Page images
PDF
EPUB

state of "intense excitement" by the announcement that " my Lords the Judges" were coming to church. The rector selected a sermon, on which he rather prided himself; the churchwardens dusted out the squire's pew, where their lordships might be the observed of all observers, and the rector's wife and daughters selected their best bonnets in honour of an event, the like of which had certainly never occurred before within the memory of the very " oldest inhabitant." The Judges were ushered into church with as much state as could be mustered by the parish authorities for the occasion, and all went perfectly well and in order till the termination of Morning Prayer, when the psalm was to be given out. In those days, the selection of the psalms was confided to the uncontrolled discretion of the parish clerk, who, when the tidings of the arrival of the august personages reached his ears, bad become quite as much alive to the importance of the proper performance of his duties upon the occasion as the rector and churchwardens were. His guide in the selection of psalms upon special occasions had been the Table of -Psalms set out at the end of Tate and Brady's Version, giving alphabetically the first words of each psalm. On coming to the letter S, he found, " Speak, O ye Judges," and concluding that the psalm, of which these were the opening words, must be an appropriate one, he gave them out, and invited the congregation to join in singing the 58th Psalm, which they proceeded to do most heartily, being struck by the appositencss of the introductory words, and thus they sang at the two learned judges: —

"Speak, 0 ye Judges of the Earth,
If just your sentence be?
Or must not innocence appeal
To He:iv'u from your decree?

"Your wicked hearts and judgments are
Alike by malice swayed;
Your griping hands, by weighty bribe;,
To violence betrayed."

And so forth; with all the other denunciations of the Psalmist upon the unjust Judges of Israel.

This is my Note of the circumstances; my Query is, What was the name of the parish where they occurred; who was the rector, and who was the brother Judge? who, by the way, was afterwards heard to declare publicly that nothing should ever induce him to go to church again with brother Park. Dohset.

JAMES KIRKWOOD.

Under this name, in the Bibliotheca Britannica, Watt has rolled two persons into one, beginning with James Kirkwood, the Scottish grammarian, going off to James Kirkwood, the minister of Astwick, Bedfordshire, and again returning to the first, all under the same heading. Misled by this

authority, I have only recently, on becoming possessed of the several works of these Kirkwoods, discovered the confusion; and as neither (although both are of sufficient mark) appear in the new edition of Lowndes, I venture a few jottings by way of supplying the deficiency in " N. & Q."

James Kirkwood, the schoolmaster, was a very notable character. We first hear of him in 1675, when he obtained charge of the school at Linlithgow; leaning to episcopacy when the Presbyterians were resolved to extinguish it root and brunch from Scotland, Kirkwood soon got into trouble with his superiors; and the struggle to maintain office on the one hand, and to oust the schoolmaster on the other which followed, must have made it a cause celibre in that quiet burgh. The clever pedagogue, however, could not hold his ground against the local magnates, and the Dominie was deposed.

The litigation which arose out_of these squabbles is recorded in A Short Information of the Plea betwixt the Town Council of Linlithgow and Mr. James Kirkwood, Schoolmaster there, whereof a more full Account may perhaps come out hereafter, a quarto tract of twenty pages. Kirkwood here intimates that he has a heavier rod in pickle for his persecutors, and, being of a waggish and satirical disposition, he carried his threat into execution. Among other charges brought against him was, that he was "a reviler of the Gods of the people." "By Gods," says Kirkwood, " they mean the twenty-seven Members of the Town Council, the Provost, four Baillies, Dean of Guild, Treasurer, twelve Councillors, eight Deacons; so that the Websters, Sutors, and Tailors are Gods in Linlithgow."

Tickled with this notion, and being bent upon ridiculing the magistrates, he crowned his contempt for the burghal authorities by publishing, in a small quarto, pp. 79 —

"The History of the Twenty-seven Gods of Linlithgow; Being an Exact and True Account of a Famous 1'lca betwixt the Town Council of tho said Burgh and Mr. Kirkwood, Schoolmaster there. Seria Mixta Jocis." Edin. 1711,

which contains many curious particulars regarding the social and religious state of affairs during the contention for supremacy between the Presbyterian and Prelatic parties.

