Annotations and comments

meech has posted 28 annotations/comments since 14 December 2014.

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About Friday 1 March 1660/61

meech  •  Link

A long delayed response regarding Sam' mother's health...
Instead of hypochondria, which is certainly a possibility, I have wondered if the poor thing was actually very sick with something, possibly terminal, and no one seemed to be taking it seriously. Not that anything could have been done about it if that were the case. She apparently had the same problem as Sam with stones, and did pass away a short five years after this entry. Brings to mind the popular headstone epitaph: "I told you I was sick!"

About Sunday 24 February 1660/61

meech  •  Link

Regarding "drunkenness"...
It's a matter of degrees, I think. In my parent's youth, the 30's and 40's, the alcohol flowed freely, and I'm talking about the hard stuff. No Cab or Chardonnay for them. Probably a reaction to Prohibition. Although from stories they've told it doesn't sound like there was much lessening of the flow even then. Having several high balls was fine as long as you could "handle your liquor". Looking back now I'm surprised at how much they drank, so by today's standards they and Sam imbibed overmuch, but in his case, that's all he had to drink. My parents generation didn't have that excuse. However he does occasionally overdo it, and has had a few bad mornings where he's been repentant, but in his mind this probably does not make him a drunkard. A 'drunkard' and 'drunkenness' may be something much worse to him than just having a hangover.

About Wednesday 12 December 1660

meech  •  Link

Never mind! I just re-read the passage. It was her children Pepys visited, so Lady Batten must still be in Woolwich with Elizabeth waiting for the weather to clear. Though still wondering what Lady Sandwich has to do with any of it.

About Wednesday 12 December 1660

meech  •  Link

"Troubled with the absence of my wife."

Now I'm really confused. It was my understanding that Samuel took his wife and Lady Batten to see the wreck of the Assurance. And that due to her fear Lady Batten stayed behind and kept Elizabeth with her when Samuel returned to London. Therefore I was confused when today he goes to visit Lady Batten who has obviously returned, yet Elizabeth is still missing. So I have two questions: Where is Elizabeth and when did Lady Sandwich get involved in this?

About Wednesday 5 December 1660

meech  •  Link

AND...although he does sometimes take her with him, he often leaves her somewhere, like his or her parents, and then goes off on his own. But there may be a perfectly good reason for all this. Just not sure what it could be.

About Wednesday 5 December 1660

meech  •  Link

A very late response to Mary House regarding SP not taking his wife to the play...

I think it is more that it is either the lifestyle at this point in time or at least Sam's lifestyle not to take his wife with him. As I'm sure you've noticed he takes her very few places. He goes to taverns and drinks with men, (although a few times there's been a wife present), to people's homes, including his family, and dines with them without her, to plays, to promenade Westminster Hall and get the latest gossip, etc., while Elizabeth is presumably at home. As I've said before, he lives as if he were single most of the time, and goes and does as he pleases. I can only hope she also has another life going for her. Or is she at home doing the wash and other household chores all the time?

About Thursday 18 October 1660

meech  •  Link

I agree, Ivan. By saying that he was ordering them "against to-morrow morning" gave me the impression that he was ordering them to wear to the executions.

About Tuesday 16 October 1660

meech  •  Link

I agree with Peter: "Consider the last few days from Elizabeth's perspective ......"

If the L&M translation is more accurate..."so home with him and from thence to the Cockpitt" it could mean that he came home and got Elizabeth and went to the play, although he doesn't mention her at all, and then for whatever reason he won't stay. So we are left wondering if he took her with him, if the three of them went, did he leave her there with Moore or by herself, or did she have to come home with him. Either way, his treatment of her comes across as shabby and indifferent. Cavalier, you might say. (Sorry.) But it was considered normal in his time. It was the way of the world up until very recently. And probably still is in some areas.

About Saturday 15 September 1660

meech  •  Link

Remember Sam's comment about Charles II causing problems for his staff because he was such an early riser. I believe he said that Charles arose at 5am daily.

