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Art. IX.Diary and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, Esq.,

F.R.S., from his MS. cypher in the Pepysian Library, with a Life and Notes, by RICHARD, Lord BRAYBROOKE. Deciphered, with additional notes, by Rev. MYNORS BRIGHT, M.A., President and Senior Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. With numerous Portraits from the collection in the Pepysian Library, printed in permanent Woodbury

type. 6 vols. 8vo. London: 1875-79. For nearly sixty years the Diary of Samuel Pepys has been

a household word in English literature; it may, therefore, seem almost paradoxical to say that we now read it for the first time. And yet this is the simple truth, for we have now, what we have never had before, the correct and complete text : correct, for the old and long received version was full of strange blunders of carelessness or misapprehension; complete, for the former editor, doubting in the first instance as to the value the public might set upon his labours, printed but a scanty abridgment, and even in the second suppressed a large proportion of matter, which he described as devoid of the slightest interest.' We have now an opportunity of criticising his judgment in this respect; for of the present edition no less than one-fourth of the bulk is published for the first time, and is, we conceive, not a whit inferior to the rest, as illustrating the history or domestic life of the period, and the vanities, peccadilloes, or humours of the journalist.

If Mr. Mynors Bright had done nothing more than induce us to read once again the Diary, even as we have long known it , we should still owe him a debt of gratitude. But he has, in fact, done very much more than this : he has given us the Diary as it was written, with the omission of but a few passages described, in the interests of decency, as unfit for publica

tion, and others, the account of his daily work at the office,' which would have been tedious to the reader.' With respect to the first class of suppressed passages, the editor has doubtless exercised a wise discretion; but we do not feel quite so sure as to the second. It is impossible,' he tells us, 'for any

one who has not read the entire Diary fully to appreciate * Pepys's industry and diligence, and it is difficult to avoid the thought that the opportunity of so appreciating these, his good qualities, might have been offered to us.

The excised paysages would not, we imagine, have added sensibly to the bulk of a work in six stout octavo volumes, and might as easily as others

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have been skipped by those readers to whom they threatened to prove tedious. With these exceptions, the extent of which is fairly stated, the present edition is, we understand, a complete and careful transcript of the original. It is well and carefully printed on good paper, and is, altogether, a valuable contribution to every English library.

From this commendation we must, however, bar the illustrations, which are terrible. It is difficult to conceive why editor and publisher should have agreed to disfigure an otherwise handsome set of books by the hideous monstrosities described on the title-page as portraits printed in ‘ permanent Woodbury-type.' So much the worse if the announcement is strictly true. They are bad enough now; if permanent, they are bad to all future ages. Those of the court 'beauties' are the worst; and if the ghosts of the Duchess of Richmond, Lady Castlemaine, and pretty witty Nell’ do not have their revenge, there is no law of libel on the other side of the Styx. The fact is that the photographer,

. in the pride of his special art, has paid more attention to the exact reproduction of details than to the general effect, and has focussed the pictures to be copied with such exactness that the light and shade from the lines of the canvas or the irregularities of the paper are even more distinctly shown than the work of the painter or engraver. The result, however admirable from the photographer's point of view, is detestable from that of the artist or the public.

There is still one other exception which, although unwillingly, we feel in duty bound to take to this new and really valuable edition, and that is the way in which it has been annotated. A difficulty about the copyright in Lord Braybrooke's notes was not overcome till the third volume was passing through the press. The earlier volumes were thus, for the most part, left to the editor's solicitude, which proved unequal to the task; and the new notes are generally needless, frequently incorrect, and occasionally even silly. We may leave our readers to decide to which of these categories they would allot such notes as— Barbers’ shops were anciently places of great resort ;' Wassel or wassail, from two Saxon • words meaning “water of health ; ”. Query, whether from

Scull, the waterman, is derived our word “sculls,” well • known to boating men ?' But we really must enter a protest against such as this : We read in the Diary, May, 1668: ““ Walked to Magdalene College, and there into the butterys, «« as a stranger, and there drank my bellyfull of their beer, • " which pleased me as the best I ever drank.” I should be

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‘glad, if I could, to have a gossip with him, and hear'-what? The raciest scandal of the pleasure-loving Court? some of Sir John Minnes' stories of the old Navy? or where he had hidden the MS. of Evelyn's History of the Dutch War? No, only—' his opinion of the beer now.' Can the proverbial bathos of the commentator sink lower ? In the later volumes, when an arrangement had been made to reproduce Lord Braybrooke's notes, they are printed as they were written five-and-twenty or thirty years ago, without the corrections which occasional slips or the lapse of time rendered necessary. Such, for instance, as to Evelyn's mention of the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral (vi. 170), the note Daniel * Finch, second Earl of Nottingham,' a man who never was Lord High Admiral ; the reference being clearly to the illustrious Howard of Effingham, of whom indeed a most ghastly portrait is given: or again (i. 157), where we are told that the site of the old Navy Office in Crutchedfriars is now 'occupied by the East India Company's warehouses, and by implication that the business of the navy is carried on at Somerset House. We should have thought no Englishman could be ignorant of the demise of the East India Company in 1858, even if he did not know that the civil business of the navy was removed in 1869 from Somerset House to a cluster of typhoidal dens in Spring Gardens. Such also are notices of the present Westminster Bridge, now shortly to be destroyed," (vi. 209); of Searle's boathouse, opposite the Houses of Parliament (vi. 210); or of the present splendour' of the Naval Hospital at Greenwich. He was evidently not aware that the Naval Hospital at Greenwich has no present existence, or that the building, after standing empty for some years, was converted in 1873 into a college for the higher education of naval officers. We mention these shortcomings unwillingly, because we understand that they are chiefly to be attributed to the editor's failing health, which permitted him indeed to while away tedious hours in transcribing the text, but rendered him unequal to the research which the annotating or correcting would have demanded. And after all, though we could gladly have spared blemishes such as these we have pointed out, we still welcome Mr. Bright's edition of Pepys's Diary as the best, or indeed the only one which has yet been published.

