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LKvM has posted 167 annotations/comments since 5 November 2015.

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Third Reading

About Wednesday 1 May 1661

LKvM  •  Link

On April 30, 2011, I drove a rental car from London to Portsmouth, on approximately the same route as Sam, but a little faster, and at Portsmouth we stayed at an old inn. On the next day, this day, May Day, we went to HMS Victory and were treated to a ribald May Day dance by the sailors on the dock before we boarded, and when we toured the ship, we were very merry.

About Sunday 28 April 1661

LKvM  •  Link

Btw, for what it's worth, at this time Margaret Kite Pepys was about 56 (born circa 1605). She's too old to be menopausal and too young to be demented. She's just angry.

About Friday 26 April 1661

LKvM  •  Link

" . . . dined by myself at home on a piece of meat from the cook’s."
Whether it be from "the cook's" or "Cookes," the "meat" in this case means actual flesh, not just "food in general," as discussed previously.
(I like the notion of his putting the meat between two pieces of bread to make a pepys, sorry it didn't work out that way!)

About Saturday 20 April 1661

LKvM  •  Link

"(Had the Sandwiches had a daughter named Jemima, she would have been accorded the courtesy title "Lady Jemima Sandwich".)"
They did have a daughter named Jemima, the girl with the crooked neck that we met in the early pages of the diary.

About Friday 19 April 1661

LKvM  •  Link

Sort of a spoiler:
Regarding John Evelyn, who refused the honor, and Robert Boyle, and questions in later years about why Samuel Pepys did not receive/accept a knighthood, the conjecture given for Sam is usually that he did not want the "charge," i.e., the expense. Maybe that was true for Evelyn and Boyle too.

About Thursday 18 April 1661

LKvM  •  Link

"had [Lady Batten] been noble she would not have been so with her servants . . . "
This brings to mind something I read about the late great Queen Elizabeth II's admonishing Meghan Markle after said Duchess of Sussex had lost her temper to a subordinate: "We don't speak to people that way."

About Tuesday 9 April 1661

LKvM  •  Link

"I put my Lady, Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Hempson, and the two Mrs. Allens into the lanthorn and I went in."
That's six people in the lantern. Even though people were much smaller then, ships' lanterns must have been surprisingly commodious.
And just btw, I think Sam is probably "the life of the party." Everyone from Batten and Penn to Sandwich and Lady Sandwich seems to adore his company. After all, he sings, plays instruments, and apparently has a gregarious, witty, fun-loving presence, so I think they make sure he's part of the group just for the fun of it.

About Wednesday 3 April 1661

LKvM  •  Link

Re the problem of the date of Easter:
It depends on the crucial date of the Jewish Passover, which is called "The Last Supper" by Christians.
The crucifixion occurred the day after Passover AKA The Last Supper.
On the third day after the crucifixion the resurrection occurred, and that day is called Easter by Christians.
That's the historical biblical record. No days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, etc. are mentioned).
Over the centuries since Constantine the Roman Catholic Church arranged it all so that Passover, called The Last Supper, took place on a Wednesday, the crucufixion took place on a Thursday (Greindonnerstag or "crying Thursday" in German), and then Good Friday would conveniently lead in three days to the resurrection on a (surprise!) Sunday, which was called Easter Sunday.
With Jewish astronomers calculating the date of Passover and competing Christian astronomers calculating the same date but calling it The Last Supper, and Julian and Gregorian calendar confusion thrown in to boot, it's no wonder that there was confusion all over Europe about Easter

About Tuesday 2 April 1661

LKvM  •  Link

"Meat" redux:
Bear in mind that Sam's mention that there was no "meat" left for late-comer Lord Sandwich means that for Sandwich there was no "food," the root for "meat" having been a word that meant "food" in general, not just "flesh."

About Monday 1 April 1661

LKvM  •  Link

I agree with Andy:
"But if her womanly role is limited to the house, how come she can't even rule on her maid?"
She sounds absolutely sick and tired of being bossed around by men who are interfering in her domaine, and terribly frustrated by her powerlessness. I feel very sorry for her (and for most women in that era).

About Sunday 31 March 1661

LKvM  •  Link

Regarding "finding Will abroad at Sir W. Batten’s talking with the people there," it was common to use "the people" for staff, so Will was chatting with Batten's servants, and on ships, officers like Nelson and Bligh, and undoubtedly Batten and Sandwich too, simply called their crew or seamen or sailors their "people."

About Wednesday 27 March 1661

LKvM  •  Link

Re Vincent and bubbles, on wondering whether Sam knew about the tulip bubble of 1637, and my stockbroker husband, who, when we were in Ireland in 2008, noticed what he correctly perceived as an Irish housing bubble:
"Tulip mania, also known as the Dutch tulip bulb market bubble, is the earliest market bubble recorded in history."

About Tuesday 26 March 1661

LKvM  •  Link

All this talk about eating "flesh" is somewhat disconcerting. In looking up the etymology of "meat" I found: "The word "meat" was commonly used in 16th/17th century England in the way that we now use the word "food."
We have seen examples of that use of "meat" for "food" in Sam's writings and in today's "sweetmeats."
Further, it was only during the 19th century that "meat" was used for what Sam calls the "flesh" of beef.

About Monday 11 March 1660/61

LKvM  •  Link

"Note that it's still illegal to eat Christmas Pudding on Christmas Day in Britain - a leftover of the Puritan era."
Still? Even today, March 11, 2024?

About Friday 8 March 1660/61

LKvM  •  Link

With all of Sam's pride in his Latin, it is surprising that he doesn't always use the accusative/objective case when it is called for: "And so he carried Sir William Batten and I home . . . ."
He's given a pass in the comments above, but's clear that he knows it:
" . . . whom I ever thought a man . . . ."
Just a slip-up, I guess, but it happens more than this once.

About Friday 8 March 1660/61

LKvM  •  Link

"because I was set between him and another . . . ."
Could "set" have been "sat"?
I've noticed lately on British TV that where Americans would say "seated" the British say "sat": "I was sat next to him," instead of American "I was seated next to him." The same goes for "standing": instead of Anerican "I was standing by the gate," the British say "I was stood by the gate."
But I digress. Is it possible that Sam was "sat," instead of "set," between him and another?

About Tuesday 5 March 1660/61

LKvM  •  Link

Regarding oysters and their frequent consumption in the diary, I wonder how they ate them, i.e., what, if anything, they ate them with, or on.
Oysters are very popular where I live (New Orleans, USA), and here we are served with them as they lie on the halfshell (by law still slightly attached to prevent the fraud of serving jarred oysters as fresh).
Then we take our little seafood fork and run the oyster through a bit of tomato-based "cocktail sauce" with horseradish in it, and then we plop it onto a saltine cracker, on which it is devoured with delight.
When President Roosevelt visited New Orleans in the previous century he was served oysters by the then-mayor Robert Maestri, who during dinner asked Roosevelt, "How you like dem erstas?"
So the "r" pronunciation of "oy" was prevalent in New Orleans way back then and even into the 1960s, when I arrived, and, as in Brooklyn NY, the word "toilet" was "terlet" and "boil" was "berl" and my friend Joyce was "Jerce."
So, my question is this: without cutlery like seafood forks or transfer material like saltines, how did they eat them?