Annotations and comments

Batch has posted 51 annotations/comments since 23 October 2019.

Comments

About Sunday 5 May 1667

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". . . to pass the bridge at standing water" -- "slack water" is what the still phase between the tides is called in the US (and "standing water" is a puddle). I wonder if they still call the phase between tides "standing water' in the UK.

About Saturday 27 April 1667

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JWB, thanks for the note about the publication of "Paradise Lost." It's strange to picture these two men, Pepys and Milton, living in the same London and simultaneously toiling away at very different projects that would make them both famous even 350 years later.

About Friday 19 April 1667

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Further in an operatic vein, Sam's remarks about Penn and Wanstead conjure up the home Wagner built in Bayreuth, Wahnfried ("delusion of peace").

About Friday 19 April 1667

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Sam would have absolutely loved Verdi's opera "Macbeth," especially with the sultry Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth. My favorite version, however, is the one made at Glyndbourne in 1972 with Josephine Barstow as Lady Macbeth (an Englishwoman herself, she's perfect, especially in the sleepwalking scene, even if she doesn't have the low notes), Kostas Paskalis as a splendidly macho Mediterranean Macbeth, and the young James Morris as Banquo.

About Thursday 11 April 1667

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"he received about 253l. in pieces of eight at a goldsmith’s there hard by, which did puzzle me and him to tell; for I could not tell the difference by sight, only by bigness, and that is not always discernible, between a whole and half-piece and quarterpiece."

"Tell" meaning "count," as in the work of a bank teller -- i.e., it was very hard to CALCULATE the VALUES of the gold pieces because of their odd shapes.

About Thursday 14 March 1666/67

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". . . very pleasant I was all day . . . and I made very good company."
Sam alone carried the day before the king and Duke of York, and then he was obviously "the life of the party" at Bow. What he obviously has is a great personality, both as an impressive presenter before the king and as the dominant charmer who has the wit and gusto to enliven a group and make get-togethers a blast. This is far from being the first time that he gives himself due credit for being the spark that creates a fun, memorable evening.

About Saturday 2 February 1666/67

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When the phrase "annus horribilis" came trippingly off the tongue of Queen Elizabeth II in her speech about what a bad year she had had, I thought it an odd phrase for her to use, considering that it was Latin and she famously had enjoyed a limited education.
But now that I know how Dryden's "Annus Mirabilis" had long been part of the English cultural legacy, along with the other "Mirabilus Annus" discussed above, I see that her turning "annus mirabilis" into "annus horribilis" was a (perhaps unexpected) play on words that even the average English person could appreciate.

About Wednesday 30 January 1666/67

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"Does Sam ever give up where Mercer is concerned? Surely his wife must be suspicious?"
Well, Elizabeth does put an end to Sam's and Mercer's singing in the garden (suspicious but using the fast as an excuse?).

About Wednesday 23 January 1666/67

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Re Pepys's observation that the monks didn't seem to have a hard life at all, one of the causes of the Reformation had been that hard-laboring farmers and such became aware of the soft life that monks enjoyed and resented it.
Also, re the Almoner's "counterfeit doors" that Pepys admired (and made a mental note to himself to consider copying), at one end of my narrow galley kitchen I have a "counterfeit" window made from a 4'x4' wood-framed "looking-glass" (mirror) with strips of wood marking off "panes" and a "sill"-like shelf at the bottom, and this fake window DOES make the room seem much larger, lighter, and airier!

About Tuesday 23 October 1666

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I believe he means "poor wretch" in the same sense that he uses it toward his wife: it is a term of endearment that acknowledges her state of subservience to him, which he can't help but acknowledge is lamentable.