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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Selections from Evelyn’s Diary
By John Evelyn (1620–1706)
  1654. 3 Dec. Advent Sunday.—There being no office at the church but extempore prayers after ye Presbyterian way,—for now all forms are prohibited and most of the preachers were usurpers,—I seldome went to church upon solemn feasts, but either went to London, where some of the orthodox sequestred Divines did privately use ye Common Prayer, administer sacrament, etc., or else I procur’d one to officiate in my house.  1
  25. Christmas Day.—No public offices in churches, but penalties on observers, so as I was constrain’d to celebrate it at home.  2
  1655, 9 April.—I went to see ye greate ship newly built by the Usurper Oliver, carrying ninety-six brasse guns and one thousand tons burthen. In ye prow was Oliver on horseback, trampling six nations under foote, a Scott, Irishman, Dutchman, Frenchman, Spaniard, and English, as was easily made out by their several habits. A Faun held a laurel over his insulting head; ye word, God with us.  3
  15.—I went to London with my family to celebrate ye feast of Easter. Dr. Wild preach’d at St. Gregorie’s, the ruling powers conniving at ye use of the Liturgy, etc., in this church alone.  4
  27 Nov.—To London … to visit honest and learned Mr. Hartlib [Milton’s acquaintance, to whom he addressed his ‘Tractate on Education’], a public-spirited and ingenious person, who had propagated many usefull things and arts. He told me of the castles which they set for ornament on their stoves in Germany (he himselfe being a Lithuanian as I remember), which are furnish’d with small ordinance of silver on the battlements, out of which they discharge excellent perfumes about the roomes, charging them with a little powder to set them on fire and disperse the smoke; and in truth no more than neede, for their stoves are sufficiently nasty….  5
  This day came forth the Protector’s edict or proclamation, prohibiting all ministers of the Church of England from preaching or teaching any scholes, in which he imitated the apostate Julian; with ye decimation of all ye royal parties’ revenues throughout England.  6
  14 Dec.—I visited Mr. Hobbes, ye famous philosopher of Malmesbury, with whom I had been long acquainted in France.  7
  25.—There was no more notice taken of Christmas Day in churches.  8
  I went to London, where Dr. Wild preach’d the funeral sermon of Preaching, this being the last day; after which Cromwell’s proclamation was to take place: that none of the Church of England should dare either to preach or administer Sacraments, teach schoole, etc., on paine of imprisonment or exile. So this was ye mournfullest day that in my life I had seene, or ye Church of England herselfe, since ye Reformation.  9
  1657. 25th Dec.—I went with my Wife to celebrate Christmas Day…. The chapell was surrounded with souldiers, and all the communicants and assembly surpriz’d and kept prisoners by them, some in the house, others carried away. It fell to my share to be confin’d to a roome in the house, where yet I was permitted to dine with the master of it, ye Countesse of Dorset, Lady Hatton, and some others of quality who invited me. In the afternoon came Col. Whaley, Goffe, and others, from White-hall, to examine us one by one; some they committed to ye Marshall, some to prison. When I came before them they tooke my name and abode, examin’d me why—contrary to an ordinance made that none should any longer observe ye superstitious time of the Nativity (so esteem’d by them)—I durst offend, and particularly be at Common Prayers, which they told me was but ye masse in English, and particularly pray for Charles Stuart, for which we had no Scripture. I told them we did not pray for Cha. Stuart, but for all Christian Kings, Princes, and Governors. They replied in so doing we praied for the K. of Spaine too, who was their enemie and a papist, with other frivolous and insnaring questions and much threatning; and finding no colour to detaine me, they dismiss’d me with much pitty of my ignorance. These were men of high flight and above ordinances, and spake spiteful things of our Lord’s Nativity. As we went up to receive the Sacrament the miscreants held their muskets against us as if they would have shot us at the altar.  10
  1660. 3 May.—Came the most happy tidings of his Majesty’s gracious declaration and applications to the Parliament, Generall, and People, and their dutiful acceptance and acknowledgement, after a most bloudy and unreasonable rebellion of neere 20 yeares. Praised be forever the Lord of Heaven, who onely doeth wondrous things, because His mercy endureth for ever!  11
  8.—This day was his Majestie proclaim’d in London, etc.  12
  29.—This day his Majestie Charles the Second came to London, after a sad and long exile and calamitous suffering both of the King and Church, being 17 yeares. This was also his birth-day, and with a triumph of above 20,000 horse and foote, brandishing their swords and shouting with inexpressible joy; the wayes strew’d with flowers, the bells ringing, the streetes hung with tapissry, fountains running with wine; the Maior, Aldermen, and all the Companies in their liveries, chaines of gold and banners; Lords and Nobles clad in cloth of silver, gold, and velvet; the windowes and balconies all set with ladies; trumpets, music, and myriads of people flocking, even so far as from Rochester, so as they were seven houres in passing the citty, even from 2 in ye afternoone till 9 at night.  13
  I stood in the Strand and beheld it, and bless’d God. And all this was done without one drop of bloud shed, and by that very army which rebell’d against him; but it was ye Lord’s doing, for such a restauration was never mention’d in any history antient or modern, since the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity; nor so joyfull a day and so bright ever seene in this nation, this hapning when to expect or effect it was past all human policy.  14
  4 June.—I receiv’d letter of Sir Richard Browne’s [his father-in-law] landing at Dover, and also letters from the Queene, which I was to deliver at White-hall, not as yet presenting myselfe to his Majesty by reason of the infinite concourse of people. The eagerness of men, women, and children to see his Majesty, and kisse his hands, was so greate that he had scarce leisure to eate for some dayes, coming as they did from all parts of the nation; and the King being so willing to give them that satisfaction, would have none kept out, but gave free accesse to all sorts of people.  15
  6 July.—His Majestie began first to touch for ye evil, according to custome, thus: his Majestic sitting under his state in the Banquetting House, the chirurgeons cause the sick to be brought or led up to the throne, where, they kneeling, ye King strokes their faces or cheekes with both his hands at once, at which instant a chaplaine in his formalities says, “He put his hands upon them and he healed them.” This is sayd to every one in particular. When they have ben all touch’d they come up again in the same order, and the other chaplaine kneeling, and having angel gold strung on white ribbon on his arme, delivers them one by one to his Majestie, who puts them about the necks of the touched, as they passe, whilst the first chaplaine repeats, “That is ye true light who came into ye world.” Then follows an Epistle (as at first a Gospell) with the Liturgy, prayers for the sick, with some alteration, lastly ye blessing; and then the Lo. Chamberlaine and the Comptroller of the Household bring a basin, ewer, and towell, for his Majestie to wash.  16

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