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have been no reason to apprehend, as this Publisher professed to do in the case of Mr. Gulliver, that Mr. Pepys would have been a little dissatisfied with the excisions. Most of these are a mere 'account of longitudes and latitudes'; and there is enough in what Lord Braybrooke has preserved to give us the true bearings of the Diarist, even in those by-courses and harbour-squalls which are to some the whole interest of the story. It may be safely said of Lord Braybrooke's text that in all essential matters, in all those passages which are of prime importance, it is not inferior to the fuller texts. Let us frankly regret the omission of some details which might be of interest to others than the literary antiquaries who have access to the larger book. Yet the main matters are intact. There is no blur on the remarkable picture of the age which Pepys has left; above all, and notwithstanding the overpassing of some bedroom small-talk, the clearest picture of Pepys himself.
We may go further and claim, as has been done in the Introduction, that the Braybrooke text gives to the general reader perhaps a truer likeness of Pepys than is presented in the larger editions or in the manuscript. For the disproportionate treatment of the accidents and lapses in the later renderings has without doubt been responsible for that popular judgement of the Diarist which is so unhistorical and so unfair. It is no matter whether it was over-niceness or superior indifference to tittle-tattle, or both, or neither, which helped the first editor to his conclusions ; but it is something that the result has been so good. And let us not forget that had Pepys intended 10 entertain posterity, he too would have edited his Journal.
The text follows that of Lord Braybrooke's fourth edition of 1854, and of the reprint, the fifth,' in the same year; but two important modifications must be noted. The first is the incorporation of the corrections made by the late Mr. Mynors Bright in his revised text of 1875-79. This has been done by the generous allowance of Messrs. George Bell and Sons, the owners of the copyright of that edition. The second is the reduction of the few antique spellings to modern usage. It appeared to serve no purpose to retain such forms as musique,' 'foole,' 'ayre,' as the original text (with the exception of an occasional word, generally a name, in long hand) is in shorthand, and is therefore phonetic ; and as other forms, such as “musick and music," "aire' and 'air,' occur indifferently in the transcript. But antique word-forms, especially of the verb (e.g. 'was spoke, 'is took, catched'), have been preserved, except in one or two cases (e.g. 'come,' now 'came ') where modern custom would cause confusion in the syntax.
punctuation has been revised. The Notes have been specially prepared, but many of Lord Braybrooke's have been reprinted, either verbatim or in epitome. These are marked “[B.].' The biographical notes have been made as brief as possible ; in most cases, where particulars are accessible in the Dictionary of National Biography, only the surname and Christian name and the dates have been printed. A succinct account of Pepys's life, especially during the years preceding and following the period of the Diary, is offered in one of the sections of the Introduction (pp. x-xxiii). A bibliographical list of the editions of the Diary and Correspondence, and the titles of the chief books consulted will be found in the Notes to the Introduction. These books, both old and recent, are too numerous for individual acknowledgement here : but at least two of our living authorities, Mr. Wheatley and Mr. Tanner, must be named with gratitude in every contribution to that other Bibliotheca Pepysiana which would have pleased, but not a little astonished, the book-loving Secretary.
G. G. S.
June 5, 1905.
Such is the romance of authorship, that what was intended to be the most private of documents has become one of the great books. To his own generation Samuel Pepys was the dictator at His Majesty's Navy Office, patron of the Virtuosi at Gresham College, and the author of dull Memoirs of the service for which he had laboured surpassingly well. Posterity has taken small account of this ceremonious eminence. She knows him as the author of a diary, incomparable for its revel of small talk, for its intimacy, its confessions, its amusing impenitence. What wider recognition of his public merits may come, the fame of his Journal will never be diminished. Even te those who are on closest terms of familiarity with him--to the historians of his age, to the enthusiasts of Pepys Clubs, or to the pious of Magdalene—he is, first and foremost, the Diarist.
