Зображення сторінки

queen of Castile, Lucretia d'Esté' the Dutchess of Urbin, Vittoria Colonna, Hippolita Strozzi, Mary of Arragon, Fabiala, Marcella, Eustocbium, St. Catharine of Sienna, St. Bridget, and Therese, Fulvia Morata, Isabella Andreini, Margaret of Valois, and many more whom few of our readers will recognise as old acquaintance,-terminating the illustrious catalogue of female worthies with Queen Elizabeth, Queen Jane, the Lady Weston, Mrs. Philips our late Orinda,' the daughters of Sir Thomas More, and the Queen Christina of Sweden,-our polite Author adds : 'But all these I say, sum'd together, possess but that divided which y Grace retaines in one ; so as Lucretia Marinella, who writ a book (in 1601) dell'Eccellenzia delle Donne, con difetti é mancamenti de gli huomini, had no neede to have assembled so many instances and arguments, to adorne the work, had she lived to be witnesse of Margarite Dutchesse of Newcastle, to have read her Writings, and to have heard her discourse of the Science she comprehended : I do, Madame, acknowledge my astonishment, and can hardly think too greate of those soules, who resembling y Grace's, seeme to be as it were wholy separate from matter, and to revolve nothing in their thoughts but universal ideas. For what of sublime and worthy in the nature of things, dos not your Grace comprehend, and explaine ! What of greate and noble that y" illustrious Lord has not adorn'd, for I must

not forget the munificent present of his very usefull book of Horsemanhip-!!

A Letter to Mr. Pepys extends to seventeen pages: it err:braces a variety of of topics, comprising hints for a collection of portraits of illustrious men ; a vindication and history of Numismatic collections, together with references to the best treatises upon the subject; remarks upon Libraries, public and private ; and an account of the best extant collections: the letter concludes with earnestly recommending the formation of an Academy for the polishing' and settling of the English Language, similar to that of La Crusca and others on the Continent. Such an institution was, he says, once designed since the Restoration · 1665, and in order to it three or four meetings were began at • Gray's Inn, by Mr. Cowley, Dr. Sprat, Mr. Waller, the D.

of Buckingham, Matt. Clifford, Mr. Dryden and some other proinoters of it; but by the death of the incomparable Mr.

Cowley, distance and inconvenience of the place, the Conta‘gion, and other circumstances intervening, it crumbled away . and came to nothing.'- A Letter to Mr. Wotton communicates some valuable biographical details relative to his friend Mr. Boyle. One to Lord Godolphin contains, among other projects, the recommendation of a Council of Trade, to whom he proposes that the care of the Manufactures of the kingdom should likewise be committed,' with stock for the employment of the « Poor ;

by which might be moderated (he adds) that unreasonable statute for their relief (as pow in force) occasioning more idle persons, who charge the publiq without all reamedy, than otherwise there would be, insufferably burning the parishes, by being made to earne their bread honestly, who now eate it in idleness, and take it out of the mouthes of the truely indigent, much inferior in number, and worthy objects of charity.'

This letter was written in 1696; so early did the abuse of the Poor Laws engage the attention of speculative rnen, though Dir. Evelyn could suggest no better remedy for the evil than that the State should provide the superfluous hands with employment; while in 1697, Mr. Locke, one of the new Lords of Trade, recommended the separate maintenance of the children of the Poor: schemes equally at variance with any sound principles of political wisdom. In the saine letter, Mr. Evelyn calls upon the Governinent to interfere to discourage the progress and increase of buildings about this already monstrous Citty, wherein one yeare with another are erected about 800 houses, as I am credibly inform’d; which carrys away such prodigious

summs of our best and weightiest mony by the Norway trade for • deale-timber onely, but exports nothing hence of moment to • balance it.' Could the worthy Projector rise from his grave, it is hard to say which would confound and appal him most, the size of our metropolis with its suburban dependencies, or the amount of our Poor's rate.

