The Project Gutenberg e-Book of The Doctor, &c., Vol. 7 by Robert Southey (2024)



There is a kind of physiognomy in the titles of books no less than in the faces of men, by which a skilful observer will as well know what to expect from the one as the other.


The Project Gutenberg e-Book of The Doctor, &c., Vol. 7 by Robert Southey (1)


(Fragment of Interchapter)

London: Longman & Co. 1847.



The Project Gutenberg e-Book of The Doctor, &c., Vol. 7 by Robert Southey (2)








The present Volume contains all that it is thought advisable to publish of the Papers and Fragments for THE DOCTOR, &C. Some of these Papers, as in the former Volume, were written out fair and ready for Publication—but the order, and the arrangement intended is altogether unknown.

I have taken care to examine the different extracts,—and occasionally I have added a note or an explanation, where such seemed to be needed. The whole has been printed with scrupulous exactness from the MSS. The Epilude of Mottoes is a selection from such as had not been worked up in the body of the work. Some of them may possibly have been used before—but if so, it has escaped my recollection.—

Mihi dulces
Ignoscent, si quid peccâro stultus, amici,
Inque vicem illorum patiar delicta libenter.


Vicarage, West-Tarring,
Sept. 14th, 1847.


Well: we go on.

Ventri utinam pax sit, sic variante cibo.

I had forgot one half, I do protest,
And now am sent again to speak the rest.

Well said, Master Doctor, well said;
By the mass we must have you into the pulpit.

Why this is quincy quarie pepper de watchet single go-by, of all that ever I tasted!


Alonso. Prythee no more! thou dost talk nothing to me.

Gonzalo. I did it to minister occasion to these gentlemen who are of such sensible and nimble lungs, that they always use to laugh at nothing.


Comme l'on voit, à l'ouvrir de la porte
D'un cabinet royal, maint beau tableau,
Mainte antiquaille, et tout ce que de beau
Le Portugais des Indes nous apporte;

Aussi deslors que l'homme qui medite,
Et est sçavant, commence de s'ouvrir,
Un grand thresor vient à se descouvrir,
Thresor cachè au puits de Democrite.


Cum enim infelicius nihil sit iis ingeniis, ut rectè J. Cæs. Scaliger censet, quæ mordicùs sentiunt Majores nostros nihil ignorasse, mancipium alienarum opinionum nunquam esse volui. Contra nec me puduit ab aliis discere, et quædam ex iis in mea scripta transferre; quod omnibus seculis ab omnibus viris doctis factitatum video, neminemque adhuc inventum existimo, qui omnia, quæ in publicum edidit, in suo cerebro nata esse gloriari potuerit. Invenient tamen, qui volent, in meis aliqua, eaque à veritate non aliena, quæ in aliorum scriptis forsan non ita sunt obvia. Verùm omnibus placere impossibile; et, ut J. Cæs. Scaliger ait

Qui sevit, ab alto pluviam satis precatur;
At iter faciens imbribus imprecatur atris,
Non sæpe Deus placet; et tu placere credis?

Ideoque invidorum obtrectationibus nihil motus, tomum sextum Doctoris in publicum edidi, ac septimum jam in manus sumam, et in eo quousque D. O. M. placuerit, progredior. In quo ipso etiam etsi non pauca quæ obtrectationi malevolorum et invidorum obnoxia esse poterunt, dicenda erunt, proferam tamen ea liberè.


Tired of thee, my Opus? that is impossible!

οὐδὲ μεστὸς σοῦ γέγον᾽ οὐδεὶς πώποτε.
τῶν μὲν γὰρ ἄλλων ἐστὶ πάντων πλησμόνή·
σοῦ δ᾽ ἐγένετ᾽ οὐδεὶς μεστὸς οὐδεπώποτε.


I desire the unlearned readers not to be offended for that I have in some places intermixed Greek and Latin—(and other tongues) with the English. For, I have an especial regard unto young scholars and students, unto whom it is not possible to be expressed what great utility, benefit and knowledge doth redound, of conferring one strange language with another. Neither is it to be doubted, but that such as are towards the discipline of good literature in divers tongues, may of such doings as this, pick out as much utility and furtherance of their studies, as the unlearned shall take pleasure and fruit of the English for their use. Whoso careth not for the Latin may pass it over, and satisfy himself with the English. Who passeth not on the Greek, may semblably pass it over, and make as though he see none such. There is in this behalf no man's labour lost but mine, and yet not that all lost neither, if my good zeal and honest intent to do good to all sorts, be in good part interpreted and accepted.


Truly for the Englishman to be offended with the admixtion of Latin, or the Latin-man to dislike the powdering of Greek, appeareth unto me a much like thing, as if at a feast with variety of good meats and drinks furnished, one that loveth to feed of a capon should take displeasure that another man hath appetite to a coney; or one that serveth his stomach with a partridge should be angry with another that hath a mind to a quail; or one that drinketh small beer, should be grieved with his next fellow for drinking ale or wine.


If food and amusem*nt are wanted for the body, what does he deserve who finds food and amusem*nt for the mind?


Mai voi,—seguitate il ragionamento del Dottore; et mostrateci, come havete bona memoria; che credo se saperete ritaccarlo ove lo lasciaste, non farete poco.


If any complain of obscurity, they must consider, that in these matters it cometh no otherwise to pass than in sundry the works both of art and also of nature, where that which hath greatest force in the very things we see, is, notwithstanding, itself oftentimes not seen. The stateliness of horses, the goodliness of trees, when we behold them delighteth the eye; but that foundation which beareth up the one, that root which ministreth unto the other nourishment and life, is in the bosom of the earth concealed; and if there be at any time occasion to search into it, such labour is then more necessary than pleasant, both to them which undertake it, and for the lookers on.


Alcuni—dicono ch'io ho creduto formar me stesso, persuadendomi che le conditioni ch'io al Dottore attribuisco, tutte siano in me. A' questi tali non voglio già negar di non haver tentato tutto quello, ch'io vorrei che sapesse il Dottore; et penso che chi non havesse havuto qualche notitia delle cose che nel libro si trattano, per erudito che fosse stato, male haverebbe potuto scriverle: ma io non son tanto privo di giudicio in conoscere me stesso, che mi presuma saper tutto quello, che so desiderare.


In a building,—if it be large, there is much to be done in preparing and laying the foundation, before the walls appear above ground; much is doing within, when the work does not seem, perhaps, to advance without, and when it is considerably forward, yet being encumbered with scaffolds and rubbish, a byestander sees it at great disadvantage, and can form but an imperfect judgement of it. But all this while the architect himself, even from the laying of the first stone, conceives of it according to the plan and design he has formed; he prepares and adjusts the materials, disposing each in its proper time and place, and views it in idea as already finished. In due season it is compleated, but not in a day. The top-stone is fixed, and then, the scaffolds and rubbish being removed, it appears to others as he intended it should be.


Non si dea adunque l'uomo contentare di fare le cose buone, ma dee studiare di farle anco leggiadre. E non è altro leggiadria, che una cotale quasi luce, che risplende dalla convenevolezza delle cose, che sono ben composte, e ben divisate l'una con l'altra, e tutte insieme; senza la quel misura eziandio il bene non è bello, e la bellezza non è piacevole.


Pick out of mirth, like stones out of thy ground
Profaneness, filthiness, abusiveness;
These are the scum with which coarse wits abound;
The few may spare them well.

The wise,—weighs each thing as it ought,
Mistakes no term, nor sentence wrests awry;
The fond will read awhile, but cares for nought,
Yet casts on each man's work a frowning eye.
This neither treats of matters low nor high,
But finds a meane, that each good meaning might
In all true means take Charity aright.

While others fish with craft for great opinion,
I with great truth catch mere simplicity.
Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns,
With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.
Fear not my truth; the moral of my wit
Is—plain and true;—there's all the reach of it.

τούτων οὖν οὓνεκα παντων,
ὅτι σοφρονικῶς, κοὐκ ἀνοήτως ἐσπήδησας ἐφλυάρει,
αἴρεσθ᾽ αὐτῷ πολὺ τὸ ῥόθιον, παραπέμψατ᾽ ἐφ᾽ ἓνδεκα κώπαις
θόρυβον χρηστὸν ληναΐτην,
ἳν᾽ ὁ ποιητὴς ἀπίῃ χαίρων,
κατὰ νοῦν πράξας,
φαιδρὸς λάμποντι μετώπῳ.


Io vorrei, Monsignor, solo tant' arte
Ch'io potessi, per longo e per traverso,
Dipingervi il mio cor in queste carte.


Nous nous aimons un peu, c'est notre faible à tous;
Le prix que nous valons qui le sçait mieux que nous?
Et puis la mode en est, et la cour l'autorise
Nous parlons de nous mêmes avec tout franchise.


Mes paroles sont un peu de dure digestion pour la foiblesse des estomacs d' à present. Mais si on les remâche bien, on en tirera beaucoup de substance.


Supersunt etiam plurima quæ dici possint in hanc materiam, quibus pro vitando fastidio, supersedendum puto; ut si quis eadem conari velit, habiat etiamnum aliquid in quo exerceat industriam.


I wish thee as much pleasure in the reading, as I had in the writing.



Perseveremus, peractis quæ rem continebant, scrutari etiam ea quæ, si vis verum connexa sunt, non cohærentia; quæ quisquis diligenter inspicit, nec facit operæ prætium, nec tamen perdit operam.




As I have gained no small satisfaction to myself,—so I am desirous that nothing that occurs here may occasion the least dissatisfaction to others. And I think it will be impossible any thing should, if they will be but pleased to take notice of my design.


Parolles. Go to, thou art a witty fool, I have found thee.
Clown. Did you find me in yourself, Sir? or were you taught to find me? The search, Sir, was profitable; and much fool may you find in you, even to the world's pleasure and the increase of laughter.


Perhaps when the Reader considers the copiousness of the argument, he will rather blame me for being too brief than too tedious.



Mirths and toys
To cozen time withal: for o' my troth, Sir
I can love,—I think well too,—well enough;
And think as well of women as they are,—
Pretty fantastic things, some more regardful,
And some few worth a service. I'm so honest
I wish 'em all in Heaven and you know how hard, Sir,
'Twill be to get in there with their great farthingals.

And not much easier now with their great sleeves.
AUTHOR, A.D. 1830.

Sing of the nature of women; and then the song shall be surely full of variety, old crotchets, and most sweet closes: it shall be humourous, grave, fantastic, amorous, melancholy, sprightly, one in all and all in one.




If there sit twelve women at the table, let a dozen of them be—as they are.



If thy name were known that writest in this sort,
By womankind, unnaturally, giving evil report,
Whom all men ought, both young and old, defend with all their might,
Considering what they do deserve of every living wight,
I wish thou should exiled be from women more and less,
And not without just cause thou must thyself confess.


O voi ch' avete gl' intelletti sani,
Mirate la dottrina, che s' asconde
Sotto 'l velame degli versi strani.


There are distinct degrees of Being as there are degrees of Sound; and the whole world is but as it were a greater Gamut, or scale of music.




Plusieurs blameront l'entassem*nt de passages que l'on vient de voir; j'ai prévu leurs dédains, leurs dégoûts, et leurs censures magistrales; et n'ai pas voulu y avoir égard.


S'il y a des lecteurs qui se soucient peu de cela, on les prie de se souvenir qu'un auteur n'est pas obligé à ne rien dire que ce qui est de leur goût.




Voilà bien des mysteres, dira-t-on; j'en conviens; aussi le sujet le mérite-t-il bien. Au reste, il est certain que ces mysteres ne cachent rien de mauvais.



And so I came to Fancy's meadows, strow'd
With many a flower;
Fain would I here have made abode,
But I was quickened by my hour.

In amplissimá causâ, quasi magno mari, pluribus ventis sumus vecti.




We will not be too peremptory herein: and build standing structures of bold assertions on so uncertain a foundation; rather with the Rechabites we will live in tents of conjecture, which on better reason we may easily alter and remove.



ALEX. Quel es D. Diego aquel Arbol,
que tiene la copa en tierra
y las raizes arriba?

DIEG. El hombre.



A nueva diligencia y paso largo,
Que es breve el tiempo, 's grande la memoria
Que para darla al mundo está á mi cargo.



Un cerchio immaginato ci bisogna,
A voler ben la spera contemplare;
Cosi chi intender questa storia agogna
Conviensi altro per altro immaginare;
Perchè qui non si canta, e finge, e sogna;
Venuto è il tempo da filosofare.



Siccome suomo di verace lingua;
E porgimi l'orecchio.




Non vi par adunque che habbiamo ragionato a bastanza di questo?—A bastanza parmi, rispose il Signor Gaspar; par desidero io d'intendere qualche particolarita anchor.




Anchor dir si potrebber cose assai
Che la materia è tanto piena et folta,
Che non se ne verrebbe à capo mai,
Dunque fia buono ch'io suoni à raccolta.



Begin betimes, occasion's bald behind,
Stop not thine opportunity, for fear too late
Thou seek'st for much, but canst not compass it.

Πρᾶγμα, πρᾶγμα μέγα κεκίνηται, μέγα.



Tal nombre, que a los siglos extendido,
Se olvide de olvidarsele al Olvido.



Tutte le cose son rose et viole
Ch' io dico ò ch' io dirò de la virtute.




A Taylor who has no objection to wear motley, may make himself a great coat with half a yard of his own stuff, by eking it out with cabbage from every piece that comes in his way.



Jam paululum digressus a spectantibus,
Doctis loquar, qui non adeo spectare quam
Audire gestiunt, logosque ponderant,
Examinant, dijudicantque pro suo
Candore vel livore; non latum tamen
Culmum (quod aiunt) dum loquar sapientibus
Loco movebor.



MONTENEGRO. How now, are thy arrows feathered?

VELASCO.Well enough for roving.

MONTENEGRO. Shoot home then.

I know that nothing can be so innocently writ, or carried, but may be made obnoxious to construction; marry, whilst I bear mine innocence about me, I fear it not.



Where my pen hath offended,
I pray you it may be amended
By discrete consideration
Of your wise reformation:
I have not offended, I trust,
If it be sadly discust.

I think it not impertinent sometimes to relate such accidents as may seem no better than mere trifles; for even by trifles are the qualities of great persons as well disclosed as by their great actions; because in matters of importance they commonly strain themselves to the observance of general commended rules; in lesser things they follow the current of their own natures.



Prophecies, predictions,Or where they abide,
Stories and fictions,On this or that side,
Allegories, rhymes,Or under the mid line
And serious pastimesOf the Holland sheets fine,
For all manner men,Or in the tropics fair
Without regard when,Of sunshine and clear air,
Or under the pole
Of chimney and sea coal:
Read they that list; understand they that can;
Verbum satis est to a wise man.



It behoves the high
For their own sakes to do things worthily.

Ita nati estis, ut bona malaque vestra ad Rempublicam pertineant.


Je sçay qu'il y a plusieurs qui diront que je fais beaucoup de petit* fats contes, dont je m'en passerois bien. Ouy, bien pour aucuns,—mais non pour moy, me contentant de m'en renouveller le souvenance, et en tirer autant de plaisir.



Πόνος πόνῳ πόνον φέρει
Πᾶ πᾶ γὰρ οὐκ ἔβαν ἐγώ.



Go to!
You are a subtile nation, you physicians,
And grown the only cabinets in court!

A slight answer to an intricate and useless question is a fit cover to such a dish; a cabbage leaf is good enough to cover a pot of mushrooms.



Intendale chi può; che non è stretto
Alcuno a creder pïu di quel che vuole.


Toutes veritez ne sont pas bonnes à dire serieusem*nt.



Is't you, Sir, that know things?

SOOTH. In nature's infinite book of secresy,
A little I can read.

I will to satisfy and please myself, make an Utopia of mine own, a new Atlantis, a poetical commonwealth of mine own, in which I will freely domineer, build cities, make laws, statutes, as I list myself. And why may I not?



Io non ci ho interresso
Nessun, nè vi fui mai, ne manco chieggo
Per quel ch'io ne vò dir, d'esservi messo.
Vò dir, che senza passion eleggo,
E non forzato, e senza pigliar parte;
Di dirne tutto quel, ch'intendo e veggo.




You need not fear a surfeit, here is but little, and that light of digestion.



Ἀλλὰ σὺ ταῦτα μαθὼν, βιότου ποτί τέρμα
ψυχῇ τῶν ἀγαθῶν τλῆθι χαριζόμενος.



Now will ye list a little space,
And I shall send you to solace;
You to solace and be blyth,
Hearken! ye shall hear belyve
A tale that is of verity.


Yet have I more to say which I have thought upon, for I am filled as the moon at the full!





J'ay fait le précédent Chapitre un peu court; peut-être que celui-ce sera plus long; je n'en suis pourtant pas bien assuré, nous l'allons voir.


Io udii già dire ad un valente uomo nostro vicino, gli uomini abbiano molte volte bisogno sì di lagrimare, come di ridere; e per tal cagione egli affermava essere state da principio trovate le dolorose favole, che si chiamarono Tragedie, accioche raccontate ne' teatri, come in qual tempo si costumava di fare, tirassero le lagrime agli occhi di coloro, che avevano di ciò mestiere; e cosi eglino piangendo della loro infirmita guarissero. Ma come ciò sia a noi non istà bene di contristare gli animi delle persone con cui favelliamo; massimamente colà dove si dimori per aver festa e sollazzo, e non per piagnere; che se pure alcuno è, che infermi per vaghezza di lagrimare, assai leggier cosa fia di medicarlo con la mostarda forte, o porlo in alcun luogo al fumo.








More than prince of cats, I can tell you.




Ὁ μὲν διάβολος ἐνέπνενσέ τισι παρανόμοις ἀνθρώποις, καὶ εἰς τοὺς τῶν βασιλέων ὕβρισαν ἀνδριάντας.







Perseveremus, peractis quæ rem continebant, scrutari etiam ea quæ, si vis verum connexa sunt, non cohærentia; quæ quisquis diligenter inspicit, nec facit operæ prætium, nec tamen perdit operam.


For what use were our tongues given us? To speak with, to be sure, will be the immediate reply of many a reader. But Master, Mistress, Miss or Master Speaker (whichever you may happen to be), I beg leave to observe that this is only one of the uses for which that member was formed, and that for this alone it has deserved to be called an unruly member, it is not its primary, nor by any means its most important use. For what use was it given to thy labourer the ox, thy servant the horse, thy friend,—if thou deservest to have such a friend,—the dog,—thy playfellow the kitten,—and thy cousin the monkey?1

1 Simia quam similis, turpissima bestia notis.

In another place I shall answer my own question, which was asked in this place, because it is for my present purpose to make it appear that the tongue although a very convenient instrument of speech, is not necessary for it.

It is related in Gibbon's great history, a work which can never be too highly praised for its ability, nor too severely condemned for the false philosophy which pervades it, that the Catholics, inhabitants of Tipasa, a maritime colony of Mauritania, were by command of the Arian King, Hunneric, Genseric's detestable son and successor, assembled on the forum, and there deprived of their right hands and their tongues. “But the holy confessors,” he proceeds to say, “continued to speak without tongues; and this miracle is attested by Victor, an African bishop, who published an history of the persecution within two years after the event. ‘If any one,’ says Victor, ‘should doubt of the truth, let him repair to Constantinople, and listen to the clear and perfect language of Restitutus, the subdeacon, one of these glorious sufferers, who is now lodged in the palace of the Emperor Zeno, and is respected by the devout Empress.’ At Constantinople we are astonished to find a cool, a learned, an unexceptionable witness, without interest and without passion. Æneas of Gaza, a Platonic philosopher, has accurately described his own observations on these African sufferers. ‘I saw them myself: I heard them speak: I diligently enquired by what means such an articulate voice could be formed without any organ of speech: I used my eyes to examine the report of my ears: I opened their mouth, and saw that the whole tongue had been completely torn away by the roots; an operation which the physicians generally suppose to be mortal.’ The testimony of Æneas of Gaza might be confirmed by the superfluous evidence of the Emperor Justinian, in a perpetual edict; of Count Marcellinus in his Chronicles of the times; and of Pope Gregory the first, who had resided at Constantinople as the minister of the Roman Pontiff. They all lived within the compass of a century, and they all appeal to their personal knowledge, or the public notoriety, for the truth of a miracle, which was repeated in several instances, displayed on the greatest theatre of the world, and submitted during a series of years, to the calm examination of the senses.” He adds in a note that “the miracle is enhanced by the singular instance of a boy who had never spoken before his tongue was cut out.”

Now comes the unbelieving historian's comment. He says, “this supernatural gift of the African confessors, who spoke without tongues, will command the assent of those, and of those only, who already believe, that their language was pure and orthodox. But the stubborn mind of an infidel is guarded by secret, incurable suspicion; and the Arian, or Socinian, who has seriously rejected the doctrines of the Trinity, will not be shaken by the most plausible evidence of an Athanasian miracle.”

Well has the sceptical historian applied the epithet stubborn to a mind affected with the same disease as his own,

Oh dear unbelief
How wealthy dost thou make thy owner's wit!
Thou train of knowledge, what a privilege
Thou givest to thy possessor! anchorest him
From floating with the tide of vulgar faith
From being damn'd with multitudes!2


Gibbon would not believe the story because it had been adduced as a miracle in confirmation of the Catholic doctrine as opposed to the Arian heresy. He might probably have questioned the relation between the alleged miracle and the doctrine: and if he had argued that it is not consistent with the plan of revelation (so far as we may presume to reason upon it) for a miracle to be wrought in proof of a doctrinal point, a Christian who believes sincerely in that very doctrine might agree with him.

But the circ*mstances are attested, as he fairly admits, by the most ample and unexceptionable testimony; and like the Platonic philosopher whose evidence he quotes, he ought to have considered the matter of fact, without regard to the application which the Catholics, in perfect good faith, made of it. The story is true, but it is not miraculous.

Cases which demonstrate the latter part of this question were known to physiologists before a book was published at Paris in the year 1765, the title of which I find in Mr. D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, thus translated; “The Christian Religion proved by a single fact; or a Dissertation in which is shown that those Catholics whose tongues Hunneric King of the Vandals cut out, spoke miraculously all the remainder of their days: from whence is deduced the consequence of the miracle against the Arians, the Socinians and the Deists, and particularly against the author of Emilius, by solving their difficulties.” It bears this motto Ecce Ego admirationem facio populo huic, miraculo grandi et stupendo. And Mr. D'Israeli closes his notice of the Book by saying “there needs no farther account of it than the title.” That gentleman who has contributed so much to the instruction and entertainment of his contemporaries, will I am sure be pleased at perusing the facts in disproof of the alleged miracle, brought together here by one who as a Christian believes in miracles and that they have not ceased, and that they never will cease.

In the Philosophical Transactions, and in the Gentleman's Magazine is an account of a woman, Margaret Cutting by name, who about the middle of the last century was living at Wickham Market in Suffolk. When she was four years of age “a cancer ate off her tongue at the root, yet she never lost the power of speech, and could both read distinctly afterwards and sing.” Her speech was very intelligible, but it was a little through the nose owing to the want of the uvula; and her voice was low. In this case a new tongue had been formed, about an inch and half in length and half an inch broad; but this did not grow till some years after the cure.

Upon the publication of this case it was observed that some few instances of a like nature had been recorded; and one in particular by Tulpius of a man whom he had himself examined, who having had his tongue cut out by the Turks, could after three years speak distinctly. One of the persons who published an account of this woman saw several men upon whom the same act of cruelty had been committed by these barbarians or by the Algerines: “one of them,” says he, “aged thirty-three, wrote a good hand, and by that means answered my questions. He informed me that he could not pronounce a syllable, nor make any articulate sound; though he had often observed that those who suffered that treatment when they were very young, were some years after able to speak; and that their tongues might be observed to grow in proportion to the other parts of the body: but that if they were adults, or full grown persons, at the time of the operation, they were never able to utter a syllable. The truth of this observation was confirmed to me by the two following cases. Patrick Strainer and his son-in-law came to Harwich, in their way to Holland, the third of this month. I made it my business to see and examine them. The father told me he had his tongue cut out by the Algerines, when he was seven years of age: and that some time after he was able to pronounce many syllables, and can now speak most words tolerably well; his tongue, he said, was grown at least half an inch. The son-in-law, who is about thirty years of age, was taken by the Turks, who cut out his tongue; he cannot pronounce a syllable; nor is his tongue grown at all since the operation; which was more than five years ago.”

Sir John Malcolm in one of his visits to Persia, became acquainted with Zâl Khan of Khist, who “was long distinguished as one of the bravest and most attached followers of the Zend family. When the death of Lootf Ali Khan terminated its powers, he along with the other governors of provinces and districts in Furs, submitted to Aza Mahomed Khan. That cautious and cruel monarch, dreading the ability, and doubtful of the allegiance of this chief, ordered his eyes to be put out. An appeal for the recall of the sentence being treated with disdain, Zâl Khan loaded the tyrant with curses. ‘Cut out his tongue,’ was the second order. The mandate was imperfectly executed, and the loss of half this member deprived him of speech. Being afterwards persuaded that its being cut close to the root would enable him to speak so as to be understood, he submitted to the operation; and the effect has been, that his voice, though indistinct and thick, is yet intelligible to persons accustomed to converse with him. This I experienced from daily intercourse. He often spoke to me of his sufferings and of the humanity of the present King, who had restored him to his situation as head of his tribe, and governor of Khist.—I am not an anatomist,” Sir John adds, “and cannot therefore give a reason why a man, who could not articulate with half a tongue, should speak when he had none at all. But the facts are as stated; and I had them from the very best authority, old Zâl Khan himself.”3

3 This account of Zâl Khan, (Mrs. Southey writes me word) was farther confirmed by the testimony of Mr. Bruce, her relative, who knew him and had looked into the tongue-less mouth. Mr. Bruce was well acquainted with another person who had undergone the same cruel punishment. Being a wealthy man, he bribed the executioner to spare a considerable portion of the tongue; but finding that he could not articulate a word with the imperfect member, he had it entirely extracted—root and all, and then spoke almost as intelligibly as before his punishment.
This person was well known at Calcutta, as well as at Bushire and Shiraz—where Mr. Bruce first became acquainted with him. He was a man of some consequence and received as such in the first circles at Calcutta, and it was in one of those—a dinner party—that on the question being warmly argued—as to the possibility of articulation after the extraction of the tongue, he opened his mouth and desired the company assembled to look into it, and so set their doubts on the matter for ever at rest.

A case occurred in the household of that Dr. Mark Duncan whom our James I. would have engaged as his Physician in ordinary, but Duncan having married at Saumur and settled in that city declined the invitation, because his wife was unwilling to leave her friends and relations and her native place. Yielding therefore as became him to her natural and reasonable reluctance he passed the remainder of his useful and honourable life at Saumur. It is noticed as a remarkable circ*mstance that the five persons of whom his family consisted died and were interred in as many different kingdoms, one in France, another at Naples, a third at Stockholm, a fourth in London, and the fifth in Ireland. A son of Duncan's valet, in his thirteenth year lost his tongue by the effects of the small-pox, the root being so consumed by this dreadful disease, that in a fit of coughing it came away. The boy's speech was no otherwise affected by the loss than that he found it difficult to pronounce the letter r. He was exhibited throughout Europe, and lived long afterwards. A surgeon at Saumur composed a treatise upon the case, and Duncan who was then Principal of the College in that city supplied him with this title for it Aglossostomographie. A rival physician published a dissertation to prove that it ought to be Aglossostomatographie, and he placed these verses at the conclusion of this odd treatise.

Lecteur, tu t'esmerveilleras
Qu'un garçon qui n'a point de langue,
Prononce bien une harangue;
Mais bien plus tu t'estonneras
Qu'un barbier que ne sçait pas lire
Le grec, se mesle d'en escrire.
Que si ce plaisant épigramme,
Doux fruit d'un penser de mon âme
Te semble n'aller pas tant mal,
C'est que je l'ai fait à cheval.

Quelques gens malins changerent le dernier vers dans les exemplaires qu'ils purent trouver, et y mirent—C'est que je l'ai fait en cheval.

The reader who thinks upon what he reads, will find some materials for thinking on, in what has here been collected for him. First as to the physical facts:—they show that the power of reproduction exists in the human body, in a greater degree than has been commonly supposed. But it is probable that this power would be found only in young subjects, or in adults whose constitutions were unusually healthful and vigorous. A very small proportion of the snails which have been decapitated by experimental physiologists, have reproduced their heads; though the fact of such reproduction is certainly established.

Rhazes records two cases which had fallen under his own observation; in one of which the tibia, in the other the underjaw had been reproduced; neither acquired the consistency of the other bones. The Doctor used to adduce these cases in support of a favourite theory of his own, with which the reader will in due time be made acquainted.

Secondly, there is a moral inference to be drawn from the effect which the story produced upon Gibbon. He could not invalidate, or dispute the testimony upon which it came before him; but he chose to disbelieve it. For he was ignorant that the facts might be physically true, and he would not on any evidence give credit to what appeared miraculous. A stubborn mind conduces as little to wisdom, or even to knowledge, as a stubborn temper to happiness.



As I have gained no small satisfaction to myself,—so I am desirous that nothing that occurs here may occasion the least dissatisfaction to others. And I think it will be impossible any thing should, if they will be but pleased to take notice of my design.


If the laws of our great Alfred, whose memory is held in such veneration by all who are well acquainted with his history, and his extraordinary virtues, and whose name has been so often taken in vain by speculative reformers who were ignorant of the one, and incapable of estimating the other;—if the laws of Alfred, I say, had continued in use, everything relating to the reproduction of human tongues would long before this time have been thoroughly understood; for by those laws any one who broached a public falsehood, and persisted in it, was to have his tongue cut out; and this punishment might not be commuted for any smaller fine than that at which the life of the criminal would have been rated.

The words of the law are these:


Si quis publicum mendacium confingat, et ille in eo firmetur, nullâ levi re hoc emendet, sed lingua ei excidatur; nec minori precio redimi liceat, quam juxta capitis æstimationem censebatur.

What a wholesome effect might such a law have produced upon orators at public meetings, upon the periodical press, and upon the debates in Parliament.

“I am charmed,” says Lady M. W. Montague, “with many points of the Turkish law, to our shame be it spoken, better designed and better executed than ours; particularly the punishment of convicted liars (triumphant criminals in our country, God knows!): they are burnt in the forehead with a hot iron, when they are proved the authors of any notorious falsehoods. How many white foreheads should we see disfigured, how many fine gentlemen would be forced to wear their wigs as low as their eyebrows, were this law in practice with us!”

But who can expect that human laws should correct that propensity in the wicked tongue! They who have “the poison of asps under their lips,” and “which have said with our tongues will we prevail; we are they that ought to speak: who is lord over us?”—they who “love to speak all words that may do hurt, and who cut with lies like a sharp razor”—what would they care for enactments which they would think either to evade by their subtlety, or to defy in the confidence of their numbers and their strength? Is it to be expected that those men should regard the laws of their country, who set at nought the denunciations of scripture, and will not “keep their tongues from evil, and their lips that they speak no guile,” though they have been told that it is “he who hath used no deceit in his tongue and hath not slandered his neighbour, who shall dwell in the tabernacle of the Lord, and rest upon his holy hill!”

Leave we them to their reward, which is as certain as that men shall be judged according to their deeds. Our business is with the follies of the unruly member, not with its sins: with loquacious speakers and verbose writers, those whose “tongues are gentlemen-ushers to their wit, and still go before it,”1 who never having studied the exponibilia, practice the art of battology by intuition; and in a discourse which might make the woeful hearer begin to fear that he had entered unawares upon eternity, bring forth, “as a man would say in a word of two syllables, nothing.”1 The West Britons had in their own Cornish language this good proverbial rhyme, (the—graphy whereof, be it ortho or not is Mr. Polwhele's),

An lavor goth ewe lavar gwir,
Ne vedn nevera doaz vas a tavaz re hir.

The old saying is a true saying,
Never will come good from a tongue too long.

Oh it is a grievous thing to listen, or seem to listen, as one is constrained to do, sometimes by the courtesy of society, and sometimes by “the law of sermon,” to an unmerciful manufacturer of speech, who before he ever arrives at the empty matter of his discourse,

no puede—dexar—de decir
quatro, o cinco mil palabras!


Vossius mentions three authors, who, to use Bayle's language,—for in Bayle the extract is found, enfermaient de grands riens dans une grande multitude de paroles. Anaximenes the orator was one; when he was about to speak, Theocritus of Chios said, “here begins a river of words and a drop of sense,”—Ἄρχεται λέξεων μὲν ποταμὸς, νοῦ δὲ σταλαγμός. Longolius, an orator of the lower Empire was the second. The third was Faustus Andrelinus, Professor of Poetry at Paris, and Poeta Laureatus: of him Erasmus dicitur dixisse,—is said to have said, that there was but one thing wanting in all his poems and that thing was comprised in one word of one syllable, Νοῦς.

It were better to be remembered as Bayle has remembered Petrus Carmilianus, because of the profound obscurity in which this pitiful poet was buried, than thus to be thought worthy of remembrance only for having produced a great deal that deserved to be forgotten. There is, or was, an officer of the Exchequer called Clericus Nihilorum, or Clerk of the Nihils. If there were a High Court of Literature with such an officer on its establishment, it would be no sinecure office for him in these, or in any days, to register the names of those authors who have written to no purpose, and the titles of those books from which nothing is to be learnt.

On ne vid jamais, says the Sieur de Brocourt, homme qui ne die plustost trop, que moins qu'il ne doit; et jamais parole proferée ne servit tant, comme plusieurs teuës ont profite; car tousjours pouvons-nous bien dire ce qu'avons teu, et non pas taire ce qu'avons publié. The latter part of this remark is true; the former is far too general. For more harm is done in public life by the reticence of well informed men, than by the loquacity of sciolists; more by the timidity and caution of those who desire at heart the good of their country, than by the audacity of those who labour to overthrow its constitutions. It was said in the days of old, that “a man full of words shall not prosper upon the earth.” Mais nous avons changé tout cela.

Even in literature a leafy style, if there be any fruit under the foliage, is preferable to a knotty one, however fine the grain. Whipt cream is a good thing; and better still when it covers and adorns that amiable combination of sweetmeats and ratafia cakes soaked in wine, to which Cowper likened his delightful poem, when he thus described the “Task.” “It is a medley of many things, some that may be useful, and some that, for aught I know, may be very diverting. I am merry that I may decoy people into my company, and grave that they may be the better for it. Now and then I put on the garb of a philosopher, and take the opportunity that disguise procures me, to drop a word in favour of religion. In short there is some froth, and here and there a bit of sweetmeat, which seems to entitle it justly to the name of a certain dish the ladies call a Trifle.” But in Task or Trifle unless the ingredients were good, the whole were nought. They who should present to their deceived guests whipt white of egg, would deserve to be whipt themselves.

If there be any one who begins to suspect that in tasking myself, and trifling with my reader, my intent is not unlike Cowper's, he will allow me to say to him, “by your leave Master Critic, you must give me license to flourish my phrases, to embellish my lines, to adorn my oratory, to embroider my speeches, to interlace my words, to draw out my sayings, and to bombard the whole suit of the business for the time of your wearing.”3

3 TAYLOR, the Water Poet.


Parolles. Go to, thou art a witty fool, I have found thee.
Clown. Did you find me in yourself, Sir? or were you taught to find me? The search, Sir, was profitable; and much fool may you find in you, even to the world's pleasure and the increase of laughter.


“Whether this author means to make his Doctor more fool or philosopher, is more than I can discover,” says a grave reader, who lays down the open book, and knits his brow while he considers the question.

Make him, good Reader! I, make him!—make “the noblest work of”——But as the Spaniards say, el creer es cortesia, and it is at your pleasure either to believe the veracity of these biographical sketches, or to regard them as altogether fictitious. It is at your pleasure, I say; not at your peril: but take heed how you exercise that pleasure in cases which are perilous! The worst that can happen to you for disbelief in this matter is, that I shall give you little credit for courtesy, and less for discrimination; and in Doncaster you will be laughed to scorn. You might as well proclaim at Coventry your disbelief in the history of Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom; or tell the Swiss that their tale of shooting the apple on the child's head was an old story before William Tell was born.

But perhaps you did not mean to express any such groundless incredulity, your doubt may be whether I represent or consider my friend as having in his character a larger portion of folly or of philosophy?

This you might determine, Reader, for yourself, if I could succeed in delineating him to the life,—the inner I mean, not the outward man,

Et en peu de papier, comme sur un tableau,
Vous pourtraire au naïf tout son bon, et son beau.

He was the soul of goodness,
And all our praises of him are like streams
Drawn from a spring, that still rise full, and leave
The part remaining greatest.

But the duch*ess of Newcastle hath decided in her philosophy that it is not possible for any one person thoroughly to understand the character of another. In her own words, “if the Mind was not joined and mixed with the sensitive and inanimate parts, and had not interior as well as exterior parts, the whole Mind of one man might perceive the whole Mind of another man; but that being not possible—one whole Mind cannot perceive another whole Mind.” By which observation we may perceive there are no Platonic Lovers in Nature. An odd conclusion of her Grace's, and from odd premises. But she was an odd personage.


So far however the beautiful and fanciful as well as fantastic duch*ess is right, that the more congenial the disposition of two persons who stand upon the same intellectual level, the better they understand each other. The lower any one is sunk in animal life the less is he capable of apprehending the motives and views of those who have cultivated the better part of their nature.

If I am so unfortunate as to fail in producing the moral likeness which I am endeavouring to pourtray, it will not be owing to any want of sympathy with the subject in some of the most marked features of his character.

It is a maxim of Bayle's qu'il n'y a point de grand esprit dans le caractère du quel il n'entre un peu de folie. And he named Diogenes as one proof of this. Think indeed somewhat more than a little upon the words folly and philosophy, and if you can see any way into a mist, or a stone wall, you will perceive that the same radicals are found in both.

This sort of mixt character was never more whimsically described than by Andrew Erskine in one of his letters to Boswell, in which he tells him, “since I saw you I received a letter from Mr. D——; it is filled with encomiums upon you; he says there is a great deal of humility in your vanity, a great deal of tallness in your shortness, and a great deal of whiteness in your black complexion. He says there's a great deal of poetry in your prose, and a great deal of prose in your poetry. He says that as to your late publication, there is a great deal of Ode in your Dedication, and a great deal of Dedication in your Ode. He says there is a great deal of coat in your waistcoat, and a great deal of waistcoat in your coat, that there is a great deal of liveliness in your stupidity, and a great deal of stupidity in your liveliness. But to write you all he says would require rather more fire in my grate than there is at present, and my fingers would undoubtedly be numbed, for there is a great deal of snow in this frost, and a great deal of frost in this snow.”

The Marquis de Custine in a book which in all its parts, wise or foolish, strikingly characterises its author, describes himself thus: J'ai un mélange de gravitê et de légèreté qui m' empêchera de devenir autre chose qu'un vieil enfant bien triste. Si je suis destiné à éprouver de grands malheurs, j'aurai l'occasion de remercier Dieu de m' avoir fait naitre avec cette disposition à la fois sérieuse et frivole: le sérieux m' aidera à me passer du monde—l'enfantillage à supporter le douleur. C'est à quoi il réussit meux que la raison.

Un peu de folie, there certainly was in the grand esprit of my dear master and more than un peu there is in his faithful pupil. But I shall not enter into a discussion whether the gravity of which the Marquis speaks preponderated in his character, or whether it was more than counterpoised by the levity. Enough of the latter, thank Heaven enters into my own composition not only to preserve me from becoming un vieil enfant bien triste, but to entitle me in all innocent acceptance of the phrase to the appellation of a merry old boy, that is to say, merry at becoming times, there being a time for all things. I shall not enter into the discussion as it concerns my guide, philosopher and friend, because it would be altogether unnecessary; he carried ballast enough, whatever I may do. The elements were so happily mixed in him that though Nature did not stand up and say to all the world “this is a man,” because such a miracle could neither be in the order of Nature or of Providence;—I have thought it my duty to sit down and say to the public this was a Doctor.

There is another reason why I shall refrain from any such enquiry; and that reason may be aptly given in the words of a right-hearted old divine, with whom certain congenialities would lead my friend to become acquainted in that world, where I also hope in due season to meet and converse with him.

“People,” says Adam Littleton, “are generally too forward in examining others, and are so taken up with impertinence and things that do not concern them, that they have no time to be acquainted with themselves; like idle travellers, that can tell you a world of stories concerning foreign countries, and are very strangers at home. Study of ourselves is the most useful knowledge, as that without which we can know neither God nor any thing else aright, as we should know them.

“And it highly concerns us to know ourselves well; nor will our ignorance be pardonable, but prove an everlasting reproach, in that we and ourselves are to be inseparable companions in bliss or torment to all eternity: and if we, through neglect of ourselves here, do not in time provide for that eternity, so as to secure for ourselves future happiness, God will at last make us know ourselves, when it will be too late to make any good use of that knowledge, but a remediless repentance that we and ourselves ever met in company; when poor ruined self shall curse negligent sinful self to all ages, and wish direful imprecations upon that day and hour that first joined them together.

“Again, God has given man that advantage above all other creatures, that he can with reflex acts look back and pass judgement upon himself. But seeing examination here supposes two persons, the one to examine, the other to be examined, and yet seems to name but one, a man to examine himself; unless a man and himself be two, and thus every one of us have two selfs in him; let us first examine who 'tis here is to execute the office of examinant, and then who 'tis that is to be the party examined.

“Does the whole man in this action go over himself by parts? Or does the regenerate part call the unregenerate part to account? Or if there be a divided self in every man, does one self examine the other self, as to wit, the spiritual self, the carnal self? Or is it some one faculty in a man, by which a man brings all his other faculties and parts to trial,—such a one as the conscience may be? If so, how then is conscience itself tried, having no Peers to be tried by, as being superior to all other human powers, and calling them all to the barr?”

Here let me interpose a remark. Whether a man and himself be two must be all one in the end; but woe to that house in which the man and his wife are!

The end of love is to have two made one
In will, and in affection.2


The old Lexicographer answers his own question thus: “Why, yes; I do think 'tis the conscience of a man which examines the man, and every part of him, both spiritual and carnal, as well regenerate as unregenerate, and itself and all. For hence it was called conscientia, as being that faculty by which a man becomes conscious to himself, and is made knowing together with himself of all that good and evil that lies working in his nature, and has been brought forth in his actions. And this is not only the Register, and Witness and Judge of all parts of man, and of all that they do, but is so impartial an officer also, that it will give a strict account of all itself at any time does, accusing or excusing even itself in every motion of its own.”

Reader I would proceed with this extract, were it not for its length. The application which immediately follows it, is eloquently and forcibly made, and I exhort thee if ever thou comest into a library where Adam Littleton's Sermons are upon the shelf,

Not on, but in this Thee-concerning book!3

Take down the goodly tome, and turn to the sermon of Self-Examination, preached before the (Royal) Family at Whitehall, March 3, 1677-8. You will find this passage in the eighty-sixth page of the second paging, and I advice you to proceed with it to the end of the Discourse.


I will tell the reader for what reason I purchased that goodly tome. It was because of my grateful liking for the author, from the end of whose dictionary I, like Daniel in his boyhood, derived more entertainment and information to boot, than from any other book which, in those days, came within the walls of a school. That he was a truly learned man no one who ever used that dictionary could doubt, and if there had not been oddity enough in him to give his learning a zest, he never could have compounded an appellation for the Monument, commemorating in what he calls an heptastic vocable,—which may be interpreted a seven-leagued word,—the seven Lord Mayors of London under whose mayoralities the construction of that lying pillar went on from its commencement to its completion. He called it, the Fordo-Watermanno-Hansono-Hookero-Vinero-Sheldono-Davisian pillar.

I bought the book for the author's sake,—which in the case of a living author is a proper and meritorious motive, and in the case of one who is dead, may generally be presumed to be a wise one. It proved so in this instance. For though there is nothing that bears the stamp of oddity in his sermons, there is much that is sterling. They have a merit of their own, and it is of no mean degree. Their manner is neither Latimerist nor Andrewesian, nor Fullerish, nor Cotton-Matherish, nor Jeremy Taylorish, nor Barrowish, nor Southish, but Littletonian. They are full of learning, of wisdom, of sound doctrine, and of benevolence, and of earnest and persuasive piety. No one who had ears to hear could have slept under them, and few could have listened to them without improvement.


Perhaps when the Reader considers the copiousness of the argument, he will rather blame me for being too brief than too tedious.


In the passage quoted from Adam Littleton in the preceding chapter, that good old divine enquired whether a man and himself were two. A Moorish prince in the most extravagant of Dryden's extravagant tragedies, (they do not deserve to be called romantic,) agrees with him, and exclaims to his confidential friend,

Assist me Zulema, if thou wouldst be
The friend thou seem'st, assist me against me.

Machiavel says of Cosmo de Medici that who ever considered his gravity and his levity might say there were two distinct persons in him.

“There is often times,” says Dean Young, (father of the poet) “a prodigious distance betwixt a man's head and his heart; such a distance that they seem not to have any correspondence; not to belong to the same person, not to converse in the same world. Our heads are sometimes in Heaven, contemplating the nature of God, the blessedness of Saints, the state of eternity; while our hearts are held captive below in a conversation earthly, sensual, devilish. 'Tis possible we may sometimes commend virtue convincingly, unanswerably; and yet our own hearts be never affected by our own arguments; we may represent vice in her native dress of horror, and yet our hearts be not at all startled with their own menaces: We may study and acquaint ourselves with all the truths of religion, and yet all this out of curiosity, or hypocrisy, or ostentation; not out of the power of godliness, or the serious purpose of good living. All which is a sufficient proof that the consent of the Head and of the Heart are two different things.”

Dean Young may seem in this passage to have answered Adam the Lexicographist's query in the affirmative, by shewing that the head belongs sometimes to one Self and the heart to the other. Yet these two Selves, notwithstanding this continual discord, are so united in matrimony, and so inseparably made one flesh, that it becomes another query whether death itself can part them.

The aforesaid Dean concludes one of his Discourses with the advice of an honest heathen. Learn to be one Man; that is, learn to live and act alike. For says he, “while we act from contrary principles; sometimes give, and sometimes defraud; sometimes love and sometimes betray; sometimes are devout, and sometimes careless of God; this is to be two Men, which is a foolish aim, and always ends in loss of pains. ‘No,’ says wise Epictetus, ‘Learn to be one Man,’ thou mayest be a good man; or thou mayest be a bad man, and that to the purpose; but it is impossible that thou shouldst be both. And here the Philosopher had the happiness to fall in exactly with the notion of my text. We cannot serve two Masters.

But in another sermon Adam Littleton says that “every man is made of three Egos, and has three Selfs in him;” and that this “appears in the reflection of Conscience upon actions of a dubious nature; whilst one Self accuses, another Self defends, and the third Self passes judgement upon what hath been so done by the man!” This he adduced as among various “mean and unworthy comparisons, whereby to show that though the mysterious doctrine of the Trinity” far exceeds our reason, there want not natural instances to illustrate it. But he adds most properly that we should neither “say or think ought of God in this kind,” without a preface of reverence and asking pardon; “for it is sufficient for us and most suitable to the mystery, so to conceive, so to discourse of God, as He himself has been pleased to make Himself known to us in his Word.”

If all theologians had been as wise, as humble and as devout as Adam Littleton, from how many heresies and evils might Christendom have been spared.

In the Doctor's own days the proposition was advanced, and not as a paradox, that a man might be in several places at the same time. Presence corporelle de l'homme en plusieurs lieux prouvée possible par les principes de la bonne Philosophie, is the title of a treatise by the Abbé de Lignac, who having been first a Jesuit, and then an Oratorian, secularized himself without departing from the principles in which he had been trained up. The object of his treatise was to show that there is nothing absurd in the doctrine of Transubstantiation. He made a distinction between man and his body, the body being always in a state of change, the man remaining the while identically the same. But how his argument that because a worm may be divided and live, the life which animated it while it was whole, continues a single life when it animates all the parts into which the body may have separated, proves his proposition, or how his proposition if proved could prove the hyper-mysterious figment of the Romish Church to be no figment, but a divine truth capable of philosophical demonstration, Œdipus himself were he raised from the dead would be unable to explain.



Mirths and toys
To cozen time withal: for o' my troth, Sir
I can love,—I think well too,—well enough;
And think as well of women as they are,—
Pretty fantastic things, some more regardful,
And some few worth a service. I'm so honest
I wish 'em all in Heaven and you know how hard, Sir,
'Twill be to get in there with their great farthingals.

And not much easier now with their great sleeves.
AUTHOR, A.D. 1830.

The question concerning the equality of the sexes which was discussed so warmly some thirty years ago in Magazines and Debating Societies, was one upon which it was not easy to collect the Doctor's real opinion. His manner indeed was frequently sportive when his meaning was most serious, and as frequently the thoughts and speculations with which he merely played, and which were sports or exercitations of intellect and humour, were advanced with apparent gravity. The propensity however was always restrained within due bounds, for he had treasured up his father's lessons in his heart, and would have regarded it as a crime ever to have trifled with his principles or feelings. But this question concerning the sexes was a subject which he was fond of introducing before his female acquaintance; it was like hitting the right note for a dog when you play the flute, he said. The sort of half anger, and the indignation, and the astonishment and the merriment withal which he excited when he enlarged upon this fertile theme, amused him greatly, and moreover he had a secret pleasure in observing the invincible good humour of his wife, even when she thought it necessary for the honour of her sex to put on a semblance of wrath at the notions which he repeated, and the comments with which he accompanied them.

He used to rest his opinion of male superiority upon divinity, law, grammar, natural history, and the universal consent of nations. Noting also by the way, that in the noble science of heraldry, it is laid down as a rule “that amongst things sensitive the males are of more worthy bearing than the females.”1


The Salic law he looked upon as in this respect the Law of Nature. And therefore he thought it was wisely appointed in France, that the royal Midwife should receive a fee of five hundred crowns upon the birth of a boy and only three hundred if it were a female child. This the famous Louise Bourgeois has stated to be the custom, who for the edification of posterity, the advancement of her own science, and the use of French historians published a Recit veritable de la naissance de Messieurs et Dames les enfans de France, containing minute details of every royal parturition at which she had officiated.

But he dwelt with more force on the theological grounds of his position. “The wife is the weaker vessel. Wives submit yourselves to your husbands: be in subjection to them. The Husband is the head. Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord.” And here he had recourse to the authority of Daniel Rogers (whom he liked the better for his name's sake) who in his Treatise of Matrimonial Honour teaches that the duty of subjection, is woman's chief commandment; and that she is properly made subject by the Law of Creation and by the Law of Penalty. As thus. All other creatures were created male and female at the same time; man and woman were not so, for the Man was first created—as a perfect creature, and afterwards the woman was thought of. Moreover she was not made of the same matter, equally, with man,—but of him, of a rib taken from him, and thirdly, she was made for his use and benefit as a meet help-mate, “three weighty reasons and grounds of the woman's subjection to the man, and that from the purpose of the Creator; who might have done otherwise, that is, have yielded to the Woman co-equal beginning, sameness of generation, or relation of usefulness; for he might have made her without any such precedency of matter, without any dependency upon him, and equally for her good as for his. All shew at ennobling the Man as the Head and more excellent, not that the Man might upbraid her, but that she might in all these read her lesson of subjection. And doubtless, as Malachi speaks, herein is wisdom, for God hath left nothing to be bettered by our invention.

“The woman, being so created by God in the integrity of Nature had a most divine honour and partnership of his image, put upon her in her creation; yea, such as (without prejudice of those three respects) might have held full and sweet correspondence with her husband. But her sin still augmented her inequality, and brought her lower and lower in her prerogative. For since she would take upon her, as a woman, without respect to the order, dependence and use of her creation, to enterprize so sad a business, as to jangle and demur with the Devil about so weighty a point as her husband's freehold, and of her own brain to lay him and it under foot, without the least parley and consent of his, obeying Satan before him,—so that till she had put all beyond question and past amendment, and eaten, she brought not the fruit to him, therefore the Lord stript her of this robe of her honour, and smote into the heart of Eve an instinct of inferiority, a confessed yielding up of her insufficient self to depend wholly upon her husband.”

This being a favourite commentary with the Doctor upon the first transgression, what would he have said if he had lived to read an Apology for Eve by one of her daughters, yes, an Apology for her and a Defence, showing that she acted meritoriously in eating the Apple. It is a choice passage and the reader shall have it from Miss Hatfield's Letters on the Importance of the Female Sex.

“By the creation of woman, the great design was accomplished,—the universal system was harmonized. Happiness and innocence reigned together. But unacquainted with the nature or existence of evil,—conscious only of good and imagining that all were of that essence around her; without the advantages of the tradition of forefathers to relate, or of ancient records to hand down, Eve was fatally and necessarily ignorant of the rebellious disobedience of the fallen Angels, and of their invisible vigilance and combination to accomplish the destruction of the new favourites of Heaven.

“In so momentous an event as that which has ever been exclusively imputed to her, neither her virtue nor her prudence ought to be suspected; and there is little reason to doubt, that if the same temptations had been offered to her husband under the same appearances, but he also would have acquiesced in the commission of this act of disobedience.

“Eve's attention was attracted by the manner in which the Serpent first made his attack: he had the gift of speech, which she must have observed to be a faculty peculiar to themselves. This appeared an evidence of something supernatural. The wily tempter chose also the form of the serpent to assist his design, as not only in wisdom and sagacity that creature surpassed all others, but his figure was also erect and beautiful, for it was not until the offended justice of God denounced the curse, that the Serpent's crest was humbled to the dust.

“During this extraordinary interview, it is evident that Eve felt a full impression of the divine command, which she repeated to the tempter at the time of his solicitations. She told him they were not to eat of that Tree.—But the Serpent opposed her arguments with sophistry and promises. He said unto the Woman, ye shall not surely die—but shall be as Gods. What an idea to a mortal!—Such an image astonished her!—It was not the gross impulses of greedy appetite that urged her, but a nobler motive that induced her to examine the consequences of the act.—She was to be better and happier;—to exchange a mortal for an angelic nature. Her motive was great,—virtuous,—irresistible. Might she not have felt herself awed and inspired with a belief of a divine order?—Upon examination she found it was to produce a greater good than as mortals they could enjoy; this impression excited a desire to possess that good; and that desire determined her will and the future destiny of a World!”

It must be allowed that this Lady Authoress has succeeded in what might have been supposed the most difficult of all attempts, that of starting a new heresy,—her followers in which may aptly be denominated Eveites.

The novelty consists not in excusing the mother of mankind, but in representing her transgression as a great and meritorious act. An excuse has been advanced for her in Lodovico Domenichi's Dialogue upon the nobleness of Women. It is there pleaded that the fruit of the fatal tree had not been forbidden to Eve, because she was not created when the prohibition was laid on. Adam it was who sinned in eating it, not Eve, and it is in Adam that we have all sinned, and all die. Her offence was in tempting him to eat, et questo anchora senza intention cattiva, essendo stata tentata dal Diavolo. L'huomo adunque peccò per certa scientia, et la Donna ignorantemente, et ingannata.

I know not whether this special pleading be Domenichi's own; but he must have been conscious that there is a flaw in it, and could not have been in earnest, as Miss Hatfield is. The Veronese lady Isotta Nogarola thought differently; essendo studiosa molto di Theologia et di Philosophia, she composed a Dialogue wherein the question whether Adam or Eve in the primal transgression had committed the greater sin. How she determined it I cannot say, never having seen her works.

Domenichi makes another assertion in honour of womankind which Miss Hatfield would undoubtedly consider it an honour for herself to have disproved in her own person,—that no heresy, or error in the faith ever originated with a woman.

Had this Lady, most ambitious of Eve's daughters, been contemporary with Doctor Dove, how pleasant it would have been to have witnessed a debate between them upon the subject! He would have wound her up to the highest pitch of indignation, and she would have opened the flood-gates of female oratory upon his head.


Sing of the nature of women; and then the song shall be surely full of variety, old crotchets, and most sweet closes: it shall be humourous, grave, fantastic, amorous, melancholy, sprightly, one in all and all in one.


The Doctor had other theological arguments in aid of the opinion which he was pleased to support. The remark has been made which is curious, or in the language of Jeremy Taylor's age, considerable, that we read in Genesis how when God saw every thing else which he had made he pronounced that it was very good, but he did not say this of the woman.

There are indeed certain Rabbis who affirm that Eve was not taken out of Adam's side: but that Adam had originally been created with a tail (herein agreeing with the well-known theory of Lord Monboddo) and that among the various experiments and improvements which were made in his form and organization before he was finished, the tail was removed as an inconvenient appendage, and of the excrescence or superfluous part which was then lopt off, the Woman was formed.

We are not bound to believe the Rabbis in every thing, the Doctor would say; and yet it cannot be denied that they have preserved some valuable traditions which ought to be regarded with much respect. And then by a gentle inclination of the head—and a peculiar glance of the eye, he let it be understood that this was one of those traditions which were entitled to consideration. It was not impossible he said, but that a different reading in the original text might support such an interpretation: the same word in Hebrew frequently signified different things, and rib and tail might in that language be as near each other in sound or as easily miswritten by a hasty hand, or misread by an inaccurate eye as costa and cauda in Latin. He did not pretend that this was the case—but that it might be so. And by a like corruption (for to such corruptions all written and even all printed books are liable) the text may have represented that Eve was taken from the side of her husband instead of from that part of the back where the tail grew. The dropping of a syllable might occasion it.

And this view of the question he said, derived strong support from that well known and indubitable text wherein the Husband is called the Head; for although that expression is in itself most clear and significative in its own substantive meaning, it becomes still more beautifully and emphatically appropriate when considered as referring to this interpretation and tradition, and implying as a direct and necessary converse that the Wife is the Tail.

There is another legend relating to a like but even less worthy formation of the first helpmate, and this also is ascribed to the Rabbis. According to this mythos the rib which had been taken from Adam was for a moment laid down, and in that moment a monkey stole it and ran off with it full speed. An Angel pursued, and though not in league with the Monkey he could have been no good Angel; for overtaking him, he caught him by the Tail, brought it maliciously back instead of the Rib, and of that Tail, was Woman made. What became of the Rib, with which the Monkey got clear off, “was never to mortal known.”

However the Doctor admitted that on the whole the received opinion was the more probable. And after making this admission he related an anecdote of Lady Jekyll who was fond of puzzling herself and others with such questions as had been common enough a generation before her, in the days of the Athenian Oracle. She asked William Whiston of berhymed name and eccentric memory, one day at her husband's table to resolve a difficulty which occurred to her in the Mosaic account of the creation. “Since it pleased God, Sir,” said she, “to create the Woman out of the Man, why did he form her out of the rib rather than any other part.” Whiston scratched his head and answered. “Indeed Madam I do not know, unless it be that the rib is the most crooked part of the body.” “There!” said her husband, “you have it now: I hope you are satisfied!”

He had found in the writings of the Huguenot divine, Jean D'Espagne, that Women have never had either the gift of tongues, or of miracle; the latter gift according to this theologian being withheld from them because it properly accompanies preaching, and women are forbidden to be preachers. A reason for the former exception the Doctor supplied; he said it was because one tongue was quite enough for them: and he entirely agreed with the Frenchman that it must be so, because there could have been no peace on earth had it been otherwise. But whether the sex worked miracles or not, was a point which he left the Catholics to contend. Female Saints there certainly had been,—“the Lord,” as Daniel Rogers said, “had gifted and graced many women above some men especially with holy affections; I know not,” says that divine, “why he should do it else (for he is wise and not superfluous in needless things) save that as a Pearl shining through a chrystal glass, so her excellency shining through her weakness of sex, might show the glory of the workman.” He quoted also what the biographer of one of the St. Catharines says, “that such a woman ought not to be called a woman, but rather an earthly Angel, or a heavenly hom*o: hæc fœmina, sed potius Angelus terrestris, vel si malueris, hom*o cælestis dicenda erat, quam fœmina.” In like manner the Hungarians thinking it infamous for a nation to be governed by a woman—and yet perceiving the great advantage of preserving the succession, when the crown fell to a female, they called her King Mary, instead of Queen.

And Queen Elizabeth rather than be accounted of the feminine gender, claimed it as her prerogative to be of all three. “A prime officer with a White Staff coming into her presence” she willed him to bestow a place then vacant upon a person whom she named. “May it please your Highness Madam,” said the Lord, “the disposal of that place pertaineth to me by virtue of this White Staff.” “True,” replied the Queen, “yet I never gave you your office so absolutely, but that I still reserved myself of the Quorum.” “Of the Quarum, Madam,” returned the Lord, presuming, somewhat too far, upon her favour.—Whereat she snatched the staff in some anger out of his hand, and told him “he should acknowledge her of the Quorum, Quorum, Quorum before he had it again.”

It was well known indeed to Philosophers, he said, that the female is an imperfection or default in nature, whose constant design is to form a male; but where strength and temperament are wanting—a defective production is the result. Aristotle therefore calls Woman a Monster, and Plato makes it a question whether she ought not to be ranked among irrational creatures. There were Greek Philosophers, who (rightly in his judgment) derived the name of Ἀθηνῆ from Θῆλυς and alpha privativa, as implying that the Goddess of wisdom, though Goddess, was nevertheless no female, having nothing of female imperfection. And a book unjustly ascribed to the learned Acidalius was published in Latin, and afterwards in French, to prove that women were not reasonable creatures, but distinguished from men by this specific difference, as well as in sex.

Mahomet too was not the only person who has supposed that women have no souls. In this Christian and reformed country, the question was propounded to the British Apollo whether there is now, or will be at the resurrection any females in Heaven—since, says the questioner, there seems to be no need of them there! The Society of Gentlemen who, (in imitation of John Dunton, his brother-in-law the elder Wesley, and their coadjutors,) had undertaken in this Journal to answer all questions, returned a grave reply, that sexes being corporeal distinctions there could be no such distinction among the souls which are now in bliss; neither could it exist after the resurrection, for they who partook of eternal life neither marry nor are given in marriage.

That same Society supposed the Devil to be an Hermaphrodite, for though by his roughness they said he might be thought of the masculine gender, they were led to that opinion because he appeared so often in petticoats.



If there sit twelve women at the table, let a dozen of them be—as they are.


“Papp-paah!” says my daughter.

“You intolerable man!” says my wife.

“You abominable creature!” says my wife's eldest sister, “you wicked wretch!”

“Oh Mr. Author,” says Miss Graveairs, “I did not expect this from you.”

“Very well, Sir, very well! This is like you!” says the Bow-Begum.

“Was there ever such an atrocious libel upon the sex,” says the Lady President of the Celestial Blues.

The Ladies of the Stocking unanimously agree in the sentence of condemnation.

Let me see, who do I know among them. There is Mrs. Lapis Lazuli and her daughter Miss Ultramarine,—there is Mrs. Bluestone, the most caustic of female critics, and her friend Miss Gentian,—Heaven protect me from the bitterness of her remarks,—there is Lady Turquoise, Lady Celestina Sky, the widow Bluebeard, Miss Mazarine, and that pretty creature Serena Cerulean, it does me good to look at her, she is the blue-bell of the party. There is Miss Sapphire, Miss Priscilla Prussian, Mrs. Indigo, and the Widow Woad. And Heaven knows who beside. Mercy on me—it were better to be detected at the mysteries of the Bona Dea, than be found here! Hear them how they open in succession—




This is too bad.

He has heaped together all the slanderous and odious things that could be collected from musty books.

Talk of his Wife and Daughter. I do not believe any one who had wife and daughter would have composed such a Chapter as that. An old batchelor I warrant him, and mustier than his books.






And Miss Virginia Vinegar compleats the climax by exclaiming with peculiar emphasis, Man!

All Indigo-land is in commotion; and Urgand the Unknown would be in as much danger proh-Jupiter! from the Stockingers, if he fell into their hands, as Orpheus from the Mænades. Tantæne animis cælestibus iræ?

Why Ladies! dear Ladies! good Ladies! gentle Ladies! merciful Ladies! hear me,—hear me! In justice, in compassion, in charity hear me! For your own sakes, and for the honour of feminality hear me!

What has the wretch to say?

What can he say?

What indeed can be said? Nevertheless let us hear him, so bad a case must always be made worse by any attempt at defending it.

Hear him! hear him!

Englishwomen, countrywomen, and lovelies,—lovelies I certainly may call you, if it be not lawful for me to say lovers,—hear me for your honour, and have respect to your honour that you may believe, censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses that you may be better judges. Who is here so unfeminine that would be a male creature? if any, speak; for her have I offended. Who is here so coarse that would not be a woman! if any, speak; for her have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love her sex? if any speak; for her have I offended. I can have offended none but those who are ashamed of their womanhood, if any such there be, which I am far from thinking.

Gentle Ladies do you in your conscience believe that any reasonable person could possibly think the worse of womankind, for any of the strange and preposterous opinions which my lamented and excellent friend used to repeat in the playfulness of an eccentric fancy? Do you suppose that he was more in earnest when he brought forward these learned fooleries, than the Devil's Advocate when pleading against a suit for canonization in the Papal Court?

questo negro inchiostro, ch'io dispenzo
Non fu per dare, o donne, a i vostri nasi,
Ingrato odore, o d'altro che d'incenzo.


