Annotations and comments

Robert Harneis has posted 55 annotations/comments since 7 November 2013.

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Second Reading

About Thursday 5 March 1667/68

Robert Harneis  •  Link

This is truly a great moment for Sam. He has 'arrived'. The irony of it is that it was also the first step in the process that was to make him a worthwhile target of the Popish Plot conspirators. According to Arthur Bryant, after the diary, he was used by the king to defend naval policy in parliament which he did brilliantly. It seems he was a bit too successful especially in mocking certain parliamentary critics, whilst at the same time making the King laugh. Thus only a few years later we find him in the Tower of London and fighting for his life and career. Did Charles come to to the rescue of his faithfull servant? Of course not. Sam had to depend on his own considerable resources,j his many friends and especially Bess's tiresome brother Balty, plus a bit of luck, to escape ruin and even execution. It says a lot for Sam that so many people were prepared to help him in hazardous times. With perfect timing Charles re-extended his approval publicly once Sam had put himself in the clear.

About Wednesday 4 September 1667

Robert Harneis  •  Link

At this time when it is the fashion to take down statues of those who were in some way connected with the slave trade, is it not time to put one up to Sir William Coventry who when he died left £3000-00 in his will for purchasing the freedom of slaves from Algiers on the Barbary Coast? According to Wikipedia he had alread paid for the liberation of sixty slaves before his death.

About Wednesday 19 June 1667

Robert Harneis  •  Link

“Did anyone else laugh out loud at the telling of the burying of the gold?”

Pepys' hilarious gold experiences are a classic warning of the trials and tribulations of those who think that putting their wealth into physical gold is a trouble free solution in uncertain times. Without giving the plot away, it gets funnier and funnier.

About Wednesday 13 February 1666/67

Robert Harneis  •  Link

SDH "I smell Anthony Ashley-Cooper's influence here ... his actions show that he was doing everything he could to discredit Charles II at this time, and for years to come."
During the Popish Plot he was secretly taking money from Louis XIV to make trouble.

About Tuesday 1 January 1666/67

Robert Harneis  •  Link

CGS "Geese make great guards and will keep thy lawn trim [one day a fortnight else....]"
True they do a beautiful job but they also sh*t everywhere which is not so good.

About Friday 28 December 1666

Robert Harneis  •  Link

SDS "I read this as the players arrived late, and Charles II and the audience all patiently sat there waiting for them. Someone probably ended up in the Tower or on the next impress!!!"
It seems to me that this illustrates precisely the opposite. Charles II just wasn't that sort of ruler, which had a lot to do with the way English society developed.

About Sunday 2 September 1666

Robert Harneis  •  Link

"... and the fire running further, that in a very little time it got as far as the Steeleyard, "
The Steeleyard was the head quarters of the, by then fading, Hanseatic League in England, the forerunner of the European Union. The Steeleyard refers to the weighing machine for goods from ships.

About Saturday 28 July 1666

Robert Harneis  •  Link

Interested to hear that you are a fellow monocular Terry. Annoying condition before modern surgery but has the advantage that often you need spectacles much later than most.

About Saturday 10 February 1665/66

Robert Harneis  •  Link

Losing weight helps but a good cure is to learn to play the didgeridoo. Didgerdoo breathing techniques strenghen the muscles concerned and I am reliably informed stop the snoring. For those for whom this would be too much of a musical challenge the alternative is, if not to actually become an opera singer, to practice the breathing excercises they do. That helps as well apparently.

About Friday 26 January 1665/66

Robert Harneis  •  Link

"Here W. Hewer came to me with 320l. from Sir W. Warren..." 'By the way, Sam...You might also bless God for an honest clerk.'
Yes, I noticed that too. Surely a tribute to both men who remained friends through thick and thin until the end. The gift of knowing who to trust and being trustworthy are not that common.

About Monday 16 October 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

"the Still Yarde
Covering four acres, the Steelyard, on the bank of the River Thames, included wharves, warehouses, private houses, etc. It is now covered by Cannon Street station."

The Still Yard was still at that time the head quarters of the once all powerful Hanseatic League in London and England. The Still refers, if my memory serves me right, to the large steel beam weighing machine there. At that time the League, an ancient version of the European Common Market, was on its last legs having once been powerful enough to order English Kings about and finance their wars. They themselves even made war on Edward IV and raided East Anglia when he got too uppity. Brexiteers beware.

About Saturday 9 September 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

"and my Lord Ashly will rob the Devil and the Alter,"
A long time ago when I was studying history A level I used the best anti Shaftesbury quote from Charles II ever 'Come doomsday, my lord Shaftesbury, we shall see whose arse is blackest.' My history teacher an Oxbridge graduate, had, shamefully, never heard it and I was threatened with dire punishment for making it up, having no internet to prove my point and having typically forgotten where I found it. It is interesting that Shaftesbury was then still a hero of democracy and poor old Charles was treated like the court jester. I took the view that Shaftesbury was an unhung rogue and Charles a pretty smart dude for surviving to the end of his reign unlike his father and brother. It was not then a fashionable view and not one at this stage in his life that Pepys shared, although he would change his mind as he climbed up the administrative hierarchy. I hope, Phyl, that I have made this entry suitably relevant to the day's entry!

About Friday 25 August 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

Interesting letter dated this 25th August 1665 from Pepys to the man he much admired, Sir William Coventry, gives an idea of the atmosphere as the plague gets worse: --

"Little till now occuring to give occasion of writing to you, I forbore to tell you of my receipt of yours of the 14th, wherein nothing commanded answer more than the return of my thanks for the large share you give me of your good wishes, which (I bless God) I have yet to benefit of, though the sickness in general thickens upon us, and particularly upon our neighbourhood. You, Sir, took your turn at the sword; I must not therefore grudge mine at the pestilence"

Followed by a letter from Sandwich of the 30th August which begins: --

"under sayle wind at west.
Mr Pepys, Having not heard from you of divers days , it was very good newes to me to receive your letters, for I was in feare for you of the infection.
It was signed: --
I am,
Your affectionate friend and servant

About Saturday 29 July 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

I agree with JayW. I imagine the whole Pepys household was in "extraordinary fear" and someone decided to send and ask the boss what to do. Knowledge of the two mens' close friendship and life long links, that lasted until Pepys died in Will's house forty odd years later, tell us that this is nothing to do with lack of character but commonsense in a potentially desperate situation.

About Thursday 11 May 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

It is one of the great changes of recent years that since time immemorial people lived on top of or next to their work. Now, by and large, they live elsewhere, which is very inefficient. Has anybody written anything about this?

About Wednesday 3 May 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

It would seem that which ever baddies failed to knock off the Skripals should have used tobacco oil. Porton Down take note.

About Wednesday 1 March 1664/65

Robert Harneis  •  Link

@ Ruben Royal Society 'mr. Hooke produced his Bellows to be vsed vnder the water for taking air, but proposed wthall another way conceiued by him better & safer then that wth bellows
vizt wth two cylinders open at one end and hauing two pipes by which the
air is taken out of the one & putt into the other. orderd that two such cylinders
be made & when Ready a waterman hired to try the expt.'

This sounds awfully like an episode from Blackadder with Baldric as the waterman trying out the patent new diving gear.