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would fain possess them; and, nobler what is this to the positive coat-armour and better office still, a voluntary of accomplishment and perfection in almoner between the rich and the which the youthful gentleman of King poor. Both are men of singular Charles I. was expected to indue energy, brave, active, and full of himself ?-not an easy working-day vigour, long livers, keen observers, costume, flexible to ordinary human each with an insight of his own; and modes of operation, nor a fancy suit whether we admire the courage which of æsthetics and philanthropies, such keeps Mr Pepys in London at his as does credit to the youth of leisure post through all the horrors of the and wealth in these days, but such a plague—a courage which he cannot pomp of buckram and embroidery, help admiring himself, with a mixture such wonderful Admirable Crichtonof wonder at his own intrepidity-orism, such virtuosity, that modern the promptitude which brings Evelyn accomplishments must fall back disto Court through the hot and perilous mayed before the ponderous splendour, streets of the still burning city, with and modern schoolmasters- let them his “ plot" for a new London-it is be abroad as much as they will impossible to mistake the readiness shrink in conscious inferiority from for emergencies, the strength of exer- the task of competing with this tion, and quick perception of necessity ancient manufacture of the polished which distinguished these most dis- gentleman,-a curious production of similar men.
antique fashion and slow pace, it may With a stately bow of respect, be, yet we cannot deny with rare and owed fully more to his own import- noble qualities, and a solemn grace, ance than to his audience, John the glory whereof has departed from Evelyn presents himself to the cour, this realm of England many a day teous hearing of posterity. Third and long. son of Richard Evelyn of Wotton, To complete this weighty and eladescendant of sundry families and borate process of self-manufacture, persons of repute, whose names figure and not without a prudent motive, by in county lists and on white marble the way, of removing himself from tombstones, it would not beseem the the disastrous scene of civil war, well-born and well-mannered patri. wherein, as Mr Evelyn wisely says, cian to burst upon us without an he and his brothers, from the locality introduction. He who at six years of their estates, would but have exold sits for his picture, and at a still posed themselves to certain ruin, earlier period lays foundation-stones without doing corresponding service of local churches, is marked already to the cause of King Charles, our by the public seal a small representa- youthful Paladin sets forth upon his tive of all constitutional dignities, travels, father and mother being dead church and state; and it is by no by this time, and the family home at means difficult to realise the minia. Wotton become his brother's inheriture man, or rather miniature gentle- tance. After a most stately and man and courtier, in his little velvet edifying fashion these travels are coat and dainty ruffles, his cravat of conducted, and when he has visited point lace and inch of sword. Yet Rome and the greater cities of Italy, there is a satisfaction in knowing that Evelyn returns to Paris to marry little Evelyn has heart to be idle, after a very young and very fair wife, all, and is able to indulge, tbough daughter of the English ambassador solemnly and with self-reproof, in the there, whom he has to leave very whims and erratic studies of youth. shortly, making his will with all Farther on we have even dancing and solemnity, to look after his affairs in trifling added to the catalogue, though England. After an absence of a not without a suspicion that all the year and a-half he returns to Paris, lofty stripling's trifling and dancing King Charles of blessed memory being are only additional modes of perfect by this time the saint and martyr ing the education which is not com- instead of the struggling monarch of plete without these lighter appendages. his scattered party. By and by, a Talk of modern education, with all its formal return of the family is made to strain and all its facts and figures ! but England, where they manage to live very comfortably, as it seems, and exile, an “unnatural usurpation," not without much interchange of even a sequestered church, entirely pleasant visitings and occasions of fail to overthrow the natural balance. rejoicing, multiplying and growing Daily human life, which can make rich during the time of that "unnatu- nothing of the seven-leagued boots of ral usurpation" which kept the vir- bistory, but must tread on its ordinary tuous Charles II. from his father's pace with its prosaic ordinary footing, throne. There is nothing more re- walks through revolutions blindfolded, markable in all contemporary histories nor ever finds out what burning coals of a troubled era than the quiet tenor it has passed over, nor what pitfalls of everyday, which, after all, public it has escaped, till long after looking events agitate so little. To see, back upon them, in the light of instead of the intense engrossing ex- recollection, when many a time the citement which we look for, the busy pulse quickens and the heart beats to plotting and perpetual ferment of so perceive dangers at the time unsingular a period of