Annotations and comments

has posted 849 annotations/comments since 17 January 2003.

Comments

About Wednesday 25 March 1668

Paul Chapin  •  Link

It belatedly occurred to me that this was Lady Day (and thus the first day since January 1 when the year appears as 1668 simpliciter). In past years Sam has been all astir to settle his accounts on this day, but no mention of that at all today. A few days ago he made a passing comment about settling a couple of accounts, so he must be all caught up. And the excitement of the 'prentice riot, and the liaison with Mrs. Daniel, and the evening out, crowded out any thoughts of the calendar.

About Sunday 22 March 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Actually, Barry, the opposite. SP declared at one point that Italian music could never sound as good to an Englishman as English music. I commented at the time that there was a reason why Monteverdi is still treasured while the English musical hotshots of Pepys' time are mostly forgotten. But Sam does keep up with the current fashion, as Terry says.

About Monday 23 March 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Another revelation (to me) from this site. I never knew the Jews had been expelled from England for centuries. Slightly lessens my disdain for Ferdinand and Isabella. And it puts a whole new light for me on The Merchant of Venice. Will S. perhaps never met a Jew, and Shylock was totally a creation of his imagination. If he had actually known some, instead of just the stereotypes, maybe the depiction would have been less nasty.

About Wednesday 18 March 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Resolved, &c. That a Poll Bill be brought in, towards the Supply of his Majesty; wherein no Housholders, which are not worth Twenty Pounds, shall be taxed for themselves, or their Children."
Seeds of a progressive tax structure.

About Hinchingbrooke House

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"this wood no spider will weave on or endure"
Interesting comment. I wondered if she meant that Irish oak has special properties that repel spiders, but I could find no suggestion of this anywhere. So I guess she must have meant the way it was carved, "with points hanging down like fine ffret worke." I can see how that would be a challenge for a spider. I looked at some interior pictures from Hinchingbrooke, but didn't see any ceilings resembling her description.

About Thursday 5 March 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"I began our defence most acceptably and smoothly, and continued at it without any hesitation or losse, but with full scope, and all my reason free about me, as if it had been at my own table"
I love this succinct description of the feeling of being "in the zone," something that we get to experience a few times in our lives if we're fortunate. "All my reason free about me" is a phrase that I will remember.

About Survey results

Paul Chapin  •  Link

The US/UK discrepancy between Google Analytics and your survey may represent response bias. Yanks may simply be more likely to respond to a survey than Brits. God knows we have to do it often enough, and this one was easier than most.

About Friday 22 July 1664

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Pepf is right, although I wouldn't call the mental arithmetic involved exactly simple. The difference comes from Carl's having rounded off the decimal equivalent of 20 1/2 inches to 1.708 feet, instead of its actual value of 1.7083333... feet. The difference between 27.328 and 27.333 cubic feet is 8.64 cubic inches, enough to make a 2-inch alphabet block and have some shavings left over. I suspect that was within accepted tolerance levels for timber measure in SP's time.

About Monday 17 February 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

" Morrice ... declared he had but 750l. a-year allowed him for intelligence"
So I guess the 70L number that appeared in the 14 February entry was a mis-scan or an editorial error. 750L makes a little more sense than 70L, but was still a pittance to run a nation's intelligence service on, even in the C17.

About Friday 14 February 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

343 years later, it annoys me to hear that Castlemaine was gambling in the thousands - money undoubtedly from the public treasury, directly or indirectly - while the budget for intelligence was 70L. I can imagine how the people at the time must have felt. I'm surprised Sam doesn't connect the dots in the privacy of his diary.

About Tuesday 11 February 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Quite a surprise, at least to me, about Tom and Jane. Somehow I had the impression that he was about half her age, no more than 13 or 14 at most. Does anyone have correct information about their ages?

About Saturday 8 February 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

I expect Michael Robinson will verify for us that SP in fact disposed of the offensive volume without dignifying it with a PL number.

I love the image of Sam furtively buying the book in the plain brown wrapper, taking it home well concealed and with the stated intent of burning it. It brought to mind a scene in a Woody Allen movie, where he buys a skin magazine and about half a dozen highbrow magazines to cover it up. Then the newsstand proprietor yells to his assistant in the back of the store, "How much do we charge for Big-Busted Mamas (or whatever the title was)?"

About Thursday 6 February 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"the coachman by mistake drives us into the ruines from London-wall into Coleman Street: and would persuade me that I lived there."
Sounds like material for an excellent Monty Python sketch.

About Friday 31 January 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Connecting two recent threads in the Diary, I wonder if it's correct to infer that Kate Joyce's problems with her husband's estate stem from the fact that her house is on Bishop's lease land (in this case the Bishop of St. Paul's), as opposed to "the King's liberty."

About Wednesday 29 January 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Just to clarify the context of today's letter from Ormond, Cornbury is Clarendon's son and heir. In 1674 he became the second Earl of Clarendon. Thanks to TF for keeping us abreast of this increasingly fraught correspondence.

About Monday 27 January 1667/68

Paul Chapin  •  Link

The present King of France (a favorite subject of Bertrand Russell), contrary to the link and rollover, is of course not Charles II, however much he might have wished it so, but Louis XIV.