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last month. My laziness in finishing the copy of verses upon the Royal Society, for which I was engaged before by Mr. Sprat's desire, and encouraged since by you, was the cause of this delay, having designed to send it to you enclosed in my letter: but I am told now that the History is almost quite printed, and will be published so soon, that it were impertinent labour to write out that which you will so suddenly see in a better manner, and in the company of better things. I could not comprehend in it many of those excellent hints which you were pleased to give me, nor descend to the praises of particular persons, because those things afford too much matter for one copy of verses, and enough for a poem, or the History itself; some part of which I have seen, and think you will be very well satisfied with it. I took the boldness to show him your letter, and he says he has not omitted any of those heads, though he wants the eloquence in expression. Since I had the honour to receive from you the reply to a book written in praise of a solitary life,* I have sent all about the town in vain to get the author, having very much affection for the subject, which is one of the noblest controversies both modern and ancient; and you have dealt so civilly with your adversary, as makes him deserve to be looked after. But I could not meet with him, the books being all, it seems, either burnt or bought up. If you please to do me the favour to lend it to me, and send it to my brother's house (that was) in the King's Yard, it shall be returned to you within a few days with the humble thanks of your most faithful obedient servant,
Sir John Langham to John Evelyn.
Crosby Mouse, this 30th July, 1667.
I presume upon your goodness, though a stranger, so far to trouble you as to make a double inquiry concerning Mr. Phillips, who lately was entertained in your
* Sir George Mackenzie's ".Moral Essay upon Solitude, preferring it to Public Employment," &c, 1665.
family. The one how he approved himself to you in learning and behaviour, whom I had long known to be the greatest judge of both: the other where he is now disposed of, and whether in the liberty of receiving an ingenuous employment, if your character of him and my discourse with him shall encourage me to give him a call thereto. One requisite that I am commissioned to be assured of, is his ability of speaking ready and refined Latin; for as to his manners and regular conversation, there lies not a suspicion for anything in them unworthy of the sanctimony of your house, which hath long been venerated as the holiest temple of all virtue and ingenuity. I am sensible how far already I have trespassed upon your consecrated leisures, therefore, lest I should continue the fault, I add not more, than I am,
Your very humble Servant,
John Evelyn to Sir John Langham.
It is from the abundance of your civility that you load me with eulogies, and because you are not acquainted with my imperfections, which are so much the greater by having not had the honour to be known to so deserving a person as yourself. I can say nothing to the disadvantage of Mr. Phillips, which might not recommend him to your good intentions, except it be that I did not observe in him any greater promptness of readily speaking Latin (which I find is one of the principal faculties you are in search of); but it was not for that, or indeed any other defect which made us part, but the passion he had to travel and see the world, which he was made believe he should have had a sudden opportunity of effecting with a son of my lord of Pembroke, who has now these two years been under his tuition without satisfying his curiosity as to that particular. Mr. Phillips is, I think, yet at Wilton, where my lord makes use of him to interpret some of the Teutonic philosophy, to whose mystic theology his lordship, you know, is much addicted. As to Mr. Phillips's more express character, he is a sober, silent, and most harmless person; a little versatile in his studies, understanding many languages, especially the modern, not inferior to any I know, and that I take to be his talent. Thus, sir, what I have said concerning Mr. Phillips in the matter you require, I hope shall not abate of your value for him, or the honour I promise myself in receiving your future commands, who remain,
Your very humble Servant,
John Evelyn to Henry Howard.*
Sayes-Covrt, 4 Aug. 1667.
It is not without much regret and more concernment as it regards your honourable and illustrious family, that I have now so long a time beheld some of the noblest antiquities in the world, and which your grandfather purchased with so much cost and difficulty, lie abandoned, broken, and defaced in divers corners about Arundel House and the gardens belonging to it. I know your honour cannot but have thoughts and resolutions of repairing and collecting them together one day; but there are in the mean time certain broken inscriptions, now almost obliterated with age and the ill effects of weather, which will in a short time utterly be lost and perish, unless they be speedily removed to a more benign and less corrosive air. For these it is, I should be an humble suitor that you would think fit to make a present of them to the University of Oxford, where they might be of great use and ornament, and remain a more lasting record to posterity of your munificence, than by any other application of them whatsoever; and the University would think themselves obliged to inscribe your name, and that of your illustrious family, to all significations of gratitude.
