16 Annotations

First Reading

dirk  •  Link

"The Chances"

Comedy by John Fletcher (1617? - publ. folio 1647), without Beaumont. The text underwent many alterations and adaptations in subsequent editions, i.a. by the then Duke of Buckingham (1682?)

"The Chances and The Wild-Goose Chase stand in the first rank among Fletcher's comedies, and in them we see, in full perfection, that lively and brilliant style of dialogue which gained him the reputation of understanding the conversation of gentlemen better than any other dramatist of his time. In The Chances, there is a series of highly improbable incidents, derived from a novel of Cervantes; but the very name of the comedy suggests the idea of fortuitous complications, and the treatment is in accordance with this idea. The two young gentlemen, Don John and Don Frederick, are presented in a very lively and natural manner, and their landlady is a decidedly happy creation, for which, however, hints had been given by Cervantes.”


daniel  •  Link


i am confused.

it sounds as if Sam is troubled about the inquiry of the completion of his house and is upset about "going thither" but has not yet arrived there. Sam is surely not noting this thought down into his palm-pilot, or has i misread this line?

Susan  •  Link

I took this as referring to Sam's misgivings about using "foreigners" - is Sir W going to interfere in this matter and cause expense and inconvenience for Sam? I took his reluctance to go home as Sam having the satisfaction and pleasure in his works taken away from him. I think the syntax and grammar are Sam's way of trying in retrospect to convey the immediacy of his thoughts - as if we were inside his head.

Vicente  •  Link

'Tis Madam Batten that wants SP to finish battenning down. She is fed up with all that banging,dust and all those muscled men [ferreigners] around upsetting the young females of the species. "...Sir W. Batten's, who seems so inquisitive when my, house will be made an end of that I am troubled to go thither. So home with some trouble in my mind about it….”
Sir Wm. maybe wondering who is actually paying for these improvements, or are the materials being suppplied by those that need P.O’s authorize to keep on supplying the navy, and as for the men, whose pocket is supplying the wages. I do think that SP is in a bit of a pickle if he has not got the necessary paper trail covered. “the boys” don’t mind helping the governer out. There is always a little greasing of palms in all organisations, “Perks, one doth call it”.But I do believe it was not recognized as such at this time. So question [?}is. Is it legit wot he is undertaking, or does he need help in the the funding to reduce his risk in being asked too many embarrassing questions that could lead to his loss of a good thing..

JBailey  •  Link

Is it possible that Sir Batten's house is very close or next to Pepys and he is referring to the noise of hammering and workmen? Or am I way off base?

Vicente  •  Link

Yup, tru the BL**** wall she doth live"...Up early, my Lady Batten knocking at her door that comes into one of my chambers..."


Mary  •  Link

'I am troubled to go thither'

I take it that Sam now feels awkward about going to Batten's lodgings (thither) if he's going to face questions about his renovations when he does so. He already has one difficult neighbour (Lady Davis) and certainly doesn't want to fall our with his other neighbours, the Battens. His anxiety may be social, professional or financial or a combination of the three.

PHE  •  Link

The Cock alehouse
Though the pub moved across the road in the 1880s, it took with it the original gilded cockerel of its sign and an original fireplace - still there today (in what is now charmingly called 'Ye Old Cock Tavern'). See Glyn's entry:


Rich Merne  •  Link

Inquisitive etc.;
I'm with Mary, that the "thither", is the Battens. For "inquisitive", I read a kind of polite anxiety or ongoing or repeated enquiries, which are intended to, and which obviously succeed in conveying to P. the notion that the Bs are near the end of their neighbourly (very close, or as you might say; they almost live in each others' ears)tether, with the dirt, the noise etc. Is it just possible that there is a little pique of 'the green eyed monster' there too; or, perish the mention of it, snobbery. The Batten's are after all, the Sirs B whereas old Sam is just.....well 'old Sam'. and here they are getting above themselves;...what, with all this fancy renovation. Certainly Sam sniffs something which gives him a deal of upset.

Pedro.  •  Link

"to the Cock alehouse, where we had a harp and viallin played to us.."

Its sign and an original fireplace - still there today..and perhaps you can still have a harp! (Lager)

daniel  •  Link

mary, i think that you are right.

going thither to the neighbor's makes sense to me in this context.

helena murphy  •  Link

I, along with Sir William,am equally curious as to when the "work in progress" will finish, as let's face it,it is taking a long time!I am of the opinion that the work may be of a somewhat elaborate nature perhaps involving wood carving,the cut of the banisters may be painstakingly slow with everything done by hand.Some of those workmen may be very creative craftsmen who work slowly but well. I feel that Sam the aesthete chooses and appreciates only the very best.This is probably lost on Sir William,a tough practical old sea dog ,who cannot see the hidden artist in Sam, as we the readers of the diary do.

Saul Pfeffer  •  Link

Sir W. Batten's, who seems so inquisitive when my, house will be made an end of that I am troubled to go thither. So home.
What is troubling SP here I think may be that his house is too much with Mrs B. He remembers how he got it in the first place (Just by moving in) and fears some of his colleagues may have big eyes for his very adored home.

Lawrence  •  Link

Whats he having done this time, because at some point he has an extra floor added, and the timber framing is pre-done in one of the Naval yards;
Then brought to site and assembled and erected by Joiners from the Kings Yard, at the Kings expence I shouldn't wonder?

Vicente  •  Link

Nice freudian slip I doth think 'at the Kings expence I shouldn't wonder?’
” ex pence ” ” out of dough “
Latin expensa payment- expense rather than a lot of dough.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Could this be the cause of Sam's worries about the Battens interest in the work he is having done?

"Then to see Commissioner Pett's house, he and his family being absent, and here I wondered how my Lady Batten walked up and down with envious looks to see how neat and rich everything is (and indeed both the house and garden is most handsome), saying that she would get it, for it belonged formerly to the Surveyor of the Navy.” April 10, 1661.

Covetous Mrs. Batten. Sam seems to know he is junior to the other principal officers, and that the others could give him a hard time if they chose.

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