Annotations and comments

john has posted 158 annotations/comments since 14 March 2013.

The most recent…


About Thursday 12 July 1666

john  •  Link

With regard to instant blistering, roses are not phototoxic plants but the reaction to phototoxins can be immediate. A few years ago, I was reclaiming some of our back yard and whatever I cut caused a row of blisters across my leg.

About Friday 6 July 1666

john  •  Link

I do not disagree with Bryant's calculations but to what was
Pepys writing about "is not much above half a 100 lb. bag full, but is much weightier."?

About Wednesday 4 July 1666

john  •  Link

To which, Terry, I add: "but it is impossible to do it, unless we have more money towards the doing it than yet we have in any view. But, however, the shew must be made to the world." And thusly to this day.

About Saturday 30 June 1666

john  •  Link

In the midst of war, they are eating their corn seed, and Pepys is clearing his financial table in the event of collapse.

About Saturday 23 June 1666

john  •  Link

It strikes me that Pepys has a "crush" on Mercer beyond what we would today call sexual predation. The wonderful visit from his father over, Mercer leaving, and the war with Holland must be taking a toll.

About Friday 15 June 1666

john  •  Link

SDS wrote (at the end of her very welcome summary): "but he won't do it for others."

I am reminded of particularly parsimonious relatives, who would never tip appropriately with the self-justification of "They make enough money!" (usually voiced simultaneously as a strange mantra).

About Thursday 14 June 1666

john  •  Link

"Thence took Creed with some kind of violence and some hard words between us [...]"

Did he man-handle Creed into the carriage or is this odd phrasing?

About Sunday 10 June 1666

john  •  Link

Thank you for the interesting information, SDS.

In the 17th century, no sign of post-mortem poison would not be conclusive. (A good many poisons are not easily detectable even today, e.g. "Molecules of Murder" by Emsley.)

About Sunday 10 June 1666

john  •  Link

Interesting that Lady Denham wants the affair to be public, not secretive. (The image of "going at noon-day with all his gentlemen with him to visit her" certainly seems public enough.)

Another item of note -- to me, at least -- is that the Duke of Albemarle is one of the very few who thinks he did very well in the "fight".

About Wednesday 6 June 1666

john  •  Link

"as a monkey do the cat’s foot" made the OED:


1.1 The foot of a cat; †used lit. in reference to the fable or tale of a monkey (or a fox) using the foot or paw of a cat to rake roasted chestnuts out of the burning coals.  (The story is told by some of a monkey belonging to Pope Julius II., 1503–13; see N. & Q. Ser. vi. VII. 286.)

[1623 Mabbe tr. Aleman's Guzman d'Alf. ii. 167 To take the Cat by the foote, and therewith to rake the coales out of the Ouen.]    c 1661 Argyle's Last Will in Harl. Misc. (1746) VIII. 30/1 Like the Monkey, that took the Cat's Foot to pull the Chesnut out of the Fire.    1666 Pepys Diary 6 June, My Lord Brouncker, which I make use of as a monkey do the cat's foot.    c 1680 Humane Prudence (1717) 214 The polite man makes use of others as the Fox did of the Cat's Foot, to pull the Apple out of the Fire.