Our schoolmaster, it might be supposed, steered a safer course in his next appointment at Kelso. But, no: the same cantankerous humour brought about a collision there, and we next have Mr. Kirkwood's Plea before the Kirk, and Civil Jiulicatores of Scotland. London: D. E. for the Author, 1698. Another quarto of about 150 closely printed pages, containing the story of his subsequent wranglings with the Kirk Session and Presbytery there, in all its minuteness. Beyond what can be gleaned from his own words, I find but little recorded of this remarkable character. In Penney's History of Linlithgowshire, and in Chalmer's Life of Ruddiman, he is spoken of as the first grammarian of his day. He frequently himself alludes to the high repute in which he was held in this respect by his learned contemporaries, but I question if he is to be found in any of our biographies, of his name even to be traced in the British Museum Catalogue.

In addition to that I have mentioned, I possess his Prima Pars Grammatical in Metrum redacta: AtUhore Jacobo Kirhwoodo, 12mo, Edin. 1675. With the Privy Council's Privilege for nineteen years; the Second and Third Parts. Editio Secunda, 1676; and All the Examples, both Words and Sentences of the First Part of Grammar, translated into English by I. K. 1C76. Contained in one volume.

As with Watt, my first impression on becoming acquainted with-the names of these Kirkwoods was, that the grammarian and the minister at Astwick were identical, and that James Kirkwood was one of the rabbled curates for whom the government had to provide for in the south; but a very slight examination showed this to be a mistake; and we find that, while the pugnacious schoolmaster was fighting his battles with the Gods of Linlithgow and Kelso, the minister of Astwick was engaged in England with his pastoral duties, and in connection with the Hon. Rob. Boyle, labouring to supply the Irish with a Vernacular version of the Scriptures. The minister was however, also a Scot. He figures in Charter's, Catalogue of Scottish Writers as "James Girdwod, Minister of Minto, outed for refusing the Test." The only work of his which I have is, A New Family Booh; or the True Interest of Families, being Directions to Parents and Children, &c. With a Preface by Dr. Horneck, 2nd edit. l'2mo, London, 1693. A frontispiece by Vander Gutch in two compartments—the happy and the unhappy family; the latter a grotesque representation of the wicked parents, with a hopeful lot of seven children all in a state of inebriety, with the usual accompaniment of the religious chap-book —the monster in the corner of the picture vomiting flames, indicating a family on the road to Tophet. Perhaps some other correspondent may be able to tell us what became of the restless grammarian; and, if any, what was the relationship between these two Kirkwoods. J. O.

OF WIT.

Many of our old English words have, in passing from one age to another, dropped, either wholly or in a great measure, their original signification. The elder D'Israeli has illustrated this in a very pleasing way in one of his entertaining works.

The word Wrr has, however, been overlooked, and I have something to say, not in example, but in illustration of it.

"Tell me, O tell," says Cowley, "what kind of thing is wit f" a question I admit the propriety of his asking, for he defines it but by negatives and negatives alone. Every one concedes to Butler the name of a wit, and that Hudibras abounds in wit of the finest quality. But this is in its present sense. What was wit in one age became bombast or affectation in another: and he who was styled a wit in the age of Elizabeth is styled a poet now.

"Nothing," says Addison, "is so much admired and so little understood as wit." ..." Wit," says Locke, "lies in the assemblage of ideas, and putting those together with quickness and variety, wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity, thereby to make up pleasant pictures an<J agreeable visions in the fancy." Addison shows that any resemblance cannot be called wit: "thus, when a poet tells us the bosom of his mistress is as white as snow, there is no wit in the comparison; but when he adds, with a sigh, that it is as cold too, it then grows into wit." ..." True wit," says the same great writer, "consists in the resemblance and congruity of ideas, and false wit in the resemblance of words. Mixed wit, which we find in Cowley, partakes of the character of both, a composition of pure and true wit"

