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letter. Love cannot be the motive from a man prepossessed, nor can interest in either of us be the inducement; it must then be concluded a mutual disposition to like one another's inclinations and tempers, which we will call friendship, and which, from this day forward, let neither piquant raillery nor pleasant interrupt, let neither censure nor whisper destroy; and if you sign these articles you shall never complain of a breach on my side. Well, what do you think of widows? are they not odd creatures? There is now a lady, newly a fine prize, near you. Who hovers about her yet? Can twenty years esteem of the Sussex lady change into a violent passion for the Dorking lady? If need were, cannot you imagine more probability in an address there, than the other way; were she as considerable, I would advise it: but when one goes to yoke oneself one woidd be glad it should be very easy; consideration of religion and fortune will come into one's head whether one will or no: and then, it may be, my friend Glanville is a happier man with liberty than so engaged ; for marriage to such minds as yours and mine requires plenty and quiet, without which considerations, keep as you are, master of yourself; take heart, and, let fortune throw cross or pile, be merry, and always a friend to one that will ever be yours, since I am,
Dear Brother, your affectionate,
To her Son.
Oct. 9,1671. Deab Jack,
I do not question your being very happy in so fine a place and so good company, neither do I think you wholly pass your time in diversion. I wish you earl}' wisdom; it may prevent late repentance. Your father is gone a little journey with Mr. Treasurer, to Newmarket, and to my Lord Arlington's upon his earnest invitation;' your grandfather is newly recovered of a fit of the gout; your sisters are all
1 It waa on this occasion that Evelrn dined familiarly with tho King, and was witness of " loudness and toying" highly characteristic of the time.—See Ditry, vol. ii. ji. 68.
well except Moll, who, I fear, has taken a cold which may end in au ague. Mrs. Durfe comes down stairs after your sister Susan's fashion, she is yet so.weak j we have been like to lose Mrs. Turner, but she is now passed danger; we shall certainly lose Madam Howard, and your spouse who is this night arrived, if the news hold that Sir Thomas Osborne brings his family this next summer to Deptford; Mr. Bohun sticks so close to his Spanish brother that we seldom see him; I have rare chocolate of his presenting for you. The foul weather and storms at sea have produced many shipwrecks and strange escapes. A seaman of this town, being the twentieth in a rotten ship boat, which sunk by their weight, and the only one amongst them that could swim, endeavoured to save the life of two of his companions that laid hold of an oar by driving them to the shore; but finding his skill and strength fail him he shook off one of the men, who gave him such a parting look so full of sorrow and pity, that though he came safe to land with his other companion, he cannot banish the thought of that dreadful farewell, nor almost forgive himself for not perishing with him. Another adventure of a Yarmouth fisherman, not less remarkable, who, being at sea when a great storm arose, alone in a little boat endeavoured to get to a bigger vessel which lay at anchor, but was loosened by the storm and set a drift, which he would have recovered, but in the attempt lost his oars, the waves dashing over him, so as he was almost overturned into the sea; when he saw a ship not far off, towards which he made, and by signs implored aid, which they speedily granted, and hauled him aboard. Few hours after, God gave him an occasion to show his gratitude; they being strangers, unacquainted with the coast, and in great danger of striking against the sands, which this old seaman perceiving, though he could not be understood by them in words, made them sensible by taking the rudder hastily from the steersman and turning another course, and so brought them safe to Yarmouth, where he saw his own abandoned barque returned safe also freighted with as many men as she could bring to harbour, which seemed to be a kind of providence for the safety of these men, who else had perished in a bigger vessel. To this accident it were desirable that some fine lady had made an escape to complete the adventure, which might have given you a subject for a copy of verses,—but what may not a poet add? Amongst the ships that made the late discovery of the new strait, onehad the ill fortune to perish with most of her men, and those few which escaped were preserved by the generosity of a seaman that could swim, who ventured five times with success to the rescue of five of his companions which he brought safe to shore, but perished endeavouring to bring in the sixth; an attempt that merits a better fate, and not outdone in the Roman story, since more greatness of mind has not been often expressed. Were you here, there would be no end of these stories; but it is time I finished this discourse, to remember my obligations to my brother for His favours to vou, and to wish my cousin joy of the little one, since I nope the sorrowful hour is past. My service to my cousin Joe, to my cousin John, and to my cousin Mary when she returns.
