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Tonyel has posted 278 annotations/comments since 11 March 2013.

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Third Reading

About Sunday 3 February 1660/61

Tonyel  •  Link

I wonder at wearing a sword in church, both bad manners and inconvenient - imagine fitting yourself into a narrow pew with a clattering sword. Or would there be some sort of container near the door where one could deposit swords, sticks, etc?

About Monday 28 January 1660/61

Tonyel  •  Link

Oranges were sold to theatre patrons so perhaps spitting in this case was not too unpleasant - merely ejecting a pip from the lady's (pretty) lips.

About Wednesday 9 January 1660/61

Tonyel  •  Link

Let's face it, Sam was afeard to go out but more afeard to to be seen not to go out. He showed his face on the street and then went home and sat until noon. Office politics triumphed over common sense. Most of us would have done the same in his position.

About Wednesday 2 January 1660/61

Tonyel  •  Link

Also, Sam is an ambitious, up-and-coming young man who is expected to entertain his superiors occasionally and to move in more sophisticated circles on business. The last thing he needs is an ill-favoured relative who could easily say the wrong thing at the wrong time if treated as an equal.
He has offered her an income, a place to live and the sights and sounds of London. Not a bad deal in her circumstances.

About Saturday 29 December 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

Thank you Martin for the recap on the gifts. I imagine there was a ritual dance on receiving or declining gifts depending on how high you were on the social scale and how useful the donor might be to you.
At Sam's present level any gifts are cheerfully accepted but later (spoiler alert!) he becomes more fussy about being under any implied obligation to certain donors. Some of our present political masters could learn lessons from him.

About Tuesday 11 December 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

One more take I read recently on the grisly business of drowning. Apparently, the usual reaction to sudden immersion in cold water is to gasp which fills the lungs with water.
This is why jumping into, say, a flooded quarry in the summer is a not uncommon cause of death.

About Friday 7 December 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

I wonder if Mr Josselin was gathering seedlings from a neighbour's woodland and then planting (or setting) them on his own land? Just a guess.

About Saturday 20 October 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

Here in rural Somerset UK we still use 'septic tank' drainage where the fluids, after treatment, are drained into soakaways and the remaining solids are pumped out by a tanker once a year. Our local tankers are often painted with jolly slogans like "Yesterday's Meals on Wheels".

In the old days of earth floors, someone had a right to dig up the floor in Spring (very unpopular with the occupants) to recover the urine salts. Hence, I assume, the term 'Night soil men'.

About Friday 19th October 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

In quite a long life I have never been able to come to terms with the cruelty and hatred meted out between people who worship their god(s) in a slightly different way.
You would think that their gods might have done something to stop it by now.....

About Thursday 11 October 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

One of the main features of St James's Park was (still is) a canal running down the middle stocked with a variety of watery birds. An early memory as a child was my first sight of a pelican. Presumably, the engines were lifting water to fill it for the first time.

About Monday 17 September 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

"... I had looked over the things my wife had bought today, with which being not very well pleased, they costing too much ..."

The modern euphemism is "Dynamic Pricing" - the greater the demand, the higher the price.

About Wednesday 9 May 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

Sounds like a typical bar room scam to me - let the mark win the first game and then ' Oh bad luck old chap! Double or quits?'

About Monday 23 April 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

For anyone who can get BBC programmes, may I recommend 'The Alehouse Sessions' which appeared on BBC4 last night and which, presumably, will now be found on BBC I-player.
A very jolly group of Scandinavian and British folk musicians playing music from Cromwell's time through to the Restoration including dances, songs, reels, jigs and sea shanties but also from Playford's The English Dancing Master and several pieces by Purcell.
It's easy to imagine Sam, William Howe and even My Lord entertaining the assembled company with their fiddles and a glass near at hand.

About Thursday 19 April 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

Thanks SDS and EtB, I'd forgotten Sam's move and have also experienced soggy sleeping quarters on a boat. I stand corrected.

About Thursday 19 April 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

Bed wetting. Sam's windows had been broken by the enthusiastic firing of cannon salutes and, presumably, could not be re-glazed at sea. I would have thought he would have had them covered up by now but maybe they were the only source of ventilation in a small, smelly cabin.

About Saturday 14 April 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

Does anyone know what happened to Joan who slept in for Lambert? I would imagine such a blatant act would have been a hanging offence.

About Wednesday 11 April 1660

Tonyel  •  Link

'I ate a good breakfast'
'The wind all this day was very high, so that a gentleman that was at dinner... was forced to rise from table'

Touch of smugness from Old Seadog Sam, observing someone else's 'squeamishness'

About Friday 23 March 1659/60

Tonyel  •  Link

Slight spoiler?
Shelston's production of his pretty wife for inspection by Sam will be repeated by others as a slightly sinister 'bribe' as he becomes more powerful and his weaknesses become better known.

Second Reading

About Thursday 6 May 1669

Tonyel  •  Link

"my eyes being bad with writing my journal, part of it, to-night."

Sam seems clear that the problems with his eyes are due to too little or, occasionally, too much light yet he persists in writing his journal by candle-light instead of during the day. I wonder why - it's not as though he has a 9 to 5 job.

About Tuesday 4 May 1669

Tonyel  •  Link

"I sent the coachman to her lodging, and understand she is gone for Greenwich to one Marys’s"

I'm always interested in the minor practicalities of life in Sam's day. Can't imagine a modern cabbie leaving his car in the care of a passenger to run a discreet errand. I wonder if there was some sort of clamp to stop this lustful knave stealing both coach and horses...