John Evelyn's Youth

WE can imagine no one whom it would have been more delightful to have had for a friend or relation than the all-accomplished Christian gentleman, philanthropist, scholar, artist, author, and scientist who wrote Evelyn’s Diary. Living in a corrupt yet bigoted and superstitious age, he is our ideal of all that is pure, liberal, charitable, lovely, and of good report. He was, as Horace Walpole said, a Christian who “ adored from examination; was a courtier that flattered only by informing his prince, and by pointing out what was worthy for him to countenance; and really was the neighbor of the gospel, for there was no man that might not have been the better for him.”

He abhorred both profanity and dissipation and severe and affected austerity of manners ; equally shunning Cavalier and Puritan extravagances and excesses. Yet when Charles II. and his reckless minions brought “deep and prodigious gaming ” and foolish and licentious plays into fashion, he grew to feel an almost Puritan detestation of the card-table and the theatre, which in better days he had approved, and expressed his condemnation in strong language. It does one good to live in his society even now, when we can come no nearer to him than the daily record in his journal of his wise, happy, useful life. “ God blessed him,” as his affectionate friend the poet Cowley said, with “ the choice of his own happiness,” and “ with prudence how to choose the best; ” and he placed his “ noble and innocent delights” in gardens and books, and in his lovely wife, in whom he found “ both pleasures more refined and sweet: ” —

“ The fairest garden in her looks,
And in her mind the wisest books,”

Another of his dear friends, Bishop Burnet, calls him “ this ingenious and virtuous gentleman,” and tells us that, not content to have advanced the knowledge of the age by his own labors, he was ready “ to contribute everything in his power to perfect other men’s endeavors.” He was equally “ the patron of the ingenious and the indigent.” The chivalrous Sir Walter Scott, who found in Evelyn, in some respects, a kindred soul, thought that “ his life, principles, and manners ” as illustrated in his Memoirs ought to be “ the manual of English gentlemen.” He entirely escaped depreciation and satire in a day and generation which was in the habit of making a jest of goodness, and was loved and reverenced even by those who were too evil or too weak to follow his example of holy living and dying. The preparation for this noble and vigorous life was a youth of hard and profitable study and travel; of the sowing, not of wild oats, but of good seed which yielded an abundant harvest.

John Evelyn was born at Wotton, Surrey, England, on the 31st of October, 1620. His father was a gentleman of high consideration in his county, and had an income of about four thousand pounds a year. Evelyn wrote of his father in words that seem correctly to describe his own character also: “ His wisdom was great, his judgment acute ; of solid discourse, affable, humble, and in nothing affected ; of a thriving, neat, and methodical genius ; discretely severe, yet liberal on all just occasions to his children, strangers, and servants ; a lover of hospitality; of a singular and Christian moderation in all his actions.” His mother was a handsome heiress, of a noble and honorable family, and a woman of lovely character; inclined, however, to a “religious melancholy or pious sadness,” and so devoted to her children that on the death of her eldest daughter she gradually faded away, surviving her but a few months, her death being hastened by excessive grief. His two brothers were “ sober, prudent, worthy, religious gentlemen,” whom he dearly loved for their many virtues. I he elder one gained the universal love of his county, and was of great reputation for his generosity and munificent hospitality. His sisters, who were superior women, both died comparatively young, and their deaths greatly affected him. The younger he describes at twenty as “ in virtue advanced beyond her years.” Her husband was unworthy of her, but his other brother-in-law, Mr. Glanville, was a gentleman of high character, who “might have been an extraordinary man had he cultivated his excellent parts.” Evelyn’s friendship for him was long and great. To Wotton, his birthplace, he was much attached. It was noted for having " rising grounds, meadows, woods, and water in abundance.” It stood on Wyth Hill, and from its summit could be seen, on a serene day, twelve or thirteen counties, with a part of the sea off the coast of Sussex. The house was “ large and ancient, suitable to those hospitable times, and so sweetly environed with those delicious streams and venerable woods ” that in the judgment of strangers, as well as of Englishmen, it was regarded as one of the most pleasant country-seats in the nation.

Evelyn did not begin his education till he was four years old ; not at that day considered an early age to be sent to school. The school he attended was taught by “one Frier” in the church porch at Wotton. His infant mind was so impressed by the great stir and talk that he heard this year, 1624, about the Spanish ambassador, Il Conde Gundemar, and the proposed match between Prince Charles and the Infanta, that he remembered the excitement and eager gossip of the time till the end of his life. When five years old he was sent to the house of his grandfather Stanfield, at Lewes, where he passed his childhood. This was the year of the great pestilence, when five thousand persons died in London each week ; and he always retained a vivid recollection of the strict watch and examination to which all the roads, inns, and travelers on the route from Wotton to Lewes were subjected. When he was seven, his grandparents, who doted on this pretty, bright, and amiable young son of their only child, had his picture painted in oils by “ one Chanterell, no ill painter.” Probably about the same time the little boy laid one of the first stones at the building of a new church at South Mailing, near Lewes, to which Mr. Stanfield gave twenty pounds a year. In 1627 his dear grandfather died, and Evelyn ever remembered distinctly the solemnity of the funeral. He began to learn Latin the next year, when he was eight, of a Frenchman named Citolin, living in the town, and also attended the school of Mr. Potts, in the Cliffe at Lewes. Two years after her husband’s death, Evelyn’s grandmother married Mr. Newton, whom he describes as “a learned and most religious gent.,” and they went to live at his house at Southover. He was sent to the free school of that town, where he remained till he went to Oxford. When the lad was eleven years old, he began the series of diaries now so famous. “ There happened,” he says, “ an extraordinary dearth in England, corn bearing an excessive price ; and in imitation of what I had seen my father do, I began to observe matters more punctually, which I did use to set down in a blank almanac.

