubtable Terry Foreman and Carl Wickstrom were there as well, among other distinguished guests. I wish I could join the group gathering in London as well, but I did have that pleasure at the midpoint of the Diary, in September of 2007 (1664).
My profound thanks to Phil, the impresario who conceived of and produced this extravaganza, and to all of my fellow members of the audience, for your wit and wisdom, your civility, and your countless contributions to our joint effort to get the most from this extraordinary experience.
About Monday 17 May 1669
Todd, a while back he specifically complained about being painfully dazzled by the brightness of the stage lights.
About Monday 26 April 1669
How do you put out a fire with a gun?
About Saturday 17 April 1669
"the leisure he hath yet had do not at all begin to be burdensome to him, he knowing how to spend his time with content to himself; and that he hopes shortly to contract his expence, so as that he shall not be under any straits in that respect neither; and so seems to be in very good condition of content."
A happily retired man, and an excellent role model. Good for you, Sir William. Enjoy!
About Sunday 11 April 1669
I trust that future readers will realize that contra the rollover and link for "Our Parson," that person (parson?) was Daniel Milles, not Anthony Deane.