Hear but to the end, and I promise you on the faith of a true man a Red Letter Chapter in your praise; not a mere panegyric in the manner of those who flatter while they despise you, but such an honest estimate as will bear a scrutiny,—and which you will not like the worse because it may perhaps be found profitable as well as pleasing.

Forgive me, sacred sex of woman, that,
In thought or syllable, I have declaim'd
Against your goodness; and I will redeem it
With such religious honouring your names,
That when I die, some never thought-stain'd virgin
Shall make a relic of my dust, and throw
My ashes, like a charm, upon those men
Whose faiths they hold suspected.2




If thy name were known that writest in this sort,
By womankind, unnaturally, giving evil report,
Whom all men ought, both young and old, defend with all their might,
Considering what they do deserve of every living wight,
I wish thou should exiled be from women more and less,
And not without just cause thou must thyself confess.

It would have pleased the Doctor when he was upon this topic if he had known how exactly the value of women was fixed among the Afghauns, by whose laws twelve young women are given as a compensation for the slaughter of one man, six for cutting off a hand, an ear, or a nose; three for breaking a tooth, and one for a wound of the scalp.

By the laws of the Venetians as well as of certain Oriental people, the testimony of two women was made equivalent to that of one man. And in those of the Welsh King Hywel Dda, or Howel Dha, “the satisfaction for the murder of a woman, whether she be married or not, is half that of her brother,” which is upon the same standard of relative value. By the same laws a woman was not to be admitted as bail for a man, nor as witness against him.

He knew that a French Antiquarian (Claude Seissel) had derived the name of the Salic law from the Latin word Sal, comme une loy pleine de sel, c'est a dire pleine de sapience,1 and this the Doctor thought a far more rational etymology than what some one proposed either seriously or in sport, that the law was called Salique because the words Si aliquis and Si aliqua were of such frequent occurrence in it. “To be born a manchild,” says that learned author who first composed an Art of Rhetoric in the English tongue, “declares a courage, gravity and constancy. To be born a woman, declares weakness of spirit, neshenes of body and fickleness of mind.”2 Justin Martyr, after saying that the Demons by whom according to him the system of heathen mythology was composed, spake of Minerva as the first Intelligence and the daughter of Jupiter, makes this observation; “now this we consider most absurd, to carry about the image of Intelligence in a female form!” The Father said this as thinking with the great French comic poet that a woman never could be any thing more than a woman.

Car, voyez-vous, la femme est, comme on dit, mon maître,
Un certain animal difficile à connoître,
Et de qui la nature est fort encline au mal;
Et comme un animal est toujours animal.
Et ne sera jamais qu' animal, quand sa vie
Dureroit cent mille ans; aussi, sans repartie,
La femme est toujours femme, et jamais ne sera
Que femme, tant qu'entier le monde durera.


A favourite anecdote with our Philosopher was of the Barbadoes Planters, one of whom agreed to exchange an English maid servant with the other for a bacon pig, weight for weight, four-pence per pound to be paid for the overplus, if the balance should be in favour of the pig, sixpence if it were on the Maid's side. But when they were weighed in the scales, Honour who was “extreme fat, lazy and good for nothing,” so far outweighed the pig, that the pig's owner repented of his improvident bargain, and refused to stand to it. Such a case Ligon observes, when he records this notable story, seldom happened; but the Doctor cited it as shewing what had been the relative value of women and pork in the West Indies. And observe, he would say, of white women, English, Christian women,—not of poor heathen blacks, who are considered as brutes, bought and sold like brutes, worked like brutes—and treated worse than any Government ought to permit even brutes to be treated.

However, that women were in some respects better than men, he did not deny. He doubted not but that Cannibals thought them so; for we know by the testimony of such Cannibals as happen to have tried both, that white men are considered better meat than negroes, and Englishmen than Frenchmen, and there could be little doubt that for the same reason, women would be preferred to men. Yet this was not the case with animals, as was proved by buck venison, ox beef, and wether mutton. The tallow of the female goat would not make as good candles as that of the male. Nature takes more pains in elaborating her nobler work; and that the male, as being the nobler, was that which Nature finished with greatest care must be evident, he thought, to any one who called to mind the difference between co*ck and hen birds, a difference discoverable even in the egg, the larger and finer eggs with a denser white, and a richer yolk, containing male chicks. Other and more curious observations had been made tending to the same conclusion, but he omitted them, as not perhaps suited for general conversation, and not exactly capable of the same degree of proof. It was enough to hint at them.

The great Ambrose Parey (the John Hunter and the Baron Larrey of the sixteenth century) has brought forward many instances wherein women have been changed into men, instances which are not fabulous: but he observes, “you shall find in no history, men that have degenerated into women; for nature always intends and goes from the imperfect to the more perfect, but never basely from the more perfect to the imperfect.” It was a rule in the Roman law, that when husband and wife overtaken by some common calamity perished at the same time, and it could not be ascertained which had lived the longest, the woman should be presumed to have expired the first, as being by nature the feeblest. And for the same reason if it had not been noted whether brother or sister being twins came first in the world, the legal conclusion was that the boy being the stronger was the first born.

And from all these facts he thought the writer must be a judicious person who published a poem entitled the Great Birth of Man, or Excellence of his creation over Woman.

Therefore according to the Bramins, the widow who burns herself with the body of her husband, will in her next state be born a male; but the widow, who refuses to make this self sacrifice, will never be any thing better than a woman, let her be born again as often as she may.

Therefore it is that the Jew at this day begins his public prayer with a thanksgiving to his Maker, for not having made him a woman;—an escape for which the Greek philosopher was thankful. One of the things which shocked a Moor who visited England was to see dogs, women, and dirty shoes permitted to enter a place of worship, the Mahometans, as is well known, excluding all three from their Mosques. Not that all Mahometans believe that women have no souls. There are some who think it more probable they have, and these more liberal Mussulmen hold that there is a separate Paradise for them, because they say, if the women were admitted into the Men's Paradise, it would cease to be Paradise,—there would be an end of all peace there. It was probably the same reason which induced Origen to advance an opinion that after the day of Judgment women will be turned into men. The opinion has been condemned among his heresies; but the Doctor maintained that it was a reasonable one, and almost demonstrable upon the supposition that we are all to be progressive in a future state. There was, however, he said, according to the Jews a peculiar privilege and happiness reserved for them, that is for all those of their chosen nation, during the temporal reign of the Messiah, for every Jewish woman is then to lie in every day!

“I never,” says Bishop Reynolds, “read of more dangerous falls in the Saints than were Adam's, Sampson's, David's, Solomon's, and Peter's; and behold in all these, either the first enticers, or the first occasioners, are women. A weak creature may be a strong tempter: nothing too impotent or useless for the Devil's service.” Fuller, among his Good Thoughts has this paragraph:—“I find the natural Philosopher making a character of the Lion's disposition, amongst other his qualities, reporteth, first, that the Lion feedeth on men, and afterwards (if forced with extremity of hunger) on women. Satan is a roaring Lion seeking whom he may devour. Only he inverts the method and in his bill of fare takes the second first. Ever since he over-tempted our grandmother Eve, encouraged with success he hath preyed first on the weaker sex.”

“Sit not in the midst of women,” saith the son of Sirach in his Wisdom, “for from garments cometh a moth, and from women wickedness.” “Behold, this have I found, saith the Preacher, counting one by one to find out the account; which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.”

“It is a bad thing,” said St. Augustine, “to look upon a woman, a worse to speak to her, and to touch her is worst of all.” John Bunyan admired the wisdom of God for making him shy of the sex, and boasted that it was a rare thing to see him “carry it pleasant towards a woman.” “The common salutation of women,” said he, “I abhor, their company alone I cannot away with!” John, the great Tinker, thought with the son of Sirach, that “better is the churlishness of a man, than a courteous woman, a woman which bringeth shame and reproach.” And Menu the law-giver of the Hindoos hath written that “it is the nature of women in this world to cause the seduction of men.” And John Moody in the play, says, “I ha' seen a little of them, and I find that the best, when she's minded, won't ha' much goodness to spare.” A wife has been called a daily calamity, and they who thought least unfavourably of the sex have pronounced it a necessary evil.

Mulier, quasi mollior,” saith Varro;3 a derivation upon which Dr. Featley thus commenteth: “Women take their name in Latin from tenderness or softness, because they are usually of a softer temper than men, and much more subject to passions, especially of fear, grief, love and longing; their fear is almost perpetual, their grief immoderate, their love ardent, and their longing most vehement. They are the weaker vessels, not only weaker in body than men, and less able to resist violence, but also weaker in mind and less able to hold out in temptations; and therefore the Devil first set upon the woman as conceiving it a matter of more facility to supplant her than the man.” And they are such dissemblers, says the Poet,

as if their mother had been made
Only of all the falsehood of the man,
Disposed into that rib.

3 The Soothsayer in Cymbeline was of a like opinion with Varro!

The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter,
Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer
We term it mulier.

Southey's favorite play upon the stage was Cymbeline, and next to it, As you like it.

“Look indeed at the very name,” said the Doctor, putting on his gravest look of provocation to the ladies.—“Look at the very name—Woman, evidently meaning either man's woe—or abbreviated from woe to man, because by woman was woe brought into the world.”

And when a girl is called a lass, who does not perceive how that common word must have arisen? Who does not see that it may be directly traced to a mournful interjection, alas! breathed sorrowfully forth at the thought the girl, the lovely and innocent creature upon whom the beholder has fixed his meditative eye, would in time become a woman,—a woe to man!

There are other tongues in which the name is not less significant. The two most notoriously obstinate things in the world are a mule and a pig. Now there is one language in which pige means a young woman: and another in which woman is denoted by the word mulier: which word, whatever grammarians may pretend, is plainly a comparative, applied exclusively and with peculiar force to denote the only creature in nature which is more mulish than a mule. Comment, says a Frenchman, pourroit-on aymer les Dames, puis qu'elles se nomment ainsi du dam et dommage qu'elles apportent aux hommes!4




O voi ch' avete gl' intelletti sani,
Mirate la dottrina, che s' asconde
Sotto 'l velame degli versi strani.


“It was about six an' fifty year sen, in June, when a woman cam fra' Dent at see a Nebbor of ours e' Langdon.1 They er terrible knitters e' Dent2—sea my Fadder an' Mudder sent me an' my lile Sister, Sally, back we' her at larn at knit. I was between sebben an' eight year auld, an' Sally twea year younger—T' Woman reade on ya Horse, we Sally afore her—an I on anudder, we a man walking beside me—whiles he gat up behint an' reade—Ee' them Days Fwoak dud'nt gang e' Carts—but Carts er t'best—I'd rader ride e' yan than e' onny Carriage—I us't at think if I was t' Leady, here at t' Ho,'3 how I wad tear about int' rwoads—but sen I hae ridden in a Chaise I hate t' nwotion ont' warst of ought—for t' Trees gang fleeing by o' ya side, an t' Wa' as4 on tudder, an' gars yan be as seek as a peeate.

1 The valley of Langdale, near Ambleside. The Langdale Pikes are known to all tourists.
2 Dent is a chapelry in the Parish and Union of Sedbergh, W. Division of the wapentake of Staincliffe and Ewcross, W. Riding of the County of York, sixteen miles E. from Kendal.—Lewis's Topog. Dict.
3 i.e. At the Hall.
4 Wa' as, i.e. Walls, as in p. 86.

“Weel, we dud'nt like Dent at a—' nut that they wer bad tull us—but ther way o' leeving—it was round Meal—an' they stoult it int' frying pan, e' keaeks as thick as my fing-er.—Then we wer stawed5 we' sae mickle knitting—We went to a Skeul about a mile off—ther was a Maister an' Mistress—they larnt us our Lessons, yan a piece—an' then we knit as hard as we cud drive, striving whilk cud knit t' hardest yan again anudder—we hed our Darracks6 set afore we com fra' Heam int' mwornin; an' if we dud'nt git them duun we warrant to gang to our dinners—They hed o' macks o' contrivances to larn us to knit swift—T' Maister wad wind 3 or 4 clues togedder, for 3 or 4 Bairns to knitt off—that' at knit slawest raffled tudders yarn, an' than she gat weel thumpt (but ther was baith Lasses an' Lads 'at learnt at knit)—Than we ust at sing a mack of a sang, whilk we wer at git at t'end on at every needle, ca'ing ower t' Neams of o' t' fwoak in t' Deaal—but Sally an me wad never ca' Dent Fwoak—sea we ca'ed Langdon Fwoak—T' Sang was—

Sally an' I, Sally an' I,
For a good pudding pye,
Taa hoaf wheat, an' tudder hoaf rye,
Sally an' I, for a good pudding pye.

We sang this (altering t' neams) at every needle: and when we com at t' end cried ‘off’ an' began again an' sea we strave on o' t' day through.

5 i.e. cloyed, saturated, fatigued. BROCKETT'S Glossary of North Country words.
6 i.e. Days-works. So the Derwent is called the Darron.

“We wer stawed, as I telt yea—o' t' pleser we hed was when we went out a bit to beat t' fire for a nebbor 'at was baking—that was a grand day for us!—At Kursmas teea, ther was t' maskers—an' on Kursmas day at mworn they gav' us sum reed stuff to' t' Breakfast—I think it maun ha' been Jocklat—but we dud'nt like 't at a', 't ommost puzzened us!—an' we cared for nought but how we wer to git back to Langdon—Neet an' Day ther was nought but this knitting! T' Nebbors ust at gang about fra' house to house, we' ther wark,—than yan fire dud, ye knaw, an' they cud hev a better—they hed girt lang black peeats—an' set them up an hed in a girt round we' a whol at top—an a' t' Fwoak sat about it. When ony o' them gat into a hubble we' ther wark, they shouted out ‘turn a Peeat’—an' them' at sat naarest t' fire turnt yan, an' meaad a low7—for they nivver hed onny cannal.—We knat quorse wosset stockings—some gloves—an' some neet caps, an' wastecwoat breests, an' petticwoats. I yance knat a stocking, for mysell, e' six hours—Sally yan e' sebben—an' t'woman's Doughter, 'at was aulder than us e' eight—an' they sent a nwote to our Fwoak e' Langdon at tell them.

7 i.e. a flame; it is an Icelandic word. See Haldorson's Lexicon. At loga, ardere and Loga, flamma. So in St. George for England,

As timorous larks amazed are
With light, and with a low-bell.

“Sally an' me, when we wer by our sells, wer always contrivin how we wer at git away, when we sleept by oursells we talk't of nought else—but when t' woman's Doughter sleept we' us we wer qwhite mum—summat or udder always happent at hinder us, till yan day, between Kursmas an' Cannalmas, when t' woman's Doughter stait at heaam, we teuk off. Our house was four mile on 'todder side o' Dent's Town—whor, efter we hed pass t' Skeul, we axed t'way to Kendal—It hed been a hard frost, an' ther was snaw on t' grund—but it was beginnin to thow, an' was varra sloshy an' cauld—but we poted alang leaving our lile footings behint us—we hed our cloggs on—for we durst'nt change them for our shoon for fear o' being fund out—an' we had nought on but our hats, an' bits o' blue bedgowns, an' brats—sea ye may think we cuddent be varra heeat—I hed a sixpence e' my pocket, an' we hed three or four shilling mare in our box, 'at our Fwoak hed ge'en us to keep our pocket we'—but, lile mafflins8 as we wer, we thought it wad be misst an' durst'nt tak ony mare.

8 Mafflinga state of perplexity.—BROCKETT. Maffled, mazed, and maisled (as used a little further on) have all a like sense.

“Afore we gat to Sebber9 we fell hungry; an' ther was a fine, girt, reed house nut far off t' rwoad, whar we went an' begged for a bit o' breead—but they wadd'nt give us ought—sea we trampt on, an com to a lile theakt house, an' I said—‘Sally thou sall beg t' neesht—thou's less than me, an mappen they'll sarra us’—an' they dud—an' gav us a girt shive10 o' breead—at last we gat to Scotch Jins, as they ca' t' public House about three mile fra Sebber (o' this side) a Scotch woman keept it.—It was amaist dark, sea we axt her at let us stay o' neet—she teuk us in, an' gav us sum boilt milk and breead—an' suun put us to bed—we telt her our taael; an' she sed we wer int' reet at run away.

9 i.e. Sedbergh.
10 So in Titus Andronicus.

“Easy it is
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive we know.”

“Neesht mwornin she gav us sum mare milk an' breead, an' we gav her our sixpence—an' then went off-sledding away amangt' snaw, ower that cauld moor (ye ken' 't weel enough) naarly starved to deeath, an' maisled—sea we gat on varra slawly, as ye may think—an' 't rain'd tua. We begged again at anudder lile theakt house, on t' Hay Fell—there was a woman an' a heap of raggeltly Bairns stannin round a Teable—an' she gave us a few of their poddish, an' put a lock of sugar into a sup of cauld tea tull them.

“Then we trailed on again till we com to t' Peeat Lane Turnpike Yat—they teuk us in there, an' let us warm oursells, an' gav us a bit o' breead. They sed had duun re'et to com away; for Dent was t' poorest plaace in t' warld, and we wer seafe to ha' been hungert—an' at last we gat to Kendal, when 't was naar dark—as we went up t' streat we met a woman, an' axt t' way to Tom Posts—(that was t' man at ust te bring t' Letters fra' Kendal to Ammelsid an' Hawksheead yance a week—an' baited at his house when we com fra' Langdon) she telt us t' way an' we creept on, but we leaked back at her twea or three times—an' she was still stanning, leuking at us—then she com back an' quiesed us a deal, an' sed we sud gang heam with her—We telt her whor we hed cum fra' an' o' about our Tramp 'at we hed hed.—She teuk us to her house—it was a varra poor yan—down beside t' brig at we had cum ower into t' Town—Ther was nea fire on—but she went out, an' brought in sam eilding11 (for they can buy a pennerth, or sea, o' quols or Peeats at onny time there) an' she set on a good fire—an' put on t' kettle—then laited12 up sum of her awn claes, an' tiet them on us as weel as she cud, an' dried ours—for they wer as wet as thack—it hed rained a' t' way—Then she meead us sum tea—an' as she hedden't a bed for us in her awn house she teuk us to a nebbors—Ther was an aud woman in a Bed naar us that flaed us sadly—for she teuk a fit int' neet an' her feace turnt as black as a cwol—we laid trimmiling, an' hutched oursells ower heead e' bed—Fwoks com an' steud round her—an' we heeard them say 'at we wer asleep—sea we meade as if we wer asleep, because we thought if we wer asleep they waddn't kill us—an' we wisht oursells e' t' streets again, or onny whor—an' wad ha' been fain to ha' been ligging under a Dyke.

11 Fire-elding,—the common term for fuel. Ild in Danish is fire. Such words were to be expected in Cumberland. The commencement of Landor's lines to Southey, 1833, will explain why—

Indweller of a peaceful vale,
Ravaged erewhile by white-hair'd Dane, &c.

12 To late or leat is to seek out. See BROCKETT. It is from the Icelandic at leyta, quærere. Cf. Haldorson in V.

“Neesht mwornin we hed our Brekfast, an' t' woman gav us baith a hopenny Keack beside (that was as big as a penny 'an now) to eat as we went—an' she set us to t' top o' t' House o' Correction Hill—It was freezing again, an' t' rwoad was terrible slape; sea we gat on varra badly—an' afore we com to Staavley (an' that was but a lile bit o' t' rwoad) we fell hung'ry an' began on our keacks—then we sed we wad walk sea far, an' then tak a bite—an' then on again an' tak anudder—and afore we gat to t' Ings Chapel they wer o' gane—Every now an' than we stopped at reest—an' sat down, an' grat,13 under a hedge or wa'a crudled up togedder, taking haud o' yan anudders hands at try at warm them, for we were fairly maizled wi' t' cauld—an' when we saw onny body cumming we gat up an' walked away—but we duddn't meet monny Fwoak—I dunnat think Fwoak warr sea mickle in t' rwoads e' them Days.

13 i.e. wept, from the old word greet, common to all the Northern languages. Chaucer, Spenser, &c., use it. See Specimen Glossarii in Edda Sæmundar hinns Froda V. Grætr, ploratus, at græta, plorare, Hence grief &c.

“We scraffled14 on t' this fashion—an' it was quite dark afore we gat to Ammelsid Yat—our feet warr sare an' we warr naarly dune for—an' when we turnt round Windermer Watter heead, T' waves blasht sea dowly15 that we warr fairly heart-brossen—we sat down on a cauld steane an' grat sare—but when we hed hed our belly-full o' greeting we gat up, an feelt better16 fort' an' sea dreed on again—slaw enough ye may be sure—but we warr e' kent rwoads—an' now when I gang that gait I can nwote o' t' spots whor we reested—for them lile bye lwoans erent sea micklealtert, as t' girt rwoads, fra what they warr. At Clappers-gait t' Fwoak wad ha' knawn us, if it heddent been dark, an' o' ther duirs steeked,17 an geen us a relief, if we hed begged there—but we began at be flate18 'at my Fadder an' Mudder wad be angert at us for running away.

14 i.e. struggled on. BROCKETT in V.
15 i.e. lonely, melancholy. Ibid.
16 The scholar will call to mind the ὀλοοῖο τεταρπώμεσθα γόοιο of the Iliad, xxiii. 98., with like expressions in the Odyssey, e.g. xi. 211, xix. 213, and the reader of the Pseudo Ossian will remember the words of Fingal. “Strike the harp in my hall, and let Fingal hear the song. Pleasant is the joy of grief.
17 “Steek the heck,”—i.e. shut the door. BROCKETT.
18 From the verb “Flay” to frighten.

“It was twea o'clock int' mworning when we gat to our awn Duir—I c'aed out Fadder! Fadder!—Mudder! Mudder! ower an' ower again—She hard us, an' sed—‘That's our Betty's voice’—‘Thou's nought but fancies, lig still,’ said my Fadder—but she waddent; an' sea gat up, an' opent' Duir and there warr we stanning doddering19—an' daized we' cauld, as deer deead as macks nea matter—When she so us she was mare flate than we—She brast out a crying—an' we grat—an my Fadder grat an' a'—an' they duddent flight,20 nor said nought tull us, for cumming away,—they warrant a bit angert—an' my Fadder sed we sud nivver gang back again.

19 We still speak of Dodder or Quaker's grass,—a word by the way, older than the Sect.
20 A. S. Flitan—to scold.

“T' Fwoaks e' Dent nivver mist us, tilt' Neet—because they thought 'at we hed been keept at dinner time 'at finish our tasks—but when neet com, an' we duddent cum heam, they set off efter us to Kendal—an' mun ha' gane by Scotch Jins when we warr there—how they satisfied thersells I knan't, but they suppwosed we hed gane heam—and sea they went back—My Fadder wasn't lang, ye may be seur, o' finding out' T' Woman at Kendal 'at was sea good tull us—an' my Mudder put her doun a pot o' Butter, an' meead her a lile cheese an' sent her.”


The above affecting and very simple story, Reader, was taken down from the mouth of Betty Yewdale herself, the elder of the two children,—at that time an old woman, but with a bright black eye that lacked no lustre. A shrewd and masculine woman, Reader, was Betty Yewdale,—fond of the Nicotian weed and a short pipe so as to have the full flavour of its essence,—somewhat, sooth be said, too fond of it, for the pressure of the pipe produced a cancer in her mouth, which caused her death.—Knowest thou, gentle Reader, that most curious of all curious books—(we stop not to inquire whether Scarron be indebted to it, or it to Scarron)—the Anatomy of Melancholy by Democritus Junior, old Burton to wit?—Curious if thou art, it cannot fail, but that thou knowest it well,—curious or not, hear what he says of Tobacco, poor Betty Yewdale's bane!

“Tobacco, divine, rare, super-excellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all their panaceas, potable gold, and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases. A good vomit, I confesse, a vertuous herb, if it be well qualified, opportunely taken, and medicinally used; but, as it is commonly abused by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale, 'tis a plague, a mischief, a violent purger of goods, lands, health, hellish, devilish and damned tobacco, the ruine and overthrow of body and soul.”

Gentle Reader! if thou knowest not the pages of honest old Burton—we speak not of his melancholy end, which melancholy may have wrought, but of his honesty of purpose, and of his life,—thou wilt not be unacquainted with that excellent Poem of Wordsworth's,—“The Excursion, being a Portion of the Recluse.”—If any know not the wisdom contained in it, forthwith let them study it!—Acquainted with it or not, it is Betty Yewdale that is described in the following lines, as holding the lanthorn to guide the steps of old Jonathan, her husband, on his return from working in the quarries, if at any time he chanced to be beyond his usual hour. They are given at length;—for who will not be pleased to read them decies repetita?

Much was I pleased, the grey-haired wanderer said,
When to those shining fields our notice first
You turned; and yet more pleased have from your lips,
Gathered this fair report of them who dwell
In that Retirement; whither, by such course
Of evil hap and good as oft awaits
A lone wayfaring Man, I once was brought.
Dark on my road the autumnal evening fell
While I was traversing yon mountain pass,
And night succeeded with unusual gloom;
So that my feet and hands at length became
Guides better than mine eyes—until a light
High in the gloom appeared, too high, methought,
For human habitation, but I longed
To reach it destitute of other hope.
I looked with steadiness as sailors look,
On the north-star, or watch-tower's distant lamp,
And saw the light—now fixed—and shifting now—
Not like a dancing meteor; but in line
Of never varying motion, to and fro.
It is no night fire of the naked hills,
Thought I, some friendly covert must be near.
With this persuasion thitherward my steps
I turn, and reach at last the guiding light;
Joy to myself! but to the heart of Her
Who there was standing on the open hill,
(The same kind Matron whom your tongue hath praised)
Alarm and disappointment! The alarm
Ceased, when she learned through what mishap I came,
And by what help had gained those distant fields.
Drawn from her Cottage, on that open height,
Bearing a lantern in her hand she stood
Or paced the ground,—to guide her husband home,
By that unwearied signal, kenned afar;
An anxious duty! which the lofty Site
Traversed but by a few irregular paths,
Imposes, whensoe'er untoward chance
Detains him after his accustomed hour
When night lies black upon the hills. ‘But come,
Come,’ said the Matron,—‘to our poor abode;
Those dark rocks hide it!’ Entering, I beheld
A blazing fire—beside a cleanly hearth
Sate down; and to her office, with leave asked,
The Dame returned.—Or ere that glowing pile
Of mountain turf required the builder's hand
Its wasted splendour to repair, the door
Opened, and she re-entered with glad looks,
Her Helpmate following. Hospitable fare,
Frank conversation, make the evening's treat:
Need a bewildered Traveller wish for more?
But more was given; I studied as we sate
By the bright fire, the good Man's face—composed
Of features elegant; an open brow
Of undisturbed humanity; a cheek
Suffused with something of a feminine hue;
Eyes beaming courtesy and mild regard;
But in the quicker turns of his discourse,
Expression slowly varying, that evinced
A tardy apprehension. From a fount
Lost, thought I, in the obscurities of time,
But honour'd once, those features and that mien
May have descended, though I see them here,
In such a Man, so gentle and subdued,
Withal so graceful in his gentleness,
A race illustrious for heroic deeds,
Humbled, but not degraded, may expire.
This pleasing fancy (cherished and upheld
By sundry recollections of such fall
From high to low, ascent from low to high,
As books record, and even the careless mind
Cannot but notice among men and things,)
Went with me to the place of my repose.

[Miss Sarah Hutchinson, Mrs. Wordsworth's sister, and Mrs. Warter took down the story from the old woman's lips and Southey laid it by for the Doctor, &c. She then lived in a cottage at Rydal, where I afterwards saw her. Of the old man it was told me—(for I did not see him)——“He is a perfect picture,—like those we meet with in the better copies of Saints in our old Prayer Books.”
There was another comical History intended for an Interchapter to the Doctor, &c. of a runaway match to Gretna Green by two people in humble life,—but it was not handed over to me with the MS. materials. It was taken down from the mouth of the old woman who was one of the parties—and it would probably date back some sixty or seventy years.]


There are distinct degrees of Being as there are degrees of Sound; and the whole world is but as it were a greater Gamut, or scale of music.


Certain theologians, and certain theosophists, as men who fancy themselves inspired sometimes affect to be called, had approached so nearly to the Doctor's hypothesis of progressive life, and propensities continued in the ascending scale, that he appealed to them as authorities for its support. They saw the truth, he said, as far as they went; but it was only to a certain point: a step farther and the beautiful theory would have opened upon them. “How can we choose, said one, but remember the mercy of God in this our land in this particular, that no ravenous dangerous beasts do range in our nation, if men themselves would not be wolves and bears and lions one to another!” And why are they so, observed the Doctor commenting upon the words of the old Divine; why are they so, but because they have actually been lions and bears and wolves? why are they so, but because, as the wise heathen speaks, more truly than he was conscious of speaking, sub hominum effigie latet ferinus animus. The temper is congenital, the propensity innate; it is bred in the bone; and what Theologians call the old Adam, or the old Man, should physiologically, and perhaps therefore preferably, be called the old Beast.

That wise and good man William Jones of Nayland has in his sermon upon the nature and œconomy of Beasts and Cattle, a passage which in elucidating a remarkable part of the Law of Moses, may serve also as a glose or commentary upon the Doctor's theory.

“The Law of Moses, in the xith chapter of Leviticus, divides the brute creation into two grand parties, from the fashion of their feet, and their manner of feeding, that is, from the parting of the hoof, and the chewing of the cud; which properties are indications of their general characters, as wild or tame. For the dividing of the hoof and the chewing of the cud are peculiar to those cattle which are serviceable to man's life, as sheep, oxen, goats, deer, and their several kinds. These are shod by the Creator for a peaceable and inoffensive progress through life; as the Scripture exhorts us to be shod in like manner with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. They live temperately upon herbage, the diet of students and saints; and after the taking of their food, chew it deliberately over again for better digestion; in which act they have all the appearance a brute can assume of pensiveness or meditation; which is, metaphorically, called rumination,1 with reference to this property of certain animals.

1Pallentes ruminat herbas.

Dum jacet, et lentè revocatas ruminat herbas.

It were hardly necessary to recal to an English reader's recollection the words of Brutus to Cassius,

Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this,—

or those of Agrippa in Antony and Cleopatra,

Pardon what I have spoke;
For 'tis a studied, not a present thought,
By duty ruminated.

“Such are these: but when we compare the beasts of the field and the forest, they, instead of the harmless hoof, have feet which are swift to shed blood, (Rom. iii. 15.) sharp claws to seize upon their prey, and teeth to devour it; such as lions, tygers, leopards, wolves, foxes, and smaller vermin.

“Where one of the Mosaic marks is found, and the other is wanting, such creatures are of a middle character between the wild and the tame; as the swine, the hare, and some others. Those that part the hoof afford us wholesome nourishment; those that are shod with any kind of hoof may be made useful to man; as the camel, the horse, the ass, the mule; all of which are fit to travel and carry burdens. But when the foot is divided into many parts, and armed with claws, there is but small hope of the manners; such creatures being in general either murderers, or hunters, or thieves; the malefactors and felons of the brute creation: though among the wild there are all the possible gradations of ferocity and evil temper.

“Who can review the creatures of God, as they arrange themselves under the two great denominations of wild and tame, without wondering at their different dispositions and ways of life! sheep and oxen lead a sociable as well as a peaceful life; they are formed into flocks and herds; and as they live honestly they walk openly in the day. The time of darkness is to them, as to the virtuous and sober amongst men, a time of rest. But the beast of prey goeth about in solitude; the time of darkness is to him the time of action; then he visits the folds of sheep, and stalls of oxen, thirsting for their blood; as the thief and the murderer visits the habitations of men, for an opportunity of robbing, and destroying, under the concealment of the night. When the sun ariseth the beast of prey retires to the covert of the forest; and while the cattle are spreading themselves over a thousand hills in search of pasture, the tyrant of the desert is laying himself down in his den, to sleep off the fumes of his bloody meal. The ways of men are not less different than the ways of beasts; and here we may see them represented as on a glass; for, as the quietness of the pasture, in which the cattle spend their day, is to the howlings of a wilderness at night, such is the virtuous life of honest labour to the life of the thief, the oppressor, the murderer, and the midnight gamester, who live upon the losses and sufferings of other men.”

But how would the Doctor have delighted in the first Lesson of that excellent man's Book of Nature,—a book more likely to be useful than any other that has yet been written with the same good intent.


“The ass hath very long ears, and yet he hath no sense of music, but brayeth with a frightful noise. He is obstinate and unruly, and will go his own way, even though he is severely beaten. The child, who will not be taught, is but little better; he has no delight in learning, but talketh of his own folly, and disturbeth others with his noise.

“The dog barketh all the night long, and thinks it no trouble to rob honest people of their rest.

“The fox is a cunning thief, and men, when they do not fear God, are crafty and deceitful. The wolf is cruel and blood-thirsty. As he devoureth the lamb, so do bad men oppress and tear the innocent and helpless.

“The adder is a poisonous snake, and hatha forked double tongue; and so men speak lies, and utter slanders against their neighbours, when the poison of asps is under their lips. The devil, who deceiveth with lies, and would destroy all mankind, is the old serpent, who brought death into the world by the venom of his bite. He would kill me, and all the children that are born, if God would let him; but Jesus Christ came to save us from his power, and to destroy the works of the Devil.

“Lord thou hast made me a man for thy service: O let me not dishonour thy work, by turning myself into the likeness of some evil beast: let me not be as the fox, who is a thief and a robber: let me never be cruel, as a wolf, to any of thy creatures; especially to my dear fellow-creatures, and my dearer fellow Christians; but let me be harmless as the lamb; quiet and submissive as the sheep; that so I may be fit to live, and be fed on thy pasture, under the good shepherd, Jesus Christ. It is far better to be the poorest of his flock, than to be proud and cruel, as the lion or the tiger, who go about seeking what they may devour.”


Q. What is the child that will not learn?

A. An ass, which is ignorant and unruly.

Q. What are wicked men, who hurt and cheat others?

A. They are wolves and foxes, and bloodthirsty lions.

Q. What are ill-natured people, who trouble their neighbours and rail at them?

A. They are dogs, who bark at every body.

Q. But what are good and peaceable people?

A. They are harmless sheep; and little children, under the grace of God, are innocent lambs.

Q. But what are liars?

A. They are snakes and vipers, with double tongues and poison under their lips.

Q. Who is the good shepherd?

A. Jesus Christ.”

There is a passage not less apposite in Donne's Epistle to Sir Edward, afterwards Lord Herbert of Cherbury.

Man is a lump where all beasts kneaded be;
Wisdom makes him an Ark where all agree.
The fool in whom these beasts do live at jar,
Is sport to others and a theatre;
Nor 'scapes he so, but is himself their prey,
All that was man in him is ate away;
And now his beasts on one another feed,
Yet couple in anger and new monsters breed.
How happy he which hath due place assign'd
To his beasts, and disaforested his mind,
Empaled himself to keep them out, not in;
Can sow and dares trust corn where they have been,
Can use his horse, goat, wolf and every beast,
And is not ass himself to all the rest.

To this purport the Patriarch of the Quakers writes where he saith “now some men have the nature of Swine, wallowing in the mire: and some men have the nature of Dogs, to bite both the sheep and one another: and some men have the nature of Lions, to tear, devour and destroy: and some men have the nature of Wolves, to tear and devour the lambs and sheep of Christ: and some men have the nature of the Serpent (that old destroyer) to sting, envenom and poison. He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear, and learn these things within himself. And some men have the natures of other beasts and creatures, minding nothing but earthly and visible things, and feeding without the fear of God. Some men have the nature of an Horse, to prance and vapour in their strength, and to be swift in doing evil. And some men have the nature of tall sturdy Oaks, to flourish and spread in wisdom and strength, who are strong in evil, which must perish and come to the fire. Thus the Evil is but one in all, but worketh many ways; and whatsoever a Man's or Woman's nature is addicted to that is outward, the Evil one will fit him with that, and will please his nature and appetite, to keep his mind in his inventions, and in the creatures from the Creator.”

To this purport the so-called Clemens writes in the Apostolical Constitutions when he complains that the flock of Christ was devoured by Demons and wicked men, or rather not men but wild beasts in the shape of men, πονηροῖς ἀνθρώποις, μᾶλλον δὲ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις, ἀλλὰ θηρίοις ἀνθρωποείδεσιν, by Heathens, Jews and godless heretics.

With equal triumph too did he read a passage in one of the numbers of the Connoisseur, which made him wonder that the writer from whom it proceeded in levity should not have been led on by it to the clear perception of a great truth. “The affinity,” says that writer, who is now known to have been no less a person than the author of the Task, “the affinity between chatterers and monkeys, and praters and parrots, is too obvious not to occur at once. Grunters and growlers may be justly compared to hogs. Snarlers are curs that continually shew their teeth, but never bite; and the spitfire passionate are a sort of wild cats, that will not bear stroking, but will purr when they are pleased. Complainers are screech-owls; and story-tellers always repeating the same dull note are cuckoos. Poets that prick up their ears at their own hideous braying are no better than asses; critics in general are venomous serpents that delight in hissing; and some of them, who have got by heart a few technical terms without knowing their meaning, are no better than magpies.”

So too the polyonomous Arabian philosopher Zechariah Ben Mohammed Ben Mahmud Al Camuni Al Cazvini. “Man,” he says, “partakes of the nature of vegetables, because like them he grows and is nourished; he stands in this farther relation to the irrational animals, that he feels and moves; by his intellectual faculties he resembles the higher orders of intelligences, and he partakes more or less of these various classes, as his inclination leads him. If his sole wish be to satisfy the wants of existence, then he is content to vegetate. If he partakes more of the animal than the vegetable nature, we find him fierce as the lion, greedy as the bull, impure as the hog, cruel as the leopard, or cunning as the fox; and if as is sometimes the case, he possesses all these bad qualities, he is then a demon in human shape.”

Gratifying as these passages were to him, some of them being mere sports of wit, and others only the produce of fancy, he would have been indeed delighted if he had known what was in his days known by no European scholar, that in the Institutes of Menu, his notion is distinctly declared as a revealed truth; there it is said, “In whatever occupation the Supreme Lord first employed any vital soul, that occupation the same soul attaches itself spontaneously, when it receives a new body again and again. Whatever quality, noxious or innocent, harsh or mild, unjust or just, false or true, he conferred on any being at its creation, the same quality enters it of course on its future births.”2


Still more would it have gratified him if he had known (as has before been cursorily observed) how entirely his own theory coincided with the Druidical philosophy, a philosophy which he would rather have traced to the Patriarchs, than to the Canaanites. Their doctrine, as explained by the Welsh translator of the Paradise Lost, in the sketch of Bardism which he has prefixed to the poems of Llywarc the Aged, was that “the whole animated creation originated in the lowest point of existence, and arrived by a regular train of gradations at the probationary state of humanity, the intermediate stages being all necessarily evil, but more or less so as they were removed from the beginning, which was evil in the extreme. In the state of humanity, good and evil were equally balanced, consequently it was a state of liberty, in which if the conduct of the free agent preponderated towards evil, death gave but an awful passage whereby he returned to animal life, in a condition below humanity equal to the degree of turpitude to which he had debased himself, when free to chuse between good and evil: and if his life were desperately wicked, it was possible for him to fall to his original vileness, in the lowest point of existence, there to recommence his painful progression through the ascending series of brute being. But if he had acted well in this his stage of probation, death was then to the soul thus tried and approved, what the word by which in the language of the Druids it is denoted, literally means, enlargement. The soul was removed from the sphere wherein evil hath any place, into a state necessarily good; not to continue there in one eternal condition of blessedness, eternity being what no inferior existence could endure, but to pass from one gradation to another, gaining at every ascent increase of knowledge, and retaining the consciousness of its whole preceding progress through all. For the good of the human race, such a soul might again be sent on earth, but the human being of which it then formed the life was incapable of falling.” In this fancy the Bardic system approached that of the Bramins, this Celtic avatar of a happy soul, corresponding to the twice-born man of the Hindus. And the Doctor would have extracted some confirmation for the ground of the theory from that verse of the Psalm which speaks of us as “curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”

Young, he used to say, expressed unconsciously this system of progressive life, when he spoke of man as a creature

From different natures marvellously mix'd;
Connection exquisite of distant worlds;
Distinguish'd link in being's endless chain,
Midway from nothing to the Deity.

It was more distinctly enounced by Akenside.

The same paternal hand
From the mute shell-fish gasping on the shore
To men, to angels, to celestial minds,
Will ever lead the generations on
Through higher scenes of being: while, supplied
From day to day with his enlivening breath,
Inferior orders in succession rise
To fill the void below. As flame ascends,
As vapours to the earth in showers return,
As the pois'd ocean toward the attracting moon
Swells, and the ever listening planets charmed
By the Sun's call their onward pace incline,
So all things which have life aspire to God,
Exhaustless fount of intellectual day!
Centre of souls! nor doth the mastering voice
Of nature cease within to prompt aright
Their steps; nor is the care of heaven withheld
From sending to the toil external aid,
That in their stations all may persevere
To climb the ascent of being, and approach
For ever nearer to the Life Divine.

The Bardic system bears in itself intrinsic evidence of its antiquity; for no such philosophy could have been devised among any Celtic people in later ages; nor could the Britons have derived any part of it from any nation with whom they had any opportunity of intercourse, at any time within reach of history. The Druids, or rather the Bards, (for these, according to those by whom their traditionary wisdom has been preserved, were the superior order,) deduced as corollaries from the theory of Progressive Existence, these beautiful Triads.3

3 Originally quoted in the notes to Madoc to illustrate the lines which follow.

“Let the Bard,
Exclaim'd the King, give his accustom'd lay:
For sweet, I know, to Madoc is the song
He loved in earlier years.
Then strong of voice,
The officer proclaim'd the sovereign will,
Bidding the hall be silent; loud he spake
And smote the sounding pillar with his wand
And hush'd the banqueters. The chief of Bards
Then raised the ancient lay.
Thee, Lord! he sung,
O Father! Thee, whose wisdom, Thee, whose power,
Whose love,—all love, all power, all wisdom. Thou!
Tongue cannot utter, nor can heart conceive.
He in the lowest depth of Being framed
The imperishable mind; in every change
Through the great circle of progressive life,
He guides and guards, till evil shall be known,
And being known as evil, cease to be;
And the pure soul emancipate by death,
The Enlarger, shall attain its end predoom'd,
The eternal newness of eternal joy.

“There are three Circles of Existence; the Circle of Infinity, where there is nothing but God, of living or dead, and none but God can traverse it; the Circle of Inchoation, where all things are by nature derived from Death,—this Circle hath been traversed by man; and the Circle of happiness, where all things spring from life,—this man shall traverse in heaven.

“Animated beings having three states of Existence; that of Inchoation in the Great Deep, or lowest point of Existence; that of Liberty in the State of Humanity; and that of Love, which is the Happiness of Heaven.

“All Animated Beings are subject to three Necessities; beginning in the Great Deep; Progression in the Circle of Inchoation; and Plenitude in the Circle of Happiness. Without these things nothing can possibly exist but God.

“Three things are necessary in the Circle of Inchoation; the least of all, Animation, and thence beginning; the materials of all things, and thence Increase, which cannot take place in any other state; the formation of all things out of the dead mass, and thence Discriminate Individuality.

“Three things cannot but exist towards all animated Beings from the Nature of Divine Justice: Co-sufferance in the Circle of Inchoation, because without that none could attain to the perfect knowledge of anything; Co-participation in the Divine Love; and Co-ultimity from the nature of God's Power, and its attributes of Justice and Mercy.

“There are three necessary occasions of Inchoation: to collect the materials and properties of every nature; to collect the knowledge of everything; and to collect power towards subduing the Adverse and the Devastative, and for the divestation of Evil. Without this traversing every mode of animated existence, no state of animation, or of any thing in nature, can attain to plenitude.”

“By the knowledge of three things will all Evil and Death be diminished and subdued; their nature, their cause, and their operation. This knowledge will be obtained in the Circle of Happiness.”

“The three Plenitudes of Happiness:—Participation of every nature, with a plenitude of One predominant; conformity to every cast of genius and character, possessing superior excellence in one; the love of all Beings and Existences, but chiefly concentred in one object, which is God; and in the predominant One of each of these, will the Plenitude of Happiness consist.”

Triads it may be observed are found in the Proverbs of Solomon: so that to the evidence of antiquity which these Bardic remains present in their doctrines, a presumption is to be added from the peculiar form in which they are conveyed.

Whether Sir Philip Sydney had any such theory in his mind or not, there is an approach to it in that fable which he says old Lanquet taught him of the Beasts desiring from Jupiter a King, Jupiter consented, but on condition that they should contribute the qualities convenient for the new and superior creature.

Full glad they were, and took the naked sprite,
Which straight the Earth yclothed in her clay;
The Lion heart, the Ounce gave active might;
The Horse, good shape; the Sparrow lust to play;
Nightingale, voice enticing songs to say;
Elephant gave a perfect memory,
And Parrot, ready tongue that to apply.

The Fox gave craft; the Dog gave flattery;
Ass, patience; the Mole, a working thought;
Eagle, high look; Wolf, secret cruelty;
Monkey, sweet breath; the Cow, her fair eyes brought:
The Ermine, whitest skin, spotted with nought.
The Sheep, mild-seeming face; climbing the Bear,
The Stag did give his harm-eschewing fear.

The Hare, her slights; the Cat, her melancholy;
Ant, industry; and Coney, skill to build;
Cranes, order; Storks, to be appearing holy;
Cameleons, ease to change; Duck, ease to yield;
Crocodile, tears which might be falsely spill'd;
Ape, great thing gave, tho' he did mowing stand,
The instrument of instruments, the hand.

Thus Man was made, thus Man their Lord became.

At such a system he thought Milton glanced when his Satan speaks of the influences of the heavenly bodies, as

Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth
Of creatures animate with gradual life
Of growth, sense, reason, all summ'd up in man:

for that the lines, though capable of another interpretation, ought to be interpreted as referring to a scheme of progressive life, appears by this fuller developement in the speech of Raphaël;

O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom
All things proceed, and up to him return,
If not deprav'd from good, created all
Such to perfection, one first matter all,
Indued with various forms, various degrees
Of substance, and in things that live, of life;
But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure,
As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending
Each in their several active spheres assign'd,
Till body up to spirit work, in bounds
Proportion'd to each kind. So from the root
Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves
More aery, last the bright consummate flower
Spirits odorous breathes: flow'rs and their fruit,
Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublimed,
To vital spirits aspire, to animal,
To intellectual; give both life and sense
Fancy and understanding; whence the soul
Reason received, and reason is her being
Discursive, or intuitive; discourse
Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
Differing but in degree, of kind the same.4

4 Spenser in his “Hymne of Heavenly Beautie” falls into a similar train of thought, as is observed by Thyer.

By view whereof it plainly may appeare
That still as everything doth upward tend,
And further is from earth, so still more cleare
And faire it grows, till to his perfect end
Of purest beautie it at last ascend;
Ayre more than water, fire much more than ayre,
And heaven than fire, appeares more pure and fayre.

But these are somewhat of Pythagorean speculations—caught up by Lucretius and Virgil.

Whether that true philosopher, in the exact import of the word, Sir Thomas Browne, had formed a system of this kind, or only threw out a seminal idea from which it might be evolved, the Doctor, who dearly loved the writings of this most meditative author, would not say. But that Sir Thomas had opened the same vein of thought appears in what Dr. Johnson censured in “a very fanciful and indefensible section” of his Christian Morals; for there, and not among his Pseudodoxia Epidemica, that is to say Vulgar Errors, the passage is found. Our Doctor would not only have deemed it defensible, but would have proved it to be so by defending it. “Since the brow,” says the Philosopher of Norwich, “speaks often truth, since eyes and noses have tongues, and the countenance proclaims the heart and inclinations; let observation so far instruct thee in physiognomical lines, as to be some rule for thy distinction, and guide to for thy affection unto such as look most like men. Mankind methinks, is comprehended in a few faces, if we exclude all visages which any way participate of symmetries and schemes of look common unto other animals. For as though man were the extract of the world, in whom all were in coagulato, which in their forms were in soluto, and at extension, we often observe that men do most act those creatures whose constitution, parts and complexion, do most predominate in their mixtures. This is a corner-stone in physiognomy, and holds some truth not only in particular persons but also in whole nations.”

But Dr. Johnson must cordially have assented to Sir Thomas Browne's inferential admonition. “Live,” says that Religious Physician and Christian Moralist,—“live unto the dignity of thy nature, and leave it not disputable at last whether thou hast been a man, or since thou art a composition of man and beast, how thou hast predominantly passed thy days, to state the denomination. Un-man not, therefore, thyself by a bestial transformation, nor realize old fables. Expose not thyself by fourfooted manners unto monstrous draughts and caricature representations. Think not after the old Pythagorean concert what beast thou mayest be after death. Be not under any brutal metempsychosis while thou livest and walkest about erectly under that scheme of man. In thine own circumference, as in that of the earth, let the rational horizon be larger than the sensible, and the circle of reason than of sense: let the divine part be upward, and the region of beast below: otherwise it is but to live invertedly, and with thy head unto the heels of thy antipodes. Desert not thy title to a divine particle and union with invisibles. Let true knowledge and virtue tell the lower world thou art a part of the higher. Let thy thoughts be of things which have not entered into the hearts of beasts; think of things long past, and long to come; acquaint thyself with the choragium of the stars, and consider the vast expansion beyond them. Let intellectual tubes give thee a glance of things which visive organs reach not. Have a glimpse of incomprehensible, and thoughts of things, which thoughts but tenderly touch. Lodge immaterials in thy head, ascend unto invisibles; fill thy spirit with spirituals, with the mysteries of faith, the magnalities of religion, and thy life with the honour of God; without which, though giants in wealth and dignity, we are but dwarfs and pygmies in humanity, and may hold a pitiful rank in that triple division of mankind into heroes, men and beasts. For though human souls are said to be equal, yet is there no small inequality in their operations; some maintain the allowable station of men, many are far below it; and some have been so divine as to approach the apogeum of their natures, and to be in the confinium of spirits.”



Plusieurs blameront l'entassem*nt de passages que l'on vient de voir; j'ai prévu leurs dédains, leurs dégoûts, et leurs censures magistrales; et n'ai pas voulu y avoir égard.


Here I shall inform the small critic, what it is, “a thousand pounds to one penny,” as the nursery song says, or as the newspaper reporters of the Ring have it, Lombard Street to a China Orange,—no small critic already knows, whether he be diurnal, hebdomadal, monthly or trimestral,—that a notion of progressive Life is mentioned in Bishop Berkeley's Minute Philosopher, not as derived from any old system of philosophy or religion, but as the original speculation of one who belonged to a club of Freethinkers. Another member of that worshipful society explains the system of his acquaintance, thus:

“He made a threefold partition of the human species into Birds, Beasts and Fishes, being of opinion that the Road of Life lies upwards in a perpetual ascent, through the scale of Being: in such sort, that the souls of insects after death make their second appearance in the shape of perfect animals, Birds, Beasts or Fishes; which upon their death are preferred into human bodies, and in the next stage into Beings of a higher and more perfect kind. This man we considered at first as a sort of heretic, because his scheme seemed not to consist with our fundamental tenet, the Mortality of the Soul: but he justified the notion to be innocent, inasmuch as it included nothing of reward or punishment, and was not proved by any argument which supposed, or implied either incorporeal spirit, or Providence, being only inferred, by way of analogy, from what he had observed in human affairs, the Court, the Church, and the Army, wherein the tendency is always upwards, from lower posts to higher. According to this system, the Fishes are those men who swim in pleasure, such as petit* maitres, bons vivans, and honest fellows. The Beasts are dry, drudging, covetous, rapacious folk, and all those addicted to care and business like oxen, and other dry land animals, which spend their lives in labour and fatigue. The Birds are airy, notional men, Enthusiasts, Projectors, Philosophers, and such like; in each species every individual retaining a tincture of his former state, which constitutes what is called genius.”

The quiet reader who sometimes lifts his eyes from the page (and closes them perhaps) to meditate upon what he has been reading, will perhaps ask himself wherefore I consider it to be as certain that no small critic should have read the Minute Philosopher, as that children can not be drowned while “sliding on dry ground?”—My reason for so thinking is, that small critics never read any thing so good. Like town ducks they dabble in the gutter, but never purify themselves in clear streams, nor take to the deep waters.


S'il y a des lecteurs qui se soucient peu de cela, on les prie de se souvenir qu'un auteur n'est pas obligé à ne rien dire que ce qui est de leur goût.


Had my ever-by-me-to-be-lamented friend, and from this time forth, I trust, ever-by-the-public-to-be-honoured-philosopher, been a Welshman; or had he lived to become acquainted with the treasures of Welsh lore which Edward Williams, William Owen, and Edward Davies, the Curate of Olveston, have brought to light; he would have believed in the Bardic system as heartily as the Glamorganshire and Merionethshire Bards themselves, and have fitted it, without any apprehension of heresy, to his own religious creed. And although he would have perceived with the Curate of Olveston (worthy of the best Welsh Bishoprick for his labours; O George the Third, why did no one tell thee that he was so, when he dedicated to thee his Celtic Researches?)—although (I say) he would have perceived that certain of the Druidical rites were derived from an accursed origin,—a fact authenticated by their abominations, and rendered certain by the historical proof that the Celtic language affords in both those dialects wherein any genuine remains have been preserved,—that knowledge would still have left him at liberty to adopt such other parts of the system as harmonized with his own speculations, and were not incompatible with the Christian faith. How he would have reconciled them shall be explained when I have taken this opportunity of relating something of the late Right Reverend Father in God, Richard Watson, Lord Bishop of Llandaff, which is more to his honour than anything that he has related of himself. He gave the Curate of Olveston, upon George Hardinge's recommendation, a Welsh Rectory, which though no splendid preferment, placed that patient, and learned, and able and meritorious poor man, in a respectable station, and conferred upon him (as he gratefully acknowledged) the comfort of independence.

My friend had been led by Cudworth to this reasonable conclusion that there was a theology of divine tradition, or revelation, or a divine cabala, amongst the Hebrews first, and from them afterward communicated to the Egyptians and other nations. He had learnt also from that greater theologian Jackson of Corpus (whom the Laureate Southey (himself to be commended for so doing,) loses no opportunity of commending)1 that divine communion was not confined to the Israelites before their distinction from other nations and that “idolatry and superstition could not have increased so much in the old world, unless there had been evident documents of a divine power in ages precedent;” for “strange fables and lying wonders receive being from notable and admirable decayed truths, as baser creatures do life from the dissolution of more noble bodies.” These were the deliberate opinions of men not more distinguished among their contemporaries and eminent above their successors, for the extent of their erudition than remarkable for capacity of mind and sobriety of judgment. And with these the history of the Druidical system entirely accords. It arose “from the gradual or accidental corruption of the patriarchal religion, by the abuse of certain commemorative honours which were paid to the ancestors of the human race, and by the admixture of Sabæan idolatry;” and on the religion thus corrupted some Canaanite abominations were engrafted by the Phœnicians. But as in other apostacies, a portion of original truth was retained in it.

1 Since Southey's death, Jackson's Works, to the much satisfaction of all sound theologians, have been reprinted at the Clarendon Press. I once heard Mr. Parker the Bookseller—the Uncle of the present Mr. Parker—say, that he recollected the sheets of the Folio Edition being used as wrappers in the shops! Alexander's dust as a bung to a beer-barrel, quotha!

Indeed just as remains of the antediluvian world are found everywhere in the bowels of the earth, so are traces not of scriptural history alone, but of primæval truths to be discovered in the tradition of savages, their wild fables, and their bewildered belief; as well as in the elaborate systems of heathen mythology and the principles of what may deserve to be called divine philosophy. The farther our researches are extended the more of these collateral proofs are collected, and consequently the stronger their collective force becomes. Research and reflection lead also to conclusions as congenial to the truly christian heart as they may seem startling to that which is christian in every thing except in charity. Impostors acting only for their own purposes have enunciated holy truths, which in many of their followers have brought forth fruits of holiness. True miracles have been worked in false religions. Nor ought it to be doubted that prayers which have been directed to false Gods in erring, but innocent, because unavoidable misbelief, have been heard and accepted by that most merciful Father, whose eye is over all his creatures, and who hateth nothing that he hath made.—Here be it remarked that Baxter has protested against this fine expression in that paper of exceptions against the Common Prayer which he prepared for the Savoy Meeting, and which his colleagues were prudent enough to set aside, lest it should give offence, they said, but probably because the more moderate of them were ashamed of its frivolous and captious cavillings; the Collect in which it occurs, he said, hath no reason for appropriation to the first day of Lent, and this part of it is unhandsomely said, being true only in a formal sense quâ talis, for “he hateth all the works of iniquity.” Thus did he make iniquity the work of God, a blasphemy from which he would have revolted with just abhorrence if it had been advanced by another person: but dissent had become in him a cachexy of the intellect.



Voilà bien des mysteres, dira-t-on; j'en conviens; aussi le sujet le mérite-t-il bien. Au reste, il est certain que ces mysteres ne cachent rien de mauvais.


But although the conformity of the Bardic system to his own notions of progressive existence would have appeared to the Doctor

—confirmation strong
As proof of holy writ,—

he would have assented to that system no farther than such preceding conformity extended. Holding it only as the result of his own speculations,—as hypothesis,—a mere fancy,—a toy of the mind,—a plaything for the intellect in its lighter moments, and sometimes in its graver ones the subject of a dream,—he valued it accordingly. And yet the more he sported with it, and the farther he pursued it in his reveries, the more plausible it appeared, and the better did it seem to explain some of the physical phenomena, and some of the else seemingly inexplicable varieties of human nature. It was Henry More's opinion that the Pre-existence of the Soul, which is so explicit and frequent a doctrine of the Platonists, “was a tenet for which there are many plausible reasons, and against which there is nothing considerable to be alleged; being a key, he said, for some main mysteries of Providence which no other can so handsomely unlock.” More however, the Doctor thought might be advanced against that tenet, than against his own scheme, for to that no valid objection could be opposed. But the metempsychosis in a descending scale as a scheme of punishment would have been regarded by him as one of those corruptions which the Bards derived from the vain philosophy or false religions of the Levant.

Not that this part of their scheme was without a certain plausibility on the surface which might recommend it to inconsiderate minds. He himself would have thought that no Judge ever pronounced a more just decision than the three Infernal Lord Chancellors of the dead would do, if they condemned his townsman the pettyfogger to skulk upon earth again as a pole-cat, creep into holes as an earwig, and be flattened again between the thumbnails of a London chambermaid, or exposed to the fatal lotion of Mr. Tiffin, bug-destroyer to his Majesty. It was fitting he thought that every keen sportsman, for once at least should take the part of the inferior creature in those amusem*nts of the field which he had followed so joyously, and that he should be winged in the shape of a partridge, run down in the form of a hare by the hounds, and Actæonized in a stag: that the winner of a Welsh main should be the co*ck of one, and die of the wounds received in the last fight; that the merciless postmaster should become a posthorse at his own inn; and that they who have devised, or practised, or knowingly permitted any wanton cruelty for the sake of pampering their appetites, should in the next stage of their existence, feel in their own person the effect of those devices, which in their human state they had only tasted. And not being addicted himself to “the most honest, ingenuous, quiet, and harmless art of angling,” (forgive him Sir Humphrey Davy! forgive him Chantrey! forgive him, thou best of all publishers, John Major, who mightest write Ne plus ultra upon thy edition of any book which thou delightest to honour) he allowed that even Izaak Walton of blessed memory could not have shown cause for mitigation of the sentence, if Rhadamanthus and his colleagues in the Court below, had condemned him to be spitted upon the hook of some dear lover and ornament of the art, in the shape of “a black snail with his belly slit to shew the white;” or of a perch which of fish, he tells us, is the longest lived on a hook; or sewed him metempsycho-sized into a frog, to the arming iron, with a fine needle and silk, with only one stitch, using him in so doing, according to his own minute directions, as if he loved him, that is, harming him as little as he possibly might, that he might live the longer.

This would be fitting he thought, and there would have been enough of purgatory in it to satisfy the sense of vindictive justice, if any scheme of purgatory had been reconcilable with his scriptural belief. Bishop Hall has a passage in his Choice Helps for a Pious spirit, which might be taken in the sense of this opinion, though certainly no such meaning was intended by the writer. “Man,” he says, “as he consists of a double nature, flesh and spirit, so is he placed in a middle rank, betwixt an angel, which is a spirit, and a beast, which is flesh: partaking of the qualities and performing the acts of both. He is angelical in his understanding, in his sensual affections bestial; and to whether of these he most incline and comforteth himself, that part wins more of the other, and gives a denomination to him; so as he that was before half angel, half beast, if he be drowned in sensuality, hath lost the angel and is become a beast; if he be wholly taken up with heavenly meditations, he hath quit the beast, and is improved angelical. It is hard to hold an equal temper, either he must degenerate into a beast, or be advanced to an angel.”

Had the Doctor held this opinion according to the letter, and believed that those who brutalized their nature in the stage of humanity, were degraded to the condition of brutes after death, he could even have persuaded himself that intelligible indications of such a transmigration might be discovered in the eyes of a dog when he looks to some hard master for mercy, or to some kind one for notice, and as it were for a recognition of the feelings and thoughts which had no other means of expression. But he could not have endured to think it possible that the spaniel who stood beside him in mute supplication, with half-erected ears, looking for a morsel of food, might be a friend or relation; and that in making a troublesome or a thievish cur slink away with his tail between his legs, he might be hurting the feelings of an old acquaintance.

And indeed on the whole it would have disturbed his sense of order, to think that while some inferior creatures were innocently and unconsciously ascending in the scale of existence through their appointed gradations, others were being degraded to a condition below humanity for their sins committed in the human state. Punishment such degradation could not be deemed, unless the soul so punished retained its consciousness; and such consciousness would make it a different being from those who were externally of its fellow kind, and thus would the harmony of nature be destroyed: and to introduce discord there were to bring back Chaos. Bad enough as he saw is the inequality which prevails among mankind, though without it men would soon be all upon the dead level of animal and ferine life: But what is it to that which would appear in the lower world, if in the same species some individuals were guided only by their own proper instincts, and others endued with the consciousness of a human and reasonable mind.

The consequences also of such a doctrine where it was believed could not but lead to pitiable follies, and melancholy superstitions. Has humanity ever been put to a viler use than by the Banians at Surat, who support a hospital for vermin in that city, and regale the souls of their friends who are undergoing penance in the shape of fleas, or in loathsome pedicular form, by hiring beggars to go in among them, and afford them pasture for the night!

Even from his own system consequences followed which he could not reconcile to his wishes. Fond as he was of animals, it would have been a delight to him if he could have believed with the certainty of faith that he should have with him in Heaven all that he had loved on earth. But if they were only so many vehicles of the living spirit during its ascent to humanity,—only the egg, the caterpillar and the aurelia from which the human but immortal Psyche was to come forth at last, then must their uses be at an end in this earthly state: and Paradise he was sometimes tempted to think would want something if there were no beautiful insects to hover about its flowers, no birds to warble in its groves or glide upon its waters,—would not be the Paradise he longed for unless the lion were there to lie down with the lamb, and the antelope reclined its gentle head upon the leopard's breast. Fitting and desirable and necessary he considered the extinction of all noxious kinds, all which were connected with corruption, and might strictly be said to be of the earth earthly. But in his Paradise he would fain have whatever had been in Eden, before Paradise was lost, except the serpent.

“I can hardly,” says an English officer who was encamped in India near a lake overstocked with fish, “I can hardly censure the taste of the Indians who banish from a consecrated pond, the net of the fisher, the angler's hook and the fowler's gun. Shoals of large fish giving life to the clear water of a large lake covered with flocks of aquatic birds, afford to the sight a gratification which would be ill exchanged for the momentary indulgence of appetite.” My excellent friend would heartily have agreed with this Englishman: but in the waters of Paradise he would have thought, neither did the fish prey upon each other, nor the birds upon them, death not being necessary there as the means of providing aliment for life.

That there are waters in the Regions of the Blessed, Bede it is said, assures us for this reason, that they are necessary there to temper the heat of the Sun. And Cornelius à Lapide has found out a most admirable use for them above the firmament,—which is to make rivers and fountains and waterworks for the recreation of the souls in bliss, whose seat is in the Empyrean Heaven.

“If an herd of kine,” says Fuller, “should meet together to fancy and define happiness,—(that is to imagine a Paradise for themselves,)—they would place it to consist in fine pastures, sweet grass, clear water, shadowy groves, constant summer; but if any winter, then warm shelter and dainty hay, with company after their kind, counting these low things the highest happiness, because their conceit can reach no higher. Little better do the heathen poets describe Heaven, paving it with pearl and roofing it with stars, filling it with Gods and Goddesses, and allowing them to drink, (as if without it, no poet's Paradise) nectar and ambrosia.”



And so I came to Fancy's meadows, strow'd
With many a flower;
Fain would I here have made abode,
But I was quickened by my hour.

