Diary of Samuel Pepys
First Page:THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS M.A. F.R.S.
CLERK OF THE ACTS AND SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY
TRANSCRIBED FROM THE SHORTHAND MANUSCRIPT IN THE PEPYSIAN LIBRARY MAGDALENE COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE BY THE REV. MYNORS BRIGHT M.A. LATE FELLOW AND PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE
WITH LORD BRAYBROOKE'S NOTES
By Samuel Pepys
Edited With Additions By
Henry B. Wheatley F.S.A.
LONDON GEORGE BELL & SONS YORK ST. COVENT GARDEN CAMBRIDGE DEIGHTON BELL & CO.
Although the Diary of Samuel Pepys has been in the hands of the public for nearly seventy years, it has not hitherto appeared in its entirety. In the original edition of 1825 scarcely half of the manuscript was printed. Lord Braybrooke added some passages as the various editions were published, but in the preface to his last edition he wrote: "there appeared indeed no necessity to amplify or in any way to alter the text of the Diary beyond the correction of a few verbal errors and corrupt passages hitherto overlooked."
The public knew nothing as to what was left unprinted, and there was therefore a general feeling of gratification when it was announced some eighteen years ago that a new edition was to be published by the Rev. Mynors Bright, with the addition of new matter equal to a third of the whole. It was understood that at last the Diary was to appear in its entirety, but there was a passage in Mr. Bright's preface which suggested a doubt respecting the necessary completeness. He wrote: "It would have been tedious to the reader if I had copied from the Diary the account of his daily work at the office."
As a matter of fact, Mr. Bright left roughly speaking about one fifth of the whole Diary still unprinted, although he transcribed the whole, and bequeathed his transcript to Magdalene College.
It has now been decided that the whole of the Diary shall be made public, with the exception of a few passages which cannot possibly be printed. It may be thought by some that these omissions are due to an unnecessary squeamishness, but it is not really so, and readers are therefore asked to have faith in the judgment of the editor. Where any passages have been omitted marks of omission are added, so that in all cases readers will know where anything has been left out.
Lord Braybrooke made the remark in his "Life of Pepys," that "the cipher employed by him greatly resembles that known by the name of 'Rich's system.'" When Mr. Bright came to decipher the MS., he discovered that the shorthand system used by Pepys was an earlier one than Rich's, viz., that of Thomas Shelton, who made his system public in 1620.
In his various editions Lord Braybrooke gave a large number of valuable notes, in the collection and arrangement of which he was assisted by the late Mr. John Holmes of the British Museum, and the late Mr. James Yeowell, sometime sub editor of "Notes and Queries." Where these notes are left unaltered in the present edition the letter "B." has been affixed to them, but in many instances the notes have been altered and added to from later information, and in these cases no mark is affixed. A large number of additional notes are now supplied, but still much has had to be left unexplained. Many persons are mentioned in the Diary who were little known in the outer world, and in some instances it has been impossible to identify them. In other cases, however, it has been possible to throw light upon these persons by reference to different portions of the Diary itself. I would here ask the kind assistance of any reader who is able to illustrate passages that have been left unnoted. I have received much assistance from the various books in which the Diary is quoted. Every writer on the period covered by the Diary has been pleased to illustrate his subject by quotations from Pepys, and from these books it has often been possible to find information which helps to explain difficult passages in the Diary...