Annotations and comments

john has posted 103 annotations/comments since 14 March 2013.

The most recent…


About Thursday 16 July 1663

john  •  Link

The journey of the honeymen -- today they use a honey truck to clean out (outdoor) septic tanks -- hints at what we take for granted nowadays in many urban areas. As usual, further information found in Jane Picard (and see also Rose George, "The Big Necessity".

About Saturday 4 July 1663

john  •  Link

SPQR: For the longest time, I thought the R was Romae (genitive) before learning it was the masculine nominative adjective.

About Sunday 7 June 1663

john  •  Link

@Lurker -- if you are still around -- when matters are tense, the most banal triviality will set off a row.

About Friday 1 May 1663

john  •  Link

It is not uncommon to smear a bit of menthal rub inside a stallion's nose to keep him from being distracted by mares. The disguising cloth ear-covers may be fly ear covers, in use today, or decorative covers often displayed on Arabians in shows.

Amusing story of the Bishop and I presume that the Bishop's coat-tails were pinned down. Having attended numerous breeding episodes, I cannot picture the forelegs extending far enough to reach the rider.

About Wednesday 29 April 1663

john  •  Link

No mention of whether Pepys Pere ate of the meat on the table, as food poisoning comes to mind. It seems once the toxin-producers were vacated, matters improved.

About Friday 24 April 1663

john  •  Link

Corporal punishment meted out to youngsters was accepted in society then (and part of many societies now) and has been discussed many times in the annotations. (On this and many other topics, Picard's wonderful book on Restoration London should definitely be read by all Pepysians.) The "strap" was common in my grade school in the mid-sixties and some of my school chums were whipped by their fathers. It was horrifying then and the memory still horrifies me.

About Friday 20 March 1662/63

john  •  Link

Bess could very well have had uterine fibroids, which would definitely put her abed. On this, as other times, Pepys kept her company.

About Tuesday 17 March 1662/63

john  •  Link

"[The Court's] design and consultation was, I could overhear them, how to proceed with the most solemnity, and spend time, there being only two businesses to do, which of themselves could not spend much time." L&M add a footnote that their lavish-lunch money was later taken away.

Bufflehead ducks are lovely but argumentative birds, especially the drakes. We once lived in a port of Lake Ontario and would watch them diving under the ice for food. Not something I would associate with Sam' Lord Mayor.

About Tuesday 10 March 1662/63

john  •  Link

Wells are common in rural North America. Municipal water closest to us is 10km away. We have a deep drilled well for house and barn. Though potable, we still put our water through an iron filter, water conditioner, and UV light before house use. The barn receives unfiltered well water. Two dug wells near the pond were decommisioned years ago.

The reference to Dirks is still available and the text may be found here: