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to reconcile itself to Lenten farewhile his penitence for sleeping during a sermon, and that laudatory certificate of church attendance and membership-a certificate which, with a little alteration of form and diction, might satisfy the strictest kirk-session in Scotland-show a certain honesty in his profession. There is, indeed, so perfect an honesty in this entire journal of his, that Samuel's religiousness claims full credit at our hands, such as it is yet, nevertheless, it is true that Samuel might be a very heathen for any restraint his religion puts upon him. Compunctions afterwards it may produce; but prudence, and not piety, checks Mr Secretary before the act, however piety may come in bebind to prick the offending conscience. Yet whatever he does, Samuel never misses going to church; and if it be to see a pretty Mistress Somebody, or if he chances to fall asleep before the sand in the hourglass has measured out the heads of the sermon, Samuel fails not to pray a "God forgive me," as he records his sin. Nor is he by any means alone in this union of vice and devotion. The royal reprobate himself hears many a sermon, and there are solemn preachings, very frequent and very eloquent, to the household-with what effect upon the household manners and mode of life it is difficult to perceive. Nor is this all. We are accustomed to think of this period as the most entirely reprobate and abandoned in all our national history, yet nevertheless true it is, and of perfect verity, that piety also flourished in those days; piety-genuine meek devotion-and a divine and undefiled faith. Within the unwholesome atmosphere of that court of Charles, doing dutiful homage to the poor, swart, uncomplaining Portuguese Katherine, brushing against the very skirts of Portsmouth and Castlemaine, living under the polluting eyes of Rochester and Sedley, and, still worse, of their master, piety was even here. The last place in the world to look for such a strange and alien visitant, yet there the angel found it possible to exist; and perhaps nothing less than the ascetic routine of perpetual devotion, the sad, self-absorbed, and selfinspecting pietism of Mrs Godolphin,
could have preserved the heavenly principle alive in such a place. Duty, too, after its kind, and the superstitious loyalty in which the ancient Cavalier families were sedulously bred, must have come in to close those meek uncriticising eyes to the vileness of the illustrious vice before them; yet, withal, it shocks our modern notions, to realise this mingling of the pure and the impure, and to excuse this toleration of high-seated iniquity. How chary is the good religious Evelyn in his comments, how slow to condemn "his Majesty," how much inclined in loyal reverence to do what domestic love does so often-and be bitter on the evil influences-the temptations and the tempters who "lead away." How the king would have been a great monarch, "had not his easy nature resigned him to be managed by crafty men, and some abandoned and depraved wretches, who corrupted his otherwise sufficient parts;" how "he was a prince of many virtues, debonair, easy of access, not bloody nor cruel;" and how "he would doubtless have been an excellent prince had he been" something exactly the reverse of what he was. After this fashion only, and with manifest pain and reluctance, Evelyn permits himself to condemn; and it is easy to perceive with what a pang of humiliation and disappointment the old highminded honourable Royalist must have owned to himself this pitiable failure of the royal blood to produce anything worthy of the throne, which that "arch rebel" and "unnatural usurper" had filled after so kingly a fashion. The testimony of two ambassadors, who had served the Commonwealth first and then the king, and who complained of the lessened respect paid to them, when sent by Charles; the evident diminution of English influence everywhere; the unwise and unprosperous wars, rashly undertaken and ill conducted-though always saved, by little outbursts of vigour and courage on the part of the generals, from entire discomfiture and shame; the wanton extravagance of the court, and corresponding dishonesty, penuriousness, and bankruptcy in public affairs, were all so many sore assaults upon the old enthusiastic party of Cavaliers, whose sufferings and
Evelyn and Pepys.
plottings, in which neither land nor life were spared, and whose insane rejoicing and triumph over the accomplished restoration were so utterly put to shame by the result. They had buried Oliver at Tyburn-but all the gold in England could not purchase Oliver's imperial mantle to fall upon the shoulders of this impotent and careless king.