I select a few instances of the use of the word wit from the works of Dryden: —

"True wit is sharpness of conceit, the lowest and most grovelling kind of wit—clenches. . . . There are manv witty men, but few poets. . . . Shakspeare's comic wit degenerated into clenches; his serious swelled into bombast. . . . No man can say Shakspeare ever had a fit subject for his wit, and that he did not excel. . . . One cannot say Ben Jonson wanted wit, but rather that he was frugal of it. . . . Wit, and language, and humour, we had before Jonson's days. . . If 1 would compare Jonson with Shakspeare I must acknowledge him the more correct poet, but Shakspeare the greater wit. . . . Shakspeare, who many times has written better than any poet in our language, is far from writing wit always, or expressing that wit according to the dignity of the subject. . . . Donne was the greatest wit, though not the greatest poet, of our nation. . . . Donne's Satirei abound in wit. I may safely say this of the present age, that if we are not so great wits as Donne, yet certainly we are better poets. . . . The composition of all poems is, or ought to be, wit, which is no other than the faculty of imagination. . . . The definition of wit (which has been so often attempted, and ever unsuccessfully, by many poets) is only this,—that it is a propriety of thoughts and words; or in other terms, thoughts and words elegantly adapted to the subject."

Twice has Dryden repeated his definition or description of wit; "which is not," says Addison, "so properly a description of wit as of good writing in general. If Dryden's be a true definition of wit, I am apt to think," Addison adds, "that Euclid is the greatest wit that ever set pen to paper."

Wit, in its original signification, Johnson tells us, " denoted the powers of the mind—the mental faculties—the intellects." The meaning has been gTeatly extended; it has been used for imagination, and for quickness of fancy or genius. A wit, too, has been called a poet, and a poet designated a wit.

Ben Jonson uses the word wit for verse; he who possessed wit possessed the faculty of song. Shakspeare, Fletcher, and Jonson formed, says Sir John Denham, a triumvirate of wit. What is translated poetry, says the same writer, but transplanted wit. Cleveland, wishing to express the rank of Jonson among the poets of his age, says, he

"Stood out illustrious in an age of wit."

Pope, alluding to the little patronage which poets meet with, speaks of

"The estate which wits inherit after death."

The mob of gentlemen that twinkled in the poetical miscellanies of the days of the Charleses are called by Pope the " wits" of their age.

"But for the wits of either Charles's days,
The mob of gentlemen who wrote with ease."

It is not poetry, says Butler, that makes men poor, for men have taken to wit only to avoid being idle.

"It is not poetry that makes men poor;

For few do write that were not so before:

And those that have writ best, had they been rich,

Had ne'er been clapp'd with a poetic itch;

Had lov'd their ease too well to take the pains

To undergo that drudgery of brains j

But being for all other trades unfit,

Only to avoid being idle set up—wit."

Davenant has a great Nursery of Nature in his Gondibert, and foremost in this delightful dwelling has a band of pleasant poets: — "And he who seem'd to lead this ravish'd race,

Was Heav'n's lov'd Laureate that in Jewry writ; Whose harp approach'd God's ear, though none his face Durst see, and first made inspiration, wit."

That King David was a wit, and wrote wit, sounds in an ear of the nineteenth century as a sad misapplication of terms. Yet in Davenant the word, in its old signification, is very appropriate, and very poetical.

Such have been the changes in the meaning of of the word wit. Shakspeare was a wit in his age, but Wordsworth would have deemed it no compliment to be called a wit in ours. Johnson's definition of wit is admirable:—"That which though not obvious, is, upon its first production, acknowledged to be just, that which he that never found wonders how he missed."* This is near the mark, but perhaps this is nearer:—" Wit," says Corbyn Morris, f "is the lustre resulting from the quick

Life of Cowley.

t Essays on Wit, Humour, and Raillery, 8vo, 1744.

elucidation of one subject, by a just and unexpected arrangement of it with another subject."

Further illustrations of the early use of the word "wit" might worthily find a place in the columns of "N. & Q." Shakspeare's daughter, "good Mrs. Hall," was (her epitaph tells us) "witty above her sexe."

Petee Cunningham.

DR. ROBERT WAUCHOP.

