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‘I am very much annoyed that I am prevented from assisting at the ceremony to-day. It would be very good if you would say that nothing but very urgent business would have kept me away. I was anxious to give my testimony to the merits of Pepys as an Admiralty official, leaving his literary merits to you. He was concerned with the administration of the Navy from the Restoration to the Revolution, and from 1673 as secretary.
We had no word in England which was equivalent to the French adjective Bourgeois; but, at all events, Samuel Pepys was the most perfect type that ever existed of the class of people whom this word described. He had all its merits as well as many of its defects. With all those defects, however perhaps in consequence of them—Pepys had written one of the most delightful books that it was man’s privilege to read in the English language or in any other. Whether Pepys intended this Diary to be afterwards read by the general public or not—and this was a doubtful question when it was considered that he had left, possibly by inadvertence, a key to his cypher behind him—it was certain that he had left with us a most delightful picture, or rather he had left the power in our hands of drawing for ourselves some, of the most delightful pictures, of the time in which he lived. There was hardly any book which was analogous to it . .. . .
The sequel of this book is The Diary of Samuel Pepys 1661