Annotations and comments

LKvM has posted 126 annotations/comments since 5 November 2015.

Comments

Third Reading

About Tuesday 1 January 1660/61

LKvM  •  Link

With regard to all the comments above regarding infant or child mortality, it is worth noting that James, Duke of York, and Anne Hyde had eight children, and today King Charles II attended the christening of the first one, a boy, Charles, Duke of Cambridge.
That child died, and only two of their eight children lived to be adults. Both were girls, and both became queens: Mary and Anne.

About Sunday 30 December 1660

LKvM  •  Link

Right at the top of today's annotations "Joe" wondered in 2003 what Will's diary would say for today. Will was Pepys's "boy" and was for Pepys what a footman is for the king or queen, someone in the background, always silently on hand to do whatever is needed, and not noticed if nothing is needed. Will was probably with Pepys the whole time. (As for his diary, he probably didn't have one because he undoubtedly couldn't write.)

About Sunday 30 December 1660

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"I to the Abby and walked there" -- wouldn't it be wonderful today to be able to just walk in and mosey around?

About Monday 24 December 1660

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"Commissioner Pett (who seldom comes there) told me that he had lately presented a piece of plate (being a couple of flaggons) to Mr. Coventry, but he did not receive them . . . ."
At first I thought that "he did not receive them" meant that they had somehow gone astray on the way to Coventry, but apparently everybody but me knew that "receive" here means "accept." Coventry did not accept them.

About Sunday 9 December 1660

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With regard to Sam's singing today, the fact that in Blagrave's pew he sang along competently while sight-reading proves to me that he had perfect pitch. I've thought so before.
Also, it was a real treat to read all the Navy knowledge displayed in today's comments. It makes the work of the Navy Board so much more accessible.

About Monday 3 December 1660

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I love Latin. I was the geek wandering through the hall in high school griping to anyone who would listen that our high school didn't offer a third year of Latin.
Many years later I wound up in graduate school working toward a Ph.D. in German Literature. Realizing that most of the German authors we were studying had had a true classical education, including Latin and Greek, I had a hunch that I should pursue Latin and Greek again in case knowledge of those languages and literatures would give me insight into the workings of the minds of the gymnasium-educated German authors of preceding centuries. (Notice that I avoided saying hyper- or über-educated (-: )
And it worked. Not to brag, but while I was still a graduate student, I scored an article in the prestigious "German Quarterly" that explained the puzzling structure of Kleist's "Penthesilea," and my dissertation was informed by Johann Christian Günther's imitation of Ovid's "Letters from the Black Sea."
My point: Latin and Greek still rock, especially in Comparative Literature.

About Wednesday 28 November 1660

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A peck of oysters:
"How many are in a peck of oysters?
"A basic rule of thumb for most American oysters is that there are roughly 100 oysters per bushel; 25 per peck. A bushel of oysters will feed, on average, between 4 and 6 people."
Per Wiki

About Thursday 22 November 1660

LKvM  •  Link

My Lady "took occasion to inquire . . . how I did treat my wife’s father and mother. At which I did give her a good account . . . ."
My Lady seems to be an admirable, kind, caring person. She is also from a Puritan family, the Crewes, and she must know that Elisabeth is the daughter of aristocratic French Protestant refugees who can be expected to have given up a lot when they fled to England.
I believe she inquires into how Pepys treats his wife's father and mother in order to be assured that he is helping them financially.
He says he "did give her a good account." That may have led My Lady to believe, wrongly, that he is helping them financially when in fact he avoids them and doesn't welcome visits from Balty (Elizabeth's brother) either because he feels they will want financial help from him.
It will be seen that the only help Sam (unwittingly) provides for them takes the form of money Elisabeth embezzles from the household budget to give to them. My Lady would not be proud of Sam if she knew the truth.

About Saturday 17 November 1660

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"His mother would fain marry him to get a portion for his sister . . . ."
Today we would say "would fain marry him OFF to get a portion . . . ."
That makes more sense, except that today we don't use "would fain."

