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in one of ye boxes at a considerable height from the arena. Two poore dogs were kill'd, and so all ended with the ape on horseback, and I most heartily weary of the rude and dirty pastime, which I had not seene, I think, in 20 yeares before." (Vol. i. p. 403.)
It appears, however, that notwithstanding Mr. Evelyn seems a little ashamed of his curiosity, mountebanks and jugglers attracted no small portion even of his attention, and formed the leading amusement of men of fashion. Some of the grandest entertainments began with a show of puppets. The revels of the Middle Temple were a scene of riot equally tumultuous and childish the sarcastic buffoonery of the Terra Filius at Oxford had degenerated to the level of the times, and had become so bad, that Mr. Evelyn thus expresses himself concerning it: "In my life time I was never witness of so shameful an entertainment." On the theatre, wit was the devoted servant of profaneness and obscenity: the tide of debauchery was swollen with tributes from every fountain of corruption.
In 1654 we read that Cromwell, "in contradiction to all custom and decency," feasted at the Lord Mayor's on Ash Wednesday; and that a tradesman got up into the pulpit of Mr. Evelyn's own church on a Sunday, and preached a sermon, the purport of which was, "that no danger was to be thought difficult, when God called for shedding of blood, inferring that now the saints were called to destroy temporal governments." (Vol. i. p. 266.) Upon another occasion, he gives us the following anecdote equally characteristic of the same fanatical period.`
"25 Dec. 1657. I went to London with my wife, to celebrate Christmas Day, Mr. Gunning preaching in Exeter Chapell. Sermon ended, as he was giving us ye holy sacrament the chapell was surrounded with souldiers, and all the communicants and assembly were surpriz'd and kept prisoners by them, some in the house, others carried away. It fell to my share to be confin'd to a roome in the house, where yet I was permitted to dine with the master of it, y Countesse of Dorset, Lady Hatton, and some others of quality who invited me. In the afternoone came Col. Whaly, Goffe and others from Whitehall to examine us one by one; some they committed to ye Marshall, some to prison. When I came before them they tooke my name and abode, examin'd me why, contrarie to an ordinance made that none should any longer observe y superstitious time of the Nativity (so esteem'd by them), I durst offend, and particularly be at Common Prayers, which they told me was but ye masse in English, and particularly pray for Charles Steuart, for which we had no Scripture; I told them we did not pray for Charles Steuart, but for all Christian Kings, Princes, and Governors. They replied, in so doing we praied for the K. of Spaine too, who was their enemie and a papist, with other frivolous and insnaring questions and much threatning, and finding no colour to detaine me, they dismiss'd me with much pitty of my ignorance. These were men of high flight
and above ordinances, and spake spiteful things of our Lord's Nativity. As we went up to receive the sacrament the miscreants held their muskets against us as if they would have shot us at the altar, but yet suffering us to finish the office, perhaps not having instructions what to do in case they found us in that action." (Vol. I. p. 298, 299.)
On the other hand, the circle to which Charles II gave the tone comprized a graceless scene of revelry and pollution.
On the 6th of January, 1661, in the evening, we find his restored Majesty," according to custom, opening the revels of the night by throwing the dice himself in the privy chamber, and the ladies playing very deep; " a short time after, our Journalist tells us, "This night was acted before his Majesty, 'The Widow,' a lewd play." In a few years after, the King is represented as being at Newmarket, entertaining two hundred lords, ladies, and gallants, toying" openly with the famous new maid of honour, M'lle Querouaille, afterwards Duchess of Portsmouth; the nobles were playing all night at cards and dice; yet, says the relater, "I must say, without noise, sarcasms, or quarrel," a circumstance worthy of mention, as it would seem. At another time, on a Sunday, Mr. Evelyn says, "Dr. Dove preached before the King. I saw this evening such a scene of profuse gaming, and the King in the midst of his three concubines, as I had never before seen. Luxurious dallying, and profaneness." (Vol. i. p. 542.) Thus great and sudden was the transformation from the austerity and rant of Cromwell's time to the open and unblushing profligacy of the court of Charles II; and it is easy to conceive that the human mind, placed under the influence of these opposite extremes and rapid alternations, could advance but little in its growth, or fecundity, or beauty.