From what we know of his disposition in later life, we imagine Evelyn to have been a gentle, affectionate, studious boy, with pleasant, winning ways ; seldom boisterous or unmanageable, yet spirited, handsome, intelligent, and full of life ; fond of all worthy people himself, and taking it for granted that everybody was fond of him, and accordingly not easily spoiled, however much he was petted. Nevertheless, in 1632, soon after the marriage of his elder sister, his father sent for him to come home, desiring " to wean him from the fondness of his too indulgent grandmother,” and intending to send him to Eton. But the tenderly nurtured child was so terrified by the report of the severe discipline at that famous school that he was sent back to Lewes ; “ which perverseness of mine,” he says, “I have since a thousand times deplored.” On his return journey he was much delighted with the gardens and curiosities at Beddington, which is the first mention of what might almost be called the ruling passion of his life.

In 1634 the elder Evelyn was appointed sheriff of Surrey and Sussex; " an honor with a burden,” for, as John Evelyn’s friend, Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, tells us, “ sheriffs in the kingdom of England have been so expensive in liveries and entertainments, in the time of their shrievalty, as it hath ruined many families.” Mr. Richard Evelyn did not ruin his family by his “ great attendance and hospitality,” but he was “most unjustly and spitefully molested by that jeering judge, Richardson, for reprieving the execution of a woman to gratify my Lord of Lindsay, then admiral; but out of this he emerged with as much honor as trouble.” He maintained the ancient rather than the modern pomp of the office. Thirty or forty was at that period the usual retinue of the sheriff, but he had an escort of a hundred and sixteen gentlemen, persons of quality and servants, all wearing green satin doublets. He was not an ostentatious man, but “ he could not refuse the civility of his friends and relations, who voluntarily came themselves or sent their servants.”

John Evelyn’s mother departed this life in 1635, when he was fifteen, and very touching is his description of her death. She bade her husband and children a pious and affectionate farewell (“ I shall never forget it,” Evelyn says), embracing every one of them, and giving to each a ring with her blessing.

When sixteen, though absent at school, Evelyn was admitted into the Middle Temple, his father intending him to study law, as part of the education of a rich young gentleman, even though he did not expect to practice the profession. The next year he was sent to Baliol College, where he went, he says, more because he was ashamed to continue longer at school than because he was prepared for the university, and found it necessary to re-learn all that he had perfunctorily gained at school. His tutor’s time was so occupied with a quarrel he had with the head of his college that he neglected his pupils; and Evelyn, perceiving this, associated himself with Mr. Thicknesse, a young man of the foundation, afterwards a Fellow of the house, from whose learned and friendly conversation he received great advantage at this period, and later during his Continental travels. There visited Oxford, while he was at college, Cyril, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who was the first person he ever saw drink coffee, the custom not being introduced into England till thirty years afterwards. The university was, during his residence, under the strict discipline of Archbishop Laud.

The record of Evelyn’s college life is very brief. In 1637 he notes that he presented three Latin works to the college library, — “ authors, it seems, desired by the students of divinity there ; ” that at Christmas the gentlemen of Exeter College presented a comedy to the university; that he was admitted into the dancing and vaulting school, “ of which late activity one Stokes, the master, set forth a pretty book, which was published with many witty elogies before it.” This book, now very rare, was illustrated with a number of beautifully engraved plates, “ representing feats of activity on horseback that appear extraordinary at this time of day,” so that the body of “ the admirable Evelyn ” was probably as well trained and disciplined as his intellect.

In 1638 his father, to his great delight, directed that he should henceforth manage his own expenses, hitherto controlled by his tutor. When he was nineteen he began to study the rudiments of music, of which he afterwards acquired some knowledge, though, as he says, small perfection of hand, because inclination to newer trifles so frequently diverted his mind. He was taught to play the theorba, — a kind of large, double-headed lute, now seldom seen, — at Padua, in 1645, by Signore Dominico Bassano, and took lessons on the lute at Paris. This Signor Bassano had a daughter, married to a doctor of laws, who was a musical genius, and much admired by the young Englishman. She played and sang to nine instruments, “ with that skill and address as few masters in Italy exceeded her,” and composed excellent music. She presented him with “ two recitativos of hers, both words and music.” There are many enthusiastic references in the Diary to musicians, operas, fine singers, and musical instruments of new and old invention. In 1639 he made the first of many sight-seeing journeys, visiting, probably with Mr. Thicknesse, several noted English towns and baths.

In April of the year 1640, Evelyn visited London to see Charles I. ride in state through the city to open the Short Parliament, — “a very glorious and magnificent sight, the king circled with his royal diadem and the affections of his people.” Shortly after this he left Oxford, and went to London, residing with his brother in the Middle Temple. Their rooms were very handsome, up four pairs of stairs, and with a fine prospect, which tempted them to look out of the window instead of on their books, and did not much contribute to the “ love of that impolished study " to which he supposes his father had designed them when he paid one hundred and forty-five pounds for the privilege of placing them there.

The confusions and disorders which preceded the overthrow of the king were beginning at this time, yet nearly five months later Evelyn saw his Majesty receive an ovation from the people of London, as, conducted by a splendid cavalcade, he rode through the city, on his return from the northern expedition. Three days afterward began that Long Parliament, which Evelyn calls “the beginning of all our sorrows, and the period of the most happy monarch in the world.” Yet though he lamented the tragic end, or “ period,” of Charles I., he had no sympathy with tyranny or superstition, and finally criticised Charles II. and James II. and their governments with more severity than he had ever criticised Cromwell and the Commonwealth.

In December, 1640, just when he needed his wise counsels most, his good father died. Shortly after his death, Evelyn resolved to absent himself from “ the ill face of things ” which gave umbrage to wiser men than himself. A few weeks before he left England, he beheld “ on Tower Hill the fatal stroke which sever’d the wisest head in England from the shoulders of the Earl of Strafford.” Having had his portrait painted in oils by Vanderborcht as a farewell present to his sister Jane, who had come to London to bid him good-by, and procured his pass at the custom-house, he went to Gravesend, accompanied by a Mr. Caryll and their servants, and sailed for Holland.

