Annotations and comments

Ivan has posted 53 annotations/comments since 19 February 2013.

The most recent…


About Monday 10 August 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L & M reads "disquiet" not "disgust" concerning Sam's thoughts about keeping his wife subjugated!!

" I must use all the brains I have to bring her to any good when she doth come home, which I fear will be hard to do, and do much disquiet me the thoughts of it."

Elizabeth would no doubt be equally disquieted if she knew her husband's thinking.

About Thursday 23 July 1663

Ivan  •  Link

" and there was a simple fellow, a gentleman I believe of the Court, there, their kinsman, that made me I could have a little discourse or begin acquaintance with Ackeworths wife"

I took it, may be quite wrongly, that Mr. Ackworth's kinsman was not warning SP to keep away from Mrs. A but quite the reverse. He was nudging SP to pay her attentions a la Mrs. Bagwell; offering her up so to speak in return for future advancements for Ackworth males. A little discourse or beginning acquaintance will lead who knows where!

About Wednesday 1 July 1663

Ivan  •  Link

"Sir J. Mennes and Mr. Batten both say that buggery is now almost grown as common among our gallants as in Italy, and that the very pages of the town begin to complain of their masters for it. But blessed be God, I do not to this day know what is the meaning of this sin, nor which is the agent nor which is the patient."

I may be guilty of the most appalling naivety but I am not sure I wholly understand Pepys' comments about "buggery". Does he mean he is not sure who instigates the practice? Maybe the gallants are seducing their page boys or maybe vice-versa the page boys are seducing the gallants. Is this his meaning? He evidently thinks homosexual practices are sinful, as a good heterosexual man and that he is blessed to be free of such thoughts! I am puzzled, however, by his saying that he does not know its "meaning". Is he referring to what might be termed the social effects of "buggery" becoming more common in London at that time [if it was?] or is he wondering aloud, as it were, about the religious/philosophical implications of such desires.

What, in fact, were the legal implications of such behaviour? Were homosexuals brought before courts of law at this time? The lewd behaviour of Sir Charles Sedley "acting all the postures of lust and buggery that could be imagined" in a public display had to be legally dealt with but what was the position of say the ordinary, non-heterosexual male citizen at this time?

About Monday 25 May 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L&M seem to think that Louis X1V's "Spotted feavour" was measles. Their footnote reads "Louis X1V, who had caught the measles from his wife, was well and back at work after dinner on 23 May/2 June."
[de Lionne to de Cominges, 24 May/3 June.]

About Friday 22 May 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L&M have this to say of "A vindication of the degree of gentry..." by a Person of Quality.
"Much of the book is unintelligible."
So one must wonder about the qualities of the person who wrote it!

About Sunday 10 May 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L&M read that " the Bishop of Galloway was besieged in his house by some women"

So there were a number of "amazons" who were intent on outraging the bishop not just one! Makes more sense.

About Friday 26 December 1662

Ivan  •  Link

"but it is no matter, we shall endeavour to joyne the Lyon's skin to the Foxes tail."

L&M comment in a note: "Pepys has the words in the wrong order: he means to suggest that cunning is necessary."

So we should be joining the tail of the fox to the body of a lion, as Bill's quote from a French dictionary would suggest.

About Tuesday 11 November 1662

Ivan  •  Link

L&M reads: "but that the trouble of my house doth so cruelly hinder me,"

So "house" which is concerning Sam greatly makes more sense than "office".

About Thursday 30 October 1662

Ivan  •  Link

Reading of Pepys' encounter with the "young simple fantastic coxcombe" Deputy-Governor of the Tower and his silk dressing gown I was reminded of a similar encounter between Hotspur and a King's messenger [Henry 1V Part 1 1iii ], where Hotspur is enraged by a "popinjay" who demands his prisoners and is refused:

" For he made me mad
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, God save the mark!"

Hotspur roundly denounces his effeminacy:

"Fresh as a bridegroom: and his chin new reaped
Showed like a stubble land at harvest home.
He was perfumed like a milliner,
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose, and took't away again"

Sam manages to suppress his anger somewhat better than Hotspur.