• Truly, My L4,' he continues, I cannot but wonder, and even stand amaz'd that Parliaments should have sate from time to time, so many hundred yeares, and value their constitution to that degree, as the most sovraine remedy for the redresse of publiq grievances; whilst the greatest still remaine unreform'd and untaken away. Witnesse the confus’d, debauch’d, and riotous manner of electing members qualified to become the representatives of a Nation, wth legislative power to dispose of the fate of kingdomes; which should and would be compos’d of worthy persons, of known integritie and ability in their respective countries, and still would serve them generously, and as their ancestors have don, but are not able to fing away a son or daughter's portion to bribe the votes of a drunken multitude, more resembling a pagan Bacchanalia, than an assembly of Christians and sober men met upon the most solemn occasions that can concerne a people, and stand in competition with some rich scrivener, brewer, banker, or one in some gainfull office, whose face or name, perhaps, they never saw or knew before. How my L', must this sound abroad! With what dishonour and shame at home!

• To this add the disproportion of the Boroughs capable of electing members, by which the major part of the whole kingdom are frequently out-voted, be the cause never so unjust, if it concerne a party intrest.' Vol. XIV.N.S.

3 G

Parliaments have sate above another hundred years since this remonstrance was uttered; but Reform has got a worse name than ever.

A few Letters of Mrs.Evelyn's are annexed to the Correspondence. She was a woman in every way worthy of her husband,-highly accomplished, yet perfectly unaffected, uniting singular good sense to great ainiableness of temper, and to crown all ber other excellencies, a good housewife; as the fol. lowing extracts may testify.

"I wonder at nothing more than at the ambition of printing letters; since, if the designe be to produce witte and learning, there is too little scope for the one, and the other may be reduced to a lesse compasse than a sheet of gilt paper, unlesse truth were more communicative. Buisinesse, love, accidents, secret displeasure, family intrigues, generally make up the body of letters, and can signifie very little to any besides the persons they are addressed to, and therefore must loose infinitely by being exposed to the unconcerned. Without this declaration I hope I am sufficiently secure never to runne the hazard of being censured that way, since I cannot suspect my friends of so much unkindnesse, nor myselfe of the vanity to wish fame on so doubtfull a foundation as the eaprice of mankind.'

Another letter to the same correspondent, Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Bobun, we must give entire. .Si.

'Do not think my silence hitherto has proceeded from being taken up with the diversions of the Towne, the eclat of the Wedding, Mascarades which trebled their number the second night of the wedding (so) that there was great disorder and confusion caused by it, and with which the solemnity ended ; neither can I charge the Houswifry of the Country after my returne, or treating my neighbours this Christmas, since I never finde any buisinesse or recreation that makes me forget my Friends. Should I confesse the reall cause, it is y' expectation of ex. traordinary notions of things wholy out of my way; Women were not borne 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 case of Children's education, observing a Husband's comands, assisting the Sick, relieving the Poore, and being serviceable to our friends, are of sufficient weight to employ the most improved ca. pacities amongst us. If sometimes it happens by accident that one of a Thousand aspires a little higher, her fale commonly exposes her to wonder, but adds little to esteeme. The Distaff will defend our quarrells as well as the Sword, and the Needle is as instructive as the Penne. A Heroine is a kinde of prodigy; the influence of a blasinge starre is not more dangerous, or more aroyded. Though I have lived under the roofe of the Learned, and in the neighbourhood of Science, it has had no other effect on such a temper as mine, but that of admi. ration, and that too but when it is reduced to practice. I confesse I

am infinitely delighted to meet with in books the atchievements of the Heroes, with the calmnesse of Philosophers, and with the eloquence of Orators; but what charms me irresistably is to see perfect resignation in the minds of men let what ever happens adverse to them in their fortune; that is being knowing and truly wise; it confirms my beleefe of antiquity, and engages my perswasion of future perfection, without which it were in vaine to live. Hope not for volumes or treatises; Raillery may make me goe beyonde my bounds, but when serious, í esteeme myselfe capable of very little, yet I am, S',

Your friend and servant, Jan. 4, 1672.

M. E' Mrs. Evelyn, after being 'bappy in the love and friendship’ of her husband fifty-eight years and nine months, was left a widow in the 71st year of her age. The last memoranduin in Mr. Evelyn's diary, is dated Feb. 3, 1706. He died on the 27th day of the same inontb, having attained his eighty-sixth year.