Hindoos and Mahommedans have stocked their heavens not only with mythological monsters but with beautiful birds of celestial kind. They who have read Thalaba will remember the

Green warbler of the bowers of Paradise:

and they who will read the history of the Nella-Rajah,—which whosoever reads or relates, shall (according to the author) enjoy all manner of happiness and planetary bliss,—that is to say, all the good fortune that can be bestowed by the nine great luminaries which influence human events,—they who read that amusing story will find that in the world of Daivers, or Genii, there are milk white birds called Aunnays, remarkable for the gracefulness of their walk, wonderfully endowed with knowledge and speech, incapable of deceit, and having power to look into the thoughts of men.

These creatures of imagination are conceived in better taste than the Rabbis have displayed in the invention of their great bird Ziz, whose head when he stands in the deep sea reaches up to Heaven; whose wings when they are extended darken the sun; and one of whose eggs happening to fall crushed three hundred cedars and breaking in the fall, drowned sixty cities in its yolk. That fowl is reserved for the dinner of the Jews in heaven, at which Leviathan is to be the fish, and Behemoth the roast meat. There will be cut and come again at all of them; and the carvers of whatever rank in the hierarchy they may be, will have no sinecure office that day.

The monks have given us a prettier tale;—praise be to him who composed,—but the lyar's portion to those who made it pass for truth. There was an Abbot of S. Salvador de Villar who lived in times when piety flourished, and Saints on earth enjoyed a visible communion with Heaven. This holy man used in the intervals of his liturgical duties to recreate himself by walking in a pine forest near his monastery, employing his thoughts the while in divine meditations. One day when thus engaged during his customary walk, a bird in size and appearance resembling a black bird alighted before him on one of the trees, and began so sweet a song, that in the delight of listening the good Abbot lost all sense of time and place, and of all earthly things, remaining motionless and in extasy. He returned not to the Convent at his accustomed hour, and the Monks supposed that he had withdrawn to some secret solitude; and would resume his office when his intended devotion there should have been compleated. So long a time elapsed without his reappearance that it was necessary to appoint a substitute for him pro tempore; his disappearance and the forms observed upon this occasion being duly registered. Seventy years past by, during all which time no one who entered the pine forest ever lighted upon the Abbot, nor did he think of any thing but the bird before him, nor hear any thing but the song which filled his soul with contentment, nor eat, nor drink, nor sleep, nor feel either want or weariness or exhaustion. The bird at length ceased to sing and took flight: and the Abbot then as if he had remained there only a few minutes returned to the monastery. He marvelled as he approached at certain alterations about the place, and still more when upon entering the house, he knew none of the brethren whom he saw, nor did any one appear to know him. The matter was soon explained, his name being well known, and the manner of his disappearance matter of tradition there as well as of record: miracles were not so uncommon then as to render any proof of identity necessary, and they proposed to reinstate him in his office. But the holy man was sensible that after so great a favour had been vouchsafed him, he was not to remain a sojourner upon earth: so he exhorted them to live in peace with one another, and in the fear of God, and in the strict observance of their rule, and to let him end his days in quietness; and in a few days, even as he expected, it came to pass, and he fell asleep in the Lord.

The dishonest monks who for the honour of their Convent and the lucre of gain palmed this lay (for such in its origin it was) upon their neighbours as a true legend, added to it, that the holy Abbot was interred in the cloisters; that so long as the brethren continued in the observance of their rule, and the place of his interment was devoutly visited, the earth about it proved a certain cure for many maladies, but that in process of time both church and cloisters became so dilapidated through decay of devotion, that cattle strayed into them, till the monks and the people of the vicinity were awakened to a sense of their sin and of their duty, by observing that every animal which trod upon the Abbot's grave, fell and broke its leg.1 The relics therefore were translated with due solemnity, and deposited in a new monument, on which the story of the miracle, in perpetuam rei memoriam, was represented in bas-relief.

1 Superstition is confined to no country, but is spread, more or less, over all. The classical reader will call to mind what Herodotus tells happened in the territory of Agyllæi. Clio. c. 167, ἐγίνετο διάστροφα καὶ ἔμπηρα καὶ ἀπόπληκτα, ὁμοίως πρόβατα καὶ ὑποζύγια καὶ ἄνθρωποι.

The Welsh have a tradition concerning the Birds of Rhianon,—a female personage who hath a principal part in carrying on the spells in Gwlad yr Hud or the Enchanted Land of Pembrokeshire. Whoso happened to hear the singing of her birds, stood seven years listening, though he supposed the while that only an hour or two had elapsed. Owen Pughe could have told us more of these Birds.

Some Romish legends speak of birds which were of no species known on earth and who by the place and manner of their appearances were concluded to have come from Paradise, or to have been celestial spirits in that form. Holy Colette of portentous sanctity, the Reformeress of the Poor Clares, and from whom a short-lived variety of the Franciscans were called Colettines, was favoured, according to her biographers, with frequent visits by a four-footed pet, which was no mortal creature. It was small, resembling a squirrel in agility, and an ermine in the snowy whiteness of its skin, but not in other respects like either; and it had this advantage over all earthly pets, that it was sweetly and singularly fragrant. It would play about the saint, and invite her attention by its gambols. Colette felt a peculiar and mysterious kind of pleasure when it showed itself; and for awhile not supposing that there was anything supernatural in its appearance, endeavoured to catch it, for she delighted in having lambs and innocent birds to fondle: but though the Nuns closed the door, and used every art and effort to entice or catch it, the little nondescript always either eluded them, or vanished; and it never tasted of any food which they set before it. This miracle being unique in its kind is related with becoming admiration by the chroniclers of the Seraphic Order; as it well may, for, for a monastic writer to invent a new miracle of any kind evinces no ordinary power of invention.

If this story be true, and true it must be unless holy Colette's reverend Roman Catholic biographers are liars, its truth cannot be admitted sans tirer à consequence; and it would follow as a corollary not to be disputed, that there are animals in the world of Angels. And on the whole it accorded with the general bearing of the Doctor's notions (notions rather than opinions he liked to call them where they were merely speculative) to suppose that there may be as much difference between the zoology of that world, and of this, as is found in the zoology and botany of widely distant regions here, according to different circ*mstances of climate: and rather to imagine that there were celestial birds, beasts, fishes, and insects, exempt from evil, and each happy in its kind to the full measure of its capacity for happiness, than to hold the immortality of brutes. Cudworth's authority had some weight with him on this subject, where the Platonical divine says that as “human souls could not possibly be generated out of matter, but were sometime or other created by the Almighty out of nothing preexisting, either in generations, or before them,” so if it be admitted that brute animals are “not mere machines, or automata (as some seem inclinable to believe), but conscious and thinking beings; then from the same principle of reason, it will likewise follow, that their souls cannot be generated out of matter neither, and therefore must be derived from the fountain of all life, and created out of nothing by Him: who, since he can as easily annihilate as create, and does all for the best, no man need at all to trouble himself about their permanency, or immortality.”

Now though the Doctor would have been pleased to think, with the rude Indian, that when he was in a state of existence wherein no evil could enter

His faithful dog should bear him company,

he felt the force of this reasoning; and he perceived also that something analogous to the annihilation there intended, might be discerned in his own hypothesis. For in what may be called the visible creation he found nothing resembling that animalcular world which the microscope has placed within reach of our senses; nothing like those monstrous and prodigious forms which Leeuwenhoeck, it must be believed, has faithfully delineated.—Bishop has a beautiful epigram upon the theme καλὰ πέφανται

When thro a chink,2 a darkened room
Admits the solar beam,
Down the long light that breaks the gloom,
Millions of atoms stream.

In sparkling agitation bright,
Alternate dies they bear;
Too small for any sense but sight,
Or any sight, but there.

Nature reveals not all her store
To human search, or skill;
And when she deigns to shew us more
She shows us Beauty still.

But the microscopic world affords us exceptions to this great moral truth. The forms which are there discovered might well be called

Abominable, inutterable, and worse
Than fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceived,
Gorgons and Hydras, and Chimæras dire.

Such verily they would be, if they were in magnitude equal to the common animals by which we are surrounded. But Nature has left all these seemingly misformed creatures in the lowest stage of existence,—the circle of inchoation; neither are any of the hideous forms of insects repeated in the higher grades of animal life; the sea indeed contains creatures marvellously uncouth and ugly, beaucoup plus de monstres, sans comparaison, que la terre, and the Sieur de Brocourt, who was as curious in collecting the opinions of men as our philosopher, though no man could make more dissimilar uses of their knowledge, explains it à cause de la facilité de la generation qui est en elle, dont se procreent si diverses figures, à raison de la grande chaleur qui se trouve en la mer, l'humeur y estant gras, et l'aliment abondant; toute generation se faisant par chaleur et humidité, qui produisent toutes choses. With such reasoning our Doctor was little satisfied; it was enough to know that as the sea produces monsters, so the sea covers them, and that fish are evidently lower in the scale of being than the creatures of earth and air. It is the system of Nature then that whatever is unseemly should be left in the earliest and lowest stages; that life as it ascends should cast off all deformity, as the butterfly leaves its exuviæ when its perfect form is developed; and finally that whatever is imperfect should be thrown off, and nothing survive in immortality but what is beautiful as well as good.

2 The Reader may not be displeased to read the following beautiful passage from Jeremy Taylor.
“If God is glorified in the sun and moon, in the rare fabric of the honeycombs, in the discipline of bees, in the economy of pismires, in the little houses of birds, in the curiosity of an eye, God being pleased to delight in those little images and reflexes of himself from those pretty mirrors, which, like a crevice in the wall, through a narrow perspective, transmit the species of a vast excellency: much rather shall God be pleased to behold himself in the glasses of our obedience, in the emissions of our will and understanding; these being rational and apt instruments to express him, far better than the natural, as being near communications of himself.”—Invalidity of a late or Death-bed Repentance, Vol. v. p. 464.

He was not acquainted with the speculation, or conception (as the Philotheistic philosopher himself called it) of Giordano Bruno, that deformium animalium formæ, formosæ sunt in cœlo. Nor would he have assented to some of the other opinions which that pious and high minded victim of papal intolerance, connected with it. That metallorum in se non lucentium formæ, lucent in planetis suis, he might have supposed, if he had believed in the relationship between metals and planets. And if Bruno's remark applied to the Planets only, as so many other worlds, and did not regard the future state of the creatures of this our globe, the Doctor might then have agreed to his assertion that non enim hom*o, nec animalia, nec metalla ut hic sunt, illic existunt. But the Philotheist of Nola, in the remaining part of this his twelfth Conceptus Idearum soared above the Doctor's pitch: Quod nempe hic discurrit, he says, illic actu viget, discursione superiori. Virtutes enim quæ versus materiam explicantur: versus actum primum uniuntur, et complicantur. Unde patet quod dic*nt Platonici, ideam quamlibet rerum etiam non viventium, vitam esse et intelligentiam quandam. Item et in Primâ Mente unam esse rerum omnium ideam. Illuminando igitur, vivificando, et uniendo est quod te superioribus agentibus conformans, in conceptionem et retentionem specierum efferaris. Here the Philosopher of Doncaster would have found himself in the dark, but whether because “blinded by excess of light,” or because the subject is within the confines of uttermost darkness, is not for me his biographer to determine.


In amplissimá causâ, quasi magno mari, pluribus ventis sumus vecti.


There was another argument against the immortality of brutes, to which it may be, he allowed the more weight, because it was of his own excogitating. Often as he had heard of apparitions in animal forms, all such tales were of some spirit or hobgoblin which had assumed that appearance; as, for instance that simulacrum admodum monstruosum, that portentous figure in which Pope Gregory the ninth after his death was met roaming about the woods by a holy hermit: it was in the form of a wild beast with the head of an ass, the body of a bear, and the tail of a cat. Well might the good hermit fortify himself with making the sign of the cross when he beheld this monster: he approved himself a courageous man by speaking to the apparition which certainly was not “in such a questionable shape” as to invite discourse: and we are beholden to him for having transmitted to posterity the bestial Pope's confession, that because he had lived an unreasonable and lawless life, it was the will of God and of St. Peter whose chair he had defiled by all kinds of abominations, that he should thus wander about in a form of ferine monstrosity.

He had read of such apparitions, and been sufficiently afraid of meeting a barguest1 in his boyish days; but in no instance had he ever heard of the ghost of an animal. Yet if the immaterial part of such creatures survived in a separate state of consciousness why should not their spirits sometimes have been seen as well as those of our departed fellow creatures? No co*ck or hen ghost ever haunted its own barn door; no child was ever alarmed by the spirit of its pet lamb; no dog or cat ever came like a shadow to visit the hearth on which it rested when living. It is laid down as a certain truth deduced from the surest principles of demonology by the Jesuit Thyræus, who had profoundly studied that science that whenever the apparition of a brute beast or monster was seen, it was a Devil in that shape. Quotiescumque sub brutorum animantium forma conspiciuntur spiritus, quotiescumque monstra exhibentur dubium non est, autoprosopos adesse Dæmoniorum spiritus. For such forms were not suitable for human spirits, but for evil Demons they were in many respects peculiarly so: and such apparitions were frequent.

1 A northern word, used in Cumberland and Yorkshire. Brocket and Grose neither of them seem aware that this spirit or dæmon had the form of the beast. Their derivations are severally “Berg a hill, and geest ghost;”—“Bar, a gate or style, and gheist.”
The locality of the spirit will suggest a reference to the Icelandic Berserkr. In that language Bera and Bersi both signify a bear.

Thus the Jesuit reasoned, the possibility that the spirit of a brute might appear never occurring to him, because he would have deemed it heretical to allow that there was anything in the brute creation partaking of immortality. No such objection occurred to the Doctor in his reasonings upon this point. His was a more comprehensive creed; the doubt which he felt was not concerning the spirit of brute animals, but whether it ever existed in a separate state after death, which the Ghost of one, were there but one such appearance well attested, would sufficiently prove.

He admitted indeed that for every authenticated case of an apparition, a peculiar cause was to be assigned, or presumed; but that for the apparition of an inferior animal, there could in general be no such cause. Yet cases are imaginable wherein there might be such peculiar cause, and some final purpose only to be brought about by such preternatural means. The strong affection which leads a dog to die upon his master's grave, might bring back the spirit of a dog to watch for the safety of a living master. That no animal ghosts should have been seen afforded therefore in this judgment no weak presumption against their existence.

O Dove, “my guide, philosopher and friend!” that thou hadst lived to see what I have seen, the portrait of the Ghost of a Flea, engraved by Varley, from the original by Blake! The engraver was present when the likeness was taken, and relates the circ*mstances thus in his Treatise on Zodiacal Physiognomy.

“This spirit visited his imagination in such a figure as he never anticipated in an insect. As I was anxious to make the most correct investigation in my power of the truth of these visions, on hearing of this spiritual apparition of a Flea, I asked him if he could draw for me the resemblance of what he saw. He instantly said, ‘I see him now before me.’ I therefore gave him paper and a pencil, with which he drew the portrait of which a fac-simile is given in this number. I felt convinced by his mode of proceeding, that he had a real image before him; for he left off, and began on another part of the paper to make a separate drawing of the mouth of the Flea, which the spirit having opened, he was prevented from proceeding with the first sketch till he had closed it. During the time occupied in compleating the drawing, the Flea told him that all fleas were inhabited by the souls of such men as were by nature blood-thirsty to excess, and were therefore providentially confined to the size and form of insects; otherwise, were he himself, for instance, the size of a horse, he would depopulate a great portion of the country. He added that if in attempting to leap from one island to another he should fall into the sea, he could swim, and should not be lost.”

The Ghost of the Flea spoke truly when he said what a formidable beast he should be, if with such power of leg and of proboscis, and such an appetite for blood he were as large as a horse. And if all things came by chance, it would necessarily follow from the laws of chance that such monsters there would be; but because all things are wisely and mercifully ordered, it is, that these varieties of form and power which would be hideous, and beyond measure destructive upon a larger scale, are left in the lower stages of being, the existence of such deformity and such means of destruction there, and their non-existence as the scale of life ascends, alike tending to prove the wisdom and the benevolence of the Almighty Creator.



We will not be too peremptory herein: and build standing structures of bold assertions on so uncertain a foundation; rather with the Rechabites we will live in tents of conjecture, which on better reason we may easily alter and remove.


It may have been observed by the attentive reader—(and all my readers will be attentive, except those who are in love) that although the Doctor traced many of his acquaintance to their prior allotments in the vegetable creation, he did not discover such symptoms in any of them as led him to infer that the object of his speculations had existed in the form of a tree;—crabbed tempers, sour plums, cherry-cheeks, and hearts of oak being nothing more than metaphorical expressions of similitude. But it would be a rash and untenable deduction were we to conclude from the apparent omission that the arboreal world was excluded from his system. On the contrary, the analogies between animal and vegetable life led him to believe that the Archeus of the human frame, received no unimportant part of his preparatory education in the woods.

Steele in a playful allegory has observed “that there is a sort of vegetable principle in the mind of every man when he comes into the world. In infants, the seeds lie buried and undiscovered, till after a while they sprout forth in a kind of rational leaves, which are words; and in due season the flowers begin to appear in variety of beautiful colours, and all the gay pictures of youthful fancy and imagination; at last the fruit knits and is formed, which is green perhaps at first, sour and unpleasant to the taste, and not fit to be gathered; till ripened by due care and application, it discovers itself in all the noble productions of philosophy, mathematics, close reasoning and handsome argumentation. I reflected further on the intellectual leaves before mentioned, and found almost as great a variety among them as in the vegetable world.” In this passage, though written only as a sport of fancy, there was more our speculator thought, than was dreamt of in Steele's philosophy.

Empedocles, if the fragment which is ascribed to him be genuine, pretended to remember that he had pre-existed not only in the forms of maiden and youth, fowl and fish, but of a shrub also;

Ἤδη γάρ ποτ᾽ ἐγὼ γενόμην κούρη τε κόρος τε,
Θάμνος τ᾽, οἰωνός τε, καὶ εἰν ἅλι ἔλλοπος ἰχθῦς.

But upon such authority the Doctor placed as little reliance as upon the pretended recollections of Pythagoras, whether really asserted by that philosopher or falsely imputed to him by fablers in prose or verse. When man shall have effected his passage from the mortal and terrestrial state into the sphere where there is nothing that is impure, nothing that is evil, nothing that is perishable, then indeed it is a probable supposition that he may look back into the lowest deep from whence he hath ascended, recall to mind his progress step by step, through every stage of the ascent, and understand the process by which it had been appointed for him, (applying to Plato's words a different meaning from that in which they were intended) ἐκ πολλῶν ἕνα γεγονότα εὐδαίμονα ἔσεσθαι, to become of many creatures, one happy one. In that sphere such a retrospect would enlarge the knowledge, and consequently the happiness also of the soul which has there attained the perfection of its nature—the end for which it was created and redeemed. But any such consciousness of pre-existence would in this stage of our mortal being be so incompatible with the condition of humanity, that the opinion itself can be held only as a speculation, of which no certainty can ever have been made known to man, because that alone has been revealed, the knowledge of which is necessary: the philosophers therefore who pretended to it, if they were sincere in the pretension (which may be doubted) are entitled to no more credit, than the poor hypochondriac who fancies himself a bottle or a tea-pot.

Thus our philosopher reasoned, who either in earnest or in jest, or in serious sportiveness, παίζων καὶ σπουδάζων ἄμα, was careful never to lean more upon an argument than it would bear. Sometimes he prest the lame and halt into his service, but it was with a clear perception of their defects, and he placed them always in positions where they were efficient for the service required for them, and where more valid ones would not have been more available. He formed therefore, no system of dendranthropology, nor attempted any classification in it; there were not facts enough whereon to found one. Yet in more than one circ*mstance which observant writers have recorded, something he thought might be discerned which bore upon this part of the theory,—some traces of

those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,

on which Wordsworth (in whose mystic strains he would have delighted) dwells. Thus he inferred that the soul of Xerxes must once have animated a plane tree, and retained a vivid feeling connected with his arboreal existence, when he read in Evelyn how that great king “stopped his prodigious army of seventeen hundred thousand soldiers to admire the pulchritude and procerity of one of those goodly trees; and became so fond of it, that spoiling both himself, his concubines, and great persons of all their jewels, he covered it with gold, gems, necklaces, scarfs and bracelets, and infinite riches; in sum, was so enamoured of it, that for some days, neither the concernment of his grand expedition, nor interest of honour, nor the necessary motion of his portentous army, could persuade him from it. He stiled it his mistress, his minion, his goddess; and when he was forced to part from it, he caused the figure of it to be stamped on a medal of gold, which he continually wore about him.”

“That prudent Consul Passianus Crispus” must have been influenced by a like feeling, when he “fell in love with a prodigious beech of a wonderful age and stature, used to sleep under it, and would sometimes refresh it with pouring wine at the root.” Certainly as Evelyn has observed, “a goodly tree was a powerful attractive” to this person. The practice of regaling trees with such libations was not uncommon among the wealthy Romans; they seem to have supposed that because wine gladdened their own hearts, it must in like manner comfort the root of a tree: and Pliny assures us that it did so, compertum id maximè prodesse radicibus, he says, docuimusque etiam arbores vina potare. If this were so, the Doctor reasoned that there would be a peculiar fitness in fertilizing the vine with its own generous juice, which it might be expected to return with increase in richer and more abundant clusters: forgetting, ignoring, or disregarding this opinion which John Lily has recorded that the vine watered (as he calls it) with wine is soon withered. He was not wealthy enough to afford such an experiment upon that which clothed the garden-front of his house, for this is not a land flowing with wine and oil; but he indulged a favourite apple-tree (it was a Ribstone pippin) with cider; and when no sensible improvement in the produce could be perceived, he imputed the disappointment rather to the parsimonious allowance of that congenial liquor, than to any error in the theory.

But this has led me astray, and I must return to Xerxes the Great King. The predilection or passion which he discovered for the plane, the sage of Doncaster explained by deriving it from a dim reminiscence of his former existence in a tree of the same kind; or which was not less likely in the wanton ivy which had clasped one, or in the wild vine which had festooned its branches with greener leaves, or even in the agaric which had grown out of its decaying substance. And he would have quoted Wordsworth if the Sage of Rydal had not been of a later generation:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar.

Other examples of men who have doated upon particular trees he accounted for by the same philosophy. But in the case of the Consul Crispus he was more inclined to hold the first supposition,—to wit, that he had been a beech himself, and that the tree which he loved so dearly had sprung from his own mast, so that the feeling with which he regarded it was a parental one. For that man should thus unconsciously afford proof of his relationship to tree, was rendered more probable by a singular, though peradventure single fact in which a tree so entirely recognized its affinity with man, that a slip accidentally grafted on the human subject, took root in the body, grew there, flourished, blossomed and produced fruit after its kind. “A shepherd of Tarragon had fallen into a sloe tree, and a sharp point thereof having run into his breast, in two years time it took such root, that, after many branches had been cut off, there sprang up some at last which bare both flowers and fruit.” “Peiresc,” as Gassendi the writer of his life assures us, “would never be quiet till Cardinal Barberino procured the Archbishop of that place to testify the truth of the story; and Putean the knight received not only letters testifying the same, but also certain branches thereof, which he sent unto him.”



ALEX. Quel es D. Diego aquel Arbol,
que tiene la copa en tierra
y las raizes arriba?

DIEG. El hombre.

Man is a Tree that hath no top in cares,
No root in comforts.1

This is one of the many poetical passages in which the sound is better than the sense;—yet it is not without its beauty. The same similitude has been presented by Henry More in lines which please the ear less, but satisfy the understanding.

The lower man is nought but a fair plant
Whose grosser matter is from the base ground.

“A plant,” says Jones of Nayland, “is a system of life, but insensitive and fixed to a certain spot. An animal hath voluntary motion, sense, or perception, and is capable of pain and pleasure. Yet in the construction of each there are some general principles which very obviously connect them. It is literally as well as metaphorically true, that trees have limbs, and an animal body branches. A vascular system is also common to both, in the channels of which life is maintained and circulated. When the trachea, with its branches in the lungs, or the veins and arteries, or the nerves, are separately represented, we have the figure of a tree. The leaves of trees have a fibrous and fleshy part; their bark is a covering which answers to the skin in animals. An active vapour pervades them both, and perspires from both, which is necessary for the preservation of health and vigour. The vis vitæ, or involuntary, mechanical force of animal life, is kept up by the same elements which act upon plants for their growth and support.”2

2 The reader of Berkeley will naturally turn to the Siris of that author—called by Southey in his life of Wesley “one of the best, wisest, and greatest men whom Ireland, with all its fertility of genius, has produced.” Vol. ii. 260., 2nd Edit.

“Plants,” says Novalis, “are Children of the Earth; we are Children of the Æther. Our lungs are properly our root; we live when we breathe; we begin our life with breathing.” Plato also compared man to a Tree, but his was a physical similitude, he likened the human vegetable to a tree inverted, with the root above and the branches below. Antonio Perez allegorized the similitude in one of his epistles to Essex, thus, unde credis hominem inversam arborem appellari? Inversam nostris oculis humanis et terrenis; rectam verò verè, viridemque, si radicem defixam habuerit in suo naturali loco, cœlo, unde orta. And Rabelais pursues the resemblance farther, saying that trees differ from beasts in this, qu'elles ont la teste, c'est le tronc, en bas; les cheveulx, ce sont les racines, en terre; et les pieds, ce sont les rameaulx, contremont; comme si un homme faisoit le chesne fourchu.

The thought that man is like a tree arose in the Doctor's mind more naturally when he first saw the representation of the veins and arteries in the old translation of Ambrose Paré's works. And when in course of time he became a curious enquirer into the history of her art, he was less disposed to smile at any of the fancies into which Doña Oliva Sabuco Barrera had been led by this resemblance than to admire the novelty and ingenuity of the theory which she deduced from it.

Bless ye the memory of this Spanish Lady, all ye who bear, or aspire to, the honour of the bloody hand as Knights of Esculapius! For from her, according to Father Feyjoo, the English first, and afterwards the physicians of other countries learnt the theory of nervous diseases;—never therefore did any other individual contribute so largely to the gratification of fee-feeling fingers!

Feyjoo has properly enumerated her among the women who have done honour to their country: and later Spaniards have called her the immortal glory not of Spain alone, but of all Europe: She was born, and dwelt in the city of Alcaraz, and flourished in the reign of Philip II. to whom she dedicated in 1587 her “New Philosophy of the Nature of Man,”3 appealing to the ancient law of chivalry, whereby great Lords and high born Knights were bound always to favour women in their adventures. In placing under the eagle wings of his Catholic Majesty this child which she had engendered, she told the King that he was then receiving from a woman greater service than any that men had rendered him, with whatever zeal and success they had exerted themselves to serve him. The work which she laid before him would better the world, she said, in many things, and if he could not attend to it, those who came after him, peradventure would. For though they were already all too-many books in the world, yet this one was wanting.

3 It should seem by her name, as suffixed to the Carta Dedicatorie, that she was of French or Breton extraction, for she signs herself, Oliva de Nantes, Sabuco Barrera. R. S.

The brief and imperfect notices of this Lady's system, which the Doctor had met with in the course of his reading, made him very desirous of procuring her works: this it would not be easy to do in England at this time, and then it was impossible. He obtained them however through the kindness of Mason's friend, Mr. Burgh, whom he used to meet at Mr. Copley's at Netterhall, and who in great or in little things was always ready to render any good office in his power to any person. Burgh procured the book through the Rev. Edward Clarke (father of Dr. Clarke the traveller) then Chaplain to the British Embassador in Spain. The volume came with the despatches from Madrid, it was forwarded to Mr. Burgh in an official frank, and the Doctor marked with a white stone the day on which the York carrier delivered it at his house. That precious copy is now in my possession;4 my friend has noted in it, as was his custom, every passage that seemed worthy of observation, with the initial of his own name—a small capital, neatly written in red ink. Such of his books as I have been able to collect are full of these marks, showing how carefully he had read them. These notations have been of much use to me in my perusal, leading me to pause where he had paused, to observe what he had noted and to consider what had to him seemed worthy of consideration. And though I must of necessity more frequently have failed to connect the passages so noted with my previous knowledge as he had done, and for that reason to see their bearings in the same point of view, yet undoubtedly I have often thus been guided into the same track of thought which he had pursued before me. Long will it be before some of these volumes meet with a third reader; never with one in whom these vestiges of their former owner can awaken a feeling like that which they never fail to excite in me!

4 This curious book I unluckily missed at the Sale of Southey's Library. I was absent at the time, and it passed into private hands. It sold for thirteen shillings only. See No. 3453. The title is as follows;—Sabuco (Olivia) Nueva Filosofia de la Naturaleza del hombre, no conocida ni alcançada de los Grandes Filosofos Antiguos. FIRST EDITION. Madrid, 1587.

But the red letters in this volume have led me from its contents; and before I proceed to enter upon them in another chapter, I will conclude this, recurring to the similitude at its commencement, with an extract from one of Yorick's Sermons. “It is very remarkable,” he says, “that the Apostle St. Paul calls a bad man a wild olive tree, not barely a branch,” (as in the opposite case where our Saviour told his disciples that He was the vine, and that they were only branches)—“but a Tree, which having a root of its own supports itself, and stands in its own strength, and brings forth its own fruit. And so does every bad man in respect of the wild and sour fruit of a vicious and corrupt heart. According to the resemblance, if the Apostle intended it, he is a Tree,—has a root of his own, and fruitfulness such as it is, with a power to bring it forth without help. But in respect of religion and the moral improvements of virtue and goodness, the Apostle calls us, and reason tells us, we are no more than a branch, and all our fruitfulness, and all our support, depend so much upon the influence and communications of God, that without Him we can do nothing, as our Saviour declares.”



A nueva diligencia y paso largo,
Que es breve el tiempo, 's grande la memoria
Que para darla al mundo está á mi cargo.


Carew the poet speaking metaphorically of his mistress calls her foot,

the precious root
On which the goodly cedar grows.

Doña Oliva on the contrary thought that the human body might be called a tree reversed, the brain being the root, and the other the bark. She did not know what great authority there is for thinking that trees stand upon their heads, for though we use vulgarly but improperly to call the uppermost of the branches the top of a tree, we are corrected, the learned John Gregory tells us, by Aristotle in his books De Animâ,1 where we are taught to call the root the head, and the top the feet.

1 Quære? Lib. ii. c. ii. § 6. αἱ δὲ ρἵζαι τῷ στόματι ἀνάλογον κ. τ. ἑ.

The pia mater according to her theory diffuses through this bark by the nerves that substance, moisture, sap, or white chyle which when it flows in its proper course, preserves the human vegetable in a state of well being, but when its course is reverted it becomes the cause of diseases. This nervous fluid, the brain derived principally from the air, which she held to be water in a state of rarefaction, air being the chyle of the upper world, water of the inferior, and the Moon with air and water, as with milk, feeding like a nursing mother, all sublunary creatures, and imparting moisture for their increase, as the Sun imparteth heat and life. Clouds are the milk of the Moon, from which, if she may so express herself, she says it rains air and wind as well as water, wind being air, or rarefied water rarefied still farther. The mutation or rarefaction of water into air takes place by day, the remutation or condensation of air into water by night: this is shown by the dew and by this the ebbing and flowing of the sea are caused.

In the brain, as in the root of the animal tree, all diseases, according to Doña Oliva, had their origin. From this theory she deduced a mode of practice, which if it did not facilitate the patient's recovery, was at least not likely to retard it; and tended in no way to counteract, or interfere with the restorative efforts of nature. And although fanciful in its foundation, it was always so humane and generally so reasonable as in a great degree to justify the confidence with which she advanced it. She requested that a board of learned men might be appointed, before whom she might defend her system of philosophy and of therapeutics, and that her practice might be tried for one year, that of Hippocrates and Galen having been tried for two thousand with what effect was daily and miserably seen, when of a thousand persons there were scarcely three who reached the proper termination of life and died by natural decay, the rest being cut off by some violent disease. For, according to her, the natural termination of life is produced by the exhaustion of the radical moisture, which in the course of nature is dried, or consumed, gradually and imperceptibly; death therefore, when that course is not disturbed, being an easy passage to eternity. This gradual desiccation it is which gives to old age the perfection of judgment that distinguishes it; and for the same reason the children of old men are more judicious than others, young men being deficient in judgment by reason of the excess of radical moisture, children still more so.

She had never studied medicine, she said; but it was clear as the light of day that the old system was erroneous, and must needs be so, because its founders were ignorant of the nature of man, upon which being rightly understood the true system must, of necessity, be founded. Hope is what supports health and life; fear, the worst enemy of both. Among the best preservatives and restoratives she recommended therefore cheerfulness, sweet odours, music, the country, the sound of woods and waters, agreeable conversation, and pleasant pastimes. Music, of all external things, she held to be that which tends most to comfort, rejoice and strengthen the brain, being as it were a spiritual pleasure in which the mind sympathizes; and the first of all remedies, in this, her true system of medicine, was to bring the mind and body into unison, removing thus that discord which is occasioned when they are ill at ease; this was to be done by administering cheerfulness, content, and hope to the mind, and in such words and actions as produced these, the best medicine was contained. Next to this it imported to comfort the stomach, and to cherish the root of man, that is to say the brain, with its proper corroborants, especially with sweet odours and with music. For music was so good a remedy for melancholy, so great an alleviator of pain, such a soother of uneasy emotions, and of passion, that she marvelled wherefore so excellent a medicine should not be more in use, seeing that undoubtedly many grievous diseases, as for example epilepsy, might be disarmed and cured by it; and it would operate with the more effect if accompanied with hopeful words and with grateful odours, for Doña Oliva thought with Solomon that “pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”

Consequently unpleasant sounds and ill smells, were, according to her philosophy injurious. The latter she confounded with noxious air, which was an error to be expected in those days, when nothing concerning the composition of the atmosphere had been discovered. Thus she thought it was by their ill odour that limekilns and charcoal-fires occasioned death; and that owing to the same cause horses were frequently killed when the filth of a stable was removed, and men who were employed in cleaning vaults. Upon the same principle, in recommending perfumes as alexipharmic, she fell in with the usual practice. The plague according to her, might be received not by the breath alone, but at the eyes also, for through the sight there was ready access to the brain; it was prudent therefore to close the nostrils when there might be reason to apprehend that the air was tainted; and when conversing with an infected person, not to talk face to face, but to avert the countenance. In changing the air with the hope of escaping an endemic disease, the place to go to should be that from whence the pestilence had come, rather than one whither it might be going.

Ill sounds were noxious in like manner, though not in like degree, because no discord can be so grating as to prove fatal; but any sound which is at once loud and discordant she held to be unwholesome, and that to hear any one sing badly, read ill, or talk importunately like a fool was sufficient to cause a defluxion from the brain; if this latter opinion were well founded, no Speaker of the House of Commons could hold his office for a single Session without being talked to death. With these she classed the sound of a hiccup, the whetting of a saw, and the cry of bitter lamentation.

Doña Oliva it may be presumed was endued with a sensitive ear and a quick perception of odours, as well as with a cheerful temper, and an active mind. Her whole course of practice was intended to cheer and comfort the patient, if that was possible. She allowed the free use of water, and fresh air, and recommended that the apartments of the sick should be well ventilated. She prescribed refreshing odours, among others that of bread fresh from the oven, and that wine should be placed near the pillow, in order to induce sleep. She even thought that cheerful apparel conduced to health, and that the fashion of wearing black which prevailed in her time was repugnant to reason. Pursuing her theory that the brain was the original seat of disease, she advised that the excessive moisture which would otherwise take a wrong course from thence, should be drawn off through the natural channels by sneezing powders, or by pungent odours which provoke a discharge from the eyes and nostrils, by sudorifics also, exercise, and whatever might cause a diversion to the skin. When any part was wounded, or painful, or there was a tumour, she recommended compression above the part affected, with a woollen bandage, tightly bound, but not so as to occasion pain. And to comfort the root of the animal tree she prescribes scratching the head with the fingers, or combing it with an ivory comb,—a general and admirable remedy she calls this, against which some former possessor of the book who seems to have been a practitioner upon the old system, and has frequently entered his protest against the medical heresies of the authoress, has written in the margin “bad advice.” She recommended also cutting the hair, and washing the head with white wine, which as it were renovated the skin, and improved the vegetation.

But Doña Oliva did not reject more active remedies, on the contrary she advised all such as men had learnt from animals, and this included a powerful list, for she seems to have believed all the fables with which natural history in old times abounded, and of which indeed it may almost be said to have consisted. More reasonably she observed that animals might teach us the utility of exercise, seeing how the young lambs sported in the field, and dogs played with each other, and birds rejoiced in the air. When the stomach required clearing she prescribed a rough practice, that the patient should drink copiously of weak wine and water, and of tepid water with a few drops of vinegar and an infusion of camomile flowers; and that he should eat also things difficult of digestion, such as radishes, figs, carrots, onions, anchovies, oil and vinegar, with plenty of Indian pepper, and with something acid the better to cut the phlegm which was to be got rid of; having thus stored the stomach well for the expenditure which was to be required from it, the patient was then to lay himself on a pillow across a chair, and produce the desired effect either by his fingers or by feathers dipt in oil. After this rude operation which was to refresh the brain and elevate the pia mater, the stomach was to be comforted.

To bathe the whole body with white wine was another mode of invigorating the pia mater; for there it was that all maladies originated, none from the liver; the nature of the liver, said she, is that it cannot err; es docta sin doctor.

The latter treatises in her book are in Latin, but she not unfrequently passes, as if unconsciously, into her own language, writing always livelily and forcibly, with a clear perception of the fallacy of the established system, and with a confidence, not so well founded, that she had discovered the real nature of man and thereby laid the foundation of a rational practice, conformable to it.



Un cerchio immaginato ci bisogna,
A voler ben la spera contemplare;
Cosi chi intender questa storia agogna
Conviensi altro per altro immaginare;
Perchè qui non si canta, e finge, e sogna;
Venuto è il tempo da filosofare.


One of Doña Oliva's treatises is upon the Compostura del Mundo, which may best be interpreted the Mundane System; herein she laid no claim to the merit of discovery, only to that of briefly explaining what had been treated of by many before her. The mundane system she illustrates by comparing it to a large ostrich's egg, with three whites and eleven shells, our earth being the yolk. The water which according to this theory surrounded the globe she likened to the first or innermost albumen, the second and more extensive was the air; the third and much the largest consisted of fire. The eleven shells, were so many leaves one inclosing the other, circle within circle, like a nest of boxes. The first of these was the first heaven wherein the Moon hath her appointed place, the second that of the planet Mercury, the third that of Venus; the fourth was the circle of the Sun; Mars, Jupiter and Saturn moved in the fifth, sixth and seventh; the eighth was the starry sky; the ninth the chrystalline; the tenth the primum mobile, which imparted motion to all; and the eleventh was the immobile, or empyreum, surrounding all, containing all, and bounding all; for beyond this there was no created thing, either good or evil.

A living writer of no ordinary powers agrees in this conclusion with the old philosophers whom Doña Oliva followed; and in declaring his opinion he treats the men of science with as much contempt as they bestow upon their unscientific predecessors in astronomy.

Reader if thou art capable of receiving pleasure from such speculations, (and if thou art not, thou art little better than an Oran-Otang) send for a little book entitled the Progress of the Human Mind, its objects, conditions and issue: with the relation which the Progress of Religion bears to the general growth of mind; by the Rev. James Miller. Send also for the “Sibyl's Leaves, or the Fancies, Sentiments and Opinions of Silvanus, miscellaneous, moral and religious,” by the same author, the former published in 1823, the latter in 1829. Very probably you may never have heard of either: but if you are a buyer of books, I say unto you, buy them both.

“Infinity,” says this very able and original thinker, “is the retirement in which perfect love and wisdom only dwell with God.

“In Infinity and Eternity the sceptic sees an abyss in which all is lost, I see in them the residence of Almighty Power, in which my reason and my wishes find equally a firm support.—Here holding by the pillars of Heaven, I exist—I stand fast.

“Surround our material system with a void, and mind itself becoming blind and impotent in attempting to travel through it, will return to our little lights, like the dove which found no rest for the sole of her foot. But when I find Infinity filled with light and life and love, I will come back to you with my olive branch: follow me, or farewell! you shall shut me up in your cabins no more.”

“In stretching our view through the wide expanse which surrounds us, we perceive a system of bodies receding behind one another, till they are lost in immeasureable distance. This region beyond though to us dark and unexplored, from the impossibility of a limit, yet gives us its infinity as the most unquestionable of all principles. But though the actual extent to which this infinite region is occupied by the bodies of which the universe is composed, is far beyond our measure and our view, and though there be nothing without to compel us anywhere to stop in enlarging its bounds, Nature herself gives us other principles not less certain, which prove that she must have limits, and that it is impossible her frame can fill the abyss which surrounds her. Her different parts have each their fixed place, their stated distance. You may as well measure infinity by mile-stones as fill it with stars. To remove any one from an infinite distance from another, you must in fixing their place, set limits to the infinity you assume. You can advance from unity as far as you please, but there is no actual number at an infinite distance from it. You may in the same manner, add world to world as long as you please, only because no number of them can fill infinity, or approach nearer to fill it. We have the doctrine of Nature's abhorrence of a vacuum; it is from a plenum like this she shrinks, as from a region in which all her substance would be dissipated into nothing. Her frame is composed of parts which have each their certain proportion and relation. It subsists by mutual attractions and repulsions, lessening and increasing with distance; by a circulation which, actually passing through, every part rejects the idea of a space which it could never pervade. Infinity cannot revolve; the circulation of Nature cannot pervade infinity. The globe we inhabit, and all its kindred planets, revolve in orbits which embrace a common power in the centre which animates and regulates their motions, and on the influence of which their internal energies evidently depend. That we may not be lost in looking for it in the boundless regions without, our great physical power is all within, in the bosom of our own circle; and the same facts which prove the greatness of this power to uphold, to penetrate, to enliven at such a distance, shew in what manner it might at last become weak,—become nothing. Whatever relations we may have to bodies without, or whatever they may have to one another, their influence is all directed to particular points,—to given distances. Material Nature has no substance, can make no effort, capable of pervading infinity. The light itself of all her powers the most expansive, in diffusing itself through her own frame, shews most of all her incapacity to occupy the region beyond, in which (as the necessary result of its own effort) it soon sinks, feeble and faint, where all its motion is but as rest, in an extent to which the utmost possible magnitude of Nature is but a point.”

The reader will now be prepared for the remarks of this free thinker upon the Plurality of Worlds. Observe I call him free thinker not in disparagement, but in honour; he belongs to that service in which alone is perfect freedom.

“Perceiving,” he says, “as it is easy to do, the imperfection of our present system, instead of contemplating the immense prospect opened to our view in the progress of man, in the powers and the means he possesses, the philosopher sees through his telescope worlds and scales of being to his liking. By means of these, without the least reference to the Bible, or the human heart, Pope, the pretty talking parrot of Bolingbroke, with the assistance of his pampered goose, finds it easy to justify the ways of God to man. From worlds he never saw, he proves ours is as it should be.”

“To form the children of God for himself, to raise them to a capacity to converse with him, to enjoy all his love, this grand scenery is not unnecessary,—not extravagant. A smaller exhibition would not have demonstrated his wisdom and power. You would make an orrery serve perhaps! By a plurality of Gods, error degraded the Supreme Being in early ages; by a plurality of worlds it would now degrade his children, deprive them of their inheritance.”

“What are they doing in these planets? Peeping at us through telescopes? We may be their Venus or Jupiter. They are perhaps praying to us, sending up clouds of incense to regale our nostrils. Hear them, far-seeing Herschel! gauger of stars. I will pray to One only, who is above them all; and if your worlds come between me and Him, I will kick them out of my way. In banishing your new ones, I put more into the old than is worth them all put together.”

“These expanding heavens, the residence of so many luminous bodies of immeasurable distance and magnitude, and which the philosopher thinks must be a desert if devoted to man, at present possessing but so small a portion of his own globe, shall yet be too little for him,—the womb only in which the infant was inclosed, incapable of containing the mature birth.”

“We shall yet explore all these celestial bodies more perfectly than we have hitherto done our own globe, analyse them better than the substances we can shut up in our retorts, count their number, tell their measure.”

“As nature grows, mind grows. It grows to God, and in union with him shall fill, possess all.”

“Our rank among worlds is indeed insignificant if we are to receive it from the magnitude of our globe compared with others, compared with space. Put Herschel with his telescope on Saturn, he would scarcely think us worthy of the name of even a German prince. We may well be the sport of Jupiter, the little spot round which Mars and Venus coquette with one another. Little as it is however,—pepper-corn, clod of clay as it is, with its solitary satellite, and all its spots and vapours, I prefer it to them all. I am glad I was born in it, I love its men, and its women, and its laws. It's people shall be my people; it's God shall be my God. Here I am content to lodge and here to be buried. What Abanas and Pharphars may flow in these planets I know not: there is Jordan, here is the river of life. From this world I shall take possession of all these; while those, who in quest of strange worlds have forsaken God, shall be desolate.”

“This globe is large enough to contain man; man will yet grow large enough to fill Heaven.”

“Fear not, there is no empty space in the universe, none in eternity: nothing lost. God possesses all, and there is room for nothing but the objects of his affections.”



Siccome suomo di verace lingua;
E porgimi l'orecchio.


The extracts with which the preceding Chapter concludes, will have put thee in a thoughtful mood, Reader, if thou art one of those persons whose brains are occasionally applied to the purpose of thinking upon such subjects as are worthy of grave consideration. Since then I have thee in this mood, let us be serious together. Egregiously is he mistaken who supposes that this book consists of nothing more than

Fond Fancy's scum, and dregs of scattered thought.1

Every where I have set before thee what Bishop Reynolds calls verba desiderii,—“pleasant, delightful, acceptable words, such as are worthy of all entertainment, and may minister (not a few of them) comfort and refreshment to the hearers.” I now come to thee with verba rectitudinis,—“equal and right words; not loose, fabulous, amorous, impertinent, which should satisfy the itch of ear, or tickle only a wanton fancy; but profitable and wholesome words,—so to please men as that it may be unto edification and for their profit; words written to make men sound and upright;—to make their paths direct and straight, without falseness or hypocrisy.” Yea they shall be verba veritatis,—“words of truth, which will not deceive or misguide those that yield up themselves to the direction of them: a truth which is sanctifying and saving, and in these respects most worthy of our attention and belief.”

Make up your mind then to be Tremayned in this chapter.

The benevolent reader will willingly do this, he I mean who is benevolent to himself as well as towards me. The so-called philosopher or man of liberal opinions, who cannot be so inimical in thought to me, as they are indeed to themselves, will frown at it; one such exclaims pshaw, or pish, according as he may affect the forté manner, or the fine, of interjecting his contemptuous displeasure; another already winces, feeling himself by anticipation touched upon a sore place. To such readers it were hopeless to say favete, “Numquid æger laudat medicum secantem?” But I shall say with the Roman Philosopher of old, who is well entitled to that then honourable designation, “tacete,—et præbete vos curationi: etiam si exclamaveritis, non aliter audiam, quam si ad tactum vitiorum vestrorum ingemiscatis.2


My own observation has led me to believe with Mr. Miller, that some persons are brought by speculating upon a Plurality of Worlds to reason themselves out of their belief in Christianity: such Christianity indeed it is as has no root, because the soil on which it has fallen is shallow, and though the seed which has been sown there springs up, it soon withers away. Thus the first system of superstition, and the latest pretext for unbelief have both been derived from the contemplation of the heavenly bodies. The former was the far more pardonable error, being one to which men, in the first ages, among whom the patriarchal religion had not been carefully preserved, were led by natural piety. The latter is less imputable to the prevalence of unnatural impiety,—than to that weakness of mind and want of thought which renders men as easily the dupe of the infidel propagandist in one age, as of the juggling friar in another. These objectors proceed upon the gratuitous assumption that other worlds are inhabited by beings of the same kind as ourselves, and moreover in the same condition; that is having fallen, and being therefore in need of a Redeemer. Ask of them upon what grounds they assume this, and they can make no reply.

Too many alas there are who part with their heavenly birth-right at a viler price than Esau! It is humiliating to see by what poor sophistries they are deluded,—by what pitiable vanity they are led astray! And it is curious to note how the same evil effect is produced by causes the most opposite. The drunken pride of intellect makes one man deny his Saviour and his God: another under the humiliating sense of mortal insignificancy, feels as though he were “a worm and no man,” and therefore concludes that men are beneath the notice, still more beneath the care, of the Almighty. “When I consider thy Heavens, the work of thy fingers, the Moon and the Stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?” Of those who pursue this feeling to a consequence as false as it is unhappy, there is yet hope; for the same arguments (and they are all-sufficient) by which the existence of the Deity is proved, prove also his infinite goodness; and he who believes in that goodness, if he but feelingly believe, is not far from trusting in it,

—σύ δέ κεν ῥεα πάντ᾽ ἐσορήσαις
Ἄι κεν ἴδης αὐτόν.


It is a good remark of Mr. Riland's in his Estimate of the Religion of the Times, that men quarrel with the Decalogue rather than with the Creed. But the quarrel that begins with one, generally extends to the other; we may indeed often perceive how manifestly men have made their doctrines conform to their inclinations. Αἱ ἀκροάσεις κατὰ τὰ ἔθη συμβαίνουσιν· ὣς γὰρ εἰώθαμεν, οὕτως ἀξιοῦμεν λέγεσθαι.4 They listen only to what they like, as Aristotle has observed, and would be instructed to walk on those ways only which they choose for themselves. But if there be many who thus make their creed conform to their conduct, and are led by an immoral life into irreligious opinions, there are not a few whose error begins in the intellect and from thence proceeds to their practice in their domestic and daily concerns. Thus if unbelief begins not in the evil heart, it settles there. But perhaps it is not so difficult to deal with an infidel who is in either of these predicaments, as with one whose disposition is naturally good, whose course of life is in no other respect blameless, or meritorious, but who owing to unhappy circ*mstances has either been allowed to grow up carelessly in unbelief, or trained in it systematically, or driven to seek for shelter in it from the gross impostures of popery, or the revolting tenets of Calvinism, the cant of hypocrisy, or the crudities of cold Socinianism. Such persons supposing themselves whole conclude that they have no need of a physician, and are thus in the fearful condition of those righteous ones of whom our Lord said that he came not to call them to repentance! The sinner, brave it as he may, feels inwardly the want of a Saviour, and this is much, though not enough to say with the poet

Pars sanitatis velle sanari fuit,5

nor with the philosopher, et hoc multum est velle servari: nor with the Father ὁ τὸ πρῶτον δοὺς καὶ το δεύτερον δώσει. For if this be rejected, then comes that “penal induration, as the consequent of voluntary and contracted induration,” which one of our own great Christian philosophers pronounces to be “the sorest judgement next to hell itself.” Nevertheless it is much to feel this self-condemnation and this want. But he who confides in the rectitude of his intentions, and in his good works, and in that confidence rejects so great salvation, is in a more aweful state, just as there is more hope of him who suffers under an acute disease, than of a patient stricken with the dead palsy.

4 Bp. Reynolds quotes this same passage in his Sermon on “Brotherly Reconciliation,” and applies it in the same way. Works, vol. v. p. 158.



Non vi par adunque che habbiamo ragionato a bastanza di questo?—A bastanza parmi, rispose il Signor Gaspar; par desidero io d'intendere qualche particolarita anchor.


According to Doña Oliva's philosophy, the quantity of water is ten times greater than that of earth, air in like manner exceeding water in a ten fold degree, and fire in the same proportion out-measuring air. From the centre of the earth to the first heaven the distance by her computation is 36,292 leagues of three miles each and two thousand paces to the mile. From the surface of the earth to its centre, that centre being also the central point of the Infernal regions, her computed distance is 117,472 leagues. How far it is to the confines, has not been ascertained by discovery, and cannot be computed from any known data.

Pliny has preserved an anecdote in geological history, which relates to this point, and which, not without reason, he calls exemplum vanitatis Græcæ maximum. It relates to a certain philosopher, Dionysiodorus by name, who was celebrated for his mathematical attainments, and who it seems retained his attachment to that science after death, and continued the pursuit of it. For having died in a good old age, and received all fitting sepulchral rites, he wrote a letter from Hades to the female relations who had succeeded to his property, and who probably were addicted to the same studies as himself, for otherwise he would not have communicated with them upon such a subject. They found the letter in his sepulchre, wherein he had deposited it as at a post-office “till called for;” and whither he knew they would repair for the due performance of certain ceremonies, among others that of pouring libations through the perforated floor of the Tomb-chamber upon the dust below. The purport of his writing was not to inform them of his condition in the Shades, nor to communicate any information concerning the World of Spirits, but simply to state the scientific fact, that having arrived in the depths of the earth, he had found the distance from the surface to be 42,000 stadia. The philosophers to whom this post-mortem communication was imparted, reasonably inferred that he had reached the very centre, and measured from that point; they calculated upon the data thus afforded them, and ascertained that the globe was exactly 250,000 stadia in circumference. Pliny however thought that this measurement was 12,000 stadia short of the true amount. Harmonica ratio, he says, quæ cogit rerum naturam sibi ipsam congruere, addit huic mensuræ stadia xii. millia; terramque nonagesimam sextam totius mundi partem facit.

“What is the centre of the earth?” says the melancholy Burton. “Is it pure element only as Aristotle decrees? Inhabited, as Paracelsus thinks, with creatures whose chaos is the earth? Or with Faeries, as the woods and waters, according to him, are with Nymphs? Or, as the air, with Spirits? Dionysiodorus,” he adds, “might have done well to have satisfied all these doubts?”

But the reason, according to Doña Oliva, wherefore the place of punishment for sinful souls has been appointed in the centre of this our habitable earth, is this; the soul being in its essence lighter than air, fire, or any of the ten spheres, has its natural place in the Empyreum or Heaven of Heavens, where the Celestial Court is fixed, and whither it would naturally ascend when set free from the body, as to its natural and proper place of rest. The punishment therefore is appropriately appointed in the place which is most remote from its native region, and most repugnant to its own nature, the pain therefore must needs be fort et dure which it endures when confined within that core of the earth, to which all things that are heaviest gravitate.

In these fancies she only followed or applied the received opinions of the middle ages. A more remarkable part of her works, considering the time and place in which they were composed, is a Colloquy1 upon the means by which the World and the Governments thereof might be improved. Having in her former treatises laid down a better system for treating the infirmities of the human microcosm, she enters nothing loth, and nothing doubting her own capacity, upon the maladies of the body politic.

1 Colloquio de las Cosas que mejoraran este Mundo y sus Republicas.

The first evils which occurred to her were those of the law, its uncertainty and its delays by which properties were wasted, families ruined and hearts broken. What barbarity it is, she says, that a cause should continue forty years in the Courts! that one Counsellor should tell you the right is on your side, and another should say the same thing to your adversary; that one decision should be given in one place, and another to revoke it in that; and in a third a different one from either, and all three perhaps equally wide of the truth and justice of the case, and yet each such as can be maintained by legal arguments, and supported by legal authorities! The cause of all this she ascribes to the multiplicity of laws and of legal books, which were more than enough to load twenty carts, and yet more were continually added, and all were in Latin. Could any folly exceed that of those lawgivers who presumed to prescribe laws for all possible contingencies, and for the whole course of future generations! She was therefore for reducing the written laws to a few fundamentals in the vernacular tongue, and leaving every thing else to be decided by men of good conscience and sincere understanding; by which the study of jurisprudence as a science would be abolished, and there might be an end to those numerous costly professorships for which so many chairs and universities had been founded. Ten short commandments comprised the law of God; but human laws by their number and by the manner in which they were administered occasioned more hurt to the souls of men than even to their lives and fortunes; for in courts of law it was customary, even if not openly permitted, to bear false witness against your neighbour, to calumniate him in writing, and to seek his destruction or his death. Laws which touched the life ought to be written, because in capital cases no man ought to be left to an uncertain sentence, nor to the will of a Judge, but all other cases should be left to the Judges, who ought always to be chosen from Monasteries, or some other course of retired life, and selected for their religious character. This she thought, with the imposition of a heavy fine for any direct falsehood, or false representation advanced either in evidence, or in pleading, and for denying the truth, or suppressing it, would produce the desired reformation.

Next she considered the condition of the agricultural labourers, a class which had greatly diminished and which it was most desirable to increase. Their condition was to be bettered by raising their wages and consequently the price of produce, and exempting their cattle, their stores and their persons from being taken in execution. She would also have them protected against their own imprudence, by preventing them from obtaining credit for wedding garments, that being one of the most prevalent and ruinous modes of extravagance in her days. In this rank of life it sometimes happened, that a shopkeeper not only seized the garments themselves, but the peasant's cattle also to make up the payment of a debt thus contracted.

She thought it a strange want of policy that in a country where the corn failed for want of rain, the waters with which all brooks and rivers were filled in winter should be allowed to run to waste. Therefore she advised that great tanks and reservoirs should be formed for the purposes of irrigation, and that they should be rendered doubly profitable by stocking them with fish, such as shad, tench and trout. She advised also that the seed should frequently be changed, and crops raised in succession, because the soil loved to embrace new products: and that new plants should be introduced from the Indies; where hitherto the Spaniards had been more intent upon introducing their own, than in bringing home from thence others to enrich their own country; the cacao in particular she recommended, noticing that this nut for its excellence had even been used as money.

Duels she thought the Christian Princes and the Pope might easily prevent, by erecting a Jurisdiction which should take cognizance of all affairs of honour. She would have had them also open the road to distinction for all who deserved it, so that no person should be debarred by his birth from attaining to any office or rank; this she said, was the way to have more Rolands and Cids, more Great Captains, more Hannibals and Tamerlanes.

Such were Doña Oliva's views of political reformation, the wretched state of law and of medicine explaining satisfactorily to her most of the evils with which Spain was afflicted in the reign of Philip II. She considered Law and Physic as the two great plagues of human life, according to the Spanish proverb,

A quien yo quiero mal,
De le Dios pleyto y orinal.

Upon these subjects and such as these the Spanish lady might speculate freely; if she had any opinions which “savoured of the frying-pan,” she kept them to herself.



Anchor dir si potrebber cose assai
Che la materia è tanto piena et folta,
Che non se ne verrebbe à capo mai,
Dunque fia buono ch'io suoni à raccolta.


The Doctor's opinion of Doña Oliva's practice was that no one would be killed by it, but that many would be allowed to die whom a more active treatment might have saved. It would generally fail to help the patient, but it would never exasperate the disease; and therefore in her age it was an improvement, for better is an inert treatment than a mischievous one.

He liked her similitude of the tree, but wondered that she had not noted as much resemblance to the trunk and branches in the bones and muscles, as in the vascular system. He admired the rational part of her practice, and was disposed to think some parts of it not irrational which might seem merely fanciful to merely practical men.

She was of opinion that more persons were killed by affections of the mind, than by intemperance, or by the sword; this she attempts to explain by some weak reasoning from a baseless theory; but the proofs which she adduces in support of the assertion are curious. Many persons she says, who in her own time had fallen under the King's displeasure, or even received a harsh word from him, had taken to their beds and died. It was not uncommon for wives who loved their husbands dearly, to die a few days after them; two such instances had occurred within the same week in the town in which she resided: and she adds the more affecting fact that the female slaves of the better kind (esclavas abiles) meaning perhaps those upon whom any care had been bestowed, were frequently observed to pine away as they grew up, and perish; and that this was still more frequent with those who had a child born to an inheritance of slavery. Mortified ambition, irremediable grief, and hopeless misery, had within her observation, produced the same fatal effect. The general fact is supported by Harvey's testimony. That eminent man said to Bishop Hacket that during the Great Rebellion, more persons whom he had seen in the course of his practice died of grief of mind than of any other disease. In France it was observed not only that nervous diseases of every kind became much more frequent during the revolution but cases of cancer also,—moral causes producing in women a predisposition to that most dreadful disease.

Our friend was fortunate enough to live in peaceful times, when there were no public calamities to increase the sum of human suffering. Yet even then, and within the limits of his own not extensive circle, he saw cases enough to teach him that it is difficult to minister to a mind diseased, but that for a worm in the core there is no remedy within the power of man.

He liked Doña Oliva for the humanity which her observations upon this subject implies. He liked her also for following the indications of nature in part of her practise; much the better he liked her for prescribing all soothing circ*mstances and all inducements to cheerfulness that were possible; and nothing the worse for having carried some of her notions to a whimsical extent. He had built an Infirmary in the air himself, others he said, might build Castles there.

It was not such an Infirmary as the great Hospital at Malta, where the Knights attended in rotation and administered to the patients, and where every culinary utensil was made of solid silver, such was the ostentatious magnificence of the establishment. The Doctor provided better attendance, for he had also built a Beguinage in the air, as an auxiliary institution; and as to the utensils he was of opinion that careful neatness was very much better than useless splendour. But here he would have given Doña Oliva's soothing system a fair trial, and have surrounded the patients with all circ*mstances that could minister to the comfort or alleviation of either a body or a mind diseased. The principal remedy in true medicine, said that Lady practitioner, is to reconcile the mind and body, or to bring them in accord with each other,—(componer el anima con el cuerpo:) to effect this you must administer contentment and pleasure to the mind, and comfort to the stomach and to the brain; the mind can only be reached by judicious discourse and pleasing objects; the stomach is to be comforted by restoratives; the brain by sweet odours and sweet sounds. The prospect of groves and gardens, the shade of trees, the flowing of water, or its gentle fall, music and cheerful conversation, were things which she especially advised. How little these circ*mstances would avail in the fiercer forms of acute diseases, or in the protracted evils of chronic suffering, the Doctor knew but too well. But he knew also that medical art was humanely and worthily employed, when it alleviated what no human skill could cure.

“So great,” says Dr. Currie, “are the difficulties of tracing out the hidden causes of the disorders to which this frame of ours is subject, that the most candid of the profession have allowed and lamented how unavoidably they are in the dark; so that the best medicines, administered by the wisest heads, shall often do the mischief they intend to prevent.” There are more reasons for this than Dr. Currie has here assigned. For not only are many of the diseases which flesh is heir to, obscure in their causes, difficultly distinguishable by their symptoms, and altogether mysterious in their effect upon the system, but constitutions may be as different as tempers, and their varieties may be as many and as great as those of the human countenance. Thus it is explained wherefore the treatment which proves successful with one patient, should fail with another, though precisely in the same stage of the same disease. Another and not unfrequent cause of failure is that the life of a patient may depend as much upon administering the right remedy at the right point of time, as the success of an alchemist was supposed to do upon seizing the moment of projection. And where constant attendance is not possible, or where skill is wanting, it must often happen that the opportunity is lost. This cause would not exist in the Columbian Infirmary, where the ablest Physicians would be always within instant call, and where the Beguines in constant attendance would have sufficient skill to know when that call became necessary.

A ship-captain, the Doctor used to say, when he approaches the coast of France from the Bay of Biscay, or draws near the mouth of the British Channel, sends down the lead into the sea, and from the appearance of the sand which adheres to its tallowed bottom, he is enabled to find upon the chart where he is, with sufficient precision for directing his course. Think, he would say, what an apparently impossible accumulation of experience there must have been, before the bottom of that sea, everywhere within soundings could be so accurately known, as to be marked on charts which may be relied on with perfect confidence! No formal series of experiments was ever instituted for acquiring this knowledge; and there is nothing in history which can lead us to conjecture about what time sailors first began to trust to it. The boasted astronomy of the Hindoos and Egyptians affords a feebler apparent proof in favour of the false antiquity of the world, than might be inferred from this practice. Now if experience in the Art of Healing had been treasured up with equal care, it is not too much to say that therapeutics might have been as much advanced, as navigation has been by preserving the collective knowledge of so many generations?1

1 The following fragments belong to the chapters which were to have treated on the Medical Science. They may therefore appropriately be appended to these chapters on Doña Oliva. I have only prefixed a motto from Butler.

“—The prince
Of Poets, Homer, sang long since,
A skilful leech is better far
Than half a hundred men of war.”

Such prescriptions as were composed of any part of the human body were reprobated by Galen, and he severely condemned Xenocrates for having introduced them, as being worse than useless in themselves, and wicked in their consequences. Yet these abominable ingredients continued in use till what may be called the Reformation of medicine in the Seventeenth Century. Human bones were administered internally as a cure for ulcers, and the bones were to be those of the part affected. A preparation called Aqua Divina was made by cutting in pieces the body of a healthy man who had died a violent death, and distilling it with the bones and intestines. Human blood was prescribed for epilepsy, by great authorities, but others equally great with better reason condemned the practice, for this among other causes, that it might communicate the diseases of the person from whom it was taken. Ignorant surgeons when they bled a patient used to make him drink the warm blood that he might not lose the life which it contained. The heart dried, and taken in powder was thought good in fevers, but consciencious practitioners were of opinion that it ought not to be used, because of the dangerous consequences which might be expected if such a remedy were in demand. It is not long since a Physician at Heidelberg prescribed human brains to be taken inwardly in violent fevers, and boasted of wonderful cures. And another German administered cat's entrails as a panacea!

The Egyptian physicians, each being confined to the study and treatment of one part of the body, or one disease, were bound to proceed in all cases according to the prescribed rules of their art. If the patient died under this treatment, no blame attached to the physician; but woe to the rash practitioner who ventured to save a life by any means out of the regular routine; the success of the experiment was not admitted as an excuse for the transgression and he was punished with death; for the law presumed that in every case the treatment enjoined was such as by common consent of the most learned professors had been approved because by long experience it had been found beneficial. The laws had some right to interfere because physicians received a public stipend.

