Annotations and comments

LKvM has posted 142 annotations/comments since 5 November 2015.

Comments

Third Reading

About Sunday 9 December 1660

LKvM  •  Link

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

LKvM  •  Link

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

LKvM  •  Link

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

LKvM  •  Link

"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

LKvM  •  Link

" . . . 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

LKvM  •  Link

"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

LKvM  •  Link

"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

LKvM  •  Link

"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

LKvM  •  Link

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

LKvM  •  Link

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

LKvM  •  Link

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

LKvM  •  Link

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

LKvM  •  Link

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.

About Friday 10 August 1660

LKvM  •  Link

Pepys will say he is "loose" when he has diarrhea or something close to it, and that he is "bound" when he is constipated.
This terminology is still encountered in the rural southern United States, where many immigrants from England settled. My mother-in-law (and her son, my husband) were country folk and would frequently speak of this food or that as "bindin'," meaning it would cause constipation.

About Sunday 15 July 1660

LKvM  •  Link

As Roger Miller mentions above, "Henry the Seventh's Chapel" began life as a Lady Chapel. It's a wonder it was not destroyed the way other Lady Chapels were during the Reformation. As is shown in the Amazon Prime Videos special subscription "The Great Courses," in the lecture series entitled "The Cathedral," during Europe's wars of religion England's churches and cathedrals and especially Lady Chapels suffered much more ruin and desecration than most on the Continent.
The fact that this one Lady Chapel survives as "Henry the Seventh's Chapel" is nothing short of amazing.

About Monday 9 July 1660

LKvM  •  Link

". . . in the afternoon we met and sat . . . ."
For all who are reading the diary for the first time, when Sam says he "sat," it means that Sam and the rest were officially "in session."

About Thursday 28 June 1660

LKvM  •  Link

Sam's ear was extraordinary, and I would imagine his voice was too. I read somewhere in these comments that he was a bass (which primarily harmonizes), but I like to think his voice is the more versatile bass-baritone and that he carried the melody as well.