Very much more distinct, for Pepys was not restrained either by personal attachment or exaggerated loyalty, is the deliverance which he gives upon Charles and his reign. Unmitigated is the public discontent, according to Mr Secretary, and the people look wistfully upon the times of stout old Oliver, when England was great among the nations, and pure, if something rigid and straitened at home; when the public money supplied the public necessities, and there was no vicious and disreputable court to sap the national finances and credit, and make the national establishment a Castle Rack-rent on a larger scale. "Why will not people lend their money?" cries an afflicted my Lord Treasurer, when the Commissioners of the Navy carry their accounts and complaints to him. "Why will they not trust the king as well as Oliver? Why do our prizes come to nothing, that yielded so much heretofore?" In the Council Chamber, and such an honourable presence, Mr Secretary makes no response, but does not fail to record a very clear opinion on the subject, in the privacy of his own The boldness of closet at home. Samuel's secret chronicle even discloses more courageously than he himself does the opinions of Evelyn, "who," says Pepys, "is grieved for, and speaks openly to me his thoughts of the times, and our ruin approaching and all by the folly of the king.'
With an incalculable amount of pleasure-making, and that strange cross-fire of report and incident, which make the daily narrative, so minute and clear in all its details, something perplexing as a whole, we make our circumstantial progress with Mr Secretary through several slow-paced years, and are able to decide with absolute certainty where our hero has dined on almost every day of the whole
period-what was his company, and
reign of the one, and his manifold tribulations under the other his shoulder of mutton without a napkin, his dirty and undressed plight, his borrowed shirt and precarious rest, the little personal inconveniences, which mark the period quite as clearly as the public calamity, are all very plainly set down; yet his own measures are those of an active and careful public servant, there is quite as little doubt of that. And Samuel escapes uninjured in home and person, in goods and family connections, from both the great national disasters of his time.
But the naïve and plain-spoken autobiographer has a period put to his disclosures. Samuel must relapse into the veiled propriety of ordinary story. Samuel must be content in future with only such a record as all the world may see-for these twinkling curious eyes of his may not avail him longer for his secret ciphering, and it is with a great pang that he yields to the necessity, which is "almost as much as to see myself go into my grave," he says, disconsolately, and so concludes a chronicle which has no equal -the clearest picture ever displayed to the world of a mind and conscience in perfect undress, with not a thought concealed.
And had darkness rested still upon the mysterious characters of Pepys' Diary, not Evelyn himself had shown a better example of respectability to aftercoming beholders. The Pepys who writes letters to those contemporary people with whom it is necessary to stand well, is a very different Pepys from him of the journal; and we are half inclined to take for irony the serious compliments and much respect with which he is saluted by the notable compeers, who know him so much less than we do. It is a curious fact this, among the many curious facts which this self-exposure reveals to us; no doubt Mr Pepys knew Mr Evelyn a great deal better than we know that well-mannered and worthy gentleman-but not a hundredth part so well informed was Mr Evelyn, not so learned was Mrs Pepys herself in the character of Samuel, as are we.
