The Celebrated work here presented to the public under peculiar advantages may require a few introductory remarks. By the publication, during the ... Show synopsis The Celebrated work here presented to the public under peculiar advantages may require a few introductory remarks. By the publication, during the last half century, of autobiographies, Diaries, and Records of Personal Character; this class of literature has been largely enriched, not only with works calculated for the benefit of the student, but for that larger class of readers-the people, who in the byeways of History and Biography which these works present, gather much of the national life at many periods, and pictures of manners and customs, habits and amusements, such as are not so readily to be found in more elaborate works. The Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn, published in the year 1817, is the first of the class of books to which special reference is here made. This was followed by the publication, in 1825, of the Diary and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, a work of a more entertaining character than that of Evelyn. There is, moreover, another distinction between the two: the Diary of Pepys was written "at the end of each succeeding day;" whereas the Diary of Evelyn is more the result of leisure and after- thought, and partakes more of the character of history. Pepys's account of the Great Fire of London in 1666 is full as minute as that of Evelyn, but it is mingled with a greater number of personal and official circumstances, of popular interest: the scene of dismay and confusion which it exhibits is almost beyond parallel. "It is observed and is true in the late Fire of London," says Pepys, "that the fire burned just as many parish churches as there were hours from the beginning to the end of the fire; and next, that there were just as many churches left standing in the rest of the city that was not burned, being, I think, thirteen in all of each; which is pretty to observe." Again, Pepys was at this time clerk of the Acts of the Navy; his house and office were in Seething-lane, Crutched Friars; he was called up at three in the morning, Sept. 2, by his maid Jane, and so rose and slipped on his nightgown, and went to her window; but thought the fire far enough off, and so went to bed again, and to sleep.