Annotations and comments

MarkS has posted 43 annotations/comments since 10 April 2013.

The most recent…


About Friday 15 July 1664

MarkS  •  Link

"But, says he, take it from me, never to trust too much to any man in the world, for you put yourself into his power; and the best seeming friend and real friend as to the present may have or take occasion to fall out with you, and then out comes all."

I wonder if this may be a subtle hint to Pepys, since their relationship has just been through a problematic period. Sandwich also explains that having to choose between two friendships can give rise to a problem.

About Saturday 2 April 1664

MarkS  •  Link

On dreaming and reality, an extreme view - going far beyond Descartes - is given in the Yoga Vasishtha:

"One who wakes up from a dream thinks, 'It is like this, and not like that which I saw in the dream.' After death too, one thinks, 'It is like this, and not like that which I saw before death.' The dream may be brief, and the life may be long, but the experience of the moment is the same in both."

About Thursday 10 December 1663

MarkS  •  Link

Just to clear up this issue about the shortest day of the year:

The winter solstice in 1663 was on Dec 21 according to our calendar (Gregorian + plus minor adjustments), but according to the Julian calendar which was in use in England at that time, the solstice was on December 11 at 6:03pm.


So Pepys was one day out, but the shortest day was usually on the 10th or 11th of December, and he may just be assuming it was the 10th, without looking at astronomical tables.

About Wednesday 4 February 1662/63

MarkS  •  Link

"Sir, young men have more virtue than old men: they have more generous sentiments in every respect. I love the young dogs of this age: they have more wit and humour and knowledge of life than we had; but then the dogs are not so good scholars."
- Dr Samuel Johnson

Just as true today as 1663 or 1763.

About Tuesday 16 December 1662

MarkS  •  Link

I read this differently. I think that Bess borrowed 50s, claiming that it was for Will, but then gave it to Balty and her father.

About Sunday 12 October 1662

MarkS  •  Link

@Bridget Davis

In defence of Sam, he was at home with his own parents and family. He wouldn't have acted like that in someone else's house. The beer they were drinking may have been very strong and bitter, so he sent for something lighter and less alcoholic. Also, he had been deep in intricate legal discussions all day, and it may not have easy to suddenly switch to light entertaining conversation.

About Sunday 12 October 1662

MarkS  •  Link

"... Mr. Piggott, who gives me good assurance of his truth to me and our business..."

"Truth" here is used in the older meaning of loyalty, faithfulness. He's saying that Mr. Piggott supports him and his business.
This usage is related to the expression 'to plight one's troth' = to pledge one's loyalty.

About Sunday 23 March 1661/62

MarkS  •  Link

It appears that Sam bore the Pepys family coat of arms quartered with another. Does anyone know what that was?

Pepys says in this entry that the colours of his arms are black, gold and grey. Those are the arms displayed in the 1st and 4th quarters - Sable, on a bend or between two horse's heads erased argent, three fleurs de lys of the field.

But in the 2nd and 3rd quarters he bears what looks to me like Gules, a lion rampant within a bordure engrailed or. Presumably these are the arms of his mother's family?

About Sunday 8 September 1667

MarkS  •  Link

Sorry for the typos. I pressed Post by mistake rather than Preview, and there is no way to edit it later.

It would also help if comments were allowed to have markups like bold, italic and blockquote, as on most blogs.

About Sunday 8 September 1667

MarkS  •  Link

The incident concerning of the prisoner throwing a brickbat at Judge Richardson is recorded in a well-known and quaint piece of Law French, the language of English lawyers at the time.

Apparently the prisonor "ject un Brickbat a le dit Justice que narrowly mist."

"Richardson, ch. Just. de C. Banc al Assises at Salisbury in Summer 1631. fuit assault per prisoner la condemne pur felony que puis son condemnation ject un Brickbat a le dit Justice que narrowly mist, & pur ceo immediately fuit Indictment drawn per Noy envers le Prisoner, & son dexter manus ampute & fix al Gibbet, sur que luy mesme immediatement hange in presence de Court."


"Richardson, Ch(ief) Just(ice) of C(ommon) Bench at the Assizes at Salisbury in Summer 1631. There was an assault by a prisoner there condemned for felony; who, following his condemnation, threw a brickbat at the said Justice, which narrowly missed. And for this, an indictment was immediately drawn by Noy against the prisoner, and his right hand was cut off and fastened to the gibbet, on which he himself was immediately hanged in the presence of the Court."

The story goes that the Judge had a profound stoop, resulting from illness, and he later remarked, “You see, now, if I had been an *upright* judge I had been slaine.”