greater measure, we find that Evelyn has a much larger share of the troubles of common life. He loses several children, among them one of those learned and pious youthful ladies, of whom he numbers several among his friends; none is fairer, sweeter, more pious, or accomplished, than his own Mary, and his grief has satisfaction in recording her perfections. Of this daughter, who died at nineteen, and of the wonderful little Richard long ago dead, at six years old, the father speaks with a full heart. It is "grit," like a river, overflooded and running wide, this grief of his, in respect to these children; and it is singular to note how differently the death of his son John, in the prime of manhood, when Evelyn himself is old, affects his calmer faculties, and how he can couple with the brief obituary a notice of my Lord of Devonshire's misfortunes on the turf. But even sorrow does not turn aside his life from its full current. John Evelyn is as busy a man, after his grave fashion, as Samuel Pepys, and a very much more disinterested one, since neither fee nor compliment seems to come in his way, and his charge of the sick and wounded in these harassing naval wars, his embarrassment how to provide for hosts of prisoners, having neither houses to receive nor money to support them, give him little satisfaction in his public labours. Providing chirurgeons and medicaments, and himself overseeing these poor maimed victims of warfare, everywhere finding accommodation inadequate, and means insufficient, Evelyn travels from town to town of his district with most conscientious zeal; nor, though the employment is very far from being an agreeable one, does he fail to devote himself to it with good-will and his best endeavours. Along margin of time is left over, however, for his own personal pursuits; and all the wonders of the time are welcome to Evelyn, who dabbles in all the arts and sciences, and has a smattering of every branch of learning under the sun. It is now that, by his skilful negotiations, Harry Howard of Norfolk bestows the Arundel Marbles upon Oxford, and a library upon the Royal Society, for which first good office Evelyn has the solemn thanks of the University,
In a corresponding space of time, over which he walks with strides of a
and is with much pomp and circumstance created Doctor of Laws; and now it is that he reads his paper upon forest trees-the Sylva by which he is principally known as an author-before the Royal Society, of which he may very justly be called the founder and parent, and to which he introduces various magnates, foreign and native; among them the Duchess of Newcastle and Queen Christina of Sweden, with both of whom our stately cicerone is considerably amused in his courteous way. And now it seems that among the palace-builders of this extravagant era, no one is contented without the approval of Evelyn, and we hear of him carried by this noble lord and that illustrious earl to inspect improvements and new erections, the growth of new and sudden fortunes, or the increase and reparation of old. Terraces and lofty elevations, parks and labyrinths and curious gardens, exotic plants and rare flowers, with every practicable device of landscape-gardening, pass in brilliant review before his eyes, and Evelyn maintains his place of critic loftily, and praises with discrimination, always retaining some small matter of disapproval. In one of the earliest pages of his Diary he tells us of the place where, as an infant, he was sent to nurse, "a most sweet place towards the hills, flanked with woods and refreshed with streams, the affection to which kind of solitude I sucked in with my very milk;" and the taste remains with him all his life, since we find him permitted by his brother to make an artificial lake and hermitage at Wotton in his youth, and subsequently perceive him curious in landscape-gardening during his travels and early life abroad. In gardening, as in all other arts, this age is emphatically "curious," and as full of quips and conceits in its plantations as in its literature. Here is one strange instance seen abroad; it is at the palace of the Count de Liancourt in Paris :
"Towards his study and bed-chamber is a little garden, which, though very narrow, by the addition of a well-painted perspective, is to appearance greatly enlawed; to this there is another part,
of a statue, and seeming to flow for some miles, by being artificially continued in the painting, where it sinks down at the wall. It is a very agreeable deceit. At the end of this garden is a little theatre and the stage so ordered with figures of made to change with divers pretty scenes, men and women painted on light boards and cut out, and by a person who stands underneath made to act as if they were speaking, by guiding them, and reciting words in different tones, as the parts require."
ted by arches, in which runs a of water, rising in the aviary out
Have we not seen in the modern Royal Academy, within the range of these very few years, sundry acres of verdant canvass, which might add marvellously to a suburban garden "by the addition of a well-painted perspective"? At this present moment there rises upon our memory a gigantic oak, overwhelming in its multitudinous foliage. What an agreeable deceit" might this prove, if it were but hung to advantage upon some bit of intrusive wall, in the narrow grounds of a London mansion! and how delightful the delusion, looking through scrubby lilacs and acacias, to find the forest king in all his pride, where nothing but a smoky line of brick and mortar was wont to be!
