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filled several honourable public offices. A sincere Churchman, he was greatly alarmed by James II.'s illegalities, and acquiesced in the Revolution as a necessary evil. In 1695 he was appointed treasurer to Greenwich Hospital. He died in 1706. The general view of his character is that expressed by Mr. Leslie Stephen, who describes him as 'the typical instance of the accomplished and publicspirited gentleman of the Restoration. The chief dissen. tient from this favourable estimate is a person of weight, De Quincey, who, in a conversation with Woodhouse, violently attacks Evelyn's Diary, three years after its publication, as a weak, good-for-nothing little book, much praised by weak people, and abuses the author as 'a shallow, empty, cowardly, vain, assuming coxcomb,' 'a mere literary fribble, a fop, and a smatterer affecting natural history and polite learning. There is just this much of truth in this splenetic onslaught, that Evelyn was an amateur in authorship, and that his high character and influential friendships no doubt contributed much to the esteem with which the works published in his lifetime were regarded in his day. The Diary stands on a different footing; it appealed to a remote and impartial public, and the appeal has been justified by edition after edition.
Evelyn's claims to literary distinction rest principally upon his Diary and his Sylva, which will be noticed in another place. The chief literary merits of the Diary are its unassuming simplicity and perfect perspicuity of style and phrase. Infinitely less interesting than Pepys's, it has the advantage of covering a much more extensive period, and faithfully reflecting the feelings of a loyal, pious, sensible Englishman at various important crises of public affairs. Unlike Pepys, whose estimates of men and things are very fluctuating, Evelyn is consistent, and we may feel sure that
modification of sentiment that may
be observed in him faithfully represents the inevitable influence of circumstances upon a man of independent judgment. His personal loyalty to the house of Stuart is manifestly cooled, though not chilled, by the scandals of Charles II.'s reign ; but it is not until Church and King come into open conflict in the reign of James II. that Evelyn gives any countenance to a violent change of government, which it is clear he would most willingly have avoided. The extreme caution and moderation of his language lend weight to his disapprobation, and indicate more forcibly than any vigour of declamation how completely James had alienated his true friends. Evelyn's position was that of one who could neither lift a hand against the Government or stretch one out to defend it. His unaffected style almost rises into poetry as he succinctly enumerates the omens which heralded the downfall of James :
• October 14. The King's birthday. No guns from the Tower as usual. The sun eclipsed at its rising. This day signal for the victory of William the Conqueror against Harold, near Battel, in Sussex. The wind, which had been hitherto west, was east all this day. Wonderful expectation of the Dutch fleet. Public prayers ordered to be read in the churches against invasion.'
The interest of the early part of the Diary is of a different kind. It is occupied with the author's continental travels, and shows what was thought best worth seeing in that age, with many curious incidental traits of manners, and examples of the hardships and perils with which wayfarers were then beset. As always, we have to lament that the traveller was in that day so much of a mere sightseer, and took so little pains to acquaint him. self with the moral, intellectual, or industrial life of the
nations he visited. This was the universal failing of the age, and of all preceding ages; not until the eighteenth century do we meet with a really philosophical traveller. Evelyn, however, is not insensible to humanity when it is thrust upon his attention ; and his study of painting in his youth, and the taste for arboriculture which produced his Sylva, qualify him beyond most of his contemporaries for the description of the aspects of nature. The feeling for nature and the feeling for humanity are well combined in the following passage:
We went then to visit the galleys, being about twenty-five in number; the Capitaine of the Galley Royal gave us most courteous entertainment in his cabin, the slaves in the interim playing both loud and soft music very rarely. Then he showed how he commanded their motions with a nod, and his whistle making them row out. The spectacle was to me new and strange, to see so many hundreds of miserably naked persons, their heads being shaven close and having only high red bonnets, a pair of coarse canvass drawers, their whole backs and legs naked, doubly chained about their middle and legs, in couples, and made fast to their seats, and all commanded in a trice by an imperious and cruel seaman. One Turk amongst the rest he much favoured, who waited on him in his cabin, but with no other dress than the rest, and a chain locked about his leg, but not coupled. This galley was richly carved and gilded, and most of the rest were very beautiful. After bestowing something on the slaves, the capitaine sent a band of them to give us music at dinner where we lodged. I was amazed to contemplate how these miserable caitiffs lie in their galley crowded together; yet there was hardly one but had some occupation, by which, as leisure and calms permitted, they got some little money, insomuch as some of them have, after many years cruel servitude, been able to purchase their liberty. The rising-forward and falling-back at their oar, is a miserable spectacle, and the noise of their chains, with the roaring of the beaten waters, has something of strange and fearful in it to one unaccustomed to it. They are ruled and chastised by strokes on their backs and
soles of their feet, on the least disorder, and without the least humanity, yet are they cheerful and full of knavery.'
