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ers for executing the office of Lord Privy Seal, at the beginning of the reign, he refused to put the seal to a licence for printing certain popish books, which by act of parliament were expressly forbidden to be sold; and on other occasions absented himself from the meetings of the commissioners, when measures were to be passed which he could not approve. He afterwards put the bishops on their guard against some of the plans of the jesuits; and prayed that God would " direct the counsels of the nation to his glory and the good of the church." He considered that the church was strong in argument, and in the purity of her doctrine, against the "emissaries and instruments of the church of Rome;" and was confident that even if God, "for the punishment of a nation so unworthy," should suffer darkness and superstition again to prevail, yet that "the doctrine of the church of England would never be extinguished;" "in all events," he added, "whatever do become of that church, it is certainly, of all the christian professions on earth, the most primitive, apostolical, and excellent." At that anxious time he rejoiced to observe that "the English clergy every where preached boldly against the superstitions and errors of popery, and were wonderfully followed by the people. The party," he says, "were exceedingly put to the worst by the preaching and writing of the protestants in many excellent treatises, evincing the doctrine and discipline of the reformed religion, to the manifest disadvantage of their adversaries."
He was an anxious spectator of the great revolution in
bishop ; which plainly showed what an interest the papists now had, that a protestant book, containing the life and letters of so eminent a man, was not to he published. There were also many letters to and from most of the learned persons, his correspondents, in Europe. The book will, I doubt not, struggle through this unjust impediment."
1688; but much as he deprecated the principles of king James, political and religious, he was evidently not prepared for so strong a step as that which brought king William to the throne.. The evils of former social convulsions were fresh in his memory, and not foreseeing the happy issue of that brief struggle, he dreaded the return of tumults and civil war.
On his next birthday, however, when he entered his seventieth year, referring to the recent events, he speaks as if he was satisfied with the course which affairs had taken. "Blessed Father, who hast prolonged my years to this great age, and given me to see so great and wonderful revolutions, and preserved me amidst them to this moment, accept, I beseech thee, the continuance of my prayers and thankful acknowledgments, and grant me grace to be working out my salvation, and redeeming the time, that thou mayest be glorified by me here, and my immortal soul saved, whenever thou shalt call for it, to perpetuate thy praises to all eternity in that heavenly kingdom, where there are no more changes or vicissitudes, but rest, and peace, and joy, and consummate felicity for ever. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus thine only son, and our Saviour. Amen."
In 1693, his only surviving daughter Susannah was married, by his friend bishop (afterwards archbishop) Tenison, to William Draper, Esq. of Adscomb in Surrey. "I pray Almighty God," he says, "to give his blessing to this marriage. She is a good child, religious, discreet, ingenious, and qualified with all the ornaments of her sex. She has a peculiar talent in design, as painting in oil and miniature, and an extraordinary genius for whatever hands can do with a needle. She has the French tongue, has read most of the Greek and Roman authors and poets, using her talents with great modesty; exquisitely shaped, and of an agreeable countenance. This character is due to her, though coming from her father." A few years after, he speaks of Mr. Draper as being a " most deserving husband, a prudent, well-natured gentleman, a man of business, like to be very rich, and deserving to be so; among the happiest pairs I think in England, and to my daughter's and our heart's desire. She has . ... . a mother-in-law, exceedingly fond of my daughter, and a most excellent woman, charitable, and of a very sweet disposition. They all live together, keep each their coach, and with as suitable an equipage as any in town."
After the marriage of his daughter, he was invited by his brother to occupy some apartments in the house at Wotton; and in the spring of 1694 he removed his books, pictures, and " much furniture of all sorts," from Sayes Court, in which he had lived for more than forty years. He left three servants, however, in the house, and sufficient furniture for his "son-in-law Draper to pass the summer in, and such longer time as he should think fit to make use of it." Sayes Court was subsequently let to captain (afterwards admiral) Benbow, where Evelyn had the mortification of seeing every day much of his former labours and expense there impairing, for want of "a more polite tenant." And when Peter the Great, of Russia, went to Deptford to study the art of ship-building, he hired Evelyn's house, and made it his court and palace. The servants of the house were not well pleased with their royal visiter: one writes to his master — "There is a house full of people, and right nasty. The czar lies next your library, and dines in the parlour next
your study The king is expected there this day,
the best parlour is pretty clean for him to be entertained in." The gardens were sadly injured by this tenant, who made it his pastime to ride in a wheelbarrow through the holly hedge, which Evelyn speaks of as the pride of his garden.
Of his own pursuits and occupations at Wotton, he has left us an account in a letter to Dr. Bohun, dated Wotton 18th of January, 1697. "Having been told," he says, "that you have lately enquired what is become of your now old friends of Sayes Court, the date hereof will acquaint you where they are, and the sequel much of what they do and think." He then describes his little grandson's love of books, and his own regret at being so far from "the conversation of the learned; so that without books," he says, "and the best wife and brother in the world, I were to be pitied; but with these subsidiaries, and the revising some of my old impertinences, to which I am adding a Discourse I made on Medals (lying by me long before Obadiah Walker's Treatise appeared), I pass some of my attic nights, if I may be so vain as to name them with the author of those criticisms. For the rest, I am
planting an evergreen grove here We have a
very convenient apartment, of five rooms together, besides a pretty closet, which we have furnished with the spoils of Sayes Court, and is the raree-show of the whole neighbourhood, and in truth we live very easy as to all domestic cares. Wednesday and Saturday nights we call lecture nights, when my wife and myself take our turns to read the packets of all the news sent constantly from London, which serves us for discourse till fresh news comes; and so you have the history of a very old man, and his no young companion, whose society I have enjoyed more to my satisfaction these three years here, than in almost fifty before. But I am now every day trussing up to be gone, I hope to a better place."
In 1695 he had the satisfaction of laying the foun
dation stone of Greenwich hospital. The total want of any asylum for the sick and wounded defenders of his country, and the misery to which they were thereby exposed, had induced him to urge upon the government the erection of such an institution; and therefore it was with peculiar pleasure that he laid the first stone of that splendid establishment.
In the year 1699, to his "exceeding grief and affliction," he followed to the grave his only remaining son, a man of much ability and reputation, who died in the forty-fifth year of his age. In the same year, his "worthy brother,—a religious, sober, temperate, and most hospitable man," died at Wotton in the eighty-third year of his age, leaving to him the family estate.
His journal still continued to receive his devout thoughts and wishes on his birthdays, and some other particular occasions, but as they are very similar to those already quoted, it is not necessary to introduce them here. It may be right to observe, however, that he viewed with horror the "unchristian custom of duelling," and wished that if religious restraints could not repress it, some "severe remedy" might be provided by law. And in 1699, speaking of the robberies and murders which were committed, and of the atheism, profaneness, and blasphemy which then abounded, he commends to the blessing of God a Society formed in London, for the purpose of repressing these serious provocations, and of "putting the laws in more strict execution against offenders." "Divers persons of quality entered into this Society for reformation of manners, and some lectures were set up, particularly in the city of London."*
* These societies were chiefly conducted by Dr. (afterwards bishop Beveridge), and Dr. Horneck of the Savoy. They were associations of persons who met frequently for devotion and religious instruction,