I am, your loving mother,
To Mrs. Alexander.
Oct. 9,1671. Since there has happened so much foul weather I have very much rejoiced that you did not make the Irish voyage, and do congratulate the safe arrival of your fair Ladies. Had you been very kind you would have passed some of your time at Deptford, but when I remember how little diversion there is here, and how ill you were treated, I forgive your long absence. I have sent your treasure, and approve of your
fenerosity. Christian has left a small bundle for you, which )ubourg will deliver you. I hope it will not be long before I come to town, and if I can hear where to find you, I will endeavour to let you know it, that I may wait upon your Ladies, whose affections you cannot fail of as soon as you are known to them. I have many strange adventures and remarkable escapes at sea to relate for the encouragement of one that were ready to embark ; but since you are not in any such hazard, I will reserve them till I see you, aud do wish
you established to your satisfaction: it is but what you merit, and it is what I would contribute to were I capable,' since no person is more affectionately your friend, than is
To Mr. Bohun*
Sayei-Court, March 2, 1671-2. SrE,
When I have assured you that my usual indisposition has treated me so severely this winter, that I have had little leisure to think of anything but the means of gaining health and ease, I am persuaded you will excuse me if I have not decided in my thoughts which was the greatest captain, Cassar or Pompey; whether M. De Eosny were not a great politician, a brave soldier, and the best servant that ever Prince had for capacity, fidelity, and steadiness, a man strangely disinterested, infinitely fortunate, and every way qualified to serve such a master as was Henry the Great, who, notwithstanding human frailties, was worthy to be faithfully dealt with, since he knew how to judge and to reward. But why do we always look back into times past? we may not reproach our own, since here is at this present a scene for gallantry and merit, and whilst we may nope, we must not- condemn. Should I tell you how full of sorrow I have been for the loss of Dr. Bretton,* you only would blame me; after death flattery ceases, therefore you may believe there was some cause to lament, when thousands of weeping eyes witnessed the affliction their souls were in; one would have imagined every one in this parish had lost a father, brother, or husband, so great was the bewailing; and in earnest it does appear there never was a better nor a more worthy man. Such was his temper, prudence, charity, and good conduct, that he gained the weak and preserved the wise. The suddenness of his death was a surprise only to his friends; as for himself it might be looked upon as a
1 Mr. Bohun had now completed his superintendence of young Evelyn's education, and gone into residence at Oxford, " having well and faithfully," says Evelyn, "performed his charge."—See Diary, voL ii. p. 57. . • Minister of Deptford j he died in February, 1671-2.
deliverance from pain, the effect of sickness; and I am almost persuaded God snatched him from us, lest he might have been prevailed with by the number of petitions to have left him still amongst us. If you suspect kindness in me makes me speak too much, Dr. Parr1 is a person against whom you cannot object; it was he who preached the funeral sermon, and as an effect of truth as well as eloquence he himself could not forbear weeping in the pulpit. It was his own expression that there were three for whom he had infinitely grieved, the martyred King, my Lord Primate,2 and Dr. Bretton; and as a confirmation of the right that was done him in that oration, there was not a dry eye nor a dissenting person. But of this no more.
January 4, 1672.
Do not think my silence hitherto has proceeded from being taken up with the diversions of the town, the eclat of the Court gallantry, the entertainment of the wedding masquerades, which trebled their number the second night of the wedding that so there was great disorder and confusion caused by it, and with which the solemnity ended: neither can I charge the housewifery of the country after my return, or treating my neighbours this Christmas, since I never find any business or recreation that makes me forget my friends. Should I confess the real cause, it is your expectation of extraordinary notions of things wholly out of my way. Women were not born to read authors and censure the learned, to compare lives and judge of virtues, to give rules of morality, and sacrifice to the Muses. We are willing to acknowledge all time borrowed from family duties is misspent; the care of children's education, observing a husband's commands, assisting the sick, relieving the poor,
1 Richard Parr, D.D., Vicar of Re■gate and Camberwell. lfe died Nov. 2, 1691. Tin' funeral sermon alluded to was printed in 1672. See Manning and Bray's History of Surrey, vol. i. p. 323.
* Archhishop Usher.