« ForrigeFortsett »
God, and the doubt began to pass away and his heart was much cheered. He then rose up, and went up to his chamber to bed again, but could not sleep but little, yet he found daily more and more confirmation in his soul, and so had all his lifetime after a more than ordinary fear of God in him, and His presence, which continued in him to his dying day'.
4. He went to Enborne' school, near Newbury, Berks, and such a progress he made in Latin, logic, and Greek, as he was the prime scholar of his years, to the admiration not only of his schoolmaster, but of Mr. Brooks himself. Mr. Brooks grew proud of his scholar, and though he was not attained to above thirteen years of age, earnestly persuaded his parents to remove him to the university of Cambridge, For (said he) he loseth precious time, and is more than fit for the university; and soon after he would needs carry him to Cambridge, to Clare Hall, and there presents him to his tutor, Dr. Linsell, then but a senior fellow; Dr. Smith' was master. He gave such a character of Nicholas Ferrar as they all admired, and all confessed afterwards was so. His parents thought it most fit to have him the first year but a pensioner, and let his first year's approbation and merit raise him up fellow-commoner; performing all such exercises as were appointed him in that first year', nay month, to the admiration of all, his tutor's wonder,—that learned man, Dr. Aug. Linsell”, afterwards bishop of Hereford, where he died. He (N. F.) was ever observed by all to be as diligent at chapel as he was at his book. The second year his tutor, &c., would have him fellowcommoner.
i The story told by Dr. Worthington (Hearne, Caii Vind. 685) though the time (a night in summer) and place (a garret) are different, seems only another version of this. On Dr. W.'s notice of Ferrar compare Letters from the Bodleian, ii. 79.
% 24 miles south-west of Newbury.
3 William Smith, D.D. master of Clare 1601, provost of King's Aug. 22, 1612, vicechancellor 1602, died Mar. 26, 1615. On his appointment as master, see Baker's MSS. xxvii. 16-19, xxix. 382. The presentation had lapsed to the chancellor.
5. DR. ROB. BYNG TO MR. BARNABAS OLEY“.
Concerning your request in your second letter, I wish I was as able as I am willing to deliver the
1 “Notwithstanding the exemption which fellow-commoners in colleges are ready to plead from the performance of them [exercises in the university and college].”—Clarke's Martyrologie (1651), 419. “The fellow-commoners in Balliol were no more exempt from exercise than the meanest scholars there.”—Evelyn's Diary, May 10, 1637.
2 Augustine Linsell (Lynsell or Lindsell) bishop of Peterborough in 1632, and of Hereford in 1633-4. “A man of very great learning ; of which he gave sufficient proof by setting forth an excellent edition of Theophylact upon St. Paul's Epistles.”—Past. Oxon. i. 360. See Kennett's notice of him, (Lansd. MS. 984. Art. 113).
3 The necessary annual charges of a fellow-commoner at this time did not exceed £60 (D'Ewes's Life, i. 119).
4 The letter which follows is printed from Peckard, 29–34; Baker omitted it.
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, and 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
I “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.