It is not a satisfactory explanation to say that the book has won its popularity because its publication is, in a sense, a breach of confidence. There is a certain pleasure in discovering a secret, and especially in searching, with the victim's aid, the further corners of his character. This pleasure is at bottom quite legitimate. But the same cannot be said of that Peeping Tom habit which seeks its sole entertainment in the déshabillé of the diarist and his companions, and by so seeking has given his record an unenviable notoriety. It is not a unique case. The contemporary Memoirs of the Comte de Grammont has suffered in the same way. When once a writing has come to be called 'curious' (as the booksellers have it), or to be destined to 'extra series' and top-shelves, it is difficult to put matters right with the public. Yet a sane and straightforward criticism will maintain that the Diary even printed in full-as has not yet been done—can never belong to this category. The question here is not whether varying degrees of incompleteness are necessary for the different classes of Pepys's readers.
These editorial distinctions may be right or they may be wrong. They are certainly at fault if their purpose has been mistaken as confirming the merely frivolous reputation of the author and his book.
Nor is it more satisfactory to say that the Diary lives because it has found favour with historians, antiquaries, and bibliographers. The book which has given us the locus classicus of the Return from Holland, of the Plague, of the Great Fire, is sure of the abiding condescension of the makers of history - books. Its details of everyday life, of costume, food, musical
instruments, morning-drinks, furniture, and chariots, of the streets, churches, -and playhouses of old London, have commended it for all time to the
amateurs of antiquity. Our knowledge of contemporary books, of booksellers, of the production of plays, would have been poorer but for these gossipy notes: they have solved many problems, and told us all we know of certain matters which were important. These things have contributed to the reputation of the Diary, some with greater force, according to the bias of the reader. To command so much specialist admiration has been the lot of few books of greater literary pretension. Yet we are certain that the Diary has survived, and would have survived, despite the advertisement of these particular students. There is too much purpose in their devotion to the book. They are always seeking and finding for the mere sake of seeking and finding, like a museum-agent in quest of specimens, or a raconteur on the track of a new jest. The Diary is one of those books which is best taken for the sheer entertainment of the page, without thought of picking up information about the Fire, or Lady Castlemaine, or Mr. Povy.
This pleasure, let us add, is hardly literary. With one or two exceptions, notable because they are rare, the Diary is too formless or too disproportioned to arouse in the reader any of the sensations which he expects from a work of art. The method of a diary is unfavourable, and this one, in comparison with other classic examples, shows little or no influence of the imagination in the grouping of episode or in the tricks of phrase. And it is not less obvious to the careful reader that the Diary, despite its great reputation as an étude intime, is not autobiographic in the strictest sense, and that it was probably not intended to be so. This is brought home to us by its indifference to form. It is altogether too haphazard, too unequal in the record of events and in the emphasis of impression. In this way Pepys has been unfair to himself. His Diary shows how even the most actual of narratives may misrepresent history, and, above all, personal history, to the ordinary reader. He has told us more of some things than of others; of some very fully, of others, of even greater importance to us and to him, not a word. Thus the passages which have made the book a joy to the lovers of facetiae have assumed an exaggerated importance in nearly all the attempts towards a psychology of the overfrank author. It is possible that Pepys has magnified certain episodes unduly, perhaps that vanity in naughtiness, as in other things, has led him, it may be unconsciously, to over-elaboration. At all events, these details, whether they be absolute or not, must fall into their proper place in the complete setting of his life. It would therefore appear-apart from all questions of literary propriety in interfering with the text, or of weakness or squeamishness on the part of his editors-that the elimination of much of this matter and of other petty details may not be regrettable, but also may better help us to a true biography, and at the same time permit us to escape the charge of offering a study in whitewash. Pepys was so deficient in imagination, that he must depend more than any other writer on the generosity of his readers. We are told that a man, whether imaginative or prosaic, is not always the best judge of himself. And we must not forget that we have no warrant for believing that Pepys has in this Diary invited the judgement