Of some distinguished characters of his time Mr. Evelyn sometimes gives us only glimpses that mortify us by their dryness and brevity. He visited both Hobbs and Dr. Jeremy Taylor, men of whom we should have been glad to have learned from the honest pen of this writer some domestic and contrasting peculiarities; but he tells us only that he made a visit to Dr. Taylor "to confer with him about some spiritual matters, using him thenceforth as his Ghostly father, whose heavenly assistances he beseeches God Almighty to make him ever mindful and thankful for;" and of Hobbs he says no more than that, on the 14th of December, 1655, he "visited Mr. Hobbs, the famous philosopher, with whom he had been long acquainted in France." Of Burnet we have no other mention than that, on the thanksgiving-day for the peace, when King William had a great court at Whitehall, he preached a florid panegyric; and again that he made a pathetic discourse, concerning the duty of friendly correction, before the Lord Mayor and a great congregation, on
the 25th of March, 1700 (vol. ii. p. 58); but of whom he might have added, that he refused a bishopric as the price of subserviency to a vicious court; and honestly reproved, in a letter never enough to be commended, the private vices and public mal-administration of his Sovereign. He gives us a very stinted account of Sir Thomas Browne, of whom we know enough to be very desirous of knowing more, especially of his domestic habits and private opinions, which were very singular and characteristic. Of Lord Shaftesbury we only hear that on a certain day he visited Mr. Evelyn. Of the Czar of Muscovy, the founder of Russian greatness, for whose residence, while in England, his house at Says Court was hired, we learn only that he and his people were "right nasty;" that he changed his dresses often, and was often in the King's yard. But compensation is made us by the disclosure of particulars concerning other great men of that day, which we scarcely obtain from any other We wish he had communicated more respecting the Lord Chancellor Clarendon, though we are thankful for the little he has told us of so distinguished a man.
"27 Aug. 1667. Visited the Lo. Chancellor to whom his Maty had sent for the seales a few days before; I found him in his bed-chamber very sad. The Parliament had accus'd him and he had enemies at Court, especialy the buffoones and ladys of pleasure, because he thwarted some of them and stood in their way; I could name some of y cheife. The truth is, he made few friends during his grandeur among the royal sufferers, but advanc'd the old rebells. He was, however, tho' no considerable lawyer, one who kept up ye forme and substance of things in ye Nation with more solemnity than some would have had. He was my particular kind friend on all occasions. The Cabal, however, prevail'd, and that party in Parliament. Greate division at Court concerning him, and divers greate persons interceding for him.
"28. I din'd with my late Lo. Chanc", where also din'd Mr. Ashburnham, and Mr. W. Legg of the Bed-chamber; his Lordship pretty well in heart, tho' now many of his friends and sycophants abandon'd him." (Vol. i. p. 387.)
"11 Oct. 1667. I went to see Lord Clarendon, in continual apprehension what the Parliament would determine concerning him." (Vol. i. p. 389.)
"9 Dec. To visit the late Lord Chanc". I found him in his garden at his new-built palace, sitting in his gowt wheele-chayre, and seeing the gates setting up towards the North and the fields He look'd and spake very disconsolately. After some while deploring his condition to me, I tooke my leave. Next morning I heard he was gon persuaded that had he gon sooner, tho' but to Corn ury and there lain quiet, it would have satisfied the Parliament. That w e asp" them was his presuming to stay and contest the accusation as 'twas possible, and they were on y point of sending him to y (Vol. i. p. 391.)
"18 Sept. 1683. I went to survey the sad demolition of Clarendon House, that costly and only sumptuous palace of the late Lord Chanc Hyde, where I have often ben so cheerfull with him, and sometimes so sad, happening to make him a visite but the day before he fled from the angry Parliament, accusing him of mal-administration, and being envious at his grandeur, who from a private lawyer came to be father in law to the Duke of York, and as some wo suggest, designing his May's marriage with the Infanta of Portugal, not apt to breed; to this they imputed much of our unhappiness, and that he being sole minister and favorite at his Ma" Restoration, he neglected to gratify his May's suffering party, preferring those who were the cause of our troubles. But perhaps as many of these things were injuriously laid to his charge, so he kept the government far steadier than it has prov'd since, I could name some who I think contributed greately to his ruin, ye buffoones and the misses, to whom he was an eye-sore. 'Tis true he was of a jolly temper after the old English fashion; but France had now the ascendant, and we were become quite another nation. The Chancellor gone, and dying in exile, the Earl his successor sold that which cost £50,000. building, to the young Duke of Albemarle for £25,000. to pay debts which how contracted remains yet a mystery, his sonn being no way a prodigal. Some imagine the Duchesse his daughter had ben chargeable to him. However it were, this stately palace is decreed to ruine, to support the prodigious waste the Duke of Albemarle had made of his estate since the old man died. He sold it to the highest bidder, and it fell to certaine rich bankers and mechanics, who gave for it and the ground about it £35,000.; they designe a new towne as it were, and a most magnificent piazza (i. e. square.) "Tis said they have already materials towards it with what they sold of the house alone, more worth than what they paid for it. See the vicissitude of earthly things! I was astonished at this demolition, nor less at the little army of labourers and artificers levelling the ground, laying foundations, and contriving greate buildings at an expence of £200,000. if they perfect their designe." (Vol. i. p. 525, 526.)