Desiring to be in time to witness the siege of Lenap, then threatened by the French, they hastened through Holland, and reached the army eleven days after landing at Flushing. Here Evelyn remained ten days, and as a compliment was received as a volunteer in the company of Captain Apsley, of the English regiment commanded by Colonel Goring, afterwards Earl of Norwich, and always a special friend of Evelyn. He received many civilities from the officers ; was accommodated with a horse, with a very spacious and commodious tent, and also with a hut, which was a great convenience, as the days were insufferably hot and the nights often misty and foggy. He took his turn in watching on the hornwork near his quarters, “ and trailed a pike, being the next morning relieved by a company of French.” This duty was continued till the castle was refortified. Having fully gratified his curiosity by examining the fortifications of the castle, etc., and being “ pretty well satisfied with the confusion of armies and sieges,” though the quarters and encampments of the United Provinces were so admirably regular and orderly that “ few cities exceeded them for all conveniences,” he took leave of “ the leagure and camerades.” A month later he played soldier again, on visiting the impregnable town and fort of Hysdune, where he was exceedingly obliged to Colonel Crombe, the lieutenant-governor, who made him accept the honor of giving the password the night he arrived there. A few days before, he mentions having made a journey to the Hague for the express purpose of ordering a suit of armor, which he caused to be made to fit him, and also the harness of a horseman.

About a year after this was fought the battle of Brentford, where Charles I. was defeated. Evelyn had returned to England in October, 1641, and he says under date of November 12, 1642, that he arrived on the battle-field as a volunteer with his horse and arms just as the retreat was beginning, but he was not permitted to stay longer than the 15th, because the army was marching to Gloucester, which would have left both him and his brothers “ exposed to ruin without any advantage to his Majesty.” On the 6th of July, 1643, he sent his black manége horse and furniture by a friend to the king, who was then at Oxford.

Evelyn was by nature a student, and best fitted for civil life in days of peace. We can imagine him doing good service in an army as a chaplain or surgeon, but in spite of his manliness and courage (often during the Commonwealth he risked liberty, life, and property in the service of the exiled Charles II.) he would probably have proved less efficient in another capacity.

To return to the Diary, Evelyn records, August 12, 1641, that, leaving Lenap, he embarked on the Waal, and was entertained during most of the voyage by a discussion between three grave divines on the lawfulness of church music. All ecclesiastical or theological questions interested him, and though he held his own special views with great sincerity and firmness, he was charitable in his judgments. On the 18th of this same August, we find him changing his lodgings at Rotterdam, and taking rooms and board at the house of a Brownist, “ out of a desire to converse among the sectaries that swarmed in this city.” He made the acquaintance of an English Carmelite and an Irish gentleman at the Brownist’s “ extraordinary good table,” and was also introduced to a rich Anabaptist, in whose house he saw many pretty ornaments and curiosities. The large numbers of fine and marvelously cheap pictures, “ especially landskips and drolleries, as they call their clownish representations,” which he saw in the annual Rotterdam fair amazed him, till he was told that the scarcity of land led the people to invest their money in paintings, for which there was always a market. The houses of the citizens were full of pictures, and a common farmer, considering the purchase merely a good investment of his funds, frequently laid out as much as three thousand pounds in paintings.

Evelyn was all his life greatly interested and active in charitable work, and when he came to Antwerp carefully studied the benevolent institutions of that place, treasuring for future use at home what he learned. He was enchanted with the cities of Holland, frequently shaded with long rows of beautiful lime-trees, and with “ every man’s bark or vessel at anchor before his very door,” and environed by streets and dwellings. In Antwerp he went to the shop of Heinsius to buy some maps, and was greatly pleased with that indefatigable person, and also thought that Mr. Bleaw, " the setter forth of the atlasses and other works of that kind,” was a man well worth seeing. At another shop he furnished himself with shells and curiosities. From Heinsius and Bleaw this versatile mind turned with amused interest to the widow — whose cottage they showed him — who had had thirty-five husbands, and who was forbidden to marry again, because, though there was no proof of the crimes, she was suspected of having made way with some of her husbands. At Leyden he was, for the sake of the honor, though he did not study there, matriculated by the Magnificus Professor, whom he paid a fee of one rix-dollar. Here he visited the “ garden of simples ” and the anatomy school, and saw the famous Dan. Heinsius and his renowned Elzevirian printing house and shop. He went to Dort for the purpose of seeing the reception of Marie de Medici, who arrived there, “ tossed to and fro by the various fortunes of her life; ” but " there was nothing remarkable in this reception befitting the greatness of her person but an universal discontent, which accompanied that unlucky woman wherever she went.” Returning to Antwerp, he bought some books at the shop of Plantine, “ for the name’s sake of that famous printer. " He was ravished with the “ delicious shades and walkes of stately trees ” of the “ magnificent and famous citty of Antwerp,” “ one of the sweetest places in Europe.”

From earliest youth to extreme old age Evelyn felt a lively interest in everything great or small that he encountered. His curiosity and hunger for information were insatiable, and his sources of enjoyment were so manifold that scarce a moment can have passed without its special pleasure ; generally, too, pleasure of a kind that makes men better as well as happier. He studied carefully and thoroughly appreciated, during his travels, painting, sculpture, architecture, engineering, music, carving, gems, medals, books, gardens, and scientific discoveries and inventions, so that it was only natural that on his return he should become one of the most useful and influential members of the Royal Society. But he received almost as much pleasure, though of a different kind, from mechanical toys: chairs from which the unwary occupant found himself unable to rise; massive silver furniture encrusted with precious stones ; chimes of porcelain dishes rung by clock-work ; artificial music set going by hydraulic engines ; noises of beasts and chirping of birds caused by the same machinery ; bronze satyrs which spoke with frightfully natural human voices ; carefully prepared butterflies spread out in drawers to represent a beautiful piece of tapestry ; labyrinths and fountains which at a touch of the hand of the mischievous fontenier played such queer tricks in gardens ; the " two extravagant musqueteeres ” in Richelieu’s grounds at Ruell, who shot departing guests with streams of water from their musket barrels ; the hedges or fences of water in parks, and divers other singular works and contrivances to wet spectators, who could scarcely escape with dry clothes from the gardens of palaces. He tells us that he took extraordinary delight in sweet and delicious retirements, which combined flower gardens beautified and diversified by noble statues and marble arches, colonnades and terraces, tall trees, vineyards, cornfields, meadows and groves, and aviaries of the kind described by Bacon in the Essays, containing a forest where nestle and perch on the great leafy boughs all sorts of birds. He notes that the agreeable solitude of Du Plessis, belonging to the king of France, has many pretty gardens full of nightingales, and that the famous poet Ronsard lies buried there, in the chapel.