About Saturday 18 August 1660

meech  •  Link

I am a little confused. Sam's father is a tailor. And yet he his having his clothes made by another tailor, and now we see Elizabeth has her own tailor, also not Pepys senior. Yet she apparently goes to senior for her petticoat. Understandable that a women would have a different tailor than a man, but one would think Sam would use his own father's services.

About Wednesday 1 August 1660

meech  •  Link

Regarding the lobster, it almost sounds as if he bought the lobster on the way home, but then ran into two friends buying sturgeon, so they all ate together. Makes me wonder if his original intention was to take it home to share with his wife. But even if not, it is another example of the irregularity of his comings and goings at home and makes me wonder how she would know when or whether to prepare something for his dinner. He conducts himself more like a single man than a married one, and seems to come and go as it suits him.

About Sunday 15 July 1660

meech  •  Link

Ivan - Sam mentioned showing his wife their new place on July 13th:
"So to the Navy office, and showed her my house, and were both mightily pleased at all things there, and so to my business."
At least that's how I interpreted it.

About Saturday 30 June 1660

meech  •  Link

No one has mentioned the letter from Mr. Turner. Sounds like, instead of trying to buy him off, he's trying to buy in to Sam's new position, with a further promise of help to keep Barlow off. Am I reading this correctly?

About Friday 22 June 1660

meech  •  Link

Oh dear! Thanks for the correction, Terry. Missed by a mile. And thanks for her age. I had a feeling she wasn't that old by our standards...or perhaps I should say my standards.

About Friday 22 June 1660

meech  •  Link

Per Helena's annotation it apparently wasn't just his unusual rise to power that went against Cranfield, but the fact that in order to straighten out James' money problems he was trying to rid the government of the very system of payments and bribes that you all keep remarking on. Buckingham was his patron initially and then turned on him when he tried to clean up government. Most everyone turned on him since he was threatening a nice source of income for them all, as Sam can now confirm. But Cranfield was by now beyond their reach. It's his widow who deserves our concern.

I have been unable to ascertain exactly how old 'my old Lady Middlesex" was at this point, but myself entering the age of incontinence, I feel for her. LBJ's "never miss an opportunity" might not have helped in this instance. It would be horrible enough to have an accident in front of King and Court, but this poor lady's mishap has, thanks to Sam, been sent down through the ages so that people 350 or so years later still know about it. Talk about not being able to live something down.

About Thursday 24 May 1660

meech  •  Link

I would like to know how he got seven people and himself in the carpenter's cabin all at the same time. Must have been cozy.

About Sunday 20 May 1660

meech  •  Link

I am fascinated by the sleeping habits of the time. Sam often mentions sleeping in the same bed with someone, whether relative or aquaintance, when at someone else's house or an inn, more recently in the 'pressed bed' with the judge advocate. And someone else pointed out how often people are addressed while they are still abed, doing business, etc. And now inns where both sexes sleep together in the same room. Amazing! I'm with johng...were there any rules governing one's behavior in the latter situation? I could see it leading to all sorts of problems.

About Saturday 19 May 1660

meech  •  Link

It is surprising to me, as well, that Pepys had little to say regarding his first meeting with Charles II. Here he is, a participant in the very Restoration of the English Monarchy, but he seems more interested in sight-seeing and shopping like a tourist. I completely understand his interests in seeing the sights, but you'd think that the meeting with the King would be of equal interest. Add to this the fact that he keeps foisting off 'the child' to others while he travels about. Yes, he was worried, but apparently not that worried, since he kept on sight-seeing and after finally finding him (through no effort on his part) soon passes him off to his 'uncle Pickering' who he runs into in the street, while he goes off with an old chum to drink and party. Apparently the first time the child disappeared didn't scare him enough that it kept him from leaving Edward with another person the first chance he gets. It is obvious where his interests lie.

About Monday 23 April 1660

meech  •  Link

Sorry, forgot to mention, I posted it to the Encyclopedia under "The Blacksmith" in "Songs".