Something like this prevails at this day in China. It is enacted in the Ta Tsing Leu Lee, that “when unskilful practitioners of medicine or surgery, administer drugs, or perform operations with the puncturing needle, contrary to the established rules and practice, and thereby kill the patient, the Magistrates shall call in other practitioners to examine the nature of the medicine, or of the wound, as the case may be, which proved mortal; and if it shall appear upon the whole to have been simply an error without any design to injure the patient, the practitioner shall be allowed to redeem himself from the punishment of homicide, as in cases purely accidental, but shall be obliged to quit his profession for ever. If it shall appear that a medical practitioner intentionally deviates from the established rules and practice, and while pretending to remove the disease of his patient, aggravates the complaint, in order to extort more money for its cure, the money so extorted shall be considered to have been stolen, and punishment inflicted accordingly, in proportion to the amount. If the patient dies, the medical practitioner who is convicted of designedly employing improper medicines, or otherwise contriving to injure his patient, shall suffer death by being beheaded after the usual period of confinement.”

No man ever entertained a higher opinion of medical science, and the dignity of a Physician than Van Helmont. What has been said of the Poet, ought in his opinion to be said of the Physician also, nascitur, non fit, and in his relation to the Creator, he was more Poet, or Prophet, whom the word VATES brings under one predicament,—more than Priest. Scilicet Pater Misericordiarum, qui Medicum ab initio, ceu Mediatorem inter Deum et hominem, constituit, immo sibi in deliciis posuit, à Medico vinci velle, nimirum, ad hoc se creasse peculiari elogio, et elegisse testatur. Ita est sane. Non enim citius hominem punit Deus, infirmat, aut interimere minatur, sibi quam optet opponentem Medicum, ut se Omnipotentem, etiam meritas immittendo pœnas, vincat propriis clementiæ suæ donis. Ejusmodi autem Medici sunt in ventre matris præparati,—suo fungentes munere, nullius lucri intuitu, nudèque reflectuntur super beneplacitum (immo mandatum) illius, qui solus, verè misericors, nos jubet, sub indictione pœnæ infernalis, fore Patri suo similes.—Obedite præpositis præceptum quidem: sed honora parentes, honora Medicum, angustius est quam obedire, cum cogamur etiam obedire minoribus. Medicus enim Mediator inter Vitæ Principem et Mortem.

“To wit,”—this done into English by J. C. sometime of M. H. Oxon.—“the Father of mercies, he who appointed a Physician, or Mediator between God and man from the beginning, yea He made it his delight that he would be overcome by a Physician, indeed he testifieth that he created and chose him to this end—for a peculiar testimony of his praise. It is so in truth. For no sooner doth He punish, weaken, and threaten to kill man, but he desireth a Physician opposing himself, that He may conquer himself, being Omnipotent, and even in sending deserved punishments, by the proper gifts of his clemency.—Of this sort are Physicians, which are fitted from their Mothers wombs, exercise their gift with respect to no gain; and they are nakedly cast upon the good pleasure,—yea the command—of him, who alone being truly merciful commands us that, under pain of infernal punishment, we be like to his father.—Obey those that sit over you, is a precept indeed; but honour thy Parents, honour the Physician, is more strict than to obey, seeing we are constrained even to obey our youngers. For the Physician is a Mediator between the Prince of life and Death.”

Some of the Floridian tribes had a high opinion of medical virtue. They buried all their dead, except the Doctors; them they burnt, reduced their bones to powder and drank it in water.

A century ago the Lions in the Tower were named after the different Sovereigns then reigning, “and it has been observed that when a King dies, the Lion of that name dies also.”

In the great Place at Delhi the poor Astrologers sit, as well Mahometan as Heathen. These Doctors, forsooth, sit there in the sun upon a piece of tapistry, all covered with dust, having about them some old mathematical instruments, which they make shew of to draw passengers, and a great open book representing the animals of the Zodiack. These men are the oracles of the vulgar, to whom they pretend to give for one Payssa, that is a penny, good luck, and they are they that looking upon the hands and face, turning over their books and making a shew of calculation, determine the fortunate moment when a business is to be begun, to make it successful. The mean women, wrapt up in a white sheet from head to foot, come to find them out, telling them in their ear their most secret concerns, as if they were their confessors, and intreat them to render the stars propitious to them, and suitable to their designs, as if they could absolutely dispose of their influences.

The most ridiculous of all these astrologers in my opinion was a mongrel Portugueze from Goa, who sat with much gravity upon his piece of tapistry, like the rest, and had a great deal of custom, though he could neither read nor write; and as for instruments and books was furnished with nothing but an old sea-compass, and an old Romish prayer-book in the Portugueze language, of which he shewed the pictures for figures of the Zodiac. “As taes bestias tal Astrologo—for such beasts, such an Astrologer,” said he to father Buze a Jesuit, who met him there.

M. Rondeau in 1780, opened a large tumour which had grown behind a woman's left ear, at Brussels, and found in it a stone, in form and size like a pigeon's egg, which all the experiments to which it was subject proved to be a real Bezoar, of the same colour, structure, taste and substance with the oriental and occidental Bezoars. This, however was a fact which the Doctor could not exactly accommodate to his theory, though it clearly belonged to it; the difficulty was not in this, that there are those animals in which the Bezoar is produced, the goat in which it is most frequent, the cow, in which it is of less value, and the ape, in which it is very seldom found, but is of most efficacy. Through either of these forms the Archeus might have passed. But how the Bezoar which is formed in the stomach of these animals should have concreted in a sort of wen upon the woman's head was a circ*mstance altogether anomalous.

At Mistra, a town built from the ruins of Sparta, the sick are daily brought and laid at the doors of the metropolitan Church, as at the gates of the ancient temples, that those who repair thither to worship, may indicate to them the remedies by which their health may be recovered.

It is well remarked of the Spaniards by the Abbé de Vayrac que d'un trop grand attachment pour les Anciens en matiere de Philosophie et de Medecine, et de trop de negligence pour eux en matiere de Poësie, il arrive presque toujours qu'ils ne sont ni bons Philosophes, ni bons Medicins, ni bons Poëtes.

The desire of having something on which to rely, as dogmatical truths, “as it appears,” says Donne, “in all sciences, so most manifestly in Physic, which for a long time considering nothing but plain curing, and that by example and precedent, the world at last longed for some certain canons and rules how these cures might be accomplished; and when men are inflamed with this desire, and that such a fire breaks out, it rages and consumes infinitely by heat of argument, except some of authority interpose. This produced Hippocrates his Aphorisms; and the world slumbered, or took breath, in his resolution divers hundreds of years. And then in Galen's time, which was not satisfied with the effect of curing, nor with the knowledge how to cure, broke out another desire of finding out the causes why those simples wrought those effects. Then Galen rather to stay their stomachs than that he gave them enough, taught them the qualities of the four Elements, and arrested them upon this, that all differences of qualities proceeded from them. And after, (not much before our time,) men perceiving that all effects in physic could not be derived from these beggarly and impotent properties of the Elements, and that therefore they were driven often to that miserable refuge of specific form, and of antipathy and sympathy, we see the world hath turned upon new principles, which are attributed to Paracelsus, but indeed too much to his honour.”

“This indenture made 26 Apr. 18 Hen. 8, between Sir Walter Strickland, knight, of one part, and Alexander Kenet, Doctor of Physic, on the other part, witnesseth, that the said Alexander permitteth, granteth, and by these presents bindeth him, that he will, with the grace and help of God, render and bring the said Sir Walter Strickland to perfect health of all his infirmities and diseases contained in his person, and especially stomach and lungs and breast, wherein he has most disease and grief; and over to minister such medicines truly to the said Sir Walter Strickland, in such manner and ways as the said Master Alexander may make the said Sir Walter heal of all infirmities and diseases, in as short time as possible may be, with the grace and help of God. And also the said Master Alexander granteth he shall not depart at no time from the said Sir Walter without his license, unto the time the said Sir Walter be perfect heal, with the grace and help of God. For the which care the said Sir Walter Strictland granteth by these presents, binding himself to pay or cause to be paid to the said Mr. Alexander or his assigns £20. sterling monies of good and lawful money of England, in manner and form following: that is, five marks to be paid upon the first day of May next ensuing, and all the residue of the said sum of £20. to be paid parcel by parcel as shall please the said Sir Walter, as he thinks necessary to be delivered and paid in the time of his disease, for sustaining such charges as the said Mr. Alexander must use in medicine for reducing the said Sir Walter to health; and so the said payment continued and made, to the time the whole sum of £20. aforesaid be fully contented and paid. In witness whereof, either to these present indentures have interchangeably set their seals, the day and year above mentioned.”

Sir Walter however died on the 9th of January following.

Je voudrois de bon cœur,” says an interlocutor in one of the evening conversation parties of Guillaume Bouchet, Sieur de Brocourt, “qu'il y eust des Medecins pour remedier aux ennuis et maladies de l'esprit, ne plus ne moins qu'il en y a qui guerissent les maladies et douleurs du corps; comme it se trouve qu'il y en avoit en Grece; car il est escrit que Xenophon ayant faict bastir une maison à Corinthe, il mit en un billet sur la porte, qu'il faisoit profession, et avoit le moyen de guerir de paroles ceux qui estoient ennuyez et faschez; et leur demandant les causes de leurs ennuis, il les guerissoit, les recomfortant, et consolant de leurs douleurs et ennuis.

Under barbarous governments the most atrocious practices are still in use. It was reported in India that when Hyder Aly was suffering with a malignant bile on his back common in that country, and which occasioned his death, an infant's liver was applied to it every day. An Englishman in the service of Phizal Beg Cawn was on an embassy at Madras when this story was current; the Governor asked him whether he thought it likely to be true, and he acknowledged his belief in it, giving this sufficient reason, that his master Phizal Beg had tried the same remedy, but then he begged leave to affirm in behalf of his master, that the infants killed for his use, were slaves, and his own property.

Of odd notions concerning virginity I do not remember a more curious one than that virgin mummy was preferred in medicine.



Begin betimes, occasion's bald behind,
Stop not thine opportunity, for fear too late
Thou seek'st for much, but canst not compass it.

Plust a Dieu que j'eusse presentement cent soixante et dixhuit millions d'or!” says a personage in Rabelais: “ho, comment je triumpherois!

It was a good, honest, large, capacious wish; and in wishing, it is as well to wish for enough. By enough in the way of riches, a man is said to mean always something more than he has. Without exposing myself to any such censorious remark, I will like the person above quoted, limit my desires to a positive sum, and wish for just one million a year.

And what would you do with it? says Mr. Sobersides.

Attendez encores un peu, avec demie once de patience.

I now esteem my venerable self
As brave a fellow, as if all that pelf
Were sure mine own; and I have thought a way
Already how to spend.

And first for my private expenditure, I would either buy a house to my mind, or build one; and it should be such as a house ought to be, which I once heard a glorious agriculturist define “a house that should have in it every thing that is voluptuous, and necessary and right.” In my acceptation of that felicitous definition, I request the reader to understand that every thing which is right is intended, and nothing but what is perfectly so: that is to say I mean every possible accommodation conducive to health and comfort. It should be large enough for my friends, and not so large as to serve as an hotel for my acquaintance, and I would live in it at the rate of five thousand a year, beyond which no real and reasonable enjoyment is to be obtained by money.

I would neither keep hounds, nor hunters, nor running horses.

I would neither solicit nor accept a peerage. I would not go into Parliament. I would take no part whatever in what is called public life, farther than to give my vote at an election against a Whig, or against any one who would give his in favour of the Catholic Question.

I would not wear my coat quite so threadbare as I do at present: but I would still keep to my old shoes, as long as they would keep to me.

But stop—Cleopatra adopted some wizard's words when she said “Wishers were ever fools!”


Πρᾶγμα, πρᾶγμα μέγα κεκίνηται, μέγα.


Magnus thesaurus latet in nominibus, said Strafford, then Lord Deputy Wentworth, when noticing a most unwise scheme which was supposed to proceed from Sir Abraham Dawes, he observes, it appeared most plainly that he had not his name for nothing! In another letter, he says, “I begin to hope I may in time as well understand these customs as Sir Abraham Dawes. Why should I fear it? for I have a name less ominous than his.”

Gonin, Court de Gebelin says, is a French word or rather name which exists only in these proverbial phrases, Maître Gonin,—un tour de Maître Gonin; it designates un Maître passé en ruses et artifices; un homme fin et rusé. The origin of the word, says he, was altogether unknown. Menage rejects with the utmost contempt the opinion of those who derive it from the Hebrew ץובנ, Gwunen a diviner, an enchanter. It is true that this etymology has been advanced too lightly, and without proofs: Menage however ought to have been less contemptuous, because he could substitute nothing in its place.

It is remarkable that neither Menage nor Court de Gebelin should have known that Maistre Gounin was a French conjurer, as well known in his day as Katterfelto and Jonas, or the Sieur Ingleby Emperor of Conjurors in later times. He flourished in the days of Francis the first, before whom he is said to have made a private exhibition of his art in a manner perfectly characteristic of that licentious King and his profligate court. Thus he effected “par ses inventions, illusions et sorcelleries et enchantements,—car il estoit un homme fort expert et subtil en son art, says Brântome; et son petit-fils, que nous avons veu, n'y entendoit rien au prix de luy.” Grandfather and grandson having been at the head of their worshipful profession, the name past into a proverbial expression, and survived all memory of the men.

Court de Gebelin traced its etymology far and wide. He says, it is incontestable that this word is common to us with the ancient Hebrews though it does not come to us from them. We are indebted for it to the English. Cunning designe chez eux un homme adroit, fin, rusé. Master Cunning a fait Maître Gonin. This word comes from the primitive Cen pronounced Ken, which signifies ability, (habilité) art, power. The Irish have made from it Kanu, I know; Kunna, to know; Kenning, knowledge, (science); Kenni-mann, wise men (hommes savans), Doctors, Priests.

It is a word common to all the dialects of the Celtic and Teutonic; to the Greek in which Konne-ein1 signifies to know (savoir) to be intelligent and able &c., to the Tartar languages &c.

1 So in the MS.

Les Anglois associant Cunning avec Man, homme, en font le mot Cunning-Man, qui signifie Devin, Enchanteur, homme qui fait de grandes choses, et qui est habile: c'est donc le correspondant du mot Hebreu Gwunen, Enchanteur, Devin; Gwuna, Magicienne, Devineresse; d'où le verbe Gwunen, deviner, observer les Augures, faire des prestiges. Ne soyons par étonnés, says the author, bringing this example to bear upon his system, de voir ce mot commun à tant de Peuples, et si ancien: il vint chez tous d'une source commune, de la haute Asie, berceau de tous ces Peuples et de leur Langue.

If Mr. Canning had met with the foregoing passage towards the close of his political life, when he had attained the summit of his wishes, how would it have affected him, in his sober mind? Would it have tickled his vanity, or stung his conscience? Would he have been flattered by seeing his ability prefigured in his name? or would he have been mortified at the truth conveyed in the proverbial French application of it, and have acknowledged in his secret heart that cunning is as incompatible with self-esteem as it is with uprightness, with magnanimity, and with true greatness?

His name was unlucky not only in its signification, but according to Roman de Vaudemont, in its initial.

Maudit est nom qui par C se commence,
Coquin, cornard, caignard, coqu, caphard:
Aussi par B, badaud, badin, bavard,
Mais pire est C, si j'ay bien remembrance.

Much as the Doctor insisted upon the virtues of what he called the divine initial, he reprehended the uncharitable sentiment of these verses, and thought that the author never could have played at “I love my Love with an A,” or that the said game perhaps was not known among the French; for you must get to x, y, and z before you find it difficult to praise her in any letter in the alphabet, and to dispraise her in the same.

Initials therefore, he thought, (always with one exception) of no other consequence than as they pleased the ear, and combined gracefully in a cypher, upon a seal or ring. But in names themselves a great deal more presents itself to a reflecting mind.

Shenstone used to bless his good fortune that his name was not obnoxious to a pun. He would not have liked to have been complimented in the same strain as a certain Mr. Pegge was by an old epigrammatist.

What wonder if my friendship's force doth last
Firm to your goodness? You have pegg'd it fast.

Little could he foresee, as Dr. Southey has observed that it was obnoxious to a rhyme in French English. In the gardens of Ermenonville M.placed this inscription to his honour.

This plain stone
To William Shenstone.
In his writings he display'd
A mind natural;
At Leasowes he laid
Arcadian greens rural.

Poor Shenstone hardly appears more ridiculous in the frontispiece to his own works, where, in the heroic attitude of a poet who has won the prize and is about to receive the crown, he stands before Apollo in a shirt and boa, as destitute of another less dispensible part of dress as Adam in Eden, but like Adam when innocent, not ashamed: while the shirtless God holding a lyre in one hand prepares with the other to place a wreath of bay upon the brow of his delighted votary.

The father of Sir Joshua Reynolds fancied that if he gave his son an uncommon Christian name, it might be the means of bettering his fortune; and therefore he had him christened Joshua. It does not appear however that the name ever proved as convenient to the great painter as it did to Joshua Barnes. He to whose Barnesian labours Homer and Queen Esther, and King Edward III. bear witness, was a good man and a good scholar, and a rich widow who not imprudently inferred that he would make a good husband, gave him an opportunity by observing to him one day that Joshua made the Sun and Moon stand still, and significantly adding that nothing could resist Joshua. The hint was not thrown away;—and he never had cause to repent that he had taken, nor she that she had given it.

A Spanish gentleman who made it his pastime to write books of chivalry, being to bring into his work a furious Giant, went many days devising a name which might in all points be answerable to his fierceness, neither could he light upon any; till playing one day at cards in his friend's house, he heard the master of the house say to the boy—muchacho—tra qui tantos. As soon as he heard Traquitantos he laid down his cards and said that now he had found a name which would fit well for his Giant.2


I know not whether it was the happy-minded author of the Worthies and the Church History of Britain who proposed as an epitaph for himself the words “Fuller's Earth,” or whether some one proposed it for him. But it is in his own style of thought and feeling.

Nor has it any unbeseeming levity, like this which is among Browne's poems.

Here lieth in sooth
Honest John Tooth,
Whom Death on a day
From us drew away.

Or this upon a Mr. Button,

Here lieth one, God rest his soul
Whose grave is but a button-hole.

No one was ever punned to death, nor, though Ditton is said to have died in consequence of “the unhappy effect” which Swift's verses produced upon him, can I believe that any one was ever rhymed to death.

A man may with better reason bless his godfathers and godmothers if they chuse for him a name which is neither too common nor too peculiar.3

3 It is said of an eccentric individual that he never forgave his Godfathers and Godmother for giving him the name of Moses, for which the short is Mo.

It is not a good thing to be Tom'd or Bob'd, Jack'd or Jim'd, Sam'd or Ben'd, Natty'd or Batty'd, Neddy'd or Teddy'd, Will'd or Bill'd, Dick'd or Nick'd, Joe'd or Jerry'd as you go through the world. And yet it is worse to have a christian name, that for its oddity shall be in every body's mouth when you are spoken of, as if it were pinned upon your back, or labelled upon your forehead. Quintin Dick for example, which would have been still more unlucky if Mr. Dick had happened to have a cast in his eye. The Report on Parochial Registration contains a singular example of the inconvenience which may arise from giving a child an uncouth christian name. A gentleman called Anketil Gray had occasion for a certificate of his baptism: it was known at what church he had been baptized, but on searching the register there, no such name could be found: some mistake was presumed therefore not in the entry, but in the recollection of the parties, and many other registers were examined without success. At length the first register was again recurred to, and then upon a closer investigation, they found him entered as Miss Ann Kettle Grey.

Souvent,” says Brântome, “ceux qui portent le nom de leurs ayeuls, leur ressemblent volontiers, comme je l'ay veu observer et en discourir à aucuns philosophes.” He makes this remark after observing that the Emperor Ferdinand was named after his grandfather Ferdinand of Arragon, and Charles V. after his great grandfather Charles the Bold. But such resemblances are as Brântome implies, imitational where they exist. And Mr. Keightley's observation, that “a man's name and his occupation have often a most curious coincidence,” rests perhaps on a similar ground, men being sometimes designated by their names for the way of life which they are to pursue. Many a boy has been called Nelson in our own days, and Rodney in our fathers', because he was intended for the sea service, and many a seventh son has been christened Luke in the hope that he might live to be a physician. In what other business than that of a lottery-office would the name Goodluck so surely have brought business to the house? Captain Death could never have practised medicine or surgery, unless under an alias; but there would be no better name with which to meet an enemy in battle. Dr. Damman was an eminent physician and royal professor of midwifery at Ghent in the latter part of the last century. He ought to have been a Calvinistic divine.

The Ancients paid so great a regard to names, that whenever a number of men were to be examined on suspicion, they began by putting to the torture the one whose name was esteemed the vilest. And this must not be supposed to have had its origin in any reasonable probability, such as might be against a man who being apprehended for a riot, should say his name was Patrick Murphy, or Dennis O'Connor, or Thady O'Callaghan; or against a Moses Levi, or a Daniel Abrahams for uttering bad money; it was for the import of the name itself, and the evidence of a base and servile origin which it implied.

J'ai été tousjours fort etonné,” says Bayle, “que les familles qui portent un nom odieux ou ridicule, ne le quitent pas.” The Leatherheads and Shufflebottoms, the Higgenses and Huggenses, the Scroggses and the Scraggses, Sheepshanks and Ramsbottoms, Taylors and Barbers, and worse than all, Butchers, would have been to Bayle as abominable as they were to Dr. Dove. I ought, the Doctor would say, to have a more natural dislike to the names of Kite, Hawk, Falcon and Eagle; and yet they are to me (the first excepted) less odious than names like these: and even preferable to Bull, Bear, Pig, Hog, Fox or Wolf.

What a name, he would say, is Lamb for a soldier, Joy for an undertaker, Rich for a pauper, or Noble for a taylor: Big for a lean and little person, and Small for one who is broad in the rear and abdominous in the van. Short for a fellow six feet without his shoes, or Long for him whose high heels hardly elevate him to the height of five. Sweet for one who has either a vinegar face, or a foxey complection. Younghusband for an old batchelor. Merryweather for any one in November and February, a black spring, a cold summer or a wet autumn. Goodenough for a person no better than he should be: Toogood for any human creature, and Best for a subject who is perhaps too bad to be endured.

Custom having given to every Christian name its alias, he always used either the baptismal name or its substitute as it happened to suit his fancy, careless of what others might do. Thus he never called any woman Mary, though Mare he said being the sea was in many respects but too emblematic of the sex. It was better to use a synonyme of better omen, and Molly therefore was to be preferred as being soft. If he accosted a vixen of that name in her worst temper he mollyfied her. On the contrary he never could be induced to substitute Sally for Sarah.—Sally he said had a salacious sound, and moreover it reminded him of rovers, which women ought not to be. Martha he called Patty, because it came pat to the tongue. Dorothy remained Dorothy, because it was neither fitting that women should be made Dolls, nor Idols. Susan with him was always Sue, because women were to be sued, and Winifred Winny because they were to be won.



Tal nombre, que a los siglos extendido,
Se olvide de olvidarsele al Olvido.


Considering the many mysteries which our Doctor discovered in the name of Dove, and not knowing but that many more may be concealed in it which will in due time be brought to light, I am particularly desirous,—I am solicitous,—I am anxious,—I wish (which is as much as if a Quaker were to say “I am moved,” or “it is upon my mind”) to fix for posterity, if possible, the true pronunciation of that name. If possible, I say, because whatever those readers may think, who have never before had the subject presented to their thoughts, it is exceedingly difficult. My solicitude upon this point will not appear groundless, if it be recollected to what strange changes pronunciation is liable, not from lapse of time alone, but from caprice and fashion. Who in the present generation knows not how John Kemble was persecuted about his a-ches, a point wherein right as he was, he was proved to be wrong by a new norma loquendi. Our allies are no longer iambic as they were wont to be, but pure trochees now like Alley Croker and Mr. Alley the counsellor. Beta is at this day called Veta in Greece to the confusion of Sir John Cheke, to the triumph of Bishop Gardiner, and in contempt of the whole ovine race. Nay, to bring these observations home to the immediate purport of this chapter, the modern Greeks when they read this book will call the person on whose history it relates, Thaniel Thove! and the Thoctor! their Delta having undergone as great a change as the Delta in Egypt. Have I not reason then for my solicitude?

Whoever examines that very rare and curious book, Lesclarcissem*nt de la langue françoyse, printed by Johan Haukyns, 1530, (which is the oldest French grammar in our language, and older than any that the French possess in their own) will find indubitable proof that the pronunciation of both nations is greatly altered in the course of the last three hundred years.

Neither the Spaniards nor Portuguese retain in their speech that strong Rhotacism which they denoted by the double rr, and which Camden and Fuller notice as peculiar to the people of Carlton in Leicestershire. Lily has not enumerated it among those isms from which boys are by all means to be deterred, a most heinous ism however it is. A strange uncouth wharling, Fuller called it, and Camden describes it as a harsh and ungrateful manner of speech with a guttural and difficult pronunciation. They were perhaps a colony from Durham or Northumberland in whom the burr had become hereditary.

Is the poetry of the Greeks and Romans ever read as they themselves read it? Have we not altered the very metre of the pentameter by our manner of reading it? Is it not at this day doubtful whether Cæsar was called Kæsar, Chæsar, or as we pronounce his name? And whether Cicero ought not to be called Chichero1 or Kikero? Have I not therefore cause to apprehend that there may come a time when the true pronunciation of Dove may be lost or doubtful? Major Jardine has justly observed that in the great and complicated art of alphabetical writing, which is rendered so easy and familiar by habit, we are not always aware of the limits of its powers.

1 The well known verses of Catullus would be against Chichero, at least.

Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet
Dicere, et
hinsidias Arrius insidias:
Et tum mirificè sperabat se esse locutum,
Cum quantum poterat, dixerat
hinsidias, &c.
CARM. lxxxiv.

The h appears to have been an old Shibboleth, and not restricted either to Shropshire or Warwickshire. Mr. Evans' verses will occur to many readers of “The Doctor, &c.”

“Alphabetical writing,” says that always speculative writer, “was doubtless a wonderful and important discovery. Its greatest merit, I think, was that of distinguishing sounds from articulations, a degree of perfection to which the eastern languages have not yet arrived; and that defect may be, with those nations, one of the chief causes of their limited progress in many other things. You know they have no vowels, except some that have the a, but always joined to some articulation: their attempt to supply that defect by points give them but very imperfect and indistinct ideas of vocal and articulate sounds, and of their important distinction. But even languages most alphabetical, if the expression may be allowed, could not probably transmit by writing a compleat idea of their own sounds and pronunciation from any one age or people to another. Sounds are to us infinite and variable, and we cannot transmit by one sense the ideas and objects of another. We shall be convinced of this when we recollect the innumerable qualities of tone in human voices, so as to enable us to distinguish all our acquaintances, though the number should amount to many hundreds, or perhaps thousands. With attention we might discover a different quality of tone in every instrument; for all these there never can be a sufficient number of adequate terms in any written language; and when that variety comes to be compounded with a like variety of articulations, it becomes infinite to us. The varieties only upon the seven notes in music, varied only as to pitch and modulation throughout the audible scale, combined with those of time, are not yet probably half exhausted by the constant labour of so many ages. So that the idea of Mr. Steel and others, of representing to the eye the tune and time only of the sounds in any language, will probably ever prove inadequate to the end proposed, even without attempting the kinds and qualities of tones and articulations, which would render it infinite and quite impossible.”

Lowth asserts that “the true pronunciation of Hebrew is lost,—lost to a degree far beyond what can ever be the case of any European language preserved only in writing; for the Hebrew language, like most of the other Oriental languages, expressing only the consonants, and being destitute of its vowels, has lain now for two thousand years in a manner mute and incapable of utterance, the number of syllables is in a great many words uncertain, the quantity and accent wholly unknown.”

In the Pronouncing Dictionary of John Walker, (that great benefactor to all ladies employed in the task of education) the word is written Duv, with a figure of 2 over the vowel, designating that what he calls the short simple u is intended, as in the English, tub, cup, sup, and the French veuf, neuf. How Sheridan gives it, or how it would have been as Mr. Southey would say, uglyographized by Elphinstone and the other whimsical persons who have laboured so disinterestedly in the vain attempt of regulating our spelling by our pronunciation, I know not, for none of their books are at hand. My Public will forgive me that I have not taken the trouble to procure them. It has not been neglected from idleness, nor for the sake of sparing myself any pains which ought to have been taken. Would I spare any pains in the service of my Public!

I have not sought for those books because their authority would have added nothing to Walker's: nor if they had differed from him, would any additional assistance have been obtained. They are in fact all equally inefficient for the object here required, which is so to describe and fix the true pronunciation of a particular word, that there shall be no danger of it ever being mistaken, and that when this book shall be as old as the Iliad, there may be no dispute concerning the name of its principal personage, though more places should vie with each other for the honour of having given birth to Urgand the Unknown, than contended for the birth of Homer. Now that cannot be done by literal notation. If you think it may, “I beseech you, Sir, paint me a voice! Make a sound visible if you can! Teach mine ears to see, and mine eyes to hear!”

The prosody of the ancients enables us to ascertain whether a syllable be long or short. Our language is so much more flexible in verse that our poetry will not enable the people of the third and fourth millenniums even to do this, without a very laborious collation, which would after all in many instances leave the point doubtful. Nor will rhyme decide the question; for to a foreigner who understands English only by book (and the people of the third and fourth millenniums may be in this state) Dove and Glove, Rove and Grove, Move and Prove, must all appear legitimate and interchangeable rhymes.

I must therefore have given up the matter in despair had it not been for a most fortunate and felicitous circ*mstance. There is one word in the English language which, happen what may, will never be out of use, and of which the true pronunciation like the true meaning is sure to pass down uninterruptedly and unaltered from generation to generation. That word, that one and only word which must remain immutable wherever English is spoken, whatever other mutations the speech may undergo, till the language itself be lost in the wreck of all things,—that word (Youths and Maidens ye anticipate it now!) that one and only word—

Τόδε μὲν οὐκέτι στόματος ὲν πύλαις

that dear delicious monosyllable LOVE, that word is a true and perfect rhyme to the name of our Doctor.

Speak but one rhyme and I am satisfied;
... pronounce but Love and Dove.3




Tutte le cose son rose et viole
Ch' io dico ò ch' io dirò de la virtute.


It is recorded of Charlemagne by his secretary Eginhart, that he had always pen, ink and parchment beside his pillow, for the purpose of noting down any thoughts which might occur to him during the night: and lest upon waking he should find himself in darkness, a part of the wall, within reach from the bed was prepared, like the leaf of a tablet, with wax, on which he might indent his memoranda with a style.

The Jesuit poet Casimir had a black tablet always by his bedside, and a piece of chalk, with which to secure a thought, or a poetical expression that might occur to him, si quid insomnis noctu non infeliciter cogitabat ne id sibi periret. In like manner it is related of Margaret duch*ess of Newcastle that some of her young ladies always slept within call, ready to rise at any hour in the night, and take down her thoughts, lest she should forget them before morning.

Some threescore years ago a little instrument was sold by the name of the Nocturnal Remembrancer; it consisted merely of some leaves of what is called asses-skin, in a leathern case wherein there was one aperture from side to side, by aid of which a straight line could be pencilled in the dark: the leaf might be drawn up, and fixed at measured distances, till it was written on from top to bottom.

Our Doctor, (—now that thou art so well acquainted with him and likest him so cordially, Reader, it would be ungenerous in me to call him mine)—our Doctor needed no such contrivances. He used to say that he laid aside all his cares when he put off his wig, and that never any were to be found under his night cap. Happy man, from whom this might be believed! but so even had been the smooth and noiseless tenour of his life that he could say it truly. Anxiety and bereavements had brought to him no sleepless nights, no dreams more distressful than even the realities that produce and blend with them. Neither had worldly cares or ambitious hopes and projects ever disquieted him, and made him misuse in midnight musings the hours which belong to sleep. He had laid up in his mind an inexhaustible store of facts and fancies, and delighted in nothing more than in adding to these intellectual treasures; but as he gathered knowledge only for its own sake, and for the pleasure of the pursuit, not with any emulous feelings, or aspiring intent

—to be for ever known,
And make the years to come his own,

he never said with the studious Elder Brother in Fletcher's comedy,

the children
Which I will leave to all posterity,
Begot and brought up by my painful studies
Shall be my living issue.

And therefore—voilà un homme qui était fort savant et fort eloquent, et neanmoins—(altering a little the words of Bayle),—il n'est pas connu dans la république des lettres, et il y a eu une infinité de gens beaucoup moins habile que lui, qui sont cent fois plus connus; c'est qu'ils ont publié des livres, et que la presse n'a point roulé sur ses productions. Il importe extrêmement aux hommes doctes, qui ne veulent pas tomber dans l'oubli après leur mort, de s'ériger en auteurs; sans cela leur nom ne passe guère la première génération; res erat unius ætatis. Le commun des lecteurs ne prend point garde au nom des savans qu'ils ne connaissent que par le témoignage d'autrui; on oublie bientôt un homme, lorsque l'eloge qu'en font les autres finit par—le public n'a rien ou de lui.

Bayle makes an exception of men who like Peiresc distinguish themselves d'un façon singulière.

“I am not sure,” says Sir Egerton Brydges, “that the life of an author is an happy life; but yet if the seeds of authorship be in him, he will not be happy except in the indulgence of this occupation. Without the culture and free air which these seeds require, they will wither and turn to poison.” It is no desirable thing, according to this representation, to be born with such a predisposition to the most dangerous of all callings. But still more pitiable is the condition of such a person if Mr. Fosbrooke has described it truly: “the mind of a man of genius,” says he, (who beyond all question is a man of genius himself) “is always in a state of pregnancy, or parturition; and its power of bearing offspring is bounded only by supervening disease, or by death.” Those who are a degree lower in genius are in a yet worse predicament; such a sort of man, as Norris of Bemerton describes, who “although he conceives often, yet by some chance or other, he always miscarries, and the issue proves abortive.”

JUNO LUCINA fer opem!

This invocation the Doctor never made metaphorically for himself, whatever serious and secret prayers he may have preferred for others, when exercising one branch of his tripartite profession.

Bernardin de Saint Pierre says in one of his letters, when his Etudes de la Nature were in the press, Je suis a present dans les douleurs de l'enfantement, car il n'y a point de mère qui souffre autant en mettant un enfant au monde, et qui craigne plus qu'on ne l'ecorche ou qu'on ne les crève un œil, qu'un auteur qui revoit les épreuves de son ouvrage.



A Taylor who has no objection to wear motley, may make himself a great coat with half a yard of his own stuff, by eking it out with cabbage from every piece that comes in his way.


But here two questions arise:

Ought Dr. Dove, or ought he not, to have been an author?
Was he, or was he not, the happier, for not being one?

“Not to leave the reader,” as Lightfoot says, “in a bivium of irresolutions,” I will examine each of these questions, escriviendo algunos breves reglones, sobre lo mucho que dezir y escrivir se podria en esto;—moviendo me principalmente a ello la grande ignorancia que sobre esta matheria veo manifiestamente entre las gentes de nuestro siglo.1


“I am and have been,” says Robert Wilmot, “(if there be in me any soundness of judgment) of this opinion, that whatsoever is committed to the press is commended to eternity; and it shall stand a lively witness with our conscience, to our comfort or confusion, in the reckoning of that great day. Advisedly therefore was that proverb used of our elder Philosopher, Manum a Tabulâ; withhold thy hand from the paper, and thy papers from the print, or light of the world.”

Robert Wilmot says, I say, using the present tense in setting his words before the reader, because of an author it may truly be said that “being dead he yet speaketh.” Obscure as this old author now is, for his name and his existing works are known only to those who love to pore among the tombs and the ruins of literature, yet by those who will always be enough “to make a few,” his name will continue to be known, long after many of those bubbles which now glitter as they float upon the stream of popularity are “gone for ever;” and his remains are safe for the next half millennium, if the globe should last so long without some cataclasm which shall involve its creatures and its works in one common destruction.

Wilmot is right in saying that whatever is written for the public, is as regards the individual responsibility of the writer, written for eternity, however brief may be its earthly duration;—an aweful consideration for the authors of wicked books, and for those who by becoming instrumental in circulating such books, involve themselves in the author's guilt as accessaries after the fact, and thereby bring themselves deservedly under the same condemnation.

Looking at the first question in this point of view, it may be answered without hesitation, the Doctor was so pure in heart, and consequently so innocent in mind that there was no moral reason why he ought not to have been an author. He would have written nothing but what,—religiously speaking might have been accounted among his good works,—so far as, so speaking, any works may deserve to be called good.

But the question has two handles, and we must now take it by the other.

An author more obscure in the literature of his own country than Wilmot, (unless indeed some Spanish or Italian Haslewood may have disinterred his name) has expressed an opinion, directly the reverse of Wilmot's concerning authorship. Ye who understand that noble language which the Emperor Charles V. ranked above all other living tongues may have the satisfaction of here reading it in the original.

Muchos son los que del loable y fructuoso trabajo de escrevir, rehuir suelen; unos por no saber, a los quales su ignorancia en alguna manera escusa; otros por negligencia, que teniendo habilidad y disposicion par ello no lo hazen; y a estos es menester que Dios los perdone en lo passado, y emiende en lo por venir; otros dexan de hazello por temor de los detractores y que mal acostumbran dezir; los quales a mi parecer de toda reprehension son dignos, pues siendo el acto en si virtuoso, dexan de usarlo por temor. Mayormente que todos, o los mas que este exercicio usan, o con buen ingenio escriven, o con buen desseo querrian escrevir. Si con buen ingenio hazen buena obra, cierto es que dese ser alabada. Y së el defecto de mas no alcanzar algo, la haze diminuta de lo que mejor pudiera ser, deve se loar lo que el tal quisiera hazer, si mas supiera, o la invencion y fantasia de la obra, por que fue, o porque desseo ser bueno. De manere que es mucho mejor escrevir como quiera que se pueda hazer, que no por algun temor dexar de hazerlo.2


“Many,” says this author, “are they who are wont to eschew the meritorious and fruitful labour of writing, some for want of knowledge, whom their ignorance in some manner excuses; others for negligence, who having ability and fitness for this, nevertheless do it not, and need there is for them, that God should forgive them for the past, and amend them for the time to come, others forbear writing, for fear of detractors and of those who accustom themselves to speak ill, and these in my opinion are worthy of all reprehension, because the act being in itself so virtuous, they are withheld by fear from performing it. Moreover it is to be considered that all, or most of those who practise this art, either write with a good genius, or a good desire of writing well. If having a good genius they produce a good work, certes that work deserves to be commended. And if for want of genius it falls short of this, and of what it might better have been, still he ought to be praised, who would have made his work praiseworthy if he had been able, and the invention and fancy of the work, either because it is or because he wished it to be so. So that it is much better for a man to write whatever his ability may be, than to be withheld from the attempt by fear.”

A very different opinion was expressed by one of the most learned of men, Ego multos studiosos quotidie video, paucos doctos; in doctis paucos ingeniosos; in semidoctis nullos bonos; atque adeo literæ generis humani unicum solamen, jam pestis et perniciei maximæ loco sunt.3


M. Cornet used to say, que pour faire des livres, il faloit être ou bien fou ou bien sage, que pour lui, comme il ne se croïoit pas assez sage pour faire un bon livre, ni assez fou pour en faire un méchant, il avoit pris le parti de ne point ecrire.

Pour lui, the Docteur of the Sorbonne: pour moi,—every reader will, in the exercise of that sovereign judgement whereof every reader is possessed, determine for himself whether in composing the present work I am to be deemed bien sage, or bien fou. I know what Mr. Dulman thinks upon this point, and that Mr. Slapdash agrees with him. To the former I shall say nothing; but to the latter, and to Slenderwit, Midge, Wasp, Dandeprat, Brisk and Blueman, I shall let Cordara the Jesuit speak for me.

O quanti, o quanti sono, a cui dispiace
Vedere un uom contento; sol per questo
Lo pungono con stile acre e mordace,
Per questi versi miei chi sa che presto
Qualche zanzara contro me non s'armi,
E non prenda di qui qualche pretesto.
Io certo me l'aspetto, che oltraggiarmi
Talun pretenderà sol perchè pare,
Che di lieti pensier' sappia occuparmi.
Ma canti pur, lo lascerò cantare
E per mostrargli quanto me ne prendo,
Tornerò, se bisogna, a verseggiare.

Leaving the aforesaid litterateurs to construe and apply this, I shall proceed in due course to examine and decide whether Dr. Daniel Dove ought, or ought not to have been an author,—being the first of two questions, propounded in the present chapter, as arising out of the last.



Jam paululum digressus a spectantibus,
Doctis loquar, qui non adeo spectare quam
Audire gestiunt, logosque ponderant,
Examinant, dijudicantque pro suo
Candore vel livore; non latum tamen
Culmum (quod aiunt) dum loquar sapientibus
Loco movebor.


The boy and his schoolmaster were not mistaken in thinking that some of Textor's Moralities would have delighted the people of Ingleton as much as any of Rowland Dixon's stock pieces. Such dramas have been popular wherever they have been presented in the vernacular tongue. The progress from them to the regular drama was slow, perhaps not so much on account of the then rude state of most modern languages, as because of the yet ruder taste of the people. I know not whether it has been observed in literary history how much more rapid it was in schools, where the Latin language was used, and consequently fit audience was found, though few.

George von Langeveldt, or Macropedius as he called himself, according to the fashion of learned men in that age, was contemporary with Textor, and like him one of the pioneers of literature, but he was a person of more learning and greater intellectual powers. He was born about the year 1475, of a good family in the little town or village of Gemert, at no great distance from Bois-le-Duc. As soon as his juvenile studies were compleated he entered among the Fratres Vitæ Communis; they employed him in education, first as Rector in their college at Bois-le-duc, then at Liege, and afterwards at Utrecht from whence in 1552, being infirm and grievously afflicted with gout, he returned to Bois-le-duc there to pass the remainder of his days, as one whose work was done. Old and enfeebled however as he was, he lived till the year 1558, and then died not of old age, but of a pestilential fever.

There is an engraved portrait of him in the hideous hood and habit of his order; the countenance is that of a good-natured, intelligent, merry old man: underneath are these verses by Sanderus the topographer.

Tu Seneca, et nostri potes esse Terentius ævi,
Seu struis ad faciles viva theatra pedes,
Sen ploras tragicas, Macropedi, carmine clades,
Materiam sanctis adsimilante modis.
Desine jam Latios mirari Roma cothurnos;
Nescio quid majus Belgica scena dabit.

Macropedius published Rudiments both of the Greek and Latin languages; he had studied the Hebrew and Chaldee; had some skill in mathematics, and amused his leisure in making mathematical instruments, a branch of art in which he is said to have been an excellent workman. Most of the men who distinguished themselves as scholars in that part of the Low Countries, toward the latter part of the 16th century had been his pupils: for he was not more remarkable for his own acquirements than for the earnest delight which he took in instructing others. There is some reason for thinking that he was a severe disciplinarian, perhaps a cruel one. Herein he differed widely from Textor, who took every opportunity for expressing his abhorrence of magisterial cruelty. In one of these Dialogues with which Guy and young Daniel were so well acquainted, two schoolmasters after death are brought before Rhadamanthus for judgement; one for his inhumanity is sent to be tormented in Tartarus, part of his punishment in addition to those more peculiarly belonging to the region, being that

Verbera quæ pueris intulit, ipse ferat:

the other who indulged his boys and never maltreated them is ordered to Elysium, the Judge saying to him

tua te in pueros clementia salvum
Reddit, et æternis persimilem superis.

That Textor's description of the cruelty exercised by the pedagogues of his age was not overcharged, Macropedius himself might be quoted to prove, even when he is vindicating and recommending such discipline as Dr. Parr would have done. I wish Parr had heard an expression which fell from the honest lips of Isaac Reid, when a school, noted at that time for its consumption of birch, was the subject of conversation; the words would have burnt themselves in. I must not commit them to the press; but this I may say, that the Recording Angel entered them on the creditor side of that kind-hearted old man's account.

Macropedius, like Textor, composed dramatic pieces for his pupils to represent. The latter, as has been shown in a former chapter, though he did not exactly take the Moralities for his model, produced pieces of the same kind, and adapted his conceptions to the popular facts, while he clothed them in the language of the classics. His aim at improvement proceeded no farther, and he never attempted to construct a dramatic fable. That advance was made by Macropedius, who in one of his dedicatory epistles laments that among the many learned men who were then flourishing, no Menander, no Terence was to be found, their species of writing, he says, had been almost extinct since the time of Terence himself, or at least of Lucilius. He regretted this because comedy might be rendered useful to persons of all ages, quid enim plus pueris ad eruditionem, plus adolescentibus ad honesta studia, plus provectioribus, immò omnibus in commune ad virtutem conducat?

Reuchlin, or Capnio (as he who was one of the lights of his generation was misnamed and misnamed himself,) who had with his other great and eminent merits that of restoring or rather introducing into Germany the study of Hebrew, revived the lost art of comedy. If any one had preceded him in this revival, Macropedius was ignorant of it, and by the example and advice of this great man he was induced to follow him, not only as a student of Hebrew, but as a comic writer. Hrosvitha indeed, a nun of Gandersheim in Saxony, who lived in the tenth century and in the reign of Otho II. composed six Latin comedies in emulation of Terence, but in praise of virginity; and these with other of her poems were printed at Nuremberg in the year 1501. The book I have never seen, nor had De Bure, nor had he been able (such is its rarity) to procure any account of it farther than enabled him to give its title. The name of Conrad Celtes, the first German upon whom the degree of Poet Laureate was conferred, appears in the title, as if he had discovered the manuscript; Conrado Celte inventore. De Bure says the volume was attribué au même Conradus Celtes. It is rash for any one to form an opinion of a book which he has never examined, unless he is well acquainted with the character and capacity of its author; nevertheless I may venture to observe that nothing can be less in unison with the life and conversation of this Latin poet, as far as these may be judged of by his acknowledged poems, than the subjects of the pieces published under Hrosvitha's name; and no reason can be imagined why if he had written them himself, he should have palmed them upon the public as her composition.

It is remarkable that Macropedius when he spoke of Reuchlin's comedies should not have alluded to these, for that he must have seen them there can be little or no doubt. One of Reuchlin's is said to have been imitated from la Farce de Pathelin, which under the title of the Village Lawyer has succeeded on our own stage, and which was so deservedly popular that the French have drawn from it more than one proverbial saying. The French Editor who affirms this says that Pathelin was printed in 1474, four years before the representation of Reuchlin's comedy, but the story is one of those good travellers which are found in all countries, and Reuchlin may have dramatised it without any reference to the French drama, the existence of which may very probably have been unknown to him, as well as to Macropedius. Both his pieces are satirical. His disciple began with a scriptural drama upon the Prodigal Son, Asotus is its title. It must have been written early in the century, for about 1520 he laid it aside as a juvenile performance, and faulty as much because of the then comparatively rude state of learning, as of his own inexperience.

Scripsi olim adolescens, trimetris versibus,
Et tetrametris, eâ phrasi et facundiâ
Quæ tum per adolescentiam et mala tempora
Licebat, evangelicum Asotum aut Prodigum
Omnis quidem mei laboris initium.

After it had lain among his papers for thirty years, he brought it to light, and published it. In the prologue he intreats the spectators not to be offended that he had put his sickle into the field of the Gospel, and exhorts them while they are amused with the comic parts of the dialogue, still to bear in mind the meaning of the parable.

Sed orat author carminis vos res duas:
Ne ægre feratis, quod levem falcem tulit
sem*ntem in evangelicam, eamque quod audeat
Tractare majestatem Iambo et Tribracho;
Neve insuper nimis hæreatis ludicris
Ludisque comicis, sed animum advortite
Hic abdito mysterio, quod eruam.

After these lines he proceeds succinctly to expound the parable.

Although the grossest representations were not merely tolerated at that time in the Miracle Plays, and Mysteries, but performed with the sanction and with the assistance of the clergy, it appears that objections were raised against the sacred dramas of this author. They were composed for a learned audience,—which is indeed the reason why the Latin or as it may more properly be called the Collegiate drama, appeared at first in a regular and respectable form, and received little or no subsequent improvement. The only excuse which could be offered for the popular exhibitions of this kind, was that they were if not necessary, yet greatly useful, by exciting and keeping up the lively faith of an ignorant, but all-believing people. That apology failed, where no such use was needed. But Macropedius easily vindicated himself from charges which in truth were not relevant to his case; for he perceived what scriptural subjects might without impropriety be represented as he treated them, and he carefully distinguished them from those upon which no fiction could be engrafted without apparent profanation. In the prologue to his Lazarus he makes this distinction between the Lazarus of the parable, and the Lazarus of the Gospel History: the former might be thus treated for edification, the latter was too sacred a theme,

quod is sine
Filii Dei persona agi non possiet.

Upon this distinction he defends himself, and carefully declares what were the bounds which ought not to be overpassed.

Fortassis objectabit illi quispiam
Quod audeat sacerrimam rem, et serio
Nostræ saluti a Christo Jesu proditam
Tractare comicè, et facere rem ludicram.
Fatetur ingenuè, quod eadem ratio se
Sæpenumero deterruit, ne quid suum,
Vel ab aliis quantumlibet scriptum, piè
Doctève, quod personam haberet Christi Jesu
Agentis, histrionibus seu ludiis
Populo exhibendum ex pulpito committeret.

From this passage I am induced to suspect that the Jesus Scholasticus, and the tragedy De Passione Christi, which are named in the list of his works, have been erroneously ascribed to him. No date of time or place is affixed to either, by the biographers. After his judicious declaration concerning such subjects it cannot be thought he would have written these tragedies; nor that if he had written them before he seriously considered the question of their propriety, he would afterwards have allowed them to appear. It is more probable that they were published without an author's name, and ascribed to him, because of his reputation. No inference can be drawn from their not appearing in the two volumes of his plays; because that collection is entitled Omnes Georgii Macropedii Fabulæ COMICÆ, and though it contains pieces which are deeply serious, that title would certainly preclude the insertion of a tragedy. But a piece upon the story of Susanna which the biographers have also ascribed to him is not in the collection;1 the book was printed after his retirement to Bois-le-duc, when from his age and infirmities he was most unlikely to have composed it, and therefore I conclude, that like the tragedies, it is not his work.

1 This must be a comic drama.—R. S.

Macropedius was careful to guard against anything which might give offence and therefore he apologizes for speaking of the fable of his Nama:

Mirabitur fortasse vestrûm quispiam,
Quod fabulam rem sacrosanctam dixerim.
Verum sibi is persuasum habebit, omne quod
Tragico artificio comicovè scribitur,
Dici poetis fabulam; quod utique non
Tam historia veri texitur, quod proprium est,
Quam imago veri fingitur, quod artis est.
Nam comicus non propria personis solet,
Sed apta tribuere atque verisimilia, ut
Quæ pro loco vel tempore potuere agi
Vel dicier.

For a very different reason he withdrew from one of these dramas certain passages, by the advice of his friends, he says, qui rem seriam fabulosius tractandum dissuaserunt. These it seems related to the first chapter of St. Luke, but contained circ*mstances derived not from that Gospel, but from the legends engrafted upon it, and therefore he rejects them as citra scripturæ authoritatem.

From the scrupulousness with which Macropedius in this instance distinguishes between the facts of the Gospel history, and the fables of man's invention, it may be suspected that he was not averse at heart to those hopes of a reformation in the church which were at that time entertained. This is still further indicated in the drama called Hecastus (ἕκαστος,—Every one,) in which he represents a sinner as saved by faith in Christ and repentance. He found it necessary to protest against the suspicion which he had thus incurred, and to declare that he held works of repentance, and the sacraments appointed by the Church necessary for salvation.2

2 Hecastus was represented by the schoolboys in 1538 non sine magno spectantium plausu. It was printed in the ensuing year; and upon reprinting it, in 1550, the author offers his apology. He says, “fuere multi quibus (fabulæ scopo recte considerato) per omnia placuit; fuere quibus in ea nonnulla offenderunt; fuere quoque, quibus omnino displicuit, ob hoc præcipue, quod erroribus quibusdam nostri temporis connivere et suffragari videretur. Inprimis illi, quod citra pænitentiæ opera (satisfactionem dicimus) et ecclesiæ sacramenta, per solam in Christum fidem et cordis contritionem, condonationem criminum docere, vel asserere videretur: et quod quisque certo se fore servandum credere teneretur: Id quod nequaquam nec mente concepi, nec unquam docere volui, licet quibusdam fortassis fabulæ scopum non exactè considerantibus, primâ (quod aiunt) fronte sic videri potuerit. Si enim rei scopum, quem in argumento indicabam, penitus observassent, secus fortassis judicaturi fuissent.”—R. S.

Hecastus is a rich man, given over to the pomps and vanities of the world, and Epicuria his wife is of the same disposition. They have prepared a great feast, when Nomodidascalus arrives with a summons for him to appear before the Great King for Judgment. Hecastus calls upon his son Philomathes who is learned in the law for counsel; the son is horror-stricken, and confesses his ignorance of the language in which the summons is written:

Horror, pater, me invadit, anxietas quoque
Non mediocris; nam elementa quanquam barbara
Miram Dei potentiam præ se ferunt,
Humaniores literas scio; barbaras
Neque legere, neque intelligere, pater, queo.

The father is incensed that a son who had been bred to the law for the purpose of pleading his cause at any time should fail him thus; but Nomodidascalus vindicates the young man, and reads a severe lecture to Hecastus, in which Hebrew words of aweful admonishment are introduced and interpreted. The guests arrive, he tells them what has happened, and entreats them to accompany him, and assist him when he appears before the Judge; they plead other engagements, and excuse themselves. He has no better success with his kinsmen; though they promise to look after his affairs, and say that they will make a point of attending him with due honour as far as the gate. He then calls upon his two sons to go with him unto the unknown country whereto he has been summoned. The elder is willing to fight for his father, but not to enter upon such a journey; the lawyer does not understand the practice of those courts, and can be of no use to him there; but he advises his father to take his servants with him, and plenty of money.

Madam Epicuria, who is not the most affectionate of wives, refuses to accompany him upon this unpleasant expedient, and moreover requests that her maids may be left with her; let him take his man servants with him, and gold and silver in abundance. The servants bring out his wealth. Plutus, ex arcâ loquens is one of the Dramatis Personæ, and the said Plutus when brought upon the stage in a chest, or strong box, complains that he is shaken to pieces by being thus moved. Hecastus tells him he must go with him to the other world and help him there, which Plutus flatly refuses. If he will not go of his own accord he shall be carried whether he will or no, Hecastus says. Plutus stands stiffly to his refusal.

Non transferent; prius quidem
Artus et ilia ruperint, quam transferant.
In morte nemini opitulor usquam gentium,
Quin magis ad alienum dominum transeo.

Hecastus on his part is equally firm, and orders his men to fetch some strong poles, and carry off the chest, Plutus and all. Having sent them forward, he takes leave of his family, and Epicuria protests that she remains like a widowed dove, and his neighbours promise to accompany him as far as the gate.

Death comes behind him now:

Horrenda imago, larva abominabilis,
Figura tam execranda, ut atrum dæmona
Putetis obvium.

3 The reader should by all means consult Mr. Sharpe's “Dissertation on the Pageants or Dramatic Mysteries anciently performed in Coventry.” “The Devil,” he observes, “was a very favorite and prominent character in our Religious Mysteries, wherein he was introduced as often as was practicable, and considerable pains taken to furnish him with appropriate habiliments, &c.” p. 31. also pp. 57-60. There are several plates of “Hell-Mought and Sir Sathanas” which will not escape the examination of the curious. The bloody Herod was a character almost as famous as “Sir Sathanas”—hence the expression “to out-herod Herode.g. in Hamlet, Act iii. Sc. ii. With reference to the same personage Charmian says to the Soothsayer in Antony and Cleopatra, “Let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage.” Act i. Sc. ii., and Mrs. Page asks in the Merry Wives of Windsor, “What Herod of Jewry is this?” Act ii. Sc. i.

This dreadful personage is with much difficulty intreated to allow him the respite of one short hour, after which Death declares he will return, and take him, will he or nill he before the Judge, and then to the infernal regions. During this interval who should come up but an old and long-neglected friend of Hecastus, Virtue by name; a poor emaciated person, in mean attire, in no condition to appear with him before the Judge, and altogether unfit to plead his desperate cause. She promises however to send him a Priest to his assistance and says moreover that she will speak to her sister Faith, and endeavour to persuade her to visit him.

Meantime the learned son predicts from certain appearances the approaching end of his father.

Actum Philocrate, de patris salute, uti
Plane recenti ex lotio prejudico,
Nam cerulea si tendit ad nigredinem
Urina mortem proximam denunciat.

He has been called on, he says, too late,

Sero meam medentis admisit manum.

The brothers begin to dispute about their inheritance, and declare law against each other; but they suspend the dispute when Hieronymus the Priest arrives, that they may look after him lest he should prevail upon the dying to dispose of too large a part of his property in charitable purposes.

Id cautum oportet maximè. Novimus enim
Quàm tum sibi, tum cæteris quibus favent,
Legata larga extorqueat id hominum genus,
Cum morte ditem terminandum viderint.

Virtue arrives at this time with his sister Faith; they follow Hieronymus into the chamber into which Hecastus has been borne; and as they go in up comes Satan to the door, and takes his seat there to draw up a bill of indictment against the dying man, he must do it carefully, he says, that there may be no flaw in it.

Causam meam scripturus absolutius
Adversum Hecastum, hic paululum desedero;
Ne si quid insit falsitatis maximis
Facinoribus, res tota veniat in gravem
Fœdamque controversiam. Abstinete vos,
Quotquot theatro adestis, à petulantiâ,
Nisi si velitis et hos cachinnos scribier.

Then he begins to draw up the indictment, speaking as he writes,

Primum omnium superbus est et arrogans,—
Superbus est et arrogans,—et arrogans;—
Tum in ædibus,—tum in ædibus; tum in vestibus,—
Tum in vestibus. Jam reliqua tacitus scripsero,
Loquaculi ne exaudiant et deferant.

While Satan is thus employed at the door, the priest Hieronymus within is questioning the patient concerning his religion. Hecastus possesses a very sound and firm historical belief. But this the Priest tells him is not enough, for the Devils themselves believe and tremble, and he will not admit Faith into the chamber till Hecastus be better instructed in the true nature of a saving belief.

Credis quod omnia quæ patravit Filius
Dei unicus, tibi redimendo gesserit?
Tibi natus est? tibi vixerit? tibi mortuus
Sit? tibi sepultus? et tibi surrexerit?
Mortemque tibi devicerit?

Hecastus confesses in reply that he is a most miserable sinner, unworthy of forgiveness, and having brought him into this state of penitence the Priest calls Fides in.

Then says Fides,

Hæc tria quidem, cognitio nempe criminis,
Horror gehennæ, et pœnitentia, læta sunt
Veræ salutis omnium primordia,
Jam perge, ut in Deum excites fiduciam.

When this trust has been given him, and he has declared his full belief, he confesses that still he is in fear,

est quod adhuc parit mihi scrupulum;
Mors horrida, atque aspectus atri Dæmonis,
Queis terribilius (inquiunt) nil hominibus,
Post paululum quos adfuturos arbitros.

But Hieronymus assures him that Fides and Virtus will defend him from all danger, and under their protection he leaves him.

The scene is now again at the door, Mors arrives. Satan abuses her for having made him wait so long, and the improba bestia in return reproaches him for his ingratitude and imprudence. However they make up their quarrel. Satan goes into the house expecting to have a long controversy with his intended victim, and Mors amuses herself in the mean time with sharpening her dart. Satan, however, finds that his controversy is not to be with Hecastus himself, but with his two advocates Fides and Virtus, and they plead their cause so provokingly that the old Lawyer tears his bill, and sculks into a corner to see how Mors will come off.

Now comes his son the Doctor and prognosticates speedy dissolution ex pulsu et atro lotio. And having more professional pride than filial feelings he would fain persuade the Acolyte who is about to assist in administering extreme unction, that he has chosen a thankless calling, and would do wisely if he forsook it for more gainful studies. The youth makes a good defence for his choice, and remains master in the argument, for the Doctor getting sight of Death brandishing the sharpened dart, takes fright and runs off. Having put the Doctor to flight, Death enters the sick chamber, and finding Fides there calls in Satan as an ally: their joint force avails nothing against Virtus, Fides and Hieronymus, and these dismiss the departing Spirit under a convoy of Angels to Abraham's bosom.

Three supplementary scenes conclude the two dramas; in the two first the widow and the sons and kinsmen lament the dead, and declare their intention of putting themselves all in mourning, and giving a funeral worthy of his rank. But Hieronymus reproves them for the excess of their grief, and for the manner by which they intended to show their respect for the dead. The elder son is convinced by his discourse, and replies

Recte mones vir omnium piissime,
Linquamus omnem hunc apparatum splendidum,
Linquamus hæcce cuncta in usum pauperum,
Linquamus omnem luctum inanem et lachrymas;
Moresque nostros corrigamus pristinos.
Si multo amœniora vitæ munia,
Post hanc calamitatem, morantur in fide
Spe ut charitate mortuos, quid residuum est
Nisi et hunc diem cum patre agamus mortuo
Lætissimum? non in cibis et poculis
Gravioribus, natura quam poposcerit;
Nec tympanis et organis, sed maximas
Deo exhibendo gratias. Viro pio
Congaudeamus intimis affectibus;
Et absque pompâ inituli exequias pias
Patri paremus mortuo.

The Steward then concludes the drama by dismissing the audience in these lines;

Vos qui advolastis impigri ad
Nostra hæc theatra, tum viri, tum fœminæ,
Adite nunc vestras domos sine remorâ.
Nam Hecastus hic quem Morte cæsum exhibuimus,
Non ante tertium diem tumulandus est,
Valete cuncti, et si placuimus, plaudite.

We have in our own language a dramatic piece upon the same subject, and of the same age. It was published early in Henry the Eighth's reign, and is well known to English philologists by the name of Every Man. The title page says, “Here begynneth a treatyse how the hye Fader of Heven sendeth Dethe to somon every creature to come and gyve a counte of theyr lyves in this worlde, and is in maner of a moralle Playe.”

The subject is briefly stated in a prologue by a person in the character of a Messenger, who exhorts the spectators to hear with reverence.

This mater is wonders precyous;
But the extent of it is more gracyous,
And swete to here awaye.
The story sayth, Man, in the begynnynge
Loke well and take good heed to the endynge,
Be you never so gay.

God (the Son) speaketh at the opening of the piece, and saying that the more He forbears the worse the people be from year to year, declares his intention to have a reckoning in all haste of every man's person, and do justice on every man living.

Where art thou, Deth, thou mighty messengere?

Almighty God, I am here at your wyll
Your commaundement to fulfyll.

Go thou to Every-man
And shewe hym in my name,
A pylgrymage he must on hym take,
Whiche he in no wyse may escape:
And that he brynge with him a sure rekenynge,
Without delay or ony taryenge.

Lorde, I wyll in the world go renne over all
And cruelly out serche bothe grete and small.

The first person whom Death meets is Every-man himself, and he summons him in God's name to take forthwith a long journey and bring with him his book of accounts. Every-man offers a thousand pounds to be spared, and says that if he may but have twelve years allowed him, he will make his accounts so clear that he shall have no need to fear the reckoning. Not even till to-morrow is granted him. He then asks if he may not have some of his acquaintances to accompany him on the way, and is told yes, if he can get them. The first to whom he applies, is his old boon-companion Fellowship, who promises to go with him anywhere,—till he hears what the journey is on which Every-man is summoned: he then declares that he would eat, drink and drab, with him, or lend him a hand to kill any body, but upon such a business as this he will not stir a foot; and with that bidding him God speed, he departs as fast as he can.

Alack, exclaims Every-man, when thus deserted,

Felawship herebefore with me wolde mery make,
And now lytell sorowe for me dooth he take.
Now wheder for socoure shall I flee
Syth that Felawship hath forsaken me?
To my kynnesmen I wyll truely,
Prayenge them to helpe me in my necessyte.
I byleve that they wyll do so;
For kynde wyll crepe where it may not go.

But one and all make their excuses; they have reckonings of their own which are not ready, and they cannot and will not go with him. Thus again disappointed he breaks out in more lamentations; and then catches at another fallacious hope.

Yet in my mynde a thynge there is;
All my lyfe I have loved Ryches;
If that my good now helpe me myght
He wolde make my herte full lyght.
I wyll speke to hym in this distresse,
Where art thou, my Goodes, and Ryches?

Who calleth me? Every-man? What hast thou haste?
I lye here in corners, trussed and pyled so hye,
And in chestes I am locked so fast,
Also sacked in bagges, thou mayst se with thyn eye
I cannot styrre; in packes low I lye.
What wolde ye have? lightly me saye,—
Syr, an ye in the worlde have sorowe or adversyte
That can I helpe you to remedy shortly.