Evelyn's Diary, however, with all its desert, sinks into insignificance beside the Diary of Samuel Pepys, but the same remark applies to almost every diary in the world. Pepys's Diary has been frequently compared with Boswell's Life of Johnson, and with justice in so far as the charm of each arises from the inimitable naïveté of the author's selfrevelations. Boswell had a much greater character than his own to draw, but Pepys had to be his own Johnson. It is giving him no excessive praise to say that he makes himself as interesting as Johnson and Boswell together. There cannot be a stronger proof of the infinite interest and importance of humanity that when we for once get a fellowcreature to depict himself as he really is, the most trivial details become matters of serious concern. pathize with Pepys as we sympathize with Ulysses, and are for the time much more anxious about the liquidation of his tailor's bill, or the adjustment of his misunderstandings with his wife, than what the Swede intends or what the French.' The only drawback is that the Pepys in whom we are so deeply interested is, after all, not altogether the true Pepys; not the distinguished civil servant or the intelligent promoter of science; not the man as he appeared to his friends and contemporaries, but an incarnation of whatever was petty, or ludicrous, or self-seeking in a man of no inconsiderable official and intellectual distinction. • A very worthy, industrious, and curious person,' says Evelyn, universally beloved, hospitable, generous, learned in many things, skilled in music, a very great cherisher of learned men, of whom he had the conversation. All these traits are abundantly confirmed by passages in the Diary, and yet, so infinitely more vivid is the delineation of the
writer's foibles, that one attempting to draw his character from the Diary would hardly have noticed them.
Pepys's life is chiefly remarkable for the extraordinary good fortune which raised him from an humble and precarious position to one in which he was enabled to render great service to his country. The son of a London tailor, whose family came from Brampton in Huntingdonshire, he had the good fortune to be distantly related to Sir Edward Montagu, afterwards Earl of Sandwich, one of the chief agents in the Restoration, to whose patronage he owed everything. A sizar and scholar at Cambridge, he married somewhat early and imprudently, accompanied his patron when he went as admiral to the Sound in 1658, and upon his return appears to have filled an inferior clerkship in the Exchequer. The Restoration brought him into the Ad. miralty, and for long after his history is one of rapid rise and increasing wealth, mainly acquired by means which would now be thought most reprehensible in a civil servant, but which the lax official morality of his day absolved or but faintly condemned. In 1669 the weakness of his eyes compelled him to discontinue his Diary and to solicit leave of absence from official duty on a tour in France and Holland. Shortly after his return he lost his wife, whose leaning to the Roman Catholic religion gave colour to a charge against himself of being a concealed Romanist, the object of which was to invalidate his election to Parliament for Aldborough. These proceedings failed, but in 1679 he was imprisoned for a short time on an accusation of being concerned in the Popish Plot, and, notwithstanding the absurdity of the charge, found it advisable to withdraw for a while from the Admiralty. He was reinstated in 1684, having in the interim made a voyage to Tangier on public business. Under James II., who understood val affairs and knew the worth of Pepys, he attained to great