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i82                                  DIARY OF                              LONDON

drawn in on pretense only of endeavoring to rescue
the King from his present councilors, and secure religion
from Popery, and the nation from arbitrary government,
now so much apprehended; while the rest of those who
were fled, especially Ferguson and his gang, had doubtless
some bloody design to get up a Commonwealth, and turn
all things topsy-turvy. Of the same tragical principles
is Sydney.

I had this day much discourse with Monsieur Pontaq,
son to the famous and wise prime President of Bor:
deaux. This gentleman was owner of that excellent mg-
noble of Pontaq and O'Brien, from whence come the
choicest of our Bordeaux wines; and I think I may truly
say of him, what was not so truly said of St. Paul, that
much learning had made him mad. He had studied well
in philosophy, but chiefly the Rabbins, and was exceed-
ingly addicted to cabalistical fancies, an eternal hablador
[romancer], and half distracted by reading abundance
of the extravagant Eastern Jews. He spoke all lan-
guages, was very rich, had a handsome person, and was
well bred, about forty-five years of age.

i4th July, 1683. I visited Mr. Fraser, a learned Scotch
gentleman, whom I had formerly recommended to Lord
Berkeley for the instruction and government of his son,
since dead at sea. He had now been in Holland at the sale
of the learned Heinsius's library, and showed me some
very rare and curious books, and some MSS., which he
had purchased to good value. There were three or four
Herbals in miniature, accurately done, divers Roman
antiquities of Verona, and very many books of Aldus's

15th July, 1683. A stranger, an old man, preached on
Jerem. vi. 8, the not hearkening to instruction, porten-
tous of desolation to a people; much after Bishop An-
drew's method, Ml of logical divisions, in short and
broken periods, and Latin sentences, now quite out of
fashion in the pulpit, which is grown into a far more
profitable way, of plain and practical discourses, of which
sort this nation, or any other, never had greater plenty
or more profitable (I am confident); so much has it to
answer for thriving no better on it.

The public was now in great consternation on the
late plot and conspiracy; his Majesty Tery melancholy,, eighth Earl of Northumherland, shot himself in the