Annotations and comments

mountebank has posted 80 annotations/comments since 11 May 2013.


About Saturday 24 March 1665/66

mountebank  •  Link

The posts above talking about Pepys' relations with other say much to me of duty and respect but less of love and affection.

Although as ever, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

About Wednesday 21 March 1665/66

mountebank  •  Link

Sad to see the mention of Lisa Jardine who died a few years back. I still miss the talks she used to give on BBC radio. Such a loss.

About Sunday 18 February 1665/66

mountebank  •  Link

The mention of Pall reminds me that on BBC radio at the weekend there was a repeat of "Pauline Pepys's Dowry", a pilot episode of a sitcom with Olivia Colman and David Mitchell. It was mentioned here years back:

It's actually available on youtube:

A warning though. Purists will be horrified. I found myself tutting at the way through at inaccuracies but then had to laugh at myself.

About Tuesday 30 January 1665/66

mountebank  •  Link

Following the discussion of how "Charles the Martyr" is viewed reminded me of recent news. It's still a current issue for some people after nearly 400 years:…

"A county councillor is calling for a place of worship to change its name as he claims it is dedicated to a "dictator and warmonger".

Cllr Seán Holden (Con) wants King Charles the Martyr church to reconsider its name on the 370th anniversary of the "tyrant" king's execution.

Charles I was famously executed after his quarrel with parliament about power led to the English Civil War.

In an open letter to the Reverend Laurence Powell, the councillor criticised the commemoration of "a man who started four wars against his own people in which tens of thousands of English and Scots died"."

About Monday 29 January 1665/66

mountebank  •  Link

One thing I wondered about all through the last year of plague is what happened in Evelyn's infirmaries for prisoners of war. Were there any outbreaks? I would have supposed an outbreak would have been lethal in such conditions. But maybe they didn't contain plague carriers.

About Sunday 28 January 1665/66

mountebank  •  Link

This is one of my favourite entries of the diary so far. It has it all, the whirlwind of business, the farcical events of the shitting mishap, the marking of his ascent in the hierarchy, and the many people and many places.

Reading this, in my mind's eye I could see it as a film. This one day alone would be enough to do a couple of hours worth on the small or big screen.

About Monday 18 September 1665

mountebank  •  Link

That's a helpful annotation Terry and answers the main question that occurred to me as I was reading through the entry: with such a haul of captured ships surely this was going to be a bonanza for Sandwich. Seems not.

About Sunday 17 September 1665

mountebank  •  Link

Sam's use of "Vacation" makes me wonder what arrangements there were for holiday. I suppose with his role being somewhat freelance, he could go away if he arranged time in his schedule. Although his "holidays" largely seem to be visiting family rather than going to somewhere interesting/relaxing to get away from it all.

About Sunday 10 September 1665

mountebank  •  Link

Like Adam wrote above a decade ago, this:

"but the receipt of this newes did put us all into such an extacy of joy, that it inspired into Sir J. Minnes and Mr. Evelyn such a spirit of mirth, that in all my life I never met with so merry a two hours as our company this night was"

made me immediately think that everyone is so wound up with death all about, the war, and other stresses, that a suitable trigger easily tips them into hysterical joy.

There have even been signs over the past couple of weeks of Pepys making jokes in the diary which is something that is often noticeably lacking.

About Friday 2 June 1665

mountebank  •  Link

Actually, having just searched for "petal" I'm reminded it is also used for grown up women, particularly when referring to a partner.

About Friday 2 June 1665

mountebank  •  Link

I do have a recollection of "flower" being used as a term of endearment for "girl" in British English. The word "petal" was and is used in that sense. Both being applied to young girls, hopefully much younger than Sam's "fairest flower".

About Thursday 13 April 1665

mountebank  •  Link

Following on from Linda F, maybe Sam was afraid of jigging about and having farts shaken out of him in front of all and sundry.

About Wednesday 12 April 1665

mountebank  •  Link

I go along with the comments above about the bed scene indicating that Sam could be a great deal of fun.

But it does bring to mind one thing that I find strange about the diary, and that's a lack of humour. In writing a [n extremely dull] diary for more than a decade I never miss the chance to include the humorous stuff, puns, absurdities, wryness, etc, because it just seems such an essential part of life. With Sam's evident playfulness, to me it would have been natural to see him do similar but there doesn't seem to be much sign of it. (It does make me wonder though whether the diary is teeming with 17th C humour that is simply invisible to us.)

About Friday 24 March 1664/65

mountebank  •  Link

"The beggars are coming to town ... some in jags"

Since "jag" is slang for a Jaguar car (a high-end "British" motor), this reads amusingly to the modern eye.

About Monday 20 February 1664/65

mountebank  •  Link

"Where at my office my wife comes and tells me that she hath hired a chamber mayde, one of the prettiest maydes that ever she saw in her life"

Thinking of how things are going with Sam this year, my heart sank at reading these words.

I think the use of French to report the antics is a distancing technique so Sam can recall them but not face them directly.

About Friday 10 February 1664/65

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I wonder how Sam got into the pickle of having lent so much money to Sandwich in the first place?

The idea of lending such a massive sum to one's employer puts me in mind of the poor sods working for Enron who had their life's savings as company shares in 401(k)s.

About Thursday 9 February 1664/65

mountebank  •  Link

I have no problem reading Sam being sympathetic about the death of Mr Barlow. I think in a year where my view of Sam is changing, the way he handled that matter was to his credit.

But I do have a suspicion that if February 1664/65 Sam were to have done the deal, Barlow would have been feeling very sore at the outcome.

About Friday 16 September 1664

mountebank  •  Link

This caught my eye:

"This day old Hardwicke came and redeemed a watch he had left with me in pawne for 40s. seven years ago, and I let him have it."

Does "watch" mean "timepiece"? If so was it working? I recall reading a number of times annotators asking how our Sam would know the time when getting up during the night or very betimes.