Annotations and comments

MartinVT has posted 183 annotations/comments since 10 January 2016.


Third Reading

About Friday 8 March 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

"so he carried Sir William Batten and I home again"

Prescriptivist teachers would blue-pencil that and insist on "me" rather than "I". But Sam (who made it into the OED many times, after all, inlcluding for today's "dowdy"), shows us that "me" is perfectly fine.

About Tuesday 5 March 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

"barrel of oysters"

This is the 22nd time Sam has mentioned oysters in the diary, in a period of about 14 months. Most of the time this is in the context of eating them. Most of the time it is a "barrel" but once or twice it's a "peck." We have an oysters background page here:…

These were pretty small barrels. When they are sent to the Pepys house, as happens occasionally, they must still be in the shell. But at a pub, I imagine that they would order "a barrel of oysters", but be served a (small) barrel's worth of shucked oysters without shells, on a plate or in a bowl. No oystercracking at the table.

About Friday 1 March 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

The Coronation takes place on 23 April, in case anyone is wondering. Presumably that schedule is already known. So Sam has some time to plan for it.

About Tuesday 26 February 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

Mary K, 2021: I don't think we can conclude hands were not involved. "Pleasing oneself" in this context generally means masturbating. And even if he is able to bring himself to climax using just his imagination, it's still masturbating.

Anyway, this reminds me of a certain episode in Joyce's Ulysses, which was one of the passages that got the book banned in the US for quite a while. Probably without frequently censoring Sam, Wheatley would not have been able to publish his transcription of the diary in the US, either, 17 years before Ulysses.

About Monday 25 February 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

Glyn 2004 wrote: "I imagine she partly conned herself, by thinking that she was getting something for nothing (i.e. medical advice for free)."

All cons involve conning oneself. To be conned, the person being conned needs to establish confidence. or trust, in the person doing the conning.

About Thursday 21 February 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

"caps that I have a making there"

What kind of caps? For whom? This doesn't seem to be part of any Valentine's gifts. Perhaps they are for Liz?

About Monday 18 February 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

"a very good dinner, only my wife and I, which is not yet very usual"

Just Sam and Liz dining alone is not very usual these days, and perhaps that's all he means. But here he inserts "not yet", which makes me think that it's the "very good dinner" that's not very usual. Yet. With her limited cooking experience, at this point she's not that good at it. But he expects she'll get better. Maybe Pall is teaching her a few things.

About Tuesday 12 February 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

"where strange Pickering’s impertinences"

First of all, kudos to Sam for packing so much into a short phrase, which reflects how little he thinks of Pickering. It would be great to know what Pickering's impertinences were, but several times previously Sam has described him with disdain: May 27, 1660: "who had staid long enough to make all the world see him to be a fool"; May 15, 1660: "This evening came Mr. John Pickering on board, like an ass, with his feathers and new suit that he had made at the Hague"; April 16, 1660: "after that some musique, where Mr. Pickering beginning to play a bass part upon the viall did it so like a fool that I was ashamed of him." And on April 18, 1660, Sam bested him at ninepins.

Pickering was a distant cousin of Pepys, hence the shame. Other than these mentions, his few appearances in the diary are only incidental.

About Tuesday 12 March 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

Just a reminder that the last time we heard about Mrs. Hunt, was on Feb. 10 this year, when "one came to ask for Mrs. Hunt that was here yesterday, and it seems is not come home yet, which makes us afraid of her." Sam left us dangling on that one. Turns out she's OK.

About Tuesday 5 February 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

The Dutch word "bleek" refers (among other things) to the past practice of communal drying, and especially the bleaching of linen by means of sunshine. See Dutch Wikipedia article, which can be viewed in English translation, at least on Chrome:…. Here and there in the Netherlands the term survives as a geographic term, or as a family name originating with the Dutch whitsters. Clearly "bleach" and "bleek" are related.

The English Wikipedia has an entry for "bleachfield" with similar information. But "bleach" by itself doesn't seem to have ever meant "bleachfield", as "bleek" does in Dutch.