After traveling for three months, Evelyn returned to England in October, 1641. He went at once to visit his brother at Wotton, where, on the 31st of this month, he celebrated his twenty-first birthday. He spent the winter in London, " studying a little, but dancing and fooling more.” Several times during the year 1642, he visited the king’s army, but he did so secretly when possible. He relates that while on a visit to his cousin Keightly, on the 10th of March, 1643, the whole south of England saw with amazement for two hours at night, in a very serene sky, a cloud as bright as the moon, in the shape of a sword, with the point towards the north. He witnessed a ‘'portent,” which reminded him of this, on the 12th of December, 1680, thirty-seven years later, and a few weeks before Lord Stafford (whose name, he notes, was the same, with the exception of one letter, as Strafford) was beheaded on Tower Hill. This time it was a swordshaped meteor “ of an obscure bright color ” that he saw, the heavens being clear and cloudless. He regarded both appearances as warnings from God.

At one period, to escape danger and avoid taking the Covenant, which he succeeded in doing, he was for some time obliged to be in perpetual motion between Wotton and London. But finding at last that it had become impossible for him to " evade doing unhandsome things ” if he remained in England, he determined to travel again, and obtained a pass from Charles I., dated at Oxford, October 2, 1643.

Previous to this, May 4, 1643, after witnessing the destruction of the stately cross in Cheapside by the “ furious zealots,” he left London for Wotton so filled with regret and discouragement on account of the trouble and confusion that threatened England that he resolved to retire from a world that was out of joint; possessing himself “in some quiet, if might, be, in a time of so great jealousy.” Accordingly, by his brother’s permission, he built himself a study, made a fish-pond, an island, and some other solitudes and retirements, at Wotton. But he found it impossible to lead a hermit’s life in England in those stirring times. As his biographer says, his active mind could not be contented in solitude, however desirable it might sometimes appear to him in theory to live remote from cities and his fellow-creatures.

This plan was only a beautiful youthful dream, as Utopian as the pantisocracy of Southey and Coleridge. The fancy, however, lingered long in his mind, and sixteen years later he submitted to Mr. Robert Boyle, one of his dearest and most congenial friends, the plan of a philosophical college for retired and speculative persons, — a sort of Protestant, or rather secular convent. Writing in 1656 to his beloved friend. Bishop Jeremy Taylor, whom he called his confessor, he complains of being almost overwhelmed with necessary business and social duties, and says, " The censure of singularity would in no way affright me from embracing an hermitage, if I found that they did in the least distract my thoughts from better things.” “ I thinke I am not to do any rash or indiscreete action, to make the world take notice of my singularity ; though I do with all my heart wish for more solitude, who was ever most averse to being neere a greate citty, designed against it, and yet it was my fortune to pitch here more out of necessity and for the benefit of others than choyce or the least inclination of ray own.” Yet when Sir George Mackenzie published his panegyric on Solitude, Evelyn had the courage to answer him, urging " the preference to which public employments and an active life is entitled,” and using arguments that controverted his own professed opinions. At the time he answered Mackenzie he was engaged in the arduous and self-sacrificing work of caring for the men wounded in the war with Holland and providing for prisoners. Horace Walpole says that Evelyn’s long life of eighty-six years " was a course of inquiry, study, curiosity, instruction, and benevolence,” and he was aware that " though retirement in his own hands was industry and benefit to mankind,”in the hands of others it was “ laziness and inutility.” Soon after the publication of his reply to the panegyric on Solitude, he wrote a playful letter of apology to Cowley, conjuring him to believe that he was still of the same mind as when he so highly celebrated Recesse,” and “ that there is no person alive who does more honor and breathe after the life and repose you so happily cultivate and adorne by your example ; But as those who prays’d Dirt, a Flea, and the Gowt, so I Public Employment in that trifling Essay.” In a word.

“ Public Employment ” was to be considered merely as one of those facetiœ in prose and verse with which scholars relieved their more serious studies. Probably the letter to Mr. Boyle was somewhat of the same character.

There are few entries in the Diary during the months preceding Evelyn’s second visit to the Continent. Perhaps much of this time of comparative seclusion was spent in studying literature, science, theology, and languages. In later life, he understood, beside Greek and Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, and High Dutch. Even a man of Evelyn’s “ uncommon prudence and discretion ” could not, we find, live comfortably in England at this period without becoming a decided partisan of either king or commons. Yet he had warm friends in both armies, and was not seriously molested by either party. He arrived in Paris in November, 1643. As on his former visit, he spent much time in visiting libraries, schools, and other objects of interest.