A few months since an able, affecting, and most interesting appeal, in behalf of the Catholic Blind Institution, Glasnevin, in the immediate vicinity of this city, appeared in the Freeman's Journal, from the pen of its present guardian, Brother Jerome Moroney. After enumerating several instances of the high intellectual attainments of which this afflicted class are capable, such as that of Didymus of Alexandria, who had among his pupils the illustrious St. Jerome and Palladius; Diodatus, the preceptor of Cicero; Scupi Neria, who held a professorship in Bologna, wrote poetry in Latin and Italian, and was one of the most accomplished scholars of his day; Salinos, who, although blind from his infancy, was yet elected Professor of Music in the University of Salamanca about the year 1713; the writer of this brief memoir — and to this I wish particularly to direct the attention of your readers — mentions that in the year 1542 Dr. Wauchop, although blind from infancy, attained, as a divine and a scholar, such distinguished eminence, that he readily obtained the degree of Doctor of Divinity in the University of Paris; attended on the part of Julius III. at the Council of Trent, and was subsequently appointed by Paul III. to the see of Armagh. Now, being under the impression that blindness, as well as any prominent physical defect, constituted what is termed a canonical impediment, incapacitating the parties for the reception of Holy Orders, I was, I confess, somewhat sceptical as to the accuracy of Brother Jerome's statement, more particularly as I could find no reference whatever to Dr. Wauchop in the profound and learned work of Dr. Lanigan, or such writers' on Irish subjects as I happened to have at hand. At length, however, this worthy monk referred me to Dr. Renehan's Collections on on Irish Church History, from which I make the following extract: —

"Robert Wauchop (alias Venantius) was appointed to the see of Armagh by Paul III. when informed of the death of Dr. Cremer in 1542. Wauchop was by birth a Scotchman, and although blind from childhood yet such were the natural powers of his mind, and such bis persevering industry, that he distinguished himself highly during his collegiate studies, and easily obtained the degree of Doctor of Divinity from that learned faculty. Pope Paul III. had confirmed the Order of the Jesuits, and selected Wauchop in 1541 to introduce that order into Ireland. In consequence, John Coclure was first sent to this country, and after his death many others, among ■whom was Paschasius, Francis Zapata, and the celebrated Alphonsus Salmeron, who afterwards attended the Council of Trent. Wauchop was shortly afterwards appointed to the sec of Armagh, but it would appear he never took possession of his see, which was already taken possession of by Dr Dowdal by the appointment of Henry VIII. His learning, piety, and prudence recommended him to the confidence, anil secured him the esteem of Paul III., and so highly did that discriminating pontiff, as also his successor Julius III., appreciate his taste for business, that he sent him as their Legate ii latere to the Emperor of Germany and to the Court of France, which gave occasion to the saying 'Legatus excus oculatis Liermanis.1 He also attended on the part of the pontiffat the Council of Trent during the first ten sessions from 1545 to 154TM. After the death of Paul III., his patron, and the consequent prorogation of the Council, lie started for Ireland, and subsequently retired to France, where he died in a convent of the Jesuits at Paris, on the lUth of November, 1551."

Now with reference to Dr. Dowdall, above alluded to, a few brief particulars may, en passant, prove interesting. On the 16th of March, 1543, died George Cromer, Archbishop of Armagh ; and on November 28, a mandate was issued by Henry VIII. for the consecration of George Dowdall. He was consecrated by Dr. Staples, assisted by other bishops; but, unlike his suffragan, neither the frowns nor caresses of the world could turn him from the path of rectitude and duty, as the following circumstance will satisfactorily prove. The English Liturgy was read for the first time in the cathedral of Christ's Church, Dublin, on Kaster Sunday, 1551; and in the same year, Sir James Crofts, the Lord Deputy, invited the bishops of the Catholic Church and of tho Reformation to have a discussion on religion. The prelates assembled in the great ball of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin: the subject of debate being the Sacrifice of the Mass. The primate, Dr. Dowdall, defended the Catholic doctrines. His antagonist, on the Protestant side, being no other than his consecrator Edward Staples, once Catholic bishop of Meath.* Whatever may have been the relalative learning or abilities displayed by the disputants, there was no doubt on which side lay the prospect of worldly promotion. The result of the discussion being, says Ware, that it gave to the ICing and Council an opportunity to deprive Dowdall for his obstinacy of the title of Primate of all Ireland, and of annexing it to the see of Dublin for ever. Accordingly, Brown obtained Letters Patent from King Edward VI., dated October 20,1551, that he and his successors should be Primates of all Ireland. Dowdall, aware of the tone and temper of the parties he had to deal with, fled to the Continent and took refuge in the monastery of Centre Brabant. Edward VI. died

