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i695                            JOHN EVELYN

The season wet, great storms, unseasonable harvest
weather. My good and worthy friend, Captain Gifford,
who that he might get some competence to live decently,
adventured all he had in a voyage of two years to the
East Indies, was, with another great ship, taken by some
French men-of-war, almost within sight of England, to the
loss of near ^70,000, to my great sorrow, and pity of his
wife, he being also a valiant and industrious man. The
losses of this sort to the nation have been immense, and
all through negligence, and little care to secure the same
near our own coasts; of infinitely more concern to the
public than spending their time in bombarding and
ruining two or three paltry towns, without any benefit,
or weakening our enemies, who, though they began, ought
not to be imitated in an action totally averse to humanity,
or Christianity.

29th September, 1695. Very cold weather. Sir Purbeck
Temple, uncle to my son Draper, died suddenly. A great
funeral at Addiscombe. His lady being own aunt to my
son Draper, he hopes for a good fortune, there being no
heir. There had been a new meeting of the commission-
ers about Greenwich hospital, on the new commission,
where the Lord Mayor, etc. appeared, but I was prevented
by indisposition from attending. The weather very sharp,
winter approaching apace. The King went a progress into
the north, to show himself to the people against the
elections, and was everywhere complimented, except at
Oxford, where it was not as he expected, so that he
hardly stopped an hour there, and having seen the
theater, did not receive the banquet proposed. I dined
with Dr. Gale at St. Paul's school, who showed me many
curious passages out of some ancient Platonists' MSS.
concerning the Trinity, which this great and learned
person would publish, with many other rare things, if he
was encouraged, and eased of the burden of teaching.

2$th October, 1695. The Archbishop and myself went
to Hammersmith, to visit Sir Samuel Morland, who was
entirely blind; a very mortifying sight. He showed us
his invention of writing, which was very ingenious; also
his wooden calendar, which instructed him all by feeling;
and other pretty and "useful inventions of mills, pumps,
etc., and the pump he had erected that serves water to
his garden, and to passengers, with an inscription, andyears ago. the