Page images

But now such the spleen of the Council of Constance, as they not only cursed his memory as dying an obstinate heretic, but ordered that his tones (with this charitable caution,-if it may be discerned from the bodies of other faithful people) be taken out of the ground, and thrown far off from any Christian burial. In obedience hereunto, Richard Fleming, Diocesan of Lutterworth, sent his officers (vultures with a quick sight scent at a dead carcass) to ungrave him. Accordingly to Lutterworth they came, Sumner, Commissary, Official, Chancellor, Proctors, Doctors, and their servants (so that the remnant of the body would not hold out a bone amongst so many hands), take what was left out of the grave, and burnt them to ashes, and cast them into Swift, a neighbouring brook, running hard by. Thus this brook has conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, then into the main ocean ; and thus the ashes of Wickliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over.-FULLER. Church History.

Och Clo.-— The other day I was what you would call floored by a Jew. He passed me several times, crying for old clothes in the most nasal and extraordinary tone I ever heard. At last I was so provoked, that I said to him, “Pray, why can't you say old clothes’ in a plain way as I do now?” The Jew stopped, and looking very gravely at me, said in a clear and even fine accent, “Sir, I can say old clothes as well as you can ; but if you had to say so ten times a minute, for an hour together, you would say Och Clo as I do now; and so he marched off. I was so confounded with the justice of his retort, that I followed and gave him a shilling, the only one I had.-COLERIDGE. Table Talk.

MERCIFUL LAW.— The book of deposing King Richard the Second, and the coming in of Henry the Fourth, supposed to be written by Doctor Hayward, who was committed to the Tower for it, had much incensed Queen Elizabeth: and she asked Mr. Bacon, being then of her learned council, “ Whether there were any treason contained in it?" Mr. Bacon intending to do him a pleasure, and to take off the queen's bitterness with a merry conceit, answered, “No, Madam, for treason I cannot deliver opinion that there is any, but very much felony.” The queen, apprehending it gladly, asked, “How, and wherein ?” Mr. Bacon answered, “ Because he has stolen many of his sentences and conceits out of Cornelius Tacitus.”—-BACON.

PARLIAMENTARY DESPATCH.—Mr. Popham, when he was Speaker, and the lower house had sat long, and done in effect nothing ; coming one day to Queen Elizabeth, she said to him, “Now, Mr. Speaker, what has passed in the lower house ?” He answered, “If it please your Majesty, seven weeks.”—BACON.

OPINIONS.—Charles the Fifth, when he abdicated a throne, and retired to the monastery of St. Juste, amused himself with the mechanical ts, and particularly with that of a watchmaker. He one day exclaimed, “What an egregious fool must I have been to have squandered so much blood and treasure, in an absurd attempt to make men think alike, when I cannot even make a few watches keep time together!”-COLTON. Lacon.


CANNING. [GEORGE CANNING belongs to our country's history. He was born in 1770, and died in 1827.]

Mr. Mayor and Gentlemen, I accept with thankfulness, and with greater satisfaction than I can express, this flattering testimony of your good opinion and good-will. I must add, that the value of the gift itself has been greatly enhanced by the manner in which your worthy and honourable Recorder has developed the motives which suggested it, and the sentiments which it is intended to convey.

As livery of glory. It opened to the Ayrshire ploughman, when he heard "a Thrush sing in a Morning Walk in January;"'and that song filled his heart with thankfulness and contentment:

Sing on, sweet Thrush, upon the leafless bough,

Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain:

See aged winter, ʼmid his surly reign,
At thy blythe carol clears his furrow'd brow.
So in lone Poverty's dominion drear

Sits meek Content with light unairious heart,

Welcomes the rapid movements, bits them part,
Nor asks if they bring aught to hope or fear.
I thank thee, Author of this opening day!

Thou whose bright sun now gilds the orient skies !

Riches denied, thy boon was purer joys,
What wealth could never give nor take away!

