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choicest virtues of our dear and worthy friend Mr. N. Ferrar unto posterity: whom as I truly loved whilst he lived, so I am one that shall ever honour his blessed memory.
As for the time of his admission into our college of Clare Hall, he was, as I did then guess by his stature and dimensions, about thirteen years of age, when yet his deportment was such as spake him more a man than many are at four and twenty: there was so sweet a mixture in him of gravity with affability, and modesty with civility.
After the commendable performances of his acts in Scholis Publicis, it pleased the university to grace him with the degree of bachelor of arts. And his worth was so well known in the college, that he was selected to make the oration upon the coronation day (as I remember) after his proceeding; which he performed with great applause. And the then master of the college, Dr. Smith, was thereupon so taken with him, that he was pleased to ask a near friend of his, whether the young gentleman did intend to continue in the life of a scholar. And receiving answer, that it was his settled resolution, he was not nice to express his good opinion of him to be such as he thought him well worthy to be elected into our society. Wherein he shewed himself to be most real, by making choice of him at the very next election, with the unanimous consent of all the co-electors then present at the meeting for that purpose.
From that time to the taking of his next degree he was a constant resident with us in our college; during which space his comportment was such in all respects, as that it was exemplary not only to his puisnes and compeers, but to many who were much his ancients, who were all so much pleased with his company, as that they thought themselves happiest, who most enjoyed it.
As he was ever a most constant student, so none more careful to give his attendance on the college chapel at times of prayer, where he did so frequently officiate himself in person, as if he had been the college conduct, and bound to perform that exercise ex officio. Whereas he was tied thereunto only for a week when it came to his turn.
Soon after his admission ad incipiendum in artibus (to the best of my remembrance and before his creation in majoribus comitiis (having obtained leave both from his parents and the college) he began his travels into foreign parts. Where how long he continued, his brother Mr. John Ferrar can best inform you. But so well did he improve the time that he spent therein, as that beside the knowledge which he had gained in the principal of the western languages, Low and High Dutch, Italian, French and Spanish, he was able to make relation observable of the most remarkable passages which had been incident to any of those places where he had made any considerable abode : as myself, with many others who had the happiness to hear him discourse thereof, can give due testimony.
From the time of his return unto the college, as he continued ever an indefatigable student, so he was an extraordinary proficient, as having attained within a few years unto that degree of knowledge in divinity, that he did not only overtake, but get the start of many who were much his ancients, und such as were worthily held in reputation for their great learning by the ablest divines both in the college and the university. Which was the less to be wondered at in our worthy friend, because as he was of a very sharp wit and most clear comprehension, so also of a most solid judgement and retaining memory. By means whereof he could fully render the resultance of any author he had gone through, as myself can testify amongst others of his consorts. In which respect as he had not many peers, so he had few who could compare with him for his exact skill in the book of books, the Holy Scriptures; which he made from his cradle, as I may say, so familiar to him by his daily and diligent reading and meditating thereon, as that he was able to turn readily to any place without the help of a concordance.
Certes, Sir, to give him his due commendation, I may truly say that he was Homo perpaucorum hominum, et ad omnia natus.
In all which respects as he was eminent whilst he was a commorant in the university, so he gave
1 “What would be the resultance of such a persuasion ?" -Hoard's God's Love to Mankind, 42. Cf. Richardson.
2 Cf. Heind, on Hor. S. i. 9. 44.
full demonstration thereof to his dearest and nearest friends at Little Gidding, where in his last and best times he was a burning and a shining light. And therefore I advise the writer of his life to repair to such of his friends as are there yet living, who are able to furnish him with such store of choice materials and so exactly squared unto his hands, as they will both head and bed (as our country masons used to speak) in the goodly structure which he is now erecting for the preservation of his precious memory here on earth, who now shines more gloriously inter stellas primce magnitudinis among the ever-blessed saints in the highest heaTuus ex animo,
ROBERTUS BYNG'. ASHLINGTON com. Wilts,
Idibus Septembris 1654.
Mr. Garthwaites, stationer, at the
6. During his (N. F.) being at Clare Hall he had an only sister then living married to one Mr. John Collett, who lived at Bourne, some five’ miles off Cambridge. This sister he loved entirely, she being a lover of learning, -often resorted to her house, and his tutor and fellows; had divers young nieces, bred up with their mother, trained up in daily reading chapters in the Bible and
1 B.A. 1596–7. M.A. 1600. D.D. 1630.
2 All the distances in this life are under the truth. Bourne (near Caxton) is about ten miles from Cambridge.
David's psalms, whom he instructed in all good things, with exhortations in writing and letters.
7. Being at Cambridge, that air was not very proper to his tender constitution, which was delicate. He was much subject to agues and aguish distempers. Dr. Butler' was his physician, who was a Clare Hall man, and one that loved his tutor Linsell very well; and Mr. Lake, Mr. Ruggle",
1 See Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, iii. 119 seq., the Cambridge Portfolio, ii. 489 seq., Fuller, Hist. Cambr. sect. viii. § 4, and Worthies in Suffolk, Clarke's Martyrologie (ed. 1651), 476, 482. His epitaph is in Le Neve's Monumenta Anglic. i. 64.
2 William Lake, who acted Trico, when Ignoramus was represented before James I, March 8, 1614-5. Nichols's Progresses, ii. 53. He was M. A. and fellow of Clare in 1619 (Baker's MS. X. 156).
3 Author of Ignoramus, who appointed his “dear and loving friends, Mr. Doctor Winston, and Mr. Nicholas Ferrar, to be supervisors and overseers of this my last will and testament, desiring them to be an aid and ease to Sir Edmond Varney in what they may; and I give and bequeath unto either of them five pounds a-piece, over and above the former legacies which by this my will I have bequeathed unto them." He had before bequeathed to them and to his "worthy friends of Clare Hall,” Augustine Linsell, doctor of divinity, Mr. William Lake &c. “a ring of gold, of the value of forty shillings a-piece.” Will in Hawkins's ed. of Ignoramus, cii, xcvi, xcvii. dated Sept. 6, 1621, and proved Nov. 3, 1622. Another item in the will was no doubt due to the influence of Nicholas Ferrar. “I give and bequeath one hundred pounds towards the bringing up of the infidels' children in Virginia in Christian religion, which my will is