And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

4 April

1811
Henry Crabb Robinson,
lawyer

‘At Pope’s benefit, at the Opera House. “The Earl of Warwick.” Mrs. Siddons most nobly played her part as Margaret of Anjou. The character is one to which she can still render justice. She looked ill, and I thought her articulation indistinct, and her voice drawling and funereal during the first act; but as she advanced in the play, her genius triumphed over natural impediments. She was all that could be wished. The scene in which she wrought upon the mind of Warwick was perfect. And in the last act, her triumphant joy at the entrance of Warwick, whom she had stabbed, was incomparable. She laughed convulsively, and staggered off the stage as if drunk with delight; and in every limb showed the tumult of passion with an accuracy and a force equally impressive to the critic and the man of feeling.

Her advancing age is a real pain to me. As an actor, she has left with me the conviction that there never was, and never will be, her equal.’

Her genius triumphed

**************************************************************************************

1864
Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff,
politician

‘Went down to Brooke House in the Isle of Wight, belonging to Mr. Seely, M.P. for Lincoln, to meet Garibaldi, who had just come to England, and is on a visit to him.

It was a strange miscellaneous party. Menotti Garibaldi [politician son of the famous Giuseppe Garibaldi] and Ricciotti his brother, the latter little more than a boy. [. . .] I had a pretty long talk with Garibaldi, walking up and down a long orchard house full of fruit trees in flower. He spoke English badly but preferred speaking it, although his French was more agreeable to listen to in spite of a strong Italian accent. His conversation did not at all impress me, but he spoke only of trivial subjects. He wore while at Brooke sometimes a grey and sometimes a red poncho.’

Good-natured books

**************************************************************************************

1891
Lafcadio Hearn,
writer and teacher

‘The Students of the third, fourth, and fifth year classes write for me once a week brief English compositions upon easy themes which I select for them. As a rule the themes are Japanese. Considering the immense difficulty of the English language to Japanese students, the ability of some of my boys to express their thoughts in it is astonishing. Their compositions have also another interest for me as revelations, not of individual character, but of national sentiment, or of aggregate sentiment of some sort or other. What seems to me most surprising in the compositions of the average Japanese student is that they have no personal cachet at all. Even the handwriting of twenty English compositions will be found to have a curious family resemblance; and striking exceptions are too few to affect the rule. Here is one of the best compositions on my table, by a student at the head of his class. Only a few idiomatic errors have been corrected:

“THE MOON”

“The Moon appears melancholy to those who are sad, and joyous to those who are happy. The Moon makes memories of home come to those who travel, and creates home-sickness. So when the Emperor Godaigo, having been banished to Oki by the traitor Hojo, beheld the moonlight upon the seashore, he cried out, ‘The Moon is heartless!’

The sight of the Moon makes an immeasurable feeling in our hearts when we look up at it through the clear air of a beauteous night.

Our hearts ought to be pure and calm like the light of the Moon.

Poets often compare the Moon to a Japanese mirror and indeed its shape is the same when it is full.

The refined man amuses himself with the Moon. He seeks some house looking out upon water, to watch the Moon, and to make verses about it.

The best places from which to see the Moon are Tsukigashi, and the mountain Obasute.

The light of the Moon shines alike upon foul and pure, upon high and low. That beautiful Lamp is neither yours nor mine, but everybody’s.

When we look at the Moon we should remember that its waxing and its waning are the signs of the truth that the culmination of all things is likewise the beginning of their decline.”

Any person totally unfamiliar with Japanese educational methods might presume that the foregoing composition shows some original power of thought and imagination. But this is not the case. I found the same thoughts and comparisons in thirty other compositions upon the same subject. Indeed, the compositions of any number of middle-school students upon the same subject are certain to be very much alike in idea and sentiment - though they are none the less charming for that. As a rule the Japanese student shows little originality in the line of imagination. His imagination was made for him long centuries ago - partly in China, partly in his native land. From his childhood he is trained to see and to feel Nature exactly in the manner of those wondrous artists who, with a few swift brush-strokes, fling down upon a sheet of paper the colour-sensation of a chilly dawn, a fervid noon, an autumn evening.

Through all his boyhood he is taught to commit to memory the most beautiful thoughts and comparisons to be found in his ancient native literature. Every boy has thus learned that the vision of Fuji against the blue resembles a white half-opened fan, hanging inverted in the sky. Every boy knows that cherry-trees in full blossom look as if the most delicate of flushed summer clouds were caught in their branches. Every boy knows the comparison between the falling of certain leaves on snow and the casting down of texts upon a sheet of white paper with a brush. Every boy and girl knows the verses comparing the print of cat’s-feet on snow to plum-flowers, and that comparing the impression of bokkuri on snow to the Japanese character for the number “two,” These were thoughts of old, old poets; and it would be very hard to invent prettier ones. Artistic power in composition is chiefly shown by the correct memorising and clever combination of these old thoughts.

And the students have been equally well trained to discover a moral in almost everything, animate or inanimate.’

