Samuel Pepys is amazed

Quite a long diary entry from yesterday, but I particularly loved these two bits which appealed in different ways to my appreciation of the history of science:

at noon to Sir Philip Warwicke’s to dinner, where abundance of company come in unexpectedly; and here I saw one pretty piece of household stuff, as the company increaseth, to put a larger leaf upon an oval table.

A table that can be extended! What a nifty idea! And how amazing to think that this was the first time he had seen one!

Even more so with the other thing that caught his interest:

Thence home and to see my Lady Pen, where my wife and I were shown a fine rarity: of fishes kept in a glass of water, that will live so for ever; and finely marked they are, being foreign.

Amazing! Fish! In a glass container filled with water! I bet you could look at them all day!

Sometimes he seems very contemporary and then there are these little flashes revealing that his world contains elements of ours that are only just coming into being for him. Also we have an earl kidnapping a society beauty in broad daylight to have his way with her.

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