One of the most amusing persons whom he met during this visit to Paris was Mr. Jo. Wall, an Irish gentleman and renegade Dominican friar from Spain, who was running about Europe in the disguise of a soldier of fortune, pretending to have commanded a company of horse in Germany. “ He was an excellent disputant, and so strangely given to it. that nothing could pass him.” He dragged Evelyn with him one morning to the Jesuits’ College to witness his polemical talents, where he contested some points of divinity with the fathers “ only to show his pride, and to that indiscreet height that the Jesuits would hardly bring us to our coach, they being put heside all patience.” This result perhaps gratified the cavalier’s companion, for Jesuits were the only religious people in the world whom the moderate Evelyn could not tolerate and judge charitably. The next day Wall took Evelyn to the Sorbonne, where they found a doctor of divinity lecturing to a large class. After a few minutes Wall started up, and began to dispute with the professor. His rude interruption of the lecturer and his Spanish dress (a garb which the Parisian students considered ridiculous) sent doctor and scholars into such fits of laughter that the Irishman could not at first make himself heard ; “ but silence being obtained, he began to speake Latin, and make his apology in so good a style that their derision was turned to admiration ; and beginning to argue, he so baffled the professor that with universal applause they all rose up and did him greate honors, waiting on us to the very streete and our coach, testifying great satisfaction.”

Amusing is Evelyn’s description of St. Innocents’ Churchyard at Paris, where numerous clerks earned their living by writing letters for illiterate persons, every gravestone serving as a desk. On a visit to Blois, he and a friend walked some distance to a wood, hoping to encounter some of the wolves which so abounded there that they often came into the town and carried off children from the streets ; yet the duke who was sovereign of that country refused to allow any of them to be killed. They met no wolves themselves, but in the forest they saw a gentleman resting under a tree, his horse grazing near by, which he said had been attacked by wolves two hours before, and would have been killed but for the courage and strength of the dog which lay at his side.

Evelyn took much pleasure in sketching, during this journey, and wherever he saw “ a pleasant terrace ” or “ tempting prospect ” drew it with his skillful pencil or crayon. Horace Walpole gives Evelyn prominence in the Anecdotes of Painting, not only because he loved, promoted, and patronized art, but because he was himself an original designer, and also an engraver of ability. He quotes with approval Evelyn’s works on medals, engraving, and painting, and says that he considers it only prudent to shelter under his authority any part of the Anecdotes that seems “ not much to the purpose.” Prince Rupert paid Evelyn a " well-merited compliment.” when he confided to him the secret, or mystery, as they regarded it, of his invention of mezzotinto. He was one of the first persons to whom the prince revealed it.

While at Marseilles, Evelyn visited the galleys, and he gives a fearful account of the miserable slaves. His insatiable curiosity on all subjects led him, some years later, to be present at the administration of the torture at the Chatelet prison, Paris. The criminal, “ a lean, dry, black young man, conquered the torture,” as the lieutenant, at the first sight of him, had said that he would ; and accordingly the authorities were obliged, instead of executing him, to send him to the galleys, “ which is as bad as death.” Evelyn never witnessed the horrible sight again. It reminded him too forcibly of the sufferings of our Saviour on the cross. He detested cruelty, and severely condemns the fashionable but " butcherly sports, or rather barbarous cruelties,” of cock and dog fighting, bear and bull baiting, and mentions with horror and disgust that at one of these rude and dirty pastimes a bull “ tossed a dog full into a lady’s lap, as she sate in one of the boxes, at a considerable height from the arena” of the bear-garden. When a very gallant horse was to be baited to death with dogs for the amusement of good society, he would not be persuaded to be a spectator of this wicked and barbarous sport, and, unlike many of his contemporaries, who enjoyed and supported such amusements, thought the cruel contrivers of the entertainment should, instead of being allowed to make money by it, be punished for presenting it to the public.

On the 11th of October, 1644, Evelyn sailed from Cannes to Genoa ; arriving safely, though barely escaping shipwreck. He mentions with delight the scent of the fragrant Italian orchards on the coast, “ from whence, the wind blowing as it did, might perfectly be smelt the joys of Italy in the perfumes of orange, citron, and jassamine flowers for divers leagues seaward.” The glorious churches, palaces, gardens, pictures, and statues of Italy fill him with enthusiasm which he can hardly find words to express. The market in the piazza before the sea at Pisa specially impressed him, with its vast “concourse of slaves, Turks, Mores, and other nations,” engaged in buying, selling, drinking, playing, working, sleeping, fighting, singing, or weeping, “ nearly naked and miserably chayned,” and often staking their liberty for a few crowns ; being, if they lost, “ immediately chayned and led away to the galleys, from whence they seldom returned.” He was fond of bric-a-brac, and describes the toys, curiosities, pictures, casts, Venetian glass, medals, books, etc., which he bought in Italy, France, and Holland, and sent home to England. He thought the Merceria, or Rialto, at Venice “one of the most delicious streetes in the world for the sweetness of it,” with both sides “ tapistried as it were with cloth of gold, rich damask, and other silks,” and with its perfumes, apothecary shops, and innumerable cages of nightingales “ that entertain you with their melody from shop to shop, so that, shutting your eyes, you would imagine yourself in the country, when indeed you are in the middle of the sea.”

Among the singular characters whom he met at Rome was Hippolito Vitellesco (afterwards bibliothecary to the Vatican library), who showed him one of the best collections of statues in Rome, to which he frequently talked “ as if they were living, pronouncing now and then orations, sentences, and verses, sometimes kissing and embracing them.” While at Rome, he dined at the Academy of the Humorists, which met in a spacious hall belonging to Signor Nancini, “ where the wits of the time met on certain days to recite poems and debate on several subjects.” He describes the fantastic hall of a similar society, the Academy of the De la Crusca at Florence, which was “ hung about with impresses and devices painted, all of them relating to corn sifted from the brann; the seats are made like bread baskets and other rustic instruments used about wheat, and the cushions of satin-like sacks.”

It was Evelyn’s custom at Rome often to spend the afternoon in Piazza Navona, “ as well to see what antiquities he could purchase among the people who held mercat there as to hear the mountebanks prate and distribute their medicines.” He was also in the habit of going to hear the sermons preached to the Jews, who were forced to sit till the close, but who showed so much malice in their faces, and made so much noise “ spitting, humming, and coughing,” that it was scarcely possible for them to bear or receive profit, and so few were converted. Yet the Dominican friar, who preached to the Jews one day, invited Evelyn, heretic though he was, to act as godfather to a converted Jew and a Turk. The Jew was believed to be a counterfeit, but the Turk, who sold “ hot waters ” in Rome, used to take Evelyn presents and kiss the hem of his cloak when he met him.

