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Mary K has posted 1,083 annotations/comments since 9 March 2007.

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About Saturday 6 July 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Nose-bleeds

According to The Encyclopedia of Superstitions (Richard Webster, available as an e--book) a nose-bleed was traditionally regarded as a sign of bad luck; especially so if it came from the right nostril, as that portended a death. (But doesn't specify whose death).

About Friday 5 July 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Gloves again.

If it's perhaps a question of fine, kid gloves, then they can be difficult and time-consuming to clean without causing distortion or hardening of the leather, so might have needed fairly frequent replacement. Given that lye, which is strongly alkaline, formed the basis of soap in the 17th century, even gentle washing probably presented additional problems.

About Saturday 29 June 1667

Mary K  •  Link

do do.

Similar difference in emphases. First 'do' is 3rd person singular, present indicative of the verb; second 'do' is the infinitive of the verb.

About Saturday 29 June 1667

Mary K  •  Link

No stutter. The first 'that' lacks emphasis, the second 'that' has full emphasis. Perfectly rational.

About Wednesday 19 June 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Not quite till about 10 p.m. in Pepys's day. Remember that his 'now' is not exactly the same as our current 'now' but is those critical 11 days adrift and at this time of year is one further hour adrift because UK is on British Summer Time, not GMT. However, hardly broad daylight even in 1667.

About Thursday 20 June 1667

Mary K  •  Link

"against the hair"

cf. the modern expression 'to rub someone up the wrong way', though the earlier phrase appears to carry more import.

About Monday 31 March 1662

Mary K  •  Link

This sort of apoplexy also sounds similar in appearance to some manifestations of epilepsy.

About Wednesday 5 June 1667

Mary K  •  Link

And of course our laws are still passed in Parliament with the statement "La Reine le veult."

About Wednesday 1 January 1661/62

Mary K  •  Link

Misreading: Pepys only went to see the play once. The first mention of it is simply that he noticed that that was the play that was to be presented later in the day.

About Wednesday 22 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Sunset in London yesterday was at 20.58h BST (British Summer Time) which is one hour ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) 19.58h

Allowing for the later (1752) change of calendar, Pepys would have been 11 days 'behind' GMT, so his sunset time would have been roughly 19.42, give or take a minute or two.

Not so very late, after all (provided that I've got that all right!)

About Tuesday 19 January 1668/69

Mary K  •  Link

Two Dutchmen.

Could this possibly be a reference to the gentlemen's accents?
I recall that a 20th Century Dutch politician said, "Of all the noises in the animal kingdom, Dutch comes closest to human speech."

About Tuesday 14 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Delightful coincidence that Mr. Fist's surname should have been in recent modern use in two colloquial instances.
Firstly, as a slang expression for a piece of handwriting: "I recognised the fist on the envelope".
Also, in an expression describing a botched manual task: "He made a poor fist of it."

A case of post hoc but I assume not propter hoc.

About Sunday 12 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

We know that Pepys hated it when Elizabeth followed the fashionable women of the beau monde in wearing face-patches. I suspect that white locks (presumably false hairpieces) fell into the same category; the court celebrities may perhaps have worn them (not that we see them in their portraits) but he deemed them totally unsuitable for the wife of a serious, and seriously rising, man. Perhaps Knipp favoured them? How many middle-class men today would really enjoy their wives appearing in public clad and made-up like certain "celebrities"?

About Friday 10 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Also please note that Phil established this website entirely voluntarily, never anticipated that it would gain the world-wide reputation that it has, has run it magnificently through two runs of the diary and merits our undying gratitude. There are no "webmasters", just Phil the Magnificent and Magnanimous.

About Sunday 12 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

"we know for sure they no longer sleep together..."

Not at all sure about that. Pepys is working in his chamber (which is not necessarily his bed-chamber) and is up and about earlier than Elizabeth. That's surely all that can be drawn from this narrative.

About Friday 10 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

I haven't found any pictures of 17th century lock-picks yet but any modern ones would be far too slender for removing stones from horses' hooves.

About Thursday 9 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

"lie down" just reminded me of the old term for a maternity hospital; a "lying-in hospital".

About Saturday 8 June 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Boiled smoked/cured ham or gammon is far from awful and very far from bland. You really wouldn't want to tackle a joint of it uncooked and it's often too salty to eat roast. Simmer long and gently and you have a delicious dinner.

About Thursday 9 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

A rather course (coarse?) way of saying .......

Not necessarily coarse. Pepys may be using "looks to" in the sense of "expects to."
e.g. "I look to receive an answer by return of post"

About Saturday 16 January 1663/64

Mary K  •  Link

According to "Inns and Taverns of Old London" by Henry C. Shelley. (published Boston 1909) King Street in Westminster appears to have been well supplied with taverns, though the only two specifically named in the 17th Century are The Leg and The Bell. The Bell had quite a long history and its existence was documented as early as the mid-15th Century.

That Pepys calls it a cabaret is surely just part of this attempt at franglais obfuscation. The Bell becomes La Cloche, King Street the route du roy. As for privacy, being an ancient establishment it may well have had one or several dark little corners where any amount of hanky-panky might be pursued in late afternoon without too much fear of being observed.

The above publication has a wealth of information about taverns and inns in all parts of London proper and the surrounding areas (e.g. Westminster).