Annotations and comments

john has posted 322 annotations/comments since 14 March 2013.

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Third Reading

About Guidelines for annotations

john  •  Link

HHomboy wrote: "having been a respected and popular radio commentator on the CBC [...]"

I feel bound to defend the CBC here. Yes, they have had their share of pompous prats (who believe themselves respected) but overall, their commentators tend to be polite and succinct.

About Sunday 26 February 1659/60

john  •  Link

Apologies if the following on the Tripos is too recent.

Wooden spoons
At the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century a wooden spoon was presented to the student at the bottom of the examination class list of the Mathematical Tripos. Examinations were tough in those days. In one year, there were 36 hours of examinations. The Senior Wrangler scored 16,368 out of a possible 33,541, and the candidate who received the wooden spoon scored a princely 247. Fortunately, the heroic era of the Tripos is long gone.

About Saturday 4 February 1659/60

john  •  Link

As a child, I often witnessed my maternal grandmother dispatching chickens on the farm. I can understand Jane's refusal.

About Wednesday 25 January 1659/60

john  •  Link

I note the friendly consortation with the butler. Pepys came from humble origins and rarely had qualms speaking to the "working classes".

Second Reading

About Wednesday 5 May 1669

john  •  Link

"And by and by he and I to talk, and the company very merry at my defending Cambridge against Oxford" and it was always thus. (I am reminded of Sir Humphrey's comment: "The universities -- both of them".)

About Monday 26 April 1669

john  •  Link

Let me add to the winking confusion (from the OED). I offer no opinion on interpretation.

wink, v.1
1. a. intr. To close one's eyes. (Also in fig. context: cf. 5, 6.) Obs.
6. a. to wink at. (a) To ‘shut one's eyes to’ (an offence, fault, defect, impropriety, or irregularity); to connive at.

   1537 Cromwell in Merriman Life & Lett. (1902) II. 108 Persons that‥by‥wynkyng at his preparacions‥encoraged hym to be the bolder.    1540 Elyot Image Gov. xxxiii. (1541) 76 b, Ye secretely winkyng at the sayd faultes.    1644 Milton Judgm. Bucer xlvii. 24 When as all kind of unchastity is tolerated, fornications and adulteries winkt at.    a 1708 T. Ward Eng. Ref. i. (1710) 112 If I this saucyness in you, Shou'd seem to wink-at or allow.    1775 Sheridan Rivals iii. iii, Suppose you were to wink at her corresponding with him for a little time.    1815 Scott Guy M. xxxiv, You had the price of half a cargo for winking at our job.    1861 Trollope La Beata I. ix. 250 A very evident tendency‥to wink at the shortcomings of their friends.

†b. (a) to wink on, upon: = a (a), above. Obs.

   1546 J. Heywood Prov. (1867) 19 She can wynke on the yew, and wery the lam.    1591 Shakes. Two Gent. ii. iv. 98 Vpon a homely obiect, Loue can winke.    1634 Milton Comus 401 You may as well‥bid me hope Danger will wink on Opportunity.    1824 Landor Imag. Conv. I. Cromwell & Noble 59, I acknowledge his weaknesses, and cannot wink upon his crimes.    1835 Lytton Rienzi i. v, Justice must never wink upon great offenders.

About Thursday 18 March 1668/69

john  •  Link

"and thence to Hyde Park, the first time we were there this year, or ever in our own coach, where with mighty pride rode up and down, and many coaches there; and I thought our horses and coach as pretty as any there, and observed so to be by others."

To be seen and see others admire. I imagine both Samuel and Elizabeth positively glowing with pride.

About Monday 8 March 1668/69

john  •  Link

"He tells me that Mr. Shepley is upon being turned away from my Lord’s family, and another sent down, which I am sorry for; but his age and good fellowship have almost made him fit for nothing."

Sad and sober reminder of the discarding of servants in those days (and more recently).

About Thursday 25 February 1668/69

john  •  Link

@Dorothy, there is indeed no good time for a bad cold, especially in that era. His hoarse throat could invite all sorts of opportunistic infections.

About Monday 14 December 1668

john  •  Link

Prorogation: Many parliaments in the Commonwealth can be and are prorogued (House of Commons in AU, CA, and UK, and the Lok Sabha in IN), usually not a controversial act.

About Friday 11 December 1668

john  •  Link

£50 in 1668 is about £12k today (by the inflation calculator at the BoE). Today, this is not that expensive for good carriage horses, as indicated by Australian Susan (and you pay a lot more for good dressage horses).

About Tuesday 8 December 1668

john  •  Link

"but such is the weakness of my nature, that I could not help it, which vexes me, showing me how unable I am to live with difficulties."

Pepys never could take unjustified political attacks.

About Sunday 6 December 1668

john  •  Link

"so to spend the evening with my wife and W. Hewer talking over the business of the Office, and particularly my own Office, how I will make it, and it will become, in a little time, an Office of ease, and not slavery, as it hath for so many years been."

This hope and plan for the future hits home (though, unlike Pepys, I retired to make it so). Again, an indicator that Elizabeth is consulted.

About Sunday 29 November 1668

john  •  Link

"after employments like mine for eight years, it were hard if I could not be justly thought to be able to do that."

Methinks this comment has been overlooked. This was an age when one did not act the part was regarded with suspicion. (This was, perhaps, ever thus.)

About Wednesday 11 November 1668

john  •  Link

"For it seems they do turn out every servant that belongs to the present Treasurer"
Actions that I have experienced a few times after our small company was acquired.

About Wednesday 4 November 1668

john  •  Link

"but I avoided it, that I might not be seen to look either way."
"My wife and I spent much time this evening talking of our being put out of the Office,"

Interesting times -- when working at pleasure, a good strategy -- and more evidence that Elizabeth is kept informed.