Among other pleasures which, he enjoyed at Rome were the magnificent operas. One composed by Prince Gallicano was given at his palace before a splendid audience of all the most distinguished residents and visitors at Rome. In the morning of the same day Evelyn witnessed a brilliant “ tournament of several young gentlemen on a formal defy.” Prizes were distributed by noble ladies, and the tournament offered much diversion to the spectators and was a novelty to the travelers. From Rome he went to Florence and Naples, visiting the museums and ascending Mount Vesuvius ; but it is impossible to mention all that he and his traveling companions, Mr. Henshaw and Mr. Thicknesse, saw in Italy.

Having spent seven months in Rome, Evelyn departed in a coach, accompanied by two courteous Italian gentlemen. At Bologna he visited Dr. Montalbono, the discoverer of phosphorus, to whom he had a letter of introduction, and who showed him specimens of that article. In the afternoon of the day that he made his call on Dr. Montalbono, he climbed up to the convent of St. Michael in Bosco, which was, on account of its buildings, carvings, paintings by Raphael, Leonardo, and Caracci, its pleasant shade and groves, cellars, dormitories, and prospects, “ one of the most delicious retirements he ever saw, art and nature contending which should exceed, so that till now he never envied the life of a friar.”At Venice he made all his arrangements to sail for Jerusalem, laying in snow to cool his drink, “ sheepe, poultry, biscuit, spirits, and a little case of drougges in case of sickness ; ” but to his great disappointment he was obliged to give up his journey, as the ship on which he was to embark “ happened to be press’d for the service of the state, now newly attacqued by the Turques ” at Candia.

In June, 1645, he resolved to spend some months in study at Padua, especially in the schools of physic and anatomy. On the 30th of July he was matriculated. His first visit in Padua was to the university garden of simples, where, by permission of the professor of botany, he ordered the gardener to make him a collection of herbs for a, hortus hyemalus. On the 4th of August he went to Venice, where the captain of the ship on which he intended to have sailed for Palestine presented him with a stone from a mummy pit, covered with hieroglyphics, of which he made a drawing to send to Father Kircher, author of that “greate work Obeliscus Pamphilius,” where it is described, but without mentioning the contributor’s name. The captain also gave him the hand and foot of a mummy, two Egyptian idols, some loaves of the bread which the Coptics use in the sacrament, and other curiosities. He hastened back to Padua on the l0th of August, after hearing of his election to the office of Syndicus Artistarum, to decline that honor, which would not only have added to his expenses, but have hindered progress in his studies. The students chose a Dutch gentleman in his place, which was not altogether pleasing to Evelyn’s countrymen, “ who had labored not a little,” he says, “ to do me the greatest honor a stranger is capable of in this university.” He parted in September from his old college friend, and till now constant fellow-traveler, Mr. Thicknesse, who was obliged to return to England, accompanying him as far as Venice.

In October Evelyn settled for the winter in Padua; Mr. Henry Howard, grandson of the Earl of Arundel, Mr. Bramstone, son of the Lord Chief Justice. Mr. Henshaw, and himself hiring a house near the monastery of the nuns of St. Catherine, and living in noble style. On the 31st of October the neighboring nuns sent Evelyn a birthday present of “flowers in silk-work.” The young men were very studious this winter till Christmas, when they invited the English and Scots in Padua to a feast, which, Evelyn says, sank their excellent wine considerably. He had laid up for winter provision three thousandweight of grapes and pressed his own wine. While at Padua he purchased, as he tells us, “ from Dr. Jo. Athelsteinus Leonænas those rare tables of Veines and Nerves, and caused him to prepare a third of the Lungs, Liver and Nervi Sixti par ; with the gastric Veines, which I sent into England and afterwards presented to the Royall Society, being the first of that kind that had been seen there, and for aught I know in the world, though afterwards there were others.”

He went to Venice the last of March, 1646, and soon after set out from there in a coach, on his return to France, accompanied by the celebrated poet Mr. Waller, Mr. Abdy, “ a modest and learned man,” and one Captain Wray, who, as he had fought against Charles I., was by no means a welcome companion to the other three gentlemen. The morning Evelyn left Venice, he breakfasted at the Earl of Arundel’s. He says that he took leave of this magnificent collector of paintings and antiquities in bed, leaving him in tears after some private conversation on his family crosses, especially the undutifulness of his grandson Philip, who had become a Dominican friar, and was afterwards a cardinal, and also on the “ misery of his country now embroiled in civil war.” At parting, after enjoining Evelyn to write to him sometimes, the earl gave him a paper of directions written with his own hand, telling him “ what curiosities he should inquire after on his journey.” The earl was a warm friend of Evelyn as long as he lived.

In 1667 Evelyn persuaded his old companion at Padua, Henry Howard, afterwards Duke of Norfolk, to present to the Royal Society “ that noble library which his grandfather especially and his ancestors had collected. This gentleman had so little inclination to books that it was the preservation of them from embezzlement.” He also obtained from the Earl of Norfolk the gift to the University of Oxford of his Arundelian marbles, “ gathered with so much cost and industry from Greece by his illustrious grandfather.” The marbles were scattered about Arundel house and gardens, no care being taken of them, and were becoming ruined by the corroding London atmosphere. The Earl of Arundel’s countess, as well as his grandsons, squandered his treasures, which would all have been lost or destroyed but for the foresight and urgency of the young man to whom he had been kind in Italy.

