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I HAD lately occasion to review several letters to me from Mrs. Evelyn of Deptford. After reading them, I found they were much to be valued, because they contained not only a complete description of the private events in the family, but public transactions of the times, where are many curious and memorable things described in an easy and eloquent style.

Many forgotten circumstances by this means are recalled afresh to my memory; by so full and perfect a narration of them, they are again present to my thoughts, and I see them re-acted as it were before my eyes. This made strong impressions on my mind, so that I could not rest till I had recollected the substance of them, and from thence some general reflections thereon, and from thence drew a character of their author, so far only as by plain and natural inferences may be gathered from their contents. This was not performed in a manner worthy of the design, but hastily and incorrectly, which cost no more time than could be employed at one sitting in an afternoon; but in

* The Rev. Dr. Ralph Bohun, D.C.L., was a scholar at Winchester College, and was elected probationary fellow of New College, Oxford, at the early age of 19. In 1671 he wrote a Discourse on the History and Nature of Wind; and in 1685, he completed his Doctor's degree. His connection with Evelyn's family arose from his having superintended the education of his son. 2 B

this short model, Mrs. Evelyn will appear to be the best daughter and wife, the most tender mother, and desirable neighbour and friend, in all parts of her life. The historical account of matters of fact sufficiently set forth her praises, wherein there could be no error or self-conceit ; and declare her to be an exact pattern of many excellent virtues; but they are concealed in such modest expressions, that the most envious censurers can’t fix upon her the least suspicion of vanity or pride. Though she had many advantages of birth and beauty, and wit, yet you may perceive in her writings an humble indifference to all worldly enjoyments, great charity, and compassion to those that had disobliged her, and no memory of past occurrences, unless it were a grateful acknowledgment of some friendly office; a vein of good-nature and resignation, and self-denial, runs through them all. There's nothing so despised in many of these letters as the fruitless and empty vanities of the town; and they seem to pity the misfortunes of those who are condemned by their greater quality or stations to squander away their precious time in unprofitable diversions, or bestow it in courtly visits and conversations. Where there happens to be any mention of children or friends, there is such an air of sincerity and benevolence for the one, and religious concern for the happiness of the other, as if she had no other design to live in the world than to perform her own duty, and promote the welfare of her relations and acquaintance. There's another observation to be collected, not less remarkable than the rest, which is her indefatigable industry in employing herself, and more for the sake of others than her own : This she wrote, not out of vain glory, or to procure commendation, but to entertain them with whom she had a familiar correspondence by letters, with the relation of such accidents or business wherein she was engaged for the month or the week past. This was a peculiar felicity in her way of writing, that though she often treated of vulgar and domestic subjects, she never suffered her style to languish or flag, but by some * or pleasant digression kept it up to its usual pitch. The reproofs in any of these numerous letters were so

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