national transition, known. and so high a tide of faction and With no such solemn introduction party feeling, long lapses of quiet as his more dignified contemporary, days, wherein common people go Mr Secretary Pepys bustles into our about common business, when sales presence on the eve of a new time. are made and peaceable marriages, Left entirely in the dark, not only in babies born and gardens planned, respect to the colour of hair and stawhen travelling gentlemen have ture of person belonging to the paleisure to get robbed, and virtuoso ternal Pepys, but to the very existence ladies to make collections of china, of such an individual, Samuel, spruce, and all the world to go on by the full-grown, and curious, comes with a hour, according to its wont, in the sudden leap out of chaos and the uncalm unconsciousness of human cus- known, and reveals himself, no growth tom, has a singular effect upon the of years, no proper little boy, and distant spectator - vision of posterity much-educated young man, but an Good posterity of two hundred years achieved and complete personage, a bence, perusing with curious interest fait accompli to our admiring eyesthese worn and yellow pages for with a wife and a servant Jane, a sake of the insight they may throw faithful adherence to “ my Lord,” a upon the perplexing history of the place in an office, a house in Axe great Russian war! Not a doubt you Yard—where, nevertheless, he lives will find in the brown enclosure of in the garret-a suit with great skirts Maga something on the subject to con- (for Pepys is not Pepys without his vince you that British soil trembles all costume), and a private condition over with eager interest—that at board “very handsome, esteemed rich, but and fireside there is no other matter indeed very poor." In such aspect is worthy of discussion—that troops and it that Samuel Pepys rises upon the supplies — far-away movements of horizon, a man even then of much fleets and armies-far-off echoes of business and many occupations — artillery and din of battle, ring through young, alert, and full of curiosity, “ a every household. Believe it not. The rising man," as the phrase goes-misshowl of little Johnnie, newly tumbled ing no opportunity of either advancedown stairs, is a much more moving ment or emolument, and quite ready sound than the Cossack war-cry in to strike in with the tide, however it the distant fight; and not a resound- may turn; nor much caring, as it ing gan of all these armaments shall seems, whether Charles Rex or Richard thrill our domestic heart with such Protector win the day, so that my potential horror as those three sharp lord, and of natural consequence my strokes at which, with an instinctive Jord's dutiful and serviceable kinsman, shudder, we acknowledge the presence bave a sufficiently good chance of getof the tax-collector, the most dread ting to the top of the wave. officer of state. In like manner By and by, the lesser stars and sayonder ancient days pass over the tellites of Samuel appear in the firheads of John Evelyn and Mary his mament. Not to speak of the poor wife. A royal martyr and a royal wife who burns her hand making ready the remains of a turkey for the Sun- “muddle," and nothing half so grateday's dinner, and who has rather a ful as coffee-in Westminster Hall, at secluded life of it in the garret at this church, and in every public place, all present writing, but who for the rest sorts of rumours are to be heard of, seems to have wonderfully little to till rumour grows almost weary of grumble at—very much less than she perpetual self-contradiction. About comes to have by-and-by in Samuel's this time occurs a pretty glimmer of own person—and is my dear wife, and picture, which shows that Samuel has affectionately considered—there ap- an eye for the picturesque. General pears the father, whom Samuel finds Monk has been appointed general-inin his “ cutting-house" at his honest chief of all the forces in the three trade of tailor, and of whom, with kingdoms, and there is a universal his mother, he has a very unsatisfac- satisfaction, although no other pository leave-taking on his going to sea, tive changes seem to be known. In “ without having them to drink or say Westminster Hall Pepys meets with anything of business one to another," Locke and Purcell, famous masters in -a brother John, who becomes visi- their melodious art, and the three go ble as a scholar at Paul's school, hav- to a coffee-house, where they are ing his declamation overlooked and placed at windows overlooking the corrected for him by Samuel, who is water. Before them lies the Thames, a good brother-another, Tom, curso- “the silent highway"_not over sirily mentioned afterwards as carrying lent, one may conclude, in this time of home a new coat with silver buttons public excitement-and full of the swift to the rising Admiralty official,—and shooting wherries and gay barges, sundry “cozins," who cross the stage more graceful to see than coach and now and then, giving and receiving omnibus, which make a constant comdinners, advices, and such matters of munication between the City and ordinary reciprocity. The ground is learned and stately Westminster. strangely shifted in this second family Purcell and Locke, and Pepys himself, group, from the lofty kinsfolk of Wot- who is no contemptible musician, sing ton and Godstone, the ambassador “ brave songs" by the windows of the father-in-law, and