30 JANUARY 1926, Page 22


The Private Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers of Samuel Pepys (G. Bell and Sons. 2 vols. 26s.) is edited by Dr. Tanner, and furnishes an interesting light on Pepys' insatiable curiosity as a collector and his methodical activity in preparing memoranda on topics of interest to him. Although these volumes are in the main of interest to the student rather than to the wide public who read the Diary, there are passages giving delightful sidelights on life at the close of the seventeenth century. A letter to Pepys' nephew, John Jackson, with instructions regarding a tour of Europe, states it is advisable that you embark at Rye for Diep, which you will find the easiest and shortest passage to Paris." The route from Paris to Venice, via Lyons and the Mont Cenis is estimated to take six. weeks. "I calculate you cannot be less than ten days going from Venice to Rome. . . . In your way you'l pass many good towns, but not any except Bologna and Loretto that deserves your notice." (And this although young Jackson's route lay through Forli, Rimini, Ancona, Foligno and Spoleto !) In most great towns," concludes the letter, "you will find antiquaries to show you the curiosities of the place, and in Rome, for a pistoll, you may have one who will attend you all the time you are there." A pistoll was worth 18s. in the currency of Charles II., or about 1.8 to-day. One must smile at Mr. Jackson's solicitude for his uncle in sending him "a scuie of bloated herrings, which I thought very well cured," before departing for the Grand Tour.