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9. The king's visit to Gidding (Rushworth, ii. 178. See below).
Account of N. F.'s first years : from a paper MS. of Dr. Worthington's1 (Hearne’s Caius, 684 seq.).
Wills of Nicholas and Mary Ferrar, the father and mother. See below.
Funeral certificate of N. F. the father (Hearne's Caius, 683).
13. Letters of John Ferrar to Dr. Basire, (ib. 697 seq.)
14. Concordances of various parts of scripture, three of which are in the British Museum, and one at St. John's College, Oxford. See below. The concordance to the evangelists, which N. F. presented to Susanna Mapletoft", was in the possession of Dr. John Mapletoft's great-nephew, Mr.
1 "Whence my father transcribed this paper I cannot imagine, unless from a funeral sermon, or a little book entitled A token for Children ; which was printed, I think, not long before my father's death.' Mr. John Worthington in a letter to me dated 11 Nov. 1735 (Note by Peck in Middle Hill MS. 9527. Peck suggests that the paper may be Dr. Robert Mapletoft's).
2 Referred to in the following notes (Peckard, 273, 274): “Mr. Nicholas Ferrar to his married niece Mrs. Susanna Mapletoft.
“My dear and worthy niece, The equal joy and benefit which I have in and by you, make me as gladly give you my part, as your sisters have done theirs, of this book, and to add my farther promise (which their joint consent doth ratify) that, of every good thing which God shall impart to us, you shall have as free and liberal a communication as we can possibly make you ; which not only our love, but your own desert binds us to, whilst you continue (what you are by the performance of your duty) the great comfort and ornament of our family. God make you to encrease in all his graces and blessings. Amen!"
N. Ferrar." “In the Harmony was this memorandum. “This book was presented by my great grandmother, by my honoured mothers two sisters (the daughters of John and Susanna Collett and by their uncle Nicholas Ferrar (who was my godfather) to my ever honoured mother Susanna Mapletoft, the same year in which I was born (1631). And I desire my son (to whom I do give it, with the great Concordance, and other story books) that it may be preserved in the family as long as may be.
Heming of Hillingden. (J. H. M. [Mr. Markland of Bath] in Notes and Queries, ii. 445).
15. The maiden-sisters' exercises. Conversations repeated during Christmas-tide and other holy seasons ; each was intended to enforce both by argument and by example some lesson of virtue. The matter certainly, and probably to some extent the form of the various arguments and stories, were derived from N. F. Some of these may be seen in Hearne's Caius, 713—794 ; or, in a more complete form, together with many unknown to Hearne, in the Middle Hill MS. 9527 ; which comprises, amongst other things, what remains of “J. H. S. Ascetic conversations interspersed with sundry admirable examples and tales in honour of virtue and piety ; as discoursed and related in the times of k. Ch. I.) in the sisters' chamber by the seven virgin ladies and others of the first and second combination of the religious academy at Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire : first drawn up for their use by their Visitor, the pious Mr. Nicholas Ferrar, Gent., and now collated with several manuscript copies and revised throughout by Francis Peck, M.A. rector of Godeby near Melton in Leicestershire. Ecclus. vi. 35. Vol. 1.2 The volume has the book-plate and arms of “ John Broadley.” Extracts will be given below.
1 This is explained by a scrap which has been preserved near the beginning of the MS. volume. "... [at first] four, but afterwards all the seven daughters of Mr. John Collett. ... The sisters of the first combination, as they were called, were four, who were thus named : 1. The Chief, that is, the lady abbess or prioress; her name was Mary Collett, alias Ferrar, the eldest daughter of Mr. John Collett. 2. The Patient ; her name was Anne Collett, alias Ferrar, the second daughter of Mr. John Collett. 3. The Cheerful ; her name was... the third daughter of Mr. John Collett. 4. The Affectionate : her name was... the fourth daughter of Mr. John Collett.”
The first introduction. The first conversation, as discoursed on Ash-Wednesday, 1630. 1. That it is the utmost folly to procrastinate in the point of repentance : Pyrrhus and Cineas
16. Portrait of Nicholas Ferrar the father, by Cornelius Janssen. One, doubtless an original, is in the possession of
2. That we ought never to defer doing justice to any one, when it is in our power to perform it : Trajan and the widow.
3. That we ought to do as much as we can for the poor, whilst we are yet well and in health, and not leave it to be done when we come to die: a great lady (called the lady of the light) and her son the bishop.
4. That errors are often multiplied by pretending to excuse them : the penny or the blemished traveller.
The second introduction.
5. That everything which this world affords is vanity: the last words and death of king Philip III. of Spain.
6. That true joy is here nowhere else to be found but in God's service : strange forebodings which (even in the midst of the highest worldly delights) king Henry IV. of France had of his own death, and of his thereupon retiring often to prayer.
7. The same: the epitaph of Pope Adrian VI. and the discourse of Pope Marcellus II.
Part of the third conversation as discoursed on Easter Tuesday, 1631.