On May 26, 1703, died at Clapham, in his 71st year, Mr. Samuel Pepys, a respectable and highly respected old gentleman, who, during the later years of Charles II., and throughout the reign of James, had been Secretary to the Admiralty

VOL. CLII. NO. CCCXI.

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as represented by the King in person. His supposed adhesion to the cause of his old master had got him into trouble at the Revolution; but that had cleared away, and, though for some years an object of suspicion to the new Government, he had been on the whole undisturbed, and had passed his old age in the quiet of literary or philosophical leisure. He had been, almost from the beginning, a Fellow of the Royal Society; its President in 1684, and had continued to the last a close attendant on its meetings, a friend and correspondent of Sir Isaac Newton, John Evelyn, Edmund Gibson, Dr. Wallis, Vincent, Sloane, Dryden, and others, the leading men in the world of literature or science. He was thus, in that world, well and favourably known; although in science his acquirements were in no respect more than those of an intelligent and cultivated mind, and in literature he had never sought personal distinction; bis only claim indeed to the title of author being a small volume-little more than a pamphlet-on the state of the Royal Navy, which he had published in 1690, or perhaps also another in 1677, on the recent history of Portugal, which has been attributed to him. But so far as his means permitted he was a liberal friend to both, and especially as a collector of books, the binding and arranging of which had long been his pet hobby. These, on his death, were bequeathed to Magdalene College, Cambridge, of which he was a member, and with which, through life, he had kept up an occasional intercourse; by the terms of the will they were to be kept distinct; and they still, in their original presses, occupy a room in the Master's house, where they are known as the Pepysian Library.

Now amongst these books were six volumes, closely written in a fine, small, unknown character, which however, in 1818, was examined by Lord Grenville, at the request of his nephew, the Hon. and Rev. George Neville, lately elected Master of Magdalene, when it was at once recognised as a shorthand, not very different from what Lord Grenville had himself used as a student. He therefore recommended his nephew to find out some man who, 'for the lucre of gain, would sacrifice a few ‘months to the labour of making a transcript of the whole; for which purpose,' he added, I would furnish you with my alpha

,• bet and lists of arbitrary signs, and also with the transcript of the first three or four pages.' Mr. Neville decided to follow this recommendation, and engaged the assistance of Mr. Smith, then an undergraduate of St. John's; to whom, however, the deciphering proved a very serious task, occupying him for nearly three years, usually for twelve or fourteen hours a day.

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The transcript so made for Mr. Neville was, by him, handed over to his elder brother, Lord Braybrooke, who published a selection from it in 1825, and a second edition in 1828; this was much enlarged for a third edition in 1848, and revised and corrected for a fourth in 1854, of which all later editions, till now, have been a reprint. Mr. Bright tells us that he undertook to decipher the MS. afresh, as an amusement during a sick holiday ; and that, in doing this, he acted quite independently of Mr. Smith's previous labours, having learned the very cipher from a book in the Pepysian Library, entitled * Tachygraphy, or short writing, the most easie, exact and 'speedie.' This once mastered, the work was straightforward enough; difficulties arose here and there when the writer had wished to keep anything particularly concealed, in which cases he wrote the cipher in French, Latin, Greek, or Spanish, or with a number of dummy letters ; but of the passages so disguised, all were found unfit for publication.

It does not appear whether, before the Master of Magdalene and Lord Grenville took the matter in hand, there was any clear idea of the nature of the MS.; but however this may have been, it at once, in the hands of the decipherer, stood revealed as a curiously detailed journal of nearly ten years of Mr. Pepys's private and public life, 1660-69, containing matter of exceptional interest, as referring to a period of our national existence which did then, and even now still does, exercise a sort of romantic fascination over the minds of all but the most realistic students of history. During these ten years Mr. Pepys was living in London, holding an official position at the Admiralty, in daily communication with the chief men of the time—the King, the Duke of York, Monk, Mountagu, Clarendon, Coventry; and, apart from his office, leading a social and even festive life, eating, drinking and repenting, dancing, theatre-going, and generally enjoying the world whilst he was young. In reading the Diary now as a whole, it is especially interesting to note the gradual change of the young and very poor man of twenty-six into the cheery, well-to-do man of ten years older, and the development of his character from the mean hanger-on of his patron to the resolute and far-seeing official. Throughout this period, every detail of his life, as he wrote it down for himself alone, is before us; but of his earlier years we know but little, probably because there is little to know.

Samuel Pepys was born of a family long settled at Cottenham, in Cambridgeshire, and which, respectable though not gentle in its antecedents, had widely diverged. His grandfather's

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