magnificent con- coffee-house. The air tingles with the nections of Evelyn and his wife ; yet joyful sound of bells; the February by no means contemptible people are afternoon, sunny and red, shines on these merry citizens, pleasure-loving the animated river, and, looking down and feast-giving, with their own pre- its gay and busy tide, the chronicler tensions, quite as decided, though of a says, “ Here out of the windows it lesser order of greatness. The time is was a most pleasant sight to see the manifestly a crisis, and vexed with city, from one end to the other, with cross currents of intelligence from a glory about it, so high was the light every hand, poor good Richard Crom- of the bonfires, and so thick round the well having broken down under the city, and the bells rang everywhere." weight of his father's truncheon, the Almost immediately my lord emerges woeful Rump not knowing what to from the darkness, goes to sea—which make of its dreary burden of life, and is to say, lies in the Channel, waiting General Monk advancing towards the the turn of events-taking with him city-a powerful but uncomprehended this faithful historian; and finally has fate, touching whose intentions the the honourable office of bringing home public mind is in great doubt and the king. The most noticeable thing wonder. This public mind, like Pepys' in this part of the record, and the most own, seems to be fully more eager to amusing, is the unfailing industry and hear of change than active to bring it pains of Samuel in picking up all the about, and waits with great curiosity small perquisites and fees pertaining and eagerness, as the exhausted public to his office. His “ half-piece," which mind, not fertile in expedients, is apt he gets from a person who would be to wait for the command and leading chaplain; his whole piece and twenty of some visible Influence great enough shillings in silver from the captain to give authority to the general wish. whose commission he draws; his vaAt the coffee-house-at the House it. rious droppings in of littlé streams of self, where there is an undeniable revenue; his addings up and thanksgivings for the same; together with The canvass widens and enlarges; busy his simple delight in being addressed London throbbing with gay life and as S. P., Esq., and his satisfaction in energy, a world of new affairs in hand, sitting at table with my lord, and a new reign and a youthful ruler-a having so much honour in the fleet. throng of foreign guests and congraHow these transactions might look at tulations, and a very flood of homethe present day, or if any one above returning exiles open to our view. seventeen dare acknowledge to his Foremost on the scene is the King-of inmost heart a stray spark of pleasure whom no one as yet has begun to in the Esquire on the back of a letter, speak evil, and who, amid gorgeous is quite a different matter. Samuel processions, and in the splendour of Pepys makes no boggling at his offi- his ancestral palace, is still the ideal cial dishonesty, if dishonesty it was; type of monarchy to his rejoicing his vanity is so simple, genuine, and people—and the Duke, who gives signs warm, that one almost likes him for it; of vigour, honesty, and spirit, and is and we believe that never one of the still an orthodox Protestant, so far as public whom he has admitted so appearances go;- no time yet for poor largely into his confidence, grudged him Cavaliers to feel the bitter pangs of a farthing of that £30 which Samuel disappointment—no time for balked devoutly thanks heaven he is worth” and ruined creditors of the Crown to on the conclusion of his voyage. bewail the unrewarded misery of their
Up to the same period of time his loyalsacrifices;-a host of new delights contemporary bas progressed in stately and new enterprises sprang into sudprosperity-has become the purchaser den being, and a long retinue of placeof Say's Court, the ancestral pro- men, after Pepys' fashion, or perhaps perty of his father-in-law, Sir Richard after a fashion still less honest, nursBrowne; the father of several chil. ing their £80 into £300, and much dren, and the sorrowful survivor of contented with the process. Rising one infant prodigy, whom he calls the men everywhere making themselves light of his life; has owned to a hu- visible-rising statesmen, wits, philoman thankfulness in paying every far- sophers, and favourites — and abunthing of debt he owes ;- that the im- dance of interest to fill the public mind maculate Evelyn should ever have on every topic, and keep the busy permitted himself to be in debt seems throng perpetually astir. the wonder! And now, having taken Evelyn has already propounded to an active part in plotting for the Mr Robert Boyle his plan for a philoRestoration, so soon as this was sophic assembly of mutual edification, practicable, is in high favoar at the and already there is word of a youth restored Court, a friend of both of incomparable genius, Mr ChristoCharles and James, and a most joyful pher Wren, who is calling new buildand triamphant sympathiser in their ings into being in the classic regions changed fortunes. Shrewd Samuel, of Alma Mater; so here we have alwho is no enthusiast, looks on with a ready the unformed Royal Society, and cooler eye of observation; Evelyn the unbuilt St Paul's, glimmering to rejoices, with stately propriety, but the daylight. But, alas! less advanced with all his heart.
