Annotations and comments

Ivan has posted 65 annotations/comments since 19 February 2013.

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About Sunday 14 August 1664

Ivan  •  Link

Perhaps SP could use the microscope to read Cocker's engravings on his slide rule with silver plates!
[see diary 10/08/1664]

About Tuesday 14 June 1664

Ivan  •  Link

I wondered if the "young ladies" in the company of Miss Betty Becke were in fact the daughters of Mr. Laxton the Apothecary.

"and after dinner by coach to Kensington, in the way overtaking Mr Laxton the Apothecary with his wife and daughters, very fine young lasses....."

Sam continues "And so both of us [I take he means Bess tho' she is not mentioned again during the singing and mirth in Sir H. Finch's garden. Perhaps she remained with Lady Sandwich at a different location.] Lady S is staying at Dean Hodges who L&M tell us had 2 houses in Kensington.
Sam continues "Much company came hither today" but doesn't tell us where he is tho' they all had easy access to Sir H. Finch's garden, who lived, L&M tell us, at Neyt Manor, later known as Kensington Palace.

Sam performs a rather astonishing volte face over Betty Becke, doesn't he? Earlier he had called her "slut" [12/11/63] and other harsh names. Now, having met her, he is full of admiration calling her a "fine lady" and "very well carriaged and mighty discreet". She is a good conversationalist; intelligent enough tho' "to entangle" Sandwich. She sounds quite a girl!!

About Friday 3 June 1664

Ivan  •  Link

May be Sam is a little "confused". His back is hurting and he has had to listen for a long time to committee members with little grasp of the subject in hand. L&M read Prince Robert not Rupert as the laughing and swearing man. Either Sam has made a mistake or L&M have!

About Wednesday 6 April 1664

Ivan  •  Link

I am a little muddled by comparing today's entry with the entry for the 14th March 1664. Was the "mayde" with whom Sam discoursed a great while alone on the 14th and told him "many passages of her master's practices", in fact the "ugly jade, Margaret", mother of Tom's two children? If not, she seems remarkably well informed. She is correct about the blackmail attempts and knows the name "Cave". She finds suspicious Tom "sitting up two Saturday nights, one after another, when all were a-bed, doing something to himself; which she now suspects what it was but did not before."

I am not sure what she is implying. Self abuse? Self surgery as one annotator suggested or something else entirely? Are these the words of a wronged woman or of information gleaned in the servants' quarters?

All the moneys being demanded, the bonds and assigns being arranged for the upbringing of poor Elizabeth Taylor, make this a very murky tale. Sam, as usual, is determined not to spend any more money than he is absolutely forced to do.

About Monday 29 February 1663/64

Ivan  •  Link

With reference to Pepys' decision to have nothing further to do with Betty Lane L & M read not "further ill" but "farther trouble".
"and so I am resolved wholly to avoid occasion of farther trouble with her".

I realize "farther" in this context is simply a spelling variant of "further" but what better way of describing possible pregnancy as "farther trouble", especially from the male point of view!!

About Thursday 4 February 1663/64

Ivan  •  Link

L&M's reading describes the little milliner as a "mad merry soul" not "slut". Sam would appear to be being much more complimentary. I prefer this reading even if his admiration is somewhat dubious.

About Monday 21 December 1663

Ivan  •  Link

Interestingly, L&M tell us in a footnote that Pepys had in his library a copy of Charles Cotton's Compleat Gamester pub. 1674 [PL 714] where cock-fighting is described as "a sport...full of delight and pleasure" and even more interestingly that Pepys had added in the margin of his copy: " and of Barbarity."
Sam shows himself to be a wise observer and a sensitive one. He sees the sufferings of the combatants ["poor creatures"], dislikes the participating crowd of "swearing, cursing, and betting" men and sees clearly the dangers of such betting amongst poor men who could lose up to 20l a meeting when they look as if they have barely enough to eat.
"I soon had enough of it." Admirable sentiments!

About Tuesday 15 December 1663

Ivan  •  Link

On the subject of Warren's rhyming verse my L&M's footnote reads: "No version of this proverb in English verse has been traced." There is no mention of The Proverbs of Alfred. [I have the first edition dated 1971.]

About Friday 4 December 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L&M tell us that Henry Russell was "Waterman to the Navy Office". Nice touch that Sam knows his name and uses it in his diary. He will have conversed with him and, no doubt, enquired after his health and family as a good employer would.