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THE DIARISTS.

JOHN EVELYN. SAMUEL PEPYS.

CHAPTER I.

THE DIARISTS.

Not a little valuable and interesting information respecting the inner life of England during the Restoration period, and many important particulars in illustration of current events and historical personages, we owe to the diary of Mr. John Evelyn. It has its significance also as a revelation of character. It shows its author to have been a man of sound judgment and considerable powers of observation and analysis; a man honest and truthful to the core, and with many generous sympathies, though not exempt from narrow partialities and prejudices; a man with some pretensions to culture, with a love of scholarship and scientific inquiry, and, at the same time, a man of sincere devotional temper and unaffected piety. In painting a picture of the England of Charles II., we are apt to crowd the canvas with the glittering figures of courtiers and beauties, wits, gallants, and frail nymphs, to the exclusion of those soberer persons who constituted the real bulk of the English people. But it is important to remember that the age and country which produced and toler

VOL. I.

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