Annotations and comments

John Pennington has posted nine annotations/comments since 5 May 2021.

The most recent first…


Second Reading

About Saturday 31 August 1661

John Pennington  •  Link

Well. I am surprised: I thought Lady Jemimah would be more savvy and jaded from Sandwich's influence. This makes me believe he thinks of her mostly as a baby factory.

About Wednesday 8 May 1661

John Pennington  •  Link

Best construction I can put on it:

He was a man of much business hampered by the unexpected responsibility of looking after a convalescent. Maybe he didn't express his anger openly; in which case by recording it, he's just being sincere. (I'm afraid there might have been words though because Sam probably would have been "vexed" and not "angry" if it had just been mental.)

About Sunday 5 May 1661

John Pennington  •  Link

When Pepys uses the "I for . . . him/her against [x]" formula he's almost always talking about an ideological or theoretical dispute. Here it's like he thinks the question of Mrs. Pierce's beauty is a matter of indifference to them, but for the fact that they disagree.

This is a case of Whoever brought it up is at fault.

About Tuesday 16 April 1661

John Pennington  •  Link

"and there lay with my wife."

It's actually hilarious that SP manages to phrase this in the most ambiguous way possible. I incline to read this as the reason he went to his father's and not something incidental; which I suppose would mean they did take pleasure together. But I agree that it's very, very close.

About Wednesday 10 April 1661

John Pennington  •  Link

This is a monster entry. Sam at his charming best, having a good time, living life.

"I was forced to dance too—and did make an ugly shift."
I laughed out loud at this.

About Tuesday 26 February 1660/61

John Pennington  •  Link

"please myself by strength of fancy"

Yeah, I'm going with that from now on. Does it seems a bit unusual for Sam to express what seems like some compunction here? Also, to use a periphrastic term that seems original; and the fact that he thought this worth recording:—was masturbation somewhat infrequent and novel?

Perhaps Elizabeth or Sam had removed to a second bed by reason of her indisposition? It's a bit of a stretch, but is there any direct evidence that they often slept in different beds? This is a case of not enough info. So we have to imagine Sam jerking off (to be crass) in bed right next to her.

On a sidenote, he showed a lot of patience by staying up and discoursing with his Valentine...

About Sunday 16 September 1660

John Pennington  •  Link

Samuel always has the worse-case scenario in mind. Usually this helps him because in his preparations and business he goes above and beyond. In this instance, his instinct betrayed him:

1. Sam was too alarmed to release it hadn't yet been long enough to confirm a pregnancy. His reference to pregnancy is unmistakable.
2. Diana was floating the idea of an ongoing casual relationship and Sam totally whiffed at it. If he'd had his usual presence of mind, he would've understood.

About Sunday 2 September 1660

John Pennington  •  Link

It's tempting to entertain the idea that Sam had VD in mind; it would to require something extraordinary to reflect thus when ostensibly, he's in his element.

But I think the clue is that Sam says "*I* drank until the daughter &tc." Strange that he would specify himself, and it seems to indicate that she is immodest and bold enough to initiate with him, even using the fact that he's in his cups as a pretext for and furtherance of this aim.

Perhaps she would be gratified by the attention of a man who was beginning to cut a figure. I think Sambone is concerned that it wouldn't redound to his credit and it would get back to a wife if he gives in here.

But just more proof of what our man says —nulla puella negat