In this world it is not, I tell thee so,
I am sent for an other way to go,
To gyve a strayte counte generall
Before the hyest Jupiter of all:
And all my life I have had joye and pleasure in the,
Therefore, I pray the, go with me:
For paraventure, thou mayst before God Almighty
My rekenynge helpe to clene and puryfye;
For it is said ever amonge
That money maketh all ryght that is wrong.

Nay, Every-man, I synge an other songe;
I folowe no man in such vyages.
For an I wente with the,
Thou sholdes fare moche the worse for me.

Goodes then exults in having beguiled him, laughs at his situation and leaves him. Of whom shall he take council? He bethinks him of Good Dedes.

But alas she is so weke
That she can nother go nor speke.
Yet wyll I venter on her now
My Good Dedes, where be you?

Good Dedes.
Here I lye colde on the grounde,
Thy sinnes hath me sore bounde
That I cannot stere.

I pray you that ye wyll go with me.

Good Dedes.
I wolde full fayne, but I can not stand veryly.

Why, is there any thynge on you fall?

Good Dedes.
Ye, Sir; I may thanke you of all.
If ye had parfytely sheved me,
Your boke of counte full redy had be.
Loke, the bokes of your workes and dedes eke,
A! se how they lye under the fete,
To your soules hevynes.

Our Lorde Jesus helpe me,
For one letter here I cannot se!

Good Dedes.
There is a blynde rekenynge in tyme of dystres!

Good-Dedes, I pray you, helpe me in this nede,
Or elles I am for ever dampned in dede.

Good Dedes calls in Knowledge to help him to make his reckoning; and Knowledge takes him lovingly to that holy man Confession; and Confession gives him a precious jewel called Penance, in the form of a scourge.

When with the scourge of Penance man doth hym bynde,
The oyl of forgyvenes than shall he fynde,—
Now may you make your rekenynge sure.

In the name of the holy Trynyte,
My body sore punyshed shall be.
Take this, Body, for the synne of the flesshe!
Also thou delytest to go gay and fresshe,
And in the way of dampnacyon thou dyd me brynge,
Therefore suffre now strokes of punysshynge.
Now of penaunce I wyll wede the water clere
To save me from Purgatory, that sharpe fyre.

Good Dedes.
I thanke God, now I can walke and go;
And am delyvered of my sykenesse and wo,
Therfore with Every-man I wyll go and not spare;
His good workes I wyll helpe hym to declare.

Now Every-man, be mery and glad,
Your Good Dedes cometh now, ye may not be sad.
Now is your Good Dedes hole and sounde,
Goynge upryght upon the grounde.

My herte is lyght, and shall be evermore,
Now wyll I smyte faster than I dyde before.

Knowledge then makes him put on the garment of sorrow called contrition, and makes him call for his friends Discretion, Strength and Beauty to help him on his pilgrimage, and his Five Wits to counsel him. They come at his call and promise faithfully to help him.

I Strength wyll by you stande in dystres,
Though thou wolde in batayle fyght on the grownde.

And thought it were thrugh the world rounde,
We wyll not depart for swete ne soure.

No more wyll I unto dethes howre,
Watsoever therof befall.

He makes his testament, and gives half his goods in charity. Discretion and Knowledge send him to receive the holy sacrament and extreme unction, and Five-Wits expatiates upon the authority of the Priesthood, to the Priest he says,

God hath—more power given
Than to ony Aungell that is in Heven,
With five wordes he may consecrate
Goddes body in flesshe and blode to make,
And handeleth his maker bytwene his handes.
The preest byndeth and unbyndeth all bandes
Both in erthe and in heven.—
No remedy we fynde under God
But all-onely preesthode.
—God gave Preest that dygnyte,
And setteth them in his stede among us to be:
Thus they be above Aungelles in degree.

Having received his viaticum Every-man sets out upon this mortal journey: his comrades renew their protestations of remaining with him; till when he grows faint on the way, and his limbs fail,—they fail him also.

—into this cave must I crepe,
And tourne to erth, and there to slepe.

What, says Beauty; into this Grave?

—adewe by saynt Johan,
I take my tappe in my lappe and am gone.

Strength in like manner forsakes him; and Discretion says that “when Strength goeth before, he follows after ever more.” And Fyve-Wyttes, whom he took for his best friend, bid him, “farewell and then an end.”

O Jesu, helpe! all hath forsaken me!

Good Dedes.
Nay, Every-man, I wyll byde with the,
I wyll not forsake the in dede;
Thou shalt fynde me a good frende at nede.

Knowledge also abides him till the last; the song of the Angel who receives his spirit is heard, and a Doctour concludes the piece with an application to the audience.

This morall men may have in mynde,
—forsake Pryde for he deceyveth you in the ende,
And remembre Beaute, Fyve-Wyttes, Strength and Dyscrecyon
They all at the last do Every-man forsake,
Save his Good Dedes, these doth he take:
But be ware, an they be small,
Before God he hath no helpe at all!



MONTENEGRO. How now, are thy arrows feathered?

VELASCO.Well enough for roving.

MONTENEGRO. Shoot home then.

It is only when Man interferes, that the system of progression which the All Father has established throughout the living and sentient world, is interrupted, and Man, our Philosopher would sorrowfully observe, has interrupted it, not only for himself, but for such of the inferior creatures as are under his controul. He has degraded the instincts of some, and in others, perhaps it may not be too much to say that he has corrupted that moral sense of which even the brute creation partakes in its degree; and has inoculated them with his own vices. Thus the decoy duck is made a traitor to her own species, and so are all those smaller birds which the bird-catcher trains to assist him in ensnaring others. The Rat, who is one of the bravest of created things, is in like manner rendered a villain.

Upon hunting and hawking the Doctor laid little stress, because both dogs and falcons in their natural state would have hunted and fowled on their own account. These sports according to his “poor way of thinking,” tended to deprave not so much the animals, as the human beings employed in them; for when they ceased to be necessary for the support or protection of man, they became culpable. But to train dogs for war, and flesh them upon living prisoners, as the Spaniards did, (and as, long since the decease of my venerable friend, Buonaparte's officers did in St. Domingo),—to make horses, gentle and harmless as well as noble in their disposition as they are, take a part in our senseless political contentions, charge a body of men, and trample over their broken limbs and palpitating bodies;—to convert the Elephant, whom Pope, he said, had wronged by only calling him half-reasoning, the mild, the thoughtful, the magnanimous Elephant, into a wilful and deliberate and cruel executioner, these he thought were acts of high treason against humanity, and of impiety against universal nature. Grievous indeed it is, he said, to know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain; but more grievous to consider that man, who by his original sin was the guilty cause of their general deprivation, should continue by repeated sins to aggravate it;—to which he added that the lines of the Roman Satirist, though not exactly true, were yet humiliating and instructive.

Principio indulsit communis conditor illis
Tantum animas, nobis animum quoque, mutuus ut nos
Adfectus petere auxilium et præstare juberet,
Dispersos trahere in populum, migrare vetusto
De nemore, et proavis habitatas linquere silvas;
Ædificare domos, Laribus conjungere nostris
Tectum aliud, tutos vicino limine somnos
Ut conlata daret fiducia; protegere armis
Labsum, aut ingenti nutantem vulnere civem,
Communi dare signa tubâ, defendier îsdem
Turribus, atque unâ portarum clave teneri.
Sed jam serpentum major concordia; parcit
Cognatis maculis similis fera; quando leoni
Fortior eripuit vitam leo? quo nemore unquam
Expiravit aper majoris dentibus apri?
Indica tigris agit rabidâ cum tigride pacem
Perpetuam: sævis inter se convenit ursis.
Ast homini ferrum lethale incude nefandâ
Produxisse parum est; quum rastra et sarcula tantum
Adsueti coquere, et marris ac vomere lassi
Nescierint primi gladios excudere fabri.
Adspicimus populos, quorum non sufficit iræ
Occidisse aliquem: sed pectora, brachia, vultum
Crediderint genus esse cibi. Quid diceret ergo
Vel quo non fugerit, si nunc hæc monstra videret
Pythagoras: cunctis animalibus abstinuit qui
Tanquam homine, et ventri indulsit non omne legumen.

1 The reader may call to mind the commencement of the Third Canto of Rokeby.

The hunting tribes of air and earth
Respect the brethren of their birth;
Nature, who loves the claim of kind,
Less cruel, chase to each assigned.
The falcon, poised on soaring wing,
Watches the wild-duck by the spring;
The slow-hound wakes the fox's lair;
The greyhound presses on the hare;
The eagle pounces on the lamb;
The wolf devours the fleecy dam:
Even tiger fell and sullen bear
Their likeness and their lineage spare.
Man, only, mars kind Nature's plan
And turns the fierce pursuit on man;
Plying war's desultory trade,
Incursion, flight, and ambuscade,
Since Nimrod, Cush's mighty son
At first the bloody game begun.


I know that nothing can be so innocently writ, or carried, but may be made obnoxious to construction; marry, whilst I bear mine innocence about me, I fear it not.


The Laureate Southey proposed some years ago in one of his numerous and multifarious books, three methods for lessening the number of rats, one of which was to inoculate some of these creatures with the small pox or any other infectious disease, and turn them loose. Experiments, he said, should first be made, lest the disease should assume in them so new a form, as to be capable of being returned to us with interest. If it succeeded, man has means in his hand which would thin the hyenas, wolves, jackals and all gregarious beasts of prey.

Considering the direction which the March of his Intellect has long been taking, it would surprise me greatly if the Laureate were now to recommend or justify any such plan. For setting aside the contemplated possibility of physical danger, there are moral and religious considerations which ought to deter us from making use of any such means, even for an allowable end.

Dr. Dove, like his master and benefactor Peter Hopkins before him, never would sell poison for destroying vermin. Hopkins came to that resolution in consequence of having been called as a witness upon a trial for poisoning at York. The arsenic had not been bought at his shop; but to prevent the possibility of being innocently instrumental to the commission of such a crime, he made it from that time a rule for himself, irrevocable as the laws of the Medes and Persians, that to no person whatever, on any account, would he supply ingredients which by carelessness or even by unavoidable accident might be so fatally applied.

To this rule his pupil and successor, our Doctor, religiously adhered. And when any one not acquainted with the rule of the shop, came there on such an errand, he used always, if he was on the spot, to recommend other methods, adapting his arguments to what he knew of the person's character, or judged of it from his physiognomy. To an ill-conditioned and ill-looking applicant he simply recommended certain ways of entrapping rats as more convenient, and more likely to prove efficacious: but to those of whom he entertained a more favourable opinion, he would hint at the cruelty of using poison, observing that though we exercised a clear natural right in destroying noxious creatures, we were not without sin if in so doing we inflicted upon them any suffering more than what must needs accompany a violent death.

Some good natured reader who is pestered with rats in his house, his warehouses, or his barns, will perhaps when he comes to this part of our book wish to be informed in what manner our Zoophilist would have advised him to rid himself of these vermin.

There are two things to be considered here, first how to catch rats, and secondly, how to destroy them when caught. And the first of these questions is a delicate one, when a greater catch has recently been made than any that was ever heard of before, except in the famous adventure of the Pied Piper at Hammel. Jack Robinson had some reputation in his day for his professional talents in this line, but he was a bungler in comparison with Mr. Peel.

The second belongs to a science which Jeremy the thrice illustrious Bentham calls Phthisozoics, or the art of destruction applied to noxious animals, a science which the said Jeremy proposes should form part of the course of studies in his Chrestomathic school. There are no other animals in this country who do so much mischief now as the disciples of Jeremy himself.

But leaving this pestilent set, as one of the plagues with which Great Britain is afflicted for its sins; and intending no offence to any particular Bishop, Peer, Baronet, Peer-expectant, or public man whatever, and protesting against any application of what may here be said to any person who is, has been, or may be included under any of the forementioned denominations, I shall satisfy the good-natured reader's desires, and inform him in what manner our Philosopher and Zoophilist (philanthropist is a word which would poorly express the extent of his benevolence) advised those who consulted him as to the best manner of taking and destroying rats. Protesting therefore once more, as is needful in these ticklish times that I am speaking not of the Pro-papist or Anti-Hanoverian rat, which is a new species of the Parliament rat, but of the old Norway or Hanoverian one, which in the last century effected the conquest of our island by extirpating the original British breed, I inform the humane reader that the Doctor recommended nothing more than the common rat-catcher's receit, which is to lure them into a cage by oil of carroways, or of rhodium, and that when entrapped, the speediest and easiest death which can be inflicted is by sinking the cage in water.

Here Mr. Slenderwit, critic in ordinary to an established journal, wherein he is licensed to sink, burn and destroy any book in which his publisher has not a particular interest, turns down the corners of his mouth in contemptuous admiration, and calling to mind the anecdote of Grainger's invocation repeats in a tone of the softest self-complacence “Now Muse, let's sing of Rats!” And Mr. Slapdash who holds a similar appointment in a rival periodical slaps his thigh in exultation upon finding so good an opportunity for a stroke at the anonymous author. But let the one simper in accompaniment to the other's snarl. I shall say out my say in disregard of both. Aye Gentlemen,

For if a Humble Bee should kill a Whale
With the butt end of the Antarctic pole,
Tis nothing to the mark at which we aim.



Where my pen hath offended,
I pray you it may be amended
By discrete consideration
Of your wise reformation:
I have not offended, I trust,
If it be sadly discust.

Marvel not reader that rats, though they are among the most sagacious of all animals, should be led by the nose. It has been the fate of many great men, many learned men, most weak ones and some cunning ones.

When we regard the comparative sagacity of animals, it should always be remembered that every creature, from the lowest point of sentient existence upward, till we arrive at man, is endued with sagacity sufficient to provide for its own well-being, and for the continuance of its kind. They are gifted with greater endowments as they ascend in the scale of being, and those who lead a life of danger, and at the same time of enterprise, have their faculties improved by practice, take lessons from experience, and draw rational conclusions upon matters within their sphere of intellect and of action, more sagaciously than nine tenths of the human race can do.

Now no other animal is placed in circ*mstances which tend so continually to sharpen its wits,—(were I writing to the learned only, I should perhaps say to acuate its faculties, or to develope its intellectual powers,) as the rat, nor does any other appear to be of a more improvable nature. He is of a most intelligent family, being related to the Beaver. And in civilized countries he is not a wild creature, for he follows the progress of civilization, and adapts his own habits of life to it, so as to avail himself of its benefits.

The “pampered Goose” who in Pope's Essay retorts upon man, and says that man was made for the use of Geese, must have been forgetful of plucking time, as well as ignorant of the rites that are celebrated in all old-fashioned families on St. Michael's day. But the Rat might with more apparent reason support such an assertion: he is not mistaken in thinking that corn-stacks are as much for his use as for the farmers; that barns and granaries are his winter magazines; that the Miller is his acting partner, the Cheesemonger his purveyor, and the Storekeeper his steward. He places himself in relation with man, not as his dependent like the dog, nor like the cat as his ally, nor like the sheep as his property, nor like the ox as his servant, nor like horse and ass as his slaves, nor like poultry who are to “come and be killed” when Mrs. Bond invites them; but as his enemy, a bold borderer, a Johnnie Armstrong or Rob Roy who acknowledge no right of property in others, and live by spoil.

Wheresoever man goes, Rat follows, or accompanies him. Town or country are equally agreeable to him. He enters upon your house as a tenant at will, (his own, not yours,) works out for himself a covered way in your walls, ascends by it from one story to another, and leaving you the larger apartments, takes possession of the space between floor and ceiling, as an entresol for himself. There he has his parties, and his revels and his gallopades, (merry ones they are) when you would be asleep, if it were not for the spirit with which the youth and belles of Rat-land keep up the ball over your head. And you are more fortunate than most of your neighbours, if he does not prepare for himself a mausoleum behind your chimney-piece or under your hearth-stone,1 retire into it when he is about to die, and very soon afford you full proof that though he may have lived like a hermit, his relics are not in the odour of sanctity. You have then the additional comfort of knowing that the spot so appropriated will thenceforth be used either as a common cemetery, or a family vault. In this respect, as in many others, nearer approaches are made to us by inferior creatures than are dreamt of in our philosophy.

1 Southey alludes here to an incident which occurred in his own house. On taking up the hearth-stone in the dining-room at Keswick, it was found that the mice had made underneath it a Campo Santo,—a depository for their dead.

The adventurous merchant ships a cargo for some distant port, Rat goes with it. Great Britain plants a colony in Botany Bay, Van Diemen's Land, or at the Swan River, Rat takes the opportunity for colonizing also. Ships are sent out upon a voyage of discovery. Rat embarks as a volunteer. He doubled the Stormy Cape with Diaz, arrived at Malabar in the first European vessel with Gama, discovered the new world with Columbus and took possession of it at the same time, and circumnavigated the globe with Magellan and with Drake and with Cook.

After all, the Seigneur de Humesesne, whatever were the merits of that great case which he pleaded before Pantagruel at Paris, had reasonable grounds for his assertion when he said, Monsieur et Messieurs, si l'iniquité des hommes estoit aussi facilement vuë en jugement categorique, comme on connoit mousches en lait, le monde quatre bœufs ne seroit tant mangé de Rats comme il est.

The Doctor thought there was no creature to which you could trace back so many persons in civilized society by the indications which they afforded of habits acquired in their prænatal professional education. In what other vehicle, during its ascent could the Archeus of the Sailor have acquired the innate courage, the constant presence of mind, and the inexhaustible resources which characterise a true seaman? Through this link too, on his progress towards humanity, the good soldier has past, who is brave, alert and vigilant, cautious never to give his enemy an opportunity of advantage, and watchful to lose the occasion that presents itself. From the Rat our Philosopher traced the engineer, the miner, the lawyer, the thief, and the thief-taker,—that is, generally speaking: some of these might have pre-existed in the same state as moles or ferrets; but those who excelled in their respective professions had most probably been trained as rats.

The judicious reader will do me the justice to observe that as I am only faithfully representing the opinions and fancies of my venerable friend, I add neither M. P., Dean, Bishop nor Peer to the list, nor any of those public men who are known to hanker after candle-ends and cheese-parings.

Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time;
But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.2


It behoves me to refrain more especially upon this subject from anything which the malicious might interpret as scandal: for the word itself σκάνδαλον, the Greek grammarians tell us, and the great Anglo-Latin Lexicographist tells me, properly signifies that little piece of wood in a mouse-trap or pit-fall, which bears up the trap, and being touched, lets it fall.


I think it not impertinent sometimes to relate such accidents as may seem no better than mere trifles; for even by trifles are the qualities of great persons as well disclosed as by their great actions; because in matters of importance they commonly strain themselves to the observance of general commended rules; in lesser things they follow the current of their own natures.


It may easily be inferred from some of the Doctor's peculiar opinions, or fancies, as he in unaffected humility would call them, that though a dear lover of children, his love of them was not indiscriminate. He made a great distinction between young angels and young yahoos, and thought it might very early be discovered whether the angel or the brute part predominated.

This is sometimes so strongly marked and so soon developed as to excite observation even in the most incurious; and hence the well-known superstition concerning Changelings.

In the heroic ages a divine origin is ascribed to such persons as were most remarkable for their endowments either of body or of mind; but this may far more probably be traced to adulation in the poets, than to contemporary belief at any time prevailing among the people; whereas the opposite superstition was really believed in the middle ages, and traces of it are still to be found.

It is remarkable that the Fairies who in the popular belief of this country are never represented as malignant upon any other occasion, act an evil part in the supposed case of Changelings. So it is with the Trolls also of our Scandinavian kinsmen, (though this race of beings is in worse repute;) the children whom they substitute for those whom they steal are always a plague to the nurse and to the parents. In Germany such children were held to be young Devils, but whether Mac-Incubi, Mac-Succubi, or O'Devils by the whole blood is not clearly to be collected from Martin Luther, who is the great authority upon this subject. He is explicit upon the fact that the Nix or Water Fiend, increases the population by a mixed breed; but concerning the Killcrops, as his countrymen the Saxons call them, whom the Devil leaves in exchange, when he steals children for purposes best known to himself, Luther does not express any definite opinion, farther than that they are of a devilish nature: how fathered, how mothered the reader is left to conjecture as he pleases.

“Eight years since,” said Luther, at “Dessaw I did see and touch a changed child, which was twelve years of age; he had his eyes and all members like another child; he did nothing but feed, and would eat as much as two clowns or threshers were able to eat. When one touched it, then it cried out. When any evil happened in the house, then it laughed and was joyful; but when all went well, then it cried, and was very sad. I told the Prince of Anhalt, that if I were Prince of that country, so would I venture homicidium thereon, and would throw it into the river Moldaw. I admonished the people dwelling in that place devoutly to pray to God to take away the Devil; the same was done accordingly, and the second year after the Changeling died.

“In Saxonia, near unto Halberstad, was a man that also had a Killcrop, who sucked the mother and five other women dry, and besides devoured very much. This man was advised that he should in his pilgrimage at Halberstad make a promise of the Killcrop to the Virgin Mary, and should cause him there to be rocked. This advice the man followed, and carried the Changeling thither in a basket. But going over a river, being upon the bridge, another Devil that was below in the river called, and said, Killcrop! Killcrop! Then the child in the basket, (which never before spake one word) answered ho, ho! The Devil in the water asked further, whither art thou going? The child in the basket said, ‘I am going towards Halberstad to our Loving Mother, to be rocked.’ The man being much affrighted thereat, threw the child with the basket over the bridge into the water. Whereupon the two Devils flew away together, and cried, ho, ho, ha! tumbling themselves one over another and so vanished.

“Such Changelings and Killcrops,” said Luther, “supponit Satan in locum verorum filiorum; for the Devil hath this power, that he changeth children, and instead thereof layeth Devils in the cradles, which thrive not, only they feed and suck: but such Changelings live not above eighteen or nineteen years. It oftentimes falleth out that the children of women in child-bed are thus changed, and Devils laid in their stead, one of which more fouleth itself than ten other children do, so that the parents are much therewith disquieted; and the mothers in such sort are sucked out, that afterwards they are able to give suck no more. Such Changelings,” said Luther, “are baptized, in regard that they cannot be known the first year, but are known only by sucking the mothers dry.”

Mr. Cottle has made this the subject of a lively eclogue; but if that gentleman had happened upon the modern edition of Luther's Colloquia Mensalia, or Divine Discourses at his Table, instead of the old one, this pleasant poem would never have been written, the account of the Killcrops being one of the passages which the modern editor thought proper to omit. His omissions are reprehensible, because no notice is given that any such liberty has been taken; and indeed a paragraph in the introductory life which is prefixed to the edition might lead the reader to conclude that it is a faithful reprint; that paragraph saying there are many things which, for the credit of Luther, might as well have been left out, and proceeding to say, “but then it must be considered that such Discourses must not be brought to the test of our present refined age; that all what a man of Luther's name and character spoke, particularly at the latter part of his life, was thought by his friends worth the press, though himself meant it only for the recreation of the company; that he altered many opinions in his progress from darkness to light; and that it is with a work of this kind, as with the publishing of letters which were never intended for the press; the Author speaks his sentiments more freely, and you are able to form a true idea of his character, by looking, as it were, into his heart.” Nevertheless there are considerable omissions, and as may be supposed of parts which are curious, and in a certain sense valuable because they are characteristic. But the reprint was the speculation of a low publisher, put forth in numbers, and intended only for a certain class of purchasers, who would read the book for edification. The work itself deserves farther notice, and that notice is the more properly and willingly bestowed upon it here, because the original edition is one of the few volumes belonging to my venerable friend which have passed into my possession, and his mark occurs frequently in its margin.

“I will make no long excursion here, but a short apology for one that deserved well of the reformed Religion. Many of our adversaries have aspersed Luther, with ill words, but none so violent as our English fugitives, because he doth confess it that the Devil did encounter him very frequently, and familiarly, when he first put pen to paper against the corruptions of the Church of Rome. In whose behalf I answer: much of that which is objected I cannot find in the Latin Editions of his works which himself corrected, although it appears by the quotations some such things were in his first writings set forth in the Dutch language. 2. I say no more than he confesseth ingenuously of himself in an epistle to Brentius, his meaning was good, but his words came from him very unskilfully, and his style was most rough and unsavoury. St. Paul says of himself, that he was rudis sermone, rude in speech. But Luther was not so much ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῳ the word used in Saint Paul, as ἄγροικος, after his Dutch Monastical breeding, and his own hot freedom. By nature he had a boisterous clownish expression; but for the most part very good jewels of doctrine in the dunghills of his language. 3. If the devil did employ himself to delude and vex that heroical servant of God, who took such a task upon him, being a simple Monk, to inveigh against errors and superstitions which had so long prevailed, why should it seem strange to any man? Ribadaneira sticks it among the praises of his founder Ignatius Loiola, that the Devil did declaim and cry out against him, (believe it every one of you at your leisure,) and why might not the Devil draw near to vex Luther, as well as roar out a great way off against Loiola? I have digrest a little with your patience, to make Luther's case appear to be no outrageous thing, that weak ones may not be offended when they hear such stuff objected out of Parsons, or Barclay, or Walsingham, or out of Bellarmine himself. If Beelzebub was busy with the Master, what will he be with the Servants? When Christ did begin to lay the first corner stone of the Gospel, then he walked into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil.1




Prophecies, predictions,Or where they abide,
Stories and fictions,On this or that side,
Allegories, rhymes,Or under the mid line
And serious pastimesOf the Holland sheets fine,
For all manner men,Or in the tropics fair
Without regard when,Of sunshine and clear air,
Or under the pole
Of chimney and sea coal:
Read they that list; understand they that can;
Verbum satis est to a wise man.

Luther's Table Talk is probably the earliest of that class of books, which, under the termination of ana, became frequent in the two succeeding centuries, and of which it may be questioned whether they have been more serviceable or injurious to literature. For though they have preserved much that is valuable, and that otherwise might probably have been lost, on the other hand they have introduced into literary history not a little that is either false, or of suspicious authority; some of their contents have been obtained by breach of confidence; many sayings are ascribed in them to persons by whom they were never uttered, and many things have been fabricated for them.

The Collection concerning Luther bears this title in the English translation: “Doctoris Martini Lutheri Colloquia Mensalia: or, Dr. Martin Luther's Divine Discourses at his Table, &c., which in his lifetime he held with divers learned men, (such as were Philip Melancthon, Casparus Cruciger, Justus Jonas, Paulus Eberus, Vitus Dietericus, Joannes Bugenhagen, Joannes Forsterus, and others:) containing Questions and Answers touching Religion, and other main Points of Doctrine; as also many notable Histories, and all sorts of Learning, Comforts, Advices, Prophecies, Admonitions, Directions and Instructions. Collected first together by Dr. Antonius Lauterbach, and afterwards disposed into certain Common-places by John Aurifaber, Doctor in Divinity. Translated out of the High German into the English tongue, by Captain Henry Bell.

John vi. 12. Gather up the fragments that nothing be lost.
1 Cor. x. 31. Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the Glory of God.
Tertull. Apologet. cap. 39. The primitive Christians ate and drank to satisfy nature, and discoursed at their Tables of the Holy Scriptures, or otherwise, as became those that knew God did hear them, ut non tam cœnam cœnaverint, quam disciplinam.
Ancient Writers, Councils, and our University College Statutes require sacra ad mensam.
Luther in Gen. 2. Sermones vera sunt condimenta ciborum.
Melchior Adamus in Vita Lutheri. Inter prandendum et cænandum non rarò conciones aliis dictavit.

London, Printed by William Du Gard, dwelling in Suffolk-lane, near London-stone, 1652.”

The original Collection was first published three and thirty years after Luther's death, consequently not till most of those persons from whose reminiscences it professes to be compiled, had past away. The book therefore is far from carrying with it any such stamp of authenticity as Boswell's Life of Johnson, which in that respect, as well as for its intrinsic worth is the Ana of all Anas. But though it may have been undertaken upon book-making motives, there seems no reason to suppose that the task was not performed faithfully by the Doctors Clearstream and Goldsmith, according to their judgment, and that much which had lightly or carelessly fallen from such a man as Luther was likely to be carefully preserved, and come into their hands. Many parts indeed authenticate themselves, bearing so strong a likeness that no one can hesitate at filiating them upon the ipsissimus Luther. The editor of the modern English edition, John Gottlieb Burckhardt, D.D., who was Minister of the German Lutheran Congregation in the Savoy, says, “the Book made a great noise at its first appearance in 1569. Some indeed have called its authenticity in question; but there is no reason to doubt of the testimony of Dr. John Aurifaber; and indeed the full character of Luther's free manner of speaking and thinking is seen almost in every line. The same manly, open, bold and generous spirit breathes through the whole, as is felt in reading the compositions which he published himself in his life time. There is a pleasing variety of matters contained in these discourses, and many fundamental truths are proposed in a familiar, careless dress, and in Luther's own witty, acute manner; for which reason it is as much entertaining to popular capacities as to men of genius. Many good Christians have found it to be of great benefit for establishing their souls in the knowledge and practice of truth, and of the good old way; and since many weeds grow up from time to time in the Church, this book handed down to posterity, will be a standing test of sound doctrines, which our forefathers believed, and of such wise principles on which they acted at, and after the Reformation.” On the other hand the book afforded as much gratification to the enemies of Luther, as to his admirers. Bayle after noticing some of the monstrous calumnies with which the Papists assailed his memory, proceeds to say, La plûpart de ces medisances sont fondées sur quelques paroles d'un certain livre publié par les amis de Luther, ausquelles on donne un sens tres-malin, et fort éloigné de la pensée de ce Ministre. Ce n'est pas qu'il ne faille convenir qu'il y eut une très-grande imprudence à publier une telle compilation. Ce fut l'effet d'un zêle inconsideré, ou plútôt d'une preoccupation excessive, qui empêchoit de conoître les defauts de ce grand homme. In like manner Seckendorf, whom Bayle quotes, says it was compiled with little prudence, and incautiously published, but upon its authenticity (as far as any such collection can be deemed authentic) he casts no suspicion.

Something worse than want of prudence may be suspected in those who set forth the English translation. The translator introduced it by “a Narrative of the miraculous preserving” of the book, and “how by God's Providence it was discovered lying under the ground where it had lain hid fifty-two years:” “I, Capt. Henry Bell,” he says, “do hereby declare both to the present age and also to posterity, that being employed beyond the seas in state affairs divers years together, both by King James, and also by the late King Charles, in Germany I did hear and understand in all places, great bewailing and lamentation made, by reason of the destroying or burning of above fourscore thousand of Martin Luther's books, entituled his last Divine Discourses. For after such time as God stirred up the spirit of Martin Luther to detect the corruptions and abuses of Popery, and to preach Christ, and clearly to set forth the simplicity of the Gospel, many Kings, Princes and States, Imperial Cities, and Hanse-Towns, fell from the Popish Religion, and became Protestants as their posterities still are, and remain to this very day. And for the further advancement of the great work of Reformation then begun, the foresaid Princes and the rest did then order, that the said Divine Discourse of Luther should forthwith be printed, and that every Parish should have and receive one of the foresaid printed Books into every Church throughout all their principalities and dominions, to be chained up, for the common people to read therein. Upon which the Reformation was wonderfully promoted and increased, and spread both here in England and other countries beside. But afterwards it so fell out, that the Pope then living, viz. Gregory XIII. understanding what great hurt and prejudice he and his popish religion had already received by reason of the said Luther's Divine Discourses; and also fearing that the same might bring farther contempt and mischief upon himself, and upon the popish Church, he therefore to prevent the same, did fiercely stir up and instigate the Emperor then in being, viz. Rudolphus II. to make an edict through the whole empire, that all the foresaid printed books should be burnt, and also that it should be Death for any person to have or keep a copy thereof, but also to burn the same: which edict was speedily put in execution accordingly, in so much that not one of all the said printed books, not so much as any one copy of the same could be found out, nor heard of in any place.”

Upon this it is to be observed that in the popish states of Germany such an edict was not required, and that in the Protestant ones it could not be enforced. There is therefore as little foundation for the statement, as for the assertion introduced in it that the Reformation was promoted in England by the publication of this book in German. The Book appears not to have been common, for Bayle had never seen it; but this was because few editions were printed, not because many copies were destroyed. The reader however will judge by what follows of the degree of credit which may be given to any statement of Capt. Henry Bell's.

“Yet it pleased God,” the veracious Captain proceeds, “that anno 1626 a German Gentleman, named Casparus Van Sparr, (with whom, in the time of my staying in Germany about King James's business, I became very familiarly known and acquainted,) having occasion to build upon the old foundation of an house wherein his grandfather dwelt at that time when the said edict was published in Germany for the burning of the foresaid Books, and digging deep into the ground under the said old foundation, one of the said original printed books was there happily found, lying in a deep obscure hole, being wrapt in a strong linen cloth, which was waxed all over with bees-wax both within and without, whereby the book was preserved fair without any blemish. And at the same time Ferdinandus II. being Emperor in Germany, who was a severe enemy and persecutor of the Protestant religion, the foresaid Gentleman and grandchild to him that had hidden the said Book in that obscure hole, fearing that if the said Emperor should get knowledge that one of the said Books was yet forthcoming and in his custody, thereby not only himself might be brought into trouble, but also the Book in danger to be destroyed, as all the rest were so long before; and also calling me to mind, and knowing that I had the High Dutch tongue very perfect, did send the said original Book over hither into England, unto me; and therewith did write unto me a letter, wherein he related the passages of the preserving and finding out of the said Book. And also he earnestly moved me in his letter, that for the advancement of God's glory, and of Christ's Church, I would take the pains to translate the said Book, to the end that that most excellent Divine Work of Luther might be brought again to light!

“Whereupon I took the said Book before me, and many times began to translate the same, but always I was hindered therein, being called upon about other business; insomuch that by no possible means I could remain by that work. Then about six weeks after I had received the said Book, it fell out, that I being in bed with my Wife, one night between twelve and one of the clock, she being asleep but myself yet awake, there appeared unto me an Antient Man, standing at my bed-side, arrayed all in white, having a long and broad white beard, hanging down to his girdle-stead; who, taking me by my right ear, spake these words following unto me. Sirrah! Will not you take time to translate that Book which is sent unto you out of Germany? I will shortly provide for you both place and time to do it! And then he vanished away out of my sight. Whereupon being much thereby affrighted, I fell into an extreme sweat, insomuch that my Wife awaking, and finding me all over wet, she asked me what I ailed, I told her what I had seen and heard; but I never did heed nor regard visions, nor dreams. And so the same fell soon out of my mind.

“Then, about a fortnight after I had seen that Vision, I went to Whitehall to hear the Sermon; after which ended, I returned to my lodging, which was then in King Street at Westminster, and sitting down to dinner with my Wife, two Messengers were sent from the whole Council-Board, with a warrant to carry me to the Keeper of the Gate House, Westminster, there to be safely kept, until further order from the Lords of the Council; which was done without showing me any cause at all wherefore I was committed. Upon which said warrant I was kept there ten whole years close prisoner; where I spent five years thereof about the translating of the said Book: insomuch as I found the words very true which the old man in the foresaid Vision did say unto me, ‘I will shortly provide for you both place and time to translate it.’”



It behoves the high
For their own sakes to do things worthily.

No son ever regarded the memory of his father with more reverential affection than this last of the Doves. There never lived a man, he said, to whom the lines of Marcus Antonius Flaminius, (the sweetest of all Latin poets in modern times, or perhaps of any age,) could more truly be applied.

Vixisti, genitor, bene, ac beate,
Nec pauper, neque dives; eruditus
Satis, et satis eloquens; valente
Semper corpore, mente sanâ; amicis
Jucundus, pietate singulari.

“What if he could not with the Hevenninghams of Suffolk count five and twenty knights of his family, or tell sixteen knights successively with the Tilneys of Norfolk, or with the Nauntons shew where his ancestors had seven hundred pounds a year before the conquest,”1 he was, and with as much, or perhaps more reason, contented with his parentage. Indeed his family feeling was so strong, that, if he had been of an illustrious race, pride, he acknowledged, was the sin which would most easily have beset him; though on the other hand, to correct this tendency, he thought there could be no such persuasive preachers as old family portraits, and old monuments in the family church.


He was far however from thinking that those who are born to all the advantages, as they are commonly esteemed, of rank and fortune, are better placed for the improvement of their moral and intellectual nature, than those in a lower grade. “Fortunatos nimium sua si bona nôrint,” he used to say of this class, but this is a knowledge that they seldom possess; and it is rare indeed to find an instance in which the high privileges which hereditary wealth conveys are understood by the possessors, and rightly appreciated and put to their proper use. The one, and the two talents are

Oh! bright occasions of dispensing good,
How seldom used, how little understood!2

in general more profitably occupied than the five; the five indeed are not often tied up in a napkin, but still less often are they faithfully employed in the service of that Lord from whom they are received in trust, and to whom an account of them must be rendered.


“A man of family and estate,” said Johnson, “ought to consider himself as having the charge of a district over which he is to diffuse civility and happiness.”—Are there fifty men of family and estate in the Three Kingdoms who feel and act as if this were their duty?—Are there five and forty?—Forty?—Thirty?—Twenty?—Or can it be said with any probability of belief that “peradventure Ten shall be found there?”

in sangue illustre e signorile,
In uom d'alti parenti al mondo nato,
La viltà si raddoppia, e più si scorge
Che in coloro il cui grado alto non sorge.


Here in England stood a village, within the memory of man,—no matter where,—close by the Castle of a noble proprietor,—no matter who:

il figlio
Del tale, ed il nipote del cotale,
Natò per madre della tale.

It contained about threescore houses, and every cottager had ground enough for keeping one or two cows. The noble proprietor looked upon these humble tenements as an eye-sore; and one by one as opportunity offered, he purchased them, till at length he became owner of the whole, one field excepted, which belonged to an old Quaker. The old man resisted many offers, but at last he was induced to exchange it for a larger and better piece of land in another place. No sooner had this transaction been completed, than the other occupants who were now only tenants at will, received notice to quit; the houses were demolished, the inclosures levelled, hearthsteads and homesteads, the cottage garden and the cottage field disappeared, and the site was in part planted, in part thrown into the park. The Quaker, who unlike Naboth, had parted with the inheritance of his fathers was a native of the village; but he knew not how dearly he was attached to it, till he saw its demolition: it was his fault, he said; and if he had not exchanged his piece of ground, he should never have lived to see his native place destroyed. He took it deeply to heart; it preyed upon his mind, and he soon lost his senses and died.


I tell the story as it was related, within sight of the spot, by a husbandman who knew the place and the circ*mstances, and well remembered that many people used to come every morning from the adjacent parts to buy milk there,—“a quart of new milk for a half-penny, and a quart of old, given with it.”

Naboth has been named in relating this, but the reader will not suppose that I have any intention of comparing the great proprietor to Ahab,—or to William the Conqueror. There was nothing unjust in his proceedings, nothing iniquitous; and (though there may have been a great want of proper feeling) nothing cruel. I am not aware that any hardship was inflicted upon the families who were ejected, farther than the inconvenience of a removal. He acted as most persons in the same circ*mstances probably would have acted, and no doubt he thought that his magnificent habitation was greatly improved by the demolition of the poor dwellings which had neighboured it so closely. Farther it may be said in his justification (for which I would leave nothing unsaid) that very possibly the houses had not sufficient appearance of neatness and comfort to render them agreeable objects, that the people may have been in no better state of manners and morals than villagers commonly are, which is saying that they were bad enough; that the filth of their houses was thrown into the road, and that their pigs, and their children who were almost as unclean, ran loose there. Add to this if you please that though they stood in fear of their great neighbour, there may have been no attachment to him, and little feeling of good will. But I will tell you how Dr. Dove would have proceeded if he had been the hereditary Lord of that Castle and that domain.

He would have considered that this village was originally placed there for the sake of the security which the Castle afforded. Times had changed and with them the relative duties of the Peer and of the Peasantry: he no longer required their feudal services, and they no longer stood in need of his protection. The more therefore, according to his “way of thinking,” was it to be desired, that other relations should be strengthened and the bonds of mutual goodwill be more closely intertwined. He would have looked upon these villagers as neighbours, in whose welfare and good conduct he was especially interested, and over whom it was in his power to exercise a most salutary and beneficial influence; and having this power he would have known, that it was his duty so to use it. He would have established a school in the village, and have allowed no ale-house there. He would have taken his domestics preferably from thence. If there were a boy who by his gentle disposition, his diligence and his aptitude for learning gave promise of those qualities which best become the clerical profession, he would have sent that boy to a grammar school, and afterwards to college, supporting him there in part, or wholly, according to the parents' means, and placing him on his list for preferment, according to his deserts.

If there were any others who discovered a remarkable fitness for any other useful calling, in that calling he would have had them instructed and given them his countenance and support, as long as they continued to deserve it. The Archbishop of Braga, Fray Bartolomen dos Martyres, added to his establishment a Physician for the poor. Our friend would in like manner have fixed a medical practitioner in the village,—one as like as he could find to a certain Doctor at Doncaster; and have allowed him such a fixed stipend, as might have made him reasonably contented and independent of the little emolument which the practice of the place could afford, for he would not have wished his services to be gratuitous where there was no need. If the parish to which the village belonged was too extensive, or the parochial Minister unwilling, or unable to look carefully after this part of his flock, his Domestic Chaplain, (for he would not have lived without one) should have taken care of their religious instruction.

In his own family and in his own person he would have set his neighbours an example of “whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report.” And as this example produced its sure effects, he would have left the Amateurs of Agriculture to vie with each other in their breeds of sheep and oxen, and in the costly cultivation of their farms. It would have been, not his boast, for he boasted of nothing;—not his pride, for he had none of

that poor vice which only empty men
Esteem a virtue—5

it was out of the root of Christian humility that all his virtues grew,—but his consolation and his delight to know that nowhere in Great Britain was there a neater, a more comfortable village than close to his own mansion; no where a more orderly, a more moral, a more cheerful, or a happier people. And if his castle had stood upon an elevation commanding as rich a survey as Belvoir or Shobden, that village when he looked from his windows, would still have been the most delightful object in the prospect.


I have not mentioned the name of the old Quaker in my story; but I will preserve it in these pages because the story is to his honour. It was Joshua Dickson. If Quakers have (and certainly they have) the quality which is called modest assurance in a superlative degree that distinguishes them from any other class of men, (it is of the men only that I speak) they are the only sect, who as a sect, cultivate the sense of conscience. This was not a case of conscience, but of strong feeling assuming that character under a tendency to madness.

When Lord Harcourt about the same time removed the village of Nuneham, an old widow Barbara Wyat by name, earnestly intreated that she might be allowed to remain in her old habitation. The request which it would have been most unfeeling to refuse, was granted; she ended her days there, and then the cottage was pulled down: but a tree which grew beside it, and which she had planted in her youth, is still shown on the terrace at Nuneham, and called by her name. Near it is placed the following Inscription by that amiable man the Laureate Whitehead. Like all his serious poems it may be read with pleasure and profit,—though the affecting circ*mstance which gives the anecdote its highest interest is related only in a note.

This Tree was planted by a female hand,
In the gay dawn of rustic beauty's glow;
And fast beside it did her cottage stand,
When age had clothed the matron's head with snow.

To her long used to nature's simple ways,
This single spot was happiness compleat;
Her tree could shield her from the noontide blaze
And from the tempest screen her little seat.

Here with her Colin oft the faithful maid,
Had led the dance, the envious youths among,
Here when his aged bones in earth were laid,
The patient matron turned her wheel and sung.

She felt her loss, yet felt it as she ought,
Nor dared 'gainst Nature's general law exclaim,
But checkt her tears and to her children taught
That well known truth their lot would be the same.

The Thames before her flowed, his farther shores
She ne'er explored, contented with her own;
And distant Oxford, tho' she saw its towers,
To her ambition was a world unknown.

Did dreadful tales the clowns from market bear
Of kings and tumults and the courtier train,
She coldly listened with unheeding ear,
And good Queen Anne, for aught she cared, might reign.

The sun her day, the seasons marked her year,
She toiled, she slept, from care, from envy free;
For what had she to hope, or what to fear,
Blest with her cottage, and her favourite Tree.

Hear this ye Great, whose proud possessions spread
O'er earth's rich surface to no space confined!
Ye learn'd in arts, in men, in manners read,
Who boast as wide an empire o'er the mind,

With reverence visit her august domain;
To her unlettered memory bow the knee;
She found that happiness you seek in vain,
Blest with a cottage, and a single Tree.6

6 The Classical reader will be aware that the Author of these lines had Claudian's “Old Man of Verona” in his mind's eye, as Claudian had Virgil's “Corycian Old Man.”—Georg. iv. 127.

Mason would have produced a better inscription upon this subject, in the same strain; Southey in a different one, Crabbe would have treated it with more strength, Bowles with a finer feeling, so would his kinswoman and namesake Caroline, than whom no author or authoress has ever written more touchingly, either in prose or verse. Wordsworth would have made a picture from it worthy of a place in the great Gallery of his Recluse. But Whitehead's is a remarkable poem, considering that it was produced during what has been not unjustly called the neap tide of English poetry: and the reader who should be less pleased with it than offended by its faults, may have cause to suspect that his refinement has injured his feelings in a greater degree than it has improved his taste.


Ita nati estis, ut bona malaque vestra ad Rempublicam pertineant.


“We have long been accustomed to laugh at the pride and poverty of petty German Princes,” says one of the most sensible and right minded travellers that ever published the result of his observations in Germany;1 “but nothing,” he proceeds, “can give a higher idea of the respectability which so small a people may assume, and the quantity of happiness which one of these insignificant monarchs may diffuse around him, than the example of the little state of Weimar, with a Prince like the present2 Grand Duke at its head. The mere pride of sovereignty frequently most prominent where there is only the title to justify it, is unknown to him; he is the most affable man in his dominions, not simply with the condescension which any prince can learn to practise as a useful quality, but from goodness of heart.” The whole population of his state little if at all exceeds that of Leicestershire; his capital is smaller than a third or fourth rate county town; so in fact it scarcely deserves the name of a town; and the inhabitants, vain as they are of its well earned reputation as the German Athens, take a pride in having it considered merely a large village: his revenue is less than that of many a British Peer, great Commoner, or commercial Millionist. Yet “while the treasures of more weighty potentates were insufficient to meet the necessities of their political relations, his confined revenues could give independence and careless leisure to the men who were gaining for Germany its intellectual reputation.” It is not too much to say that for that intellectual reputation, high as it is, and lasting as it will be, Germany is little less beholden to the Duke of Weimar's well-bestowed patronage, than to the genius of Wieland, and Schiller and Goëthe. “In these little principalities, the same goodness of disposition can work with more proportional effect than if it swayed the sceptre of an empire; it comes more easily and directly into contact with those towards whom it should be directed: the artificial world of courtly rank and wealth has neither sufficient glare nor body to shut out from the prince the more chequered world that lies below.”

2 A. D. 1822.

Alas no Prince either petty or great has followed the Duke of Saxe Weimar's example! “He dwells,” says Mr. Downes, “like an estated gentleman, surrounded by his tenantry.” Alas no British Peer, great Commoner, or commercial Millionist has given to any portion of his ampler revenues a like beneficent direction.

A good old Bishop3 quoting the text “not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called,” cautions us against distorting the Scripture as if it pronounced nothing but confusion to the rulers of the earth, “let not the honourable person,” said he, “hang down his head, as if power and wisdom, and noble blood, and dignity were causes of rejection before God: no beloved! Isaiah foretold that Kings should be nursing fathers, and Queens should be nursing mothers of the Church, but it is often seen that the benignity of nature and the liberality of fortune are made impediments to a better life; and therefore Nobles and Princes are more frequently threatened with judgment. I adjoin moreover that the Scriptures speak more flatly against illustrious Magistrates, than the common sort; for if God had left it to men, whose tongues are prostituted to flattery, they had scarce been told that their abominable sins would bring damnation.”


When our philosopher considered the manner in which large incomes are expended, (one way he had opportunities enough of observing at Doncaster) he thought that in these times high birth brought with it dangers and evils which in many or most instances, more than counterbalanced its advantages.

That excellent person Mr. Boyle had formed a different opinion. To be the son of a Peer whose prosperity had found many admirers, but few parallels, and not to be his eldest son, was a happiness that he used to “mention with great expressions of gratitude; his birth, he said, so suiting his inclinations and designs, that, had he been permitted an election, his choice would scarce have altered God's assignment. For as on the one side, a lower birth would have too much exposed him to the inconveniences of a mean descent, which are too notorious to need specifying; so on the other side, to a person whose humour indisposes him to the distracting hurry of the world, the being born heir to a great family is but a glittering kind of slavery, whilst obliging him to a public entangled course of life, to support the credit of his family, and tying him from satisfying his dearest inclinations, it often forces him to build the advantages of his house upon the ruins of his own contentment.”

“A man of mean extraction,” he continues, “is seldom admitted to the privacy and secrets of great ones promiscuously, and scarce dares pretend to it, for fear of being censured saucy, or an intruder. And titular greatness is ever an impediment to the knowledge of many retired truths, that cannot be attained without familiarity with meaner persons, and such other condescensions, as fond opinion, in great men, disapproves and makes disgraceful.” “But he himself,” Mr. Boyle said, “was born in a condition that neither was high enough to prove a temptation to laziness, nor low enough to discourage him from aspiring.” And certainly to a person that affected so much an universal knowledge, and arbitrary vicissitudes of quiet and employments, it could not be unwelcome to be of a quality, that was a handsome stirrup to preferment, without an obligation to court it, and which might at once both protect his higher pretensions from the guilt of ambition, and secure his retiredness from contempt.

There would be more and higher advantages in high birth than Mr. Boyle apprehended, if the Dean of Chalon, Pierre de St. Julien, were right when he maintained contre l'opinion des Philosophes, et l'ordinaire des Predicamants,—que la vraye Noblesse a sa source du sang, et est substancielle.

Ces mots Gentilhomme de sang, et d'armes, de race genereuse, de bonne part, &c., says the well-born Dean, who in his title pages let us know that he was de la maison de Balleurré,—sont termes non de qualité, ny d'habitude; ains importants substance de vray, comme il est bien dit,

veniunt cum sanguine mores;

et aillieurs,

Qui viret in foliis venit à radicibus humor;
Sic patrum in natos abeunt cum semine mores.

Et comme le sang est le vehicule, et porteur des esprits de vie, esquels est enclose la substance de l'ame; aussi est il le comme chariot, qui porte et soustient celle substance qui decoule des peres, et des ayeulx, par long ordre de generation, et provient aux enfants, qui, nez de bonne et gentille sem*nce, sont (conformement à l'opinion du divin Philosophe Platon) rendu tels que leurs progeniteurs, par la vertu des esprits enclos en la sem*nce.—Tellement qu'on ne peut nyer, que comme d'une bonne Ayre sortent de bons oyseaux, d'un bon Haras de bons chevaux, &c., aussi il importe beaucoup aux hommes d'estre nez de bons et valeureux parents; voire tant, que les mal nez, ennemys de ceste bien naissance, ne sont suffisants pour en juger.

Sir Robert Cotton once met with a man driving the plough, who was a true and undoubted Plantagenet. “That worthy Doctor,” (Dr. Hervey) says that worthy Fuller (dignissimus of being so styled himself,) “hath made many converts in physic to his seeming paradox, maintaining the circulation of blood running round about the body of man. Nor is it less true that gentle blood fetcheth a circuit in the body of a nation, running from Yeomanry, through Gentry to Nobility, and so retrograde, returning through Gentry to Yeomanry again.”

Plust à Dieu,” said Maistre François Rabelais, of facetious memory, “qu'un chacun saust aussi certainement—(as Gargantua that is,) sa genealogie, depuis l'Arche de Noé, jusqu'à cet âge! Je pense que plusieurs sont aujourd'hui Empereurs, Roys, Ducs, Princes et Papes en la terre, lesquels sont descendus de quelques Porteurs de rogatons et de constrets. Comme au rebours plusieurs sont gueux de l'hostiere, souffreteux et miserables, lesquels sont descendus de sang et ligne de grands Roys et Empereurs; attends l'admirable transport des Regnes et Empires,

Des Assyriens, és Medes;
Des Medes, és Perses;
Des Perses, és Macédoniens;
Des Macédoniens, és Grecs;
Des Grecs, és François.

Et pour vous donner à entendre de moy qui vous parle, je cuide que suis descendu de quelque riche Roy, ou Prince, au temps jadis; car oncques ne vistes homme qui eust plus grande affection d'estre Roy ou riche que moy, afin de faire grand chere, pas ne travailler, point ne me soucier et bien enrichir mes amis, et tous gens de bien et de sçavoir.


Je sçay qu'il y a plusieurs qui diront que je fais beaucoup de petit* fats contes, dont je m'en passerois bien. Ouy, bien pour aucuns,—mais non pour moy, me contentant de m'en renouveller le souvenance, et en tirer autant de plaisir.


Watts who came to the odd conclusion in his Philosophical Essay, that there may be Spirits which must be said, in strict philosophy to be no where, endeavoured to explain what he called the ubi or whereness of those spirits which are in a more imaginable situation. While man is alive, the soul he thought might be said to be in his brain, because the seat of consciousness seems to be there; but as soon as it is dislodged from that local habitation by death, it finds itself at once in a heaven or hell of its own, and this “without any removal or relation to place, or change of distances.” The shell is broken, the veil is withdrawn; it is where it was, but in a different mode of existence, in the pure intellectual, or separate world. “It reflects upon its own temper and actions in this life, it is conscious of its virtues, or its vices,” and it has an endless spring of peace and joy within, or is tormented with the anguish of self condemnation.

In his speculations the separation of soul from body is total, till their re-union at the day of judgment; and this unquestionably is the christian belief. The fablers of all religions have taken a different view, because at all times and in all countries they have accommodated their fictions to the notions of the people. The grave is with them a place of rest, or of suffering. If Young had been a Jew, a Mahommedan, or a Roman Catholic, he might be understood as speaking literally when he says,

How populous, how vital is the grave.

St. Augustine had been assured by what he considered no light testimony that St. John was not dead, but asleep in his sepulchre, and that the motion of his breast as he breathed might be perceived by a gentle movement of the earth. The words of our Lord after his Resurrection, concerning the beloved disciple, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee,” gave scope to conjecture concerning the fate of this Evangelist, and yet in some degree set bounds to that spirit of lying invention which in process of time annexed as many fables to corrupted Christianity as the Greek and Roman poets had engrafted upon their heathenism, or the Rabbis upon the Jewish faith. “Sinner that I am,” said a French prelate with demure irony, when a head of St. John the Baptist was presented to him to kiss in some Church of which it was the choicest treasure,—“sinner that I am, this is the fourth head of the glorious Baptist that I have had the happiness of holding in these unworthy hands!” But while some half dozen or half score of these heads were produced, because it was certain that the Saint had been beheaded, no relic of St. John the Evangelist's person, nor of the Virgin Mary's, was ever invented. The story of the Assumption precluded any such invention in the one case,—and in St. John's the mysterious uncertainty of his fate had the same effect as this received tradition. The Benedictines of St. Claude's Monastery in the Jura exhibited his own manuscript of the Apocalypse,—(the most learned of that order in no unlearned age, believed or affected to believe that it was his actual autograph,)—and they considered that it was greatly enhanced in value by its being the only relic of that Saint in existence.

The fable which St. Augustine seems to have believed, was either parent or child of the story told under the name of Abdias, that when the Beloved Disciple had attained the postdiluvian age of ninety seven, our Lord appeared to him, said unto him, “come unto me, that thou mayest partake at my feast with thy brethren,” and fixed the next Sunday, being Easter, for his removal from this world. On that Sunday accordingly, the Evangelist after having performed service in his own temple at Ephesus, and exhorted the people, told some of his chosen disciples to take with them two mattocks and spade, and accompany him therewith. They went to a place near the city, where he had been accustomed to pray, there he bade them dig a grave, and when they would have ceased from the work, he bade them dig it still deeper. Then taking off all his garments except a linen vestment, he spread them in the grave, laid himself down upon them, ordered his disciples to cover him up, and forthwith fell asleep in the Lord. Abdias proceeds no farther with the story; but other ecclesiastic romancers add that the evangelist enjoined them to open the grave on the day following; they did so and found nothing but his garments, for the blessed virgin in recompence for the filial piety which he had manifested towards her in obedience to our Lord's injunctions from the cross, had obtained for him the privilege of an Assumption like her own. Baronius has no objection to believe this, but that St. John actually died is, he says more than certain,—certo certius; and that his grave at Ephesus was proof of it, for certe non nisi mortuorum solent esse sepulchra.

Yet the Cardinal knew that the historian of his Church frequently represented the dead as sentient in their graves. The Jews have some remarkable legends founded upon the same notion. It is written in the book of Zohar, say the Rabbis, how when Abraham had made a covenant with the people of the land, and was about to make a feast for them, a calf which was to be slaughtered on the occasion, broke loose and ran into the cave of Machpelah. Abraham followed, and having entered the cave in pursuit, there he discovered the bodies of Adam and Eve, each on a bed, with lamps burning between them. They were sleeping the sleep of death, and there was a good odour around them, like the odour of repose. In consequence of having made this discovery it was that he desired to purchase the cave for his own burial place; and when the sons of Jebus refused to sell it, he fell upon his knees, and bowed himself before them, till they were entreated. When he came to deposit the body of Sarah there, Adam and Eve rose up, and refused their consent. The reason which they gave for this unexpected prohibition was, that they were already in a state of reproach before the Lord, because of their transgression, and a farther reproach would be brought upon them by a comparison with his good deeds, if they allowed such company to be introduced into their resting place. But Abraham took upon himself to answer for that; upon this they were satisfied with his assurances, and composed themselves again to their long sleep.

The Rabbis may be left to contend for the authority of the book of Zohar in this particular against the story of the Cabalists that Adam's bones were taken into the Ark, and divided afterwards by Noah among his sons. The skull fell to Shem's portion; he burnt it on the mountain which for that reason obtained the name of Golgotha, or Calvary,—being interpreted, the place of a skull, and on that spot, for mystical signification the cross whereon our Saviour suffered was erected;—a wild legend, on which as wild a fiction has been grafted, that a branch from the Tree of Life had been planted on Adam's grave, and from the wood which that branch had produced the cross was made.

And against either of these the authority of Rabbi Judas Bar Simon is to be opposed, for he affirms that the dust of Adam was washed away by the Deluge, and utterly dispersed.

The Rabbis have also to establish the credit of their own tradition against that of the Arabs who at this time shew Eve's grave near Jeddah;—about three days journey east from that place, according to Bruce. He says, it is covered with green sods, and about fifty yards in length. The Cashmerian traveller Abdulkurreem who visited it in 1742, says that it measured an hundred and ninety-seven of his footsteps, which would make the mother of mankind much taller than Bruce's measurement. He likens it to a flower-bed; on the middle of the grave there was then a small dome, and the ends of it were enclosed with wooden pales. Burckhardt did not visit it; he was told that it was about two miles only, northward of the town, and that it was a rude structure of stone, some four feet in length, two or three in height and as many in breadth, thus resembling the tomb of Noah, which is shewn in the valley of Bekaa, in Syria. Thus widely do these modern travellers, on any one of whom reasonable reliance might have been placed, differ in the account of the same thing.



Πόνος πόνῳ πόνον φέρει
Πᾶ πᾶ γὰρ οὐκ ἔβαν ἐγώ.


We have got from the West Riding of Yorkshire, to the Eastern shore of the Red Sea, without the assistance of mail-coach, steam-packet, or air-balloon, the magical carpet, the wishing-cap, the shoes of swiftness, or the seven-leagued boots. From Mr. Bacon's vicarage we have got to Eve's grave, not per saltum, by any sudden, or violent transition; but by following the stream of thought. We shall get back in the same easy manner to that vicarage, and to the quiet churchyard wherein the remains of one of the sweetest and for the few latter years of her short life, one of the happiest of Eve's daughters, were deposited in sure and certain hope. If you are in the mood for a Chapter upon Churchyards, go reader to those which Caroline Bowles has written;—you will find in them every thing that can touch the heart, every thing that can sanctify the affections, unalloyed by anything that can offend a pure taste and a masculine judgement.

But before we find our way back we must tarry awhile among the tombs, and converse with the fablers of old.

A young and lovely Frenchwoman after visiting the Columbarium near the Villa Albani, expressed her feeling strongly upon our custom of interring the dead, as compared with the non-burial of the ancients, usage odieux, said she, qui rend la mort horrible! Si les anciens en avaient moins d'effroi, c'est que la coutume de brûler les corps dérobait au trépas tout ce qu'il a de hideux. Qu'il était consolant et doux de pouvoir pleurer sur des cendres chéries! Qu'il est épouvantable et déchirant aujourd'hui de penser que celui qu'on a tant aimé n'offre plus qu'une image affreuse et décharnée dont on ne pourrait supporter la vue.

The lady in whose journal these lines were written lies buried in the Campo Santo at Milan, with the following inscription on her tomb; Priez pour une jeune Française que la mort a frappée à vingt ans, comme elle allait, après un voyage de huit mois avec un epoux chéri, revoir son enfant, son pere et sa mere, qui venaient joyeux au-devant d'elle. Her husband wished to have her remains burnt, in conformity to her own opinion respecting the disposal of the dead, and to his own feelings at the time, that he might have carried her ashes to his own country, and piously have preserved them there, to weep over them, and bequeath them to his son; mais les amis qui m'entouraient, he says, combatterent mon desir, comme une inspiration insensée de la douleur.

There can be no doubt that our ghastly personification of Death has been derived from the practice of interment; and that of all modes in which the dead have ever been disposed of, cremation is in some respects the best. But this mode, were it generally practicable, would in common use be accompanied with more revolting circ*mstances than that which has now become the Christian usage. Some abominations however it would have prevented, and though in place of those superstitions which it precluded others would undoubtedly have arisen, they would have been of a less loathsome character.

The Moors say that the dead are disturbed if their graves be trodden on by Christian feet; the Rabbis that they feel the worms devouring them.

On the south side of the city of Erzeroom is a mountain called Eyerli, from the same likeness which has obtained for one of the English mountains the unpoetical name of Saddleback. The Turkish traveller Evlia Effendi saw on the top of this mountain a tomb eighty paces in length, with two columns marking the place of the head and of the feet. “I was looking on the tomb,” he says, “when a bad smell occurred very hurtfully to my nose, and to that of my servant who held the horses; and looking near, I then saw that the earth of the grave, which was greasy and black, was boiling, like gruel in a pan. I returned then, and having related my adventures in the evening in company with the Pashaw, Djaafer Effendi of Erzeroom, a learned man and an elegant writer, warned me not to visit the place again, for it was the grave of Balaam the son of Beor, who died an infidel, under the curse of Moses, and whose grave was kept always in this state by subterraneous fires.”

When Wheler was at Constantinople, he noticed a monument in the fairest and largest street of that city, the cupola of which was covered with an iron grating. It was the tomb of Mahomet Cupriuli, father to the then Grand Vizier. He had not been scrupulous as to the means by which he settled the government during the Grand Seignior's minority, and carried it on afterwards, quelling the discontents and factions of the principal Agas, and the mutinies of the Janizaries. Concerning him after his decease, says this traveller, “being buried here, and having this stately monument of white marble covered with lead erected over his body, the Grand Seigneur and Vizier had this dream both in the same night, to wit, that he came to them and earnestly begged of them a little water to refresh him, being in a burning heat. Of this the Grand Seigneur and Vizier told each other in the morning, and thereupon thought fit to consult the Mufti what to do concerning it. The Mufti, according to their gross superstition, advised that the roof of his sepulchre should be uncovered, that the rain might descend on his body, thereby to quench the flames which were tormenting his soul. And this remedy the people who smarted under his oppression think he had great need of, supposing him to be tormented in the other world for his tyrannies and cruelties committed by him in this.”

If Cupriuli had been a Russian instead of a Turk, his body would have been provided with a passport before it was committed to the grave. Peter Henry Bruce in his curious memoirs gives the form of one which in the reign of Peter the Great, always before the coffin of a Russian was closed, was put between the fingers of the corpse:—“We N. N. do certify by these presents that the bearer hereof hath always lived among us as became a good Christian, professing the Greek religion; and although he may have committed some sins, he hath confessed the same, whereupon he hath received absolution, and taken the communion for the remission of sins: That he hath honoured God and his Saints, that he hath not neglected his prayers; and hath fasted on the hours and days appointed by the Church: That he hath always behaved himself towards me, his Confessor, in such a manner that I have no reason to complain of him, or to refuse him the absolution of his sins. In witness whereof I have given him these testimonials, to the end that St. Peter upon sight of them, may not deny him the opening of the gate to eternal bliss!”

