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Annotations and comments

Todd Bernhardt has posted 946 annotations/comments since 8 January 2003.


First Reading

About Thursday 27 September 1666

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Sam's plans for brother John

Sam wrote back on the 22nd that he was asking John to come to town to, among other things, help him do something with his money -- I wonder if the "canonical dress" is part of the plan? If they're going to move Sam's ready cash to a safer place, might they draw less attention if one of them is a man of the cloth...?

About Wednesday 26 September 1666

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re: burnt books

Pity the poor booksellers, but in addition I can't help wondering if any authors lost months or years' worth of work -- could original manuscripts waiting to be typeset, printed and sold have been burnt and lost forever?

About Monday 10 September 1666

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re: "Is he talking about penetration here?"

I think we're talking about "access" -- if, that is, she even opened the literal door to let him in...

About Saturday 8 September 1666

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: bizarre punctuation

I'm willing to bet it's scanning errors, unless it's repeated in the L&M version...?

Amazing that Sam wrote the last five entries in one sitting. And, after all that's happened, no wonder he's looking forward to lighting a little fire of his own at Bagwell's...

About Wednesday 29 August 1666

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Jesse, it's a convoluted sentence, but I believe it's Coventry speaking, not the Duke of York ... that said, I believe your point is correct.

About Saturday 25 August 1666

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Sam's OCD

I'm sure all of us can empathize the pride Sam feels in having a vision involving his home come fully into fruition. This is *his* space, and he's both proud of it and excited about it...

About Friday 24 August 1666

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"though, indeed, it would be better to have had a little more light"

Better find some, Sam -- working in one's closett with too little light can strain the eyes...

About Thursday 26 July 1666

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"She lies in good state, and very pretty she is, but methinks do every day grow more and more great, and a little too much, unless they get more money than I fear they do."

What does Sam mean by "great" here? Is it a synonym for "haughty," and is he simply saying the Pierces are living beyond their means?

Interesting that people are fleeing the country and coming to the city to escape the plague...

About Sunday 15 July 1666

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Susan, I think both "buts" are correct -- Sam is saying he's suffering from a stomach ailment, as well as a "cold gotten." The former is due to the milk, says he (and I agree), while the latter is due to washing his feet the night before.

About Thursday 19 July 1666

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"only my late fever got by my pain do break out about my mouth"

Sounds as if Sam has fever blisters/cold sores/herpes simplex? Poor guy. Stress and illness often bring the dormant virus to life ... no salutes for a while, Sam!

About Tuesday 17 July 1666

Todd Bernhard  •  Link

re: UTI

Remember, Sam was suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, so it's possible he's still dehydrated from that, hence little need to "make water."

re: "a good day’s hunting after a boozy night"

Mary, research has demonstrated that part of the effects of a hangover are due to low levels of oxygen in the blood, so there is actually scientific basis for recommending a morning-after workout, since it helps to restore oxygen levels...

About Sunday 15 July 1666

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"is ‘salute’ a euphemisim?"

Yes, Mr. Gunning, if I recall correctly, a "salute" is a kiss.

"What joy, to travel four up in a coach with a flatulent Sam on a warm afternoon."

Mary, I'm hoping that the "behind" in that sentence describes Sam's position in -- or, rather, *outside* -- the coach (i.e., perhaps there was a way to step outside and ride on the back of the coach), rather than a description of the body part from which the wind was emanating (which is pretty much a given)...

About Saturday 7 July 1666

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Re: “Property could not be robbed.”

Graham's right, Ruben, plus Sam is looking to have liquid assets in hand. If things go seriously wrong, he's got to have ready cash to pay for the necessaries.

About Friday 6 July 1666

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"Though even if the State collapses, apparently Pepys thinks gold values will remain at par?"

Bradford, if I remember history correctly, gold prices usually rise along with risks to the State...

Interesting annotations today!

About Friday 6 July 1666

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re: what class of men

On July 1, Sam called them "poor patient labouring men and housekeepers," while the day before he wrote of them as "persons wholly unfit for sea, and many of them people of very good fashion." So, not entirely a "mean sort," I would think...

Pretty high fee from the moneychangers there -- I wonder if the sight of a high-ranking Navy official converting his "soft" assets in to hard cash raised any notice (and similar actions) among them...

About Sunday 1 July 1666

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re: some contradiction here?

Not at all -- pressed men for the Navy, a woman for our Sam to press himself against.

But seriously, folks ... I think Mr. Hamilton has it right here. I found Sam's sentiments at the end of the piece touching, and an insight into what prompted his more progressive policies as leader of the Navy. Impressment didn't end under him, of course, but I'll bet he did his best to make sure that people got paid.

Must have been horrible to constantly be under the threat of being capriciously taken away from your loved ones, or having your loved one (and provider) taken away from you. It "grieved me to the heart" to read this entry -- one more sign of Sam's skill as a journal-ist.