Annotations and comments

Batch has posted 41 annotations/comments since 23 October 2019.

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About Friday 3 April 1668

Batch  •  Link

I've always felt that music and math were there a priori, and we humans were left with the task of divining them.
I therefore find Pepys's excited pursuit of musical theory very thrilling. To me, he is an example of someone inspired, gifted with the realization that it is out there just beyond reach, waiting to be found, and he feels he is on the cusp of breaking through into comprehension of it.

About Tuesday 3 March 1668

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Clement, thanks for the genealogical info on the Shish name and that Scot's fate of "transportation," i.e., he was deported to America.

About Saturday 8 February 1667/68

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He's not the first or the last to lament
"the base proceedings (just the epitome of all our publick managements in this age) . . . ."
Insert the present or any age.

About Thursday 6 February 1667/68

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Mercer's "coats": her petticoat, or her "slip," as we would say today (if any woman still wears a slip under her skirt today). When one of Evelyn's toddler sons died, Evelyn was very distraught that he had died so young that he was still in his "long coats," the dress-like floor-length garments that very young boys wore (allegedly from ancient times to thwart evil spirits, who were believed to search for little boys in order to snatch them away from life, by making the evil spirits think the toddler was a girl).

About Monday 27 January 1667/68

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Lady Peterborough: "She loves to be taken dressing . . . ."
Taken = caught in the act.
When King Arthur's knights reported Queen Guinevere's adultery to him and asked if they should go find her and bring her before him, he said, "No, I want her taken."

About Saturday 25 January 1667/68

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The English renaissance scholar and poet Gabriel Harvey (c.1550-1630) had to endure jibes and ridicule from nonproductive aristocrats and nobles at Cambridge because his family were "in business" as ropemakers.

About Friday 24 January 1667/68

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"a very great rabble of four or five hundred people of mean condition" -- the deceased appears to have had many friends. I am a person of mean condition and can't imagine that I would have even 50 persons at my wake, much less 400.

About Wednesday 22 January 1667/68

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" . . . though I can find she can, as all other women, cry, and yet talk of other things all in a breath." How else have underdog women been able to keep going through the millennia?

And yes, I thought Elizabeth was on the verse of trilling too. But I think he was always just being a good sport when he recently mentioned singing with her, poor girl. He was condescending in doing that. Nothing can be done if the gift of a voice just isn't there.

About Tuesday 21 January 1667/68

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I'm very surprised that it was DEAD pigeons that were laid to the sick person's feet. I've read about this before, and I always assumed it was LIVE (very tame, or trussed!) pigeons laid to the soles of the feet (which, like the top of the head, are areas through which the body very rapidly loses heat), in order for the pigeons' live, warm, feathered bodies to stop the loss of body heat and provide warmth to this region.
Silly me!

About Friday 17 January 1667/68

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Pepys:
"[I] . . . talked the while, with Creed, who tells me of Mr. Harry Howard’s giving the Royal Society a piece of ground next to his house, to build a College on, which is a most generous act."
TF:
"The ground consisted of 400 sq. ft. in Arundel gardens."
Four hundred square feet? To build a college on?
I must be misunderstanding either what is meant by "four hundred square feet" or what is meant by "a college."

About Wednesday 15 January 1667/68

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"Up, and to the Office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then to the Office again . . . till candle-light; and then, as late as it was, I down to Redriffe, and so walked by moonlight to Deptford . . . , and my business I did there was only to walk up and down above la casa of Bagwell
. . , it being my intent to have spent a little time con her . . . ; but I did lose my labour, and so walked back again, but with pleasure by the walk . . . .
He's walking a great distance, as in the early days of the diary, but primarily to see Bagwell. I've always thought his feeling toward her was rather mutual and that Bagwell had a crush on him. Remember that one year she went to the trouble to show up (at his office, of all places) to be his valentine.

About Wednesday 1 January 1667/68

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Scanning error:
. . . to alter their manner of throwing, arid that with great industry, as if there was anything in it . . . .
"arid" should no doubt be "and."

About Monday 9 December 1667

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Re Ruben, "in spite there was not an age gap" between Hewer and Pepys, there was a sllight one. Hewer was ten years younger than Pepys, an age gap that meant a lot when Hewer first came into the Pepys household at 17 and behaved like a teenage boy -- throwing his cape over his shoulder "like a ruffian," and committing other offenses -- and Pepys treated him as if he were a rebellious son at that time, but a few years later, when both were adults, the relationship was more like a younger brother and an older brother. In the end, it is such an admirable relationship that all of us might wish for one like it in our old age.

About Thursday 5 December 1667

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San Diego Sarah, thanks for the information about William Penn. He was a visionary, and America was the right place for him.

About Sunday 24 November 1667

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Yes, Hewer is a true friend, and an intelligent one, to tell Pepys that his argument won't "hold water" and then convince him to alter his statement. He has certainly moved up from having been one of Pepys' early "boys."

About Thursday 3 October 1667

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"we went with [the coachman] into a nasty end of all St. Giles’s, and there went into a nasty room, a chamber of his, where he hath a wife and child."
"Nasty." That's how the other half lives. Shame on him.

About Monday 2 September 1667

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In the US a (non-imperial) gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. In a gallon there are eight pints, so each one weighs a pound.
One sunny, blazing-hot summer day I weighed myself and then mowed both of my two yards, one large and one medium-large, with an ordinary "push" power mower. It was quite a job.
Then, just out of curiosity, I weighed myself again and was shocked to discover that I had lost three pounds, so I must have sweated out three pints.
How surprising it is to me to find that King Charles II had the same curiosity I had.