* See Ware's Bithopt, p. 351; Moran's Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern.

in July, 1553, and was succeeded by Mary, daughter of Catherine of Arragon. Soon after her accession, Archbishop Dowdall was recalled from exile, and the title of Primate of all Ireland was by Letters Patent restored to him. To reform abuses which crept in during the last two reigns, and to remove false brethren from the sanctuary, were the especial objects of his care.

Dowdall having now obtained considerable influence in the government of the country, lived to see those principles triumph for which he sutl'ered. He saw the seeds of true faith and Christian piety, planted by his episcopal labours, growing up into a rich and abundant harvest, and Providence spared him the mortification of seeing the crop destroyed by the political elements that shortly after his death checked their growth and threatened their entire ruin. Having held a synod of his diocese at Drogheda in 1557, he died in the year 1558 in England, on the- Feast of the Assumption, just three months before the accession of Elizabeth to the English throne. Vide Renehan's Collections on Irish Church History.

To return, however, to the special object of this brief communication. I must, not forget, says Ware, that during the life of George Dowdall, who was in possession of the see of Armagh (by donation from King Henry VIII.), Pope Paul III. conferred that arehbishopric on Robert Waucop, a Scot, who, although blind from his youth, yet applied himself with that diligence to learning, that he commenced Doctor in Divinity in Paris. He assisted at the Council of Trent from the 1st Session held in 1545, to the eleventh in 1547. He was sent, by the Pope as legate a latere into Germany from whence arose the proverb, Legatus caucus ad oculatos Germanos— a blind legate to the sharp-sighted Germans. By his means the Jesuits were first introduced into Ireland. He died in a convent of Jesuits at Paris, Nov. 10, 1551. De Burgo, in his Hibernia Dominicana, states that: —

"Pater Nicolaus Orlandinus e Societate Jesu Memorias prodidit, hue tempestate floruisse Kobertum Ibai PriinU, virum insignem et super alias fulgentissimas virtutes eo admiratione dignum, quod quamvis a puero merit oculis captus nihil tamen minus claro mentis lumine hoeresis furore obviam ire, laborantique insula; subvenire curaverit, atqueejus ifcicjatunonnullosPatres Idibus Sept. Koma profectos & B. Ignatii Patriarchs magistri sui documents in munere obeundo instructos in lbernia . . . multnm opera; impendisse. Post Religiosorum vero Reditum, Primatum ipsum qui Cone. Triden. interfuit, suam Provinciam petentem, Parisiis in Conventu Patrum Soc. 10 Nov. diem obiisse ea verba identidem proferentem: Domine, si Populo tuo sum opus, ego quidem laborem non recusoj sin minus, nequicquam moleste fero ex hujus laboriosissimss vita; prsesidio et statione disccderc divino tuo conspectu et reterna; quiete recreandus."

O'Sullivan, in his Catholic History, confirms the preceding statement (torn. ii. lib. 3), assuring us that he closed his career in a manner worthy of his uniform piety, with the zeal of an apostle, and the resignation of a saint. The last sentence he was heard to utter was "O Lord, if my continuance here be necessary for the good of Thy people, I shrink not from the useful task which Thy will may allot to me; but if it be not, I cheerfully yield up my station in this laborious life, that my my spirit may enjoy beatitude in Thy presence."

[ocr errors]

Such, Mr. Editor, are a few of the leading facts I have been able to collect regarding this extraordinary man: one who accumulated a vast store of knowledge under cirumstances, k must be admitted, of the most unfavourable character, and of whom it may be said—humble Catholic priest as he was—his history belongs to mankind at large rather than to sect or party. T. Mc K.

