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he would take off his heavy hand, still on my family;
and restore comforts to us after the death of my excellent
friend.

5th November, 1678. Dr. Tillotson preached before the
Commons at St. Margaret's. He said the Papists were
now arrived at that impudence, as to deny that there
ever was any such as the gunpowder-conspiracy; but he
affirmed that he himself had several letters written by
Sir Everard Digby (one of the traitors), in which he
gloried that he was to suffer for it ; and that it was so
contrived, that of the Papists not above two or three
should have been blown up, and they, such as were not
worth saving.

15th November, 1678. The Queen's birthday. I never
saw the Court more brave, nor the nation in more appre-
hension and consternation. Coleman and one Staly had
now been tried, condemned, and executed. On this,
Oates grew so presumptuous as to accuse the Queen of
intending to poison the King ; which certainly that pious
and virtuous lady abhorred the thoughts of, and Oates's
circumstances made it utterly unlikely in my opinion.
He probably thought to gratify some who would have
been glad his Majesty should have married a fruitful
lady; but the King was too kind a husband to let any of
these make impression on him. However, divers of the
Popish peers were sent to the Tower, accused by Oates;
and all the Roman Catholic lords were by a new Act
forever excluded the Parliament; which was a mighty
blow. The King's, Queen's, and Duke's servants, were
banished, and a test to be taken by everybody who pre-
tended to enjoy any office of public trust, and who would
not be suspected of Popery, I went with Sir William
Godolphin, a mem.ber of the Commons' House, to the
Bishop of Ely (Dr, Peter Gunning), to be resolved
whether masses were idolatry, as the text expressed it,



1678-79 JOHN EVELYN 131

which was so worded, that several good Protestants
scrupled, and Sir William, though a learned man and
excellent divine himself, had some doubts about it. The
Bishop's opinion was that he might take it, though he
wished it had been otherwise worded in the text.

15th January, 1678-79. I went with my Lady Sunder-
land to Chelsa, and dined with the Countess of Bristol
[her mother] in the great house, formerly the Duke of
Buckingham's, a spacious and excellent place for the ex-
tent of ground and situation in a good air. The house
is large but ill-contrived, though my Lord of Bristol,
who purchased it after he sold Wimbledon to my Lord
Treasurer, expended much money on it. There were
divers pictures of Titian and Vandyke, and some of
Bassano, very excellent, especially an Adonis and
Venus, a Duke of Venice, a butcher in his shambles
selling meat to a Swiss; and of Vandyke, my Lord of
Bristol's picture, with the Earl of Bedford's at length, in
the same table. There was in the garden a rare collec-
tion of orange trees, of which she was pleased to bestow
some upon me.

i6th January, 1679. I supped this night with Mr. Sec-
retary at one Mr. Houblon's, a French merchant, who
had his house furnished en Prince, and gave us a splendid
entertainment.

25th January, 1679. The Long Parliament, v;hich had
sat ever since the Restoration, was dissolved by persua-
sion of the Lord Treasurer, though divers of them were
believed to be his pensioner. At this, all the politicians
were at a stand, they being very eager in pursuit of the
late plot of the Papists.

30th January, 1679. Dr. Cudworth preached before the
King at Whitehall, on 2 Timothy iii. 5, reckoning up the
perils of the last times, in which, among other wicked-
ness, treasons should be one of the greatest, applying it
to the occasion, as committed under a form of reforma-
tion and godliness; concluding that the prophecy did in-
tend more particularly the present age, as one of the last
times ; the sins there enumerated, more abundantly reign-
ing than ever.

2d February, 1679. Dr. Durell, Dean of Windsor,
preached to the household at Whitehall, on i Cor. xvi.
22; he read the whole sermon out of his notes, which I



132 DIARY OF LONDON

had never before seen a Frenchman do, he being of Jer-
sey, and bred at Paris.

4th February, 1679. Dr. Pierce, Dean of Salisbury,
preached on i John, iv. i,



Online LibraryMichael DraytonUniversal classics library (Volume 10) → online text (page 13 of 34)