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

DIARY OF                          LONDON

We had a noble entertainment in a house gloriously
furnished; the master and mistress of it were extraor-
dinary persons. Sir William was the son of a mean
man somewhere in Sussex, and sent from school to Ox-
ford, where he studied Philosophy, but was most eminent
in Mathematics and Mechanics; proceeded Doctor of
Physic, and was grown famous, as for his learning so
for his recovering a poor wench that had been hanged
for felony; and her body having been begged (as the
custom is) for the anatomy lecture, he bled her, put
her to bed to a warm woman, and, with spirits and
other means, restored her to life. The young scholars
joined and made a little portion, and married her to a
man who had several children by her, she living fifteen
years after, as I have been assured. Sir William came
from Oxford to be tutor to a neighbor of mine; thence,
when the rebels were dividing their conquests in Ireland,
he was employed by them to measure and set out the
land, which he did on an easy contract, so much per
acre. This he effected so exactly, that it not only
furnished him with a great sum of money; but enabled
him to purchase an estate worth ^4,000 a year. He
afterward married the daughter of Sir Hardress Waller;
she was an extraordinary wit as well as beauty, and a
prudent woman.

Sir William, among other inventions, was author of
the double-bottomed ship, which perished, and he was
censured for rashness, being lost in the Bay of Biscay
in a storm, when, I think, fifteen other vessels miscar-
ried. This vessel was fiat-bottomed, of exceeding use to
put into shallow ports, and ride over small depths of
water. It consisted of two distinct keels cramped together
with huge timbers, etc., so as that a violent stream ran
between; it bore a monstrous broad sail, and he still
persists that it is practicable, and of exceeding use; and
he has often told me he would adventure himself in such
another, could he procure sailors, and his Majesty's per-
mission to make a second Experiment; which name the
Kmg gave the vessel at the launching-.

The Map of Ireland made by Sir William Petty is be-
lieved to be the most exact that ever yet was made of
any country. He did promise to publish it; and I am
told it has cost him near ;i,ooo to have it engraved at  on