Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 496 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.


Second Reading

About Tuesday 5 November 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"After dinner, I having drunk a great deal of wine, I went away, seeming to go about business with Sir W. Pen, to my Lady Batten’s (Sir William being at Chatham) . . ."

"seeming to go about business"? Was Sam so inebriated that he didn't know whether he was going about business or not?

I wonder at the state of his liver.

About Sunday 3 November 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"which pleased me much to see my condition come to allow ourselves a dish like that"

Having a chicken to eat was probably something most of the population of London never experienced. Even in the US some 300 years later, in 1928, Herbert Hoover ran on the campaign pledge: "A chicken in every pot," which implied that the majority of the population didn't get chicken.Of course, many didn't get it after he was elected, either, for at least another 15 or 20 years.

As for toilet paper, anything might have been used, including a rag left near the latrine that everyone else used.

About Tuesday 29 October 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

". . .we met at the Dolphin, where other company came to us, and should have been merry, but their wine was so naught, and all other things out of order, that we were not so, but staid long at night . . .

"Wine so naught" doesn't seem to have been naught enough for Sam to make an early night of it. Naught wine being better than none, apparently.

About Sunday 27 October 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Given that Sam knew so many people and had a large extended family, and with people dropping like flies as they did in that era, it's hard to imagine his wife ever out of mourning. Also, I wonder, didn't men also wear mourning clothes? Sam doesn't mention whether his own clothing "has grown so old" that he's ashamed to go to church.

About Tuesday 22 October 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Considering the state of medical knowledge, biology and hygeine at the time, it was a miracle if anyone made it to 50. Infant mortality was extremely high, too, bringing down the average age of mortality. Diseases, infections, devastating injuries with no effective treatment. It's a wonder anyone survived to adulthood.

About Wednesday 16 October 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

My Joy of Cooking cookbook defines sounds as cod cheeks. Pepys said they were excellent meat, which would fit, unlike fish bladders, as JWB pointed out.

About Sunday 29 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Linda Camidge, I think you're right and "foxed" was an antecedent to today's appellation, even if it did have a specific meaning in Sam's day. Words have a way of morphing and this is too good to deny.

About Monday 23 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Pedro wrote "Sam seeing that some of the blame, for the wrangling, may also be a fault of his father."

That's exactly the first thought I had when I read it--10 years after Pedro's annotation.

I know the history of this site, but, I, too, wish there could have been some comments between 2004 and 2014. Oh, well, That's life. And so to bed!

About Friday 20 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

This entry shows Pepys' writing at its most incomprehensible. Of course, to give him his due, he was writing it only for himself and presumably he knew what all this meandering prose and undefined terms meant. I only wish we, some 500 years later, could know what actually took place and what Pepys meant.

About Friday 13 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Nate Lockwood wrote, ". . . but I'm at a loss to understand a Canada potato".

Isn't it possible that the reference was to potatoes grown in and shipped from Canada, and not a particular type? Canada is and has been a large producer of potatoes, at least in the past few centuries.

About Tuesday 3 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Some Protestant sects were and still are adamant to distance themselves from Catholic rituals. The Anglican Church, however, kept most of them.

About Wednesday 4 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Oysters do spawn in the summer months and don't taste as good then (I've heard). There was probably an Old Wives' Tale that they were poisonous in the summer. Modern farm-bred oysters are eaten year-round and even wild oysters in the Americas don't seem to lose their flavor in the summer. Still, old myths die hard. In Sam's time if you managed to eat a bad oyster, or any bad seafood, it might create a very unfortunate reaction and there wouldn't have been any kind of medicine to relieve the distress.There were many food-borne illnesses back then and many Old Wives' Tales about foods as a result. Better safe than sorry.

About Tuesday 3 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

The devices for filing were probably spindles or perhaps filing boxes, though a "turner" would imply spindles. I suspect Sam stayed home all morning with his papers because he was eager to use his handsome devices, whatever they were--like new toys. He's still a boy at heart.

A. De Arajo: Priests even in the Church of England baptise babies "In the name of the Father, the of the Son and of the Holy Ghost" and make the sign of the cross. Maybe the priest omitted that. High Anglican churches were and are very much like Roman Catholic ones with all of the same rituals. Some would be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

Sam's mother may treat him as if he were a child, but Sam treats his mother as if she were a fool. What goes around comes around. I'd give him a hard time, too.