About Friday 16 November 1660

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" . . . on discourse he seems to be wise and say little, though I know things are changed against his mind."
Obviously a disappointed but prudent Puritan.

About Sunday 4 November 1660

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"in our way calling at the Bell to see the seven Flanders mares that my Lord has bought lately, where we drank several bottles of Hull ale. Much company I found to come to her, and cannot wonder at it, for she is very pretty and wanton."

This "she" must be the successful owner or hostess or barmaid at the Bell. Maybe the sign of the "Bell" could also be construed as the "Belle."

It is certainly not Dr. Pearse's beautiful wife, known as La Belle Pearse/Pierce (who was not part of this pub-and-stable-crawl at all, but who Elizabeth Pepys will say later in the diary is wanton).

About Friday 26 October 1660

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"I find it fascinating to consider the wide range of information we can stumble upon from reading Pepys."
Me too, Jim.

About Tuesday 16 October 1660

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"Ask how to live? Write, write, write, anything; The world's a fine believing world, write news."
This quote is especially relevant in the United States in these days of propagandistic news media.

About Monday 15 October 1660

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The original gruesome plan behind hanging, drawing, and quartering was that the person would be hanged, but only briefly, then cut down while he was still alive to endure the grisly drawing out of his guts and the final chopping off of his arms and legs to make the quarters that were nailed up in public places. One can only hope that the hangman left the victim hanging long enough for him to be well and truly dead.
In the next century James Boswell, attorney and author of Dr. Johnson's biography, would hear of a person or persons who had been cut down so soon after hanging that they survived the hanging. Boswell hoped for the same good fortune for his sheep-stealing client who had been condemned to be hanged, and before the hanging Boswell made preparations to aid his client immediately after he was cut down, but alas, they left him hanging for forty-five minutes.

About Friday 12 October 1660

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Re "The criminal would presumably try to get away with the game he had bagged in his pouch, pocket, or 'poche'."
It would have to be a rather small part of a rather small deer to fit in a pocket. But I've heard that English deer are very small (compared to American deer).

About Thursday 23 August 1660

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The "morning draft"
If you tap on that phrase, you will get an explanation that people didn't actually have breakfast in Pepys's time, they just had a "morning draft."
Okay, but what is it? We know it's not tea, coffee, or orange juice, so is it small beer?
The Pilgrims are said to have had beer for (or at) breakfast, so that's my guess.

About Monday 20 August 1660

LKvM  •  Link

Regarding hauling payments in gold around London, the punishment for theft was extreme at that time, and that may have had a huge deterrent effect.
Later in Sam's life, after the diary years, Sam was robbed in a coach by highwaymen, who stole a unique new writing implement, the kind of gadget Sam loved to buy, from Sam.
Later, the suspected thief was caught, and that gadget was enough to identify the thief as a highwayman, and he was hanged.
In the next century in another multi-year diary (written by a very different diarist from Sam, who was unfaithful but not a lover), the highly romantic Scottish-Anglo lawyer James Boswell writes of the trial of a client who was alleged to have stolen six sheep, was proven guilty by their carcasses in his shed, and was hanged.
Boswell wanted to save him and had planned to rush in and gather him up after he was cut down and resuscitate him, which had proven successful at a previous quickie hanging, but they left this poor man hanging for 45 minutes, which foiled Boswell's bizarre plan.
A contemporary commented something like "Hang a man for stealing six sheep? It shouldn't happen!"
So tolerance for theft was increasing a century after Sam, and that escalated and leaves us where we are now.

About Tuesday 14 August 1660

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Regarding Sam Pepys's comment about Sam Morland: "all which do make me begin to think that he is not so much a fool as I took him to be," if you read about all of Morland's accomplishments, you will certainly perceive that he is no fool. However, due to his personality he seemed to suffer a bit from the Dr. Fell syndrome.

About Saturday 11 August 1660

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Re Todd Bernhard:
"I found by discourse with Mrs. Crisp that he is very jealous of her, for that she is yet very kind to her old servant Meade."
"Servant" can also mean "suitor." Meade is her old suitor.