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the matters thus observed to have been gradually transferred by Evelyn from the blank almanacks to the quarto volume in which they were found, and from which the volumes before the reader are printed, the circumstance will explain discrepancies otherwise not easily reconciled, and will account for differing descriptions of the same objects and occurrences which have occasionally been found in the manuscript thus compiled. The quarto, still at Wotton, consists of seven hundred pages written clearly by Evelyn in a very small close hand, and containing the continuous records of fifty-six years. The reader will observe, in the original preface to the Diary, acknowledgments of the great and material assistance rendered to its Editor by Mr. Upcott. The interest taken by the latter gentleman in the publication of this delightful book, continued unabated until his death ; and the latest literary labour in which he was engaged, was the revision and preparation of the present edition. He lived to complete, for this purpose, a fresh and careful comparison of the edition printed in octavo in 1827 (which he had himself, with the exception of the earliest sheets of the first volume, superintended for the press) with the original manuscript ; by which many material omissions in the earlier quartos were supplied, and other not unimportant corrections made. It is due to Mr. Upcott to add that these additions
would not so long have been withheld, if the early WOL. I. b
sheets of the first volume of the octavo edition had not been printed off before its formal revision was undertaken by him. The octavo and the quartos are only in agreement at the outset. Many curious discrepancies are afterwards observable, which resulted from Mr. Upcott's anxiety, as soon as the opportunity was offered him, to bring the text of the octavo into more exact agreement with the original.
While engaged in this labour he was permitted to have access to the manuscripts preserved at Wotton; and, desiring to complete the selections from Evelyn's Correspondence, originally published with the Diary, he transcribed many new and hitherto unpublished letters, also with a view to this edition, and added several others derived from private sources. The Evelyn Correspondence, thus enriched by many original letters of great interest, will occupy the same space as the Diary.
of worton, IN suPREY. SIR,
THE last sheets of this Work, with a Dedication to the late LADY EvelyN, under whose permission it was to be given to the Public, were in the hands of the Printer, when it pleased God to release her from a long and painful illness, which she had borne with the greatest fortitude and resignation to the Divine Will.
These papers descended with the estate, from the celebrated JoHN EvelyN, Esq. (a relative of your immediate ancestor) to his great-great-grandson, the late Sir Frederick Evelyn, Bart. This gentleman dying without issue, entrusted the whole to his Lady, whose loss we have now to lament; of whose worth, and of the value of whose friendship, I have happily had long knowledge and experience. Alive to the honour of the family, of which she was thus made the representative, she maintained it in every point, and with the most active benevolence; and her care extended to every part of the property attached to the domain. Mr. Evelyn had formed in his own mind a plan of what he called an “Elysium Britannicum,” in which the Library and Garden were intended to be the principal objects: could he return and visit this his beloved Seat, he would find his idea realised by the arrangement and addition which her Ladyship had made to his library, and by the disposition of the flower-garden and greenhouse, which she had embellished with the most beautiful and curious flowers and plants, both native and exotic.
In completion and full justification of the confidence thus reposed in her, her Ladyship has returned the Estate with its valuable appendages, to the family, in your person.
I have, therefore, now to offer these Volumes to you, Sir ; with a wish, that you and your posterity may long enjoy the possessions, and continue the line of a family so much distinguished, in many of its branches, for superior worth and eminence.
I am, Sir,
WILLIAM BRAY. Shere. 2nd Jan., 1818.
THE following pages are taken from the Journal of JohN EvelyN, Esq. author (amongst many other works) of the celebrated Sylva, a Treatise on Forest-Trees, and from which he has often been known by the name of “The Sylva Evelyn.” The Journal is written by him in a very small, close hand, in a quarto volume containing 700 pages, which commences in 1641, and is continued to the end of 1697; and from thence is carried on in a smaller book till within about three weeks of his death, which happened 27th Feb., 1705-6, in the 86th year of his age.
These books, with numberless other papers in his handwriting, are in the valuable library at Wotton, which was chiefly collected by him. Lady Evelyn, the late possessor of that very respectable old Mansion, after much solicita
tion from many persons, consented to favour the Public