At Milan, tempted by the glorious tapestries and pictures to venture alone far into the interior of the palace of the Constable of Castile, Governor of Milan, Evelyn was observed by the constable himself, who was under the hands of his barber, and was obliged to make a speedy exit from the building, as he was in danger of being arrested as a spy. The learned Dr. Ferarius called on Evelyn and his companions while in this city, and took them to the Ambrosian library, where, beside books, there were paintings and drawings of inestimable value, and it was “ a school fit to make the ablest artists.” One morning, while walking in the streets of Milan, a cavalier, after passing and looking hard at them, sent his servant to invite them to dine with him the next day. The Inquisition was even severer “ in Milan than in all Spain,” Evelyn asserts, and they were at first afraid to accept an invitation from an entire stranger, not knowing but they might fall into a trap. But learning, on inquiry, that the gentleman was a Scotch colonel, holding an honorable command in the city, they resolved to attend the dinner. Arrived at his house, where they found other guests, their host apologized for his apparent rudeness, telling them that on account of the Inquisition Protestants passing through Milan usually wished to remain unknown; and when he discovered that Englishmen were in the city (he had heard Evelyn and his companions talking English as he passed them on the street) he was in the habit, without calling on them, of quietly inviting them to his house, where they would feel at liberty and be free from danger.

After a sumptuous dinner, where much wine was drunk, the colonel presented Captain Wray, who was “ a good drinking gentleman,” with a pair of pistols, and gave Evelyn a very expensive and showy Turkish bridle of silk ornamented with a silver half moon, which he had taken from a bashaw whom he had killed in battle, which “ glorious spoil ” Evelyn used during the rest of his journey and carried with him to England. Then the colonel, who was an accomplished horseman when he had not drunk too much wine, took them to his stables and showed them fine feats of horsemanship; but mounting, in spite of the remonstrances of his groom, a spirited, unbroken animal, the horse fell backwards on him, injuring him so badly that he died in a day or two. Though much concerned for the death of the colonel, who had treated them so courteously, Evelyn and his friends felt it necessary to leave Milan at once, not knowing but they might be arrested by the Inquisition, as they were present when the fatal accident happened.

In Evelyn’s day it was not the fashion for travelers to hunt the world over for wild and picturesque scenery, and the grand and sublime in nature was not as much to his taste as a highly cultivated country, symmetrical trees, sweet fields arrayed in living green, and gardens of rare flowers. The Alps he apparently regarded as simply another obstruction in the already sufficiently difficult road from Italy to France. He describes them merely as terrible mountains, “ often of one great stone covered with snow from the creation ; ” as strange, horrible, fearful crags and tracts, dangerous on account of precipices and crevasses and streams from the geysers, where one alternately freezes in the snow or fries in the sun ; infested with dangerous wild animals and barbarous peasants with monstrous goitres. Captain Wray’s “ filthy cur ” hunted a flock of goats down the rocks into a stream made by the melting snow, and brought on our travelers a fierce mob of angry Swiss, from whom they escaped with difficulty. Then Captain Wray’s horse, which carried their baggage (the " rebel ” Captain Wray is always to blame, according to the cavalier diarist), fell down a precipice, which so incensed his choleric master that if his companions had not interfered he would have sent a brace of bullets into the poor beast, lest the guide should capture him after they had passed over the mountains, and run away with his burden. They recovered the horse almost uninjured, but after this alarming accident were afraid to ride, and made the remainder of their journey on foot.

Arrived at St. Maurice, they visited the governor, who “ was a true old blade, and had been a very curious virtuoso.” He showed them a handsome collection of books, medals, pictures, shells, and other valuable curiosities. They declined his invitation to dinner, but while at table at the inn he sent them by two pages a present of two vast covered silver “ bowls supported by two Swiss, handsomely wrought after the German manner,” full of wine, in which, after having rewarded the youths who brought it, they drank the governor’s health.

At Geneva Evelyn visited Signor John Diodati, the famous Italian minister and translator of the Bible into that language, to whom he had a letter of introduction, and with whom he had much learned discourse. On his return from the call on Diodati he was seized with small-pox, and it was five weeks before he was restored to health. At Beveretta he had been put into a bed from which a woman recovering from the small-pox had just risen. On the 5th of July, 1646, Evelyn and his companions bought a boat, in which they took turns in rowing themselves down the Rhone to Orleans ; Evelyn’s share in rowing being little less than twenty leagues. It was a charming journey. " Sometimes,” Evelyn says, “ we footed it through pleasant fields and meadows, sometimes we shot at fowls and other birds ; nothing came amiss ; sometimes we play’d at cards, while others sung or were composing verses, for we had the great poet Mr. Waller in our companie, and some other ingenious persons beside.” Leaving “ the mad Captain Wray ” at Orleans, the other members of the party proceeded to Paris, where Evelyn resolved to rest himself for some time before returning home to England.

He describes this period as the only time in my whole life I spent most idly, tempted from my more profitable recesses.” He had no taste for vice, and this pleasant and innocent sauntering or loafing in the entertaining Mr. Waller’s fascinating circle was his nearest approach to the common youthful sowing of wild oats. His yearly expenses while on the Continent were less than three hundred pounds, though he employed one or two servants and several masters and bought many valuable curiosities.

His most constant companions while abroad were men like the studious Mr. Thicknesse, to whom he owed so much while at college ; the highly cultivated Mr. Henshaw, with whom he traveled nearly a year, and who first inspired him with a taste for medals ; the pure-hearted Lord Ossory, whose “dear eyes ” he , closed on his death in London, thirty years after their first meeting in the riding-school at Paris, where Lord Ossory and his companions did splendid feats of horsemanship “ in noble equipage " before “ a world of spectators and great persons, men and ladies,” the exhibition ending with a collation. Evelyn describes him as one of the noblest, bravest, wisest, and most patriotic of men.

To Mr. Henshaw he wrote, fifty years after their student life at Padua : “ I frequently call to mind the many bright and happy moments we have passed together at Rome and other places in viewing and contemplating the entertainments of travellers who go not abroad to count steeples, but to improve themselves : I wish I could say of myself so as you did ; but whenever I think of the agreeable toyle we tooke among ruines and antiquitys and to admire the superbe buildings, visit the cabinets and curiosities of the virtuosi, the sweet walkes by the banks of the Tiber, the Via Flaminia, the gardens and villas of that glorious city, I call back the time, and methinks grow young again.”