* Heir apparent to the Dukedom of Norfolk, frequently mentioned in the Diary. "This letter," Evelyn writes upon the MS. original," procured all the Marmora Aruadeliana, Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Urns, Altar Tables, &c. now at Oxon. J. E." See also his Dedication to Mr. Howard, prefixed to Roland Freart's " Idea of the Perfection of Painting," and reprinted in his "Miscellaneous Writings," 1825, 4to, p. 555.
I have also long since suggested to your honour, that you would cause the best of your statues, basso-relievos, and other antiquities standing in your gallery at Arundel House, to be exquisitely designed by some skilful hand, and engraven in copper, as Mons. Liancourt did those of Rome by Perrier, and long before him Raphael himself, Sadeler,* and other incomparable sculptors; because by this means they would be communicated to the world, and divers great and learned persons, studious of antiquity, might be benefited by them; and if such a thing were added to the impression of the Marmora Arundeliana (which I hear the University of Oxon are now preparing for a second impression), how greatly would it adorn that admirable work, and do new honours to your illustrious name and family, as it has formerly, and yet does to divers noble Italians and others, who have not been able to produce such a collection as you are furnished with, but which perish in obscurity, and yield not that to the public, who would be obliged to celebrate you, for want of a small expense! Methinks, whilst they remain thus obscured and neglected, the very marbles are become vocal, and cry to you for pity, and that you would even breathe life into them. Sir, you will easily see I have no other design in this, than to express the honour I have for your person and for your illustrious family; and because I find this would be one of the most glorious instances to augment and perpetuate it, I cannot but wish that it might take effect. I have no more to add but that I am, &c.
John Evelyn to Dr. Bathurst.f
London, 9lh September, 1667.
I heartily wish I bad the good fortune to be as serviceable to you in particular for the many favours I have received, as I doubt not but I shall be to a place, which, for your sake as well as my own, I have so much
* Little more than six years before the date of this letter the Vestigi dell' Antichita di Roma, engraved by Giles Sadeler, had appeared, + At this time President of Trinity College, Oxford.
reason to honour—I mean the University; if, at least, it may be esteemed a service to have obtained of Mr. Henry Howard, of Norfolk, the freely-bestowing upon you all those learned monuments which pass under the famous names of Marmora Arundeliana. This, sir, the interest which that illustrious person has allowed me in his friendship has wrought for you; and I dare pronounce it highly worthy your acceptance. For you shall not only be masters of some few, but of all; and there is nothing more to be done, than, after you have taken notice of his munificence (which I desire, and wish may be speedily done, in a public address, as from the body of the University), to take order for their transportation to you; for which effect, I conceive it would be worth your while to delegate Mr. Obadiah Walker, or Dr. Wren (Sir Christopher), persons that I much honour, who may take care and consult about the best expedients for their removal; for they being marble, and some of them basse-relievos rarely cut, will deserve to be guarded from injuries: and when they are at Oxford, I conceive they can nowhere be more fitly placed than in some part about the new theatre, except you should think fit to protect some of the more curious and small ones, as urns, &c., in the galleries next the library, where they may remain secure. I have assured Mr. Howard that the University will not fail in their sense of this noble gift and munificence, by decreeing him a public and conspicuous inscription which shall consecrate his memory: and if I have hinted it more particularly to Mr. Walker, it is what I think will become your justice and such grateful beneficiaries. I shall entreat you to acquaint Mr. Vice-Chancellor with what I have done, as also Dr. Barlow and Dr. Pierce, the Warden and Presidents of Queen's and Magdalen Colleges, my worthy friends, and beg that through your address this service of mine may be acceptable to the University from,
Sir, your, &c.