Annotations and comments

Alter Kacker has posted 18 annotations/comments since 29 January 2023.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About Friday 17 May 1661

Alter Kacker  •  Link

At the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, it appears that there are local variants of bagpipes in pretty much every country and region from Portugal to Pakistan.


A Scottish friend once told me, “The sweetest sound in rhe world is a bagpipe … fading in the distance.”


“The definition of a true gentleman is someone who can play the bagpipe … and doesn’t.”

About Tuesday 23 April 1661

Alter Kacker  •  Link

I didn’t watch the coronation of the third Charles, but perhaps some of you who did can compare-and-contrast with Samuel’s account. I know the music would have been different — Handel’s Coronation Anthems were written for George II in 1727. I don’t imagine they have revived the horseback Champion, but I sure wish they would.

(Maybe next time ….)

About Saturday 6 April 1661

Alter Kacker  •  Link

LKvM — In my experience, whatever amount of time the contractor says it will take, double it. And be assured, it will still take longer than that.

About Tuesday 12 March 1660/61

Alter Kacker  •  Link

Reading Susan’s post from the First Reading, to be a midshipman — an officer-in-training — one surely had to be a gentleman. That surely appealed to Samuel’s status anxiety.

About Saturday 19 January 1660/61

Alter Kacker  •  Link

Eric, I sympathize with your complaint, but it will fall on deaf (or in some cases dead) ears — most of those spoilers were written during the first reading, 20 years ago!

About Saturday 12 January 1660/61

Alter Kacker  •  Link

Nate Lockwood’s comment from the Second Reading struck a chord with me —

“Sam has no title but does have power and is Sandwich's creature, so this bleeds into his social position and makes status a bit ambiguous both to others and to him.”

When I was Samuel’s age I worked on Capitol Hill* for a committee chairman and presidential aspirant. Nate’s comment captures precisely that experience.

Alter Kacker (fka Nix)

* — Washington, not Rome. I’m old, but not THAT old.

About Monday 22 October 1660

Alter Kacker  •  Link

I dunno about that, Martin — it’s easy to tell yourself you’ll raise the issue with the patrón, but a bit harder when you’re face-to-face.

About Thursday 2 August 1660

Alter Kacker  •  Link

Samuel lives next door to the Navy Office, but he seems to go to Westminster or Whitehall most days. Anyone have a sense how long those trips would have taken him, on foot or via hired waterman?

About Monday 21 May 1660

Alter Kacker  •  Link

Some regicides rode out the storm on the other side of the Atlantic.

From the current issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine —

Escape to New Haven
With a third King Charles taking the throne, we recall New Haven's troubles over the first two.
By Mark Alden Branch ’86 | May/Jun 2023…

About Tuesday 1 May 1660

Alter Kacker  •  Link

San Diego Sarah — I don’t know when the description “knee-walking drunk” was coined, but it certainly seems to be applicable here.

About Monday 30 April 1660

Alter Kacker  •  Link

Let’s not be censorious — I can’t be the only one following this diary who can look back on being “scandalously overseene in drink” at 20 and crawled into bed after a drinking game at 27.

About Monday 2 April 1660

Alter Kacker  •  Link

Terry Foreman makes an excellent point — at the time of the diary nothing could be “misspelled” because the notion of a correct way to spell a word didn’t yet exist.

For an example of the value of standardized spelling, check out Michael Murphy’s free online version of The Canterbury Tales —…

This is not a translation of paraphrase of Chaucer into modern English — “The words are Chaucer’s, line for line,” Murphy explains. “Only the spelling is modernized, as it is in Shakespeare texts.” After laying it aside half a century ago, I may finally get through it! (Made it through the General Prologue and The Knight’s Tale so far.)

About Monday 26 March 1660

Alter Kacker  •  Link

Reading through the First Reading annotations, I was mentally struggling to compose a response — and then discovered the one I had written 20 years ago (under my previous nom de web, Nix) that said PRECISELY what I was trying to articulate today.

Many thanks to Phil, to all commenters, but above all on this 365th Stone Cutting Day to Dr. Hollier.

About Friday 23 March 1659/60

Alter Kacker  •  Link

“to bed in my cabin, which was but short; however I made shift with it” —

As we are reminded how cramped shipboard quarters were, do we have any notion how tall Samuel was?

About Sunday 29 January 1659/60

Alter Kacker  •  Link

As the guy who used to go by the screen name Nix, I’m impressed by the essay on negotiable instruments law I posted 20 years ago! I’m glad for the refresher — I don’t think I could have explained it nearly so well today. 😄