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SAMUEL PE PYS, F.R.S.,
SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY
IN THE REIGNS OF CHARLES II. AND JAMES II.
THE DIARY DECIPHERED BY THE REV. J. SMITH, A.B.,
FROM THE ORIGINAL SHORTHAND MS. IN THB PEPYSIAN LIBRARY.
GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.
The Diary and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, which first appeared in 1825, under my auspices, attracted so much notice, and became so generally popular, that every copy of two large editions has long since passed out of the hands of the Publisher. I have consequently been called upon, in my declining years, to prepare a third edition for the press_a task which, under ordinary circumstances, would have only required the correction of casual errors, and the addition of such notices as might have suggested themselves since the work came out.
But there remained a very important question for decision. Previously to the publication of the Diary, I had openly avowed my intention of omitting a great many passages contained in it, from the fear of rendering the work too volumi
nous, and fatiguing the reader by a superabundance of minute details and constant repetitions ; nor was I actuated by any other motive; and, although the trouble and responsibility rested with me exclusively, I was very much guided, in making the selection, by the opinion of two revered Relatives, now unhappily no more, in whose judgment and literary experience I reposed the highest confidence.
Still, a very general notion prevailed, that I had used the pruning-knife with too much freedom; and some persons even assumed that the most entertaining passages had been excluded; whilst it was suggested from many quarters that, if ever the Diary should be reprinted, the opportunity of bringing it forth as nearly as possible in its integral shape ought not to be neglected.
Anxious, however, as I felt to adopt such a course as might satisfy all parties, I found, after once more carefully reading over the whole of the MS., that a literal transcript of the Diary was absolutely inadmissible: I determined, therefore, in preparing the forthcoming edition, to insert in its proper place every passage that had been omitted, with the exception only of such entries as were devoid of the slightest interest, and many others of so indelicate a character, that