And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

2 January

1724
Jonathan Edwards
, theologian

‘These things established, - That time gained in things of lesser importance, is as much gained in things of greater; that a minute gained in times of confusion, conversation, or in a journey, is as good as minute gained in my study, at my most retired times; and so, in general, that a minute gained at one time is as good as at another.’

Sinking so exceedingly

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1772
Count de Benyovszky,
soldier and explorer

‘On the 2d, I sold my vessel to a Portugueze merchant, for the sum of four thousand five hundred piastres, ready money, and as much on credit: the Governor reserved to himself the whole of the stores.’

The king of Madagascar

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1833
William Macready,
actor

‘My performance this evening of Macbeth afforded me a striking evidence of the necessity there is for thinking over my characters previous to playing, and establishing, by practice if necessary, the particular modes of each scene and important passage. I acted with much energy, but could not (as I sometimes can, when holding the audience in wrapt attention) listen to my own voice, and feel the truth of its tones. It was crude, and uncertain, though spirited and earnest; but much thought is yet required to give an even energy and finished style to all the great scenes of the play, except perhaps the last, which is among the best things I am capable of. Knowles is ravished with his own acting, and the supposed support it has met with. I wish I was with mine.’

Acted Macbeth very unequally

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1942
General Basilio Valdes,
doctor and politician

‘After luncheon the President, Mrs. Quezon and their children were seated in the hospital tunnel [Malinta Tunnel, Corregidor], between laterals 11 & 9 where we were lodged. Two bombs fell on the hill on top of the tunnel, one of them near the main entrance. The whole mountain shook. Suddenly a terrific explosion was heard. A bomb had fallen 20 yards from the kitchen exit of the hospital tunnel. The lights were extinguished as a bomb had hit a generator. As the noise of the explosion was heard, simultaneously with the extinguishing of the lights, someone ordered aloud “everybody lie on the floor”. I did not do it as I thought it was absurd and ridiculous. I went to lateral 11 to get my flashlight from my bed and when I entered it I found the High Commissioner, Mrs. Sayre and his assistants lying on the cement floor. Someone turned on a flashlight. I saw the President, holding Mrs. Quezon moving towards his bed. There they sat. I took my flashlight and rushed back to the main hospital tunnel to see if someone else was been hurt. No one - Thank God! I sat down and waited.’

Aurora Quezon’s bomb fuse

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

1943
George Adamson,
conservationist

‘Went along the river bank with Joy and called a croc. She radiated sex and I only just managed to keep a hold on myself.’

A life of Joy and lions

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1985
John Lowe, miner

‘Back to the grind with the alarm set for 4.15am. We must be bloody crackers. Seven of us turned up for the first picket and we were disappointed to find only one policeman on duty, the idle swines.’

How bloody corrupt

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

1997
Ken Wilber,
religious author

‘Worked all morning, research and reading, while watching the sunlight play through the falling snow. The sun in not yellow today, it is white, like the snow, so I am surrounded by white on white, alone on alone. Sheer Emptiness, soft clear light, is what it all looks like, shimmering to itself in melancholy murmurs. I am released into that Emptiness, and all is radiant on this clear light day.’

On sheer emptiness

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And so made significant . . .
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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.

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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.