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Full text of "The Diary Of John Evelyn Vol-2"

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1670-71                         JOHN EVELYN

dow, I perceived him carving that large cartoon, or
crucifix, of Tintoretto, a copy of which I had myself
brought from Venice, where the original painting re-
mains. I asked if I might enter; he opened the door
civilly to me, and I saw him about such a work as for
the curiosity of handling, drawing, and studious exact-
ness, I never had before seen in all my travels. I
questioned him why he worked in such an obscure and
lonesome place; he told me it was that he might apply
himself to his profession without interruption, and
wondered not a little how I found him out. I asked if
he was unwilling to be made known to some great man,
for that I believed it might turn to his profit; he
answered, he was yet but a beginner, but would not be
sorry to sell off that piece; on demanding the price, he
said ^100. In good earnest, the very frame was worth
the money, there being nothing in nature so tender and
delicate as the flowers and festoons about it, and yet
the work was very strong; in the piece was more than
one hundred figures of men, etc. I found he was
likewise musical, and very civil, sober, and discreet
in his discourse. There was only an old woman in the
house. So, desiring leave to visit him sometimes, I
went away.

Of this young artist, together with my manner of
finding him out, I acquainted the King, and begged
that he would give me leave to bring him and his work
to Whitehall, for that I would adventure my reputation
with his Majesty that he had never seen anything ap-
proach it, and that he would be exceedingly pleased,
and employ him. The King said he would himself go
see him. This was the first notice his Majesty ever had
of Mr. Gibbon.

2oth January, 1671. The King came to me in the
Queen's withdrawing-room from the circle of ladies, to
talk with me as to what advance I had made in the
Dutch History. I dined with the Treasurer, and after-
ward we went to the Secretary's Office, where we con-
ferred about divers particulars.

2ist January, 1671. I was directed to go to Sir George
Downing, who having been a public minister in Holland,
at the beginning of the war, was to give me light in some
material passages.quisite carving. Some of his most astonishing work is at Chatsworth