Annotations and comments

Jonathan V has posted 56 annotations/comments since 28 February 2016.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About Sunday 20 May 1660

Jonathan V  •  Link

And another comment for Meech: Sharing a bed is how Queequeg and Ishmael meet at the beginning of Moby Dick. That's where I learned that bed-sharing was a thing, and even quite common until the mid-19th century or so. It really is quite fascinating.

P.S. Rather enjoying this the third (second for me) time through. I even came across the Journal of Mrs. Pepys, and find it rather entertaining, knowing most of the foreground action that takes place.

About Monday 2 January 1659/60

Jonathan V  •  Link

I'm in for the third reading! Picked up about half-way through the second reading, I think, so there is much that I've missed. Welcome back, all.

Second Reading

About Monday 8 July 1667

Jonathan V  •  Link

Welcome, Eric the Bish. Interesting observations that I never thought about (I'm a landlubber!).

About Friday 14 June 1667

Jonathan V  •  Link

A little late, and no one will probably see this for another ten years, but I wanted to mention that this is the only time Pepys uses the word "dollar" in the Diary. I was surprised to come across the word, and it prompted me to look up its history.

About Monday 27 May 1667

Jonathan V  •  Link

From the June 1, '63 entry: "It was very well worth seeing, because I did till this day think that it has only been a cheat; but this being upon a private quarrel, they did it in good earnest ... " So, these "prize fights" seem to be a cross between duels and modern pro "wrestling." Pepys (probably rightly) sees through it in most cases - but in this case he believes the "kayfabe," because it was a private quarrel. Right, and then the two probably went back to the pub and divided their winnings. I remember a bartender back in the 1980s telling me, in all seriousness, that pro wrestling was "all real." Maybe Pepys really is a link to our modernity.

About Monday 6 May 1667

Jonathan V  •  Link

I'm very curious about the episode with the Navy creditors.
"... there to the Exchequer to consult about some way of getting our poor Creditors of the Navy (who served in their goods before the late Session of Parliament) paid out of the 11 months tax ... I think I have found out a way to bring them into the Act, which, if it do, I shall think a good service done.”
Then, later in the day “some of our old Navy creditors come to me by my direction to consider of what I have invented for their help as I have said in the morning, and like it mighty well … “
So, what is the "invention" that Pepys came up with? Do we ever find out?

About Monday 8 April 1667

Jonathan V  •  Link

What does Pepys mean by this phrase: "... and here unexpectedly I find little Mis. Tooker, whom my wife loves not from the report of her being already naught."

The only way I can make sense of this is to think that he's using it in one of these meanings, from…:
3. Archaic. worthless; useless.
4. Obsolete. morally bad; wicked.

So what he seems to be saying is that his wife doesn't like her because she's reported to be "already (for such a young age?) morally bad or wicked." And here she just shows up for dinner!

About Friday 1 February 1666/67

Jonathan V  •  Link

Thank you, SD Sarah. When you first encounter Sam doing his thing, it can strike you as a bit titillating and fun. The longer it goes on, the more sordid it becomes. And the closer to modern day, unfortunately.

About Thursday 27 December 1666

Jonathan V  •  Link

"In the middle of this (long) page is a photo of the current Household Trumpeters in State Dress, unchanged since Charles II day:…"

What a difference 10 years makes .... is now a Vietnamese web site with everything from "Recipes selected chicken" to "Entertainment" and "Fighting Game." The link takes you to a page on "meanest dog breeds."

In some strange way, it's all reminiscent of Pepys' time.

About Tuesday 23 October 1666

Jonathan V  •  Link

Thank you for the reference and the clarifying comment, Terry, about the Mitchell ticket. I really wasn't clear what was going on there.

About Saturday 15 September 1666

Jonathan V  •  Link

"The trade of killing sheep and taking out the tallow only is still followed in several places thereabouts ..."

Chupacabra in 17th-c. England?!

About Wednesday 5 September 1666

Jonathan V  •  Link

James Morgan - Most people have never heard of the Peshtigo (Wisconsin) Fire of 1871 - which took place on the same day as the Great Chicago Fire a couple of hundred miles to the south. It was a great point of pride among Wisconsinites that our fire was bigger than Chicago's, which overshadowed the one in Peshtigo.

About Wednesday 18 July 1666

Jonathan V  •  Link

Very interesting posts, San Diego Sarah. Many thanks! That certainly helped clarify Coventry's statement and Pepys' comment. I was very unsure of what he was getting at, but your post makes sense.

About Wednesday 23 May 1666

Jonathan V  •  Link

I sometimes wish I really knew what it means when people visit each other in their chambers, "at (the) bedside." It's always a powerful or senior person - Do they stay in bed, having breakfast, perhaps, while Sam fills them in on business? Or are they up and getting ready for the day with servants' assistance, etc. This phrase, or practice, has mystified me for years.

About Wednesday 2 May 1666

Jonathan V  •  Link

If Tony ever comes back ... I would imagine that if the girl continued sick, yes, it would have been as simple (and heartless) as just getting her out of the house. One of the measures taken in case of the plague was to shut up houses - with occupants inside. The house would be marked with a red cross, and in some cases a guard posted outside. It might be that Pepys feared being shut in as much as he feared getting sick.

About Monday 12 March 1665/66

Jonathan V  •  Link

So ... am I the only person who had to look up the meaning of "froward"? As I was typing it to do so, I thought, "Oh, Google will tell me it's a typo, and show results for 'forward' ...." Nope, it's a real word: "(of a person) difficult to deal with; contrary." Must figure out how to use this in every day conversation!