And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

26 April

Mary Browne,
young woman

‘We went to see the panorama of Naples: it was a beautiful view, there were a number of vessels in the bay; after one had looked long at them, one could fancy they were moving: in one of the boats there were some ladies sitting under a crimson canopy; in another some fruit; in one place there were some men fishing for mullet in a kind of round net, with fishes jumping through it; there was a man swimming with a basket in one hand, and several other figures; the ships were painted very gay colours, the water and the sky were as clear as crystal, and the whole so natural that one could hardly persuade oneself that it was not reality. The next panorama we saw was the battle of Waterloo: it was not near so pretty as Naples, it seemed all confusion; the farmhouse, however, was very natural, also some of the black horses. We next went to the panorama of Lausanne: the Lake of Geneva was very like Keswick Lake, but the lower end not so pretty; the mountains did not look very high. There were a great number of trees; some of them had on kind of covers, which looked like tombstones; the white railings and the shadows of the trees were remarkably natural; there were several figures, the prettiest was a little child learning to walk.

We went to St. Paul’s, and just walked through it. I thought it very fine, but spoiled by the blackness. I had no idea of the height till I observed some people in the gallery, who looked no bigger than flies; the pillars were very thick. In our way to St. Paul’s we passed by Perry’s glass-shop; in the window there was a curtain of glass drops, with two tassels; it had a very pretty effect, and when the sun shone it appeared all colours, but when we entered the shop it was quite beautiful, there were such numbers of large glass lamps hanging from the ceiling, and chandeliers, etc., in all parts. We saw the jugs belonging to a dessert-set for a Spanish nobleman, which was to cost twelve hundred pounds. Also a picture of a lamp which the King had had made there: it was gilt dragons with lotuses in their mouths; in these the lamps were placed so as to be quite hid. I should think it would be more curious than pretty. We passed by Green Park, and saw Lord William Gordon’s house, which has a very nice garden. We drove through Hyde Park; the trees were very pretty, and the leaves far out; we passed very near the Serpentine. It was excessively hot weather.’

The French lack of delicacy


Edmund Franklin Ely,
missionary and teacher

‘This afternoon, an Indian came to the House (who had previously given to Mr [William] Davenport’s man, the result of his hunt -) who had taken a credit last fall, - & instead of paying his credit, wanted to trade the amo of his Pack. Mr D. told him he must pay his credit - the Indian refused. [the Indian] raised himself up his knife in his hand. Mr D. caught a lance, which was at hand, & told the Ind. to be peacable, or consequences might follow. The Ind. was intimidated, & put by his knife, after waiting an hour or more, & seeing that Mr D. was not to be moved, the Ind. settled his business & - went off. It is a common thing - for some Stubborn Ind to endeavor to intimidate the traders [by] drawing their knives, & the only way is, for the trader to show them, that he is not afraid of him. . . let an Indian see that you are perfectly calm & determined, & he will quail before you.’

Not counting hedge hogs


William Whewell,
theologian and academic

‘Went to London to visit my wife’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, 41 Upper Grosvenor Street. I took with me to London the Draft of the College Statutes as revised by the Seniority, at the various preceding sittings. I reported to the Home Secretary, Sir J. Graham, that this revision was in progress, explained to him the general principles on which it had proceeded, and pointed out the few instances in which the privileges of the Crown were concerned, viz. (1.) Visitatorial power, (2.) Power of giving leave of absence, (3.) Power of appointing ten paupers. He informed me that he should lay the draft before the Attorney and Solicitor-General, and at a subsequent interview agreed to do so, while it was still unconfirmed by the Seniors. I also saw the Solicitor-General and the Attorney-General, who agreed to consider the unconfirmed draft; and I explained to them that the College did not expect or wish that they should suggest anything except what concerned the prerogatives of the Crown or the course of Law. For the purpose of consideration, I had two transcripts of the revised Statutes made, for which I paid 11l. 6s. I left one of these and a printed copy of the Statutes with Sir James Graham.’

Master of Trinity College


James A. Garfield,

‘sawed for Barns work by the day. 50 cents per day.