Yet come, thou child of poverty and care;

The mite high Heav'n bestowed, that mite with thee I'll share. BURNS. Spring in the lap of Winter is very beautiful. February smiles and pouts like a self-willed child. We are gladdened by the flower buds of the elder and the long flowers of the hazel. The crocus and the snow-drop timidly lift up their heads. Mosses, the verdure of winter, that rejoice in moisture and defy cold, luxuriate amidst the general barrenness. The mole is busy in his burrowed galleries. There are clear mornings, not unmusical with the voices of more birds than the thrush of Burns. Spenser, the most imaginative of Poets, has painted the March of rough winds — the “sturdy March” — the March of the bent brow, — with weapon and armour. But he is also the March of gifts and of hope, in whose "sternest frown” there is “a look of kindly promise.” So he is described by one of a band of poets, whose native voice is heard over that mighty continent which our forefathers peopled. The cultivation of the same literature—for that literature is the common property of all “who speak the tong!le which Shakspere spake"-ought, amongst other influences, to bind America and England in eternal peace and good fellowship :The stormy March is come at last, When the changed winds are soft and warm

With wind, and cloud, and changingskies; And heaven puts on the blue of May I hear the rushing of the blast,

Then sing along the gushing rills, That through the snowy valley flies.

And the full springs, from frost set free, Ah, passing few are they who speak, That, brightly leaping down the hills,

Wild stormy month! in praise of thee; Are just set out to meet the sea. Yet, though thy winds are loud and bleak, The year's departing beauty hides Thou art a welcome month to me.

Of wintry storms the sullen threat; For thou to northern lands again

But in thy sternest frown abides The glad and glorious sun dost bring, A look of kindly promise yet. And thou hast joined the gentle train

Thou bring'st the hope of those calm skies, And wear'st the gentle name of Spring. And that soft time of sunny showers, And, in thy reign of blast and storm, When the wide bloom on earth that lies Smiles many a long, bright, sunny day, Seems of a brighter world than ours.



BISHOP HALL, (JOSEPH HALL, Bishop of Norwich, was born at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, in Leicestershire, on the 1st July, 1574.' 'He received his academical education at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, In 1597, he published a volume of Satires, which gave great offence, but which remain to the student of English poetry as amongst the most masterly productions of their class. P'ope held them to be the best poetry and the truest satire in the English language. In 1617, he was preferred to the Deanery of Worcester ; in 1627, was made Bishop of Exeter; and in 1641 was translated to Norwich. His earnest piety and professional zeal rendered hím obnoxious to

o the charge of puritanism; but he was a vigorous defender of the Church in its times of tribulation and danger, and was a sufferer for his conscientious opinions. The revenues of his bishopric were sequestrated in 1642, and he spent the remainder of his life in great poverty, residing at Higham, near Norwich, where he died in 1656. His theological works are very numerous ; and though many of them are controversial, others will remain as durable monu. ments of masterly reasoning, eloquent persuasion, and touching devotion. The piece which we first select, as an opening to the Sunday • Half-Hours,' is from an Epistle to Lord Denny.]

Every day is a little life: and our whole life is but a day repeated : whence it is that old Jacob numbers his life by days; and Moses desires to be taught this point of holy arithmetic, to number not his years, but his days. Those, therefore, that dare lose a day, are dangerously prodigal; those that dare mis-spend it, desperate. We can best teach others by ourselves ; let me tell your lordship, how I would pass my days, whether common or sacred, that you (or whosoever others, overhearing me,) may either approve mythriftiness, or correct my errors: to whom is the account of my hours either more due, or more known. All days are His, who gave time a beginning and continuance; yet some He hath made ours, not to command, but to use.

