Annotations and comments

Tonyel has posted 223 annotations/comments since 11 March 2013.


About Friday 17 November 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

"because it is base enough for a single voice,"

I think in this context 'base' means accompaniment or support for the singer.

About Saturday 4 November 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

At noon with him to dinner at Boreman’s, where Mr. Seymour with us, who is a most conceited fellow and not over much in him

Plus ca change, etc. The present Speaker of the House of Commons also fits that description.

About Sunday 29 October 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

"God good in manifold mercies for which my soul praises him over near 101. died at Colchester."

The logic of this, presumably, is that if God wasn't being merciful that week maybe 1001 might have died? I wonder if the Rev. Josselin ever privately questioned his religious cliches?

About Sunday 22 October 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

" the Dutch Embassador at Oxford is clapped up,"

I'm slightly surprised at the apparent confusion around this expression. In the UK at least to be "clapped in jail" is still in common, albeit slightly old-fashioned, use.

About Sunday 15 October 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

"nobody minding the publique, but every body himself and his lusts. "

"ah yes, well, one has to seek some relief from the pressures of state, of course..... and if one has dependants to provide for....."

"Oh I didn't mean you Pepys!"

About Thursday 5 October 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

Slightly off topic but I learned from a recent TV programme that the genius woodcarver Grinling Gibbons was discovered by Evelyn who was passing GG's lowly cottage near the docks and spotted some carved items in the window. Evelyn effectively sponsored him by introducing him to the great and good.

About Tuesday 12 September 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

I agree with Nix. Also, Sam's attitude to his poor relations is not too different to many modern day Republicans - it must somehow be their own fault that God has made them that way.

About Wednesday 30 August 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

Two obvious reasons may be suggested for looting being kept to a minimum:
Only the brave or stupid would break into a house where the occupants had died of the plague.
The wealthier folk had mostly left town, taking their valuables with them.

About Thursday 24 August 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

For an appalling example of moving government, the European parliament moves every six months between Brussels and Strasbourg for no good reason beyond national pride. Give a bunch of bureaucrats an almost unlimited budget and they'll find a way of spending it.
At least Sam seems conscious of not wasting public money, even if some does get diverted into his pocket.

About Thursday 17 August 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

I wonder if Charles II knew that he paid for it? This sounds like the boys 'borrowing' the boss's yacht for an outing, knowing that the boss is a long way away.

About Saturday 12 August 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

"Do we get a distorted view of the morality of the age from readings of the Diary?"

I would suggest that we tend to get a distorted view of our own age as well, based on our first-world experience. I believe there are societies today where it is considered hospitable to offer one's wife to a visitor.

And, come to think of it, the English joke about laying down one's wife for one's king still has a strong element of truth about it.

About Monday 31 July 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

. But, however, that trouble was soon over; hearing it was well done: they being both in their old cloaths

Why in their old cloaths? Was the Sandwich party bringing silks and gold buttons for the bride and the groom?

About Saturday 15 July 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

So that answers the question, young Philip and Jemima had not met before being betrothed.
I suspect that many of us would be slightly awkwerd at first: "This is your new partner for life." "Oh, really?"

About Wednesday 5 July 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

" so that my Lady Sandwich is to come thither to-morrow or next day, and the young lady is sent for,"

Do we know if Jemima has actually met her husband-to-be? Not, of course, that it matters as long as the King and others approve of the match.

About Sunday 18 June 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

2d: see also Flanders and Swann's suggestion for a more triumphant national anthem, listing in libellous detail the drawbacks of most other countries and closing:

"The English, the English, the English are best,
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest."

About Tuesday 30 May 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

Thanks David G for the excellent summary. I'm 'reading' the diary all over again and delighted to get an answer after ten years !

About Saturday 20 May 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

Possible message from Sam?

Good people, while it is flattering to know that my businesses are of interest after all these years please note that I have a Navy to run, a war to wage, a household to manage and moneys to make to protect my old age. If only I had the time to read someone else's diary each day and then discuss it with strangers around the world.........

About Monday 8th May 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

Managing a private ship building company while working for the Navy in a purchasing capacity during war time - potential conflict of interest?

Yes, of course, but not always such a bad idea - thinking of WWII Liberty ships which were a fine example of private enterprise that actually worked. Unlike our present UK navy which has several billion pounds worth of new ships in dock because they don't operate in warm climates! Where is today's Sam when we need him?