Feeling greatly dissatisfied


Mary Watts,

‘He began, because his hand was wearied by idleness, a sketch in oil, of me. Painted straight off, in four colours, on single prime canvas with white, light red, burnt & raw umber, a lovely flesh colour. It was all drawn in burnt umber, which is a very good useful colour but must be used carefully, transparently, over light ground or else it darkens & becomes very heavy. Talking of painting with varnish, Signor says that it must be used with the white ground & again with the colour.’

Happy with Signor


Aubrey Herbert,

‘At 5 o’clock yesterday our artillery began to land. It’s a very rough country; the Mediterranean macchia everywhere, and steep, winding valleys. We slept on a ledge a few feet above the beech . . . Firing went on all night. In the morning it was very cold, and we were all soaked. The Navy, it appeared, had landed us in the wrong place. This made the Army extremely angry, though as things turned out it was the one bright spot. Had we landed anywhere else, we should have been wiped out.’

Herbert goes to war


George Adamson,

‘I realised today that Joy has doubts about our marriage being a success. My God - is she another Juliette? No, it can’t be, she is in a very nervous state over the divorce and it is understandable.’

A life of Joy and lions


Elizabeth Smart,

‘It is unbearable loving George. I always knew he (wouldn’t) couldn’t come and yet I always expect him and sit in that insane fever of anticipation no matter how I keep telling myself his coming is out of the question. What can I possibly do? I really can’t bear it. It gets worse, not better. He won’t let me leave him, yet he won’t stay with me. he won’t settle my difficulties, and yet he won’t let me try and settle them for myself. I love him desperately, but he continually ruins my hopes that we are going to lead a happy married life together. I always believe that this time it will really happen and there is never anything but the same disappointments and frustrations. He never comes when he says he will. He always stays away two or three times as long as he says he will. He always vanishes and lets me sit waiting for him in my best clothes, relishing the hour to come. O God George, can’t you see that I can’t bear this life of continual frustration and solitude? Suddenly one day I will crack, snap, break in two and BE GONE.’

O God George, can’t you see


Alfred Kazin,
literary critic

‘Met Isaac Bashevis Singer in the Braniff waiting room at Laguardia. [. . .] He makes an impression on all around him even when they are not exactly sure who or what he is. His bags (which he insisted on carrying at all times) were crammed with mss. in large manila envelopes. He writes on loose pages torn out of school exercise books, and said, among other wonderful things, that the Jews hypnotize the outsiders & then get hated when they themselves desert “their” cause (i.e., first Christianity & then Marxism). He brightened up (without the help of any strong meat or drink whatsoever) at dinner, became positively pixieish at times. The essential solitude of the man, a kind of genial indifference to the world while happily tasting its money, prizes, etc. (his only recreation is travel) was very noticeable. It no longer matters where he is; he does not believe in anything outside his creative mind & fancies.’

The literary profession


Alan Clark
, politician

‘But goodness, she is so beautiful; made up to the nines of course, for the television programme, but still quite bewitching, as Eva Peron must have been. I could not take my eyes off her and after a bit she, quite properly, would not look me in the face and I detached myself from the group with the excuse that I was going up to heckle Michael Foot who was doing the winding-up for Labour.’ [In the cafeteria in the House of Commons, after Thatcher had been interviewed by Robin Day for Panorama.]

Thatcher gives a cuddle


Rob Ellis,

‘His Royal Ignorance, George Bush, hopes the Supreme Court will outlaw abortion. The man is all eloquence. In other contexts he speaks of “this vision thing” and “the contra thing.” I wish I could tax bad syntax.’3 December 1936

‘I’m still having trouble adjusting to the city room of the Oklahoma City Times. When I worked for the New Orleans Item the office was a happy Bedlam, while this office seems like Sunday School. Today the managing editor sent me a note requesting that I make sure my desk is neat before I leave. Nuts! A newspaper office should be the last refuge of non-conformists! “Scoop” Thompson even declares there should be a Constitutional amendment stating that it is the duty of every reporter to get drunk every Saturday night - at least.’

A fat little rascal


David Coulthard,

‘In the warm-up I was fastest by a considerable margin and felt very content with the car in race trim. The spare car was set up for me this weekend and I even had time to check it out for a few laps. Mika wound up fourth quickest after losing time with boiling brake fluid. I had a similar problem but chose not to come in and have the brakes bled the way he did.

