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

1680                              JOHN EVELYN                                151

woman) is sister to Mr. Whittle, one of the King's chi-
rurgeons. In a word, never was man more fortunate than
Sir Stephen; he is a handsome person, virtuous, and very
religious.

23d September, 1680. Came to my house some German
strangers and Signor Pietro, a famous musician, who had
been long in Sweden in Queen Christina's Court; he sung
admirably to a guitar, and had a perfect good tenor and
bass, and had set to Italian composure many of Abraham
Cowley's pieces which showed extremely well. He told
me that in Sweden the heat in some part of summer
was as excessive as the cold in winter; so cold, he affirmed,
that the streets of all the towns are desolate, no creatures
stirring in them for many months, all the inhabitants
retiring to their stoves. He spoke high things of that
romantic Queen's learning" and skill in languages, the
majesty of her behavior, her exceeding wit, and that the
histories she had read of other countries, especially of
Italy and Rome, had made her despise her own. That
the real occasion of her resigning her crown was the
nobleman's importuning her to marry, and the promise
which the Pope had made her of procuring her to be
Queen of Naples, which also caused her to change her
religion; but she was cheated by his crafty Holiness,*
working on her ambition; that the reason of her killing
her secretary at Fontainebleau, was, his revealing that
intrigue with the Pope. But, after all this, I rather
believe it was her mad prodigality and extreme vanity,
which had consumed those vast treasures the great
Adolphus, her father, had brought out of Germany during
his [campaigns] there and wonderful successes; and that,
if she had not voluntarily resigned, as foreseeing the
event, the Estates of her kingdom would have compelled
her to do so.

3oth October, 1680. I went to London to be private,
my birthday being the next day, and I now arrived at
my sixtieth year; on which I began a more solemn sur-
vey of my whole life, in order to the making and con-
firming my peace with God, by an accurate scrutiny of
all my actions past, as far as I was able to call them to
mind. How difficult and uncertain, yet how necessary a
work! The Lord be merciful to me, and accept me!

*Pope Alexander VII., of the family of ChigM, at Stephen's lady (an expeljentpressed