who would devote to the honour of their university habits of accuracy and industry either originally implanted or more deeply rooted in them by her care: for myself, I long since designed a series of Cambridge memoirs, partly on the plan of Dr. Wordsworth’s well-known collection. In no other form are original records less repulsive to that

Of registers, grace books, &c. of the University or colleges from the earliest times.

Accounts of foundations, gifts, bequests, &c.; of college portraits, plate, &c., and of the donors.

Lists of select preachers, of holders of college livings, &c., of men who have entered or matriculated, but not graduated, &c.

Critical reviews, with extracts and bibliographical notices, of Cambridge biographies (arranged chronologically and alphabetically); of controversies ; of the text-books successively used in the university or colleges ; of congratulatory verses, epicedia, &c.; of funeral sermons ; of prefaces, and verses printed before or after books ; of Hulsean and other sermons and prize compositions ; of determinationes publice habitæ, &c.; of the works, and editions of the works, of Cambridge men ; of books on education, e.g. Ascham's Scholemaster, Brinsley's Ludus Literarius, Webster's Examination of Academies, and the answer to it, Vindiciæ Academiarum (Univ. Libr. Dd. 3. 28).

Catalogues of the university and college libraries, of their rarer books or MSS.; histories of the same, recording their formation, and tracing their growth, assigning (at least in some cases) the books to their donors.

Lists of Cambridge printers, and of books printed in the town.

Towards works of this kind the Syndics of the Press and Library, the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, and the several colleges, may fairly be expected to lend ready assistance.

" reading public,” for which books are but a fashionable means of killing time; while those whose requirements demand more respectful consideration, students of a sterner mould, gladly fill up the outlines of their knowledge with such individual traits as find no place in more formal documents. The wants which had thus suggested my purpose seemed as pressing as before, when I was invited to take a share in cataloguing the Cambridge MSS. With Baker's, which fell to my lot, I was already familiar, and had for some years seized every occasion for proclaiming the merits of that most judicious, modest, and conscientious scholar, whose unrivalled mastery of the sources of English history was ever at the service of contemporary authors, and still commands the reader's admiration. In his volumes I met with Ferrar's life, and at once saw in it an artless tale of a period too much neglected, and of a man whom to know is to venerate.

The son of a pious and bountiful merchant, whose public spirit deserved the friendship of Hawkins and Drake, Middleton and Raleigh, Nicholas Ferrar grew up under no ordinary incentives to diligence and virtue. To some, perhaps, of these men, and to others of a different stamp, such as Antony Wotton and Francis White, the child, even then known as Saint Nicholas, was endeared by an earnest thoughtfulness beyond his years, by

a reverent study of the bible and habitual “ love and fear of the Divine Majesty.” As in childhood, so throughout life, Ferrar was surrounded by many who still live in our remembrance. Among his college associates were Butler, Linsell, Ruggle, Williams: and when afterwards he directed that noble company, which secured to Virginia free trade, free trial, free government, and Christian education, his coadjutors were the pupil of Hooker and the patron of Shakespeare. And well does the performance of these riper years fulfil the promise of his infancy. At Clare Hall, in that age of hard students, “his chamber might be known by the last candle put out and the first lighted in the morning.” When his tender frame sunk under incessant toil, he sought relief in the education of his sister's children, who even then began to acknowledge him " as their true spiritual friend and father;" and when at last the ague and Butler warned him that change of climate could alone save his life, after addressing his family in a farewell unsurpassed for pathetic beauty, he found in foreign travel a new supply to his intellectual cravings, and a new school of virtuous principles. Then it was that he gained that familiarity with the arts, institutions, and literature of Europe, which, combined with rarer endowments, made him so incomparable a teacher: then too he learnt (no easy lesson in those days) to be

charitable to members of a church whose corruptions he abhorred, and even to discover something worthy a protestant's regard in Romish treatises and practices of mortification. Nor was opportunity wanting to draw out yet higher energies : in the soothing cure of Garton's wounded conscience and in the cool self-possession which was proved in more than one deadly peril, we see the two sides of his character, who was to be his friends chosen “confessor,” and, in parliament or at the Virginia board, a foremost champion of right against might.

Memorable, however, as are the traditions of Ferrar's childhood, youth, and public life, his last years of retirement bespeak our chief attention, as being most characteristic of the man and of his times'. Here also we meet with famous names. Laud and Williams, whose rival ambition was discreditable to them as it was disastrous to the

i Compare the resolution of Worthington (infra, 27 n.), the practice of Crashaw and of lady Falkland (Life by John Duncon, London, 1649, where we read of her nursing the sick, p. 160, her hours of prayer, 166 seq. 188 seq., fasting, 169, 179, her alms, 176 seq., conning of Psalms without book, 189, her plan for a widows' college, 196), Cosins's Hours of Prayer, with the answers of Prynne and Burton, [Sir George Wheler's] Protestant Monastery: or Christian Economicks, Containing Directions for the Religious Conduct of a Family. But as for me, &c. Josh. xxiv. 15. 1698. sm. 8vo. (St. John's College Library. V. 20. 64).

church, were at one in their esteem for Ferrar; the first “rejoicing to lay hands on such a man,” and continuing to favour the precocious genius of the nephew, on whom his mantle descended ; the other careless for once of popularity in his determination to protect those, whose scrupulous honesty, no less than their devotion, “was an example to all the gentry of England :” George Herbert, who, having shared all his “brother’s” thoughts while living, at his death bequeathed the “Temple” to his care : Crashaw, the frequent partner of the Gidding “watchings": Charles himself, who at most critical moments forgot his state anxieties in inspecting and regulating the labours of a household as remote, as any could then be, from the stir of civil and religious embroilment :-all these, and others who might be added, such as Jackson, Cosins, Oley, Hill, rise in our estimation by what we here read of them. The inner life of the family itself has come down to us perhaps in greater fulness of detail than that of any other private family of the time : from which circumstance alone, irrespective of its intrinsic value, it must be not a little attractive to the historical student. A nearer view may convince us, that those who have spared these memorials, while they have suffered so many others to perish, were guided in their preference by a just instinct. For where shall we look for a finer model

« ForrigeFortsett »