And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

20 March

1758
Jeffrey Amherst,
soldier

‘We saw three sail and one we took for a french Privateer which we chased. The weather was so calm we could not get up to her; we tryed an Eighteen Pounder to throw it as far as they could but it did not go above half way to her and in the evening I believe the Privateer got out her oars, for she got allmost out of sight and we gave over the chase. In the night it began to blow very hard and the 21st it blew hard and was very heavy. In the morning as we were going Eleven Nots an hour a ship was seen to Windward laying by within half a mile of us, & was taken at first for an English frigate. Capt. Rodney ordered the Mainsail to be hauled up immediately and ship to be cleared, and knew the ship to be a french one; directlv we began to fire he hoisted English colours, and on continuing to fire at him as he did not lower his sail his English ensign was blown away and he hoisted French. The Dublin fired five and twenty or thirty shots, and the frenchman three and some musketry and then struck. The first Lieut., Mr. Worth, went on board her and sent the captain who told us he came from L’Isle de Bourbon, had been four weeks on his Voyage and was laying by for fair weather to run into Brest which he said was twenty leagues from him, that he had seven hundred Thousand Pounds weight of Coffee, Part for the India Company and part for Monsr. LeBorde, Merchant at Bayonne, and some thousand Pounds of Logwood 40,000 P weight; his Vessel LeMonmartel of about 400 Tons and 73 men, officers included. All the men except the sick were brought on board just before night and 30 men sent with Lt. Worth into the Prize.’

Canada for the British

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1815
Neil Campell,
soldier

‘Left Genoa. During the night robbed of my watch and between fifty and sixty guineas by brigands near Novi.’

Of Napoleon, and a turtle

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1856
Samuel Wilberforce,
priest

‘To Windsor Castle. The Confirmation of Princess Royal interesting she devout, composed, earnest; youngest sister much affected the Queen and Prince also. The Queen spoke most kindly to me after: all very kind. On to London large Confirmation at St. James’s felt constrained, and very unlike my own. Then to London House. Met Dr. Todd, who spoke hopefully of Bishop. Saw him, very low, very affecting state, spoke of himself as dying. I certain to succeed him, and no one to whom he could more happily entrust his Diocese, &c. About himself, his keen sight of past sins; no hope but simply in Christ’s sacrifice for him. A great struggle between conscience and faith. Pray for me. A most affecting sight in one so good. How awful to all the vision of sin in the light of God’s countenance.’

Descended from a bishop

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1908
William Booth,
priest and evangelist

‘Arriving at Amsterdam, the mail brought confirmation of my agreement of yesterday to postpone my South African visit to September, and to begin my Motor Tour at Dundee, and finish at the Crystal Palace. In all these things the maxim is ever present to my mind, ‘Man proposes, but God disposes.’ Closed the night at the desk, which is becoming more and more a difficult task from the failure of my eyes.’

I got the truth out

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1922
Carl Rogers,
doctor

‘This has been one of the most beautiful days that we have had since we left home. The trip from Kobe down to the end of the Island has been simply one grand panorama of changing scenes; rice paddies, mountains, hills, fishing villages, great broad rivers, and the beautiful inland sea.

There were many interesting things in the morning; the train was taking us rapidly into warmer country and it looked more and more like summer. For the first time we saw rice growing in the fields, and the men and more often the women out in the water up to their ankles, weeding the rows. The rice is a very slender wiry looking plant when it is small, and a darker green even than the winter wheat.

During the afternoon we rode for a long time within sight of the inland sea. The little thatched huts of the fishing villages were most interesting. They were the same general type as the farmers houses, one storied, with thin wooden walls, and a very neatly thatched roof, but they were not as prosperous looking as the farmhouses. In many places there were ponderous stone or earth dikes to keep the sea from rushing in on the little rice fields. The fishermen in many places have placed weirs, crude little bamboo traps, across the mouth of the rivers that empty into the sea, and catch the fish as they go up the river to spawn.

The scenery along the coast is the best I have seen anywhere since I have started. The mountains and jagged rocks formed a “stern and rockbound coast,” and the rocky islands off the coast were about as fine as anything of that sort I have ever seen. In some places there were rocky reefs where the breakers were breaking and casting great clouds of spray into the air, for the wind was very strong.

The craft were as interesting as the sea itself. There were many of the large, clumsy fisherman’s dories being sculled along by means of the large orr at the stern; there were little native coasting boats, with patched old sails; and now and then we would see a larger freighter steaming along.

We got to Sheminoseki right on time (all Japanese trains seem to be right on time) and got our baggage transferred to the boat. We were all prepared for a rough night, for we knew how strong the wind was, but we were a little surprised to find that the passenger steamer that had set out for Fusan in the morning had had to give up and come back, because it was too rough to cross. However the officers of the boat thought we could make it all right, and they were going to make another try, anyway, so we steamed out of the long harbor. There was surely some gale blowing, but it didnt bother most of us. Austin, Mildred, Jean, and myself even went so far as to have some bread and jam and tea before we went to bed. I slept like a log, though every now and then when I woke up, the boat seemed to be doing its best to stand on its head. It didnt roll so badly, but it pitched and bucked as badly as I have ever wished to try it.’

Alongside Carl Rogers

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1969
Richard Burton,
actor

‘The last six months have been a nightmare. I created one half and Elizabeth the other. We grated on each other to the point of separation. I had thought of going to live lone in some remote shack in a rainy place and E had thought of going to stay with Howard in Hawaii. It is of course quite impossible. We are bound together. Hoop-steeled. Whither thou goest. He said hopefully.’

I bought her a jet plane

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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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