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been greatly injured and cheated and the Queen of Prussia, the by more than I could now enum King-maker and the children in erate. There ends my scaling the Tower. And then, having of the hill of virtues.
prophesied my early death and Of my sins it behoves me not luminous or lurid
he to speak, lest I should fall into filled my two small hands with the grotesque and delightful almond - drops and toffee, and attitude of the sailor I once sent me away, a being henceheard in London make his pub- forth of something more than lic confession to a Salvation common clay. Army circle.
From that hour my position "My brothers, I am a miser- in Lysterby was improved. I able sinner. In Australia I was never even slapped again, murdered a man; I drank con- though I had had the stupentinually, I thieved, I ran after dous good luck to see, unseen harlots, and led the life of de- myself, the lay sister who had bauchery. Oh, my friends, flogged me go into a cupboard pray for me, for now I am on the staircase, whose door, converted and know Jesus. I with the key on the outside, am one of the just, may I re- opened outward, and crawling main so. But wicked and de- along on hands and knees, bauched and drunken as I was, reached the door in time to there were lots more out there lock her in. I was also known much worse than I.” In sum to have climbed fruit-trees, when ming up our errors and frailties, I robbed enough unripe fruit to it is always a kindly comfort make all the little ones ill. Yet offered our conceit to think that nobody beat me, and I was let there are on all sides of us “lots off with a sharp admonishment. more 'much worse than we.” I went my unruly way, secretly Unless our pride chooses to protected by the bishop's adtake refuge in the opposite re miration. flection, so we prefer to glory in If I did not amend, and loved being much worse than others. none the more my tyrants, their
And so ends my single inter- rule being less drastic, I had view with an eminent ecclesias- less occasion to fly out at them. tic. He kissed me repeatedly, Besides, semi - starvation had and stroked my hair while I subdued me for the while. I munched my plum-cake on his suffered continually from abknee. He questioned me, and scesses and earache, and spent discovered my passionate inter- most of my time in the infirest in Napoleon and Josephine mary, dreaming and reading:
(To be continued.)
MEN WHO HAVE KEPT A DIARY.
“ Velut minuta magno Deprensa navis in mari vesaniente vento.'
“THERE is nothing, sir, too who, during their daily toilet little for so little a creature as before the glass, are more conman. It is by studying little cerned with the reflections of things that we attain the great the room than of themselves. art of having as little misery There are, again, set diarists and as much happiness as pos- who masquerade in domino. sible.” This pronouncement by There are diarists for a purpose, the most complete hero of the and diarists for no purpose. most complete diarist known There are diarists, once more, strikes the keynote of all memor- of “Mémoires à servir," mainly able diaries. “The great thing interesting from their opporto be recorded," observes Dr tunities. In perusing such we Johnson on another occasion, may well remember the saying “is the state of your own mind, of George Eliot that "curiosity and you should write down becomes the more eager from everything that you remember, the incompleteness of the first for you cannot judge at first information.” To such curiosity what is good and bad.” These anecdotal remembrancers, from unpremeditated self-confidences the weightier type of armchair -the confessions of individual- historian to the lighter speciity—form the charm of “men men of after-dinner raconteur, who have kept a diary,"—the inherently respond. . For good spell of
anecdote is to good literature
what wit is to wisdom, repartee “The little great, the infinite small thing
to conversation, and bouquet to
wine. It is at once condensed the appeal of Truth en déshabillé. and indicative. It interprets “In this glass,” preached At- life while it exhibits the bric-àterbury of Lady Cutt's Diary, brac of mannerism and man"she every day dressed her The main qualification mind.” It is just this “dress- for every diarist none the less ing of the mind” that makes remains that of the legal witness. diaries such interesting human His evidence must be first-hand documents. But, when we par- and absolutely sincere. And ticularise, we find that very few through all the varieties of tensurviving publications wholly dency and form runs, even if fulfil these conditions of privacy subconsciously, the psychologiand candour. Boswell himself cal thread. For us the workwas recommended by his dicta- ings of the diarist's own mind tor to retain some posthumous exercise a paramount fascinafriend for the cremation of his tion and restrict our choice, so own diary. There are diarists that in this regard we shall
