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

JOHN  EVELYN

fections; debonair, easy of access, not bloody nor cruel;
bis countenance fierce, his voice great, proper of person,
every motion became Mm; a lover of the sea, and skillful
in shipping; not affecting other studies, yet he had a
laboratory, and knew of many empirical medicines, and
the easier mechanical mathematics; he loved planting and
building, and brought in a politer way of living, which
passed to luxury and intolerable expense. He had a
particular talent in telling a story, and facetious pas^
sages, of which he had innumerable; this made some
buffoons and vicious wretches too presumptuous and
familiar, not worthy the favor they abused. He took
delight in having a number of little spaniels follow him
and lie in his bedchamber, where he often suffered the
bitches to puppy and give suck, which rendered it very
offensive, and indeed made the whole court nasty and
sticking. He would doubtless have been an excellent
prince, had he been less addicted to women, who made
him uneasy, and always in want to supply their unmeas-
urable profusion, to the detriment of many indigent per-
sons who had signally served both him and his father.
He frequently and easily changed favorites to his great
prejudice.

As to other public transactions, and unhappy miscar-
riages, 'tis not here I intend to number them; but cer-
' tainly never liad King more glorious opportunities to
have made himself, his people, and all Europe happy, and
prevented innumerable mischiefs, had not his too easy
nature resigned him to be managed by crafty men, and
some abandoned and profane wretches who corrupted his
otherwise sufficient parts, disciplined as he had been by
many afflictions during his banishment, which gave him
much experience and knowledge of men and things; but
those wicked creatures took him from off all application
becoming so great a King. The history of his reign
will certainly be the most wonderful for the variety of
matter and accidents, above any extant in former ages:
the sad tragical death of his father, his banishment and
hardships, his miraculous restoration, conspiracies against
him, parliaments, wars, plagues, fires, comets, revolutions
abroad happening" in his time, with a thousand other par-
ticulars. He was ever kind to me, and very gracious
upon all occasions, and therefore I cannot without ingrati-'s escape from Worcester; he was brought up a back