in civilisation than might have been The beginning of the new reign con expected from his silver buttons, Mr fers upon each a public appointment, Secretary Pepys is visible, correcting and hereafter they gradually approach his cookmaid Luce, in the passage of each other. Pepys, at the close of his house, for leaving the door ajar, another year, has made a leap from and much troubled to be seen in the bis £80 to near £300, advancing stead. act of administering the chastisement ily to the higher elevation - and by Sir W. Penn's boy, who will tell it Evelyn, suave and courtly, and full to the family, which fright, however, of devices for the spread of the arts does not prevent this vigilant master and the enlightenment of the age, from beating the same or another girl having a ready eye for all ingenious, with a stick some time after, for dolearned, and curious spirits, among mestic misbehaviour. Mr Pepys has whom there can be little doubt Samuel not only a cookmaid now, but gives has an admirable right to be placed. dinners, and has my ladies calling upon his wife, to his intense satisfac- business of the day. Mr Pepys, for tion; his dining-parlour is hung with his part, contrives to weave his occugreen serge and gilded leather, and pations and enjoyments together with he grows a person of importance-get singular industry, and never underwe fear, by this token, is still only takes an official journey, or goes about externally refined.
a piece of public duty, without abunMeanwhile Prince Rupert, emblem dant provision for “ being merry," and of fiery Cavaliers, subdued into the making use of every opportunity that arts of peace, shows Evelyn, with his falls in his way. Even Evelyn sees own hand, how to grave in mezzo. innumerable plays; and the Clerk of tinto-strange to hear of this, with the Admiralty, more given to dissipa. Edgehill and Marston Moor, and the tion than Evelyn, has to make solemn red-hot reputation of the impetuous resolution against these fascinating soldier in one's memory! And there vanities. We read with a little amusegleams across the scene a vision of ment the graver historian's record Henrietta Maria-old Henrietta Ma- "I saw Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, ria, no longer the beautiful inspiration played; but now the old plays begin of royal councils, the hopeless per- to disgust this refined age, since his verter of royal faith, the idol of that Majesty's being so much abroad;" melancholy, constant, doomed king of which Pepys confirms by a similar hers - but a dowager and superan- observation of " Saw Romeo and Juliet nuated old lady, at the head of a little the first time it was ever acted; but subsidiary court, telling Evelyn tales it is a play of itself the worst that of sagacious dogs, yet sometimes grow- ever I heard, and the worst acted that ing garrulous over her escapes and ever I saw these people do." Like troubles in the time of the rebellion: every other present time, “this refined strange change of time once more. age,” we presume, gave itself credit And now we hear of the execution of for fastidious taste and nice discrimiHarrison and others of the judges of nation; and neither Evelyn's scholarly King Charles, and of the meaner and mind and graceful likings, nor the less excusable revenge taken upon the natural judgment of Pepys, has been remains of the great Usurper, the im- able to judge by a higher standard perial rebel Cromwell. " Oh, the than the opinion of their time. stupendous and inscrutable judgments The matter-of-fact and even-handed of God!” writes Evelyn, speaking of fashion in which religious observances this deplorable piece of vengeance. are conjoined with these amusements, "Look back at October 22d, 1658, is one of the most remarkable features (Oliver's funeral), and be astonished! in the volumes before us. The couples and fear God, and honour the King! which vex many a right s oul but meddle not with them that are touching ordinary matter opforgiven to change!” Of the same event, mity to "the world"
reely to when ordered by Parliament, Pepys be expected her
churchrecords a somewhat different opinion: going and ser
kes place the thing troubles him, " that a man so quiet
lacks any of so great courage as he (Oliver) was distu
10 profane leshould have that dishonour, though
hem, that we otherwise he might deserve it enough."
miration. The Far beyond the reach of his insulte
of the Chure was the dead; but after such
South, Ken honour as it was in their
and many to inflict, the restorers of
ed the high II. buried the bones of O
ud a host of burn, under the gallo
Nonconformist first-observed fast for
divines, as dom” of Charles T
drintier impotent conclusio
ndier gedy which als
L'epys two names.
land There is,
his enlull in polit