On one circuit of the room Diamond apparently collided with the leg of Newton's small writing table, and the shock of her collision caused the burning candle to tip over, directly onto the manuscript. In the resulting fire there was actually little damage to the room, but the manuscript that Newton was working on was completely destroyed.
Despite the incredible loss of months of work, the famed British scientist was surprisingly understanding. He is said to have lifted his dog into his arms, exclaiming "Oh, Diamond, Diamond, little do you know the mischief you have done me!"
Sir David Brewster cites contemporary sources that tell of a similar account in his 1833 biography, "The Life of Sir Isaac Newton." Though some details differ from Coren's telling, both authors agree that the unfortunate canine-caused fire had a profound effect on Newton's productivity afterward.
Brewster calls the fire "an epoch in [Newton's] history," causing him to spiral into a depression that took months to recover from.