About Tuesday 5 February 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

Sam knows everybody, it seems. Ever notice that more often than not, when he pops into a tavern or coffeehouse, he runs into people he knows, seemingly by chance rather than appointment?

Today, at Will's, there were Shaw and Ashgrave, not to mention the bothersome Bragrave. Later at the Dog, (Sam not alone but with Liz and Capt. Murford) Mr. Langley appears.
Scrolling back a couple of months:
Jan. 28: with [Mr. Brigden] to an ale-house, where I met Mr. Davenport
Jan. 11: and from thence to the Coffeehouse, where I met Captain Morrice
Jan. 2: After dinner I to Westminster by water, and there found my brother Spicer at the Leg with all the rest of the Exchequer men (most of whom I now do not know)
Dec. 1: calling upon Mr. Pinkney, the goldsmith, he took us to the tavern, and gave us a pint of wine, and there fell into our company old Mr. Flower and another gentleman

Quite often, as well, he mentions that he "lit upon good company" at an alehouse or coffeehouse — they might be people he knows, or people he adds to his Rolodex.

About Sunday 3 February 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

"So to Mr. Fox’s, unbid; where I had a good dinner and special company."

Invited or not, when a fellow wearing a sword shows up at your door, you make room for him at the dinner table.

Note: what with all that merriment, the Pedro affair, and a nice chat with my Lady, no afternoon church today.

About Tuesday 29 January 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

Is it possible my old lady Slingsby needed to be carried because she got too merry?

Also, what do we think is meant by a "costly and genteel supper"?

About Wednesday 23 January 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

"having ate nothing to-day but a piece of bread and cheese at the ale-house with Greatorex, and some bread and butter at home."

It wasn't such a busy day that he couldn't have stopped somewhere for lunch. Maybe he's making room for the big feed tomorrow.

About Monday 21 January 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

About the 200 l. — Sam is often moving money around either for Montagu or for the naval office, and often doesn't make it clear what it's for. Back on January 3, he visited the Exchequer and "told" (tolled, or counted) "what money I had of my Lord’s and my own there, which I found to be 970l." Today, he probably withdrew some cash out of that for my Lord, because Sam himself would not need that kind of money around the house. Or, it was needed at the office.

About Sunday 20 January 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

"back again to my wife and supped there" — it took me a moment, but this means, he went back to uncle and aunt Wight's where he had left Liz, and had supper there with them.

About Friday 18 January 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

Clearly, the monkey is a monkey, not Elizabeth (heavens) or another human member of the household, as speculated about above. Sam tells us the beast was "loose", female, and after the beating, "made fast again." It's a monkey, not a person.

We've never been told about this monkey before, and [SPOILER] we will never hear about it again — a good indication that, as Vincent said way back there in 2004, Sam is not telling us "all his thoughts and actions...those that stir up his juices, that either he finds have some on going importance to his day to day life or those that provoke his curiosity." Today, the monkey stirred up his juices and became immortalized. Going forward, it is either banished, or it behaves itself.

So we are left to wonder what else Sam is leaving out. Quite a bit, I suspect.

About Thursday 17 January 1660/61

MartinVT  •  Link

SDS — "frosty reception", "bad manners"

Are we sure that Cuttance acted that way? Yesterday's line was: "The sport was how she had intended to have kept herself unknown, and how the Captain (whom she had sent for) of the Charles had forsoothed her, though he knew her well and she him. In fine we supped merry..."

So Cuttance is mentioned in the context of a lot of merriment about Lady Sandwich trying to remain incognito. Cuttance shows up and plays along, acting as if he doesn't know her. We don't know what he may have said, but it was probably in the positive sense of "forsoothing" (as quoted yesterday, "to treat ceremoniously") rather than the negative sense of contempt and derision (which could well have led to his dismissal).

I suspect there were a few winks involved, so that the Sandwich party would understand what was going on.