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a long look at the wide expanse of could be frigidly dignified to pretenders. beautifully wooded landscape. Per. He had a strong aversion to promiscuhaps he walked through the lanes and ous shaking of hands, and those who fields with his favorite dogs. Few men knew him were often amused by watchknew not only his own county, but rural ing his efforts to avoid contact with a England better. On circuit he had al- too effusive admirer. In later years ways made it a point to take long walks, honest, sincere, unpretending discusand to see everything worth seeing near sion was his greatest delight. Not even an assize town. He was particularly Dr. Johnson took more pleasure in full, fond of swimming. When he went the unconstrained, well-informed talk. Northern Circuit for the first time in the With the youngest barrister he would summer of 1856, he and his brother discuss a legal point in the same way judge, Mr. Justice Willes, spent a Sun- as he would with a brother member of day in climbing Helvellyn, and in the the Court of Appeal. He needed no course of the day bathed four or five robes or wig to protect his dignity. It times. The local newspapers de- was said of him that, even when a judge nounced the judges for not attending of the Court of Appeal, his sight was so church in the usual way; and the baron good that he could perceive a County was with difficulty persuaded not to Court judge many yards off. have it out with the newspapers. All Legal distinction is sometimes bought the cottagers about Four Elms knew at a great price. It may mean the him. He was their friend and coun. shrivelling up of the best faculties, sellor, and to him they looked for as- penury as to true knowledge, limited sistance in difficulties. Neighbors vision, narrow sympathies. Distincwould appeal to him to settle knotty tion so purchased was not Lord Bramquestions as to fixtures or boundaries; well's. Altogether a full, useful and and perhaps part of the day would be real life was his-a life bringing in a spent in a drive or walk to view the rich harvest of friends, and accumulatplace in dispute. One who knew him ing as it went on the memory of things well, speaking of his fondness for bil- well done. Happy are the singleliards, adds that he "would put down minded, they who have few doubts, and his cue in the middle of a break to listen yet honestly have sought the truth, who to the sorrows of a poor neighbor.” have always found their duty to their In the evening he would read the Times, hand and done it with diligence. Such and the hours would slip by as he happiness was his; few had more of it. played on the piano the greater part of
JOHN MACDONELL. a favorite opera, until, by half past nine or ten he retired for the night, a long night, for in his busiest days he took nine hours' sleep. Like most men of vigorous intellect, he read widely.
From Macmillan's Magazine. He knew the Bible as few Englishmen
THE MAN PEPYS. did. At seventy-three he mastered The perennial attractiveness of ficSpanish, and read Cervantes in the tion is due in no small degree to the original. Occasionally, though not gratification we all derive from being often, he, who as a judge was, to use able to view the private actions of his own saying, “a magistrate in every others, while ourselves unobserved. county in England," attended the local In the ordinary ay of existence we sessions when it was known that a par. see men and women only in part. We ticularly difficult point was to be raised know they are not quite what they before the justices.
seem, and certainly not what they wish Open-hearted and open-handed to the us to think them. Offer to the normal unpretending, ready to spend hours and man the chance of seeing another in write endless letters in helping to re- his most intimate privacy, and he will dress a poor neighbor's wrongs, he seize it with alacrity, experiencing
more genuine delight in the revelation placed in fanciful, or at least artistic, than if he were unearthing an unsus- relations with other motives and acpected treasure in his garden. Some- tions. Further, they consciously carry thing of this pleasure we find in read- along with them a set of moral probing fiction; the amount of it is a lems; in greater or less degree the measure of the writer's skill in his immensities cloud their · narratives; craft. For, so far as an author in and they are all the time performing, describing what his personages do can as by anticipation, the work of final convey simultaneously a clear idea of judgment. If Samuel Pepys had not why they do it, to that extent they kept a diary, or, having kept it, if he become real and engage our interest. had burned it before he died, as seems Wherever the description of actions to have been his intention, it might is not informed by their essential mo- have been contended that no tive the characters may in a way be could write of himself save in this interesting, but they are not real; compound way. The complete diary if by supplementary disquisition it is comes with proof to the contrary. sought to prove them real, they are The historical matter remains valuable not interesting. This imbuing of the as before; the official records and perdeed with the motive is the true secret sonages are as curious as ever, but by of story telling; it flatters the careful virtue of the additional matter the reader with a sense of his powers of centre of interest is changed, and apprehension, and pleasurably for the first time Pepys himself stands prises the cursory reader by the ab- forth as the principal topic, clear, unsence of anything to skip.
