Annotations and comments

LKvM has posted 174 annotations/comments since 5 November 2015.

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Third Reading

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.

About Tuesday 26 June 1660

LKvM  •  Link

I'm glad someone explained Diana's relationship to King Charles II. I have always heard about it but never knew exactly which of his many lovers and bastards had the honor.

About Wednesday 20 June 1660

LKvM  •  Link

"An attempt to enumerate the King's Head taverns of London would be an endless task." -- H. Shelley, Inns and Taverns of Old London.
Would these be referring to the decapitated head of Charles I?

About Thursday 14 June 1660

LKvM  •  Link

Regarding comments made above about Sam's "sudden rise in station, his hobnobbing with royalty," and that he "may be realising . . . that she will never be able to appreciate the world he is now moving in," it would be good to note that she is the daughter of impoverished but legitimately aristocratic Huguenot refugees from France and that her parents undoubtedly thought that when she married "ordinary Sam Pepys" she had married beneath HER station, when in fact he is now rising to it.

About Monday 21 May 1660

LKvM  •  Link

Per Weavethe hawk:
"The "regicides" are now in for a very rough ride, starting with Maj-General Thomas Harrison. Pepys will, later in the year, give a rather cool and brief description of the man's execution. Men who were, not long ago, being honored and promoted, are now being vilified and hunted down. The turncoats are ruling the roost."
The real turncoats were the Puritans.

About Saturday 19 May 1660

LKvM  •  Link

To me it's disconcerting that Pepys continually refers to Master Edward Montagu as "the child." He's fifteen years old, almost sixteen, and is likely to have been through puberty. I realize that Pepys couldn't call him "boy" because that could imply that Edward was a servant, but "child" doesn't seem correct. The common British term "lad" seems appropriate but apparently it became common much later.

About Thursday 10 May 1660

LKvM  •  Link

"Scheveningen, 'the best place and nearest where his Majesty is for such great shipps as ours are to ride in'"
To "ride" is to lie at an anchor, i.e., to be anchored. Montagu's large ship needed a certain amount of depth and space to ride, and the closest place to the king with those conditions was to be found at Schevening.

About Sunday 29 April 1660

LKvM  •  Link

Etymology of Jean-Paul Buquet's Fr. chirurgien, surgeon:
From Latin chirurgus (“surgeon”),
from Ancient Greek χειρουργός (cheirourgós, “surgeon”),
from χείρ (cheír, “hand”) + ἔργον (érgon, “work”).
A surgeon does manual work on a patient.