Annotations and comments

Neil Wallace has posted 12 annotations/comments since 19 April 2022.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About Thursday 13 September 1660

Neil Wallace  •  Link

John Evelyn diary from a couple of years earlier on the death of his infant son Richard :
27th January, 1657-58. After six fits of a quartan ague, with which it pleased God to visit him, died my dear son, Richard, to our inexpressible grief and affliction, five years and three days old only, but at that tender age a prodigy for wit and understanding; for beauty of body, a very angel; for endowment of mind, of incredible and rare hopes. To give only a little taste of them ... at two years and a half old, he could perfectly read any of the English, Latin, French, or Gothic letters, pronouncing the first three languages exactly. He had, before the fifth year ... not only skill to read most written hands, but to decline all the nouns, conjugate the verbs regular, and most of the irregular ...
Thou gavest him to us, thou hast taken him from us, blessed be the name of the Lord! That I had anything acceptable to thee was from thy grace alone, seeing from me he had nothing but sin, but that thou hast pardoned! blessed be my God for ever, Amen.

In my opinion, he was suffocated by the women and maids that attended him, and covered him too hot with blankets as he lay in a cradle, near an excessive hot fire in a close room. I suffered him to be opened, when they found that he was what is vulgarly called liver-grown. I caused his body to be coffined in lead, and deposited on the 30th at eight o'clock that night in the church at Deptford, accompanied with divers of my relations and neighbors, among whom I distributed rings…

About Thursday 16 August 1660

Neil Wallace  •  Link

I've never visited the US, but family do, and it seems that the practice of greasing the palm of servants continues - tipping is absolutely essential for even the most ordinary of services such as carrying a plate of food to a table.
That's different, some would say.
Oh really, say I.

About Friday 10 August 1660

Neil Wallace  •  Link

In 1660, betting went up to £1000 on the outcome of a foot race, but this became so prevalent that in 1664, King Charles II passed a law to limit bets to £100 ( Charles II, 1664: An Act against deceitfull disorderly and excessive Gameing.… )
Footmen who won often found no one would run against them, so they would run ‘black’, using assumed names and disguises.

April 1721 On Monday morning two running footmen, viz. Thomas Butler, an Irishman, and Peter Hughson, a Scots Highlander, set out from St. Giles's Pound, to run to York and back again in six days, for a wager of five hundred guineas. They ran very lovingly together for about thirty miles, when Butler began to flag, and, as the winner's courage always encreases in such cases, as the loser's decreases, so Hughson left him, bad him good by w'ye, and mended his rate, till at night he was said to be near five miles before him. This, and the exceeding bad weather on Tuesday, which made the roads wet, slipery, and stiff, fateagued the first so, that he fell sick, first vomited, and then had a fit of a high fever four hours, and not being able to stand, much less to run, he gave out, and was bought back on Wednesday in a waggon, and continues very ill. Hughson is gone forward...
Applebee's Original Weekly Journal…

60 years after Pepys, but footmen walking ultramarathons became highly popular, evolved into pedestrianism, which clings on still in the Olympics.

About Monday 30 July 1660

Neil Wallace  •  Link

Interesting comments about money and banking, it was a different world back then - bits of paper and metal flying about - it certainly was a different world. in 2003 and 2013.
Some things don't change though, except that Vincent would have to amend his 2003 comment "To open an account at a bank and deposit monies, one had to know a person of substance like the local JP to vouch for your (then - character) (now - views on a range of political and social issues, including Brexit, and appropriate genitalia for men and women)

About Wednesday 18 July 1660

Neil Wallace  •  Link

*Spoiler alert*
Sam did NOT give away his barrel of lemons to feed hungry sailors, and so missed out on a splendid opportunity to make loads of money by supplying them to every Royal Navy ship across the globe (and cure scurvy along the way)

About Wednesday 11 July 1660

Neil Wallace  •  Link

Rather than focussing on the cap/crap word, should we not look at the "to take a ...." phrasing ?

How did grammar work then? Would Pepys "take a" nap, or crap?
Clearly, or rather "Clearly," he wouldn't "take" a cap.

"Take a crap" - sounds suspiciously modern to me.
"Take a nap" - sounds right.

Unless the OED etc have other ideas on what sorts of things one would "take"

About Wednesday 4 July 1660

Neil Wallace  •  Link

The first English etiquette book seems to have been written by Daniel of Beccles in the early 1200s.
The Book of the Civilized Man contains (in Latin, though recently translated and published) a long but entertaining listing of rules to be followed at table, in conversation and in the marital and extra-marital bed.…

As a resident of Beccles, I should report that exemplary behaviour is always observed, at table or in conversation. I draw a veil over other areas.

Second Reading

About Friday 1 June 1660

Neil Wallace  •  Link

Thank you Terry (and Samuel) for getting us going again on an informative, entertaining, and life-enhancing journey!

About Saturday 29 May 1669

Neil Wallace  •  Link

I hadn't twigged that Phil = languagehat before today.
Another great (though partial, I am afraid) read.
Big Thanks and a Big Please to keep your diary and annotations alive and ticking. Understandably a lot of work as you get on with your life, but would - a university, a research Foundation - host your site (I don't know what is involved!), and take over the mechanics of .. eg filtering out the spam annotators selling Hopi ear candles and worse?

About Saturday 22 May 1669

Neil Wallace  •  Link

Oh dear, seems like yesterday that the Diary finished for the first time. Second time round, I have been a more regular reader - one lockdown breakfast habit that stuck.
Now that we are at the Season Finale, here's hoping that Phil unveils a Third Series or I'll have to dust off my printed set.