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

1671                                 JOHN  EVELYN

there were entertained at least 200 people, and half as
many horses, besides servants and guards, at infinite ex-
pense.

In the morning1, we went hunting and hawking; in the
afternoon, till almost morning, to cards and dice, yet I
must say without noise, swearing, quarrel, or confusion
of any sort. I, who was no gamester, had often dis-
course with the French Ambassador, Colbert, and went
sometimes abroad on horseback with the ladies to take
the air, and now and then to hunting; thus idly passing
the time, but not without more often recess to my pretty
apartment, where I was quite out of all this hurry, and
had leisure when I would, to converse with books, for
there is no man more hospitably easy to be withal than
my Lord Arlington, of whose particular friendship and
kindness I had ever a more than ordinary share. His
house is a very noble pile, consisting of four pavilions
after the French, beside a body of a large house, and,
though not built altogether, but formed of additions to
an old house (purchased by his Lordship of one Sir T.
Rookwood) yet with a vast expense made not only capa-
ble and roomsome. but very magnificent and commo-
dious, as well within as without, nor less splendidly
furnished. The staircase is very elegant, the garden
handsome, the canal beautiful, but the soil dry, barren,
and miserably sandy, which flies in drifts as the wind
sits. Here my Lord was pleased to advise with me about
ordering his plantations of firs, elms, limes, etc., up his
park, and in all other places and avenues. I persuaded
him to bring his park so near as to comprehend his
house within it; which he resolved upon, it being now
near a mile to it. The water furnishing the fountains,
is raised by a pretty engine, or very slight plain wheels,
which likewise serve to^rind his corn, from a small cas-
cade of the canal, the invention of Sir Samuel Morland.
In my Lord's house, and especially above the staircase,
in the great hall and some of the chambers and rooms
of state, are paintings in fresco by Signor Verrio, being
the first work which he did in England.

17th October, 1671. My Lord Henry Howard coming
this night to visit my Lord Chamberlain, and staying a
day, would needs have me go with him to Norwich, prom-
ising' to convey me back, after a day or two; this, as Id- the post of secretary to the Prince of