[FIXED]Journal of the Plague Year - missing text?

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Post by hugh » October 10th, 2009, 1:34 pm


I discovered a huge and a small chunk of missing text in the audio of Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year. There could be more missing text that probably slipped by me. I checked with the Gutenburg text that you used and there is a block of 33,740 words missing between files 9 and 10. There are also 3 paragraphs of audio missing on the end of audio file 10.

In Gutenburg the first paragraph of the missing huge chunk is:
It was observable, then, that this calamity of the people made them very
humble; for now for about nine weeks together there died near a thousand
a day, one day with another, even by the account of the weekly bills,
which yet, I have reason to be assured, never gave a full account, by
many thousands; the confusion being such, and the carts working in the
dark when they carried the dead, that in some places no account at all
was kept, but they worked on, the clerks and sextons not attending for
weeks together, and not knowing what number they carried. This account
is verified by the following
bills of mortality:--

The last paragraph of the missing huge chunk is:
This leads me again to mention the time when the plague first began;
that is to say, when it became certain that it would spread over the
whole town, when, as I have said, the better sort of people first took
the alarm and began to hurry themselves out of town. It was true, as I
observed in its place, that the throng was so great, and the coaches,
horses, waggons, and carts were so many, driving and dragging the people
away, that it looked as if all the city was running away; and had
any regulations been published that had been terrifying at that time,
especially such as would pretend to
dispose of the people otherwise than
they would dispose of themselves, it would have put both the city and
suburbs into the utmost confusion.
The entire missing small chunk of three paragraphs at the end of file 10:
I would be far from lessening the awe of the judgements of God and the
reverence to His providence which ought always to be on our minds on
such occasions as these. Doubtless the visitation itself is a stroke
from Heaven upon a city, or country, or nation where it falls; a
messenger of His vengeance, and a loud call to that nation or country
or city to humiliation and repentance, according to that of the prophet
Jeremiah (xviii. 7, 8): 'At what instant I shall speak concerning a
nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and
to destroy it; if that nation against whom I have pronounced turn from
their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.'
Now to prompt due impressions of the awe of God on the minds of men on
such occasions, and not to lessen them, it is that I have left those
minutes upon record.

I say, therefore, I reflect upon no man for putting the reason of those
things upon the immediate hand of God, and the appointment and direction
of His providence; nay, on the contrary, there were many wonderful
deliverances of persons from infection, and deliverances of persons
when infected, which intimate singular and remarkable providence in
the particular instances to which they refer; and I esteem my own
deliverance to be one next to miraculous, and do record it with

But when I am speaking of the plague as a distemper arising from natural
causes, we must consider it as it was really propagated by natural
means; nor is it at all the less a judgement for its being under the
conduct of human causes and effects; for, as the Divine Power has formed
the whole scheme of nature and maintains nature in its course, so the
same Power thinks fit to let His own actings with men, whether of mercy
or judgement, to go on in the ordinary course of natural causes; and
He is pleased to act by those natural causes as the ordinary means,
excepting and reserving to Himself nevertheless a power to act in a
supernatural way when He sees occasion. Now 'tis evident that in the
case of an infection there is no apparent extraordinary occasion for
supernatural operation, but the ordinary course of things appears
sufficiently armed, and made capable of all the effects that Heaven
usually directs by a contagion. Among these causes and effects, this of
the secret conveyance of infection, imperceptible and unavoidable, is
more than sufficient to execute the fierceness of Divine vengeance,
without putting it upon supernaturals and miracle.

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Post by kmerline » October 10th, 2009, 2:32 pm

Denny and I experienced a little confusion about this back in the spring of 2007.

The discussion culminates here

in a May 28, 2007 post. Apparently there are two versions; he was reading one of them, and I was proofing from the other.

We were finally satisfied, and the URL of the Gutenberg text was changed to refer to the one from which Denny was reading. Curiously, where some material is missing, other material is added.

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Post by RuthieG » October 10th, 2009, 2:54 pm

I haven't gone into it in detail, but it appears that there is only one Gutenberg text http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/376 which is the link on the LV catalogue page, and this has 94,919 words.

The recording is less than 8 hours in total, which would work out at 200 words a minute, and I'm sure Denny doesn't read that fast. ;)

My LV catalogue page | RuthieG's CataBlog of recordings | Tweet: @RuthGolding

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Post by kmerline » October 11th, 2009, 1:39 pm

The "other" one is entitled "The History of the Plague in London":

At the time, to make my point that the reading didn't conform to the listed text, I wound up making a detailed comparison - there is maybe 90 percent common material, but the differences are all concentrated at certain places.

Neither volume contains all the material. The plan was to change the Gutenberg URL (see above link) to conform to what he was reading. Since I didn't have powers, I didn't pay attention after that, and maybe it didn't get done.

I'll make the changes tomorrow, revise the data base, catalog, Archive, etc.

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Post by kmerline » October 13th, 2009, 10:48 am

I ran out of time yesterday, but have this fixed now, as far as I know.

I am reassured because the Gutenberg URL was changed to the correct one on the data base and on Archive.org, although not on our catalog page.

I've also changed the title everywhere it is visible to "The History of the Plague in London" - and it is now listed in the cataloge that way.

The links to the Wiki book page for "A Journal of the Plage Year" remain - it is virtually the same book; just that 2 versions were published under 2 different titles.

I also left a note in the data base of what was done. Please let me know if there are still problems. If not, I think we can mark this "fixed" in a day or 2. :)

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