1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Evelyn

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 5:285-87.



John Evelyn, the English Peiese, was a gentleman of as universal knowledge as any of his time; and no man was more open and benevolent in the communication of it. He was particularly skilled in gardening, painting, engraving, architecture, and medals; upon all which he has published treatises. His book on the last of these sciences, is deservedly in esteem; but is inferior to that of Mr. Obadiah Walker on the same subject. His translation of An Idea of Perfection in Painting, written in French by Roland Freart, and printed in 12mo. 1668, is became very scarce. His Sculptura, or the History and Art of Chaleography, and engraving in Copper, was composed at the particular request of his friend Mr. Robert Boyle, to whom it is dedicated. But his great work, is his Sylva; or a Discourse of Forest-Trees, and the Propagation of Timber, &c. which was the first book that was published by order of the Royal Society. He tells us, in the second edition of that valuable work, that it had been the occasion of planting two millions of timber trees. The author, who resided chiefly at Says Court, near Deptford, had one of the finest gardens in the kingdom, and was one of the best and happiest men in it. He lived to a good, but not a useless old age, and long enjoyed the shade of those flourishing trees which himself had planted. Ob. 27 Feb. 1705-06, Aet. 86.