The custom evidently implies an opinion that though soul and body were disunited by death, they kept close company together till after the burial; otherwise a passport which the Soul was to present at Heaven's gate, would not have been placed in the hands of the corpse. In the superstitions of the Romish church a re-union is frequently supposed, but that there is an immediate separation upon death is an article of faith, and it is represented by Sir Thomas More as one of the punishments for a sinful soul to be brought from Purgatory and made to attend, an unseen spectator, at the funeral of its own body, and feel the mockery of all the pomps and vanities used upon that occasion. The passage is in his Supplycacyon of Soulys. One of the Supplicants from Purgatory speaks:

“Some hath there of us, while we were in health, not so much studied how we might die penitent, and in good christian plight, as how we might solemnly be borne out to burying, have gay and goodly funerals, with heralds at our herses, and offering up our helmets, setting up our scutcheons and coat-armours on the wall, though there never came harness on our backs, nor never ancestor of ours ever bare arms before. Then devised we some Doctor to make a sermon at our mass in our month's mind, and then preach to our praise with some fond fantasy devised of our name; and after mass, much feasting, riotous and costly; and finally, like madmen, made men merry at our death, and take our burying for a brideale. For special punishment whereof, some of us have been by our Evil Angels brought forth full heavily, in full great despight to behold our own burying, and so, stand in great pain, invisible among the press, and made to look on our carrion corpse, carried out with great pomp, whereof our Lord knoweth we have taken heavy pleasure!”

In opposition to this there is a Rabbinical story which shows that though the Jews did not attribute so much importance to the rights of sepulture as the ancient Greeks, they nevertheless thought that a parsimonious interment occasioned some uncomfortable consequences to the dead.

A pious descendant of Abraham, whom his wife requited with a curtain lecture for having, as she thought improvidently, given alms to a poor person in a time of dearth, left his house, and went out to pass the remainder of the night among the tombs, that he might escape from her objurgations. There he overheard a conversation between the Spirits of two young women, not long deceased. The one said, “come let us go through the world, and then listen behind the curtain and hear what chastisem*nts are decreed for it.” The other made answer, “I cannot go, because I have been buried in a mat made of reeds, but go you, and bring me account of what you hear.” Away went the Ghost whose grave-clothes were fit to appear in: and when she returned, “well friend, what have you heard behind the curtain,” said the ghost in the reed-mat. “I heard,” replied the gad-about, “that whatever shall be sown in the first rains, will be stricken with hail.” Away went the alms-giver; and upon this intelligence which was more certain than any prognostication in the Almanack, he waited till the second rains before he sowed his field; all other fields were struck with hail, but according as he had expected his crop escaped.

Next year, on the anniversary of the night which had proved so fortunate to him, he went again to the Tombs: and overheard another conversation between the same ghosts to the same purport. The well drest ghost went through the world, listened behind the curtain, and brought back information that whatever should be sown in the second rains would be smitten with rust. Away went the good man, and sowed his field in the first rains; all other crops were spoilt with the rust, and only his escaped. His wife then enquired of him how it had happened that in two successive years he had sown his fields at a different time from every body else, and on both occasions his were the only crops that had been saved. He made no secret to her of his adventures, but told her how he had come to the knowledge which had proved so beneficial. Ere long his wife happened to quarrel with the mother of the poor ghost who was obliged to keep her sepulchre; and the woman of unruly tongue, among other insults, bade her go and look at her daughter, whom she had buried in a reed-mat! Another anniversary came round, and the good man went again to the Tomb; but he went this time in vain, for when the well-dressed Ghost repeated her invitation, the other made answer, “let me alone, my friend, the words which have past between you and me have been heard among the living.”

The learned Cistercian1 to whom I owe this legend, expresses his contempt for it; nevertheless he infers from it that the spirits of the dead know what passes in this world; and that the doctrine of the Romish Church upon that point, is proved by this tradition to have been that of the Synagogue also.


The Mahommedans who adopted so many of the Rabbinical fables, dispensed in one case for reasons of obvious convenience, with all ceremonies of sepulchral costume. For the funeral of their martyrs, by which appellation all Musselmen who fell in battle against the unbelievers were honoured, none of those preparations were required, which were necessary for those who die a natural death. A martyr needs not to be washed after his death, nor to be enveloped in grave-clothes; his own blood with which he is besmeared serves him for all legal purification, and he may be wrapt in his robe, and buried immediately after the funeral prayer, conformably to the order of the Prophet, who has said, “bury them as they are, in their garments, and in their blood! Wash them not, for their wounds will smell of musk on the Day of Judgement.”

A man of Medina, taking leave of his wife as he was about to go to the wars commended to the Lord her unborn babe. She died presently afterwards, and every night there appeared a brilliant light upon the middle of her tomb. The husband hearing of this upon his return, hastened to the place; the sepulchre opened of itself; the wife sate up in her winding sheet, and holding out to him a boy in her arms, said to him take “that which thou commendedst to the Lord. Hadst thou commended us both, thou shouldest have found us both alive.” So saying she delivered to him the living infant, and laid herself down, and the sepulchre closed over her.



The following materials, printed verbatim from the MS. Collection, were to have completed the Chapter. It has been thought advisable in the present instance to shew how the lamented Southey worked up the collection of years. Each extract is on a separate slip of paper, and some of them appear to have been made from thirty to forty years ago, more or less.

And so the virtue of his youth before
Was in his age the ground of his delight.

Ἔνθεν δὲ Σθενέλον τάφον ἔδρακον Ἀκτορίδαο·
Ὅς ῥά τ Ἀμαζονίδων πολυθαρσέος ἐκ πολέμοιο
Ἄψ ἀνιὼν (δὴ γὰρ συνανήλυθεν Ἡρὰκλῆϊ)
Βλήμενος ἰῷ κεῖθεν ᾽επ᾽ ἀγχιάλον θάνεν ἀκτῆς.
Ὀυ μέν θην προτέρω ἀνεμέρεον· ἧκε γὰρ αὐτὴ
Φερσεφόνη ψυχὴν πολυδάκρυον Ἀκτορίδαο
Λισσομένην, τυτθόν περ ὁμήθεας ἄνδρας ἰδέσθαι.
Τύμβου δὲ στεφάνης ἐπιβὰς σκοπιάζετο νῆα,
Τοῖος ἐὼν οἷος πόλεμονδ᾽ ἴεν· ἀμφὶ δὲ καλὴ
Τετράφαλος φοίνικι λόφῳ ἐπελάμπετο πήληξ,
Καὶ ῥ᾽ ὁ μὲν αὖτις ἔδυνε μέγαν ζόφον· οἱ δ᾽ ἐσιδόντες
Θάμβησαν. τοὶς δ᾽ ὦρσε θεοπροπέων ἐπικελσαι
Αμπυκίδης Μόψος, λοιβῆσί τε μειλίξασθαι.
Ὃι δ᾽ ἀνὰ μὲν κραιπνῶς λαῖφος σπάσαν, ἐκ δὲ βαλόντες
Πείσματ᾽ ἐν αἰγιαλῷ Σθενέλου τάφον ἀμφεπένοντο,
Χύτλα τέ οἱχεύαντο, καὶ ἥγνισαν ἔντομα μήλων.


The Abaza (a Circassian tribe) have a strange way of burying their Beys. They put the body in a coffin of wood, which they nail on the branches of some high trees and made a hole in the coffin by the head, that the Bey as they say, may look unto Heaven. Bees enter the coffin, and make honey, and cover the body with their comb: If the season comes they open the coffin, take out the honey and sell it, therefore much caution is necessary against the honey of the Abazas.


Once in their life time, the Jews say, they are bound by the Law of Moses to go to the Holy Land, if they can, or be able, and the bones of many dead Jews are carried there, and there burnt. We were fraughted with wools from Constantinople to Sidon, in which sacks, as most certainly was told to me, were many Jew's bones put into little chests, but unknown to any of the ship. The Jews our Merchants told me of them at my return from Jerusalem to Saphet, but earnestly intreated me not to tell it, for fear of preventing them another time.

Going on, one of my companions said, if you will take the trouble of going a little out of the way, you will see a most remarkable thing. Well, said I, what should be the object of all pains taken in travelling, if it were not to admire the works of God. So we went on for an hour to the north, but not taking the great road leading to the Plain of Moosh, we advanced to a high rock that is a quarter of an hour out of the road. To this rock, high like a tower, a man was formerly chained, whose bones are yet preserved in the chains. Both bones and chains are in a high state of preservation. The bones of the arms are from seven to eight cubits in length, of an astonishing thickness. The skull is like the cupola of a bath, and a man may creep in and out without pain through the eye-holes. Eagles nestle in them. These bones are said to be those of a faithful man who in Abraham's time was chained by Nimrod to this rock, in order to be burnt by fire. The fire calcined part of his body, so that it melted in one part with the rock; but the arms and legs are stretching forth to the example of posterity. We have no doubt that they will rise again into life at the sound of the trumpet on the day of judgement.


The Magistrates of Leghorn have authority to issue out orders for killing dogs if they abound too much in the streets, and molest the inhabitants. The men entrusted with the execution of these orders go through the city in the night, and drop small bits of poisoned bread in the streets. These are eaten by the dogs and instantaneously kill them. Before sunrise the same men go through the streets with a cart, gather hundreds of the dead dogs, and carry them to the Jew's burying ground without the town.


In the ROMANCE OF MERLIN it is said that before the time of Christ, Adam and Eve and the whole ancient world were (not in Limbo) but actually in Hell. And that when the Prophets comforted the souls under their sufferings by telling them of the appointed Redeemer, the Devils for that reason tormented these Prophets more than others. The Devils themselves tell the story, et les tourmentions plus que les autres. Et ilz faisoyent semblant que nostre tourment ne les grevoit riens; ainçois comfortoyent les aultres pecheurs et disoyent. Le Saulveur de tout le monde viendra qui tous nous delivrera.

At the time of the deluge the wife of Noah being pregnant, was through the hardships of the voyage delivered of a dead child to which the name of Tarh was given, because the letters of this word form the number 217 which was the number of days he was carried by his mother instead of the full time of 280 days, or nine months. This child was buried in the district now called Djezere Ibn Omar, the Island or Peninsula of the son of Omar, and this was the first burial on earth after the deluge. And Noah prayed unto the Lord, saying, Oh God thou hast given me a thousand years of life, and this child is dead before it began to live on earth! And he begged of the Lord as a blessing given to the burial-place of his child, that the women of this town might never miscarry, which was granted; so that since that time women, and female animals of every kind in this town are all blessed with births in due time and long living. The length of the grave of this untimely child of Noah is 40 feet and it is visited by pilgrims.


They suppose that a few souls are peculiarly gifted with the power of quitting their bodies, of mounting into the skies, visiting distant countries, and again returning and resuming them; they call the mystery or prayer by which this power is obtained, the Mandiram.


The plain of Kerbela is all desert, inhabited by none but by the dead, and by roving wild hounds, the race of the dogs which licked the blood of the martyrs, and which since are doomed to wander through the wilderness.


Shi whang, the K. of Tsin becoming Emperor, he chose for his sepulchre the mountain Li, whose foundation he caused to dig, if we may so speak, even to the centre of the earth. On its surface he erected a mausoleum which might pass for a mountain. It was five hundred feet high, and at least half a league in circumference. On the outside was a vast tomb of stone, where one might walk as easily as in the largest hall. In the middle was a sumptuous coffin, and all around there were lamps and flambeaux, whose flames were fed by human fat. Within this tomb, there was upon one side a pond of quicksilver, upon which were scattered birds of gold and silver; on the other a compleat magazine of moveables and arms; here and there were the most precious jewels in thousands.


Emududakel, the Messenger of Death, receives the Soul as 'tis breathed out of the body into a kind of a sack, and runs away with it through briars and thorns and burning whirlwinds, which torment the Soul very sensibly, till he arrives at the bank of a fiery current, through which he is to pass to the other side in order to deliver the soul to Emen, the God of the Dead.


A curious story concerning the power which the Soul has been supposed to possess of leaving the body, in a visible form, may be found in the notes to the Vision of the Maid of Orleans. A more extraordinary one occurs in the singularly curious work of Evlia Effendi.

“Sultan Bajazet II. was a saint-monarch, like Sultan Orkhaun, or Sultan Mustapha I. There exist different works relating his miracles and deeds, but they are rare. The last seven years of his life he ate nothing which had blood and life. One day longing much to eat calf's or mutton's feet, he struggled long in that glorious contest with the Soul, and as at last a well-seasoned dish of feet was put before him, he said unto his Soul, ‘See my Soul, the feet are before thee, if thou wantest to enjoy them, leave the body and feed on them.’ In the same moment a living creature was seen to come out of his mouth, which drank of the juice in the dish and having satisfied its appetite endeavoured to return into the mouth from whence it came. But Bajazet having prevented it with his hand to re-enter his mouth, it fell on the ground, and the Sultan ordered it to be beaten. The Pages arrived and kicked it dead on the ground. The Mufti of that time decided that as the Soul was an essential part of man, this dead Soul should be buried: prayers were performed over it, and the dead Soul was interred in a small tomb near Bajazet's tomb. This is the truth of the famous story of Bajazet II. having died twice and having been twice buried. After this murder of his own soul, the Sultan remained melancholy in the corner of retirement, taking no part or interest in the affairs of government.”

The same anecdote of the Soul coming out of the mouth to relish a most desired dish, had already happened to the Sheik Bajazet Bostaumi, who had much longed to eat Mohallebi (a milk-dish) but Bajazet Bostaumi permitted it to re-enter, and Sultan Bajazet killed it; notwithstanding which he continued to live for some time longer.

See Josselyn for a similar tale.

When Mohammed took his journey upon Alborach, Gabriel (said he) led me to the first Heaven, and the Angels in that Heaven graciously received me, and they beheld me with smiles and with joy, beseeching for me things prosperous and pleasant. One alone among the Angels there sat, who neither prayed for my prosperity, nor smiled; and Gabriel when I enquired of him who he was, replied, never hath that Angel smiled, nor will smile, he is the Keeper of the Fire, and I said to him is this the Angel who is called the well beloved of God? and he replied, this is that Angel. Then said I bid him that he show me the Fire, and Gabriel requesting him, he removed the cover of the vessel of Fire, and the Fire ascending I feared lest all things whatever that I saw should be consumed, and I besought Gabriel that the Fire again might be covered. And so the fire returned to its place, and it seemed then as when the Sun sinks in the West, and the gloomy Angel, remaining the same, covered up the Fire.


Should a Moslem when praying, feel himself disposed to gape, he is ordered to suppress the sensation as the work of the Devil, and to close his mouth, lest the father of iniquity should enter and take possession of his person. It is curious that this opinion prevails also among the Hindoos who twirl their fingers close before their mouths when gaping, to prevent an evil spirit from getting in that way.


In what part soever of the world they die and are buried, their bodies must all rise to judgement in the Holy Land, out of the valley of Jehosophat, which causeth that the greater and richer sort of them, have their bones conveyed to some part thereof by their kindred or friends. By which means they are freed of a labour to scrape thither through the ground, which with their nails they hold they must, who are not there buried, nor conveyed thither by others.


The Russians in effecting a practicable road to China, discovered in lat. 50 N., between the rivers Irtish and Obalet, a desert of very considerable extent, overspread in many parts with Tumuli, or Barrows, which have been also taken notice of by Mr. Bell and other writers. This desert constitutes the southern boundary of Siberia. It is said the borderers on the desert, have for many years, continued to dig for the treasure deposited in these tumuli, which still however remain unexhausted. We are told that they find considerable quantities of gold, silver and brass, and some precious stones, among ashes and remains of dead bodies: also hilts of swords, armour, ornaments for saddles and bridles, and other trappings, with the bones of those animals to which the trappings belonged, among which are the bones of elephants. The Russian Court, says Mr. Demidoff, being informed of these depredations, sent a principal officer, with sufficient troops, to open such of these tumuli, as were too large for the marauding parties to undertake and to secure their contents. This Officer on taking a survey of the numberless monuments of the dead spread over this great desert, concluded that the barrow of the largest dimensions most probably contained the remains of the prince or chief; and he was not mistaken; for, after removing a very deep covering of earth and stones, the workmen came to three vaults, constructed of stones, of rude workmanship; a view of which is exhibited in the engraving. That wherein the prince was deposited, which was in the centre, and the largest of the three, was easily distinguished by the sword, spear, bow, quiver and arrow which lay beside him. In the vault beyond him, towards which his feet lay, were his horse, bridle, saddle and stirrups. The body of the prince lay in a reclining posture, on a sheet of pure gold, extending from head to foot, and another sheet of gold, of the like dimensions, was spread over him. He was wrapt in a rich mantle, bordered with gold and studded with rubies and emeralds. His head, neck, breast and arms naked, and without any ornament. In the lesser vault lay the princess, distinguished by her female ornaments. She was placed reclining against the wall, with a gold chain of many links, set with rubies, round her neck, and gold bracelets round her arms. The head, breast and arms were naked. The body was covered with a rich robe, but without any border of gold or jewels, and was laid on a sheet of fine gold, and covered over with another. The four sheets of gold weighed 40 lb. The robes of both looked fair and complete; but on touching, crumbled into dust. Many more of the tumuli were opened, but this was the most remarkable. In the others a great variety of curious articles were found.


The following story I had from Mr. Pierson, factor here for the African company, who was sent here from Cape Coree to be second to Mr. Smith then chief factor. Soon after his arrival Mr. Smith fell very ill of the country malignant fever; and having little prospect of recovery, resigned his charge of the company's affairs to Pierson. This Mr. Smith had the character of an obliging, ingenious young gentleman, and was much esteemed by the King, who hearing of his desperate illness, sent his Fatishman to hinder him from dying; who coming to the factory went to Mr. Smith's bed-side, and told him, that his King had such a kindness for him, that he had sent to keep him alive, and that he should not die. Mr. Smith was in such a languishing condition, that he little regarded him. Then the Fatishman went from him to the hog-yard, where they bury the white men; and having carried with him some brandy, rum, oil, rice, &c., he cry'd out aloud, O you dead white men that lie here, you have a mind to have this factor that is sick to you, but he is our king's friend, and he loves him, and will not part with him as yet. Then he went to captain Wiburn's grave who built the factory, and cry'd, O you captain of all the dead white men that lie here, this is your doings; you would have this man from us to bear you company, because he is a good man, but our king will not part with him, nor you shall not have him yet. Then making a hole in the ground over his grave, he poured in the brandy, rum, oil, rice, &c., telling him, If he wanted those things, there they were for him, but the factor he must not expect, nor should not have, with more such nonsense; then went to Smith, and assured him he should not die; but growing troublesome to the sick man, Pierson turned him out of the factory, and in two days after poor Smith made his exit.

Mr. Josiah Relph to Mr. Thomas Routh, in Castle Street, Carlisle.

June 20, 1740.


“The following was sent me a few months ago by the minister of Kirklees in Yorkshire, the burying place of Robin Hood. My correspondent tells me it was found among the papers of the late Dr. Gale of York, and is supposed to have been the genuine epitaph of that noted English outlaw. He adds that the grave stone is yet to be seen, but the characters are now worn out.

Here undernead dis laitl Stean
Laiz Robert Earl of Huntingtun.
Nea Arcir ver az hie sa geud,
An Piple kauld im Robin Heud.
Sick utlawz az hi and is men
Vil england nivr si agen.
Obiit 24. Kal. Dehembris, 1247.

I am, dear Sir, your most faithful and humble Servant,


Note in Nichols.—See the stone engraved in the Sepulchral Monuments, vol. i. p. cviii. Mr. Gough says the inscription was never on it; and that the stone must have been brought from another place, as the ground under it, on being explored, was found to have been never before disturbed.2

2 On the disputed question of the genuineness of the above epitaph, see the Notes and Illustrations to Ritson's Robin Hood, pp. xliv—1. Robin Hood's Death and Burial is the last Ballad in the second volume.

“And there they buried bold Robin Hood,
Near to the fair Kirkleys.”

Lord Dalmeny, son of the E. of Rosebery, married about eighty years ago a widow at Bath for her beauty. They went abroad, she sickened and on her death-bed requested that she might be interred in some particular church-yard, either in Sussex or Suffolk I forget which. The body was embalmed, but at the custom-house in the port where it was landed the officer suspected smuggling and insisted on opening it. They recognized the features of the wife of their own clergyman,—who having been married to him against her own inclination had eloped. Both husbands followed the body to the grave. The Grandfather of Dr. Smith of Norwich knew the Lord.

It was a melancholy notion of the Stoics that the condition of the Soul, and even its individual immortality, might be affected by the circ*mstances of death: for example, that if any person were killed by a great mass of earth falling upon him, or the ruins of a building, the Soul as well as the body would be crushed, and not being able to extricate itself would be extinguished there: existimant animam hominis magno pondere extriti permeare non posse, et statim spargi, quia non fuerit illi exitus liber.

Upon this belief, the satirical epitaph on Sir John Vanbrugh would convey what might indeed be called a heavy curse.

Some of the Greenlanders, for even in Greenland there are sects, suppose the soul to be so corporeal that it can increase or decrease, is divisible, may lose part of its substance, and have it restored again. On its way to Heaven which is five days dreadful journey, all the way down a rugged rock, which is so steep that they must slide down it, and so rough that their way is tracked with blood, they are liable to be destroyed, and this destruction, which they call the second death, is final, and therefore justly deemed of all things the most terrible. It is beyond the power of their Angekoks to remedy this evil; but these impostors pretend to the art of repairing a maimed soul, bringing home a strayed or runaway one, and of changing away one that is sickly, for the sound and sprightly one of a hare, a rein deer, a bird, or an infant.

“This is the peevishness of our humane wisdom, yea, rather of our humane folly, to earn for tidings from the dead, as if a spirit departed could declare anything more evidently than the book of God, which is the sure oracle of life? This was Saul's practise,—neglect Samuel when he was alive, and seek after him when he was dead. What says the Prophet, Should not a people seek unto their God? Should the living repair to the dead? (Isai. viij. 19.) Among the works of Athanasius I find (though he be not the author of the questions to Antiochus,) a discourse full of reason, why God would not permit the soul of any of those that departed from hence to return back unto us again, and to declare the state of things in hell unto us. For what pestilent errors would arise from thence to seduce us? Devils would transform themselves into the shapes of men that were deceased, pretend that they were risen from the dead (for what will not the Father of lies feign?) and so spread in any false doctrines, or incite us to many barbarous actions, to our endless error and destruction. And admit they be not Phantasms, and delusions, but the very men, yet all men are liars, but God is truth. I told you what a Necromancer Saul was in the Old Testament, he would believe nothing unless a prophet rose from the grave to teach him. There is another as good as himself in the New Testament, and not another pattern in all the Scripture to my remembrance, Luke xvi. 27. The rich man in hell urged Abraham to send Lazarus to admonish his brethren of their wicked life; Abraham refers to Moses and the Prophets. He that could not teach himself when he was alive, would teach Abraham himself being in hell, Nay, Father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

“The mind is composed with quietness to hear the living; the apparitions of dead men, beside the suspicion of delusion, would fill us with gastly horror, and it were impossible we should be fit scholars to learn if such strong perturbation of fear should be upon us. How much better hath God ordained for our security, and tranquillity, that the priest's lips should preserve knowledge? I know, if God shall see it fit to have us disciplined by such means, he can stir up the spirits of the faithful departed to come among us: So, after Christ's resurrection many dead bodies of the Saints which slept arose, and came out of their graves, and went into the Holy City, and appeared unto many. This was not upon a small matter, but upon a brave and renowned occasion: But for the Spirits of damnation, that are tied in chains of darkness, there is no repassage for them, and it makes more to strengthen our belief that never any did return from hell to tell us their woeful tale, than if any should return. It is among the severe penalties of damnation that there is no indulgence for the smallest respite to come out of it. The heathen put that truth into this fable. The Lion asked the Fox, why he never came to visit him when he was sick: Says the Fox, because I can trace many beasts by the print of their foot that have gone toward your den, Sir Lion, but I cannot see the print of one foot that ever came back:

Quia me vestigia terrent
Omnia te advorsum spectantia, nulla retrorsum.

So there is a beaten, and a broad road that leads the reprobate to hell, but you do not find the print of one hoof that ever came back. When I have given you my judgment about apparitions of the dead in their descending from Heaven, or ascending from hell, I must tell you in the third place, I have met with a thousand stories in Pontifician writings concerning some that have had repassage from Purgatory to their familiars upon earth. Notwithstanding the reverence I bear to Gregory the Great, I cannot refrain to say; He was much to blame to begin such fictions upon his credulity; others have been more to blame that have invented such Legends; and they are most to be derided that believe them. O miserable Theology! if, thy tenets must be confirmed by sick men's dreams, and dead men's phantastical apparitions!”


“It is a morose humour in some, even ministers, that they will not give a due commendation to the deceased: whereby they not only offer a seeming unkindness to the dead, but do a real injury to the living, by discouraging virtue, and depriving us of the great instruments of piety, good examples: which usually are far more effective methods of instruction, than any precepts: These commonly urging only the necessity of those duties, while the other shew the possibility and manner of performing.

“But then, 'tis a most unchristian and uncharitable mistake in those, that think it unlawful to commemorate the dead, and to celebrate their memories: whereas there is no one thing does so much uphold and keep up the honour and interest of religion amongst the multitude, as the due observance of those Anniversaries which the Church has, upon this account, scattered throughout the whole course of the year, would do: and indeed to our neglect of this in a great part the present decay of religion may rationally be imputed.

“Thus in this age of our's what Pliny saith of his, Postquam desimus facere laudanda, laudari quoque ineptum putamus. Since people have left off doing things that are praiseworthy, they look upon praise itself as a silly thing.

“And possibly the generality of hearers themselves are not free from this fault; who peradventure may fancy their own life upbraided, when they hear another's commended.

“But that the servants of God, which depart this life in his faith and fear, may and must be praised, I shall endeavour to make good upon these three grounds.

In common justice to the deceased themselves. Ordinary civility teaches us to speak well of the dead. Nec quicquam sanctius habet reverentia superstitum, quàm ut amissos venerabiliter recordetur, says Ausonius, and makes this the ground of the Parentalia, which had been ever since Numa's time.

Praise, however it may become the living, is a just debt to the deserts of the dead, who are now got clear out of the reach of envy; which, if it have anything of the generous in it, will scorn, vulture-like, to prey upon carcass.

“Besides, Christianity lays a greater obligation upon us; The Communion of Saints is a Tenet of our faith. Now, as we ought not pray to or for them, so we may and must praise them.

“This is the least we can do in return for those great offices, they did the Church Militant, while they were with us, and now do, they are with God; nor have we any other probable way of communicating with them.

“The Philosopher in his Morals makes it a question, whether the dead are in any way concerned in what befals them or their posterity after their decease; and whether those honours and reproaches, which survivors cast upon them, reach them or no? and he concludes it after a long debate in the affirmative; not so, he says, as to alter their state, but, συμβάλλεσθαί τι, to contribute somewhat to it.

“Tully, though not absolutely persuaded of an immortal soul, as speaking doubtfully and variously of it, yet is constant to this, that he takes a good name and a reputation, we leave behind us, to be a kind of immortality.

“But there is more in it than so. Our remembrance of the Saints may be a means to improve their bliss, and heighten their rewards to all eternity. Abraham, the Father of the Faithful, hath his bosom thus daily enlarged for new comers.

“Whether the heirs of the kingdom are, at their first admission, instated into a full possession of all their glory, and kept to that stint, I think may be a doubt. For if the faculty be perfected by the object, about which 'tis conversant; then the faculties of those blessed ones being continually employed upon an infinite object, must needs be infinitely perficible, and capable still of being more and more enlarged, and consequently of receiving still new and further additions of glory.

“Not only so, (this is in Heaven:) but even the influence of that example, they leave behind them on earth, drawing still more and more souls after them to God, will also add to those improvements to the end of the world, and bring in a revenue of accessory joys.

“And would it not be unjust in us then to deny them those glorious advantages, which our commemoration and inclination may and ought to give them.”3


3 “Five Sermons formerly printed,” p. 61., at the end of the volume. The one from which the above passage is extracted is that preached at the obsequies of the Right Honorable the Lady Jane Cheyne.

Circles and right lines limit and close all bodies, and the mortal right lined circle, must conclude to shut up all. There is no Antidote against the Opinion of Time, which, temporally considereth all things; Our Fathers find their Graves in our short memories and sadly tell us how we may be buried in our survivors. Grave-stones tell truth scarce forty years: Generations pass while some Trees stand, and old families last not three oaks. To be read by bare Inscriptions like many in Gruter, to hope for Eternity by Ænigmatical Epithetes, or first Letters of our names to be studied by Antiquaries, who we were, and have new names given us like many of the Mummies, are cold consolations unto the students of perpetuity even by everlasting Languages.




Go to!
You are a subtile nation, you physicians,
And grown the only cabinets in court!

The Doctor, who was charitable in all his opinions, used to account and apologize for many of the errors of men, by what he called the original sin of their constitution, using the term not theologically, but in a physico-philosophical sense. What an old French physician said concerning Charles VIII. was in entire accord with his speculations,—ce corps etoit composé de mauvais pâte, et de matiere cathareuse. Men of hard hearts and heavy intellect, he said, were made of stony materials. For a drunkard, his qualifying censure was,—“poor fellow! bibulous clay—bibulous clay!” Your light-brained, light-hearted people, who are too giddy ever to be good, had not earth enough, he said, in their composition. Those upon whose ungrateful temper benefits were ill bestowed, and on whom the blessings of fortune were thrown away, he excused by saying that they were made from a sandy soil;—and for Mammon's muckworms,—their mould was taken from the dunghill.

Mason the poet was a man of ill-natured politics, out of humour with his country till the French Revolution startled him and brought him into a better state of feeling. This however was not while the Doctor lived, and till that time he could see nothing but tyranny and injustice in the proceedings of the British Government, and nothing but slavery and ruin to come for the nation. These opinions were the effects of Whiggery1 acting upon a sour stomach and a saturnine constitution. To think ill of the present and augur worse of the future has long been accounted a proof of patriotism among those who by an illustrious antiphrasis call themselves patriots. “What the Romans scorned to do after the battle of Cannæ,” said Lord Keeper Finch in one of his solid and eloquent speeches, “what the Venetians never did when they had lost all their terra firma, that men are now taught to think a virtue and the sign of a wise and good man, desperare de Republica: and all this in a time of as much justice and peace at home, as good laws for the security of religion and liberty, as good execution of these laws, as great plenty of trade and commerce abroad, and as likely a conjuncture of affairs for the continuance of these blessings to us, as ever nation prospered under.”

1 See Vol. IV. p. 375.

The Doctor, when he spoke of this part of Mason's character, explained it by saying that the elements had not been happily tempered in him—“cold and dry, Sir!” and then he shook his head and knit his brow with that sort of compassionate look which came naturally into his countenance when he was questioned concerning a patient whose state was unfavourable.

But though he believed that many of our sins and propensities are bred in the bone, he disputed the other part of the proverb, and maintained that they might be got out of the flesh. And then generalizing with a rapidity worthy of Humboldt himself, he asserted that all political evils in modern ages and civilized states were mainly owing to a neglect of the medical art;—and that there would not, and could not be so many distempers in the body politic, if the primæ viæ were but attended to with proper care; an opinion in which he was fortified by the authority of Sir William Temple.

“I have observed the fate of Campania,” says that eminent statesman, “determine contrary to all appearances, by the caution and conduct of a General, which was attributed by those that knew him, to his age and infirmities, rather than his own true qualities, acknowledged otherwise to have been as great as most men of the age. I have seen the counsels of a noble country grow bold, or timorous, according to the fits of his good or ill-health that managed them, and the pulse of the Government beat high with that of the Governor; and this unequal conduct makes way for great accidents in the world. Nay, I have often reflected upon the counsels and fortunes of the greatest monarchies rising and decaying sensibly with the ages and healths of the Princes and chief officers that governed them. And I remember one great minister that confessed to me, when he fell into one of his usual fits of the gout, he was no longer able to bend his mind or thought to any public business, nor give audiences beyond two or three of his domestics, though it were to save a kingdom; and that this proceeded not from any violence of pain, but from a general languishing and faintness of spirits, which made him in those fits think nothing worth the trouble of one careful or solicitous thought. For the approaches, or lurkings of the Gout, the Spleen, or the Scurvy, nay the very fumes of indigestion, may indispose men to thought and to care, as well as diseases of danger and pain. Thus accidents of health grow to be accidents of State, and public constitutions come to depend in a great measure upon those of particular men; which makes it perhaps seem necessary in the choice of persons for great employments (at least such as require constant application and pains) to consider their bodies as well as their minds, and ages and health as well as their abilities.”

Cervantes according to the Doctor clearly perceived this great truth, and went farther than Sir W. Temple, for he perceived also the practical application, though it was one of those truths which because it might have been dangerous for him to propound them seriously, he was fain to bring forward in a comic guise, leaving it for the wise to discover his meaning, and for posterity to profit by it. He knew—(Daniel loquitur) what did not Cervantes know?—that if Philip II. had committed himself to the superintendence of a Physician instead of a Father Confessor, many of the crimes and miseries by which his reign is so infamously distinguished, might have been prevented. A man of his sad spirit and melancholy complection to be dieted upon fish the whole forty days of Lent, two days in the week during the rest of the year, and on the eve of every holiday besides,—what could be expected but atrabilious thoughts, and cold-blooded resolutions? Therefore Cervantes appointed a Physician over Sancho in his Baratarian government: the humour of the scene was for all readers, the application for those who could penetrate beyond the veil, the benefit for happier ages when the art of Government should be better understood, and the science of medicine be raised to its proper station in the state.

Shakespere intended to convey the same political lesson, when he said “take physic pomp!” He used the word pomp instead of power, cautiously, for in those days it was a perilous thing to meddle with matters of state.

When the Philosopher Carneades undertook to confute Zeno the Stoic in public argument, (still reader Daniel loquitur) how did he prepare himself for the arduous disputation? by purging his head with hellebore, to the intent that the corrupt humours which ascended thither from the stomach should not disturb the seat of memory and judgment, and obscure his intellectual perception. The theory, Sir, was erroneous, but the principle is good. When we require best music from the instrument, ought we not first to be careful that all its parts are in good order, and if we find a string that jars, use our endeavours for tuning it?

It may have been the jest of a satirist that Dryden considered stewed prunes as the best means of putting his body into a state favourable for heroic composition; but that odd person George Wither tells us of himself that he usually watched and fasted when he composed, that his spirit was lost if at such times he tasted meat or drink, and that if he took a glass of wine he could not write a verse:—no wonder therefore that his verses were for the most part in a weak and watery vein.2 Father Paul Sarpi had a still more extraordinary custom; it is not to an enemy, but to his friend and admirers that we are indebted for informing us with what care that excellent writer attended to physical circ*mstance as affecting his intellectual powers. For when he was either reading or writing, alone, “his manner,” says Sir Henry Wotton, “was to sit fenced with a castle of paper about his chair, and over head; for he was of our Lord of St. Alban's opinion that all air is predatory, and especially hurtful when the spirits are most employed.”

2 The Greek Proverb, adverted to by Horace in i. Epist. xix., was in the Doctor's thoughts.
ὓδωρ δὲ πίνων οὐδὲν ἂν τέκοι σοφόν.

There should be a State Physician to the King, besides his Physicians ordinary and extraordinary,—one whose sole business should be to watch over the royal health as connected with the discharge of the royal functions, a head keeper of the King's health.

For the same reason there ought to be a Physician for the Cabinet, a Physician for the Privy Council, a Physician for the Bench of Bishops, a Physician for the twelve Judges, two for the House of Lords, four for the House of Commons, one for the Admiralty, one for the War Office, one for the Directors of the East India Company, (there was no Board of Controul in the Doctor's days, or he would certainly have advised that a Physician should be placed upon that Establishment also): one for the Lord Mayor, two for the Common Council, four for the Livery. (He was speaking in the days of Wilkes and Liberty). How much mischief, said he, might have been prevented by cupping the Lord Mayor, blistering a few of the Aldermen, administering salts and manna to lower the pulse of civic patriotism, and keeping the city orators upon a low regimen for a week before every public meeting.

Then in the Cabinet what evils might be averted by administering laxatives or corroborants as the case required.

In the Lords and Commons, by clearing away bile, evacuating ill humours and occasionally by cutting for the simples.3

3 The probable origin of this Proverb is given in Grose's Dictionary of the vulgar tongue.

While men are what they are, weak, frail, inconstant, fallible, peccable, sinful creatures,—it is in vain to hope that Peers and Commoners will prepare themselves for the solemn exercise of their legislative functions by fasting and prayer,—that so they may be better fitted for retiring into themselves, and consulting upon momentous questions the Urim and Thummim which God hath placed in the breast of every man. But even as Laws are necessary for keeping men within the limits of their duty when conscience fails, so in this case it should be part of the law of Parliament that what its Members will not do for themselves, the Physician should do for them. They should go through a preparatory course of medicine before every session, and be carefully attended as long as Parliament was sitting.

Traces of such a practice, as of many important and primeval truths, are found among savages, from whom the Doctor was of opinion that much might be learnt, if their customs were diligently observed and their traditions carefully studied. In one of the bravest nations upon the Mississippi, the warriors before they set out upon an expedition always prepared themselves by taking the Medicine of War, which was an emetic, about a gallon in quantity for each man, and to be swallowed at one draught. There are other tribes in which the Beloved Women prepare a beverage at the Physic Dance, and it is taken to wash away sin.

Here said the Doctor are vestiges of early wisdom, probably patriarchal and if so, revealed,—for he held that all needful knowledge was imparted to man at his creation. And the truth of the principle is shown in common language. There is often a philosophy in popular expressions and forms of speech, which escapes notice, because words are taken as they are uttered, at their current value and we rest satisfied with their trivial acceptation. We take them in the husk and the shell, but sometimes it is worth while to look for the kernel. Do we not speak of sound and orthodox opinions,—sound principles, sound learning? mens sana in corpore sano. A sound mind is connected with a sound body, and sound and orthodox opinions result from the sanity of both. Unsound opinions are diseased ones, and therefore the factious, the heretical and the schismatic, ought to be put under the care of a physician.

“I have read of a gentleman,” says Cotton Mather, “who had an humour of making singular and fanciful expositions of scripture; but one Doctor Sim gave him a dose of physic, which when it had wrought, the gentleman became orthodox immediately and expounded at the old rate no more.”

Thus as the accurate and moderate and erudite Mosheim informs us, the French theologian Claude Pajon was of opinion that in order to produce that amendment of the heart which is called regeneration, nothing more is requisite than to put the body, if its habit is bad, into a sound state by the power of physic, and having done this, than to set truth and falsehood before the understanding, and virtue and vice before the will, clearly and distinctly in their genuine colours, so as that their nature and their properties may be fully apprehended. But the Doctor thought that Pajon carried his theory too far, and ought to have been physicked himself.

That learned and good man Barnabas Oley, the friend and biographer of the saintly Herbert, kept within the bounds of discretion, when he delivered an opinion of the same tendency. After showing what power is exercised by art over nature, 1st. in inanimate materials, 2dly. in vegetables, and 3dly. the largeness or latitude of its power over the memory, the imagination and locomotive faculties of sensitive creatures, he proceeds to the fourth rank, the rational, “which adds a diadem of excellency to the three degrees above mentioned, being an approach unto the nature angelical and divine.” “Now,” says he, “1st. in as much as the human body partly agrees with the first rank of materials inanimate, so can Art partly use it, as it uses them, to frame (rather to modify the frame of) it into great variety; the head thus, the nose so; and other ductile parts, as is seen and read, after other fashions. 2. Art can do something to the Body answerable to what Gardeners do to plants. If our Blessed Saviour's words (Matthew VI. 27.) deny all possibility of adding procerity or tallness to the stature, yet as the Lord Verulam notes to make the Body dwarfish, crook-shouldered (as some Persians did) to recover straightness, or procure slenderness, is in the power of Art. But, 3. much more considerable authority has it over the humours, either so to impel and enrage them, that like furious streams they shall dash the Body (that bottom wherein the precious Soul is embarked) against dangerous rocks, or run it upon desperate sands; or so to attemper and tune them, that they shall become like calm waters or harmonious instruments for virtuous habits, introduced by wholesome moral precepts, to practise upon. It is scarce credible what services the Noble Science of Physic may do unto Moral, (yea to Grace and Christian) virtue, by prescribing diet to prevent, or medicine to allay the fervors and eruptions of humours, of blood, and of that irriguum concupiscentiæ, or ὁ τροχὸς τῆς γενέσεως, especially if these jewels, their recipes, light into obedient ears. These helps of bettering nature, are within her lowest and middle region of Diet and Medicine.”

A sensible woman of the Doctor's acquaintance, (the mother of a young family) entered so far into his views upon this subject, that she taught her children from their earliest childhood to consider ill-humour as a disorder which was to be cured by physic. Accordingly she had always small doses ready, and the little patients whenever it was thought needful took rhubarb for the crossness. No punishment was required. Peevishness or ill-temper and rhubarb were associated in their minds always as cause and effect.

There are Divines who have thought that melancholy may with advantage be treated in age, as fretfulness in this family was in childhood. Timothy Rogers, who having been long afflicted with Trouble of Mind and the Disease of Melancholy, wrote a discourse concerning both for the use of his fellow sufferers, says of Melancholy, that “it does generally indeed first begin at the body, and then conveys its venom to the mind; and if any thing could be found that might keep the blood and spirits in their due temper and motion, this would obstruct its further progress, and in a great measure keep the soul clear. I pretend not (he continues) to tell you what medicines are proper to remove it, and I know of none, I leave you to advise with such as are learned in the profession of Physic.” And then he quotes a passage from “old Mr. Greenham's Comfort for afflicted Consciences.” “If a Man,” saith old Mr. Greenham, “that is troubled in conscience come to a Minister, it may be he will look all to the Soul and nothing to the Body: if he come to a Physician he considereth the Body and neglecteth the Soul. For my part, I would never have the Physician's counsel despised, nor the labour of the Minister neglected: because the Soul and Body dwelling together,—it is convenient, that as the Soul should be cured by the Word, by Prayer, by Fasting, or by Comforting, so the Body must be brought into some temperature by physic, and diet, by harmless diversions and such like ways; providing always that it be so done in the fear of God, as not to think by these ordinary means quite to smother or evade our troubles, but to use them as preparatives, whereby our Souls may be made more capable of the spiritual methods which are to follow afterwards.”

But Timothy Bright, Doctor of Physic, is the person who had the most profound reverence for the medical art. “No one,” he said, “should touch so holy a thing that hath not passed the whole discipline of liberal sciences, and washed himself pure and clean in the waters of wisdom and understanding.” “O Timothy Bright, Timothy Bright,” said the Doctor, “rightly wert thou called Timothy Bright, for thou wert a Bright Timothy!” Nor art thou less deserving of praise, O Timothy Bright, say I, for having published an abridgement of the Book of Acts and Monuments of the Church, written by that Reverend Father Master John Fox, and by thee thus reduced into a more accessible form,—for such as either through want of leisure or ability, have not the use of so necessary a history.


A slight answer to an intricate and useless question is a fit cover to such a dish; a cabbage leaf is good enough to cover a pot of mushrooms.


Yet in his serious moods the Doctor sadly confessed with that Sir George, whom the Scotch ungratefully call Bloody Mackenzie, that “as in the body natural, so likewise in the politic, Nature hath provided more diseases than the best of Physicians can prevent by remedies.” He knew that kingdoms as well as individuals have their agues and calentures, are liable to plethora sometimes and otherwhiles to atrophy, to fits of madness which no hellebore can cure, and to decay and dissolution which no human endeavours can avert. With the maladies of the State indeed he troubled himself not, for though a true-born Englishman, he was as to all politics of the day, of the Poco-curante school. But with those of the human frame his thoughts were continually employed; it was his business to deal with them; his duty and his earnest desire to heal them, under God's blessing, where healing was humanly possible, or to alleviate them, when any thing more than alleviation was beyond the power of human skill.

The origin of evil was a question upon which he never ventured. Here too, he said with Sir George Mackenzie, “as I am not able by the Jacob's Ladder of my merit to scale Heaven, so am I less able by the Jacob's Staff of my private ability to take up the true altitude of its mysteries:” and borrowing a play upon words from the same old Essayist, he thought the brain had too little pia mater, which was too curious in such inquiries. But the mysteries of his own profession afforded “ample room and verge enough” for his speculations, however wide and wild their excursions. Those mysteries are so many, so momentous, and so inscrutable that he wondered not at any superstitions which have been excogitated by bewildered imagination, and implicitly followed by human weakness in its hopes and fears, its bodily and its mental sufferings.

As little did he wonder at the theories advanced by men who were in their days, the Seraphic and Angelic and Irrefragable Doctors of the healing art:—the tartar of Paracelsus, the Blas and Gas of Van Helmont, nor in later times at the animalcular hypotheses of Langius and Paullinus; nor at the belief of elder nations, as the Jews, and of savages every-where that all maladies are the immediate work of evil spirits. But when he called to mind the frightful consequences to which the belief of this opinion has led, the cruelties which have been exercised, the crimes which have been perpetrated, the miseries which have been inflicted and endured, it made him shudder at perceiving that the most absurd error may produce the greatest mischief to society, if it be accompanied with presumption, and if any real or imaginary interest be connected with maintaining it.

The Doctor like his Master and benefactor Peter Hopkins, was of the Poco-curante school in politics. He said that the Warwickshire gentleman who was going out with his hounds when the two armies were beginning to engage at Edge-hill, was not the worst Englishman who took the field that day.

Local circ*mstances favoured this tendency to political indifference. It was observed in the 34th Chapter of this Opus that one of the many reasons for which our Philosopher thought Doncaster a very likeable place of residence was that it sent no Members to Parliament. And Yorkshire being too large a county for any of its great families to engage lightly in contesting it, the Election fever however it might rage in other towns or other parts of the county, never prevailed there. But the constitution of the Doctor's mind secured him from all excitement of this nature. Even in the days of Wilkes and Liberty, when not a town in England escaped the general Influenza, he was not in the slightest degree affected by it, nor did he ever take up the Public Advertiser for the sake of one of Junius's Letters.



Intendale chi può; che non è stretto
Alcuno a creder pïu di quel che vuole.


Among the lost works of antiquity, there are few poems which I should so much rejoice in recovering, as those of Simonides. Landor has said of him that he and Pindar wrote nothing bad; that his characteristics were simplicity, brevity, tenderness, and an assiduous accuracy of description. “If I were to mention,” he adds “what I fancy would give an English reader the best idea of his manner, I should say, the book of Ruth.”

One species of composition wherein he excelled was that which the Dutch in their straight-forward way call Lykzangen or Lykdichten, but for which we have no appropriate name,—poems in commemoration of the dead. Beautiful specimens are to be found in the poetry of all countries, and this might be expected, threnodial being as natural as amatory verse; and as the characteristic of the latter is passion with little reflection, that of the former is, as naturally, to be at the same time passionate and thoughtful.

Our own language was rich in such poems during the Elizabethan age, and that which followed it. Of foreign poets none has in this department exceeded Chiabrera.

There is a passage among the fragments of Simonides which is called by his old editor consolatory, παρηγορικόν: but were it not for the authority of Seneca, who undoubtedly was acquainted with the whole poem, I should not easily be persuaded that so thoughtful, so pensive, so moralizing a poet would, in any mood of mind have recommended such consolation:

Τοῦ μὲν θανόντος οὐκ ἄν ἐνθυμοίμεθα,
Εἴ τι φρονοῖμεν, πλεῖον ἡμέρας μιᾶς·

let us not call to mind the dead, if we think of him at all, more than a single day. Indeed I am not certain from what Seneca says, whether the poet was speaking in his own, or in an assumed character, nor whether he spoke seriously or satirically; or I cannot but suspect that the passage would appear very differently, if we saw it in its place. Malherbe gives the same sort of advice in his consolation to M. du Périer upon the death of a daughter.

Ne te lasse donc plus d'inutiles complaintes;
Mais sage à l'avenir,
Aime une ombre comme ombre, et des cendres éteintes
Eteins le souvenir;

such a feeling is much more in character with a Frenchman than with Simonides.

Seneca himself, Stoic though he was, gave no such advice, but accounted the remembrance of his departed friends among his solemn delights, not looking upon them as lost: “mihi amicorum defunctorum cogitatio dulcis ac blanda est; habui enim illos, tanquam amissurus; amissi tanquam habeam.

My venerable friend was not hardened by a profession, which has too often the effect of blunting the feelings, even if it does not harden the heart. His disposition and his happy education preserved him from that injury; and as his religion taught him that death was not in itself an evil,—that for him, and for those who believed with him, it had no sting,—the subject was as familiar to his meditations as to his professional practice. A speculation which Jeremy Taylor, without insisting on it, offers to the consideration of inquisitive and modest persons, appeared to him far more probable than the common opinion which Milton expresses when he says that the fruit of the Forbidden Tree brought death into the world. That, the Bishop argues, “which would have been, had there been no sin, and that which remains when the sin or guiltiness is gone, is not properly the punishment of the sin. But dissolution of the soul and body should have been, if Adam had not sinned; for the world would have been too little to have entertained those myriads of men, which must, in all reason, have been born from that blessing of ‘Increase and multiply,’ which was given at the first creation: and to have confined mankind to the pleasures of this world, in case he had not fallen, would have been a punishment of his innocence: but however, it might have been, though God had not been angry, and shall still be, even when the sin is taken off. The proper consequent of this will be, that when the Apostle says ‘Death came in by Sin,' and that ‘Death is the wages of Sin,’ he primarily and literally means the solemnities, and causes, and infelicities, and untimeliness of temporal death; and not merely the dissolution, which is directly no evil, but an inlet to a better state.”

As our friend agreed in this opinion with Bishop Taylor; and moreover as he read in Scriptures that Enoch and Elijah had been translated from this world without tasting of death; and as he deemed it probable at least, that St. John, the beloved disciple, had been favoured with a like exemption from the common lot, he thought that Asgill had been hardly dealt with in being expelled from Parliament for his “Argument,” that according to the Covenant of Eternal Life, revealed in the Scriptures, man might be translated from hence, without passing through death. The opinion Dr. Dove thought, might be enthusiastic, the reasoning wild, the conclusion untenable, and the manner of the book indecorous, or irreverent. But he had learnt that much, which appears irreverent, and in reality is so, has not been irreverently intended; and the opinion, although groundless, seemed to him any thing rather than profane.

But the exemptions which are recorded in the Bible could not, in his judgement be considered as showing what would have been the common lot if our first parents had preserved their obedience. This he opined would more probably have been euthanasy than translation; death, not preceded by infirmity and decay, but as welcome, and perhaps as voluntary as sleep.

Or possibly the transition from a corporeal to a spiritual,—or more accurately in our imperfect language,—from an earthly to a celestial state of being, might have been produced by some developement, some formal mutation as visible, (adverting to a favourite fancy of his own) as that which in the butterfly was made by the ancients their emblem of immortality. Bishop Van Mildert shews us upon scriptural authority that “the degree of perfection at which we may arrive has no definite limits, but is to go on increasing as long as this state of probation continues.” So in the paradisiacal, and possibly in the millennial state, he thought, that with such an intellectual and moral improvement, a corresponding organic evolution might keep pace; and that as the child expands into man, so man might mature into Angel.


Toutes veritez ne sont pas bonnes à dire serieusem*nt.


Warburton has argued that “from the nature of any action morality cannot arise, nor from its effects;—not from the first, because being only reasonable or unreasonable, nothing follows but a fitness in doing one, and an absurdity in doing the other;—not from the second, because did the good or evil produced make the action moral, brutes from whose actions proceed both good and evil, would have morality.” But Warburton's proposition is fallacious, and his reasoning is inconclusive; there is an essential difference between right and wrong, upon which the moral law is founded; and in the reductio ad absurdum upon which he relies, there is no absurdity. The language of the people is sometimes true to nature and philosophy when that of the learned departs widely from the one, and is mistaken in the other. When we call a beast vicious, we mean strictly what the word implies; and if we never speak of one as virtuous, it is because man reserves the praise of virtue to his own kind. The word good supplies its place. A horse that has any vice in him is never called good.

“In this case alone it is,” says Lord Shaftesbury, “we call any creature worthy or virtuous, when it can have the notion of a public interest, and can attain the speculation or science of what is morally good or ill, admirable or blameable, right or wrong. For though we may vulgarly call a horse vicious, yet we never say of a good one, nor of any mere beast, idiot, or changeling, though ever so good-natured, that he is worthy or virtuous.

“So that if a creature be generous, kind, constant, compassionate, yet if he cannot reflect on what he himself does, or sees others do, so as to take notice of what is worthy or honest; and make that notice or conception of worth and honesty to be an object of his affection, he has not the character of being virtuous; for thus, and no otherwise, he is capable of having a sense of right and wrong; a sentiment or judgement of what is done through just, equal and good affection, or the contrary.”

The Jews upon this subject agree with the common and natural opinion; and the Talmud accordingly, when any mischief has been done by an animal, distinguishes between an innocent beast and a vicious one, the owner of an innocent one being required to pay only half the amount of an injury thus, as it was deemed, casually incurred. There have been cases in which the laws have considered a beast as guilty of a crime, and amenable therefore to penal justice. In the year 1403 Simon de Baudemont, Lieutenant at Meulont of Jhean Lord of Maintenon the Bailiff of Mantes and Meulont, signed an attestation making known the expences, which had been incurred in order to execute justice on a Sow that had eaten a child. “For expences with the jail the charge was six sols. Item, to the executioner who came from Paris to Meulont to put the sentence in execution by the command of our Lord the Bailiff and of the king's Attorney, 54 sols. Item, for the carriage that conveyed her to execution, 6 sols. Item, for ropes to tie and haul her up, 2 sols, 8 deniers. Item, for gloves 12 deniers; amounting in the whole to 69 sols, 8 deniers.” It must be supposed the Executioner insisted upon the gloves, as a point of honour, that no one might reproach him with having sullied his hands by performing upon such a subject.

When Apollonius was introduced to the King of Babylon, the King invited him to sacrifice with him, for he was about to offer a Nisean horse to the Sun, selected for its beauty and adorned with all pomp for the occasion. But the Philosopher replied, “O King do you sacrifice after your manner, and give me leave to sacrifice after mine.” He then took frankincense, and prayed, saying, “O Sun, conduct me so far as it seemeth good to me and to thee. And let me become acquainted with virtuous men; but as for the wicked, let me neither know them nor they me.” And throwing the frankincense in the fire he observed the smoke, how it ascended and which way it bent, and just touching the fire when it seemed that he had sacrificed enough, he said to the King that he had performed the rites of his country, and forthwith withdrew that he might have nothing to do with blood and slaughter. Afterwards when the King took him where were many lions, bears and panthers reserved for sport, invited him to go with him and hunt them, Apollonius replied, “King, you should remember, that I did not chuse to be present at your sacrifice, much less should I like to see animals wounded, and by the pain of their wounds rendered more ferocious than nature has made them.”

Isaac la Peyresc thought differently from the Talmudists and the French Lawyers. He says, quoting the Apostle, Ubi non est lex, neque prævaricatio est. Where ‘no law is, there is no transgression.’ Prævaricatio autem eadem est, quæ transgressio legis: illa ipsa proprie quæ peccatum imputationis labe infecit. Quod ut compingatur in oculos: pecudes actualiter et materialiter eadem faciunt, quæ transgrediuntur homines; incestant, rapiunt, occidunt; non erit tamen uspiam adeo supinus qui dicat, pecudes peccare ad similitudinem transgressionis hominum; quia pecudes quæ hæc peccant, sequuntur tantum suam naturam et suam materiam; neque legum transgrediuntur ullam, quia nulla eis data est cujus transgressione formetur in eis et imputetur peccatum.

Yet it cannot be doubted that in such a case Peyresc himself, disregarding his own arguments would have ordered the Sow to be put to death.

This author derives peccatum from pecus, for, says he, “as often as a man wilfully departs from that right reason which constitutes him man,—as often as under the impulse of that brute matter which he has in common with beasts, he commits any action fitting in a beast, but unworthy in man, so often he seems to fall below his own species, and sink into that of a brute.” “Latini nomen peccati mutuati sunt à pecore. Quoties enim hom*o delirat à rectâ ratione illa quæ hominem constituit; quoties impulsu materiæ suæ quam habet communem cum brutis, quid agit dignum pecore, et indignum homine, toties cadere videtur à specie suâ, et incidere in speciem pecoris sive bruti.

Pecunia is known to be derived from Pecus, wealth, of which money is the representative, having originally consisted in cattle. As money is proverbially the root of all evil, this etymological connection might be remarkable enough to be deemed mysterious by those who are fond of discovering mysteries in words.

“Brutes,” Hutchinson says, “are made in scripture objects to inculcate the duties in society, and even emblems of spiritual and divine perfections. Many of them are more strictly bound in pairs than is common between men and women; many both males and females take greater care and pains, and run greater risques for the education and defence of their young, than any of our species. Many of them excel us in instructing their young, so in policy, in industry, in mechanical arts and operations. And there are other species among them, examples to deter men from the vices in society.” “The power in brutes,” he says, “is by the same agent as that in the body of man, and they are made of the same species of dust; most of them are guided by what is called instinct; some of them are tamed and disciplined and their powers made serviceable to men, and all of them are subject to the immediate power of God, when he pleases to direct them. Mechanism is carried so far in them, that in the parts or degrees of sensation they excel man; that by every one of their actions man might see the ne plus ultra of sense, and know how to distinguish the difference between them and the decayed image in him, to value it accordingly, and excite a proportionate zeal in him to recover the first perfections in that image, and augment them to secure the pleasure of exercising them upon the most desirable objects to all eternity.” So far so good, but this once influential writer makes an erroneous conclusion when he says, “if you allow anything farther than mechanism to Brutes, imagine that they have souls, or think, or act the part of souls: you either begin to think that you have no soul, or that it is, such as are in Brutes, mortal.”

The question de Origine et Naturâ Animarum in Brutis was brought before the Theologians of seven Protestant Academies in the year 1635, by Daniel Sennertus Professor of Medicine at Wittemberg, of whose Institutes Sir Thomas Browne says to a student in that art, “assure yourself that when you are a perfect master of them you will seldom meet with any point in physic to which you will not be able to speak like a man.” It was the opinion of this very learned professor that what in scholastic language is called the form of every perfect thing, (distinguished from figure,—forma est naturæ bonum, figura, artis opus) though it is not a soul, yet even in precious stones is something altogether different from the four elements, and that every soul, or living principle, is a certain quintessence; the wonderful operations in plants, and the more wonderful actions of brute creatures, far exceeding all power of the elements, had convinced him of this. But for asserting it, Freitagius the medical Professor at Groninghen attacked him fiercely as a blasphemer and a heretic. Sennertus being then an old man was more moved by this outrage than became one of his attainments and high character. So he laid the case before the Universities of Leipsic, Rostock, Basle, Marpurg, Konigsberg, Jena, Strasburg, and Altorff, and he requested their opinion upon these two propositions, whether what he had affirmed, that the souls of brute creatures had been created at first from nothing by the Deity, and were not of an elementary nature, but of something different, was blasphemous and heretical, or whether it were not an ignorant opinion of his assailant, that brute animals consisted wholly of elementary matter, both as to their body and soul?

They all answered the questions more or less at large, the Leipsic Doctors saying officii nostri duximus esse ut in timore Domini ea sub diligentem disquisitionem vocaremus. They saw nothing irreligious in the opinion that God at the creation had formed the bodies of brutes from elementary matter, and created their souls ex nihilo; after which both were reproduced in the natural course of generation; these souls however were not immortal, nor so separable from the matter with which they were united, as to survive it, and exist without it, or return again into their bodies; but when the animals died, the animal soul died also. Thus the excellence of man was unimpaired, and the privilege of the human soul remained inviolate, the prerogative of man being that God had breathed into him the breath of life, whereby he became a living soul. Thus they fully acquitted Sennertus of the charge brought against him; and waiving any such direct condemnation of his accuser as he had desired, condemned in strong terms the insolent manner in which the accusation had been preferred.

The Theologians of Rostock replied more briefly. Dismissing at once the charge of blasphemy and heresy as absurd, they treated the question as purely philosophical, saying, “Quod de elementari naturâ animarum brutorum dicitur, de illo nostrum non est disserere. Arbitramur, hæc non solum Philosophorum, sed et libertati, super his modestè, veritatis inveniendæ studio, philosophantium permittenda; quos nimium constringere, et unius hominis, Aristotelis, alteriusve, velle alligare opinioni, pugnare videtur cum naturâ intellectus humani, quem nulli opinioni servum Deus esse voluit.” Concerning the second question, they were not willing, they said, to draw the saw of contention with any one; “Si tamen, quod sentimus dicendum est, respondemus, illum qui cœlum et terram ex nihilo creavit, non eguisse ullâ materiâ, ex quâ brutorum animas produceret; sed illi placuisse iis quæ Moses recitat verbis compellare terram et aquam, et ad solius Omnipotentis nutum et imperium, ex subjectis quæ compellârit, animas emersisse.” This answer Sennertus obtained through his friend Lauremberg the Horticulturist and Botanist, who advised him at the same time to disregard all invidious attacks; “Turbas tibi dari quòd liberè philosophari satagis, id ipse nôsti, neque novum esse, neque insolens, hâc ætate. Eandem tecum sortem experiuntur omnes eleganter et solidè eruditi, quibus qui paria facere non valet, invidet et oblatrat. Tu verò noli hoc nomine te quicquam macerare neu obtrectationem illam gravius vocare ad animum. Nota est orbi tua eruditio, tua virtus et ingenuitas, quæ ea propter nullam patietur jacturam. Tu modo, ut hactenus fecisti, pergito bene mereri de Republicâ literariâ, et mihi favere, certò tibi persuasus, habere te hîc loci hominem tui amantem, et observantem maxime.

Zuinger answered more at large for the Faculty at Basle. They bade him not to marvel that he should be accused of heresy and blasphemy, seeing that the same charge has been brought against their Theologians, who when they taught according to Scripture that God alone was the Father of the spirits as their parents were of their bodies, and that the reasonable soul therefore was not derived from their parents, but infused and concreated θύραθεν à Deo ἀμέσως were accused either of Pelagianism, as if they had denied Original Sin, or of blasphemy, as if they had made God the author of sin. They admonished him to regard such calumnies more justly and quietly, for evil and invidious tongues could never detract from that estimation which he had won for him in the Republic of Letters. Nevertheless as he had asked for their opinion, they would freely deliver it.

First then as to the postulate which he had premised in the Epistle accompanying his Questions, that wherever there is creation, something is produced from nothing, (ubicunque creatio est, ibi aliquid ex nihilo producitur) if by this he intended, that in no mode of creation, whether it were κτίσις, or ποίησις, or πλᾶσις there was no substrate matter out of which something was made by the omnipotent virtue of the Deity, in that case they thought, that his opinion was contrary to Scripture, forasmuch as it plainly appeared in the book of Genesis, that neither the male nor female were created from nothing, but the man from the dust of the ground, and the woman from one of his ribs, tanquam præcedentibus corporum materieribus. But though it is indubitable that the creation of the soul in either parent was immediately ex nihilo, as was shewn in the creation of Adam we see nevertheless that the name of creation has been applied by Moses to the formation (plasmationi) of their bodies. But if Sennertus's words were to be understood as intending that wherever there was a creation, something was produced in this either ex nihilo absolutely, or relatively and κατά τι out of something, some preceding matter, which though certainly in itself something, yet relatively,—that which is made out of it, is nothing, (nihil, aut non ens) because it hath in itself no power, liability, or aptitude that it should either be, or become that which God by his miraculous and omnipotent virtue makes it, they had no difficulty in assenting to this. As for example, the dust of which God formed the body of Adam was something and nothing. Something in itself, for it was earth; nothing in respect of that admirable work of the human body which God formed of it.

As for the question whether his opinion was blasphemous and heretical, it could be neither one nor the other, for it neither derogated from the glory of God, nor touched upon any fundamental article of faith. Some there were who opined that Chaos was created ex nihilo, which they understood by Tohu Vabohu, from which all things celestial and elementary were afterwards mediately created by God. Others exploding Chaos held that heaven, earth, water and air, were created ex nihilo. But they did not charge each other with blasphemy, and heresy because of this disagreement, and verily they who thought that the souls of brutes were originally created by God ex nihilo appeared no more to derogate from the might, majesty and glory of God, than those who held that brutes were wholly created from the element. The virtue of an omnipotent God became in either case presupposed.

There was no heresy they said in his assertion that the souls of brutes were not of an elementary nature, but of something different: provided that a just distinction were made between the rational soul and the brute soul, the difference being not merely specific but generic. For the rational soul is altogether of a spiritual nature and essence, adeòque Ens uti vocant transcendens, bearing the image of God in this, that properly speaking it is a spirit, as God is a Spirit. 2d. The rational soul as such, as Aristotle himself testifies, has no bodily energies, or operations; its operations indeed are performed in the body but not by the body, nor by bodily organs; but the contrary is true concerning the souls of brutes. 3dly. The rational soul, though it be closely conjoined with the body and hypostatically united therewith, nevertheless is separable therefrom, so that ever out of the body sit ὑφιστάμενον aliquod; but the souls of brutes are immersed in matter and in bodies, so that they cannot subsist without them. Lastly, the rational soul alone hath the privilege of immortality, it being beyond all controversy that the souls of brutes are mortal and corruptible. These differences being admitted, and saving the due prerogative, excellence, and as it were divinity of the rational soul, the Theological Faculty of Basil thought it of little consequence if any one held that the souls of brutes were of something different from elementary matter.