mistakable, true. As we read there is And if this be the highest achieve forced upon us the conviction of ment of a writer of stories, what shall man painted as never man was painted be said of a man who has attained to it before, by a method the very simplicin regard to himself, who has set down ity of which conceals its almost miracin a book the actions of his own life, ulous success. without morbid reflection or analytic Pepys's official position was that of apology, clear, simple, essential? The clerk of the acts on the Navy Board; thing would appear impossible if it when he commenced this diary be were not here before us in the diary made himself clerk of quite another of Samuel Pepys, now that the docu- set of acts,-his own. The qualities ment is printed for the first time in of precision, orderliness, and perspiits entirety. That it is here there cacity which made him a successful can be no manner of doubt, and it is administrator also made him a perfectly certain that the thing is than successful diarist; but what is unique and convincing. The world chiefly remarkable is that the method is not poor in the matter of auto- which served him so well for his office biographical writings. Montaigne, Cel- is made by him to suffice for his own lini, Rousseau, and in a sense Goethe, deeds. So far as the accuracy of the are all notable men who have record is concerned he, speaking of taken us into their privacy and dis- himself, might have been an official coursed to us of their deeds. But, abstraction, an impersonal item of however distinct their methods, they humanity represented I. For have this in common: to us who read, the first and only time in a printed and upon whom their eye was set book the genuine I may be looked while they wrote, they are construct- upon as merely a cognomen, carrying ing rather than revealing themselves. with it no apologetic or judicial funcThe essential truth of what they tion. It simply equals Samuel Pepys, choose to tell us is adulterated by the whom you may have heard of as of consideration that they are producing anybody else. He speaks of himself, a set of impressions; they select and what he does, and sometimes what he adjust; their actions and motives are thinks, as if he were a disinterested
observer, without distortion or com- of facts; but it is far more; it is a plication; there you have him, the revelation of self that makes the whole of him, nothing omitted—the sympathetic reader shrink from entire gamut of a living man from his his own ghost. The shorthand in stomach to what he imagined to be which he wrote his journal is as nothhis conscience. By this diary Pepys ing to the rapid condensed stenography has recommended himself variously as of his self-exposition. Let any one who vivacious, artless, a delightful gossip, thinks the method easy attempt to do and so forth; but these terms are the like by himself. He will take altogether misapplied, for they assume four pages to Pepys's one, and cumber the relations of an author and his read the narrative with such explanations ers, between Pepys and those who and apologies, allowing that he has
peruse his diary. They take the courage to deal with himself as for granted the self-consciousness of Pepys did, which is allowing much, a writer with his eye on a public, the that the result will be mere mental selection of phrases, the adjustment of fog. It is nothing to the point to say incidents. But there is in fact nothing that Pepys was not a complex man. such. It is abundantly evident that He was a man like the rest of us; he Pepys 'wrote this daily record for him- did the things we do, thought many of self only. He had a purpose, though the things we think, and in dealing what it was must remain doubtful; and with what to him was real he conhe was impelled by a motive, which is to veys with inevitable force the measure be found in the nature of the man him- of truth which that represents. Many self, if we could but correlate it there lives are not so complex as they are with, and realize it clearly. To do so confused; there was no confusion in fully would be to accomplish the most Mr. Pepys's vision, and none in his difficult thing in heaven or earth; but ideas. Pepys has supplied us more amply and He owed his official position to Sir more intelligently with the means of Edward Montagu, afterwards Earl of doing so than any other man who has Sandwich. In time he proved emiwritten of himself. The diary is the nently fitted for it; but observe how work of one who evidently conceived he sets forth his own qualifications: that just as he was accustomed to “This place I got by chance, and my record in succinct memoranda the Lord did give it me by chance, neither day's transactions at the Navy Board, he nor I thinking it to be of the worth so he could set down in a brief essen- that he and I find it to be. Never since tial abstract the act and spirit of bis I was a man in the world was I ever particular life. Here in short you so great a stranger to public affairs as have a précis of existence as it was to I now am, having not read a new book one human being, a précis of such sur- or anything like it, or enquiring after passing clearness and simplicity that any news, or what the