A Passion Toe Witnessing Executions. — Looking into Jesse's Life and Correspondence of Selwyn the other day, brought to my mind a story I have heard of a laird in the north of Scotland, who died some thirty or forty years ago; who seems to have had as great a penchant for attending executions as the witty George, and whose local standing would appear to have made his presence at such exhibitions a sine qua non. I give the anecdote as I heard it, premising that it may be relied on as authentic. On one occasion an unfortunate wretch was about to be "turned off:" the rope was adjusted, and everything was ready. The hangman, however, stood waiting with apparent anxiety, evidently for an addition to the spectators. Being asked why he did not proceed with the business, he replied, with a look

of surprise at his questioner: "M (naming

the laird) is nae come yet!" The hangman's paramount desire to please the local dignitary (who we may suppose he looked upon in the light of a patron), under such circumstances, is fine.

Robert Kempt.

Lonoevitt.—As several instances of longevity have lately appeared in your columns, is it not worth while preserving the case of Mr. Hutchesson, who died last September? He graduated in 1804, and was elected Fellow of Clare College in 1812: so that he was more than half a century a Fellow of that society. J. C. Boscobel.

Michael Johnson Of Lichfield.—Besides the work of Floyer mentioned in my recent Note (3'a S. iv. 459), I have found another printed for Michael Johnson. Considering the very humble way in which he carried on his business, it is amusing to read about his " shops" at three different towns: —

"Qapnaxo-Baa-avos: or the Touchstone of Medicines, Ac. By Sir John Floyer of the City of Litchfield, Kt, M.D. of Queen's College, Oxford. London: Printed for Michael Johnson, Bookseller; and are to be sold at his

shops at Litchfield and Uttoxiter, in Staffordshire; and Ashby-de-la-Zouch, in Leicestershire. 1687."

In the later works of Floyer, the name of Michael Johnson does not occur as publisher. Treatises dated 1698, 1707, and 1725, have the names of London publishers only. Jatdee.

Ames.—As an instance of the curious derivations to which even learned men have been driven for lack of philological science, may be mentioned the notion of St. Thomas Aquinas respecting the word aiiii"- That Father gravely states, in his Commentary upon Isaiah (xxv. extr.), that "the word is derived from a privative, and iair the moon, q. d. Sine lima, hoc est, sine defectu, puta solidum et stabile." W. J. D.

Ring Mottoes.—On a ring dug up at Godstow Priory, Oxfordshire. Date early in the fifteenth century, black-letter characters: —

Most in mynd and yn myn hcrrt.
Lothest from you ferto departt.

On plain betrothal rings of the seventeenth century : —

I haue obtained whom God ordained.
God unite our hearts aright.
Knitt in one by Christ alone.
Wee Joyne our loue in God aboae.
Joynd in one by God alone.
God above send peace and love.

All exhibited by the Rev. James Beck to the
Archaeological Institute, March, 1863. {Vide its
Journal, p. 195.) T. North.

Leicester.

Chablemont Earldom And Viscount.—James, the "volunteer" Earl of Charlemont, succeeded as fourth Viscount April 21, 1734, and was raised to the Earldom on Dec. 23,1763. Francis, his eldest son, the late Earl, died last Christmas day; consequently, the father and son held the Viscounty for more than one hundred and twenty years, and the Earldom for one hundred years. S. P. V.

[ocr errors]

Anonymous. — Who was the author of a little treatise on Resurrection, not Death, the Hope of the Believer, 12mo, pp. 46, issued in 1838, at the Central Tract Depot, 1, Warwick Square, London? Is this Depot still in existence? Vectis.

Mrs. Barbauld's Prose Htmns. — Of this charming little work, Mr. Murray has just issued a charmingly illustrated edition. It contains fifteen hymns, of which the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth are not in the "new edition, printed 1799," though they have appeared, I believe, in some other modern copies. I have been familiar with the remaining twelve hymns for fifty years.

« EelmineJätka »