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David G has posted 57 annotations/comments since 22 January 2016.

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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.

About Sunday 2 December 1666

David G  •  Link

Responding to the comments from a decade ago, the party was in an unlit coach rattling down unlit streets long after dark. It's not likely that Bess would have been able to see what Sam was up to with Betty.

About Thursday 15 November 1666

David G  •  Link

Note Sam’s comment that after he went up to the balcony (presumably along with the other ordinary people), “with much trouble,” he could “see very well.” Since Sam was quite short even for the 1660s, I suspect that he first tried to stand on tip-toes but couldn’t see over the people in front of him and he eventually pushed his way to the front. He didn’t mention standing with Bess, so it’s possible that men and women stood in different places.

About Tuesday 13 November 1666

David G  •  Link

I wonder whether Lord Hitchingbroke was really under the weather or just making up an excuse to avoid dining with the Pepys household. Given Sam’s reaction, probably the latter and neither was looking forward to the meal.

About Saturday 15 September 1666

David G  •  Link

In October 1991, my neighborhood in Northern California had a major fire that destroyed more than 4,000 houses and stopped only 17 houses from mine. I was at my house at the worst of the fire and saw flames at the bottom of my street. Like Sam, I dreamed of fires and falling houses for months afterwards and so I have a pretty good idea of how he was feeling when he wrote today’s diary entry. Definitely PTSD.

About Sunday 19 August 1666

David G  •  Link

Planets are masculine? I can’t recall having run into that before. Does anyone know when that usage ceased?

About Friday 17 August 1666

David G  •  Link

Bride cake. The link in today’s diary entry suggests that bride cake is a type of fruitcake, and after a bit of research into old British recipes, I found a recipe for bride cake from 1767 for what appears to be the same type of fruitcake/wedding cake that was served at my wedding lunch in Brighton in the 1970s. (Is it still the case that fruitcake is served at British weddings?)

About Saturday 9 June 1666

David G  •  Link

I picture Sam knocking back a glass of "strong water" and chocking, having learned the important lesson that one does not drink spirits the way one drinks wine. Are there any other instances in the diary in which he drinks spirits (rather than wine or beer)? I haven't done a word search, but none come to mind.

About Friday 25 May 1666

David G  •  Link

Responding to Nick’s helpful comment, it would make sense that Sam and family went to the edge of the borough of Hackney (assuming it was a borough back then), roughly two and a half miles each way. To get to central Hackney, Google Maps shows a journey of 5-6 miles each way by modern highway (well, modern-ish), hence the guess of 15 miles to and from Hackney via 17th century roads. But even a five mile walk — an hour and a half at least — makes me think that “taking the ayre” was different 350 years ago.

About Friday 25 May 1666

David G  •  Link

Sam and family go out “to take the ayre a little” and they travel to Hackney and back, which is a journey of roughly 15 miles in total, hardly taking the ayre a little — that’s a four or five hour walk — unless they used a coach, in which case they aren’t really taking the ayre.

About Friday 4 May 1666

David G  •  Link

"had a great fray with my wife again about Browne’s coming to teach her to paynt, and sitting with me at table, which I will not yield to. I do thoroughly believe she means no hurte in it; but very angry we were, and I resolved all into my having my will done, without disputing, be the reason what it will; and so I will have it."

Of the commentators a decade ago, I think Terry read this passage correctly: Sam did not think it appropriate to have a mere art instructor sit at the table in his house for a meal and was surprised that Bess did not understand this, and Sam put his foot down.

About Wednesday 11 April 1666

David G  •  Link

There is an extended discussion of leads in the link in today’s entry but nothing about rails. Were the rails added to the leads so people standing on the roof would have something to hold onto?

About Sunday 8 April 1666

David G  •  Link

Some of the best parts of the diary are the domestic problems that still ring true today, like Sam’s problems with the painters when he renovated his house a few years before or today’s entry when it was raining and he couldn’t find a coach (or cab or Uber).