Parliament do, it seems strange its wonderful success or in any wise how things go." If any should not earlier have brought about one had written this of Mr. Pepys it the publication of the entire diary. would be held to be a severe indictment; But now if there be any readers, as that he should write it of himself, there must be many, to whom the un- voluntarily, for nothing, is a thing as feigned disclosure of authentic remarkable as it is rare. Humanity human being is of more interest than does not care to sum itself up in this the dubious operations of masses of way. This is the kind of consideration men called history, here indeed they it puts out of sight and willingly forhave spread for them a regal feast. gets. Samuel Pepys sets it down with Doubtless such readers will have to quite unfeeling precision. He has no bring with them both sympathy and weakness on his own account; it is a imagination. Read currently a page fact, that is all. Had he proceeded by of the diary seems the barest recital way of cheap moralizing, we might have
had something like this: “What a it can't be helped and I will endeavor strange thing is chance, how inscrutable to do the man a kindness, he being a is fate. Here am I placed in an office friend of my uncle Wright's." There deemed of little worth, which turns out is a notable absence here of any hypoto be of value. I read not, enquire not, critical compounding with conscience. yet do I possess this office. How On the contrary, there is a beautiful strange a thing is life. The earnest fastidiousness of mere fact. The watch man laboring hard obtains but little; is “very neat;” notwithstanding his I ignorant and almost idle am set in wife's technical fault in witnessing the the way of much profit.” Written after receipt of it, he will keep it; not by any this fasbion the diary would appeal to a means will he send it back with protfar greater number of readers who like estations of wounded virtue, rather the bread of life and literature well will he do the man a service (out of the buttered with reflections and processes public money), for, whatever Heaven of thought. Samuel Pepys provides may think of the transaction, the man only bread, but what bread!
was a friend of his uncle Wright's. It On this matter of profit from his were much to be desired that the world office, observe how clearly he puts the had a quantity of personal memoirs matter. August 16th, 1660, is the date written on this plan. They would most of the following: “This morning my effectually clear our minds of cant. Lord (all things being ready) carried me But, unfortunately, there has only been by coach to Mr. Crew's, in the way talk- one Pepys, and it is a most fascinating ing how good he did hope my place puzzle how a man of his nature came would be to me, and in general speak- by this splendid gift of plain, unflinching that it was not the salary of any ing, perhaps unconscious, self-revelaplace that did make a man rich, but the tion. Here is an even better instance opportunity of getting money while he under date April 3rd, 1663: “Thence is in the place.” Could anything be going out of White Hall, I met Captain more admirably put? Could clearness Grove, who did give me a letter directed of mind in regard to one's own iniquity to myself from himself. I discerned go further? For although Pepys puts money to be in it, and took it, knowthe axiom in “my Lord's” mouth, “mying it to be, as I found it, the proceed Lord” merely hinted it; it was Pepys of the place I have got him, the taking who gave it the admirable expression up of vessels for Tangier. But I did just quoted; his unmistakable hallmark not open it till I came home to my office, is on it. And why should he write it and there I broke it open, not looking down with such placid lucidity of con- into it till all the money was out, that demnation? It is so easy not to write, I might say I saw no money in the even to think, such things about one- paper, if ever I should be questioned self; yet the diary is full of them. If it about it. There was a piece of gold be argued that the custom of the times and £4 in silver. So home to dinner gave countenance to this form of pecu- with my father and wife ..." When lation and took the color of venality an ordinary man sets about a transacfrom it, there are abundant evidences to tion of this sort he creates a cloud of be found that Pepys himself did not dust for his conscience; he half shuts think so. Take the following, for in- his mind's eye so that he may not obstance; it will serve to illustrate other serve, save in a dim unreal way, what things besides: “This day was left at he is doing; and when he has done it he my house a very neat silver watch by tries to forget it, or feigns forgetfulness. one Briggs a scrivener and solicitor, at Not so Mr. Pepys. He carefully sets it which I was very angry at my wife for all down; sets it down so explicitly in a receiving, or at least for opening the few incisive sentences, that you posibox wherein it was, and so far witness tively see him tumbling out the money, ing our receipt of it as to give the mes. perpetrating the ruse on truth “that senger five shillings for bringing it, but I might say I saw no money in the LIVING AGE.