But however the fashion of the art was, there can be no dispute of Evelyn's high authority in all matters of landscape-gardening, nor of the perpetual reference made to him. Of the great nobles of England many had returned from exile to find their patrimonial homes desolated by the civil war, or impaired by Roundhead occupation; there had been sieges, assaults, defences, among these houses of the great, and the age had a taste for magnificence, for costly rarities, and "curious" decorations, so that all who could, and many who in real ability could not, set about the costly work of building and improving. Mr Evelyn's journeys from one lordly seat to another are almost as frequent and as laborious as are his official pilgrimages; and Mr Evelyn is equally great on internal decoration, and on the embellishments and accessories without. The fair chambers, "pargetted with yew and divers woods," the rare tapestries of dining-hall and withdrawing-room, the Indian cabinets of my lady's elegant retirement, and the accumulation of rare and fantastic
curiosities in my lord's closet, are all matters of interested comment to our virtuoso. A cabinet of coins or a painted ceiling, an "incomparable" picture or a magnificent toilet everything comes under his inspection; but of all other matters the thing in which it seems most difficult to satisfy the taste of Evelyn is, the fundamental matter of the site. Wotton is always in his eye-Wotton, where, after his illness, he goes to be recovered by his "sweet native air," and which is clearly next to his heart at all times. He finds a great many imperfections in the position of his friends' houses; one is too far from the water-one from the wood-another lies in a hollow-another has no windows towards the prospect the disadvantages are manifold; and it is rare to find the critic entirely satisfied, let him go where he will.
Specially consulted and authoritative in this, there are few arts or ingenuities known which come amiss to Evelyn; a learned and wonderful infant prodigy-a philosophical cooking apparatus (would that Monsieur Papin had bequeathed his wonderful machine to the present generation, to the gladdening of many a housewifely heart, which mourns over bones and sinews unresolvable into the savoury jelly of the philosopher's supper!)-a wonderful conjuror-alternate in Evelyn's notice with Grindling Gibbons, his special protégé, whose "incomparable" carving he is the first to bring into repute-with that other "incomparable" genius, Dr Christopher Wren-with famous travellers and great inventors, with foreign savants and notables, each and all of whom contribute something to the constant accumulation of knowledge which Mr Evelyn notes so carefully. And he who plans benevolent infirmaries and makes "plots" for a new city, who plants a great society of philosophy, and does distinguished service to an illustrious college, has time withal to be interested even in the fashions of the time, and to present to the king a pamphlet called "Tyrannus, or the Mode," recommending a Persian costume, which is afterwards temporarily adopted, though Evelyn modestly declares that "he thinks" it cannot be in consequence
VOL. LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXV.
of this advice of his. Added to all these, he has matrimonial negotiations, executorships, dispensings of alms from sundry quarters, and all manner of family duties and offices of friendship upon his hands. Every day, and all day long, John Evelyn lives; there is no time for vegetation in this full and energetic existence.
And now there comes an abrupt conclusion to the reign of Charles. Death comes fiercely in a paroxysm and agony upon the hapless king, and in a few hurried days all is over, and James is regnant in his brother's place. His brother's eminence in vice throws James into the shade, and makes, on the whole, rather a decent creditable private man of this narrow-sighted despot. There is great hope of his beginning, for, after all, a certain honesty of intention is in the new king, and he has served the public with honour in his day. We have no longer Pepys to refer to for the unvarnished truth of public opinion, but Evelyn records his own expectations of a respectable and prosperous reign. A brief trial, however, brings sore doubt upon this subject; Popish officers begin to swarm in public employments even that dreaded animal the Jesuit makes its appearance in open daylight at Whitehall; the Parliament is assaulted by bribes and flatteries and threatenings on every side. Toleration, a new word in the Papistical mouth, begins to be demanded with a voice gradually increasing in haughtiness, and at last and cuddenly the Prince of Orange appears on the troubled scene. Hurryings to and fro, hopeless bewilderment, desertion, panic, as in a house assaulted by unseen midnight enemies, darken the air for another brief space of time; and then the scene is changed after a confused and disordered fashion, and we perceive William, very silent, very reserved, very Dutch, and not very gracious, perhaps even a little scornful of those timeserving deserters of his predecessor, setting himself down deliberately and solemnly in the royal place.
But Mr Evelyn says not a word of William; only one mention of "the morose temper of the Prince of Orange, who showed little countenance to the noblemen and others, who expected a more gracious and cheerful reception