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with this communication. The last sheets were in the
hands of the Printer, when the death of that Lady happened.
The Editor who has been intrusted with the preparation of the work for the Press, is fully diffident of his competence to make a proper selection; and is even aware that many things will be found in its pages which, in the opinion of some, and not injudicious, Critics, may appear too unimportant to meet the public eye. But it has been thought that some information, at least some amusement, would be furnished by the publication; and it has been supposed that some curious particulars of persons and transactions would be found in the accompanying notes. Though these papers may not be of importance enough to appear in the pages of an Historian of the Kingdom, they may, in some particulars, set even such an one right; and, though the notices are short, they may, as to persons, give some hints to Biographers, or at least may gratify the curiosity of those who are inquisitive after the mode in which their ancestors conducted business, or passed their time. It is hoped that such will not be altogether disappointed.
Thus, when mention is made of great men going after
dinner to attend a Council of State, or the business of their particular Offices, or the Bowling-Green, or even the Church; of an Hour's Sermon being of a moderate
length; of ladies painting their faces being a novelty; or of their receiving visits of Gentlemen whilst dressing,
after having just risen out of bed; of the female attendant of a lady of fashion travelling on a pillion behind one of the footmen, and the footmen riding with swords;–such things, in the view above-mentioned, may not be altogether
For many corrections and many of the Notes the Editor acknowledges, with great pleasure and regard, that he is indebted to James Bindley, Esq.,” of Somerset-House, a Gentleman who possesses an invaluable Collection of the most rare Books and Pamphlets, and whose liberality in communications is equal to the ability afforded by such
He has also most cheerfully to acknowledge how much he is obliged for many historical notes and elucidations to a literary Gentleman very conversant with English History, whose name he would gladly give, were it not
withheld by particular request, and whose research, through upwards of seven hundred contemporary volumes of Manuscripts and Tracts, has doubtless given additional
* Since the first edition of this Work, the Editor has to lament the loss of this valuable Friend ; who died in the 81st year of his age, Sept. 11, 1818, just as the printing of the Second Edition was begun.
interest to many of the Letters.
The Editor returns his best thanks also to Mr. Upcott, of the London Institution, for the great and material assistance received from him in this Publication, besides
his attention to the superintendence of the Press.
MR. EvelyN lived in the busy and important times of King Charles I., Oliver Cromwell, King Charles II, King James II., and King William, and early accustomed himself to note such things as occurred, which he thought worthy of remembrance. He was known to, and had much personal intercourse with the Kings Charles II. and James II. ; and he was in habits of great intimacy with many of the ministers of these two monarchs, and with many of the eminent men of those days, as well amongst the clergy as the laity. Foreigners distinguished for learning, or arts, who came to England, did not leave it without visiting him.
In the first edition of the “Biographia Britannica,” in folio, Dr. Campbell has given a long article relating to this gentleman. Dr. Hunter, in his edition of the “Sylva,” in 1776, has copied great part of what Dr. Campbell had written. Dr. Kippis added several particulars in the Second Edition of the “Biographia,” in 1793; and Mr. Chalmers gives some farther information in his “Biographical Dictionary,” in 8vo. (1816). But the following pages will still contribute more extensive and important particulars of this eminent man. They will show that he did not travel merely to count steeples, as he expresses himself in one of his Letters: they will develop his private character as one of the most amiable kind. With a strong predilection for monarchy, with a personal attachment to Kings Charles II. and James II., formed when they resided at Paris, he was yet utterly averse to the arbitrary measures of these monarchs. Strongly and steadily attached to the doctrine and practice of the Church of England, he yet felt the most liberal sentiments for those who differed from him in opinion. He lived in intimacy with men of all persuasions; nor did he think it necessary to break connexion with any one who had even been induced to desert the Church of England, and embrace the doctrines of that of Rome. In writing to the brother of a gentleman thus circumstanced, in 1659, he expresses himself in this admirable manner: “For the rest, we must commit to Providence the success of times and mitigation of proselytical fervours; having for my own particular a very great charity for all who sincerely adore the Blessed Jesus, our common and dear Saviour, as being full of hope that God (however the present zeal of some, and the scandals taken by others at the instant [present] affliction of the Church of England may transport them) will at last compassionate our infirmities, clarify our judgments, and make abatement for our ignorances, superstructures, passions, and errors of corrupt times and interests, of which the Romish persuasion can no way acquit herself, whatever the present prosperity and secular polity may pretend. But God will make all things manifest in his own time, only let us possess ourselves in patience and charity. This will cover a multitude of imperfections.” He speaks with great moderation of the Roman Catholics in general, admitting that some of the laws enacted against them might be mitigated; but of the Jesuits he had the very worst opinion, considering them as a most dangerous Society, and the principal authors of the misfortunes which befel King James II., and of the horrible persecutions of the Protestants in France and Savoy.