8. That humility toward God is highly becom ng every one: first story of the Emperor Charles V.
9. That moderation towards our equals and our enemies is likewise very beautiful: second story of the Emperor Charles V.
10. That the patient bearing of provocations is one of the greatest ornaments of a Christian : story of the emperor Charles. Part of the fourth conversation as discoursed on Wednesday in Easter
Week, 1631. 11. That charity and equanimity adorn both sexes : Mary, Queen of Hungary, and her brother the Emperor Charles V. Part of the fifth conversation as discoursed on St. Stephen's day,
26 Dec, 1631. 12. That no man can be a true Christian, who cannot forgive injuries : Sapritius and Nicephorus.
13. That the desire of revenge is the cause of anger: father Sisois and the stranger.
14. That meekness is the very badge of a Christian : Macarius and the idolatrous priest.
15. That we must overcome evil with good : John the patriarch of Alexandria and the vintner.
16. The same : king Henry IV. of France and the assassin. 17. The same : king Alphonso XI. of Castile and the Moorish soldier.
Mr. Balfour of Huntingdon, to whom I am much indebted for the readiness with which he facilitated my researches in
18. The great beauty of meekness in the fair sex: Q. Catherine, the first wife of King Henry VIII.
19. That we must not pretend to revenge ourselves : the abbot Apollonius and the quarrelsome man. Part of the sixth conversation as discoursed on the feast of St. John the
Evangelist, 27 Dec. 1631. 20. That every minister ought to be very diligent in labouring the conversion of sinners, especially those of his own flock: St. John the Evangelist and the young man who turned robber.
21. That a charitable prevention of sin in our brethren is next to a charitable redemption of them from it: St. Nicholas and the decayed gentleman and his three daughters.
22. That gifts of charity will hereafter be certainly rewarded: the mansion of happiness, or bishop Troilus and John the almoner.
23. That some very charitable persons find their riches in this world increase faster the faster they give them away: Cosmo de Medicis the great.
24. That content and comforts, as well as riches, are in this world often multiplied by alms-deeds : Gonsalvo Ferrantes the great captain.
25. That the ill lives and ways of many Christians are some of the reasons which hinder Turks from turning Christians : Saladin the Saracen.
Part of the seventh conversation as discoursed on the feast of the holy inno
cents, 28 Dec. 1631. 26. That the best and fairest promisings of this world are often mere wretchedness and disappointment: the shirt of the happy woman's making, or the great lady of Naples and her son.
27. That all our time here is but lost, save what is spent in God's service : the last sickness and death of Maurice prince of Orange.
28. That they are the most happy who die soonest : a speech of Q. Elizabeth's in 1586.
29. That we ought always to be prepared for death: the dying man who smiled.
30. That every thing which this world affords is nothing but vanity : Gillimer.
Part of the eighth conversation, as discoursed on 29 Decemb. 1631. 31. That there is no reason to doubt of the certainty of a future state : Gennadius the physician, as related by St. Austin.
32. The same : Synesius the bishop and Evagrius the philosopher. 33. The same: Sidonius, bishop of Auvergne and the two wicked priests. 34. The same: Licinius and the forty martyrs. 35. The same: Marcilius Ficinus and Michael Mercatus.
that town. Inscription at the top, in the left corner. Piu nel animo. Ætat. 71. 1617. Another, also an original, was
Part of the ninth conversation as discoursed on 30 Dec. 1631. 36. The great beauty of humility: St. Anthony. 37. The same: Sara the virgin. 38. The same: the two hermits and the dying lamp.
39. The great beauty of humility further opened : the proud dying hermit and the penitent malefactor. 40. The great beauty of humility further set forth : the self-accuser.
The tenth conversation as discoursed on the 31 Dec. 1631. 41. The great beauty of patience : the noblewoman of Alexandria and the perverse widow.
42. Same: the young man who trod down his own garment.
The first conversation, as discoursed on the feast of St. Luke the evangelist, 1632,
at the election of Mrs. Mary Collett, alias Ferrar, spinster, to be Mother of the religious academy at Little Gidding in the room of her grandmother Mrs. Mary Ferrar widow, who by reason of her great age had desired to resign.
1. The great peril attending high posts : the young man and his uncle the hermit.
2. The great safety of governing by good advice : Cosmo de Medicis and Charles Pucci.
3. That mean persons, justly appointed to any high office, ought to be as much respected as those who are high-born : Amasis and his new golden idol. The second conversation, as discoursed on the feast of All Saints, 1632 at the
entrance of Mrs. Mary Collett &c. into the office of Mother &c. With an account of the several presents which were then made her by the several other members of that society.
4. That the very looks of good men are sometimes sufficient to reclaim sinners: St. Simeon and Usthazanes the eunuch.
5. That the greatest of sinners are sometimes very strangely converted : from the story of Lais the harlot and father Paphnutius the hermit.
5. (2) The same: the harlot and father Martinian the hermit.