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

JOHN EVELYN

ancient and modernly divided; as also of ancient Greece,
Scythia, and northern countries and tracts: we left ques-
tioning; further. He did this without any set or formal
repetitions, as one who had learned things without book,
but as if he minded other things, going about the room,
and toying with a parrot there, and as he was at din-
ner (tanquam aliua agens, as it were) seeming to be full
of play, of a lively, sprightly temper, always smiling,
and exceedingly pleasant, without the least levity, rude-
ness, or childishness.

His father assured us he never imposed anything to
charge his memory by causing him to get things by
heart, not even the rules of grammar; but his tutor
(who was a Frenchman) read to him, first in French,
then in Latin; that he usually played among other boys
four or five hours every day, and that he was as earnest
at his play as at his study. He was perfect in arithme-
tic, and now newly entered into Greek. In sum (hor-
resco refer ens), I had read of divers forward and precocious
youths, and some I have known, but I never did either
hear or read of anything like to this sweet child, if it be
right to call him child who has more knowledge than
most men in the world. I counseled his father not to
set his heart too much on this jewel,

^ Immo diets brems est at as, et rara senectus?

as I myself learned by sad experience in my most dear
child Richard, many years since, who, dying before he
was six years old, was both in shape and countenance
and pregnancy of learning, next to a prodigy.

2pth January, 1689. The votes of the House of Com-
mons being carried up by Mr. Hampden, their chairman,
to the Lords, I got a station by the Prince's lodgings at
the door of the lobby to-the House, and heard much of
the debate, which lasted very long. Lord Derby was
in the chair (for the House was resolved into a grand
committee of the whole House); after all had spoken, it
came to the question, which was carried by three voices
against a Regency, which 51 were for, 54 against; the
minority alleging the danger of dethroning Kings, and
scrupling many passages and expressions in the vote of
the Commons, too long to set down particularly. Some
were for sending to his Majesty with conditions: others, but of all the then known world. He was