afterwards instance two collec- are among his redeeming feattions of correspondence which ures. “With my eyes mighty signally reveal character,-in- weary and my head full of care formal diaries before whose how to get my accounts and "glass” the letter-writer truly business settled against my “dresses" his own soul. Did journey, home to supper and space permit, we might have bed,” he writes in the face of mounted higher. For all an his infirmity. So is fortitude. nalists and essayists are born There is a genuine pathos in diarists or the reverse. Herodo- the words which close the diary tus is a diarist by nature; so, when blindness was threatening if less primitively, is Tacitus; the little Secretary to the Adso eminently are Froissart and miralty with its terrors. From Burnet; so, after his manner, is henceforth he “must be conMacaulay. Not so are Thucy- tented to set down no more dides or Clarendon or Gibbon. than is fit for them and all the Montaigne is a diarist; Bacon, world to know; or if there be the opposite. It is a difference anything, I must endeavour to of temperaments—the difference keep a margin in my book between the authors of the open, to add here and there a 'Spectator' and the author of note in shorthand with my own the Rambler,' between Gold- hand. And so I betake myself smith and Smollett, Sterne and to that course which is almost Fielding. Rousseau is a diarist as much as to see myself go even in his so-called "Philos- into my grave: for which, and ophy’; Voltaire, a “Philoso- all the discomforts that will pher" even in his “Notes sur accompany my being blind, the les Anglois.
good God prepare me!” Sturdy, If ever a man was designed stoical—nay, in a sense piousto keep a diary, it was Pepys. petit mattre, for all his foibles He is naïve and communicative and frailties ! His periodical to a fault. Seated in his own headache of repentance is folconfessional, he unbosoms his lowed by the periodical draught memory and absolves his con of peccadillo. Though he has science. The journal was com no deep sense of life's mystery, posed in cipher. Mrs Pepys he does realise his accountability could have made nothing of it; to God—a prosaic accountabilit was never apparently meant ity like those official audits that for perusal. This typical bour- so taxed his diligence. He geois of his day, fussy and never whimpers or makes expompous, petty and busybody- cuse. Nor does he brave it out, ing, regular in his irregularities like that German colonel whom as in his expenditure, thrifty, Königsmarck suborned to stab vain, and passionately inquisi- Mr Thynne, and who averred, tive, would retire into his sanc as he marched to execution, tum, produce the treasured that he did not care for death pages, and find his relief in the a rush, and that he hoped “God truthful industry of his chron- would treat him like a gentleicle. For truth and industry man.” No, Pepys only regrets
an error in the accounts of Molière could not have mouldconduct. The recording angel ed a more humorous figure than must needs pause with a smile, this demure, droll, shrewd, irreand condone so comical a peni- pressible, indefatigable gossip of tent. It is pleasant to discover a Philistine solemnly draws of the mannikin hale and hearty himself amid the slatternly splenafter all in his age, finely housed dours of Charles II. ' “Met with at Clapham, exchanging letters Sir James Bunch ; 'this is the with wise Evelyn or smoothing time for you,' says he, 'that were down the huffy Kneller, after for Oliver heretofore; you are Queen Anne had come into full of employment, and we poor her own. With what squirrel- Cavaliers sit still and can get alacrity does he climb the nothing, which was a pretty tangled tree
