Annotations and comments

Tonyel has posted 232 annotations/comments since 11 March 2013.


About Tuesday 6 March 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

Dining obligations, as with so many things in Britain past and present, were probably governed by social standing. The great houses were permanently open to equals and deserving lessers (like Sam). Sam, being lower on the social scale - but climbing - usually entertained his friends and useful folk beneath him like the clerks.
Brounker, by inviting himself round, is probably indicating a social promotion for Sam which he passed with flying colours.
Of course, such things are very subtle, no fixed rules.

About Monday 5 March 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

£200! That takes the total to £4800 - so close to £5000! You can imagine a throbbing rhythm in Sam's mind as he goes about his business:

"Nearly there, nearly there..."

About Tuesday 13 February 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

Can't argue with casual misogyny, then or now, but I think there is an element of familiar affection as well. Much like we males saying " I saw old Charlie today."

About Monday 29 January 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

Jamie and Charlie showing a deal of consideration these last two days...They really do seem to have appreciated Sam's efforts during the plague, though possibly it's a matter of Jamie pushing Charlie.

My reading is that Sam has now reached that delightful point on the ladder where he is almost indispensable and those above him know it. They also know that it's in their own interest to look after him - a kind word here, an extra (paying) job there....

About Monday 15 January 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

"in my old cloth suit, while my usuall one is to my taylor’s to mend, which I had at noon again."

And we think Amazon Prime is speedy!

About Wednesday 20 December 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

I suspect that Sam had at least two sets of account books each for the Navy, Tangier, prize goods and for anything else that might fall into his lap. Relying on memory alone after 3 or 4 months is asking for trouble.

About Friday 8 December 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

the taciturn Christopher Knepp was by trade a horse-dealer. Or, in modern terms, a second-hand car salesman.
"Dragged out on a cold night all the way to Greenwich, to meet some of her wealthy friends who might be in the market for a horse or two - and all they did was sing - until two in the flaming morning - and then she accuses me of being bad company. Me! "

About Tuesday 28 November 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

Wouldn't Sam have loved Blackberries.
A fine example of the speed of change! Ten years later and I can't recall what a Blackberry was.

About Monday 27 November 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

A long day full of eating, drinking, lusting,singing and business. Whatever happened to little Christopher while all this was going on? Did he just lie down in the corner of each room?

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.