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DIARY OF                           LONDON

choice flowers, and curiosities, lie himself being a skillful

I went to Clifden, that stupendous natural rock, wood,
and prospect, of the Duke of Buckingham's, and buildings
of extraordinary expense. The grots in the chalky rocks
are pretty: it is a romantic object, and the place alto-
gether answers the most poetical description that can be
made of solitude, precipice, prospect, or whatever can con-
tribute to a thing so very like their imaginations. The
stand, somewhat like Frascati as to its front, and on the
platform is a circular view to the utmost verge of the hori-
zon, which, with the serpenting of the Thames, is admi-
rable. The staircase is for its materials singular; the
cloisters, descents, gardens, and avenue through the wood,
august and stately; but the land all about wretchedly
barren, and producing nothing but fern. Indeed, as I
told his Majesty that evening (asking me how I liked
Clifden) without flattery, that it did not please me so well
as Windsor for the prospect and park, which is without
compare; there being but one only opening, and that
narrow, which led one to any variety; whereas that of
Windsor is everywhere great and unconfined.

Returning, I called at my cousin Evelyn's, who has a
very pretty seat in the forest, two miles by hither Clif-
den, on a flat, with gardens exquisitely kept, though
large, and the house a staunch good old building, and
what was singular, some of the rooms floored dove tail-
wise without a nail, exactly close. One of the closets is
pargeted with plain deal, set in diamond, exceeding staunch
and pretty.

7th August, 1679. Dined at the Sheriff's, when, the
Company of Drapers and their wives being invited, there
was a sumptuous entertainment, according to the forms
of the city, with music, etc., comparable to any prince's
service in Europe.

8th August, 1679. I went this morning to show my .
Lord Chamberlain, his Lady, and the Duchess of Grafton,
the incomparable work of Mr. Gibbon, the carver, whom
I first recommended to his Majesty, his house being
furnished like a cabinet, not only with his own work,
but divers excellent paintings of the best hands. Thence,
to Sir Stephen Fox's, where we spent the day.

3ist August,   1679.   After evening service,   to Ģee  at he was trusted