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ceived this goodly set of volumes from Mr. Kerslake, that. I was fully aware what an intellectual giant this man was. Now, he seemed equally at home in the exegesis of Scripture, in the problems of mental and moral philosophy, in logic, in ancient and modern history; and his satires seemed to borrow fresh force and lustre from his other acquirements. Bishop Hall differed from Butler in this respect—that being a prose writer, his satires, properly so called, were written in poetry; while Butler, the poet, wrote his satiric fire in prose. First, let me mention a few particulars about those writings of Hall's having something in common with Butler, and in which he followed what I have described as a fashion of the age. Drawn out with much truth and skill, are a series of what he calls “Characterisms of Virtues” and “ Characterisms of Vices.” There is much of the familiar homiletic style about these characterisms; they are little chapters of the author's experience in lifeepitomes of his own philosophy about the good and the bad men in the world, their origin, religion, and history. No mere secular dictionary or encyclopædia told so much in a few words about a “Faithful Man” as this :—“He. hath white hands, and a clean soul fit to lodge God in: all the rooms thereof are set apart for his Holiness. His faults are few; and those he hath God will not see. He is allied so high that he dares call God Father; his SAVIOUR, Brother; Heaven, his patrimony; and thinks it no presumption to trust to the attendance of angels.” The “Valiant Man commands with tyranny and imperiousness ; obeys without servility; and changes not his mind with his estate.” The “Good Magistrate is the guard of good laws; the refuge of innocency; the comet of the guilty; the paymaster of good deserts; the champion of justice; the tutor of the Church; the father of his country, and the patron of peace.” The “Characterisms of Vices have the same literary features. One specimen will suffice:"The superstitious have too many gods; the profane none at all. Superstition is godless religion ; devout impiety." Concerning the satires proper written by Bishop Hall, I shall read first a portion of the editor's preface. ** The history of these satires may be briefly given. At the age of twenty-three, while a student at Emanuel College, and in 1597, he published at London three books of anonymous satires, which he called “ Toothless Satyres, Poetical,
Academical, Moral.” The following year three more books appeared, entitled, “Virgidemiarum, the Three Last Books of Byting Satyres.” And all the six books were printed together in 1599. By Virgidemia, we are to understand a gathering or harvest of rods, in relation to the nature of the subject. Bishop Hall boldly assumed to himself the place of leader to the long and distinguished line of satiric poets :
“I first adventure, with fool-hardy might,
And be the second English satirist.” The prologue to the satires is a stately porch to the main building, and is called “A Defiance to Envy.” The poems themselves are in the heroic couplet, and are so full of allusions to contemporary persons and things, and abound in so many obscure words and phrases, that they are by no means easy reading. Without a commentary, I have found them more difficult to comprehend thoroughly than anything in Spenser. But their intrinsic value can hardly be over-rated. They present us with the most vivid pictures of contemporary men and manners; and declare, in no dubious terms, how bad both generally were. Warton says, that “the satires are marked with a classical precision, to which English poetry had yet rarely attained. They are replete with animation of style and sentiment. The characters are delineated in strong and lively colouring; and their discriminations are touched with the masterly traces of genuine humour. Hall's acknowledged patterns are Juvenal and Persius, not without some touches of the urbanity of Horace.”
I will now read you two specimens from Bishop Hall's satires; the first exemplifies the condition of a domestic chaplain at the end of the 16th century :
“A gentle squire would gladly entertain
Third, that he never change his trencher twice,
To give five marks and winter livery."
“Seest thou how gaily my young master goes,
Vaunting himself upon his rising toes ;
all this livelong day.
There is one useful function which the meekest of us may perform when reading old English authors. We can note down obsolete words, and words which had a different meaning then from what they have now. Dean Trench will always welcome any information which throws fresh light on the verbal and grammatical history of the English language. There is much to be done yet; many writers of the 16th century are only partially explored, and workers in this mine of deep lore are much in request. Bishop Hall is scarcely correct in assigning to himself such absolute precedence in the role of satirical literature. There were heaps of rhyming and punning creatures, who lashed the indolence, and made merry over the delinquencies, of priest, baron, squire, and peasant, in those old days when the feudal elements were only just dissolved, printing presses scarce, and learning of any kind rare. The veteran Chaucer was a cunning master in the art of satire. There is a wide and difficult question, which I am not going to touch to-night, relating to the influence which the great Roman poets exercised on English writers. Rome can at least claim originality here. No Greek workman taught Horace, Juvenal, and Persius the science of scorn, or the skill to crush the passing folly as it flies.
I have now let Samuel Butler and Joseph Hall speak for themselves; and they have told you, in their mode and measure, what they thought of the foolish men and the foolish things of their respective ages. The “Punch” of former days was generally a stately engine, moving with dignified steps and harmonious mien, and amenable to the most rigid code of courtesy and grammar.
But this “ Punch” sometimes lost its temper, got very savage, and left the quiet paths of allegory and parable to become an instrument of ferocious attack on statesmen, philosophers, clergy, and warriors. But “times have mended manners,"
. and the satirists of two centuries ago, with their spice of Rabelais and Hogarthian vividness of detail, have now been metamorphosed into a new stage, where everything is regulated, not the rules of chivalry, but by the law of libel
. Of course we are making progress in every product of human brain and human hands: shall the human heart retrograde into heathen hardness and passion? In a litany composed by the saintly Jeremy Taylor, entitled, “For deliverance from evils,” we are taught to pray for deliverance from "contempt and scorn, from a pitiless and unrelenting spirit, from delighting in our neighbours' misery, and procuring it.” There is such a thing as a model satire, having for its object the glory of God, the good of man, and the destruction of evil; and such a satire might be almost undeformed by man's frailty, and almost unblemished by his imperfections. I have not exhibited such a model to-night; but English literature may be kept pure by having such an ideal always before us, whose supreme object shall be to hasten our freedom from sin, and to commemorate the everlasting claims of religion, honour, and virtue.
FAULTS IN READING THE LITURGY,
THE REV. ALE XR. J. D. D’ORSEY, B.D.,
ENGLISH LECTURER AT CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, OXFORD.
[Abstract of a Lecture delivered at the Town Hall, Manchester, May, 1863. The Rev. JAMES BARDSLEY, M.A., Rector of St. Ann's, presiding.
From the “Manchester Courier."]
HE LECTURER said he regarded the large attendance as
a good omen that the popular prejudice against this subject was beginning to disappear amongst the clergy, and that they were no longer impressed with the idea that “elocution” meant "spouting ;” and that any attempt to reform the style of reading and preaching in our churches was no longer considered a gross personal insult to the existing body of clergy. He should speak plainly, and possibly say some unpalatable things, in pointing out the common faults in reading the Liturgy, showing to what they were due, and indicating the proper remedies. He did not admit that the clergy of the Church were the “worst readers and speakers in the whole kingdom,” for in parliament and at the bar the speeches made needed a good deal of “ doctoring” by the reporters. He was afraid, however, that their congregations did not always think them good readers. He doubted if those present would be able to name six perfectly good readers and speakers amongst them.
How could they be masters of a subject they had not studied? He knew that the word “elocution” had anything but a good odour in many ecclesiastical nostrils. There was a strong prejudice in both universities, and amongst the bishops and clergy, against the whole subject. Romanists trained their men well to extempore speaking, to the composition and delivery of sermons, and to reading or intoning the service. Their dissenting brethren did the same. Far more pains were taken in many Dissenting colleges to teach these branches, than in the universities of this land. What he contended for was not a diminution of the preparatory course of training, but an