Annotations and comments

has posted 73 annotations/comments since 19 February 2013.

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About Tuesday 4 July 1665

Ivan  •  Link

L&M have SP calling Prince Rupert Prince Robert

I hear this day the Duke and Prince Robert are both come back from sea
Was SP writing in a hurry and not noticing his error or were the names interchangeable? Or, God forbid, have L & M misread the text and reproduced an error!?

About Friday 7 April 1665

Ivan  •  Link

Why does Sam not want to dine with Povy? Perhaps he needs to look at Povy's accounts again and get his thoughts straight. He does dine with him the following day.

About Thursday 12 January 1664/65

Ivan  •  Link

"But the wind being Easterly....."
L&M's footnote 1. reads "Recte, westerly", so Sam has made a mistake. Probably in a hurry!

About Monday 2 January 1664/65

Ivan  •  Link

"I was vexed to have a dog brought to my house to line our little bitch..."
L&M read "lime" and the Glossary reads: "Lime [of dogs]: to mate".

About Tuesday 20 December 1664

Ivan  •  Link

Could it be, and I'm acting as a kind of devil's advocate here, that some of Sam's sexual exploits are, in fact, wish fulfillment a la Walter Mitty? We have no independent verification other than Sam's own account. What if Mr.Bagwell never left the house? What if Sam gained no more than a kiss goodbye? The events described are what he wanted to happen not that they necessarily did.

Sam is a very small man even for the 17th century. He probably nurses an inferiority complex where ladies are concerned. His wife was a very impressionable young girl when he married her. There is some evidence that Sam is no Romeo or successful Lothario. Remember the lady in the coach! Sam pretended to be immersed in his book for the whole journey. What if she were not ugly as one annotator supposed but beautiful, and Sam was frightened to proceed.

I am not always convinced that Sam behaves quite as he describes.

About Monday 19 December 1664

Ivan  •  Link

"But I coying with her made her leave crying..."

L&M read: "But I cogging with her, made her leave crying..." and the Glossary gives the meaning of to "cog" as to cheat, banter, wheedle. The last two meanings seem to fit the bill.

About Wednesday 26 October 1664

Ivan  •  Link

Slightly off at a tangent but why did the City Councillors wish to prevent a bridge being built between Westminster and Lambeth, and why did they conceive it to have possibly dangerous consequences. Letting the mob have easier access to their privileged domain?

About Sunday 2 October 1664

Ivan  •  Link

Although Sam married for love it seems rather the case of the pot calling the kettle black when he observes to Lady Sandwich that Creed "would love nothing but money" when a suitable partner is being discussed. It would seem that Mrs. Wright is not very wealthy!

About Sunday 14 August 1664

Ivan  •  Link

Perhaps SP could use the microscope to read Cocker's engravings on his slide rule with silver plates!
[see diary 10/08/1664]

About Tuesday 14 June 1664

Ivan  •  Link

I wondered if the "young ladies" in the company of Miss Betty Becke were in fact the daughters of Mr. Laxton the Apothecary.

"and after dinner by coach to Kensington, in the way overtaking Mr Laxton the Apothecary with his wife and daughters, very fine young lasses....."

Sam continues "And so both of us [I take he means Bess tho' she is not mentioned again during the singing and mirth in Sir H. Finch's garden. Perhaps she remained with Lady Sandwich at a different location.] Lady S is staying at Dean Hodges who L&M tell us had 2 houses in Kensington.
Sam continues "Much company came hither today" but doesn't tell us where he is tho' they all had easy access to Sir H. Finch's garden, who lived, L&M tell us, at Neyt Manor, later known as Kensington Palace.

Sam performs a rather astonishing volte face over Betty Becke, doesn't he? Earlier he had called her "slut" [12/11/63] and other harsh names. Now, having met her, he is full of admiration calling her a "fine lady" and "very well carriaged and mighty discreet". She is a good conversationalist; intelligent enough tho' "to entangle" Sandwich. She sounds quite a girl!!

About Friday 3 June 1664

Ivan  •  Link

May be Sam is a little "confused". His back is hurting and he has had to listen for a long time to committee members with little grasp of the subject in hand. L&M read Prince Robert not Rupert as the laughing and swearing man. Either Sam has made a mistake or L&M have!

About Wednesday 6 April 1664

Ivan  •  Link

I am a little muddled by comparing today's entry with the entry for the 14th March 1664. Was the "mayde" with whom Sam discoursed a great while alone on the 14th and told him "many passages of her master's practices", in fact the "ugly jade, Margaret", mother of Tom's two children? If not, she seems remarkably well informed. She is correct about the blackmail attempts and knows the name "Cave". She finds suspicious Tom "sitting up two Saturday nights, one after another, when all were a-bed, doing something to himself; which she now suspects what it was but did not before."

I am not sure what she is implying. Self abuse? Self surgery as one annotator suggested or something else entirely? Are these the words of a wronged woman or of information gleaned in the servants' quarters?

All the moneys being demanded, the bonds and assigns being arranged for the upbringing of poor Elizabeth Taylor, make this a very murky tale. Sam, as usual, is determined not to spend any more money than he is absolutely forced to do.

About Monday 29 February 1663/64

Ivan  •  Link

With reference to Pepys' decision to have nothing further to do with Betty Lane L & M read not "further ill" but "farther trouble".
"and so I am resolved wholly to avoid occasion of farther trouble with her".

I realize "farther" in this context is simply a spelling variant of "further" but what better way of describing possible pregnancy as "farther trouble", especially from the male point of view!!

About Thursday 4 February 1663/64

Ivan  •  Link

L&M's reading describes the little milliner as a "mad merry soul" not "slut". Sam would appear to be being much more complimentary. I prefer this reading even if his admiration is somewhat dubious.

About Monday 21 December 1663

Ivan  •  Link

Interestingly, L&M tell us in a footnote that Pepys had in his library a copy of Charles Cotton's Compleat Gamester pub. 1674 [PL 714] where cock-fighting is described as "a sport...full of delight and pleasure" and even more interestingly that Pepys had added in the margin of his copy: " and of Barbarity."
Sam shows himself to be a wise observer and a sensitive one. He sees the sufferings of the combatants ["poor creatures"], dislikes the participating crowd of "swearing, cursing, and betting" men and sees clearly the dangers of such betting amongst poor men who could lose up to 20l a meeting when they look as if they have barely enough to eat.
"I soon had enough of it." Admirable sentiments!

About Tuesday 15 December 1663

Ivan  •  Link

On the subject of Warren's rhyming verse my L&M's footnote reads: "No version of this proverb in English verse has been traced." There is no mention of The Proverbs of Alfred. [I have the first edition dated 1971.]

About Friday 4 December 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L&M tell us that Henry Russell was "Waterman to the Navy Office". Nice touch that Sam knows his name and uses it in his diary. He will have conversed with him and, no doubt, enquired after his health and family as a good employer would.

About Wednesday 18 November 1663

Ivan  •  Link

Despite having been told to leave the Pepys' household and tearfully doing so on 14/11/1663 Will Hewer is entrusted to deliver this important letter to Sandwich only 4 days later. Sam still trusts his integrity in employing him on this all important mission. Do we know where Will is living now? Somewhere presumably where he can report daily to the Navy Office. With his uncle, Robert Blackborne?

About Friday 6 November 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L & M reads "stirred" not "soured" re the barrels of beer having "a piece of Iron laid upon them", although "soured" seems to make more sense.