Annotations and comments

David G has posted 70 annotations/comments since 22 January 2016.

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Third Reading

About Sunday 3 June 1660

David G  •  Link

Though he would have been worth more if he had recognized right away that he should not play ninepins for money.

About Wednesday 16 May 1660

David G  •  Link

I agree that it's interesting that Montagu had Pepys translate into Latin for him. As San Diego Sarah notes, they both went to the same school (then Huntington Grammar School, now Hinchingbrooke School), where they certainly would have studied Latin. Perhaps Montagu didn't pay attention. I can't find any reference to Montagu attending Cambridge in any of the on-line sites but if he did enroll at Cambridge, proficient Latin would have been a requirement for entrance. (Responding to the exchange on the issue from 20 years ago, the Oxford women's colleges still required applicants to pass a Latin test as recently as 1973.)

About Saturday 7 April 1660

David G  •  Link

One thing that no one asked in the debate 20 years ago about the use of "caudle" in the Wheatley transcriptions of Thursday and Saturday is why Pepys would write out the word "cane" in longhand, rather than use shorthand, which would have been faster. I haven't looked at the original of Thursday's page but in the pages from the diary that I have seen, he usually uses longhand for names of people and places and I don't recall any instance in which he wrote a short, simple word in longhand. (Though I'm sure he must have done so from time to time - I just haven't seen it.) So is there a different explanation for Wheatley's "noted caudle" that L&M and the commentators in 2003 missed?

About Monday 27 February 1659/60

David G  •  Link

The Saffron Waldon tourist bureau has more information about the "very old" almshouse -- apparently roughly 200-250 years old at that point -- and about the cup that Sam drank from while visiting the almshouse:

"One purpose of the Guild [of Our Lady of Pity at Saffron Waldon, established in 1400] was to provide Almshouses for '13 poor men such as be lame, crooked, blind and bedridden and most at need.' Many local benefactors gave gifts of land and money. The infamous 16th-century Mazer Bowl, once drunk from and referred to by Samuel Pepys in his famous diary, was such a gift. Sold in 1929 to raise money for urgent roof repairs it is now in a private collection but a replica is on display in Saffron Walden Museum. By Act of Edward VI the Almshouse lands and estate were devolved to the King but he agreed to return them to the town in his name, and so they have continued. Since 1400 there has been a succession of buildings on the same site, housing local people of modest means through the centuries."

Second Reading

About Friday 30 April 1669

David G  •  Link

After reading about the many errands that Sam completed today and the large sums we know he spent (the belt) or we can assume he spent (the coach work), it occurred to me that it feels like it has been years since he has said anything about the money coming in the door, in contrast to the first half of the diary when we heard about every shilling he received. Sam must be very comfortably off by now.

About Thursday 19 November 1668

David G  •  Link

I may be a bit slow on the uptake -- especially after nearly nine years of reading the diary and annotations every day -- but is the explanation for today's confrontation, and Bess's anger at Sam over the past weeks, that she has learned to read Sam's shorthand and is looking at his entries in the diary when he's out, so she "knows all," as they say?

Bess must know that Sam writes in his diary most days, and after more than 3,000 diary entries, there has to have been at least a few occasions when she saw him writing and leaned over his shoulder to ask what he's doing and why the letters look so odd. As the Diary Encyclopedia's entry on shorthand reflects, Sam was using a fairly common shorthand to write the diary and Bess could easily have purchased one of Thomas Shelton's guides to tachygraphy or perhaps Sam even kept a copy of a shorthand guide in the bookcase and she took a look at it.

About Sunday 21 June 1668

David G  •  Link

Any idea when Sam had supper? It must have been late if he went straight to bed afterwards, as the entry implies.

About Tuesday 9 June 1668

David G  •  Link

Many years ago, I lived in the residence hall overlooking the Botanical Garden (aka the Physic Garden). I suspect that the garden that Sam saw would have had at least some features in common with the garden that I looked out on. Plus it’s nice to think that strawberries in June were an Oxford treat in 1668 just as they were 300+ years later.

About Monday 23 March 1667/68

David G  •  Link

On the subject of Jews in London during Pepys's time, The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish, published a few years ago, is an excellent novel about a Jewish woman set in London, mostly in the mid-1660s.

About Tuesday 10 March 1667/68

David G  •  Link

By saying that William Joyce left around 10 pm, is Sam suggesting that this was a late night or an early one? It's unusual for him to mention the time in a context like this.

About Saturday 18 January 1667/68

David G  •  Link

As an aside, and others may know a lot more about this than I, but I believe that Professor Robert Matthews, the co-editor of the L&M edition, was at UCLA and the University of California Press published the modern version of the diary. I recall visiting UCLA on an open house day when I was about ten, so that would have been in the early sixties. A professor cornered me to tell me about the University's plans to publish a definitive version of Dryden's work (not an author I knew much about when I was ten), which I understand in fact was published by the University of California Press in the mid-to-late 1960s. So it's interesting to find Sam talking about "Mr. Dryden," as if they know each other, if but very casually, which means that their paths crossed in London in the 1660s and in Los Angeles in the 1960s.

About Tuesday 14 January 1667/68

David G  •  Link

While we are asking questions, any idea what took Sam five hours (and still not finished) in "setting" his books? Was he cutting the pages so he could read them? Arranging them on the shelf?

About Friday 29 November 1667

David G  •  Link

Interesting that the future president of the Royal Society thinks his house might be haunted. Definitely a world in transition.

About Friday 20 September 1667

David G  •  Link

The Wikipedia entry on James Howard, the playwright (who was only around 27 when he wrote The Mad Couple, and died shortly after, in 1669), says that the production starred Nell Gwynn.

About Monday 2 September 1667

David G  •  Link

We'll never know the truth, but from what I have read about Charles II, it's quite possible that he was wearing his wig and outer clothes when he was weighed before the tennis match and without them when he was weighed afterwards -- everything else he did in life was done to excess, so why not cheat in "losing" weight?

On a separate topic, I had never previously run into the use of "joy" as a verb standing alone, but the OED lists a number of examples, including this diary entry.

About Thursday 1 August 1667

David G  •  Link

So Sam complains, with justification, that the pasty was rotten but he then complains further that the meal — for just six people — had “only” a leg of mutton and a couple of chickens on top of the pasty. It’s pretty likely that there were also side dishes and, since they were “very merry,” much to drink. How much food did a more generous host than the Penns serve? Today, people attending a dinner for six would never eat enough to finish a leg of lamb (to say nothing of a leg of mutton, which is larger), let alone think that someone is a poor host to serve a couple of chickens and a pasty on top of the leg of mutton.

About Friday 19 July 1667

David G  •  Link

Nice that Sam is sufficiently healed from what was a nasty sprained ankle that he now is able to go for a short walk.

About Saturday 6 July 1667

David G  •  Link

I wouldn't call Mr. Rolt's nose bleed a coincidence, as Bradford suggested a decade ago. It's probably a result of high blood pressure/stress, relating to Rolt's decision to join the cavalry where it's likely the mortality rate for junior officers, even 350 years ago, was fairly high.

About Tuesday 25 June 1667

David G  •  Link

The Duke of York’s son died a week ago and today he is merry (at least some of the time)? No wonder he didn’t become a popular king, his religious beliefs aside.