Thursday 24 October 1661

At the office all morning, at noon Luellin dined with me, and then abroad to Fleet Street, leaving my wife at Tom’s while I went out and did a little business. So home again, and went to see Sir Robert [Slingsby], who continues ill, and this day has not spoke at all, which makes them all afeard of him. So home.

12 Annotations

First Reading

dirk  •  Link


Am I the only one to find Sam's diary entries over the last month or so less informative than they used to be? They read more like a catalogue of "went there" and "had dinner with" - without much of the lively detail we used to get before.

Possibly in a reaction to this, the annotation activity seems to have stalled somewhat too.

RexLeo  •  Link

"...went to see Sir Robert [Slingsby], who continues ill"

Sam seems to have special bond with Slingsby - he has been visting him every day!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam has a knack for admiring worthy superiors and making them role models...Slingsby and Coventry are two of the best in the new government.

Note that Montague (who was at his best as hero of the Commonwealth when Sam first worked for him) has perhaps lost just a little of his early luster for Sam. That may be due mainly to the fact Sam's not in constant contact and now beginning to find himself an important personage in his own right, but I think the betrayals of old Cromwellian comrades and Sandwich's easy acceptance of the King's return for a comfortable position have somewhere deep down affected Sam's opinion of his old hero.

Xjy  •  Link


"Am I the only one to find Sam's diary entries over the last month or so less informative than they used to be? They read more like a catalogue of "went there" and "had dinner with" - without much of the lively detail we used to get before.”

Interesting point, Dirk. We’re lucky he kept writing when things were in a bit of a rut. Autumn is drab. He’s ill remember — testicle trouble — and he’s been very intent on clearing up the legacy. The boss is away, his career is OK, things are politically fairly undramatic at the moment… Can’t have an eruption every day — but the volcano smoulders…

A. Hamilton  •  Link

which makes them all afeard of him

Interesting construction,which I gloss as "afraid for him" meaning I think, fearful for his life.

A digression. I can never read the name "Slingsby" without thinking of Edward Lear's story about the four little children who "bought a large boat to sail quite round the world by sea." Their names were Violet, Guy, Lionel and the eponymous Slingsby.…

David A. Smith  •  Link

"and this day has not spoke at all"
No question, these entries are sketchier. Less is happening -- Montagu away, no national politics a-brew, no domestic crises. Thank Sam he has spared us the armatures of administration -- I feel confident things will pick up soon (and no, I haven't read ahead!).

Bob T  •  Link

No question, these entries are sketchier. Less is happening

It is possible that Sam has slipped into the typical male way of describing his day. Ask a woman what happened during her day, and she will describe in detail everything that happened after her feet touched the floor when she got out of bed. Ask a man the same thing, and he will say "Nothing". That means nobody was hired, was fired, got promoted, or died. Sam's detailed entries are to be enjoyed because they are rare in the male world.

joe  •  Link

Yes that is very true. When my wife talks to me and asks questions, my replies are always simple and to the point. When I ask her a question.....forget about it. Oh here we go.....

vicente  •  Link

So glad that he [Sam that is ] is not into English weather. Sam is not a woffler,or into column inches,or other forms of padding or even piffle, the facts, only the facts {mamm], never repeats old news. Parliament is snoring, too wet to go to the fields or parks to be entertained. Very little pressing of rings in molton wax.
He is not into telling us about the use of daily cutthroat of stubble, only when it means a new experience.
This his notes to keep abreast of when he experience a new problem, not to pad out the broadsheet.[If only the modern press could be so factual and not opinionated[or Syn there to].

Pauline  •  Link

"without much of the lively detail we used to get before"
He certainly began the diary at a time when events had everyone of the edge of their seats. I wonder if the same sense we have of few excitements and not much to tell isn't also starting to rumble about in Sam. And how he gets from that to being such an able and well-reknowned-down-to-today administrator and civil servant will be interesting to watch. A capable young man like Sam can either rest on the laurels to date and let the drinking and theatre-going be the excitement here on out or seize an opportunity that his career offers to become a real player. I hope some of Sam's decisive moments will be clear to us readers.

His health issues and having his parents move so far away and having a difficult young niece to settle estate for (as xyi notes above)--as well as some disappointment in his own inheritance from Uncle Robert (nearly as much hassle as gain)-- add up to considerable demoralization just now.

Second Reading

Edith Lank  •  Link

I've always assumed that those brief summaries of the day's events mark times when Samuel reconstructed the day later. He tells us, every now and then, that he's been bringing the diary up to date, and we know he jotted notes along the way. Those, it seems to me, are likely to be "where I was that day" records, as opposed to the more delightful entries penned in the heat of the moment.

Ivan  •  Link

On October 17th Sam did relate in quite a lot of detail what Captain Lambert had told him about the King of Portugal and his doings and on the following day he listed all the ingredients making up his poultice and how he applied it to his testicle plus an incisive characterisation of Mrs. Goldsborough. Then on the 20th he makes clear his irritation about Will Hewer's behaviour, so I think he is doing more than just marking time.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.