paper,” and making, as if for the re- incongruity that it does not appear cording angel, an admirable précis of possible a man could calmly write them, his own misdeeds. The amazing nature or allow them to remain. “Going to bed of the achievement is made very evi- betimes last night we waked betimes dent when one considers that the prinand from our people's being forced to cipal condition precedent of remorse is take the key to go out to light a candle, a clear idea of wrong-doing; we repent I was very angry and begun to find when we see (usualıy by the aid of an- fault with my wife for not commandother's vision) the exact nature and ing her servants as she ought. There conditions of our actions. Mr. Pepys upon she giving me some cross answer does not repent; he merely records. I did strike her over her left eye such Had he felt repentance he would have a blow as the poor wretch did cry out recorded that also. He does repent of and was in great pain, but yet her spirit various things in the course of his diary, was such as to endeavor to bite and but a few pages further on you will scratch me, But I coying with her find he does them again. Most men in made her
crying, and sent these circumstances would turn back for butter and parsley, and friends and cancel the entry of repentance, or presently with one another, and more probably would omit the instances I up, vexed at my heart to think of infraction. That seems the only self- what I had done, for she was forced respecting way of keeping a diary of to lay a poultice to her eye all personal morals. Whatever Mr. Pepys's day, and is black, and the people of the opinion of himself in this respect may house observed it.” What should impel have been does not clearly appear; but a man to write out in full an incident one thing is past doubt, the materials like this is a mystery on any ordinary he preserved for forming one are ample estimate of humanity; but when, having and true. There is nothing to show, dealt so by his own wife, he proceeds however, that he had any such purpose: to relate how later in the day he keeps that is left for us who do not keep a disgraceful tryst with the wife of diaries. He simply records, passing one Bagwell, an underling in the Deptquite placidly from peculation to “din- ford yard, and how he fares therein, the ner with my father and wife.”
reader is impelled to fall back on the It seems a strange freak of the un- assumption of the unseen powers. For
to endow this unimaginative, there is, and can be, no reason why a upreflective man with the faculty of man should wish to remember such observing his proper self as a detached things; if some jocular spirits did not object, and of setting down his deeds impel him for their amusement to do so, and thoughts as if he, the writer, were it is clear he would choose to forget. not the doer. The more we read the But Samuel records faithfully. Next more it looks like a practical joke on day (his wife's eye being bad, though humanity, as if some coterie of spirits she in good temper with him, poor had conspired and said: Let us pro- thing!) he has further deeds of iniquity vide this man with the power of seeing to record with Bagwell's wife. Lookhimself precisely as he is, and the ing out for the comet which was then desire to write down what he sees. He surprising England, he reaches Christ. will take it seriously, and it will be mas Day. “Up (my wife's eye being ill sport to observe the precision with still of the blow I did in a passion give which he will set forth what he believes her on Monday last) to church alone, he comprehends. Some such supposi- where Mr. Mills, a good sermon.” After tion seems necessary to account for the dinner, “To the French Church, but marvellous fidelity of the record and the coming too late I returned, and to Mr. absence of all sense of moral contrast Rawlinson's church where I heard a or humor. Towards Christmas time of good sermon of one that I remember 1664 there comes bunched together a was at Paul's with me, his name Magnumber of entries of such ludicrous gett; and very great store of fine women