Annotations and comments

James Morgan has posted 97 annotations/comments since 21 October 2015.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About Thursday 7 February 1660/61

James Morgan  •  Link

I think the Sandwich challenge was a masterpiece, with the little question about whether the Duke remembered what he had said. It both implies that Buckingham might have been drunk, and gives Buckingham an opportunity to disclaim responsibility by saying in effect, "sorry, I was a little out of it". Certainly Buckingham's actions, as reported, are extremely offensive, and he might well have been drunk

"The Duke did, to my Lord’s dishonour, often say that he did in his conscience know the contrary to what he then said, about the difference at cards; and so did take up the money that he should have lost to my Lord. Which my Lord resenting, said nothing then, but that he doubted not but there were ways enough to get his money of him. So they parted that night; and my Lord sent for Sir R. Stayner and sent him the next morning to the Duke, to know whether he did remember what he said last night, and whether he would own it with his sword and a second;"

About Monday 31 December 1660

James Morgan  •  Link

So back to Croaker's question: is there a previous case of someone saying that reading the play beforehand spoiled the play for them? It seems to require a literate public and the publishing of plays in text form. Though perhaps a play made from a commonly known story or legend could be said to be spoiled by pre-knowledge of the story. But it also requires a viewer consciously comparing his or her reaction to two versions of a story, thus a critic.
Per the OED, the word critic dates back to 1587 and they provide several examples of it's use in the late 16th century, so at least in England Pepys comparison of two versions could be common, and one of the OED citations is referring to an Ancient Roman critic. So perhaps the rumination that your enjoyment is spoiled by pre-knowledge of the story is ancient.
By the way, thanks to Carmichael's mention of the OED and the paywall, I discovered that I could use my Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh identification and password to gain access to it. So see if your local public library does the same.

About Friday 8 June 1660

James Morgan  •  Link

For the curious, Google Maps says the bicycle trip from Greenwich to Dover would be 7 hours and 13 minutes for 77 miles. That's going straight through, and Google assumes a brisk pace.

Second Reading

About Monday 24 May 1669

James Morgan  •  Link

It's nice to know that the English dancing and music pleased the prince. I think at the time there was some desire to show they were up to French and Italian standards.

About Sunday 25 April 1669

James Morgan  •  Link

I suppose one would have to have three categories, sermons described as dull or poor, those described in better terms, and those not described. I too have the impression tht dull or poor sermons were common.

About Tuesday 9 March 1668/69

James Morgan  •  Link

The link to the article about life on the farm in Cumbria (provided by Mary) appears to be broken. From the later contribution the farm appears to be Townsend Hall. Can anyone find the article again?

About Tuesday 2 March 1668/69

James Morgan  •  Link

"Sack dress" sounded familiar, and a quick search on Google says Givenchy had a big splash with them in 1957, and that vintage 60s ones are available. They look like something that might still be worn if you are in an environment that calls for dresses.

About Friday 26 February 1668/69

James Morgan  •  Link

So more like the Defense Secretary or the US Secretary of Defense? Except that he's not a member of the cabinet, which doesn't exist, or the CABAL. He has his own colleagues, but seems to be the primus inter pares.

About Monday 11 January 1668/69

James Morgan  •  Link

I think if Sam were in need of a bodyguard he would find someone more martial than Hewer, his clerk. As noted in earlier comments, Hewer is following him as part of his agreement with his wife, and "guard" is used in the sense of "jailer".

About Saturday 5 December 1668

James Morgan  •  Link

I wondered what they thought of dreams in his time, and why Elizabeth was so suspicous, so searched the diary and found this wonderful passage from 8/15/1665:

"Up by 4 o’clock and walked to Greenwich, where called at Captain Cocke’s and to his chamber, he being in bed, where something put my last night’s dream into my head, which I think is the best that ever was dreamt, which was that I had my Lady Castlemayne in my armes and was admitted to use all the dalliance I desired with her, and then dreamt that this could not be awake, but that it was only a dream; but that since it was a dream, and that I took so much real pleasure in it, what a happy thing it would be if when we are in our graves (as Shakespeere resembles it) we could dream, and dream but such dreams as this, that then we should not need to be so fearful of death, as we are this plague time."

Of course "Huzzy" doesn't sound very complimentary, so perhaps he's resisting temptation in his dreams as well.

About Thursday 8 October 1668

James Morgan  •  Link

"For want of a boat": perhaps there was something for the crossing, but it was too large to approach, so the captain was looking for a suitable small boat to bring the king ashore (and presumable not a smelly fishing skiff), and he built a wharf (that he called a stage) instead. That's really fast action.

About Tuesday 8 September 1668

James Morgan  •  Link

I think the earlier part of the sentence, "I will let my wife go.." implies that Elizabeth had some interest in going, and that he decided it's a good idea. I assume the fair is an attraction. But this is all speculation.

About Friday 3 July 1668

James Morgan  •  Link

My understanding is that physicians and surgeons were two distinct groups. Physicians dealt with all medications, psychological and external treatments. Surgeons were less highly regarded and dealt with amputations. Scientific research by dissection was new to both.

About Sunday 28 June 1668

James Morgan  •  Link

The Mahan book goes on to say "These considerations brought the two countries together in that Triple Alliance with Sweden which has been mentioned, and which for a time checked the onward movement of Louis. But the wars between the two sea nations were too recent, the humiliation of England in the Thames too bitter, and the rivalries that still existed too real, too deeply seated in the nature of things, to make that alliance durable. It needed the dangerous power of Louis, and his persistence in a course threatening to both, to weld the union of these natural antagonists. This was not to be done without another bloody encounter." So the trick referred to was presumably something Louis did earlieer to get the British into the war with th Dutch that lead to the disatrous defeats. I don't know enough detail of that war to say what Louis might have done - other than paying off Charles II, but I don't think that was public knowledge.

About Tuesday 21 April 1668

James Morgan  •  Link

It seems odd that Mrs Turner is along while Pepys plays with Knepp. Unless perhaps he left her at the theater while he went out with Knepp.

About Saturday 28 March 1668

James Morgan  •  Link

I wondered at the reference to a "Holyday week" that he is celebrating by going to a play. What holiday week would end 3/28? I checked and Easter was April 1 in 1668 per a couple of internet sources, so this is the week between palm sunday and easter, and this is the day after Good Friday. I wouldn't think they'd be celebrating until Easter itself.