In none may we forget Him ; in some we must forget all, besides Him. Tirst, therefore, I desire to awake at those hours, not when I will, but when I must,; pleasure is not a fit rule for rest, but health ; neither do I consult so much with the sun, as mine own necessity, whether of body or in that of the mind. If this vassal could well serve me waking, it should never sleep ; but now it must be pleased, that it may be serviceable. Now when sleep is rather driven away than leaves me, I would ever awake with God: my first thoughts are for Him, who hath made tlıo night for rest, and the day for travel ; and as He gives, so blesses both. If my heart be early seasoned with His presence, it will savour of Him all day after. While my body is dressing, not with an effeminate curiosity, nor yet with rudo neglect, my mind addresses itself to her ensuing task, bethinking what is to be done, and in what order, and marshalling (as it may) my hours with my work ; that done, after some while's meditation, I walk up to my masters and companions, my books, and, sitting down amongst them with the best contentment, I dare not reach forth my hand to salute any of them, till I have first looked up to heaven, and craved favour of Him to whom all my studies are duly referred : without whom, I can neither profit nor labour. After this, out of no over great variety, I call forth thoso which may best fit my occasions, wherein I am not too scrupulous of age ; sometimes I put myself to school to one of those ancients whom the Church hath honoured with the name of Fathers; whose volumes I confess not to open without a secret reverence of their holiness and gravity ; sometimes to those later doctors, which want nothing but age to make them classical ; always to God's Book. That day is lost, whereof some hours are not improved in those divine monuments : others I turn over out of choice; these out of duty. Ere I can have sat unto weariness, my family, having now overcome all household distractions, invites me to our common devotions ; not without some short preparation. These, heartily performed, send me up with a more strong and cheerful appetite to my former work, which I find made easy to me by intermission and variety; now, therefore, can I deceive the hours with change of pleasures, that is, of labours. One while mine eyes are busied, another while my hand, and sometimes my mind takes the burthen from them both; wherein I would imitate the skilfullest cooks, which make the best dishes with manifold mixtures; one hour is spent in textual divinity, another in controversy ; histories relieve them both. Now, when the mind is weary of others' labours, it begins to undertake her own ; sometimes it meditates and winds up for future use; sometimes it lays forth her conceits into present discourse ; sometimes for itself, after for others. Neither know I whether it works or plays in these thoughts; I am sure no sport hath more pleasure, no work more use; only the decay of a weak body makes me think these delights insensibly laborious. Thus could I all day (as ringers use) make myself music with changes, and complain sooner of the day for shortness than of the business for toil, were it not that this faint monitor interrupts me still in the midst of my busy pleasures, and enforces me both to respite and repast; I must yield to both ; while my body and mind are joined together in these unequal couples, the better must follow the weaker. Before my meals, therefore, and after, I let myself loose from all thoughts, and now would forget that I ever studied; a full mind takes away the body's appetite no less than a full body makes a dull and unwieldy mind : company, discourse, recreations, are now seasonable and welcome ; these prepare me for a diet, not gluttonous, but medicinal; the palate may not be pleased, but the stomach, nor that for its own sake ; neither would I think any of these comforts worth respect in themselves but in their use, in their end, so far as they may enable me to better things. If I see any dish to tempt my palate, I fear a serpent in that apple, and would please myself in a wilful denial ; I rise capable of more, not desirous; not now immediately from my trencher to my book, but after some intermission. Moderate speed is a sure help to all proceedings ; where those things which are prosecuted with violence of endeavour or desire, either succeed not, or continue not.

After my later meal, my thoughts are slight; only my memory may be charged with her task, of recalling what was committed to her custody in the day; and my heart is busy in examining my hands and mouth, and all other senses, of that day's behaviour. And now the evening is come, no tradesman doth more carefully take in his wares, clear his shopboard, and shut his window, than I would shut up my thoughts, and clear my mind. That student shall live miserably, which like a camel lics down under his burden. All this done, calling together my family, we end the day with God: Thus do we rather drive away the time before us, than follow it. I grant neither is my practice worthy to be exemplary, neither are our callings proportionable. The lives of a nobleman, of a courtier, of a scholar, of a citizen, of a countryman, differ no less than their dispositions ; yet must all conspire in honest labour.