The remainder of the first part of the second volume consists of a ' discourse of sumptuary laws;' an uufinished treatise of manuscripts; and a Narrative of the Encounter between the • French and Spanish Ambassadors at the Landing of the

Swedish Ambassador, Sept. 30, 1661,' drawn up by command of Charles II. ;—an affray in wbich it was attempted to settle by the logic of cold iron, the important point of national precedence between the Monsieur and the Don, and in which soine half dozen lives were lost on both sides, besides nearly forty wounded. The scarce tract bere reprinted, on 'sumptuary

laws,' entitled “ Tyrannus or the Mode,” is a very ingenious and lively satire on English dress, and is curious as containing historical notices of several ephemeral fashions. We must make room for a few paragraphs.

• 'Twas a witty expression of Malvezzi; i vestimenti negli animali sono molto sicuri segni della loro natura, negli Huomini del lor ceruello, Garments (says he) in animals are infallible signes of their nature ; in Men, of their understanding. Though I would not judge of the Monk by the hood he wears; or celebrate the humour of Julian's Court, where the Philosophic Mantle made all his officers appear like so many Conjurors ; 'tis worth the observing yet, that the people of Rome left off the Toga, an ancient and noble garment, with their power, and that the vicissitude of their habite was little better than a presage of that of their fortune. For the Military Saga differencing them little from their Slaves, was no small indication of the declining of their courage, which shortly followed. And I am of opinion that when once wee shall see the Venetian Senat quit the gravity of their Vests, the State itself will not long subsist without some considerable alteration. 'Tis not a trivial remark (which I have somewhere met with) that when a Nation is able to impose and give Laws to the Habit of another (as the late Tartars did in China) it has (like that of Language) proved the forerunner of

their conquests there ; because, as it has something of shew and magisterial, so it gaines them a boldnesse and an assurance, which easily introduces them without being taken notice of for strangers where they come; til by degrees they insinuate themselves into all those places where the Mode is take up, and so much in credit. I am of opiniou that the Swisse had not been now a Nation, but for keeping to their prodigious Breeches--* *

* · Methinks a French Taylor with his ell in his hand, looks like the enchantress Circe over the companions of Ulysses, and changes them into as many formes : one while we are made io be loose in our clothes ...... and by and by, appear like so many Malefactors sew'd up in sacks, as of old they were wont to treat a Parricide, with a dog, an ape, and a serpent. Now we are all Twist, and at a distance look like a pair of Tongs, and anon stuft'd out behind like a Dutchman. This Gallant goes so pinch'd in the Wast, as if he were prepar'd for the question of the Fiery Plate in Turky; and that so loose in the middle, as it he would turn Insect, or drop in two; now the short Wast and Skirts in Pye-court is the mode, then the Wide Hose, or (which is more shame. full) like Nero's lacernata Amica, the Man in coats again ; Monstrum geminum, de riro fæmina, mor de famina vir. So as one who should judge by the appearance, would take us all to be of kin to the fellow who begs without arms, or some great man's fools : Methinks we should learn to handle distaffe too ; Hercules did so when he courted Omphale, and those who sacrificed to Ceres put on the petty-coat with much con. fidence. A man cannot say now, as when Lucian scoft'd at Cinicus, Quid tu tandem barbam quidem habes et comam, tunicam non habes? On the reverse, all men now wear coats, and no beards. O prodigious folly!

I do assure you I knew a French woman (famous for her dexterity and invention) protest, that the English did so torment her for the Mode, still jealous least she should not have brought them over the newest edition of it, that she us’d monthly to devise us new fancies of her own head, which were never worn in France, to pacifie her customers. But this was in the days of Old Noll that signal Vertumnus,'


* • We deride the Spaniard for his odd shape, not for his constance in it. Let it be considered that those who seldom change the Viode of their country, have as seldom alter'd their affections to the Prince, Laws are in credit as they are ancient; and the very alteration of elements, weather and dyet, are full of perill; 'tis that renders trs weak, old, sick, and at last destroyes us : 60 as 'twas not without ad. vice that the Lawes of Plato did descend to the care even of Habits in that his perfect Idea, allowing it only to Curtesans and Comedians to vary dresses, since 'twas but a kind of hypocrisie to be every day in a new shape and mascarad.'

The essay contains a patriotic recommendation of woollens instead of silk, made thin, light, and glossie for Summer, thick, • close, and more substantial for the Winter;' a dress 'inferior

« НазадПродовжити »