tree of preferment, reproach I thought, but andarting the quick, sly glances swered nothing, for fear of makfrom his merry eyes, crunching ing it worse. Of course he did the nut of office with elfish not. Only a few days afterwards self-complacency, and exulting he is casting accounts as usual : in the growing bushiness of his " And there find myself, to my fur; a child, rather than a man, great joy, a great deal worth of the world, and a greedy above 40001. For which the child too! What a good fellow Lord be praised! And is princiin company; how proud of his pally occasioned by my getting mediocre music, of his wife, of 5001. of Cocke for my profit in the pies she bakes, of the his bargains of prize goods, and mantuas she wears, of all that from Mr Gauden's making me is his! How fond, too, of a a present of 5001. more when lord, and of his dear disdainful I paid him 8001. for Tangier.” Lady Castlemaine! How calcu- Well done, Mr Worldly-Wiselating, how parsimonious, how man! And considering the observant, how limited, how ac- standard of the times, it was commodating! Had he served honestly - gotten wealth. A Oliver, he had assuredly been few perquisites were but requia Puritan—until he sat down sites. No wonder that to the tell-tale journal. His seeing ‘Henry the Fourth’he sympathies appear to have been was, “contrary to expectation, with the Puritan party. “To pleased in nothing more than in the fair to see the play of Cartwright's speaking of Fal· Bartholomew Fair' with pup- staffe's speech about “What is pets. And it is an excellent Honour? And Pepys was play; the more I see it, the a staunch friend, unlike that more I love the wit of it; only “Captain Holmes one (by the business of abusing the his own confessions to me) that Puritans begins to grow stale can put on two several faces, and of no use, they being the and look his enemies in the people that at last will be found face with as much love as his the wisest.” And all this un friends. But, good God! what conscious humour without
is this, and what a world suspicion of self-ridicule. is this, that a man cannot live
come Mr Battersby; and
without playing the knave and then out of vogue never certainly have agreed enough; his ubiquitous self-imwith Carlyle respecting gig. portance was very sensitive men: "Abroad with my wife, the first time that ever I rode but were there horribly frighted do make my heart rejoice, and with a great many more young
my own coach (1668), which to see young Killigrew come in “To the Wardrobe. Hither peering from his
73 He would have recanted them
would My wife and I to Polichinelly, praise God and pray Him to sparks; but we
so as we think they did not see bless it to me and continue it.” Here once more is a fine touch: us.”. Cannot we imagine him
ambush at we, these a
sons of Belial”? One falling into discourse of a new last word about Pepys. In the book of drollery in use, called pathos of his affections is the Hudebras,' I would needs go strangest admixture of selfishfind it out, and met with it at ness. “My whole family hath the Temple: cost me 25. 60. been well all this while, and all But, when I come to read it, my friends I know of
, saving it is so silly an abuse of the my aunt Bell, who is dead, and Presbyter knight going to the some children of my cosen Sarah, warre that I am ashamed of it; of the plague.
But many of and by-and-by, meeting at Mr such as I know very well, dead. Townsend's at dinner, I sold it Yet, to our great joy, the town him for 18d.” This passage fills apace, and shops begin to catches Pepys at more oddities be open again.” But the man than one. His infinite curiosity wrote exactly as he felt, nor is an attractive point. My Lord must the touching mention of Brouncker takes a watch to his mother be overlooked : “Repieces for his instruction, and ceived from by brother the news amuses him mightily; he is of my mother's dying on Monprivileged to see the king's day,
the king's day, : . . and the last time she collection, and is quite “con- spoke of her children was on founded” with the medley. He Friday last, and her last words is so readily impressed, when were, ‘God bless my poor Sam. he beholds Charles in his barge The reading whereof set me going to meet the Queen, it weeping heartily.” Let us take “lessens his esteem of him
leave of Pepys in his own sum“that he should not be able to mary of Sir Ellis Leyton, command the rain”; and, whom I find
a wonderful again, he is hardly a sound witty ready man for sudden anjudge of literature. He thinks swers and little tales, and saymuch more of his “new sum- ings very extraordinary witty. " mer black bombazine” than of Or in Evelyn's epitome of him Shakespeare. “Macbeth” is “a as “a very worthy, industrious, pretty good play"; the “Mid- and curious person.' summer Night's Dream
Over Evelyn's own diary we most insipid, ridiculous play.” shall not linger. It is a most But if these opinions had been valuable repository of sights