To me, this was an indication that Mika was not as settled in his mind as I was. In a situation like this both drivers are thankful, in a way, that they are suffering with the same problem. It's easier to deal with in your mind when you know fate hasn’t singled you out. But it seemed like a push too hard. There was no need to be on the limit at every corner and as I had not won a race yet it would be foolish to risk making a mistake. I just quietly eased away.

The early laps went by without incident and then on lap 17 I was informed over the radio that Mika was out of the race. I didn’t see his car anywhere on the circuit so I presumed he had retired in the pits, which meant it was unlikely he had an engine failure. A few laps later I was instructed to short shift - shift gears earlier than usual at a lower rpm.

I never questioned why the team wanted me to do this, though ! suspected it had something to do with whatever Mika’s problem had been. I didn’t want to have to worry about it. When your team mate has a mechanical failure you have to be prepared for a similar problem in your car, but there is very little you can do about it other than follow the team’s instructions. You don’t want any unnecessary information. As it turned out Mika had a gearbox problem, but there seemed to be nothing wrong with mine.

Everything continued to go fairly smoothly and on lap 44 peeled off into the pits to make my second stop. I came in slowly to avoid overheating the brakes and the guys put in the fuel and changed the tyres with their usual efficiency. When I regained the circuit I immediately saw in my mirrors a red Ferrari. I then wondered at the wisdom of being so cautious on the entry to the pits, because I wasn’t sure if the Ferrari behind me was being driven by Michael or Eddie Irvine, who had been running second and third.

Since I was quite busy trying to get the most out of my new tyres I didn’t want to ask over the radio which Ferrari was behind me. When you’re concentrating hard a conversation can be distracting and any information you receive may not be immediately absorbed. So I focused on keeping the gap to the Ferrari and when I came around after the first lap my lead had actually increased. At this point I became more relaxed because If I could open up the gap with a full load of fuel and new tyres I was obviously in good shape.

It was Michael in the following Ferrari. He made a pit stop, after which he began to close up on me quite quickly. To counteract this threat Dave Ryan came on the radio and said I should go back to normal shifting. It was funny, because Dave said I needed to do a certain lap time to maintain the gap to Michael, and when I came around again I had actually gone a tenth of a second quicker than instructed. I felt like going on the radio and apologizing.

It was important to let Michael know that he could chase me all he wanted but if he got too close I could still go quicker than him. If you are chasing someone and they start to open up a bigger gap it can be demoralizing and they tend to back off. That’s what Michael did and he settled for second place.

On the final lap I spoke to the team over the radio, saying my usual thing when I am about to win: ‘Here I come!’ All the guys were leaning over the pit wall as I crossed the finish line and I jinked over close and gave them a bit of a victory wiggle.

It is an amazing rush of emotion that flows through your whole body when you win. I certainly don’t get that feeling in anything else I do in life. It’s an overwhelming feeling of joy, a physical sensation that is almost sexual.

This victory was especially satisfying because it was so timely. I had to come here and do exactly what I did. It is important not to allow people a comfort zone. That gives them extra confidence, so I had to take pole and lead from the start. When you’re under such pressure you have to take yourself back to the core of your self belief and motivation. You have to keep reminding yourself that you have what it takes to do the job. When you get proof of that, with a w it can put you on a roll.

In the post-race interviews I made a point of saying that my result was the best response to the earlier criticism, and to the rumours that my future in the team was not secure. It brought me to within three points of Mika in the championship, which meant the team would continue to focus on us both. If Michael had retired, it would have been perfect, but I was still three points ahead of him.

There was no partying or celebrating after the race because I was actually feeling unwell. I had a very sore stomach, probably from something I ate, and had to lie down for a couple of hours in the back of the team motor home. Heidi and I didn’t leave the circuit until late and it was well after midnight when we got home to Monaco. The next day I was involved in a Mercedes ‘A’ Class promotion with Mika and Ron near Nice, and that night we went to Barcelona to begin a week’s testing.’

When you win


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And so made significant . . .
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In general, these diary extracts are quoted as given in the published (book or online) source referred to in the reference articles. Each extract may be all, a large part of, or a small part of the complete entry for that day. I have tried to indicate where text has been removed from within a quote by the use of trailing dots in square bracket.

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