Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Louise Hudson has posted 496 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.
About Wednesday 28 August 1661
Sam would love Facebook.
About Tuesday 27 August 1661
Too bad Sam missed the phrase, "When Mama's not happy, nobody's happy," by about 400 years. This would apply to both his mother and his wife.
About Sunday 25 August 1661
" At last, after we had brought down her high spirit, I got my father to yield that she should go into the country with my mother and him, and stay there awhile to see how she will demean herself. "
Sounds to me as if he thought she was too "high spirited." Apparently not in keeping with how he thought a young woman should behave. In other words she refused to bow down to her brother! Good for Pall! I wonder how they "brought down her high spirit."
About Friday 23 August 1661
Bob T wondered how old Pepys' mother might have been when this was written in 1661. Pepys was only 28. His father was 60 in 1661 and was 32 when Samual was born. His mother could have been quite a bit younger since girls were often married at 15 (Pepys' wife was only 14 when they were married). His mother had 4 births before Sam was born, though they all died, making him the eldest. So Pepys' mother probably would have been in her mid 50s in 1661, too young to be suffering from dementia, at least by 21st Century standards. His father was more likely to be suffering from dementia but nothing was said of that. Unfortunately, whatever psychological problems a woman might have had were usually assumed to be just what one might expect from a mere woman who couldn't have had much sense in the first place. Women were seen as baby-making machines and housekeepers and little else. This was common until well into the 20th century and vestiges of it can be seen to this day, even in Western countries.
About Sunday 18 August 1661
language hat on 20 Aug 2004 "On the plains of Timbuctoo"
"I think it's a safe assumption that the author of that ditty was more concerned with rhyme and amusement value than the niceties of biogeography."
Cassowary is such an interesting name, too. Why wouldn't a poet or rhymster jump on it? He probably had no knowledge of where Timbuctoo was, either--another interesting name, four-syllable words are so handy and are often funny.
About Tuesday 13 August 1661
Pepys writes, "To the Privy Seal in the morning, then to the Wardrobe to dinner, where I met my wife, and found my young Lord very ill. So my Lady intends to send her other three sons, Sidney, Oliver, and John, to my house, for fear of the small-pox."
Good grief. If Pepys had a clue as to how virulent small pox was, that's the last thing he would have done with the boys. If his "young Lord" had been exposed to small pox, the boys would have been exposed, and Pepys' whole household would be exposed, including himself. And if they'd been exposed they most likely would come down with it. It must have been a devastating time for everyone.
About Saturday 10 August 1661
Oh how I wish Pepys' wife had kept a diary that survived down through the ages. What a boon that would be to know what happened from her point of view, day by day.
About Friday 2 August 1661
As for Sam's willingness to chat with almost anyone--it's amazing what a person might do who has no Internet, no radio, telephone, television or movies--not even a paperback novel to while away the hours. We'd all happily talk to our traveling companions if we lived under those conditions. Most people were probably starved for connection, conversation and entertainment most of the day. A completely different world than we live in today.
About Tuesday 30 July 1661
There are many people named Hoar in England and other English speaking countries. http://www.houseofnames.com/hoar-…
Sam probably misspelled it. We already know he had his own way of spelling words. Dictionaries as we know them did not appear until the 18th Century. Writers were pretty much on their own when it came to spelling in the 1600s.
He could have been making a point when he spelled the name "Whore" but more likely he wrote it without thinking much about it, because he didn't know how to spell it and possibly didn't realize that there was more than one way to spell the homophone.
About Sunday 28 July 1661
Whatever linen Sam was referring to, as a man of his times, he tended to refer to nearly everything as "my" and "mine". Everything belonged to the man of the house though he might have referred to some of his wife's very intimate clothing as "hers." So there is no way of knowing whether Sam was referring to his own personal linen or household lnen such as sheets and tablecloths. It was ALL his but for a few personal items he would concede to his wife's ownership. Different world. Linens of any type were very expensive then. He would have been much more careful and focused on them than most people would be today. Thieves would hardly steal linens of any type today, though household help might filch the nicer household things.
About Saturday 27 July 1661
Stolzi askes "I wonder why the "young gentlemen" wished to go into France."
He's 17. Maybe he went to France for the same reason a young man might do it today. to avoid the complications of an inconvenient whoops.
About Tuesday 16 July 1661
I'm amazed at how many comments are generated by no entry!
About Sunday 14th July 1661
Anyone notice how seldom Pepys mentions his wife? He often talks about going to bed at the end of his entries but never mentions where his wife is, or whether they sleep together or separately. Whatever the arrangement is I should think he would sometimes mention her presence or absence at bedtime. She was often unwell, too, but he seems to hardly ever say anything about her on a day to day basis.
About Monday 8 July 1661
This would never have happened if Sam had email! :(
If he were on Facebook, his name would be MUD!
About Saturday 6 July 1661
Whatever was meant by "in a nasty, ugly pickle," Sam seems pretty cold-hearted. His aunt has just lost her husband, and all he can say is that her state made him sick! That and the will, of course. Sam's character is deteriorating in my estimation. He doesn't mention his father's reaction. I wonder if he was as cold to his father who has lost a brother.
About Wednesday 19 June 1661
Eric, whatever has happened to antibiotics since they were introduced--and new more resiliant ones have been developed since--antibiotics have saved millions of lives that would have been lost, and antibiotics are still saving millions of lives every day. They have, in fact, changed the course of history. If you are so sure that because some bacteria have become resistant that antibiotics are now useless, will you stand on your principles and refuse to have them administered to you or your loved ones the next time they or you are in danger of dying of infection?
About Tuesday 18 June 1661
Gerald Berg says his stairs took only two days, but that was no doubt, with power saws, nail guns, modern lumber and modern transportation of building materials. Any kind of building in Sam's day took far longer than it does today. We sometimes forget that we in the 21st Century are living in an absolutely different world than Sam was.
Bob T writes of Dr. Benjamin Spock. I doubt He would have advised parents to not become too attached to their children in his era, which was after antibiotics were developed. His famous book, Baby and Child Care, was published in 1947. He might have been citing an era before antibiotics when parents might have been given that advice, but he would never have advised that in 1947. His book represented a mid twentieth-century view of raising children.
About Thursday 6 June 1661
I learned how to remember that the sweet dish after a meal is spelled with two esses, which stand for strawbwerry shortcake, though I don't suppose Sam ever had the pleasure of such a supreme dish. The one s in desert stands for sand. I expect everyone reading this will never forget how to spell either word from now on.
I also got a kick out of wastecoat. Sounds like something a trash collector would wear. ;)
About Monday 3 June 1661
Assuming Pauline is still here after 10 years, as A. Hamilton is, Sam does take his father's side, most recently on May 30, when he wrote
"indeed my mother is grown now so pettish that I know not how my father is able to bear with it. I did talk to her so as did not indeed become me, but I could not help it, she being so unsufferably foolish and simple, so that my father, poor man, is become a very unhappy man."
I think that indeed counts as taking sides.