Annotations and comments

Tonyel has posted 254 annotations/comments since 11 March 2013.


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?

About Friday 5 May 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

Also in the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, London when I lived nearby many years ago. I hope their descendants are buzzing still.

About Sunday 16 April 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

"Sometimes it is the strictly commonplace utterances of the Great and Good that are noted"

Our own longstanding heir to the throne recently made an old and weak pun in a speech concerning his genes and having trouble fitting into his jeans. The assembled company roared with forced laughter no doubt confirming in his mind, as with so many other kings and presidents, that he must be something special. At least the earlier Charles had a reputation for supplying a prompt and accurate riposte to comments and situations which suggests intelligence and a ready wit.

About Friday 14 April 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

"They appear to agree that Will Howe has been saying and doing things behind their back, possibly discovering that what he has said to each of them is in some way contradicted by what he has said to the other. Maybe Howe has said uncomplimentary things about Pepys to Creed and similar unpleasing opinions of Creed have been offered by Howe to Pepys."
Or..... maybe Will Howe has repeated exactly what Creed and Sam have said about each other but both need to deny it. "Will Howe said that I said what? About you? You know he's not to be trusted, my dear good friend!"

About Wednesday 5 April 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

There is a difference between pointing out a contrast that allows us to appreciate Sam's world better and simply venting based on present-day preconceptions, whether it's "Oh dear, Sam's taking bribes!" or "Oh dear, it's just like Pat Robertson!" No, really, it's not.

Actually, it often is. The contrasts between Sam's times and ours are fascinating but the similarities (Hypocrisy, greed, lust, etc) are equally so. Plus ca change... to coin a cliche.

About Friday 31 March 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

"This money is in cash in his bank and if it be in cold gold coin, one oz. then be worth 2 quid, recently one oz. be worth a mille dollars or 500 royal pounds,"

And ten years later it's almost doubled (in pounds anyway). Real wealth, then and now, is having enough f***-off money set aside to feel safe from what life or politicians can throw at you.

About Thursday 23 March 1664/65

Tonyel  •  Link

“The King, the Duke and the Duchess went down to the Hope aboard my ship the Prince.

Could that explain the noises of guns at Deal? I assume that the King or the Duke would warrant a salute from the fleet.

About Tuesday 21 March 1664/65

Tonyel  •  Link

"An abundance of loose women" - quite an attractive collective noun.
And surely Mississippi John Hurt's Candy Man must be a descendant of the Muffin Man.

Sorry, get back on topic.

About Tuesday 21 February 1664/65

Tonyel  •  Link

My Lady tells me how my Lord Castlemayne is coming over from France, and is believed will be made friends with his Lady again.

I love the expression on Castlemaine's face in the link. You can almost hear him saying "Women, eh?" with a shrug of the shoulders.