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

DIARY  OE                               LONDON

experience of affairs, in Ms Majesty, that I cannot but
predict mucli happiness to the nation, as to its political
government; and, if he so persist, there could be nothing
more desired to accomplish our prosperity, but that he was
of the national religion.

3oth September, 1685. Lord Clarendon's commission
for Lieutenant of Ireland was sealed this day.

2d October, 1685. Having a letter sent me by Mr.
Pepys with this expression at the foot of it, <(I have
something to show you that I may not have another
time/ and that I would not fail to dine with him. I ac-
cordingly went. After dinner, he had me and Mr. Hou-
"fcllon (a rich and considerable merchant, whose father had
fled out of Flanders on the persecution of the Duke of
Alva) into a private room, and told us that being lately
alone with his Majesty, and upon some occasion of speak-
ing concerning my late Lord Arlington dying a Roman
Catholic, who had all along seemed to profess himself a
Protestant, taken all the tests, etc., till the day (I think)
of his death, his Majesty said that as to his inclinations
he had known them long wavering, but from fear of
losing his places, he did not think it convenient to de-
clare himself. There are, says the King, those who
believe the Church of Rome gives dispensations for going
to church, and many like things, but that is not so; for if
that might have been had, he himself had most reason to
make use of it. INDEED, he said, as to SOME MATRIMONIAL

CASES, THERE ARE NOW AND THEN DISPENSATIONS,  but  hardly

in any cases else.

This familiar discourse encouraged Mr. Pepys to beg
of his Majesty, if he might ask it without offense, and foi
that his Majesty could not but observe how it was whis-
pered among many whether his late Majesty had been
reconciled to the Church of Rome; he again humbly be-
sought his Majesty to pardon his presumption, if he had
touched upon a thing which did not befit him to look
into. The King ingenuously told him that he both was
and died a Roman Catholic, and that he had not long
since declared that it was upon some politic and state
reasons, best known to himself (meaning the King his
brother), but that he was of that persuasion: he bid him
follow him into his closet, where opening a cabinet, he
showed him two papers, containing about a quarter of a his Majesty, who so solemnly told