And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

22 July

1587
Richard Rogers,
priest

‘This month, tor all the gracious intraunce into it, which I made mention of before, a sweet seasoninge of my minde with sensible sorow for mine unnwoorthiness and wants, hath been much lik unto the former, for though I began well, yet I by litle and litle fell from the strenghth which I had gotten and became unprofitable in study, and praier and med[itation] were not continued privatly of me with such ioy as the first week, yet not broken of. But I felt not how the frut of them did sweetly accompany me all the day after. And study was better folowed the first and 2 week then since, but setled at it I cannot feele my self, which is my sorow. And among other thinges I cannot feele use of that which I know, nether have any freshe remembr[ance] of it for that I doe not still increase it. What strugglinges and yet apparent hindraunces I feele about it, it is merveilous. In the other 3 thinges about the which and this I am especially occupied, as I cannot say that there hath passed much against me to accuse me, so I count that to have been becaus I have not had such occasions offred me as might have proved me. And for that the lord hath kept these from me in great measure, let me geve glory to the lorde allwayes.

I thanck god at the setting downe hereof I was well affected, and mine hart since yesterday was greeved to see such a decay of grac as partly now I have set downe. And in deed I am glad that I may see with grief when there is any declineing in my lif, seing it cannot be avoided but such shalbe, but yet that thei are so often, and that so few times of grace may be redde in these papers to have been inioyed of me, it is no meane grief unto me.

I escaped a great peril of the disfiguring of my fac, if no greater, under a tree at the commencment. Where, to see how their ordrelynes in other places creepeth in also, it may iustly greev a Christian hart. We mett at B. also this week and conferred. I visited 2 sick persons this time, not without profit. I have also been well affected at the doctrine of exod[us] 16 for the most part this month, weeping once or twice.’

Diverse corners of my heart

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1726
Benjamin Franklin,
politician

‘Yesterday in the afternoon we left London, and came to an anchor off Gravesend about eleven at night. I lay ashore all night, and this morning took a walk up to the Windmill Hill, from whence I had an agreeable prospect of the country for above twenty miles round, and two or three reaches of the river, with ships and boats sailing both up and down, and Tilbury Fort on the other side, which commands the river and passage to London. This Gravesend is a cursed biting place; the chief dependence of the people being the advantage they make of imposing upon strangers. If you buy anything of them, and give half what they ask, you pay twice as much as the thing is worth. Thank God, we shall leave it tomorrow.’

Founding Father Franklin

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1757
Robert Lester,
diplomat

‘This Morning, at break of day, we left the above Town, and now we are come into a wide River, we meet with great numbers of Boats, loaded with Plunder, belonging to the King of Ava, taken at Pegu, and I am informed going up to Prone, Ava, &c. and that the King is not far from us. At 3 this Afternoon, we came to a small Town, on the bank of the River, where we found the King, in his Barge, with great numbers of other Boats attending him: Antonio waited on the King, to acquaint him I was come, and, at 5 o’clock, a Messenger came from Antonio to acquaint me, that the King would give me Audience to-morrow morning and that it was the King’s Desire I should send the Present by the Messenger, which I delivered.’

An audience with Alaungpaya

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1840
Letitia Hargrave,
wife of colonist

‘Went on deck before 8am to see a large ice berg. Miss Allan describes it as being like a hay stack. It was about 160 feet above water and an oblong square plenty of ice all round.’

York Factory lady

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1864
John L. Ransom,
soldier

‘A petition is gotten up, signed by all Sergeants in the prison, to be sent to Washington, D. C., begging to be released. Captain Wirtz has consented to let three representatives go for that purpose. Rough that it should be necessary for us to beg to be protected by our Government.’

See maggots squirming

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1883
Thomas Hardy,
writer

‘To Winterbome-Came Church with Gosse, to hear and see the poet Barnes. Stayed for sermon. Barnes, knowing we should be on the watch for a prepared sermon, addressed it entirely to his own flock, almost pointedly excluding us. Afterwards walked to the rectory and looked at his pictures.

Poetry versus reason: e.g., A band plays ‘God save the Queen’, and being musical the uncompromising Republican joins in the harmony: a hymn rolls from a church-window, and the uncompromising No-God-ist or Unconscious God-ist takes up the refrain.

White phantoms, cloven tongues

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1941
George Barker,
poet

‘The grammar of glorification is demonstrated at the flick of her head in the candlelight and at her smile the foundation of vocal admiration collapses in the magnificat. Mythology, in a poverty of raiment, cannot clothe her and god almighty on his throne of grace serves only to adorn the ring on her little finger. O my Canadian!’

O God George, can’t you see

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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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