Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bonus Quote of the Day (Samuel Pepys, on a Prior ‘Year of Publick Wonder and Mischief’)

“Thus ends this year of publick wonder and mischief to this nation, and, therefore, generally wished by all people to have an end....[P]ublick matters in a most sad condition; seamen discouraged for want of pay, and are become not to be governed: nor, as matters are now, can any fleete go out next year. Our enemies, French and Dutch, great, and grow more by our poverty. The Parliament backward in raising, because jealous of the spending of the money; the City less and less likely to be built again, every body settling elsewhere, and nobody encouraged to trade. A sad, vicious, negligent Court, and all sober men there fearful of the ruin of the whole kingdom this next year; from which, good God deliver us!”—English government official and master diarist Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), diary entry of Dec. 31, 1666, in Pepys’ Diaries

It’s nice to know that 350 years ago, men worried about matters of state similar to now—foreign enemies, a dysfunctional legislative body, lack of public investment, a dormant economy, a malfunctioning judiciary, even ‘the ruin” of the country—and somehow still survived.

See you on the other side of the calendar in 2017…

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