Evelyn did not spend much time at Paris in idleness. He soon recovered his fondness for tranquil recesses, or, as we should say, studious retirement; regained, to use his own words, his better resolutions; and fell to his study, acquiring the High Dutch and Spanish tongues, and " now and then refreshing his dancing and such exercises as he had long omitted,” they not being in much reputation among the sober Italians. He also studied chemistry and took lessons on the lute.

On the 22d of May, 1647, Evelyn for the first time mentions Mary Browne, only child of his Majesty’s minister to the court of France, on whom he had “ particularly set his affections; and on the 27th of June they were married in Sir Richard Browne’s chapel between the hours of eleven and twelve, some “ few select friends being present.” The ceremony was performed by Dr. Earle, one of the chaplains of the Prince of Wales, then residing at St. Germain. Evelyn mentions with pleasure the fact that, as the people of France were solemnly observing the feast of Corpus Christi, the streets of Paris were “ sumptuously hung with tapestry and strewed with flowers ” on his wedding day. He was a highly cultivated and unusually mature man of twenty-seven when he was married, and his bride was not fourteen, yet the marriage, which lasted fifty-nine years, was remarkably happy. Mrs. Evelyn had “many advantages of birth and beauty,” and as she became

“ the grateful and docile pupil of her husband,” who was one of the best and most accomplished men of his day, all her talents and graces received full and symmetrical development, and she was regarded by her friends as a woman equally lovely in person and character. She survived her husband three years, and says in her will, after expressing her wish to be buried at his side: “ His care of my education was such as might become a father, a lover, a friend, and husband for instruction, tenderness, affection, and fidelity to the last moment of his life, which obligation I mention with gratitude to his memory, ever dear to me; and I must not omit to own the sense I have of my parents’ care and goodness in placing me in such worthy hands.”

She was unusually well educated, and familiar with many subjects that interested her husband ; a lover of good books in her native tongue, and acquainted with the French and Italian languages. Yet she had the excellent taste, as her friend Bohun says, to use none but the purest English words and not a single foreign term in the letters and the “ Characters " of friends and distinguished persons which she wrote, and which, though undertaken solely for the pleasure of relatives or intimate acquaintances, gave her some literary reputation. She described public and private affairs in an easy and eloquent style which never " languished nor flagged,” and there was " a peculiar felicity in her way of writing,”whether consoling her widowed friend Lady Tuke, crisply reproving and advising her son, or pathetically expressing, yet with the sincerest patience and resignation, her affliction on the death of her idolized daughter, who was, she says, too great a blessing for her who never deserved anything, much less such a jewel; whether criticising Balzac, Dr. Donne, Voiture, Dryden, and other authors, or writing on domestic affairs or the diversions of the town and court. It might also have been said of her as she wrote of her daughter, that a thread of piety accompanied all her actions. No one had, we are told, a clearer insight into the characters of others, or judged them with more acuteness and discrimination, yet she never made harsh or censorious remarks, and was accordingly tenderly loved and admired by her associates. She talked well, and " was the delight of all the conversations where she appeared,” as her son’s enthusiastic tutor, Bohun, says ; and having lived five years in her house and corresponded with her for a longer time, he was a competent witness. He describes her as " the best daughter and wife, the most tender mother and desirable neighbor and friend, in all parts of her life.” His praise of Mrs. Evelyn is as enthusiastic as Evelyn’s eulogy of that dear friend of himself and his wife, young Mrs. Sidney Godolphin. Like her husband, Mrs. Evelyn loved best a life of studious retirement, and pitied those who were obliged by high birth or office to squander their time in idle visits, talk and ceremonies, and the empty vanities of the city. Yet they were both fond of company, and received and made so many visits, and were so popular with all that was most agreeable or distinguished in London society, that but for their industrious and methodical habits they could have found no time for more important duties and pursuits.

Mrs. Evelyn was noted for her goodnature, self-denial, “ charity and compassion to those who had disobliged her,” and she had “ no memory of past occurrences unless it were a grateful acknowledgment of some friendly office.” She was usually cheerful, and no kind of trouble but one seemed “ to interrupt the constant intention to entertain and oblige ; but that is dolorously represented in many letters, which is the loss of children and friends,” which she was often called upon to suffer. The children were as good, gifted, handsome, and charming in every way as their parents, which made the parting from them harder.

Mrs. Evelyn’s house, nursery, servants, and poor neighbors did not suffer on account of her musical, literary, and artistic tastes, for she thought that “ the care of children’s education, observing a husband’s commands, assisting tlie sick, relieving the poor, and being serviceable to our friends are of sufficient weight to employ the most approved capacities ” among women. She was skilled in the art of etching, and the frontispiece of her husband’s translation of Lucretius was designed by her. Evelyn tells us in the Diary that soon after the restoration of Charles II. “ she presented the king with a copy in miniature of the Madonna of Oliver’s painting after Raphael,” which she " wrought with extraordinary pains and judgment,” and that Charles was so infinitely pleased with it that he caused it to be placed among his best paintings. The king treated Mrs. Evelyn with great condescension, on one occasion carrying her to salute the “ queen his mother and the princesses, and leading her into his closet to show her with his own hand his curiosities.” A few weeks later he offered to give her the honorable office of lady of the jewels to the future queen, — a promise which, very characteristically, he did not keep, notwithstanding the valuable and dangerous services her father and husband had rendered both himself and Charles I. Evelyn’s youth may be regarded as ending with his marriage. Though this paper deals professedly only with the first twenty-seven years of his history, it is in reality an epitome of his whole life. The various philosophical, literary, artistic, political, benevolent, religious, and social duties which occupied him in middle life and old age are briefly alluded to. But to treat these two periods with the fullness with which his youth has been described it would be necessary to write a second long article. It would be difficult to crowd a minute account of such a full life as his into one paper.

Mary Davies Steele.