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

1680                              JOHN EVELYN

Lord in planting about his seat, adorned with walks, ponds,
and other rural elegancies; but the soil is stony, churlish,
and uneven, nor is the water near enough to the house,
though a very swift and clear stream runs within a flight-
shot from it in the valley, which may fitly be called
Coldbrook, it being indeed excessively cold, yet producing
fair tronts. It is a pity the house was not situated to more
advantage: but it seems it was built just where the old
one was, which I believe he only meant to repair; this
leads men into irremediable errors, and saves but a
little.

The land about is exceedingly addicted to wood, but
the coldness of the place hinders the growth. Black
cherry trees prosper even to considerable timber, some
being eighty feet long; they make also very hand-
some avenues. There is a pretty oval at the end of a
fair walk, set about with treble rows of Spanish chest-
nut trees.

The gardens are very rare, and cannot be otherwise,
having so skillful an artist to govern them as Mr. Cooke,
who is, as to the mechanic part, not ignorant in mathe-
matics, and pretends to astrology. There is an excellent
collection of the choicest fruit.

As for my Lord, he is a sober, wise, judicious, and
pondering person, not illiterate beyond the rate of most
noblemen in this age, very well versed in English history
and affairs, industrious, frugal, methodical, and every way
accomplished. His Lady (being sister of the late Earl
of Northumberland) is a wise, yet somewhat melancholy
woman, setting her heart too much on the little lady,
her daughter, of whom she is over fond. They have a
hopeful son at the Academy.

My Lord was not long since come from his Lord-
Lieutenancy of Ireland, where he showed his abilities in
administration and government, as well as prudence in
considerably augmenting his estate without reproach.
He had been Ambassador-extraordinary in Denmark,
and, in a word, such a person as became the son of that
worthy hero his father to be, the late Lord Capel, who
lost his life for King Charles I,

We spent our time in the mornings in walking, or rid-
ing, and contriving [alterations], and the afternoons in the
library, so as I passed my time for three or four days with Bow Street, Convent