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1669                             JOHN EVELYN

down the river as far as the sea, with Mrs. Howard and
her daughter, the Maid of Honor, and others, among
whom that excellent creature, Mrs. Blagg.*

7th July, 1669. I went toward Oxford; lay at Little

8th July, 1669.    Oxford.

9th July, 1669. In the morning was celebrated the
Encaenia of the New Theater, so magnificently built by
the munificence of Dr. Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of
Canterbury, in which was spent ^25,000, as Sir Christo-
pher Wren, the architect (as I remember), told me; and
yet it was never seen by the benefactor, my Lord Arch-
bishop having told me that he never did or ever would
see it. It is, in truth, a fabric comparable to any of this
kind of former ages, and doubtless exceeding any of the
present, as this University does for colleges, libraries,
schools, students, and order, all the universities in the
world. To the theater is added the famous Sheldonian
printing house. This being at the Act and the first time
of opening the Theater (Acts being formerly kept in St.
Mary's Church, which might be thought indecent, that
being a place set apart for the immediate worship of
God, and was the inducement for building this noble
pile), it was now resolved to keep the present Act in it,
and celebrate its dedication with the greatest splendor and
formality that might be; and, therefore, drew a world of
strangers, and other company, to the University, from all
parts of the nation.

The Vice-Chancellor, Heads of Houses, and Doctors,
being seated in magisterial seats, the Vice-Chancellor's
chair and desk, Proctors, etc., covered with brocatelle (a
kind of brocade) and cloth of gold; the University Reg-
istrar read the founder's grant and gift of it to the Uni-
versity for their scholastic exercises upon these solemn
occasions. Then followed Dr. South, the University's
orator, in an eloquent speech, which was very long, and
not without some malicious and indecent reflections on
the Royal Society, as underminers of the University;
which was very foolish and untrue, as well as unseason-

* Afterward Mrs. Godolphin, whose life, written by Evelyn, has
been published under the auspices of the Bishop of Oxford. The
affecting circumstances of her death will be found recorded on pp,
126-27 of the present volume,s he