They delivered no opinion in condemnation of his assailant's doctrine, upon the ground that the question was not within their province. “Certum est,” they said, “uti formas rerum omnium difficulter, et non nisi a posteriori, et per certas περιστάσεις, cognoscere possumus; ita omnium difficillimè Animarum naturam nos pervestigare posse, nostramque, uti in aliis, ita in hac materiâ, scientiam esse, ut scitè Scaliger loquitur, umbram in sole. Ac non dubium, Deum hic vagabundis contemplationibus nostris ponere voluisse, ut disceremus imbecillitatis et cæcitatis nostræ conscientiâ humiliari, cum stupore opera ejus admirari, atque cum modestia et sobrietate philosophari.” They declared however that the rational soul differed from that of brutes in its nature, essence, properties and actions, and that this was not to be doubted of by Christians: that the soul of brutes was not spiritual, not immaterial, that all its actions were merely material, and performed by corporeal organs, and they referred to Sennertus's own works as rightly affirming that it was partible, et dividatur ad divisionem materiæ, ita ut cum corporis parte aliquid animæ possit avelli, inferring here as it seems from a false analogy that animal life was like that of vegetables, quæ ex parte a plantâ avulsâ propagantur.

They entered also into some curious criticism metaphysical and philological upon certain texts pertinent to the questions before them. When the dust became lice throughout all the land of Egypt, the mutation of the dust into lice was to be understood: so too in the creation of Adam, and the formation of Eve, there could be no doubt concerning the matter from which both were made. But when water was miraculously produced from the rock, and from the hollow place in the jaw, ibi sanè nemo sanus dicet, aquam è petrâ aut maxillâ à Deo ita fuisse productam, ut petra aut maxilla materiam aquæ huic præbuerit.

The answer from Marpurg was short and satisfactory. There also the Professors waived the philosophical question, saying Nos falcem in alienam messem non mittemus, nec Morychi in alieno choro pedem nostrum ponemus, sed nostro modulo ac pede nos metiemur, nobis id etiam dictum putantes, τὰ ὑπὲρ ἡμᾶς οὐδὲν πρὸς ἡμᾶς. Nobis nostra vendicabimus, Philosophis philosophica relinquentes. Tertullian they said had asserted that Philosophers were the Patriarchs of Heretics, nevertheless a philosophical opinion, while it keeps within its own circles, and does not interfere with the mysteries of faith, is no heresy. They adduced a subtle argument to show that upon the point in question there was no real difference between something and nothing. Creatio ex nihilo intelligitur fieri tum ratione sui principii, quod est nihilum negativum; tum ratione indispositionis, ob quam materia, ex quâ aliquid fit, in productione pro nihilo habetur. Quamvis igitur animæ bestiarum dicerentur in Creatione ex potentiâ materiæ eductæ, nihilominus ob indispositionem materiæ quam formæ eductæ multum superant, ex nihilo creatæ essent. And they agreed with Luther and with those other Divines who held that the words in the first Chapter of Genesis whereby the Earth was bade to bring forth grass, herbs, trees and living creatures after their kind, and the water to bring forth fishes, were to be strictly understood, the earth and the waters having ex Dei benedictione, activè et verè produced them.

The answer from Konigsberg was not less favourable. The dispute which Freitagius had raised, infelix illa σύῤῥαξις they called it, ought to have been carried on by that Professor with more moderation. Granting that the souls of brutes were not created separately like human souls but conjointly with the body, it still remained doubtful quomodo se habuerit divinum partim ad aquam et terram factum mandatum, partim simultanea brutalium animarum cum corporibus creatio. For earth and water might here be variously considered, 1, as the element, 2, as the matter, 3, as the subject, and 4, ut mater vel vivus uterus ad animalium productionem immediatâ Dei operatione exaltatus. Water and earth themselves were first created, and on the fifth the vital and plastic power was communicated to them, in which by virtue of the omnipotent word they still consist. They were of opinion that the souls of brutes and of plants also, were divinely raised above an elementary condition, it being always understood that the human soul far transcended them. The expression of Moses that formed every beast and every fowl out of the ground, proved not the matter whereof, but the place wherein they were formed.

The Faculty at Jena returned a shorter reply. The ingratitude of the world toward those who published their lucubrations upon such abstruse points, reminded them they said of Luther's complaint in one of his Prefaces: Sæpe recordor boni Gersonis dubitantis num quid boni publicè scribendmn et proferendum sit. Si scriptio omittitur, multæ animæ negliguntur, quæ liberari potuissent; si verò illa præstatur, statim Diabolus præstò est cum linguis pestiferis et calumniarum plenis, quæ omnia corrumpunt et inficiunt. What was said of the production of fish, plants and animals might be understood synecdochically, salvâ verborum Mosaicorum integritate, as the text also was to be understood concerning the creation of man, where it is said that the Lord formed him of the dust of the earth, and immediately afterwards that he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

The Strasburg Divines entered upon the subject so earnestly that their disquisition far exceeds in length the whole of the communications from the other Universities. Sennertus could not have wished for a more elaborate or a more gratifying reply. The Faculty at Altdorff said that the question was not a matter of faith, and therefore no one could be obnoxious to the charge of heresy for maintaining or controverting either of the opposite opinions. They seem however to have agreed with neither party; not with Freitagius because they denied that brute souls were of an elementary nature, not with Sennertus, because they denied that they were created at first from nothing. It is manifest, said they, that they are not now created from nothing, because it would follow from thence that they subsist of themselves, and are not dependent upon matter, and are consequently immortal, which is absurd. It remained therefore that the souls of brutes, as they do not now receive their existence from mere nothing, so neither did they at the first creation, but from something pre-supposed, which the Peripatetics call the power of matter or of the subject, which from the beginning was nothing else and still is nothing else, than its propension or inclination to this or that form. Quæ forma multiplex, cum etiam in potentia primi subjecti passiva præcesserit, per miraculosam Dei actionem ex illa fuit educta, actumque essendi completum in variis animalium speciebus accepit.

Sennertus either published these papers or prepared them for publication just before his death. They were printed in octavo at Wittenberg, with the title De Origine et Natura Animarum in Brutis, Sententiæ Cl. Theologorum in aliquot Germaniæ Academiis, 1638. Sprengel observes that none of the Historians of Philosophy have noticed,—

Cætera desunt.



Is't you, Sir, that know things?

SOOTH. In nature's infinite book of secresy,
A little I can read.

The Jesuit Garasse censured his contemporaries Huarte and Barclay for attempting, the one in his Examen de los Ingenios, the other in his Icon Animorum, to class men according to their intellectual characters: ces deux Autheurs, says he, se sont rendus criminels contre l'esprit de l'homme, en ce qu'ils ont entrepris de ranger en cinq ou six cahiers, toutes les diversitez des esprits qui peuvent estre parmy les hommes, comme qui voudroit verser toute l'eau de la mer dans une coquille. For his own part, he had learnt, he said, et par la lecture, et par l'experience, que les hommes sont plus dissemblables en esprit qu'en visage.

Garasse was right; for there goes far more to the composition of an individual character, than of an individual face. It has sometimes happened that the portrait of one person has proved also to be a good likeness of another. Mr. Hazlitt recognized his own features and expression in one of Michael Angelo's devils. And in real life two faces, even though there be no relationship between the parties, may be all but indistinguishably alike, so that the one shall frequently be accosted for the other; yet no parity of character can be inferred from this resemblance. Poor Capt. Atkins, who was lost in the Defence off the coast of Jutland in 1811, had a double of this kind, that was the torment of his life; for this double was a swindler, who having discovered the lucky facsimileship, obtained goods, took up money, and at last married a wife in his name. Once when the real Capt. Atkins returned from a distant station, this poor woman who was awaiting him at Plymouth, put off in a boat, boarded the ship as soon as it came to anchor, and ran to welcome him as her husband.

The following Extraordinary Investigation, cut out of a Journal of the day, would have excited our Doctor's curiosity, and have led him on to remoter speculations.

“On Tuesday afternoon an adjourned inquest was held at the Christchurch workhouse. Boundary-row, Blackfriars-road, before Mr. R. Carter, on the body of Eliza Baker, aged 17, who was found drowned at the steps of Blackfriars-bridge, on Saturday morning, by a police constable. Mr. Peter Wood, an eating-house-keeper, in the Bermondsey New-road, near the Brick-layers Arms, having seen a paragraph in one of the Sunday newspapers, that the body of a female had been taken out of the Thames on the previous day, and carried to the workhouse to be owned, and, from the description given, suspecting that it was the body of a young female who had lived in his service, but who had been discharged by his wife on account of jealousy, he went to the workhouse and recognized the body of the unfortunate girl. He was very much agitated, and he cut off a lock of her hair, and kissed the corpse. He immediately went to an undertaker, and gave orders for the funeral. He then went to the deceased's parents, who reside in Adelaide-place, Whitecross-street, Cripplegate, and informed them of the melancholy fate of their daughter. They also went to the workhouse, and, on being shown the body, were loud in their lamentations.

“On the Jury having assembled on Monday evening, they proceeded to view the body of the deceased, and, on their return, a number of witnesses were examined, mostly relations, who swore positively to the body. From the evidence it appeared that the deceased had lived with Mr. Wood as a servant for four months, but his wife being jealous, she was discharged about a month ago, since which time Mr. Wood had secretly supplied her with money, and kept her from want. Mrs. Baker, the mother of the deceased, and other relations, in giving their evidence, spoke in severe terms of the conduct of Mr. Wood, and said that they had no doubt but that he had seduced the unfortunate girl, which had caused her to commit suicide.

“The Jury appeared to be very indignant, and, after five hours' deliberation, it was agreed to adjourn the case until Tuesday afternoon, when they re-assembled. Mr. Wood, the alleged seducer, was now present, but he was so overcome by his feelings at the melancholy occurrence, that nothing could be made of him; in fact, he was like a man in a state of stupefaction. Mrs. Wood, the wife was called in; she is twenty-eight years older than her husband, and shook her head at him, but nothing was elicited from her, her passion completely overcoming her reason.

“A Juryman.—The more we dive into this affair the more mysterious it appears against Mr. Wood.

“This remark was occasioned on account of some marks of violence on the body; there had been a violent blow on the nose, a black mark on the forehead, and a severe wound on the thigh. The Jury were commencing to deliberate on their verdict, when a drayman in the employ of Messrs. Whitbread and Co., brewers, walked into the jury-room, and said that, he wished to speak to the Coroner and Jury.

“Mr. Carter.—‘What is it you want?’

“Drayman.—‘I comes to say, gentlemen, that Mrs. Baker's daughter, you are now holding an inquest on, is now alive and in good health.’

“The Coroner and Jury (in astonishment).—‘What do you say?’

“Drayman.—‘I'll swear that I met her to-day in the streets, and spoke to her.’

“The Coroner, Witnesses, and Jury were all struck with amazement, and asked the drayman if he could bring Eliza Baker forward, which he undertook to do in a short time.

“In the interim the Jury and Witnesses went again to view the body of the deceased. Mr. Wood shed tears over the corpse, and was greatly affected, as well as her relations: the drayman's story was treated as nonsense, but the Jury, although of the same opinion, were determined to await his return. In about a quarter of an hour the drayman returned, and introduced the real Eliza Baker, a fine looking young woman, and in full health. To depict the astonishment of the relations and of Mr. Wood is totally impossible, and at first they were afraid to touch her. She at last went forward, and took Mr. Wood by the hand (who stood motionless), and exclaimed ‘How could you make such a mistake as to take another body for mine? Do you think I would commit such an act?’ Mr. Wood could not reply, but fell senseless in a fit, and it was with great difficulty that seven men could hold him. After some time he recovered, and walked away, to the astonishment of every one, with Eliza Baker, leaving his wife in the jury-room. Several of the Jurors remarked that they never saw such a strong likeness in their lives as there was between Eliza Baker and the deceased, which fully accounted for the mistake that the Witnesses had made.

“The whole scene was most extraordinary, and the countenances of Witnesses and Jurymen it is impossible to describe. There was no evidence to prove who the deceased was: and the Jury, after about eleven hours' investigation, returned a verdict of ‘Found drowned,’ but by what means the deceased came into the water there is no evidence to prove.”

But in such likenesses, the resemblance is probably never so exact as to deceive an intimate friend, except upon a cursory glance, at first sight: even between twins, when any other persons might be perplexed, the parents readily distinguish. The varieties of countenances are far more minute and consequently more numerous than would appear upon light consideration. A shepherd knows the face of every sheep in his flock, though to an inexperienced eye they all seem like one another.

The tendency of Nature is to preserve its own archetypal forms, the tendency of art and of what is called accident being to vary them. The varieties which are produced in plants by mere circ*mstances of soil and situation are very numerous, but those which are produced by culture are almost endless. Moral and physical circ*mstances effect changes as great, both externally and internally in man. Whoever consults the elaborate work of Dr. Prichard on the Physical History of Mankind, may there see it established by the most extensive research and the most satisfactory proofs, that the varieties of the human race, great and striking as they are, are all derived from one stock; philosophical enquiry here when fully and fairly pursued confirming the scriptural account, as it has done upon every subject which is within the scope of human investigation.

Dr. Dove in the course of his professional practise, had frequent opportunities of observing the stamp of family features at those times when it is most apparent; at birth, and in the last stage of decline,—for the elementary lines of the countenance come forth as distinctly in death as they were shaped in the womb. It is one of the most affecting circ*mstances connected with our decay and dissolution, that all traces of individual character in the face should thus disappear, the natural countenance alone remaining, and that in this respect the fresh corpse should resemble the new born babe. He had in the same way opportunities for observing that there were family dispositions both of body and mind, some remaining latent till the course of time developed them, and others till circ*mstances seemed as it were to quicken them into action. Whether these existed in most strength where the family likeness was strongest was a point on which his own observation was not extensive enough for him to form an opinion. Speculatively he inclined to think that moral resemblances were likely to manifest themselves in the countenance, but that constitutional ones must often exist where there could be no outward indication of them. Thus a family heart, (metaphorically speaking) may be recognized in the “life, conduct and behaviour,” though the face should be a false index; and hereditary tendencies in the great organs of life show themselves only in family diseases.

Under our Saxon Kings, a person was appointed in every great Monastery to record public events, register the deaths, promotions, &c., in the community, and enter in this current chronicle every occurrence in the neighbourhood which was thought worthy of notice. At the end of every reign, a summary record was compiled from these materials,—and to this we owe our Saxon Chronicle, the most ancient and authentic in Europe.

But he often regretted that in every generation so much knowledge was lost, and that so much experience was continually allowed to run to waste, many—very many of the evils which afflict mankind being occasioned by this neglect and perpetuated by it. Especially he regretted this in his own art: and this regret would not have been removed if Medical Journals had been as numerous in his days as they are at present. His wishes went much farther.

We are told that in the sixteenth century the great Lords in France piqued themselves upon having able and learned men for their secretaries, and treated them as their friends. The principal business of such secretaries was to keep a journal of the most interesting events; and the masters having witnessed or borne a part in the business of state were well able to inform them of the intrigues and tortuous policy of their own times. From such journals it is that most of those old Memoirs have been formed, in which French literature is so peculiarly rich. They usually include as much general history as is in any way connected with the personage whom the writer served.

Boswell, who if ever man went to Heaven for his good works, has gone there for his life of Johnson,—Boswell, I say thought, and Johnson agreed with him, that there ought to be a chronicler kept in every considerable family, to preserve the characters and transactions of successive generations. In like manner Milton's friend, Henry More the Platonist and Poet, would have had the stories of apparitions and witchcraft publicly recorded, as they occurred in every parish, thinking that this course would prove “one of the best antidotes against that earthly and cold disease of Sadducism and Atheism,” which he said, “if not prevented might easily grow upon us, to the hazard of all religion and the best kinds of philosophy.” Our philosopher had more comprehensive notions of what ought to be. He wished not only for such domestic chronicles, but that in every considerable family there should be a compleat set of portraits preserved in every generation, taken in so small a size that it might never be necessary to eject them in order to make room for others. When this had been done for some centuries, it might be seen how long a family likeness remains, whether Nature repeats her own forms at certain times, or after uncertain intervals; or whether she allows them to be continually modified, as families intermarry, till the original type at last may altogether be obliterated.

In China there are not only learned men whose business it is to record every thing remarkable that is either said or done by the reigning Emperor, (which is done for his own instruction, as well as for that of his successors,) but the great families, have in like manner their records, and these are considered as the most precious part of the inheritance which descends from sire to son. All who aspire to any high office are required to be well acquainted with the history of their ancestors, and in that history their indispensable qualifications are examined.

That excellent good man Gilpin drew up a family record of his great grandfather, grandfather and father, who had all been “very valuable men.” “I have often thought,” said he, “such little records might be very useful in families; whether the subjects of them were good or bad. A light house may serve equally the purpose of leading you into a haven, or deterring you from a rock.”1

If it may stand with your soft blush, to hear
Yourself but told unto yourself, and see
In my character what your features be,
You will not from the paper slightly pass.
No lady, but at some time loves her glass.
And this shall be no false one, but as much
Removed, as you from need to have it such.2


There was once a German who being poet, physician and physiognomist, saw in a vision of Paradise Physiognomy herself, and received from her a most gracious compliment, which lay buried among the Heidelberg Manuscripts in the Vatican, till Frederick Adelung in the year 1799, brought it to light some centuries after the very name of the poet had perished. Read the compliment, reader, if thou canst as given by the German antiquary, without note, comment, glossary, or punctuation. I can answer for the fidelity of my transcript, though not of his text.

Zu mir in gar glicher wise
Quam us hymels paradyse
Vil manich schöne frouwe name
Jeglicher wol die kron zam
Sie waren schöne und gecleit
Vrauwelicher zuchte mynnekeit
Sie ziert ine danne riche gewant
Mir wart iglicher name bekant
Wanne er in geschriben was
An ir vorgespan als ich las

PHISONOMIA kunstenriche
Gutlicht redt wider mich
Wir byden dich herre bescheiden
Das du in gottes geleiden
Dust machen myne lobelich kunst
So hastu mynneclichen gunst
Von mir und myner gespilen vil
Der igliche dich des bidden wil
Das du in erkennen gebest
Und du in unser früntschaft lebest
Alleine din cleit sy donne
Got wil dir geben solich wonne
Die mannich gelerter mane
Nummer mer gewynnen kan.

There was no truth in Physiognomy when she made this promise to her medico-poet. Yet he deserved her gratitude for he taught that her unerring indications might be read not in the countenance alone, but in all the members of the human body.

In cases of disputed inheritance, when it is contended that the heir claimant is not the son of his reputed father, but a spurious, or supposititious child, such a series of portraits would be witnesses, he thought, against whose evidence no exception could be taken. Indeed such evidence would have disproved the impudent story of the Warming Pan, if any thing had depended upon legitimacy in that case; and in our times it might divest D. Miguel of all claim to the crown of Portugal, by right of birth.

But these legal and political uses he regarded as trifling when compared with the physiological inferences which in process of time might be obtained, for on this subject Mr. Shandy's views were far short of Dr. Dove's. The improvement of noses would be only an incidental consequence of the knowledge that might be gathered from the joint materials of the family portrait gallery, and the family chronicle. From a comparison of these materials it might be inferred with what temperaments of mind and of body, with what qualities good or evil, certain forms of feature, and certain characters of countenance were frequently found to be connected. And hence it might ultimately be learnt how to neutralize evil tendencies by judicious intermarriages, how to sweeten the disposition, cool the temper and improve the blood.

To be sure there were some difficulties in the way. You might expect from the family chronicler a faithful notice of the diseases which had proved dangerous or fatal; to this part of his duty there could be no objection. But to assure the same fidelity concerning moral and intellectual failings or vices, requires a degree of independence not to be hoped for from a writer so circ*mstanced. If it had still been the custom for great families to keep a Fool, as in old times, our Philosopher in his legislative character would have required that the Fool's more notable sayings should be recorded, well knowing that in his privileged freedom of speech, and the monitions and rebukes which he conveyed in a jest, the desiderated information would be contained. But in our present state of manners he could devise no better check upon the family historiographer,—no better provision against his sins both of omission and of commission, than that of the village or parish chronicle; for in every village or parish he would have had every notable event that occurred within its boundaries duly and authentically recorded. And as it should be the Chronicler's duty to keep a Remembrancer as well as a Register, in which whatever he could gather from tradition, or from the recollections of old persons was to be preserved, the real character which every person of local distinction had left behind him among his domestics and his neighbours would be found here, whatever might be recorded upon his monument.

By these means, one supplying the deficiencies of the other, our philosopher thought a knowledge of the defects and excellencies of every considerable family might be obtained, sufficient for the purposes of physiology, and for the public good.

There was a man in the neighbouring village of Bentley, who he used to say, would have made an excellent Parish Chronicler, an office which he thought might well be united with that of Parish Clerk.3 This person went by the name of Billy Dutchman: he was a journeyman stone-mason, and kept a book wherein he inserted the name of every one by whom he had been employed, how many days he had worked in every week, and how many he had been idle, either owing to sickness or any other cause, and what money he had earned in each week, summing up the whole at the year's end. His earning in the course of nine and twenty years beginning in 1767, amounts to £583. 18s. 3d., being, he said, upon an average, seven shillings and ninepence a week.

3 Such a Chronicler is old James Long—now 77 years of age—50 of which he has served in the capacity of Parish Clerk of West-Tarring, in the County of Sussex. There is no by-gone incident in this, or the neighbouring Parishes,—no mere—stone or balk—with which he is not acquainted. Aged and truthful Chronicler!

—Enjoy thy plainness
It nothing ill becomes thee.—

Since the above was written the old man has been gathered to his fathers. Requiescat in pace!

The Doctor would have approved of Jacob Abbott's extension of his own plan, and adaptation of it to a moral and religious purpose. Jacob Abbott, without any view to the physical importance of such documents, advises that domestic journals should be kept, “Let three or four of the older brothers and sisters of a family agree to write a history of the family, any father would procure a book for this purpose, and if the writers are young, the articles intended for insertion in it might be written first on separate paper, and then corrected and transcribed. The subjects suitable to be recorded in such a book will suggest themselves to every one; a description of the place of residence at the time of commencing the book, with similar descriptions of other places from time to time, in case of removals; the journies or absences of the head of the family or its members; the sad scenes of sickness or death which may be witnessed, and the joyous ones of weddings, or festivities, or holydays; the manner in which the members are from time to time employed; and pictures of the scenes which the fire-side group exhibits in the long winter evening, or the conversation which is heard, and the plans formed at the supper table or in the morning walk.

“If a family, where it is first established, should commence with such a record of their own efforts and plans, and the various dealings of Providence towards them, the father and the mother carrying it on jointly until the children are old enough to take the pen, they would find the work a source of great improvement and pleasure. It would tend to keep distinctly in view the great objects for which they ought to live; and repeatedly recognizing, as they doubtless would do, the hand of God, they would feel more sensibly and more constantly their dependence upon him.”


I will to satisfy and please myself, make an Utopia of mine own, a new Atlantis, a poetical commonwealth of mine own, in which I will freely domineer, build cities, make laws, statutes, as I list myself. And why may I not?


The Doctor's plan would have provided materials for a moral and physiological Cadastre, or Domesday Book. This indeed is the place for stating what the reader, knowing as much as he knows of our Philosopher, will not be surprised to hear, that Dr. Dove had conceived an Utopia of his own. He fixed it an island, thinking the sea to be the best of all neighbours, and he called it Columbia, not as pretending that it had been discovered by his “famous namesake,” but for a reason which the sagacious may divine.

The scheme of his government had undergone many changes, although from the beginning it was established upon the eternal and immutable principles of truth and justice. Every alteration was intended to be final; yet it so happened that, notwithstanding the proposed perpetuity of the structure, and the immutability of the materials, he frequently found cause to exercise the imperscriptible and inalienable right of altering and improving his own work. He justified this, as being himself sole legislator, and moreover the only person in existence whose acceptance of the new constitution was necessary for its full establishment; and no just objection, he said, could be advanced against any of these changes, if they were demonstrably for the better, not merely innovations, but improvements also; for no possible revolution however great, or however suddenly effected, could occasion the slightest evil to his Commonwealth. Governments in nubibus being mended as easily as they are made, for which, as for many other reasons, they are so much better than any that are now actually existing, have existed, or ever will exist.

At first he denominated his Commonwealth an Iatrarchy, and made the Archiatros, or Chief Physician, head of the state. But upon after consideration he became convinced that the cares of general government, after all the divisions and subdivisions which could be made, were quite enough for any one head, however capacious and however strong, and however ably assisted. Columbia therefore was made an absolute monarchy, hereditary in the male line, according to the Salic law.

How did he hold sweet dalliance with his crown,
And wanton with dominion, how lay down,
Without the sanction of a precedent,
Rules of most large and absolute extent,
Rules which from sense of public virtue spring,
And all at once commence a Patriot King!1

O Simon Bolivar, once called the Liberator, if thou couldst have followed the example of this less practical but more philosophical statesman, and made and maintained thyself as absolute monarch of thy Columbia, well had it been for thy Columbians and for thee! better still for thyself, it may be feared, if thou hadst never been born.


There was an order of hereditary nobles in the Doctor's Columbia; men were raised to that rank as a just reward for any signal service which they had rendered to the state; but on the other hand an individual might be degraded for any such course of conduct as evinced depravity in himself, or was considered as bringing disgrace upon his order. The chiefs of the Hierarchy, the Iatrarchy, the Nomarchy and the Hoplarchy (under which title both sciences, naval and military, were comprised) were like our Bishops, Peers of the realm by virtue of their station, and for life only.

I do not remember what was the scheme of representation upon which his House of Commons was elected, farther than it commenced with universal suffrage and ascended through several stages, the lowest assembly chusing electors for the next above it, so that the choice ultimately rested with those who from their education and station of life might be presumed to exercise it with due discretion. Such schemes are easily drawn up; making and mending constitutions, to the entire satisfaction of the person so employed, being in truth among the easiest things in the world. But like most Utopianizers the legislator of this Columbia had placed his Absolute King and his free People under such strict laws, and given such functions to the local authorities, and established such complete and precise order in every tything, that the duties of the legislative body were easy indeed; this its very name imported; for he called it the Conservative Assembly.

Nor is Crown-wisdom any quintessence
Of abstract truth, or art of Government,
More than sweet sympathy, or counterpease
Of humours, temper'd happily to please.2


The legislator of Columbia considered good policy as a very simple thing. He said to his King, his Three Estates and his collective nation, with the inspired lawgiver “and now Israel what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul: to keep the commandments of the Lord and his statutes, which I command thee, this day, for thy good?” And he added with St. Paul, “now the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”

Take care of the pennies, says the frugal old Proverb, and the pounds will take care of themselves. “Les petites choses,” says M. de Custine, sont tout ce qu'on sent de l'existence; les grandes se savent, ce qui est très-différent. Take care of little things, was the Doctor's maxim as a legislator, and great ones will then proceed regularly and well. He was not ignorant that legislators as well as individuals might be penny-wise and pound foolish; proofs enough he had seen in the conduct of the English Government, and many more and more glaring ones he would have seen if he had lived to behold the progress of œconomical reform and liberal legislation. He also knew that an over-attention to trifles was one sure indication of a little mind; but in legislation as in experimental philosophy, he argued, that circ*mstances which appeared trifling to the ignorant, were sometimes in reality of essential importance, that those things are not trifles upon which the comfort of domestic life, the peace of a neighbourhood, and the stability of a state depend, and yet all these depend mainly upon things apparently so trifling as common schools and parochial government.

“I have ever observed it,” says Ben Jonson, “to have been the office of a wise patriot, among the greatest affairs of the state, to take care of the commonwealth of learning. For schools they are the seminaries of state; and nothing is worthier the study of a statesman, than that part of the republic which we call the advancement of letters.”



Io non ci ho interresso
Nessun, nè vi fui mai, ne manco chieggo
Per quel ch'io ne vò dir, d'esservi messo.
Vò dir, che senza passion eleggo,
E non forzato, e senza pigliar parte;
Di dirne tutto quel, ch'intendo e veggo.


One cause why infidelity gained ground among the middle and the lower classes was, that owing to the increase of population, the growth of the metropolis, and the defects of our Church Establishment, no provision had been made for their religious instruction. Every one belonged to a parish, but in populous parishes a small part only of the parishioners belonged to the Clergyman's flock; his fold in very many places would not have contained half, and in some, not a tenth of them; they were left therefore as stray sheep, for false shepherds and for the wolf. This was the main cause of the increase of dissenters among us, and their increase occasioned an increase of infidelity. Many of their ministers and more of their students, revolting against the monstrous doctrines of Calvinism, past from one extreme to the other, more gradually indeed than their brethren have done in Germany, in Geneva and in New England, for they halted awhile on Arian ground, before they pitched their tents in the debateable land of Socinianism, where not a few of them afterwards crossed the border. The principle of Nonconformity itself led naturally to this consequence; it scornfully rejected that reasonable and well-defined submission to authority required by the Church of England, which is the true Catholic Church; and thus it encouraged and indeed invited tutors and pupils at their Academies to make their own immature and ill-instructed reason the test of all truths. A good and wise man has well remarked that “what men take for, or at least assert to be, the dictates of their conscience, may often in fact, be only the dictates of their pride.” With equal truth also he has said that he who “decides for himself in rejecting what almost all others receive, has not shewn himself at least in one instance to be a ‘wise man;’—he does not ‘know that he is a fool.’”

This cause was continually operating upon their students and younger ministers during the latter half of the last century. It was suspended first by the missionary spirit, which called forth a high degree of enthusiasm, and gave that feeling its most useful direction, and secondly by the revival of political Puritanism, as soon as the successors of the Parliamentary Divines thought themselves strong enough to act as a party in the state, and declare war against the Establishment. But as in that time, so in a greater degree at present, the floating population who by no fault of their own are extra-parochial as to all purposes of church-worship and religious instruction, are as much endangered by facility of change, as the students used to be by their boasted liberty of choice. Sectarian history might supply numerous examples; one may be related here for the extraordinary way in which it terminated. I know not from what community of Christians the hero of the tale strayed over to the Methodists, but he enjoyed for awhile the dream of perfection, and the privilege of assurance as one of their members. When this excitement had spent itself, he sought for quietness among the Quakers, thee'd his neighbour, wore drab, and would not have pulled off his hat to the king. After awhile, from considering, with them, that baptism was a beggarly element, he passed to the opposite extreme; it was not enough for him to have been sprinkled in his infancy, he must be dipt over head and ears in the water, and up he rose, rejoicing as he shook his dripping locks, that he was now a Baptist. His zeal then took another direction; he had a strong desire to convert the lost sheep of Israel; and off he set from a remote part of the country to engage in single controversy with a learned Rabbi in one of the Midland counties. Tell it not in Duke's-Place! Publish it not in the Magazine of the Society for converting the Jews!—The Rabbi converted him: and if the victor in the dispute had thought proper to take the spolia opima which were fairly lost, the vanquished would have paid the penalty, as he conceived himself in honour and in conscience bound. He returned home glorying in his defeat, a Jew in every thing but parentage and the outward and visible sign. The sons of the synagogue are not ambitious of making converts, and they did not chuse to adopt him by performing the initiating rites. He obtained it however from a Christian surgeon, who after many refusals, was induced at length in humanity to oblige him, lest, as he solemnly declared he would, he should perform it upon himself.

They who begin in enthusiasm, passing in its heat and giddiness from one sect to another, and cooling at every transition, generally settle in formalism where they find some substantial worldly motives for becoming fixed; but where the worldly motives are wanting, it depends upon temperament and accident whether they run headlong into infidelity, or take refuge from it in the Roman Catholic church. The papal clergy in England have always known how to fish in troubled waters; and when the waters are still, there are few among them who have not been well instructed in the art of catching gudgeons. Our clergy have never been in the same sense, fishers of men.

In an epigram written under the portrait of Gibbon, as unquotable at length, as it is unjust in part of the lines which may be quoted, the face is said to be

—the likeness of one
Who through every religion in Europe has run
And ended at last in believing in none.

It was a base epigram which traduced the historian's political character for no other reason than that he was not a Whig; and it reproached him for that part of his conduct which was truly honourable,—the sincerity with which, when ill-instructed, he became a Roman Catholic, and the propriety with which, after full and patient investigation, he gave up the tenets of the Romish church as untenable. That he proceeded farther, and yielded that which can be maintained against the Gates of Hell, is to be lamented deeply for his own sake, and for those in whom he has sown the seeds of infidelity. But the process from change to change is a common one, and the cases are few wherein there is so much to extenuate the culpability of the individual. It was not in the self-sufficiency of empty ignorance that Gibbon and Bayle went astray; generally the danger is in proportion to the want of knowledge; there are more shipwrecks among the shallows than in the deep sea.

During the great Rebellion, when the wild beasts had trampled down the fences, broken into the vineyard and laid it waste, it is curious to observe the course taken by men who felt for various causes, according to their different characters, the necessity of attaching themselves to some religious communion. Cottington, being in Spain, found it convenient to be reconciled to the Romish church; the dominant religion being to him, as a politician, the best. Weak and plodding men like Father Cressey took the same turn in dull sincerity: Davenant because he could not bear the misery of a state of doubt, and was glad to rest his head upon the pillow of authority; Goring from remorse; Digby (a little later) from ambition, and Lambert, because he was sick of the freaks and follies of the sectaries.

Their “opinions and contests,” says Sir Philip Warwick, “flung all into chaos, and this gave the great advantages to the Romanists, who want not their differences among themselves, but better manage them; for they having retained a great part of primitive truths, and having to plead some antiquity for their many doctrinal errors and their ambitious and lucrative encroachments, and having the policy of flinging coloquintida into our pot, by our dissentions and follies, they have with the motion of the circle of the wheel, brought themselves who were at the Nadir, to be almost at the Zenith of our globe.”

In no other age (except in our own and now from a totally different cause) did the Papists increase their numbers so greatly in this kingdom. And infidelity in all its grades kept pace with popery. “Look but upon many of our Gentry,” says Sanderson, (writing under the Commonwealth,) “what they are already grown to from what they were, within the compass of a few years: and then ex pede Herculem; by that, guess what a few years more may do. Do we not see some, and those not a few, that have strong natural parts, but little sense of religion turned (little better than professed) Atheists. And other some, nor those a few, that have good affections, but weak and unsettled judgements, or (which is still but the same weakness) an overweening opinion of their own understandings, either quite turned, or upon the point of turning Papists? These be sad things, God knoweth, and we all know, not visibly imputable to any thing so much, as to those distractions, confusions and uncertainties that in point of religion have broken in upon us, since the late changes that have happened among us in church affairs.”

The Revolution by which the civil and religious liberties of the British nation were, at great cost, preserved, stopt the growth of popery among us for nearly an hundred years: but infidelity meanwhile was little impeded in its progress by the occasional condemnation of a worthless book; and the excellent works which were written to expose the sophistry, the ignorance, and the misrepresentations of the infidel authors seldom found readers among the persons to whom they might have been most useful. It may be questioned whether any of Jeremy Bentham's misbelieving disciples has ever read Berkeley's Minute Philosopher, or the kindred work of Skelton which a London bookseller published upon Hume's imprimatur.



You need not fear a surfeit, here is but little, and that light of digestion.


Who was Pompey?

“The Dog will have his day,” says Shakespeare. And the Dog must have his Chapter say I. But I will defer writing that Chapter till the Dog-days.



Αλλὰ σὺ ταῦτα μαθὼν, βιότου ποτί τέρμα
ψυχῇ τῶν ἀγαθῶν τλῆθι χαριζόμενος.


In the thirtieth chapter of the Book called Ecclesiasticus, and at the twenty-fifth verse, are these words

“A cheerful and a good heart will have a care of his meat and diet.”

This is not the text to a sermon, but the beginning of a Chapter. There is no reason why a Chapter as well as a sermon, should not be thus impressively introduced: and if this Chapter should neither be so long as a sermon, nor so dull as those discourses which perchance and (I fear) per-likelihood, it may be thy fortune to hear, O Reader, at thy parish church, or in phrase nonconformist, to sit under at the conventicle, it will be well for thee: for having began to read it, I dare say thou wilt peruse it orally, or ocularly to the end.

A cheerful and a good heart, the Doctor had; aye as cheerful and good a one as ever man was blest with. He held with Bishop Hacket, that melancholy was of all humours the fittest to make a bath for the Devil, and that cheerfulness and innocent pleasure preserve the mind from rust, and the body from putrifying with dulness and distempers; wherefore that Bishop of good and merry memory would sometimes say, he did not like to look upon a sour man at dinner, and if his guests were pleased within, would bid them hang out the white flag in their countenance.

Udite, udite amici, un cor giocondo
E Rey del Mondo.

And if the poet says true (which I will be sworn he does) our Doctor might be more truly King of the World, than Kehama after he had performed his sacrifice.

His cheerfulness he would not have exchanged for all the bank-bills which ever bore the signature of Abraham Newland, or his successor Henry Hase; he thanked his Maker for it; and that it had been kept from corruption and made so far good as (with all Christian humility) to be self approved; he thanked his heavenly Father also for the free grace vouchsafed him, and his earthly one for having trained him in the way that he should go.

Cheerful and grateful takers the Gods love
And such as wait their pleasures with full hopes;
The doubtful and distrustful man Heaven frowns at.1


Being thus cheerful and good, he had that care of his meat and diet which the son of Sirach commends in the text, and notices as an indication of cheerfulness and goodness.

Understand me, Reader: and understand the author of the Wisdom. It was not such a care of his meat and diet as Apicius has been infamed for in ancient, and Darteneuf in modern times; not such as Lucullus was noted for, or Sir William Curtis, with whom Lucullus had he been an English East Indian Governor, instead of a Roman Prætor, might have been well pleased to dine. Read Landor's conversation between Lucullus and Cæsar, if thou art a scholar Reader, and if any thing can make thee think with respect and admiration of Lucullus, it will be the beautiful strain of feeling and philosophy that thou wilt find there. Wouldst thou see another work of first-rate genius, not less masterly in its kind, go and see Chantrey's bust of Sir William Curtis: and when thou shalt have seen what he hath made of that countenance, thou wilt begin to think it not impossible that a silk purse may be made of a sow's ear. Shame on me that in speaking of those who have gained glory by giving good dinners, I should have omitted the name of Michael Angelo Taylor, he having been made immortal for this his great and singular merit!

Long before the son of Sirach, Solomon had spoken to the same effect: “there is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in its labour. This also I saw that it was from the hand of God.” “Go thy way said the wisest of monarchs and of men, in his old age, when he took a more serious view of his past life; the honours, pleasures, wealth, wisdom he had so abundantly enjoyed; the errors and miscarriages which he had fallen into; the large experience and many observations he had made, of things natural, moral, domestical: civil, sensual, divine: the curious and critical inquiry he had made after true happiness, and what contribution all things under the sun could afford thereunto:”—“Go thy way,” he said, “eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart!”

“Inasmuch,” says Bishop Reynolds in his commentary upon this passage, “as the dead neither know, nor enjoy any of these worldly blessings; and inasmuch as God gives them to his servants in love, and as comfortable refreshments unto them in the days of their vanity, therefore he exhorteth unto a cheerful fruition of them, while we have time and liberty so to do; that so the many other sorrows and bitterness which they shall meet with in this life, may be mitigated and sweetened unto them. He speaketh not of sensual, epicurean and brutish excess; but of an honest, decent, and cheerful enjoyment of blessings, with thankfulness, and in the fear of God.” “A merry heart” the Bishop tells us might in this text have been rendered a good one; as in other parts of scripture a sad heart is called an evil heart. “It is pleasing unto God,” says the Bishop, “that when thou hast in the fear of his name, and in obedience to his ordinance, laboured, and by his blessing gotten thee thine appointed portion, then thou shouldst, after an honest, cheerful, decent and liberal manner, without further anxiety or solicitousness, enjoy the same. This is the principal boundary of our outward pleasures and delights, still to keep ourselves within such rules of piety and moderation, as that our ways may be pleasing unto God. And this shows us the true way to find sweetness in the creature, and to feel joy in the fruition thereof; namely, when our persons and our ways are pleasing unto God: for piety doth not exclude, but only moderate earthly delights; and so moderate them, that though they be not so excessive as the luxurious and sensual pleasures of foolish epicures, yet they are far more pure, sweet and satisfactory, as having no guilt, no gall, no curse, nor inward sorrow and terrors attending on them.”

Farther the Bishop observes, that food and raiment being the substantiall of outward blessings, Solomon has directed unto cheerfulness in the one, and unto decency and comeliness in the other. He hath advised us also to let the head lack no ointment, such perfumes being an expression of joy used in feasts; “the meaning is,” says the Bishop, “that we should lead our lives with as much freeness, cheerfulness and sweet delight, in the liberal use of the good blessings of God, as the quality of our degree, the decency of our condition, and the rules of religious wisdom, and the fear of God do allow us; not sordidly or frowardly denying ourselves the benefit of those good things which the bounty of God hath bestowed upon us.”

It is the etiquette of the Chinese Court for the Emperor's physicians to apply the same epithet to his disease as to himself—so they talk of his most high and mighty diarrhœa.

At such a point of etiquette the Doctor would laugh—but he was all earnestness when one like Bishop Hacket said, “Do not disgrace the dignity of a Preacher, when every petty vain occasion doth challenge the honour of a sermon before it. If ever there were τὸ δέον οὐκ ἐν τῶ δεόντι,—a good work marred for being done unreasonably,”—(in the Doctor's own words, Grace before a slu*ttish meal, a dirty table cloth)—“now it is when grace before meat will not serve the turn, but every luxurious feast must have the benediction of a preacher's pains before it. Quis te ferat cœnantem ut Lucullus, concionantem ut Cato? Much less is it to be endured, that some body must make a sermon, before Lucullus hath made a supper. It is such a flout upon our calling methinks, as the Chaldeans put upon the Jews in their captivity,—they in the height of their jollity must have one of the Songs of Sion.”

The Doctor agreed in the main with Lord Chesterfield in his opinion upon political dieteticks.

“The Egyptians who were a wise nation,” says that noble author, “thought so much depended upon diet, that they dieted their kings, and prescribed by law both the quality and quantity of their food. It is much to be lamented, that those bills of fare are not preserved to this time, since they might have been of singular use in all monarchical governments. But it is reasonably to be conjectured, from the wisdom of that people, that they allowed their kings no aliments of a bilious or a choleric nature, and only such as sweetened their juices, cooled their blood, and enlivened their faculties,—if they had any.”

He then shews that what was deemed necessary for an Egyptian King is not less so for a British Parliament. For, “suppose,” he says, “a number of persons, not over-lively at best, should meet of an evening to concert and deliberate upon public measures of the utmost consequence, grunting under the load and repletion of the strongest meats, panting almost in vain for breath, but quite in vain for thought, and reminded only of their existence by the unsavoury returns of an olio; what good could be expected from such a consultation? The best one could hope for would be, that they were only assembled for shew, and not for use; not to propose or advise, but silently to submit to the orders of some one man there, who, feeding like a rational creature, might have the use of his understanding.

“I would therefore recommend it to the consideration of the legislature, whether it may not be necessary to pass an act, to restrain the licentiousness of eating, and assign certain diets to certain ranks and stations, I would humbly suggest the strict vegetable as the properest ministerial diet, being exceedingly tender of those faculties in which the public is so highly interested, and very unwilling they should be clogged, or incumbered.”

“The Earl of Carlisle,” says Osborne, in his Traditional Memorials, “brought in the vanity of ante-suppers, not heard of in our forefathers' time, and for ought I have read, or at least remember, unpractised by the most luxurious tyrants. The manner of which was, to have the board covered at the first entrance of the guests, with dishes, as high as a tall man could well reach, filled with the choicest viands sea or land could afford: and all this once seen, and having feasted the eyes of the invited, was in a manner thrown away, and fresh set on to the same height, having only this advantage of the other, that it was hot.

“I cannot forget one of the attendants of the King, that at a feast made by this monster in excess, eats to his single share a whole pye, reckoned to my Lord at ten pounds, being composed of ambergreece, magisteriall of pearl, musk, &c., yet was so far, (as he told me) from being sweet in the morning, that he almost poisoned his whole family, flying himself, like the Satyr, from his own stink. And after such suppers huge banquets no less profuse, a waiter returning his servant home with a cloak-bag full of dried sweetmeats and confects, valued to his Lordship at more than ten shillings the pound.”

But, gentle and much esteemed Reader, and therefore esteemed because gentle, instead of surfeiting thy body, let me recreate thy mind, with the annexed two Sonnets of Milton, which tell of innocent mirth, and the festive but moderate enjoyment of the rational creature.


LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season, gaining? time will run
On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes of Tuscan air?
He who of these delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.


CYRIAC, whose grandsire on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounc'd, and in his volumes taught our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench;
To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth, that after no repenting draws:
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intends, and what the French.
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day
And when God sends a cheerful hour refrains.

Thou canst cure the body and the mind,
Rare Doctor, with thy two-fold soundest art;
Hippocrates hath taught thee the one kind,
Apollo and the Muse the other part;
And both so well that thou well both dost please,
The mind with pleasure, and the corpse with ease.




Now will ye list a little space,
And I shall send you to solace;
You to solace and be blyth,
Hearken! ye shall hear belyve
A tale that is of verity.

A story was told me with an assurance that it was literally true, of a Gentleman who being in want of a wife, advertised for one, and at the place and time appointed was met by a Lady. Their stations in life entitled them to be so called, and the Gentleman as well as the Lady was in earnest. He however unluckily seemed to be of the same opinion as King Pedro was with regard to his wife Queen Mary of Aragon, that she was not so handsome as she might be good, so the meeting ended in their mutual disappointment. Cœlebs advertised a second time, appointing a different Square for the place of meeting, and varying the words of the advertisem*nt. He met the same Lady,—they recognized each other, could not chuse but smile at the recognition, and perhaps neither of them could chuse but sigh. You will anticipate the event. The persevering Batchelor tried his lot a third time in the newspapers, and at the third place of appointment he met the equally persevering Spinster. At this meeting neither could help laughing. They began to converse in good humour, and the conversation became so agreeable on both sides, and the circ*mstance appeared so remarkable, that this third interview led to a marriage, and the marriage proved a happy one.

When Don Argentes Prince of Galdasse had been entrapped into the hands of a revengeful woman whose husband he had slain in fair combat, he said to two handsome widows who were charged every day to punish him with stripes, que par raison là on se se voit une grande beauté n'a pas lieu la cruauté ou autre vice—and the Chronicler of this generation of the house of Amadis, observes that this assertion fut bien verifié en ces deux jeunes veufues douées de grande beauté, lesquelles considerans la beauté et disposition de ce jeune chevalier et la vertu de sa personne, presterent l'oreille aux raisons qu'il alleguoit pour son excuse, et aux louanges qu'il leur donnoit de rare et singuliere beauté, de maniere qu'elles eurent pitié de luy.

“I can hardly forbear fancying,” says Lord Shaftesbury, “that if we had a sort of Inquisition, or formal Court of Judicature, with grave Officers and Judges, erected to restrain poetical licence, and in general to suppress that fancy and humour of versification, but in particular that most extravagant passion of Love, as it is set out by Poets, in its heathenish dress of Venus's and Cupids; if the Poets, as ringleaders and teachers of this heresy, were under grievous penalties forbid to enchant the people by their vein of rhyming; and if the People, on the other side, were under proportionable penalties, forbid to hearken to any such charm, or lend their attention to any love-tale, so much as in a play, a novel, or a ballad; we might perhaps see a new Arcadia arising out of this heavy persecution. Old people and young would be seized with a versifying spirit; we should have field conventicles of Lovers and Poets; forests would be filled with romantic Shepherds and Shepherdesses; and rocks resound with echoes of hymns and praises offered to the powers of Love. We might indeed have a fair chance, by this management, to bring back the whole train of Heathen Gods, and set our cold Northern Island burning with as many altars to Venus and Apollo, as were formerly in Cyprus, Delos, or any of those warmer Grecian climates.”

But I promised you, dear Ladies, more upon that subject which of all subjects is and ought to be the most interesting to you, because it is the most important. You have not forgotten that promise, and the time has now come for fulfilling it.

Venus, unto thee for help, good Lady, I do call,
For thou wert wont to grant request unto thy servants all;
Even as thou didst help always Æneas thine own child,
Appeasing the God Jupiter with countenance so mild
That though that Juno to torment him on Jupiter did preace,
Yet for the love he bare to thee, did cause the winds to cease;
I pray thee pray the Muses all to help my memory,
That I may have ensamples good in defence of feminye.1

Something has been said upon various ways which lead to love and matrimony; but what I have to say concerning imaginative love was deferred till we should arrive at the proper place for entering upon it.


More or less, imagination enters into all loves and friendships, except those which have grown with our growth, and which therefore are likely to be the happiest because there can be no delusion in them. Cases of this kind would not be so frequent in old romances, if they did not occur more frequently in real life than unimaginative persons could be induced to believe, or made to understand.

Sir John Sinclair has related a remarkable instance in his Reminiscences. He was once invited by Adam Smith to meet Burke and Mr. Windham, who had arrived at Edinburgh with the intention of making a short tour in the Highlands. Sir John was consulted concerning their route; in the course of his directions he dwelt on the beauty of the road between Dunkeld and Blair;—and added, that instead of being cooped up in a post-chaise, they would do well to get out and walk through the woods and beautiful scenes through which the road passes, especially some miles beyond Dunkeld.

Some three years afterwards Mr. Windham came up to Sir John in the House of Commons and requested to speak to him for a few moments behind the Speaker's chair. “Do you recollect,” said he, “our meeting together at Adam Smith's at dinner?” “Most certainly I do.”

“Do you remember having given us directions for our Highland tour, and more especially to stroll through the woods between Dunkeld and Blair?” “I do.”

Mr. Windham then said, “In consequence of our adopting that advice, an event took place of which I must now inform you. Burke and I were strolling through the woods about ten miles from Dunkeld, when we saw a young female sitting under a tree, with a book in her hand. Burke immediately exclaimed, ‘Let us have a little conversation with this solitary damsel, and see what she is about.’ We accosted her accordingly and found that she was reading a recent novel from the London press. We asked her how she came to read novels, and how she got such books at so great a distance from the metropolis, and more especially one so recently published. She answered that she had been educated at a boarding-school at Perth, where novels might be had from the circulating library, and that she still procured them through the same channel. We carried on the conversation for some time, in the course of which she displayed a great deal of smartness and talent; and at last we were obliged, very reluctantly, to leave her, and proceed on our journey. We afterwards found that she was the daughter of a proprietor of that neighbourhood who was known under the name of the Baron Maclaren. I have never been able,” continued Mr. Windham, “to get this beautiful mountain nymph out of my head; and I wish you to ascertain whether she is married or single.” And he begged Sir John Sinclair to clear up this point as soon as possible, for much of his future happiness depended upon the result of the inquiry.

If not the most important communication that ever took place behind the Speaker's chair, this was probably the most curious one. Sir John lost no time in making the desired inquiry. He wrote to a most respectable clergyman in the neighbourhood where Miss Maclaren lived, the Rev. Dr. Stewart, minister of Moulin; and was informed in reply, that she was married to a medical gentleman in the East Indies of the name of Dick. “Upon communicating this to Mr. Windham,” says Sir John, “he seemed very much agitated. He was soon afterwards married to the daughter of a half-pay officer. I have no doubt, however, that had Miss Maclaren continued single, he would have paid her his addresses.”

This is an example of purely imaginative love. But before we proceed with that subject, the remainder of Sir John Sinclair's story must be given. Some years afterward he passed some days at Duneira in Perthshire, with the late Lord Melville, and in the course of conversation told him this anecdote of Mr. Windham. Upon which Lord Melville said, “I am more interested in that matter than you imagine. You must know that I was riding down from Blair to Dunkeld in company with some friend, and we called at Baron Maclaren's, where a most beautiful young woman desired to speak with me. We went accordingly to the bank of a river near her father's house, when she said, ‘Mr. Dundas, I hear that you are a very great man, and what is much better, a very good man, I will venture therefore to tell you a secret. There is a young man in this neighbourhood who has a strong attachment to me, and to confess the truth, I have a great regard for him. His name is William Dick; he has been bred to the medical profession; and he says, that if he could get to be a surgeon in the East Indies, he could soon make his fortune there, and would send for me to marry him. Now I apply to you, Mr. Dundas, as a great and good man, in hopes that you can do something for us: and be assured that we shall be for ever grateful, if you will procure him an appointment.’”

Mr. Dundas was so much struck with the impressive manner of her address, that he took her by the hand and said, “my good girl, be assured that if an opportunity offers, I shall not forget your application.” The promise was not forgotten. It was not long before an East India Director with whom he was dining, told him that he had then at his disposal an appointment of surgeon in the East India Company's service, and offered it to him for any one whom he would wish to serve in that line. Dundas immediately related his adventure, much to the amusem*nt of the Director. Mr. Dick obtained the appointment, and was soon able to send for his betrothed. She had several offers in the course of the voyage and after her arrival, but she refused to listen to any one. Her husband attained to great eminence in his profession, made a handsome fortune, came home and purchased an estate in the neighbourhood where he was born.

There is no man among those who in that generation figured in public life, of whom a story like this could be so readily believed as of Windham. He was one whose endowments and accomplishments would have recommended him at the Court of Elizabeth,—and whose speeches, when he did not abase himself to the level of his hearers, might have commanded attention in the days of Charles I.


Yet have I more to say which I have thought upon, for I am filled as the moon at the full!


The reader must not expect that we have done with our beards yet; shaving, as he no doubt knows but too well, is one of those things at which we may cut and come again, and in the present Chapter

To shave, or not to shave, that is the question;

a matter which, hath not hitherto been fully considered. The question as relates to the expenditure of time, has been, profitably I trust, disposed of; and that of its effect upon health has been, as Members of Parliament say, poo-pooh'd. But the propriety of the practice is yet to be investigated upon other grounds.

Van Helmont tells us that Adam was created without a beard, but that after he had fallen and sinned, because of the sinful propensities which he derived from the fruit of the forbidden Tree, a beard was made part of his punishment and disgrace, bringing him thus into nearer resemblance with the beasts towards whom he had made his nature approximate; “ut multorum quadrupedum compar, socius et similis esset, eorundem signaturam præ se ferret, quorum more ut salax, ita et vultum pilis hirtum ostenderet.” The same stigma was not inflicted upon Eve, because even in the fall she retained much of her original modesty, and therefore deserved no such opprobrious mark.

Van Helmont observes also that no good Angel ever appears with a beard, and this, he says, is a capital sign by which Angels may be distinguished,—a matter of great importance to those who are in the habit of seeing them. “Si apparuerit barbatus Angelus, malus esto. Eudæmon enim nunquam barbatus apparuit, memor casus ob quem viro barba succrevit.” He marvelled therefore that men should suppose the beard was given them for an ornament, when Angels abhor it, and when they see that they have it in common with he-goats. There must be something in his remark; for take the most beautiful Angel that ever Painter designed, or Engraver copied, put him on a beard, and the celestial character will be so entirely destroyed, that the simple appendage of a tail will cacodemonize the Eudæmon.

This being the belief of Van Helmont, who declares that he had profited more by reveries and visions than by study, though he had studied much and deeply, ought he, in conformity to his own belief, to have shaved, or not? Much might be alleged on either side: for to wear the beard might seem in a person so persuaded, a visible sign of submission to the Almighty will, in thus openly bearing the badge of punishment, the mark of human degradation which the Almighty has been pleased to appoint: but, on the other hand, a shaven face might seem with equal propriety, and in like manner denote, a determination in the man to put off, as far as in him lay this outward and visible sign of sin and shame, and thereby assert that fallen nature was in him regenerate,

Belle est vraiment l'opinion premiere;
Belle est encores l'opinion derniere;
A qui des deux est-ce doncq' que je suis?


Which of the two opinions I might incline to is of no consequence, because I do not agree with Van Helmont concerning the origin of the beard; though as to what he affirms concerning good Angels upon his own alleged knowledge, I cannot contradict him upon mine, and have moreover freely confessed that when we examine our notions of Angels they are found to support him. But he himself seems to have thought both opinions probable, and therefore, according to the casuists, safe; so, conforming to the fashion of his times, without offence to his own conscience, he neither did the one thing, nor the other; or perhaps it may be speaking more accurately to say that he did both; for he shaved his beard, and let his mustachios grow.

Upon this subject, P. Gentien Hervet, Regent of the College at Orleans printed three discourses in the year 1536. In the first of these De radendâ barbâ, he makes it appear that we are bound to shave the beard. In the second De alendâ barbâ, he proves we ought to let the beard grow. And in the third De vel radendâ vel alendâ barbâ he considers that it is lawful either to shave or cultivate the beard at pleasure. “Si bien,” says the Doctor in Theology, M. Jean Baptiste Thiers, in his grave and erudite Histoire des Perruques, published aux depens de l'Autheur, at Paris in 1690,—si bien, que dans la pensée de ce sçavant Theologien, le question des barbes, courtes ou longues, est une question tout-a-fait problematique, et où par consequent on peut prendre tel party que l'on veut, pour ou contre.

[The following Extracts were to have been worked up in this Chapter.]

D'Israeli quotes an author who, in his Elements of Education, 1640, says, “I have a favourable opinion of that young gentleman who is curious in fine mustachios. The time he employs in adjusting, dressing and curling them, is no lost time: for the more he contemplates his mustachios, the more his mind will cherish, and be animated by, masculine and courageous notions.”

There are men whose beards deserve not so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's packsaddle.


“Human felicity,” says Dr. Franklin, “is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day. Thus if you teach a poor young man to shave himself and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to the happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas. This sum may be soon spent, the regret only remaining of having foolishly consumed it: but in the other case he escapes the frequent vexation of waiting for barbers, and of their sometimes dirty fingers, offensive breaths and dull razors; he shaves when most convenient to him, and enjoys daily the pleasure of its being done with a good instrument.”

By Jupiter,
Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard
I would not shave 't to day.

D'Israeli says that a clergyman who had the longest and largest beard of any Englishman in Elizabeth's reign, gave as a reason for wearing it the motive it afforded “that no act of his life might be unworthy the gravity of his appearance.”


When Fuller in his Pisgah Sight of Palestine, comes to the city of Aigalon, where Elon, Judge of Israel, was buried, “of whom nothing else is recorded save his name, time of his rule (ten years), and place of his interment; slight him not he says, because so little is reported of him, it tending much to the praise of his policy in preventing foreign invasions, and domestic commotions, so that the land enjoyed peace, as far better than victory, as health is to be preferred before a recovery from sickness. Yea, times of much doing are times of much suffering, and many martial achievements are rather for the Prince's honour, than the people's ease.”

“To what purpose,” says Norris, “should a man trouble both the world's and his own rest, to make himself great? For besides the emptiness of the thing, the Play will quickly be done, and the Actors must all retire into a state of equality, and then it matters not who personated the Emperor, or who the Slave.”

The Doctor's feelings were in unison with both these passages;—with the former concerning the quiet age in which it was his fortune to flourish; and with the latter in that it was his fortune to flourish in the shade. “It is with times,” says Lord Bacon, “as it is with ways; some are more up hill and down hill, and some are more flat and plain; and the one is better for the liver, and the other for the writer.”

He assented also to the Christian-Platonist of Bemerton when he asked, “to what purpose should a man be very earnest in the pursuit of Fame? He must shortly die, and so must those too who admire him.” But nothing could be more opposed to his way of thinking than what follows in that philosopher,—“Nay, I could almost say, to what purpose should a man lay himself out upon study and drudge so laboriously in the mines of learning? He is no sooner a little wiser than his brethren, but Death thinks him ripe for his sickle; and for aught we know, after all his pains and industry, in the next world, an ideot, or a mechanic will be as forward as he.” In the same spirit Horace Walpole said in his old age, “What is knowledge to me, who stand on the verge, and must leave my old stores as well as what I may add to them,—and how little could that be!”

When Johnson was told that Percy was uneasy at the thought of leaving his house, his study, his books—when he should die,—he replied—“a man need not be uneasy on these grounds, for as he will retain his consciousness, he may say with the Philosopher, omnia mea mecum porto.

“Let attention,” says the thoughtful John Miller in his Bampton Lectures, which deserve to be side by side with those of the lamented Van Mildert, “let attention be requested to what seems here an accessory sign of the adaptation of all our heavenly Father's dealings to that which he ‘knows to be in man’—I mean his merciful shortening of the term of this present natural life, subsequently to the period when all-seeing justice had been compelled to destroy the old world for its disobedience.

“I call it merciful, because, though we can conceive no length of day which could enable man with his present faculties to exhaust all that is made subject to his intellect, yet observing the scarcely credible rapidity of some minds and the no less wonderful retention of others, we may well conceive a far severer, nay too severe a test of resignation and patience to arise from length of years. To learn is pleasant; but to be ‘ever learning, and never able to come to sure knowledge of the truth,’ (if it were only in matters of lawful and curious and ardent speculation,) is a condition which we may well imagine to grow wearisome by too great length of time. ‘Hope delayed’ might well ‘make the heart sick’ in many such cases. We may find an infidel amusing himself on the brink of the grave with many imaginary wishes for a little longer respite, that he might witness the result of this or that speculation; but I am persuaded that the heart which really loves knowledge most truly and most wisely will be affected very differently. From every fresh addition to its store (as far as concerns itself,) it will only derive increase to that desire wherewith it longs to become disentangled altogether from a state of imperfection, and to be present in the fulness of that light, wherein ‘every thing that is in part shall be done away.’ Here, then, in one of the most interesting and most important of all points (the shortening of human life) we find a representation in Scripture which may be accounted favourable to its credibility and divine authority on the safest grounds of reason and experience. For certainly, as to the bare matter of fact, such representation corresponds in the strictest manner (as far as we have known and have seen) with the state of life as at present existing; and accepting it as true, we can perceive at once, a satisfactory explanation of it by referring it, as a provision for man's well being, to the wisdom and mercy of an Omnipotent Spirit who knew, and knows ‘what is in man.’”


Reader, we are about to enter upon the sixth volume of this our Opus; and as it is written in the forms of Herkeru, Verily the eye of Hope is upon the high road of Expectation.

Well begun, says the Proverb, is half done. Horace has been made to say the same thing by the insertion of an apt word which pentametrizes the verse,

Dimidium facti qui bene cæpit habet.

D. Juan de Villagutierre Soto-Mayor in setting forth the merits of Columbus for having discovered the New World, and thereby opened the way for its conquest by the Spaniards, observes that el principio en todas las operaciones humanas es el mas dificultoso estado; y assi una vez vencido, se reputa y debe reputarse por la mitad della obra, ò por la principal de ella; y el proseguir despues en lo comenzado no contiene tanta dificultad.

When Gabriel Chappuis dedicated the eighteenth book of Amadis, by him translated from the Spanish, to the Noble and Virtuous Lord Jan Anthoine Gros, Sieur de S. Jouere, &c., he says, after a preamble of eulogies upon the Dedicates and the Book, Vous recevrez donc, s'il vous plaist ce petit livre d'aussy bon œil que ont fait ceux ausquels j'ay dedié les trois livres precedens, m'asseurant que s'il vous plaist en avoir la lecture, vous y trouverez grande delectation, comme à la verité l'histoire qui y est descrite, et mesmes en tous les precedens et en ceux qui viendront apres, a esté inventée pour delecter; mais avec tant de beaux traits, et une infinité de divers accidens et occurrences qu'il est impossible qu'avec le plaisir et le delectation, l'on n'en tire un grand proffet, comme vous experementerez, moyennant la grace de Dieu.

J'ay fait le précédent Chapitre un peu court; peut-être que celui-ce sera plus long; je n'en suis pourtant pas bien assuré, nous l'allons voir.


Deborah's strong affection for her father was not weakened by marriage; nor his for her by the consequent separation. Caroline Bowles says truly, and feelingly and beautifully,

It is not love that steals the heart from love;
'Tis the hard world and its perplexing cares,
Its petrifying selfishness, its pride,
Its low ambition, and its paltry aims.

There was none of that “petrifying selfishness” in the little circle which lost so much when Deborah was removed from her father's parsonage. In order that that loss might be less painfully felt, it was proposed by Mr. Allison that Sunday should always be kept at the Grange when the season or the weather permitted. The Doctor came if he could; but for Mrs. Dove it was always to be a holiday.

“The pleasures of a volatile head,” says Mrs. Carter, “are much less liable to disappointment, than those of a sensible heart.” For such as can be contented with rattles and raree-shows, there are rattles and raree-shows in abundance to content them; and when one is broken it is mighty easily replaced by another. But the pleasures arising from the endearments of social relations, and the delicate sensibilities of friendly affection, are more limited, and their objects incontrovertible; they are accompanied with perpetual tender solicitude, and subject to accidents not to be repaired beneath the Sun. It is no wonder however that the joys of folly should have their completion in a world with which they are to end, while those of higher order must necessarily be incompleat in a world where they are only to begin.1

1 From the writing of the latter paragraph I should judge this to be one of the latest sentences Southey ever wrote.—In the MS. it was to have followed c. cxxxv. vol. iv. p. 361.

