Skip to main content

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

See other formats

i86                              DIARY OF                          LONDON

of the late  Lord Chancellor  Hyde, where I have   often
been so cheerful with him, and  sometimes  so   sad: hap-
pening to make him a visit but the  day before  he   fled
from the angry Parliament, accusing him of maladminis-
tration, and being envious at his grandeur, who  from a
private lawyer came to be father-in-law to the   Duke of
York, and as some would suggest, designing his Majesty's
marriage with the Infanta of Portugal, not apt to breed.
To this they imputed much of our tmhappiness; and that
he,  being sole minister   and   favorite   at his   Majesty's
restoration,   neglected   to   gratify   the   King's    suffering
party, preferring those who were the cause of our troubles.
But perhaps as many of  these  things were   injuriously
laid to his charge, so he kept the government far steadier
than it has  proved  since.    I could  name  some   who  I
think contributed greatly to his ruin,  the  buffoons and
the MISSIS, to whom he was an eye-sore.    It  is  true he
was of a jolly temper, after the old English fashion; but
France  had now the  ascendant, and  we  were   become
quite another nation.    The  Chancellor gone,  and   dying"
in  exile,   the   Earl his successor sold   that   which   cost
^50,000 building, to the young  Duke  of Albemarle  for
^25,000, to pay debts which how contracted remains yet
a   mystery, his   son being  no way  a   prodigal.      Some
imagine the Duchess his   daughter  had been chargeable
to him.    However it were, this stately palace is  decreed
to ruin, to  support the prodigious  waste   the   Duke   of
Albemarle had made of his estate, since the old man died.
He sold it to the highest bidder, and it  fell   to   certain
rich bankers and mechanics, who   gave  for  it  and  the
ground about it, ,35,000; they design a new town, as it
were, and a most magnificent piazza [square].    It is said
they have  already materials  toward it with   what they
sold of the house alone, more worth than what they paid
for it.    See the vicissitudes of earthly   things!    I  was
astonished at this demolition, nor less at the little army
of  laborers   and   artificers   leveling  the  ground,   laying
foundations, and contriving great buildings at an expense
of 200,000, if they perfect their design.

igth September, 1683. In my walks I stepped into a
goldbeater's workhouse, where he showed me the woa-
derM ductility of that spreading- and oily metal He
said it must be finer than the standard, such as wasadhen he went into the chamber of the