Annotations and comments

Ivan has posted 60 annotations/comments since 19 February 2013.

The most recent…


Comments

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.

About Wednesday 18 November 1663

Ivan  •  Link

Despite having been told to leave the Pepys' household and tearfully doing so on 14/11/1663 Will Hewer is entrusted to deliver this important letter to Sandwich only 4 days later. Sam still trusts his integrity in employing him on this all important mission. Do we know where Will is living now? Somewhere presumably where he can report daily to the Navy Office. With his uncle, Robert Blackborne?

About Friday 6 November 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L & M reads "stirred" not "soured" re the barrels of beer having "a piece of Iron laid upon them", although "soured" seems to make more sense.

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?