Annotations and comments

John Wheater has posted 13 annotations/comments since 8 December 2018.

The most recent first…


Second Reading

About Wednesday 2 January 1660/61

John Wheater  •  Link

SDS has quite missed the point. Pepys is fully aware of his family responsibilities, and later on provides his sister with a dowry and leaves his estate to her son.

It is this petty act of meanness, denying her a place at the dinner table, that gets my goat. 'Starting strict' is neither explanation nor excuse. Farewell.

About Wednesday 2 January 1660/61

John Wheater  •  Link

Paulina Pepys

Reading the other posts, I feel the sheer monstrosity of Pepys's act has not been brought out.

"but I do not let her sit down at table with me, ..."

This is not some obscure 'poor relation', or a daughter left to tend an aged parent. She is the same age as his wife; she is his own precious sister, that he grew up with in Salisbury Court; she is treated as a servant in her own brother's house.

This is the act of a nasty piece of work indeed. Farewell, cruel Sam.

About Thursday 10 January 1660/61

John Wheater  •  Link

Two pints of wormwood...

The Wikipedia article 'Purl' suggests that this, known also as 'wormwood ale' was made by 'infusing' the bitter plant into beer. It was very popular then, particularly in the morning.

About Wednesday 26 December 1660

John Wheater  •  Link

London Bridge

The following is from Neal Stephenson's novel 'Quicksilver':

Half a mile upstream, the river was combed, and nearly dammed up, by a line of sloppy, boat-shaped, man-made islands, supporting a series of short and none too ambitious stone arches. The arches were joined, one to the next, by a roadway, made of wood in some places and of stone in others, and the roadway was mostly covered with buildings that sprayed in every direction, cantilevered far out over the water and kept from falling into it by makeshift diagonal braces. Far upstream, and far downstream, the river was placid and sluggish, but where it was forced between those starlings (as the man-made islands were called), it was all furious. The starlings themselves, and the banks of the Thames for miles downstream, were littered with wreckage of light boats that had failed in the attempt to shoot the rapids beneath London Bridge, and (once a week or so) with the corpses and personal effects of their passengers. A few parts of the bridge had been kept free of buildings so that fires could not jump the river.
The water-wheels constructed in some of those arch-ways made gnashing and clanking noises...

(Kindle location 3894, paperback page about 190)

About Fiction set in Pepys' time

John Wheater  •  Link

Our Author gets 110 mentions in Stephenson's 'Quicksilver' (18,000 Kindle locations), compare Hooke: 316, Wilkins: 223, Newton: 180, Locke:25,

About Maj. Francis Willoughby

John Wheater  •  Link

He was the previous occupant of the house (L&M 1.197), so they have, we suppose, been haggling about some furniture.

His 3rd & last mention, not noticed in the L&M Index, is on 26Jul60.

About Saturday 11 May 1661

John Wheater  •  Link

Mary, Emilio: follow/fallow

It's definitely not a misprint. It appears many times, nine of which are quoted in Chris Gutteridge's page at…, and two I puzzled over at 30Sep62, following a citation in Ollard p.94.

And, it is mentioned explicitly at L&M 1.lix. Seven words are mentioned there, and all except 'fallow' are easy enough to see. So you'd think the Mighty Ones might have given us a glossary entry - but No.

AND, there is a problem. Mary points out that other texts don't include it, and the OED gives just one brief mention in the etymology of 'follow', with no quotation. So why did Pepys use it (in longhand, say L&M)? And, since he definitely did, why don't the OED include it?

About Saturday 26 May 1660

John Wheater  •  Link

had been aggressively and successfully anti-Royalist. Pepys was not alone in thinking he would fail: many in the new Parliament wanted him degraded (he was already resentful at being superseded by 'my Lord'), but Charles adopted the classic pragmatic adage 'Whatever you were before, now you are one of Ours'.

It's also interesting to reflect that his previous (1653) visit to Scheveningen had been to wipe out the Dutch navy.

About Tuesday 17 April 1660

John Wheater  •  Link

Shift: I tend towards Pauline's interpretation, that for some reason he changed his position.

A thorough change of every stitch sits oddly with the associated presence of his companions.

About Tuesday 20 March 1659/60

John Wheater  •  Link

Access to Axe Yard at flood time:

Hhomeboy has an earlier post on this puzzle, i.e. when "all our yard was drowned, that one could not go to my house", how did he come to be at his neighbour " Mrs. Crisp’s, who had sat over a good supper long looking for me." and stayed the night.

I did have the temerity to ask this of Phil himself, who just said "no idea".

But it does seem interesting, although L&M don't address it. Maybe Axe Yard sloped steeply, with the Crisps higher up - but "all our yard was drowned"... Any flood records at all?