Lafcadio Hearn in Japan

**************************************************************************************

1932
William Soutar,
poet

‘Writing and reading: continue to wrestle with words in a very sticky fashion. Perhaps my concentration on verse has made it difficult for me when I turn to prose - anyhow, there is often a strained sound about such prose as I write. Of course all men, I expect, come upon these periods of mental stiffness - but they are depressing at the time and bring with them the fear that they may not pass away. At such moments, the mood is disintegrated - a stimulating talk with a kindred spirit may also disperse it - but alas! I rarely enjoy that. Indeed, I sometimes wonder if much of the irritating tattle which is washed my way lies like a weight on the spirit.’

My hungry hound

**************************************************************************************

1944
Alexander Cadogan,
civil servant

‘Several of the more disreputable papers canvass my appointment as S. of S. - deprecating it. I most cordially agree with them! Jim Thomas tells me it’s been going all round the Lobbies, on the grounds that that is what P.M. wants - so that he should have complete control of F.A., I suppose! He may have toyed with the idea, but it’s a bad one.’

Went to see P.M. (in bed)

**************************************************************************************

1986
Anthony Powell,
writer

‘My agent John Rush rang in the afternoon to say the BBC (i.e. Jonathan Powell) have decided not to do Dance [to the Music of Time] on TV. Rush says he is going to try Granada with the Ken Taylor/Innes Lloyd script as a package. After the last eight or nine years of BBC ineptitudes about Dance nothing surprises me, I feel one of the commercial companies certainly would be no worse to deal with, probably better. Why Dance should now appear unsuitable after ‘passing’ three scripted episodes is beyond comprehension. For that matter, after reading the sequence itself, a quiet beginning leading up to deeper matters is an essential aspect of the construction. Rush rather distraught. He has taken a lot of trouble about Dance over the years, and is understandably disappointed at this.’

Speaking of The Possessed

**************************************************************************************

Pikle - The Diary Review - The Diary Junction - Contact

And so made significant . . .
and its companion websites -
The Diary Review
and The Diary Junction - are maintained privately without any funding or advertising. Please consider supporting their author/editor by purchasing one or more of his books in the
Not a Brave New World trilogy.
Thank you
.

Not a Brave New World is an extraordinary fictional memoir, a trilogy in three wives, spanning the whole of the 21st century: one man’s - Kip Fenn’s - frank account, sometimes acutely painful and sometimes surprisingly joyful, of his three partners, and his career in international diplomacy working to tackle the rich-poor divide.

GILLIAN - Book 1 - Amazon (US/UK)
Kip Fenn’s first love is in a coma. His father suddenly isn’t his father. After formative trips to Brussels and Brazil, Kip wins a civil service job. Unfortunately, a media baron discovers his sexual weakness and is blackmailing him for government secrets. If only Kip could find solace in his wife’s arms or joy in his children.

DIANA - Book 2 - Amazon (US/UK)
Kip Fenn is a success: his career has taken off within a major UN agency trying to spread wealth from the rich to the poor. But all is not well with the world - the golden age of oil and chips is now over, and unsustainable development is leading to social turmoil, and to world war. Kip has found love and a new family, but he can find no way to stop his older children self-destruct; nor does he realise his partner’s deceit.

LIZETTE - Book 3 - Amazon (US/UK)
Third time lucky - Kip Fenn finds true love. His UN career though is ending with a whimper. Another terrible war is cut short by the devastating Grey Years, and while nations rebuild many individuals turn Notek. In restless retirement, Kip’s lifelong passion for vintage photos sees him launching a new arts institution. But who is the mysterious visitor by his bedside, and how will she affect his planned deathday?

FULL CALENDAR

And so made significant . . .
is the world's greatest online anthology of diary extracts. It is presented in the same way as popular books like The Assassin’s Cloak and The Faber Book of Diaries, i.e. by calendar day, but contains more, and many longer, extracts than is possible in published books. Moreover, for each quoted extract there’s a link to a Diary Review article with some or all of the following: further extracts, biographical information, contexts, a portrait, and links to online sources/etexts. Furthermore, new extracts are added on a regular basis.

in diary days

SUPPORT THE EDITOR!

ABOUT, SOURCES, LINKS

Notes and Cautions
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.

For any other use of these diary extracts other than browsing please refer to the original sources.

Any author, publisher or other copyright holder who takes the view that I am unacceptably breaching their copyright please let me know. I have tried to remain sensitive to copyright rules (using far fewer quotes, for example, when a book, by an author still alive, remains in print and popular), but it is not practical for me to seek authorisation for every quote and article, since I maintain these websites without any funding or advertis-ing. I take the view that publicity for the source books is a quid pro quo for my use of the extracts, but I am more than happy to remove the extracts if asked.

SITE DEVISED by Paul K Lyons

The Diary Junction is one of those wonderful privately maintained public resources for which the Internet is justly celebrated: a database of information about celebrated and obscure diaries[over 500] from all historical periods, with referrals to the dates the diaries cover, where the originals are held and bibliographic information on published versions.’ Laura Miller, Salon

The Diary Review, hosted by Blogger, publishes magazine-style articles on diaries and diarists, usually several every week. The blog has been publishing for over five years, and is the secondary source for the diary extracts in this online anthology.