Sweat is the destiny of all trades, whether of the brows, or of the mind. God never allowed any man to do nothing. How miserable is the condition of those men, which spend the time as if it were given them, and not lent; as if hours were waste creatures, and such as should never be accounted for ; as if God would take this for a good bill of reckoning : Item, spent upon my pleasures forty years! These men shall once find that no blood can privilege idleness, and that nothing is more precious to God, than that which they desire to cast away-time. Such are my common days; but God's day calls for another respect. The same sun arises on this day, and enlightens it; yet because that Sun of Righteousness arose upon it, and gave a new life unto the world in it, and drew the strength of God's moral precept unto it, therefore justly do we sing with the Psalmist, “this is the day which the Lord hath made.” Now I forget the world, and in a sort myself; and deal with my wonted thoughts, as great men use, who, at some times of their privacy, forbid the access of all suitors. Prayer, meditation, reading, hearing, preaching, singing, good conference, are the businesses of this day, which I dare not bestow on any work, or pleasure, but heavenly.

I hate superstition on the one side, and looseness on the other ; but I find it hard to offond in too much devotion, easy in profaneness. The whole week is sanctified by this day ; and according to my care of this, is my blessing on the rest. I show your lordship what I would do, and what I ought ; I commit my desires to the imitation of the weak, my actions to the censures of the wise and holy, my weaknesses to the pardon and redress of my merciful God.

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

[WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR, an eminent living writer, was born in 1775. He published a volume of poems when he was eighteen; and has at various periods of his life enriched the poetry of his country with productions of no common merit. Mr. Landor was the early friend of Southey; but, unlike his friend, his early opinions have clung to him through life. This circumstance may account for some of the asperity, and some of the neglect, which it has been Mr. Landor's fate to encounter-in many respects very undeservedly. The first series of his 'Imaginary Conversations,' from which the following dialogue is extracted, was published in 1824; a second series appeared in 1836. His complete works were, in 1846, collected in two large closely printed volumes, sold at a cheap rate; and we have no doubt that the collection will be acceptable to a great body of readers, who will thus, for the first time, make the acquaintance of an author who, although his opinions may sometimes be singular and paradoxical, has a genuine love for all that is beautiful and ennobling in human thoughts and actions, and who has rarely been excelled as a prose writer in fertility and power.

As a fit introduction to this Conversation, we subjoin a passage from Roger Ascham's celebrated “Scholemaster,' describing the character and pursuits of Lady Jane Grey:

“And one example, whether love or fear doth work more in a child, for virtue and learning, I will gladly report, which may be heard with some pleasure, and followed with more profit. Before I went into Germany, I came to Brodegate in Leicestershire, to take my leave of that noble Lady Jane Grey, to whom I was exceedingly much beholding. Her parents, the Duke and the Duchess, with all the household, gentlemen and gentlewomen, were hunting in the park; I found her in her chamber reading Phedon Platonis in Greek, and that with as much delight, as some gentlemen would read a merry tale in Bocace. After salutation, and duty done, with some other talk, I asked her why she would lose such pastime in the park : smiling she answered me : ‘I wis, all their sport in the park is but a shadow to that pleasure that I find in Plato; alas, good folk, they never felt what true pleasure meant.' “And how came you, madam,' quoth I, “to this deep knowledge of pleasure, and what did chiefly allure you unto it, seeing not many women, but very few men, have attained thereunto ?' "I will tell you,' quoth she, “and tell you a truth, which perchance ye will marvel at. One of the greatest benefits that ever God gave me, is, that he sent me so sharp and severe parents, and so gentle a school master. For when I am in presence either of father or mother, whether [ speak, keep silence, sit, stand or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing any thing else, I must do it, as it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea presently sometimes, with pinches, nips, and bobs, and other ways which I will not name, for the honour I bear them, so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time come that I must go to Mr. Elmer, who teacheth me, so gently, so pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time nothing, whiles I am with him. And when I am called from him, I fall on weeping, because, whatsoever I do else, but learning, is full of grief, trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book hath been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to me more pleasure and more, that in respect of it, all other pleasures, in very deed, be but trifles and troubles unto me. I remember this talk gladly, both because it is so worthy of memory, and because also it was the last talk that ever I had, and the last time that ever I saw that noble and worthy lady."]


« EelmineJätka »