Annotations and comments

Tonyel has posted 280 annotations/comments since 11 March 2013.


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...

About Sunday 25 April 1669

Tonyel  •  Link

A splendid invention Stephane !
I wonder why Google never thought of something similar.

About Wednesday 31 March 1669

Tonyel  •  Link

Regertz, delighted to learn that you are still hovering in the background. Are you planning a third trip around, Phil permitting?

About Sunday 28 February 1668/69

Tonyel  •  Link

It is to have the Captains to account for all stores and victuals;

I get a hint of Sir Humphrey Appleby here: "Stores and victuals are a great burden on the Navy Office and we may need extra staff in due course, but - take it away? Let the captains handle it? Oh no, of course we can deal with it....."

About Wednesday 17 February 1668/69

Tonyel  •  Link

Can't help visualising Sam as played by Buster Keaton:

'Business, business, off to see Pedley - oh!' Sharp left turn into alley, but empty, 180 degree turn, back to Court - 'ah, there she is!' another 180 degree turn, 'Madam, allow me .......'
'Blast! there's the boy! another 180 degree turn..... And so on.

About Wednesday 13 January 1668/69

Tonyel  •  Link

SDS, I think the reference to Lady Peterborough is a red herring, i.e. it should be read as
"and so home, and there by invitation find Mr Povy, etc.

I wonder if Sam's vagueness about the play is due to his excitement about another piece of technical kit being delivered for him to play with?

About Tuesday 12 January 1668/69

Tonyel  •  Link

Arabella was only 15 when she became James's mistress. She was ousted when he took up with Catherine Sedley in 1679.

How different from the lives of our own dear royal family - oh, perhaps not.....

About Thursday 31 December 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

Best wishes from grey and wet Somerset UK to all the Sam & Bess fans. This has been my second trip through part of their lives and, Phil permitting, I'll probably go round again. Tales of lust, ambition, corruption, incompetence in high places - so different from our well-ordered lives today!

About Saturday 12 December 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

"I hear this day that there is fallen down a new house, not quite finished, in Lumbard Street...."

Probably just due to ignorance - up to this time the main skills required for town houses were masonry or joinery. Freestanding brick walls must have been 'new-fangled' to the majority of builders who, in my experience, are a fairly conservative bunch.

About Wednesday 9 December 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

"we away to Hercules Pillars, and there eat a bit of meat: and so, with all speed, back to the Duke of York’s house"

Ah, the new coach syndrome..... "Open her up coachman, let's see what she''ll do!"

About Monday 7 December 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

"so as the King called him Visionaire,"

Anyone else get an image of a slightly shabby TV repair shop?

About Monday 30 November 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

Today we might say she "christened" the coach as a light-hearted reference to making use of something for the first time. Sam's equivalent reflects the blunter attitudes of his time.

I'm rather surprised that there has been no mention of the new coachman - I imagine Sam would have carried out some careful interviewing before entrusting him with his coach - and his wife.

About Friday 27 November 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

Tally sticks, etc. I recall being told of a group of extremely wealthy Australian sheep farmers coming to a London restaurant in the 1930's and handing a torn half of a £50 note to the maitre'd.
"We expect a good time. If so, you get the other half - if not, I'll burn it in front of yer eyes."

About Wednesday 4 November 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

My feeling is that Sam has been making, and spending, a lot of money in keeping up his social position and knows this could end at any moment. No safety nets in those days. Living cheap for a while is very sensible, while living out of sight in times of political upheaval is even more so.

About Tuesday 27 October 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

I was, and remain, intrigued by many annotators insistence on comparing modern morals only from a white, western viewpoint. A great many countries still operate as we did 300 years ago. A brief example (true story):
A security guard at one of the larger London hotels was called to quell a noisy argument between a Saudi guest and a sex worker he had brought to his room. While there, he noticed a figure in the second bed and asked who it was. The man said, dismissively "Oh, just my mother."

About Tuesday 20 October 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

'but what makes him leave them with the most contentedness is the knowledge of his own integrity and just dealings.'

What a splendid parting line as you sweep out of the door!

About Sunday 13 September 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

"L & M reads, "if I can but get them to have a copy taken of them for my future use" which leaves one wondering who the first "them" refers to. His clerks?"
Surely, Sam's problem is finding someone he can trust to keep a dangerous secret and who can also write in a fair hand?
His clerks are out of the question and Bess might fail the handwriting test.

About Monday 7 September 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

There's a film script in there, somewhere - 'Butch Cassidy and the Time Machine' ?
Sorry, I digress.

About Thursday 23 July 1668

Tonyel  •  Link

Yes, thank you Harry. If nothing else, it has confirmed my doubts about time travel (unless I can take my own food with me).