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51. And Mr. Herbert, seeing he could not draw Gidding nearer him, he would draw nearer to his brother N. F.; and not long before his death was upon exchanging his living for one, merely for the situation, as being nearer his dear brother, though in value much inferior to his own: but he said that he valued Mr. Ferrar's near neighbourhood more than any living. And truly there was no loss? of affection between them: N. F. prizing him as a most precious friend, and with whom he could live and die, if God saw it so good for both. And as N. F. communicated his heart to him, so he made him the peruser, and desired the approbation, of what he did, as in those three translations of Valdesso, Lessius”, and Carbo. To the first Mr. Herbert made an epistle, to the second he sent to add that of Cornarius's temperance, and well approved of the last. And when Mr. Herbert died, he recommended only of all his papers that of his divine poems, and willed it to be delivered into the hands of his brother N. F., appointing him to be
1 A rare use of the phrase there's no love lost between them.
3 “Upon which design [to adorn our protestant religion by a right renouncing the world &c.] he helped to put out Lessius ; and to stir up us ministers to be painful in that excellent labour of the Lord, catechising, feeding the lambs of Christ, he translated a piece of Lud. Carbo, wherein Carbo confesseth, that the heretics (i. e. protestants) had got much advantage by catechising: but the authority at Cambridge suffered not that Egyptian jewel to be published.”— Oley's Life of Herbert, c. See Appendix.
the midwife to bring that piece into the world, if he so thought good of it, else to burn it. The which when N. F. had many and many a time read over, and embraced and kissed again and again, he said, He could not sufficiently admire it, as a rich jewel and most worthy to be in the hands and hearts of all true Christians, that feared God and loved the Church of England. It was licensed at Cambridge, with some kind of scruple by some, if I was not misinformed, only for those his verses upon America, &c.' But it did pass, with the epistle that N. F.
1 "When Mr. Ferrar sent this book to Cambridge to be licensed for the press, the vicechancellor (Dr. Laney] would by no means allow the two so much noted verses (The Church Militant, near the end),
Religion stands a tip-toe in our land,
Ready to pass to the American strand,' to be printed; and Mr. Ferrar would by no means allow the book to be printed, and want them ; but after some time... the vicechancellor said, 'I knew Mr. Herbert well, and know that he had many heavenly speculations, and was a divine poet; but I hope the world will not take him to be an inspired prophet, and therefore I license the whole book.”” Walton, lxxviii. Cf. Oley, ci, and Dr. Wordsworth's note on Walton (“considering our English plantations of late, and the opinion of many grave divines concerning the Gospel's fleeting westward, sometimes I have had such thoughts, Why may not that be the place of New Jerusalem ?" Twisse to Mede. March 2, 1634. Mede's Works, 799), also Aubrey's Lives, 393. “Whether it (the light of the Gospel] shall go from us to America and the West Indies, God himself knows best.”— Thoresby's Diary, Sept. 1, 1680. “In Europe, the protestant
made to it', and (as I take it) hath passed nine? impressions since the first printing of it, as well it hath, and will deserve to do.
52. What is so well compiled by that worthy, learned man (whoever he be 3) that made the preface to Mr. Herbert's Country Parson :—it's but my poor pains to write it out of the book, that can never too often read or meditate upon that discourse, that so nearly concerns me, as of such a brother, whom the world never could shew a better brother to any brother, nor a more true lover, and one that did more for his family than he did in all kinds and ways, for their temporal welfares, in preservation, augmentation, and maintenance of their civil estates and affairs, and, that which is the superlative of all goodness and benefit, his never ceasing care and pains for their spiritual wellbeing, everlasting happiness and bliss.
53. Some three days before his (N. F.) death, lying in his bed, about eight o'clock in the morning, he called his brother John Ferrar, his sister Collett, and all his nieces to him, saying, Brother, I would
religion hath of late years considerably lost ground, and America seems the likeliest place, wherein to make up for what hath been lost in Europe.”—Berkeley's Works (1843), ii. 288. “Westward the course of empire takes its way.... Time's noblest offspring is the last."-Ibid. 294.
1 See it in the Appendix.
2 Six before this life was written (1654). See the preface to Pickering's edition, vi. n.
3 Barnabas Oley.
have you go to the church, and at the west end at the door, where we go into the church, I would have you measure from the half pace, when we go into the church, of stone that you tread upon seven foot to the westward, and at the end of that seven foot there let my grave be made. His brother looking very sadly upon him, with his eyes full of tears, (and so all the standers-by did, he went on saying, Brother, that first place of the length of seven foot I leave for your own burying-place, you are my elder; God, I hope, will let you there take up your resting-place, till we all rise again in joy. When you have measured out the place for my grave, then go and take out of my study those three great hampers full of books, that have stood there locked up these many years. (They were not many scores', but many hundreds, in all kind of languages, which he had in all places gotten with great search, and some cost: they were comedies, tragedies, love hymns, heroical poems, and such like). Carry, said he, those hampers to the place of my grave, and upon it see you burn them all: and this he spake with some vehemency and passion of indignation. Go, let it be done, let it be done, and then come again all of you to me'. So it was performed, and a great smoke, bonfire, and flame they made; and it being upon a hill, the towns round about and men in the fields came running up to the house, supposing some great fire had happened at Little Gidding. When they saw what was doing, that it was an infinite sort of books burning, and that Mr. Nicholas Ferrar was like to die, as they heard, they went their ways home. And within a few days it was by rumour spread abroad at market-towns all the country over, that Mr. Nicholas Ferrar lay a dying, but could not die till he had burned all his conjuring-books', and had made a great fire of them upon the grave he would be buried in.
i Compare & 54 n.
3 Barnabas Oley (Life of Herbert, xcviii) is mistaken in saying that the books were burnt after Ferrar's death. "After his death, when by injunction (which he laid upon his friends when he lay on his death-bed) a great company of comedies,
54. Now for the second defamation after Nicholas Ferrar's death made of him, having been four years dead, not by words of mouth, nor in
tragedies, love hymns, heroical poems, &c. were burnt upon his grave, as utter enemies to christian principles and practices (that was his brand), some poor people said he was a conjurer.” Compare what is said of Oughtred in Aubrey's Lives, 475. On the belief in astrology and magic in this century see king James's Dæmonologia, the Life and works of Lilly, Grey's notes on Hudibras, part ii. canto 3, part iii. canto 1. Even Laud records, “E. B. marryed. The sign in Pisces.”—Diary, May 1, 1624. Two very valuable tracts by Gataker (Vindications of the annotations by him published on Jer. x. 2, and Discourse Apologetical, both in answer to Lilly), are in Emman. Coll. Libr. 10. 2. 32.
* See Wetstein on Acts xix. 19 (especially Aug. Tract, in Joan. viii. $ 8), and Hofmann's Lexicon under Librorum combustio.