The account given us of the unhappy fate of Lord Sandwich affected us much; it has that natural tone of feeling, and those marks of sincerity and candour, which always recommend Mr. Evelyn's testimonies. They expose also that cruel character of factious jealousy which disgraced the politics of that period.
"31 May, 1672. I received another command to repaire to the Seaside, so I went to Rochester, where I found many wounded, sick, and prisoners newly put on shore after the engagement on the 28th, in which the Earle of Sandwich, that incomparable person and my particular friend, and divers more whom I loved were lost. My Lord (who was Adm' of ye Blue) was in the Prince, which was burnt, one of the best men of war that ever spread canvass on the sea. There were lost with this brave man a son of Sir Cha. Cotterell (Master of the Ceremonies) and a son of S Cha. Harbord (his Ma" Surveyorgeneral) 2 valiant and most accomplish'd youths, full of virtue and
Courage, who might have saved themselves, but chose to perish with my Lord, whom they honour'd and loved above their own lives.
"Here I cannot but make some reflections on things past. It was not above a day or two that going to Whitehall to take leave of his Lordship, who had his lodgings in the Privy Garden, shaking me by the hand he bid me God-by'e, and said he thought he should see me no more, and I saw to my thinking something boading in his countenance; No,' says he, they will not have me live. Had I lost a fleete (meaning on his returne from Bergen when he tooke the East India prize) I should have fared better, but be it as it pleases GodI must do something I know not what to save my reputation.' Something to this effect he had hinted to me; thus I tooke my leave. I well remember that the Duke of Albemarle, and my now Lord Clifford, had, I know not why, no greate opinion of his courage, because in former conflicts, being an able and experienc'd seaman (wth neither of them were), he always brought off his May ships without losse, tho' not without as many markes of true courage as the stoutest of them; and I am a witnesse that in the late war his owne ship was pierc'd like a cullendar. But the buissnesse was, he was utterly against this war from the beginning, and abhorr'd ye attacquing of the Smyrna fleete; he did not favour the heady expedition of Clifford at Bergen, nor was he so furious and confident as was the Duke of Albemarle, who believed he could, vanquish the Hollanders with one squadron. My Lord Sandwich was prudent as well as valiant, and allways govern'd his affairs with successe and little losse; he was for deliberation and reason, they for action and slaughter without either, and for this whisper'd as if my Lord Sandwich was not so gallant because he was not so rash, and knew how fatal it was to loose a fleete, such as was that under his conduct, and for which these very persons would have censur'd him on the other side. This it was, I am confident, griev'd him and made him enter like a lion, and fight like one too, in the midst of the hottest service, where the stoutest of the rest seeing him engag'd and so many ships upon him, durst not, or would not, come to his succour, as some of them, whom I know, might have don. Thus this gallant person perish'd to gratifie the pride and envy of some I nam'd.
"Deplorable was the losse of one of the best accomplish'd persons, not onely of this Nation but of He was learned in sea other. any affaires, in politics, in mathematics, and in musiq; he had been on divers embassies, was of a sweete and obliging temper, sober, chast, very ingenious, a true Nobleman, an ornament to the Court and his Prince, nor has he left any behind him who approch his many virtues. "He had, I confesse, serv'd the tyrant Cromwell when a young man, but 'twas without malice, as a souldier of fortune, and he readily submitted, and that with joy, bringing an entire fleete with him from the Sound, at ye first tidings of his Ma Restauration. I verily believe him as faithfull a subject as any that were not his friends. I am yet heartily griev'd at this mighty losse, nor do I call it to my thoughts without emotion." (Vol. i. p. 429, 430.)