Io udii già dire ad un valente uomo nostro vicino, gli uomini abbiano molte volte bisogno sì di lagrimare, come di ridere; e per tal cagione egli affermava essere state da principio trovate le dolorose favole, che si chiamarono Tragedie, accioche raccontate ne' teatri, come in qual tempo si costumava di fare, tirassero le lagrime agli occhi di coloro, che avevano di ciò mestiere; e cosi eglino piangendo della loro infirmita guarissero. Ma come ciò sia a noi non istà bene di contristare gli animi delle persone con cui favelliamo; massimamente colà dove si dimori per aver festa e sollazzo, e non per piagnere; che se pure alcuno è, che infermi per vaghezza di lagrimare, assai leggier cosa fia di medicarlo con la mostarda forte, o porlo in alcun luogo al fumo.


The Reader may remember, when he is thus reminded of it, that I delayed giving an account of Pompey, in answer to the question who he was, till the Dog-days should come. Here we are, (if here may be applied to time) in the midst of them, July 24, 1830.

Horace Walpole speaks in a letter of two or three Mastiff-days so much fiercer were they that season than our common Dog-days. This year they might with equal propriety be called Iceland-Dog-days. Here we are with the thermometer every night and morning below the temperate point, and scarcely rising two degrees above it at middle day. And then for weather;—as Voiture says, Il pleut pla-ple-pli-plo-plus.

If then as Robert Wilmot hath written, “it be true that the motions of our minds follow the temperature of the air wherein we live, then I think the perusing of some mournful matter, tending to the view of a notable example, will refresh your wits in a gloomy day, and ease your weariness of the louring night:” and the tragical part of my story might as fitly be told now in that respect, as if “weary winter were come upon us, which bringeth with him drooping days and weary nights.” But who does not like to put away tragical thoughts? Who would not rather go to see a broad farce than a deep tragedy? Sad thoughts even when they are medicinal for the mind, are as little to the mind's liking, as physic is grateful to the palate when it is needed most.

1 A Chapter was to have been devoted to the Hutchinsonian philosophy, and I am inclined to believe that this was a part of it.

These superstitions are unquestionably of earlier date than any existing records, and commenced with the oldest system of idolatry, the worship of the heavenly bodies. Hutchinson's view is that when Moses brought the Jews out of their captivity, all men believed that “Fire, Light, or the Operation of the Air, did every thing in this material system:” those who believed rightly in God, knew that these secondary causes acted as his instruments, but “those who had fallen and lost communication with the Prophets and the truth of tradition, and were left to reason, (though they reasoned as far as reason could reach) thought the Heavens of a divine nature, and that they not only moved themselves and the heavenly bodies but operated all things on earth; and influenced the bodies, and governed the minds and fortunes of men: and so they fell upon worshipping them, and consulting them for times and seasons.” “The Devil,” he says, “chose right; this was the only object of false worship which gave any temptation; and it had very specious inducements.” And it was because he thus prevailed over “the Children of disobedience,” that the Apostle stiles him “the Prince of the Powers of the Air.” “This made the Priests and Physicians of the antient heathen cultivate the knowledge of these Powers, and afterwards made them star-gazers and observe the motions of those bodies for their conjunctions and oppositions, and all the stuff of their lucky and unlucky days and times, and especially to make advantage of their eclipses, for which they were stiled Magi, and looked upon as acquaintance of their Gods; and so much of the latter as is of any use, and a great deal more, we are obliged to them for.” “But these,” he says, “who thought that the Heavens ordered the events of things by their motions and influences, and that they were to be observed and foreseen by men, robbed God of his chief attributes, and were ordered then, and ought still, to be punished with death.”

Hutchinson is one of the most repulsive writers that ever produced any effect upon his contemporaries. His language is such as almost justified Dr. Parr in calling it the Hutchinsonian jargon; and his system is so confusedly brought forward that one who wishes to obtain even a general knowledge of it, must collect it as he can from passages scattered through the whole of his treatises. Add to these disrecommendations that it is propounded in the coarsest terms of insolent assumption, and that he treats the offence of those who reject the authority of scripture,—that is of his interpretation of Hebrew, and his exposition of the Mosaic philosophy, as “an infectious scurvy or leprosy of the soul which can scarcely be cured by any thing but eternal brimstone.”

The Paradise Lost, he calls, “that cursed farce of Milton, where he makes the Devil his hero:” and of the ancient poets and historians he says that “the mischief which these vermin did by praising their heroes in their farces or princes for conquering countries, and thereby inciting other princes to imitate them were the causes of the greatest miseries that have befallen mankind.” But Sir Isaac Newton was the great object of his hatred. “Nothing but villainy,” he said, “was to be expected from men who had made a human scheme, and would construe every text concerning it, so as to serve their purpose; he could only treat them as the most treacherous men alive. I hope,” he says, “I have power to forgive any crimes which are committed only against myself; I am not required, nor have I any power to forgive treason against the king, much less to forgive any crimes whereby any attempt to dispossess Jehovah Aleim. Nay, if I know of them and do not reveal them, and do not my endeavour to disappoint them in either, I am accessary. I shall put these things where I can upon the most compassionate side; the most favourable wish I can make for them is, that they may prove their ignorance so fully, that it may abate their crimes; but if their followers will shew that he or his accomplices knew anything, I must be forced to make Devils of them. There are many other accidents besides design or malice, which make men atheists,—studying or arguing to maintain a system, forged by a man who does not understand it, and in which there must be some things false, makes a man a villain whether he will or no.

“He, (Newton) first framed a philosophy, which is two thirds of the business of the real scriptures, and struck off the rest. And when he found his philosophy was built upon, and to be supported by emptiness, he was forced to patch up a God to constitute space. His equipage appears to have been the translation of the apostate Jews, and some blind histories of the modern heathen Deus, and an empty head to make his Deus; Kepler's banter of his powers, and some tacit acknowledgements as he only supposed, of the ignorantest heathens; an air-pump to make, and a pendulum or swing to prove a vacuum; a loadstone, and a bit of amber, or jet, to prove his philosophy; a telescope, a quadrant, and a pair of compasses to make infinite worlds, circles, crooked lines, &c.; a glass bubble, prisms and lenses, and a board with a hole in it, to let light into a dark room to form his history of light and colours; and he seems to have spent his time, not only when young, as some boys do, but when he should have set things right, in blowing his phlegm through a straw, raising bubbles, and admiring how the light would glare on the sides of them.”

No mention of Hutchinson is made in Dr. Brewster's Life of Newton, his system was probably thought too visionary to deserve notice, and the author unworthy of it because he had been the most violent and foul-mouthed of all Sir Isaac's opponents. The Mathematical Principles of Natural philosophy, he called a cobweb of circles and lines to catch flies. “Mathematics,” he said, “are applicable to any data, real or imaginary, true or false, more pestilent and destructive positions had been fathered upon that science than upon all others put together, and mathematicians had been put to death, both by Heathens and Christians for attributing much less to the heavenly bodies than Newton had done.” He compared his own course of observations with Newton's. His had been in the dark bowels of the earth, with the inspired light of scripture in his hand,—there he had learnt his Hebrew, and there he had studied the causes and traced the effects of the Deluge. “The opportunities,” he said, “were infinitely beyond what any man can have by living in a box, peeping out at a window, or letting the light in at a hole: or in separating and extracting the spirit from light, which can scarce happen in nature, or from refracting the light, which only happens upon the rainbow, bubbles, &c., or by making experiments with the loadstone, talc or amber, which differ in texture from most other bodies, and are only found in masses of small size; or by arranging a pendulum, which perhaps has not a parallel case in nature: or by the effects produced by spirit or light upon mixing small parcels of extracted fluids or substances, scarce one of which ever happened, or will happen in nature: or by taking cases which others have put, or putting cases which never had, nor ever will have any place in nature: or by forming figures or lines of crooked directions of motions or things, which most of them have no place, so the lines no use in nature, other than to serve hypotheses of imaginary Powers, or courses, which always have been useless, when any other Powers, though false, have been assigned and received; and must all finally be useless, when the true Powers are shewn.”

Such passages show that Hutchinson was either grossly incapable of appreciating Newton's discoveries, or that he wilfully and maliciously depreciated them. His own attainments might render the first of these conclusions improbable, and the second would seem still more so upon considering the upright tenour of his life. But the truth seems to be, that having constructed a system with great labour, and no little ability, upon the assumption that the principles of natural philosophy as well as of our faith, are contained in the scriptures, and that the true interpretation of scripture depended upon the right understanding of the Hebrew primitives, which knowledge the apostate Jews had lost, and he had recovered, his belief in this system had all the intolerance of fanaticism or supposed infallibility; and those who strongly contravened it, deserved in his opinion the punishments appointed in the Mosaic law for idolatry and blasphemy. Newton and Clarke were in this predicament. Both, in his judgement, attributed so much to secondary causes,—those Powers which had been the first objects of idolatry, that he considered their Deity to be nothing more than the Jupiter of the philosophizing heathens; and he suspects that their esoteric doctrine resolved itself into Pantheism. Toland indeed had told him that there was a scheme in progress for leading men through Pantheism and Atheism, and made him acquainted with all their designs, divine or diabolical, and political or anarchical! and all the villanies and forgeries they had committed to accomplish them. First they sought to make men believe in a God who could not punish, and then—that there was no God, and Toland was engaged, for pay, in this scheme of propagandism, “because he had some learning, and more loose humour than any of them.” The Pantheisticon was written with this view. Toland was only in part the author, other hands assisted, and Hutchinson says, he knew “there was a physician, and a patient of his a divine, who was very serviceable in their respective stations in prescribing proper doses, even to the very last.” But they “carried the matter too far,” “they discovered a secret which the world had not taken notice of, and which it was highly necessary the world should know.” For “though it be true to a proverb, that a man should not be hanged for being a fool, they shewed the principles of these men so plainly, which were to have no superior, to conform to any religion, laws, oaths, &c., but be bound by none, and the consequences of propagating them, that they thereby shewed the wisdom of the heathen people, who because they could not live safely, stoned such men; and the justice of the heathen Emperors and Kings, who put such to death, because they could have no security from them, and if their doubts, or notions had prevailed, all must have gone to anarchy or a commonwealth, as it always did, when and where they neglected to cut them off.”

That atheism had its propagandists then as it has now is certain, and no one who has watched the course of opinion among his contemporaries can doubt that Socinianism, or semi-belief, gravitates towards infidelity. But to believe that Newton and Clarke were engaged in the scheme which is here imputed to them, we must allow more weight to Toland's character than to theirs, and to Hutchinson's judgement.

What has here been said of Hutchinson exhibits him in his worst light,—and it must not hastily be concluded that because he breathed the fiercest spirit of intolerance, he is altogether to be disliked as a man, or despised as an author. Unless his theory, untenable as it is, had been constructed with considerable talent, and supported with no common learning,—he could never have had such men as Bishop Horne and Jones of Nayland among his disciples. Without assenting to his system, a biblical student may derive instruction from many parts of his works.

There is one remarkable circ*mstance in his history. When he was a mere boy a stranger came to board with his father, who resided at Spennythorn in the North-Riding of Yorkshire, upon an estate of forty pounds a year. The father's intention was to educate this son for the office of steward to some great landed proprietor, and this stranger agreed to instruct him in every branch of knowledge requisite for such an employment, upon condition of being boarded free of expence, engaging at the same time to remain till he had completed the boy's education. What he had thus undertaken he performed well; “he was, perhaps,” says Hutchinson, “as great a mathematician as either of those whose books he studied, and taught me as much as I could see any use for, either upon the earth or in the heavens, without poisoning me with any false notions fathered upon the mathematics.” The curious part of this story is that it was never known who this scientific stranger was, for he carefully and effectually concealed every thing that could lead to a discovery. Hutchinson was born in 1674, and his education under this tutor was completed at the age of nineteen.

1 The Parish of Rossington in the union and soke of Doncaster was for many generations the seat of the Fossard and Mauley families. In the reign of Henry VII., it was granted by that monarch to the corporation of Doncaster.
The following extract is from Mr. John Wainwright's History and Antiquities of Doncaster and Conisbro'.
“Connected with the history of this village, is a singular and curious specimen of Egyptian manners, as practised by the itinerant gypsies of the British Empire. In a letter, which we had the pleasure of receiving from the Rev. James Stoven, D.D. the worthy and learned rector of this place, it is remarked, that about one hundred and twenty years ago, the gypsies commenced here a curious custom, which they practised once in almost every year, occasioned by the interment, in the churchyard of this place, (of) one of their principal leaders, Mr. Charles Bosville, on the 30th of June, 1708 or 9. Having, from a boy, been much acquainted with this village, I have often heard of their (the gypsies) abode here, and with them Mr. James Bosville, their king, under whose authority they conducted themselves with great propriety and decorum, never committing the least theft or offence. They generally slept in their farmers' barns, who, at those periods, considered their property to be more safely protected than in their absence. Mr. Charles Bosville (but how related to the king does not appear,) was much beloved in this neighbourhood, having a knowledge of medicine, was very attentive to the sick, well bred in manners, and comely in person. After his death, the gypsies, for many years, came to visit his tomb, and poured upon it hot ale; but by degrees they deserted the place,—(These circ*mstances must yet hang on their remembrance; as, only a year ago, 1821, an ill drest set of them encamped in our lanes, calling themselves Boswell's.)—These words in the parentheses came within my own knowledge.”
It is added in a note—“Boswell's Gang, is an appellation, very generally applied to a collection of beggars, or other idle itinerants, which we often see encamped in groups in the lanes and ditches of this part of England.”
In quoting this, I by no means assent to the statement that Gypsies are Egyptians.—They are of Hindostanee origin.

The Grammar school was next door to Peter Hopkins's, being kept in one of the lower apartments of the Town Hall. It was a free school for the sons of freemen, the Corporation allowing a salary of £50. per annum to the schoolmaster, who according to the endowment must be a clergyman. That office was held by Mr. Crochley, who had been bred at Westminster, and was elected from thence to Christ Church, Oxford in 1742. He came to Doncaster with a promise from the Corporation that the living of Rossington, which is in their gift and is a valuable benefice, should be given him provided he had fifty scholars when it became vacant. He never could raise their numbers higher than forty-five; the Corporation adhered to the letter of their agreement; the disappointment preyed on him, and he died a distressed and broken-hearted man.

Yet it was not Crochley's fault that the school had not been more flourishing. He was as competent to the office as a man of good natural parts could be rendered by the most compleat course of classical education. But in those days few tradesmen ever thought of bestowing upon their sons any further education than was sufficient to qualify them for trade; and the boys who were desirous to be placed there, must have been endued with no ordinary love of learning, for a grammar school is still any thing rather than a Ludus Literarius.

Two or three years before the Doctor's marriage a widow lady came to settle at Doncaster, chiefly for the sake of placing her sons at the Grammar School there, which though not in high repute was at least respectably conducted. It was within five minutes walk of her own door, and thus the boys had the greatest advantage that school-boys can possibly enjoy, that of living at home, whereby they were saved from all the misery and from most of the evil with which boarding-schools, almost without an exception, abounded in those days, and from which it may be doubted whether there are any yet that are altogether free. Her name was Horseman, she was left with six children, and just with such means as enabled her by excellent management to make what is called a respectable appearance, the boys being well educated at the cheapest rate, and she herself educating two daughters who were fortunately the eldest children. Happy girls! they were taught what no Governess could teach them, to be useful as soon as they were capable of being so; to make their brother's shirts and mend their stockings; to make and mend for themselves, to cipher so as to keep accounts; to assist in household occupations, to pickle and preserve, to make pastry, to work chair-bottoms, to write a fair hand, and to read Italian. This may seem incongruous with so practical a system of domestic education. But Mrs. Horseman was born in Italy, and had passed great part of her youth there.

The father, Mr. Duckinton, was a man of some fortune, whose delight was in travelling, and who preferred Italy to all other countries. Being a whimsical person he had a fancy for naming each of his children, after the place where it happened to be born. One daughter therefore was baptized by the fair name of Florence, Mrs. Horseman, was christened Venetia, like the wife of Sir Kenelm Digby, whose husband was more careful of her complexion than of her character. Fortunate it was that he had no daughter born at Genoa or at Nantes, for if he had, the one must have concealed her true baptismal name under the alias of Jenny; and the other have subscribed herself Nancy, that she might not be reproached with the brandy cask. The youngest of his children was a son, and if he had been born in the French capital would hardly have escaped the ignominious name of Paris, but as Mr. Duckinton had long wished for a son, and the mother knowing her husband's wishes had prayed for one, the boy escaped with no worse name than Deodatus.


Kissing has proverbially been said to go by favour. So it is but too certain, that Preferment does in Army and Navy, Church and State; and so does Criticism.

That Kissing should do so is but fair and just; and it is moreover in the nature of things.

That Promotion should do so is also in the nature of things—as they are. And this also is fair where no injustice is committed. When other pretensions are equal, favour is the feather which ought to be put into the scale. In cases of equal fitness, no wrong is done to the one party, if the other is preferred for considerations of personal friendship, old obligations, or family connection; the injustice and the wrong would be if these were overlooked.

To what extent may favour be reasonably allowed in criticism?

If it were extended no farther than can be really useful to the person whom there is an intention of serving, its limits would be short indeed. For in that case it would never proceed farther than truth and discretion went with it. Far more injury is done to a book and to an author by injudicious or extravagant praise, than by intemperate or malevolent censure.

Some persons have merrily surmised that Job was a reviewer because he exclaimed “Oh that mine enemy had written a book!” Others on the contrary have inferred that reviewing was not known in his days, because he wished that his own words had been printed and published.

[The timbers were laid for a Chapter on wigs, and many notes and references were collected.—This Fragment is all that remains.]

Bernardin St. Pierre, who with all his fancies and oddities, has been not undeservedly a popular writer in other countries as well as in his own, advances in the most extravagant of his books, (the Harmonies de la Nature,) the magnificent hypothesis that men invented great wigs because great wigs are semblables aux criniers des lions, like lion's manes. But as wigs are rather designed to make men look grave than terrible, he might with more probability have surmised that they were intended to imitate the appearance of the Bird of Wisdom.

The Doctor wore a wig: and looked neither like a Lion, nor like an Owl in it. Yet when he first put it on, and went to the looking-glass, he could not help thinking that he did not look like a Dove.

But then he looked like a Doctor, which was as it became him to look. He wore it professionally.

It was not such a wig as Dr. Parr's, which was of all contemporary wigs facile princeps. Nor was it after the fashion of that which may be seen in “immortal buckle,” upon Sir Cloudesley Shovel's monument in Westminster Abbey——&c.


[The following Fragments were intended to be worked up into an Interchapter on the History of Cats. The first fairly written out was to have been, it would appear, the commencement. The next is an Extract from Eulia Effendi. “That anecdote about the King of the Cats, Caroline, you must write out for me, as it must be inserted,” said the lamented Author of the Doctor, &c. to Mrs. Southey. The writer of the lines is not known, they were forwarded to the Author when at Killerton. The “Memoirs of Cats of Greta Hall” was to have furnished the particulars, which the first fragment states had got abroad.
What was to have been the form of the Interchapter the Editor does not know, neither does Mrs. Southey. The playful letter is given exactly as it was written. A beautiful instance, as will be acknowledged by all, of that confidence which should exist between a loving father and a dutiful daughter. Sir Walter Scott wrote feelingly when he said,

Some feelings are to mortals given
With less of earth in them than heaven:
And if there be a human tear
From passion's dross refined and clear,
A tear so limpid and so meek,
It would not stain an angel's cheek,
'Tis that which pious fathers shed
Upon a duteous daughter's head!


More than prince of cats, I can tell you.

An extract from the Register of Cat's Eden has got abroad, whereby it appears that the Laureate, Dr. Southey, who is known to be a philofelist, and confers honours upon his Cats according to their services, has raised one to the highest rank in peerage, promoting him through all its degrees by the following titles, His Serene Highness the Arch-Duke Rumpelstilzchen, Marquis Macbum, Earl Tomlemagne, Baron Raticide, Waowlher and Skaratchi.

The first of these names is taken from the German Collection of Kinder und Haus-Märchen. A Dwarf or Imp so called was to carry off the infant child of the Queen as the price of a great service which he had rendered her, but he had consented to forego his right if in the course of three days she could find out what was his name. This she never could have done, if the King had not on the first day gone hunting, and got into the thickest part of the wood, where he saw a ridiculous Dwarf hopping about before a house which seemed by its dimensions to be his home, and singing for joy; these were the words of his song,

Heute back ich, morgen brau ich,
Ubermorgen hohl ich der Frau Konigin ihr kind,
Ach wie gut ist, das niemand weiss
Dass ich Rumpelstilzchen heiss.

I bake to-day, and I brew to-morrow,
Mrs. Queen will see me the next day to her sorrow,
When according to promise her child I shall claim,
For none can disclose, because nobody knows
That Rumpelstilzchen is my name.

Now if Rumpelstilzchen had had as many names as a Spanish Infante, the man must have a good memory who could have carried them away upon hearing them once.

“The Cats of Diorigi are celebrated all over Greece, for nowhere are to be found cats so pretty, so vigilant, so caressing and well-bred as at Diorigi. The Cats of the Oasis in Egypt, and of Sinope are justly renowned for their good qualities, but those of Diorigi are particularly fat, brilliant, and playing different colours. They are carried from here to Persia, to Ardebeil where they are shut up in cages, proclaimed by the public criers and sold for one or two tomans. The Georgians also buy them at a great price, to save their whiskers which are commonly eaten up by mice. The criers of Ardebeil, who cry these cats have a particular melody to which they sing their cry in these words,

O you who like a Cat
That catches mouse and rat,
Well-bred, caressing, gay
Companion to sport and play,
Amusing and genteel,
Shall never scratch and steal.

Singing these words they carry the cats on their head and sell them for great prices, because the inhabitants of Ardebeil are scarce able to save their woollen cloth from the destruction of mice and rats. Cats are called Hurre, Katta, Senorre, Merabe, Matshi, Weistaun, Wemistaun, but those of Diorigi are particularly highly esteemed. Notwithstanding that high reputation and price of the Cats of Diorigi, they meet with dangerous enemies in their native place, where sometimes forty or fifty of them are killed secretly, tanned, and converted into fur for the winter time. It is a fur scarce to be distinguished from Russian ermelin, and that of the red cats is not to be distinguished from the fox that comes from Ozalov.”1


A labouring man returning to his cottage after night-fall, passed by a lone house in ruins, long uninhabited. Surprized at the appearance of light within, and strange sounds issuing from the desolate interior, he stopt and looked in through one of the broken windows, and there in a large old gloomy room, quite bare of furniture except that the cobwebs hung about its walls like tapestry, he beheld a marvellous spectacle. A small coffin covered with a pall stood in the midst of the floor, and round and round and round about it with dismal lamentations in the feline tongue, marched a circle of Cats, one of them, being covered from head to foot with a black veil, and walking as chief mourner. The man was so frightened with what he saw that he waited to see no more, but went straight home, and at supper told his wife what had befallen him.

Their own old Cat, who had been sitting, as was her wont, on the elbow of her Master's chair, kept her station very quietly, till he came to the description of the chief Mourner, when, to the great surprize and consternation of the old couple, she bounced up, and flew up the chimney exclaiming—“Then I am King of the Cats.”

Keswick, January 9th.


Let our boldness not offend,
If a few lines of duteous love we send;
Nor wonder that we deal in rhyme, for long
We've been familiar with the founts of song;
Nine thorougher tabbies you would rarely find,
Than those who laurels round your temples bind:
For how, with less than nine lives to their share,
Could they have lived so long on poet's fare?
Athens surnamed them from their mousing powers,
And Rome from that harmonious MU of ours,
In which the letter U, (as we will trouble you
To say to TODD) should supersede ew—
This by the way—we now proceed to tell,
That all within the bounds of home are well;
All but your faithful cats, who inly pine;
The cause your Conscience may too well divine.
Ah! little do you know how swiftly fly
The venomed darts of feline jealousy;
How delicate a task to deal it is
With a Grimalkin's sensibilities,
When Titten's tortoise fur you smoothed with bland
And coaxing courtesies of lip and hand,
We felt as if, (poor Puss's constant dread)
Some school-boy stroked us both from tail to head;
Nor less we suffer'd while with sportive touch
And purring voice, you played with grey-backed Gutch;
And when with eager step, you left your seat,
To get a peep at Richard's snow-white feet,
Himself all black; we long'd to stop his breath
With something like his royal namesake's death;
If more such scenes our frenzied fancies see,
Resolved we hang from yonder apple tree—
And were not that a sad catastrophe!
O! then return to your deserted lake,
Dry eyes that weep, and comfort hearts that ache;
Our mutual jealousies we both disown,
Content to share, rather than lose a throne.
The Parlour, Rumples undisputed reign,
Hurley's the rest of all your wide domain.
Return, return, dear Bard κατ᾽ ἐξοχήν,
Restore the happy days that once have been,
Resign yourself to Home, the Muse and us.




For as much, most excellent Edith May, as you must always feel a natural and becoming concern in whatever relates to the house wherein you were born, and in which the first part of your life has thus far so happily been spent, I have for your instruction and delight composed these Memoirs of the Cats of Greta Hall: to the end that the memory of such worthy animals may not perish, but be held in deserved honour by my children, and those who shall come after them. And let me not be supposed unmindful of Beelzebub of Bath, and Senhor Thomaz de Lisboa, that I have not gone back to an earlier period, and included them in my design. Far be it from me to intend any injury or disrespect to their shades! Opportunity of doing justice to their virtues will not be wanting at some future time, but for the present I must confine myself within the limits of these precincts.

In the autumn of the year 1803 when I entered upon this place of abode, I found the hearth in possession of two cats whom my nephew Hartley Coleridge, (then in the 7th year of his age,) had named Lord Nelson, and Bona Marietta. The former, as the name implies, was of the worthier gender: it is as decidedly so in Cats, as in grammar and in law. He was an ugly specimen of the streaked-carrotty, or Judas-coloured kind; which is one of the ugliest varieties. But nimium ne crede colori. In spite of his complection, there was nothing treacherous about him. He was altogether a good Cat, affectionate, vigilant and brave; and for services performed against the Rats was deservedly raised in succession to the rank of Baron, Viscount and Earl. He lived to a good old age; and then being quite helpless and miserable, was in mercy thrown into the river. I had more than once interfered to save him from this fate; but it became at length plainly an act of compassion to consent to it. And here let me observe that in a world wherein death is necessary, the law of nature by which one creature preys upon another is a law of mercy, not only because death is thus made instrumental to life, and more life exists in consequence, but also because it is better for the creatures themselves to be cut off suddenly, than to perish by disease or hunger,—for these are the only alternatives.

There are still some of Lord Nelson's descendants in the town of Keswick. Two of the family were handsomer than I should have supposed any Cats of this complection could have been; but their fur was fine, the colour a rich carrot, and the striping like that of the finest tyger or tabby kind. I named one of them William Rufus; the other Danayn le Roux, after a personage in the Romance of Gyron le Courtoys.

Bona Marietta was the mother of Bona Fidelia, so named by my nephew aforesaid. Bona Fidelia was a tortoise-shell cat. She was filiated upon Lord Nelson, others of the same litter having borne the unequivocal stamp of his likeness. It was in her good qualities that she resembled him, for in truth her name rightly bespoke her nature. She approached as nearly as possible in disposition, to the ideal of a perfect cat:—he who supposes that animals have not their difference of disposition as well as men, knows very little of animal nature. Having survived her daughter Madame Catalani, she died of extreme old age, universally esteemed and regretted by all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance.

Bona Fidelia left a daughter and a granddaughter; the former I called Madame Bianchi—the latter Pulcheria. It was impossible ever to familiarize Madame Bianchi, though she had been bred up in all respects like her gentle mother, in the same place, and with the same persons. The nonsense of that arch-philosophist Helvetius would be sufficiently confuted by this single example, if such rank folly contradicted as it is by the experience of every family, needed confutation. She was a beautiful and singular creature, white, with a fine tabby tail, and two or three spots of tabby, always delicately clean; and her wild eyes were bright and green as the duch*ess de Cadaval's emerald necklace. Pulcheria did not correspond as she grew up to the promise of her kittenhood and her name; but she was as fond as her mother was shy and intractable. Their fate was extraordinary as well as mournful. When good old Mrs. Wilson died, who used to feed and indulge them, they immediately forsook the house, nor could they be allured to enter it again, though they continued to wander and moan around it, and came for food. After some weeks Madame Bianchi disappeared, and Pulcheria soon afterwards died of a disease endemic at that time among cats.

For a considerable time afterwards, an evil fortune attended all our attempts at re-establishing a Cattery. Ovid disappeared and Virgil died of some miserable distemper. You and your cousin are answerable for these names: the reasons which I could find for them were, in the former case the satisfactory one that the said Ovid might be presumed to be a master in the Art of Love; and in the latter, the probable one that something like Ma-ro—might be detected in the said Virgil's notes of courtship. There was poor Othello: most properly named, for black he was, and jealous undoubtedly he would have been, but he in his kittenship followed Miss Wilbraham into the street, and there in all likelihood came to an untimely end. There was the Zombi—(I leave the Commentators to explain that title, and refer them to my History of Brazil to do it)—his marvellous story was recorded in a letter to Bedford,—and after that adventure he vanished. There was Prester John, who turned out not to be of John's gender, and therefore had the name altered to Pope Joan. The Pope I am afraid came to a death of which other Popes have died. I suspect that some poison which the rats had turned out of their holes, proved fatal to their enemy. For some time I feared we were at the end of our Cat-a-logue: but at last Fortune as if to make amends for her late severity sent us two at once,—the-never-to-be-enough-praised Rumpelstilzchen, and the equally-to-be-admired Hurlyburlybuss.

And “first for the first of these” as my huge favourite, and almost namesake Robert South, says in his Sermons.

When the Midgeleys went away from the next house, they left this creature to our hospitality, cats being the least moveable of all animals because of their strong local predilections;—they are indeed in a domesticated state the serfs of the animal creation, and properly attached to the soil. The change was gradually and therefore easily brought about, for he was already acquainted with the children and with me; and having the same precincts to prowl in was hardly sensible of any other difference in his condition than that of obtaining a name; for when he was consigned to us he was an anonymous cat; and I having just related at breakfast with universal applause the story of Rumpelstilzchen from a German tale in Grimm's Collection, gave him that strange and magnisonant appellation; to which upon its being ascertained that he came when a kitten from a bailiff's house, I added the patronymic of Macbum. Such is his history, his character may with most propriety be introduced after the manner of Plutarch's parallels when I shall have given some previous account of his great compeer and rival Hurlyburlybuss,—that name also is of Germanic and Grimmish extraction.

Whence Hurlyburlybuss came was a mystery when you departed from the Land of Lakes, and a mystery it long remained. He appeared here, as Mango Capac did in Peru, and Quetzalcohuatl among the Aztecas, no one knew from whence. He made himself acquainted with all the philofelists of the family—attaching himself more particularly to Mrs. Lovell, but he never attempted to enter the house, frequently disappeared for days, and once since my return for so long a time that he was actually believed to be dead and veritably lamented as such. The wonder was whither did he retire at such times—and to whom did he belong; for neither I in my daily walks, nor the children, nor any of the servants ever by any chance saw him anywhere except in our own domain. There was something so mysterious in this, that in old times it might have excited strong suspicion, and he would have been in danger of passing for a Witch in disguise, or a familiar. The mystery however was solved about four week's ago, when as we were returning from a walk up the Greta, Isabel saw him on his transit across the road and the wall from Shulicrow, in a direction toward the Hill. But to this day we are ignorant who has the honour to be his owner in the eye of the law; and the owner is equally ignorant of the high favour in which Hurlyburlybuss is held, of the heroic name which he has obtained, and that his fame has extended far and wide—even unto Norwich in the East, and Escott and Crediton and Kellerton in the West, yea—that with Rumpelstilzchen he has been celebrated in song, by some hitherto undiscovered poet, and that his glory will go down to future generations.

The strong enmity which unhappily subsists between these otherwise gentle and most amiable cats, is not unknown to you. Let it be imputed as in justice it ought, not to their individual characters (for Cats have characters,—and for the benefit of philosophy, as well as felisophy, this truth ought generally to be known) but to the constitution of Cat nature,—an original sin, or an original necessity, which may be only another mode of expressing the same thing:

Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere,
Nor can one purlieu brook a double reign
Of Hurlyburlybuss and Rumpelstilzchen.

When you left us, the result of many a fierce conflict was that Hurly remained master of the green and garden, and the whole of the out of door premises. Rumpel always upon the appearance of his victorious enemy retiring into the house as a citadel or sanctuary. The conqueror was perhaps in part indebted for this superiority to his hardier habits of life, living always in the open air, and providing for himself; while Rumpel (who though born under a bum-bailiff's roof was nevertheless kittened with a silver spoon in his mouth) past his hours in luxurious repose beside the fire, and looked for his meals as punctually as any two-legged member of the family. Yet I believe that the advantage on Hurly's side is in a great degree constitutional also, and that his superior courage arises from a confidence in his superior strength, which as you well know is visible in his make. What Bento and Maria Rosa used to say of my poor Thomaz, that he was muito fidalgo is true of Rumpelstilzchen, his countenance, deportment and behaviour being such that he is truly a gentleman-like Tom-cat. Far be it from me to praise him beyond his deserts,—he is not beautiful, the mixture, tabby and white, is not good (except under very favourable combinations) and the tabby is not good of its kind. Nevertheless he is a fine cat, handsome enough for his sex, large, well-made, with good features, and an intelligent countenance, and carrying a splendid tail, which in Cats and Dogs is undoubtedly the seat of honour. His eyes which are soft and expressive are of a hue between chrysolite and emerald. Hurlyburlybuss's are between chrysolite and topaz. Which may be the more esteemed shade for the olho de gato I am not lapidary enough to decide. You should ask my Uncle. But both are of the finest water. In all his other features Hurly must yield the palm, and in form also; he has no pretensions to elegance, his size is ordinary and his figure bad: but the character of his face and neck is so masculine, that the Chinese who use the word bull as synonymous with male, and call a boy a bull-child, might with great propriety denominate him a bull-cat. His make evinces such decided marks of strength and courage that if cat-fighting were as fashionable as co*ck-fighting, no Cat would stand a fairer chance for winning a Welsh main. He would become as famous as the Dog Billy himself, whom I look upon as the most distinguished character that has appeared since Buonaparte.

Some weeks ago Hurlyburlybuss was manifestly emaciated and enfeebled by ill health, and Rumpelstilzchen with great magnanimity made overtures of peace. The whole progress of the treaty was seen from the parlour window. The caution with which Rumpel made his advances, the sullen dignity with which they were received, their mutual uneasiness when Rumpel after a slow and wary approach, seated himself whisker-to-whisker with his rival, the mutual fear which restrained not only teeth and claws, but even all tones of defiance, the mutual agitation of their tails which, though they did not expand with anger, could not be kept still for suspense and lastly the manner in which Hurly retreated, like Ajax still keeping his face toward his old antagonist were worthy to have been represented by that painter who was called the Rafaelle of Cats. The overture I fear was not accepted as generously as it was made; for no sooner had Hurlyburlybuss recovered strength than hostilities were recommenced with greater violence than ever, Rumpel who had not abused his superiority while he possessed it, had acquired mean time a confidence which made him keep the field. Dreadful were the combats which ensued as their ears, faces and legs bore witness. Rumpel had a wound which went through one of his feet. The result has been so far in his favour that he no longer seeks to avoid his enemy, and we are often compelled to interfere and separate them. Oh it is aweful to hear the “dreadful note of preparation” with which they prelude their encounters!—the long low growl slowly rises and swells till it becomes a high sharp yowl,—and then it is snapt short by a sound which seems as if they were spitting fire and venom at each other. I could half persuade myself that the word felonious is derived from the feline temper as displayed at such times. All means of reconciling them and making them understand how goodly a thing it is for cats to dwell together in peace, and what fools they are to quarrel and tear each other are in vain. The proceedings of the Society for the Abolition of War are not more utterly ineffectual and hopeless.

All we can do is to act more impartially than the Gods did between Achilles and Hector, and continue to treat both with equal regard.

And thus having brought down these Memoirs of the Cats of Greta Hall to the present day, I commit the precious memorial to your keeping, and remain

Most dissipated and light-heeled daughter,
Your most diligent and light-hearted father,

Keswick, 18 June, 1824.


[The following playful effusion was likewise, as the “Memoirs of Cat's Eden,” intended for “THE DOCTOR, &C.,” but how it was to have been moulded, so as to obscure the incognito, I do not know. It will tend, if I mistake not, to shew the easy versatility,—the true εὐτραπελία,—of a great and a good man's mind. “Fortune,” says Fluellen, “is turning and inconstant, and variations, and mutabilities,”—but one who, in the midst of constant and laborious occupations, could revel in such a recreation as this “Chapter on the Statues” was Fortune's master, and above her wheel.
It may be added that there was another very curious collection of Letters intended for “THE DOCTOR, &C.,” but they have not come to my hand. They were written in a peculiar dialect and would have required much mother wit and many vocabularies to have decyphered them. She who suggested them,—a woman “of infinite jest,—of most excellent fancy,”—a good woman, and a kind,—is now gathered to her rest!]


Ὁ μὲν διάβολος ἐνέπνενσέ τισι παρανόμοις ἀνθρώποις, καὶ εἰς τοὺς τῶν βασιλέων ὕβρισαν ἀνδριάντας.


My dear daughter,

Having lately been led to compose an inscription for one of our Garden statues, an authentic account of two such extraordinary works of art has appeared to me so desirable that I even wonder at myself for having so long delayed to write one. It is the more incumbent on me to do this, because neither of the artists have thought proper to inscribe their names upon these master-pieces,—either from that modesty which often accompanies the highest genius, or from a dignified consciousness that it was unnecessary to set any mark upon them, the works themselves sufficiently declaring from what hands they came.

I undertake this becoming task with the more pleasure because our friend Mrs. Keenan has kindly offered to illustrate the intended account by drawings of both Statues,—having as you may well suppose been struck with admiration by them. The promise of this co-operation induces me not to confine myself to a mere description, but to relate on what occasion they were made, and faithfully to record the very remarkable circ*mstances which have occurred in consequence; circ*mstances I will venture to say, as well attested and as well worthy of preservation as any of those related in the History of the Portuguese Images of Nossa Senhora, in ten volumes quarto,—a book of real value, and which you know I regard as one of the most curious in my collection. If in the progress of this design I should sometimes appear to wander in digression, you will not impute it to any habitual love of circumlocution; and the speculative notions which I may have occasion to propose, you will receive as mere speculations and judge of them accordingly.

Many many years ago I remember to have seen these popular and rustic rhymes in print,

God made a great man to plough and to sow,
God made a little man to drive away the crow;

they were composed perhaps to make some little man contented with that office, and certain it is that in all ages and all countries it has been an object of as much consequence to preserve the seed from birds when sown, as to sow it. No doubt Adam himself when he was driven to cultivate the ground felt this, and we who are his lineal descendants (though I am sorry to say we have not inherited a rood of his estates) have felt it also, in our small but not unimportant concern, the Garden. Mrs. L., the Lady of that Garden used to complain grievously of the depredations committed there, especially upon her pease. Fowls and Ducks were condemned either to imprisonment for life, or to the immediate larder for their offences of this kind; but the magpies (my protegées) and the sparrows, and the blackbirds and the thrushes bade defiance to the coop and the cook. She tried to fright them away by feathers fastened upon a string, but birds were no more to be frightened by feathers than to be caught by chaff. She drest up two mopsticks; not to be forgotten, because when two youths sent their straw hats upon leaving Keswick to K. and B., the girls consigned the hats to these mopsticks and named the figures thus attired in due honour of the youths, L. N., and C. K. These mopsticks however were well drest enough to invite thieves from the town,—and too well to frighten the birds. Something more effectual was wanted, and Mrs. L. bespoke a man of Joseph Glover.

Such is the imperfection of language that write as carefully and warily as we can it is impossible to use words which will not frequently admit of a double construction, upon this indeed it is that the Lawyers have founded the science of the Law, which said science they display in extracting any meaning from any words, and generally that meaning that shall be most opposite to the intention for which they were used. When I say that your Aunt L. bespoke a man of Joseph Glover, I do not mean that she commissioned him to engage a labourer: nor that she required him actually to make a man like Frankenstein,—though it must be admitted that such a man as Frankenstein made, would be the best of all scarecrows, provided he were broken in so as to be perfectly manageable. To have made a man indeed would have been more than even Paracelsus would have undertaken to perform; for according to the receipt which that illustrious Bombast ab Hohenheim has delivered to posterity, an homunculus cannot be produced in a hot-bed in less than forty weeks and forty days; and this would not have been in time to save the pease; not to mention that one of his homunculi had it been ready could not have served the purpose, for by his account, when it was produced, it was smaller even than Mark Thumb. Such an order would have been more unreasonable than any of those which Juno imposed upon Hercules; whereas the task imposed by Mrs. L. was nothing more than Glover thought himself capable of executing, for he understood the direction plainly and simply in its proper sense, as a carpenter ought to understand it.

An ordinary Carpenter might have hesitated at undertaking it, or bungled in the execution. But Glover is not an ordinary Carpenter. He says of himself that he should have been a capital singer, only the pity is, that he has no voice. Whether he had ever a similar persuasion of his own essential but unproducible talents for sculpture or painting I know not:—but if ever genius and originality were triumphantly displayed in the first effort of an untaught artist, it was on this occasion. Perhaps I am wrong in calling him untaught;—for there is a supernatural or divine teaching;—and it will appear presently that if there be any truth in heathen philosophy, or in that of the Roman Catholicks (which is very much the same in many respects) some such assistance may be suspected in this case.

With or without such assistance, but certainly con amore, and with the aid of his own genius, if of no other, Glover went to work: ere long shouts of admiration were heard one evening in the kitchen, so loud and of such long continuance that enquiry was made from the parlour into the cause, and the reply was that Mrs. L.'s man was brought home. Out we went, father, mother and daughters, (yourself among them,—for you cannot have forgotten that memorable hour), My Lady and the Venerabilis,—and Mrs. L. herself, as the person more immediately concerned. Seldom as it happens that any artist can embody with perfect success the conceptions of another, in this instance the difficult and delicate task had been perfectly accomplished. But I must describe the Man,—calling him by that name at present, the power, æon or intelligence which had incorporated itself with that ligneous resemblance of humanity not having at that time been suspected.

Yet methinks more properly might he have been called youth than man, the form and stature being juvenile. The limbs and body were slender, though not so as to convey any appearance of feebleness, it was rather that degree of slenderness which in elegant and refined society is deemed essential to grace. The countenance at once denoted strength and health and hilarity, and the incomparable carpenter had given it an expression of threatful and alert determination, suited to the station for which he was designed and the weapon which he bore. The shape of the face was rather round than oval, resembling methinks the broad harvest moon; the eyes were of the deepest black, the eyebrows black also; and there was a blackness about the nose and lips, such as might be imagined in the face of Hercules, while he was in the act of lifting and strangling the yet unsubdued and struggling Antæus. On his head was a little hat, low in the crown and narrow in the brim. His dress was a sleeved jacket without skirts,—our ancestors would have called it a gipion, jubon it would be rendered if ever this description were translated into Spanish, gibão in Portuguese, jupon or gippon in old French. It was fastened from the neck downward with eight white buttons, two and two, and between them was a broad white stripe, the colour of the gipion being brown: whether the strype was to represent silver lace, or a white facing like that of the naval uniform, is doubtful and of little consequence. The lower part of his dress represented innominables and hose in one, of the same colour as the gipion. And he carried a fowling-piece in his hand.

Great was the satisfaction which we all expressed at beholding so admirable a man; great were the applauses which we bestowed upon the workman with one consent; and great was the complacency with which Glover himself regarded the work of his own hands. He thought, he said, this would please us. Please us indeed it did, and so well did it answer that after short trial Mrs. L. thinking that a second image would render the whole garden secure, and moreover that it was not good for her Man to be alone, directed Glover to make a woman also. The woman accordingly was made. Flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, she could not be, the Man himself not being made of such materials; but she was wood of his wood and plank of his plank,—which was coming as nearly as possible to it, made of the same tree and fashioned by the same hand.

The woman was in all respects a goodly mate for the man, except that she seemed to be a few years older; she was rather below the mean stature, in that respect resembling the Venus de Medicis; slender waisted yet not looking as if she were tight-laced, nor so thin as to denote ill health. Her dress was a gown of homely brown, up to the neck. The artist had employed his brightest colours upon her face, even the eyes and nose partook of that brilliant tint which is sometimes called the roseate hue of health or exercise, sometimes the purple light of love. The whites of her eyes were large. She also was represented in a hat, but higher in the crown and broader in the rim than the man's, and where his brim was turned up, her's had a downward inclination giving a feminine character to that part of her dress.

She was placed in the garden; greatly as we admired both pieces of workmanship, we considered them merely as what they seemed to be; they went by the names of Mrs. L.'s Man and Woman; and even when you departed for the south they were still known only by that vague and most unworthy designation. Some startling circ*mstances after awhile excited a more particular attention to them. Several of the family declared they had been frightened by them; and K. one evening, came in saying that Aunt L.'s woman had given her a jump. Even this did not awaken any suspicion of their supernatural powers as it ought to have done, till on a winter's night, one of the maids hearing a knock at the back door opened it; and started back when she saw that it was the woman with a letter in her hand! This is as certain as that Nosso Senhor dos Passes knocked at the door of S. Roque's convent in Lisbon and was not taken in,—to the infinite regret of the monks when they learnt that he had gone afterwards to the Graça Convent and been admitted there. It is as certain that I have seen men, women and children of all ranks kissing the foot of the said Image in the Church, and half Lisbon following his procession in the streets. It is as certain as all the miracles in the Fasti, the Metamorphoses, and the Acta Sanctorum.

Many remarkable things were now called to mind both of the man and woman;—how on one occasion they had made Miss C.'s maid miscarry of—half a message; and how at another time when Isaac was bringing a basket from Mr. C.'s, he was frightened into his wits by them. But on Sunday evening last the most extraordinary display of wonderful power occurred, for in the evening the woman instead of being in her place among the pease, appeared standing erect on the top of Mr. Fisher's haymow in the forge field, and there on the following morning she was seen by all Keswick, who are witnesses of the fact.

You may well suppose that I now began to examine into the mystery, and manifold were the mysteries which I discovered, and many the analogies in their formation of which the maker could never by possibility have heard; and many the points of divine philosophy and theurgic science which they illustrated. In the first place two Swedenborgian correspondencies flashed upon me in the material whereof they were constructed. They were intended to guard the Garden. There is a proverb which says, set a thief to catch a thief, and therefore it is that they were fir statues. Take it in English and the correspondence is equally striking; they were made of deal, because they were to do a deal of good. The dark aspect of the male figure also was explained; for being stationed there contra fures, it was proper that he should have a furious countenance. Secondly, there is something wonderful in their formation:—they are bifronted, not merely bifaced like Janus, but bifronted from top to toe. Let the thief be as cunning as he may he cannot get behind them.—They have no backs, and were they disposed to be indolent and sit at their posts it would be impossible. They can appear at the kitchen door, or on the haymow, they can give the children and even the grown persons of the family a jump, but to sit is beyond their power however miraculous it may be; for impossibilities cannot be effected even by miracle, and as it is impossible to see without eyes, or to walk without legs,—or for a ship to float without a bottom, so is it for a person in the same predicament as such a ship—to sit.

Yet farther mysteries; both hands of these marvellous statues are right hands and both are left hands, they are at once ambidexter and ambisinister. It was said by Dryden of old Jacob Tonson that he had two left legs: but these marvellous statues have two left legs and two right legs each, and yet but four legs between them, that is to say but two a-piece. In the whole course of my reading I have found no account of any statues so wonderful as these. For though the Roman Janus was bifronted, and my old acquaintance Yamen had in like manner a double face, and many of the Hindoo and other Oriental Deities have their necks set round with heads, and their elbows with arms, yet it is certain that all these Gods have backs, and sides to them also. In this point no similitude can be found for our Images. They may be likened to the sea as being bottomless,—but as being without a back and in the mystery of having both hands and legs at once right and left they are unequalled; none but themselves can be their parallel.

Now my daughter I appeal to you and to all other reasonable persons,—I put the question to your own plain sense,—is it anyways likely that statues so wonderful, so inexpressibly mysterious in their properties should be the mere work of a Keswick carpenter, though aided as he was by Mrs. L.'s directions? Is it not certain that neither he, nor Mrs. L., had the slightest glimpse, the remotest thought of any such properties,—she when she designed, he when he executed the marvellous productions? Is it possible that they should? Would it not be preposterous to suppose it?

This supposition therefore being proved to be absurd, which in mathematics is equal to a demonstration that the contrary must be true, it remains to enquire into the real origin of their stupendous qualities. Both the ancient Heathens and the Romanists teach that certain Images of the Gods or of the Saints have been made without the aid of human hands, and that they have appeared no one knew whence or how. The Greeks called such images Diopeteis, as having fallen from the sky, and I could enumerate were it needful sundry Catholic Images which are at this day venerated as being either of angelic workmanship or celestial origin. We cannot however have recourse to this solution in the present case; for Glover is so veracious a man that if he had found these figures in his workshop without knowing how they came there,—or if he had seen them grow into shape while he was looking on,—he would certainly not have concealed a fact so extraordinary. All Keswick would have known it. It must have become as notorious as Prince Hohenloe's miracles.

There remains then another hypothesis, which is also common to the ancient Pagans and the Romanists;—that some superior powers finding a congruity in the Images have been pleased to communicate to them a portion of their influence, and even of their presence, and so if I may be allowed the word, have actually become inligneate in them. Were my old acquaintance, Thomas Taylor, here, who entirely believes this, he would at once determine which of his Heathen Deities have thus manifested their existence. Who indeed that looks at the Youth but must be reminded of Apollo? Said I that his face resembled in its rotundity the Moon? the Sun would have been the fitter similitude,—the sun shorn of its beams;—Phœbus,—such as he appeared when in the service of Admetus. And for his female companion, her beauty and the admiration which it excites in all beholders, identify her with no less certainty for Venus. We have named them therefore the Apollo de L., and the Venus de Glover; in justice to both artists; and in farther honour of them and of the Images themselves have composed the following inscription:

No works of Phidias we; but Mrs. L.
Designed, and we were made by Joseph Glover.
Apollo, I, and yonder Venus stands,
Behold her, and you cannot chuse but love her.
If antient sculptors could behold us here
How would they pine with envy and abhorrence!
For even as I surpass their Belvedere
So much doth she excel the pride of Florence.


Careless! bring your apprehension along with you.


If I have written a sentence, or a word, that can bear a captious or unreasonable construction, I earnestly intreat a more lenient interpretation. When a man feels acutely, he may perhaps speak at times more pointedly than he ought; yet, in the present instance, I am conscious of no sentiment which I could wish to alter.


νὴ τὸν Ποσειδῶ, καὶ λέγει γ᾽, ἅπερ λέγει,
δίκαια πάντα, κοὐδὲν αὐτῶν ψεύδεται.


Will you be true?

TRO. Who, I? alas, it is my vice, my fault.
While others fish with craft for great opinion,
I with great truth catch mere simplicity.
Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns,
With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.
Fear not my truth; the moral of my wit
Is—‘plain and true;’ there's all the reach of it.

come augel che pria s'avventa e teme
Stassi fra i rami paventoso e solo
Mirando questo ed or quell' altro colle;
Cosi mi levo e mi ritengo insieme,
L'ale aguzzando al mio dubbioso volo.


Whosoever be reader hereof maie take it by reason for a riche and a newe labour; and speciallie princes and governours of the common wealth, and ministers of justice, with other. Also the common people eche of theim maie fynd the labour conveniente to their estate. And herein is conteigned certaine right highe and profounde sentences, and holsome counsaylles, and mervaillous devyses agaynste the encumbraunce of fortune; and ryght swete consolacions for theim that are overthrowen by fortune. Finally it is good to them that digeste it, and thanke God that hath given such grace to the Auctour in gevyng us example of vertuous livyng, with hye and salutary doctrynes, and marvailous instructions of perfectness.—A ryght precious meale is the sentences of this boke; but fynally the sauce of the saied swete style moveth the appetyte. Many bookes there be of substanciall meates, but they bee so rude and so unsavery, and the style of so small grace, that the first morcell is lothsome and noyfull; and of suche bookes foloweth to lye hole and sounde in lybraries; but I trust this will not. Of trouth great prayse is due to the auctour of his travayle.


The current that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
But when his fair course is not hindered,
He makes sweet music with the enamel'd stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course;
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my rest.

Sith you have long time drawn the weeds of my wit and fed yourselves with the co*ckle of my conceits, I have at last made you gleaners of my harvest, and partakers of my experience.—Here shall you find the style varying according to the matter, suitable to the style, and all of these aimed to profit. If the title make you suspect, compare it with the matter, it will answer you; if the matter, apply it with the censures of the learned, they will countenance the same; of the handling I repent me not, for I had rather you should condemn me for default in rhetorick, than commend my style and lament my judgement. Thus resolved both of the matter, and satisfied in my method, I leave the whole to your judgements; which, if they be not depraved with envy, will be bettered in knowledge, and if not carried away with opinion, will receive much profit.


This good Wine I present, needs no Ivy-bush. They that taste thereof shall feel the fruit to their best content, and better understanding. The learned shall meet with matter to refresh their memories; the younger students, a directory to fashion their discourse; the weakest capacity, matter of wit, worth and admiration.

T. L. D. M. P's. Epistle Prefatory
to the Learned Summarie upon
the famous Poem of William
of Salust, Lord of BARTAS.

This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeon's pease,
And utters it again when Jove doth please;
He is wit's pedlar, and retails his wares.

Imagination thro' the trick
Of Doctors, often makes us sick;
And why, let any sophist tell,
May it not likewise make us well!

His mind fastens
On twenty several objects, which confound
Deep sense with folly.

It is a crown unto a gentle breast,
To impart the pleasure of his flowing mind,
(Whose sprightly motion never taketh rest)
To one whose bosom he doth open find.

—Be prepared to hear:
And since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.

And whereas in my expression I am very plain and downright, and in my teaching part seem to tautologize, it should be considered, (and whoever has been a teacher will remember) that the learners must be plainly dealt with, and must have several times renewed unto them the same thing.—Therefore I have chosen so to do in several places, because I had rather (in such cases) speak three words too many, than one syllable too few.


Lire et repasser souvent
Sur Athenes et sur Rome,
C'est dequoy faire un Sçavant,
Mais, non pas un habile homme.

Meditez incessamment,
Devorez livre apres livre,
D'est en vivant seulement
Que vous apprendrez à vivre.

Avant qu'en sçavoir les loix,
La clarté nous est ravie:
Il faudroit vivre deux fois
Pour bien conduire sa vie.


If we could hit on't, gallants, there are due
Certain respects from writers, and from you.

—Here you have a piece so subtly writ
Men must have wit themselves to find the wit.

All puddings have two ends, and most short sayings
Two handles to their meaning.

Reader, Now I send thee like a Bee to gather honey out of flowers and weeds; every garden is furnished with either, and so is ours. Read and meditate; thy profit shall be little in any book, unless thou read alone, and unless thou read all and record after.


The most famous of the Pyramids was that of Hermes.—Through each door of this Pyramid was an entrance into seven apartments, called by the names of the Planets. In each of them was a golden Statue. The biggest was in the apartment of Osiris, or the Sun. It had a book upon its forehead, and its hand upon its mouth. Upon the outside of the Book was written this inscription. I must be read in a profound silence.


Facio ego ut solent, qui quanto plus aliquem mirantur et explicare volunt quod sentiunt, eo minus id assequuntur quod volunt, ut quamquam magnum aliquid animo concipiunt, verba tamen desint, et moliri potius quàm dicere potuisse videantur.


Nihil mihi potest esse beatius quam scire; discendum verò ut sciamus. Ego quidem sapientiæ ambitum, tanquam animi nostri ærarium quoddam semper judicavi, id quod communia commentationum nostrarum vectigalia inferenda censeo, sed proba; unde sibi suum quisque in usum sumat sine invidia atque simultate.


Feliz yerba es la yedra, si se enrama
A un muro altivo, á quien no alcanza el corte
De la envidia; puer queda con su altura,
El mas vistoso, y ella mas segura.


en poco tiempo te he dicho
lo que passò en mucho tiempo.


I'll range the plenteous intellectual field,
And gather every thought of sovereign power
To chase the moral maladies of man;
Thoughts which may bear transplanting to the skies,
Nor wholly wither there where Seraphs sing,
Refined, exalted,—not annull'd—in heaven.

Let every man enjoy his whim;
What's he to me, or I to him.

And whereas I may seem too smart or satyrical in some particular places, I do not at all repent me, as thinking what is said to such ill-deserving persons much too little.


—Play the fool with wits,
'Gainst fools be guarded, 'tis a certain rule
Wits are safe things; there's danger in a fool.

And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortune on the back
Of such as have before endured the like.

Our life indeed has bitterness enough
To change a loving nature into gall:
Experience sews coarse patches on the stuff
Whose texture was originally all
Smooth as the rose-leaf's, and whose hues were bright
As are the colours of the weeping cloud
When the sun smiles upon its tears.

Thus much we know, eternal bliss and pure,
By God's unfailing promise, is secure
To them who their appointed lot endure
Meekly, striving to fulfil,
In humble hopefulness, God's will.

I thowt how hard it is to denye
A ladye's preyer, wych after the entent
Of the poete is a myghty comaundement;
Wherfore me thoht as in this caas
That my wyt war lakkyd bettyr it was
That my wyl, and therfore to do
My ladyes preyer I assentyd to.

Al peco de los años
lo eminente se rinde;
que à lo facil del tiempo
no ay conquista dificil.


We only meet on earth
That we may know how sad it is to part:
And sad indeed it were, if in the heart
There were no store reserved against a dearth,
No calm Elysium for departed Mirth,
Haunted by gentle shadows of past pleasure,
Where the sweet folly, the light-footed measure,
And graver trifles of the shining hearth
Live in their own dear image.

Sweet are the thoughts that smother from conceit:
For when I come and sit me down to rest,
My chair presents a throne of majesty;
And when I set my bonnet on my head,
Methinks I fit my forehead for a crown;
And when I take a truncheon in my fist,
A sceptre then comes tumbling in my thoughts.

Quandquam verò hoc mihi non polliceri possum, me ubique veritatem quam sectatus sum, assecutum esse; sed potius eo fine ea proposui, ut et alios ad veritatis investigationem invitarem: tamen ut rectè Galenus habet, τολμητέον τε καὶ ξητητεὸν τὸ ἀληθὲς, εἰ γὰρ καὶ μὴ τύχομεν αὐτοῦ πάντως, δήπου πλησιέστερον ἢ νῦν ἐσμὲν ἀφιζόμεθα. Audendum est, et veritas investiganda, quam etiamsi non assequamur, omnino tamen propius quam nunc sumus, ad eam perveniemus. Quo verò ego animo ad scribendum accessi, eo ut alii ad legendum accedant, opto.


I do confess the imperfect performance. Yet I must take the boldness to say, I have not miscarried in the whole; for the mechanical part of it is regular. That I may say with as little vanity, as a builder may say he has built a house according to the model laid down before him, or a gardener that he has set his flowers in a knot of such or such a figure.


As wheresoever these leaves fall, the root is in my heart, so shall they have ever true impressions thereof. Thus much information is in very leaves, that they can tell what the Tree is; and these can tell you I am a friend and an honest man.


On ne recognoistroit les monts, sans les valees;
Et les tailles encor artistement meslees
En œuvre mosaÿque, ont, pour plus grand beauté,
Divers prix, divers teint, diverse quantité.
Dieu veuille qu'en mes chants la plus insigne tache
Semble le moucheron qu'une pucelle attache
A sa face neigeuse, et que bien peu d'erreurs
Donnent lustre aux beaux traicts de mes hautes fureurs.


Hills were not seen but for the vales betwixt;
The deep indentings artificial mixt
Amid mosaicks, for mere ornament,
Have prizes, sizes and dyes different.
And, Oh, God grant, the greatest spot you spy
In all my frame, may be but as the fly,
Which on her ruff, (whiter than whitest snows)
To whiten white, the fairest virgin sows,
(Or like the velvet on her brow, or like
The dunker mole on Venus' dainty cheek,)
And that a few faults may but lustre bring
To my high furies where I sweetest sing.

Be as capricious and sick-brained as ignorance and malice can make thee, here thou art rectified; or be as healthful as the inward calm of an honest heart, learning, and temper can state thy disposition, yet this book may be thy fortunate concernment and companion.


Humble and meek befitteth men of years,
Behold my cell, built in a silent shade,
Holding content for poverty and peace,
And in my lodge is fealty and faith,
Labour and love united in one league.
I want not, for my mind affordeth wealth,
I know not envy, for I climb not high;
Thus do I live, and thus I mean to die.

The events of to-day make us look forward to what will happen to-morrow; those of yesterday carry our views into another world.


Mine earnest intent is as much to profit as to please, non tam ut populo placerem, quam ut populum juvarem: and these my writings shall take, I hope like gilded pills, which are so composed as well to tempt the appetite and deceive the palate, as to help and medicinally work upon the whole body. My lines shall not only recreate, but rectify the mind.


—Sit thou a patient looker on;
Judge not the play, before the play is done,
Her plot has many changes; every day
Speaks a new scene, the last act crowns the play.

Lord, if thy gracious bounty please to fill
The floor of my desires, and teach me skill
To dress and chuse the corn, take those the chaff that will.

Je n'ay pas plus faict mon livre, que mon livre m'a faict,—livre consubstantiel à son autheur.


se le parole che usa lo scrittore portan seco un poco, non dirà di difficultà, ma d'acutezza recondita, et non cosi nota, come quelle che si dicono parlando ordinariamente, danno una certa maggior auttorità alla scrittura, et fanno che il lettore va piu ritenuto, et sopra di se, et meglio considera, et si diletta dell' ingegno et dottrina di chi scrive; et col buon giudicio affaticandosi un poco gusta quel piacere, che s'ha nel conseguir le cose difficili. Et se l'ignorantia di chi legge è tanta, che non posse superar quella difficultà, non è la colpa dello scrittore.


Certo estava eu que o Doutor sabia de tudo o que disse, nao só os termos e fundamentos, mas acuda o mas difficultoza, e substancial;—mas o praticar dellas de modo, que eu as entendesse, he graça de seu saber, e naõ sufficiencia do meu ingenho.


Sir, Our greatest business is more in our power than the least, and we may be surer to meet in Heaven than in any place upon earth; and whilst we are distant here, we may meet as often as we list in God's presence, by soliciting in our prayers for one another.


Or ti riman, Lettor, sovra 'l tuo banco,
Dietro pensando a ciò che si preliba,
S'esser vuoi lieto assai prima che stanco.
Messo t'ho innanzi; omai per te li ciba;
Che a se ritorce tutta la mia cura
Quella materia ond'io son fatto scriba.


I have been often told that nobody now would read any thing that was plain and true;—that was accounted dull work, except one mixed something of the sublime, prodigious, monstrous, or incredible; and then they would read the one for the sake of the other.—So rather than not be read, I have put in a proportionable little of the monstrous. If any thing be found fault with, it is possible I may explain and add.


Who seeketh in thee for profit and gain
Of excellent matter soon shall attain.
T. H.

Pay me like for like; give me good thoughts for great studies; and at leastwise shew me this courtly courtesy to afford me good words, which cost you nothing, for serious thoughts hatched up with much consideration. Thus commending my deserts to the learned, and committing my labour to the instruction of the ignorant, I bid you all heartily farewell.


Even at this time, when I humbly thank God, I ask and have his comfort of sadder meditations, I do not condemn in myself that I have given my wit such evaporations as these.



Gentle Reader—for if thou art fond of such works as these, thou are like to be the Gentleman and the Scholar—I take upon me to advertise thee that the Printer of THE DOCTOR, &C. is William Nicol of the Shakspeare Press—the long tried Friend of the lamented Southey, and of their mutual Friend, the late Grosvenor Bedford, of Her Majesty's Exchequer—

Felices animæ, et quales neque candidiores
Terra tulit!

The Sonnet following, Gentle Reader, I do thee to wit, is the composition of the above kind hearted and benevolent William Nicol—and I wish it to be printed, because on Grosvenor Bedford's last short visit to Southey in 1836, he expressed himself much pleased with it. May be, if thou art fond of the gentle craft, it may please thee too, and so I wish thee heartily farewell!

Who wrote THE DOCTOR? Who's the scribe unknown?—
Time may discover, when the grave has closed
Its earthy jaws o'er us, who now are posed
To father that which greatest pen might own;
Learning diffuse, quaint humour, lively wit,
Satire severe and bold, or covert, sly,
Turning within itself the mental eye
To fancies strange that round its orbit flit,
Unknown to others and by self scarce seen;
Teaching, in sweetest English, England's plan,—
When England was herself, her laurels green—
Honour to God and charity to man:
Who wrote the Doctor? her best Son, I ween,
Whether his works, or his fair life you scan.




The Project Gutenberg e-Book of The Doctor, &c., Vol. 7 by Robert Southey (2024)
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