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did: four biblical books bound by them I have seen, and have heard of two others?: the three in the British Museum may fall under Mr. Carlyle's eye; if so, he will, I hope, join me in the wish that both our libraries enjoyed as stout, if not as gorgeous, a covering “But if the books are not known to have been Prayer-books, why call them so?" It is for Mr. Carlyle to answer the question. I cannot go beyond a guess, that “the modern reader” might not have relished the implied sarcasm so keenly, if it had been levelled at the gospels. The same hypothesis will account for the next misstatement. “They kept up, night and day, a continual repetition of the English Liturgy.” Night and day, did they? but let that pass. One can only reply that they might have been worse employed; and that, if for English Liturgy we had read Psalms of David, we might have bethought ourselves of a modern, who loudly trumpets forth those very Psalms, when degraded into a fanatical battle-cry.
“Well, at any rate, the Ferrars were far gone in Monachism; and that, surely, is priestcraft's most ensnaring invention.” Perhaps so; but it is not obvious, how a family which saw six daughters out of eight well bestowed in marriage, can be claimed as devotees of celibacy: had their mother been the most scheming of dowagers, she could
1 See the Index, s.v. Bookbinding.
scarcely have repined at such a proportion of successes. “ They followed merely religious duties:" in one sense this is true; every social duty was to them a duty of religion : in another it is most false; the time they spent in prayer or devout meditation was won from sleep, from idleness, and from pleasure, not from offices to which their station called them: of this the Collett letters afford superfluous proof.
But to do full justice to the keenness' with which Mr. Carlyle has "looked” through the spectacles of Lenton's—I beg pardon, that "most sharp, distinct man's," that "Anonymous Person's"“clear eyes,” we must examine the sentence which is the foundation of the whole charge (or insinuation rather, for your master of effect can make or blast a reputation by a turn of expression) in the light of the paraphrase which adapts it to the comprehension of the nineteenth century. ANONYMOUS PERSON.
MR. CARLYLE. This, as all other our discourse, The Anonymous Perbeing ended with mildness and son, after some survey moderation, on his part at least, I and communing, sugsaid farther, since their devotions gested to Nicholas Fer(from which they would be loth to rar, 'Perhaps he had be diverted or interrupted, as in but assumed all this rithe said protestation appears) are tual mummery, in order more strict and regular than usual, to get a devout life led if in their consciences they were
peaceably in these bad
1 “The duke said, Envy was quick-sighted. Nay, said the palsgrave, can see what is not.”—Infra, p. 150.
ANONYMOUS PERSON. persuaded that all their formalities and ceremonies were but adiaphora (things indifferent), I then thought they were as wise as serpents, in the scripture sense, in complying so with the church ceremonies, that they might the safelier hold on their course without exception. For in this comportment, I thought, authority would not except against them, unless for exceeding the cathedrals; who make but one reverence, whereas they make three. He said, I spake like one who seemed to have had experience in the world.
MR. CARLYLE. times.' Nicholas, a dark man,
who had acquired something of the Jesuit in his Foreign travels, looked at him ambiguously, and said, 'I perceive you are a person who know the world !'
Had Mr. Carlyle's blunders been mere blunders of haste, I should not have dwelt thus long upon them; but they seem to be owing to the evil habit, fostered by ministering to a vitiated literary taste, of sacrificing rigid exactness to rounded periods or epigrammatic smartness! Be this as it may, when a man, who, though ever dinning in our ears that all around him is a moral and spiritual desert, yet offers no practical suggestion for reclaiming the waste,—when such a man presumes to scoff at one whose whole life was self-denial, because he did only
1 Populus vult decipi et decipietur. “This also, as a feature of the times, the modern reader is to meditate.”
such charitable work as was possible in a desert, it is vain to palliate his guilt by the plea, the pitiful plea, of carelessness?.
Two questions, of immediate urgency, may find a solution in academic memoirs of the seventeenth century. Would we ascertain the efficacy and value of religious tests; the sufferings of non-conformists, non-covenanters, non-engagers, nonjurors, furnish abundant matter for grave and impartial reflection. Do we ask, whether rhetoric, logic, metaphysics (to say nothing of moral philosophy and systematic
1 A long and intimate acquaintance with Mr. Carlyle's writings has, I hope, unfitted me alike for the creeping idoļatry, and the fierce invective, of which he has been alternately the victim. That I regard his Cromwell as an important accession to a commonwealth library, I would gladly prove by some better offering than the only one which I have at hand, -a reference to some letters printed in Dickinson's Newark, 119, 120. But, having been constrained to mention him, I cannot forbear to protest against the contumelious rudeness which he has thought fit to bring back into literature. Other students have been annoyed by the dulness, thoughtlessness, or dishonesty of their predecessors; perhaps hardly any one has ever really studied a subject without annoyance of the kind : but few, assuredly, have given vent to their annoyance in so unmannerly a strain. Only listen. “Carrion Heath,” “Mark Noble, my reverend imbecile friend,” “Peter Heylin's (lying Peter's) history,” “Bishop Hacket and the Futile Ingenuities,” “stupid Saunderson,” &c. &c.
theology) may safely be banished from a great seminary of the church; we must compare the Cambridge divines bred before and after that revolution, by which the mathematical and physical sciences supplanted our statutory course. I have undertaken this series, partly in the hope of shedding light on points such as these, but mainly because, deriving from a public foundation leisure for research and access to rare or manuscript sources, I view these opportunities as imposing a strict obligation to share them, so far as may be, with less privileged students. Else I might well have hesitated to intrude into a province of literature on which bestow but a secondary care. As it is, I must only strive to apply sound discretion to select, and gradually widening information to illustrate, each successive volume: completeness, for the present at least, is beyond my reach.
Defective, however, as the execution of my task may be, it would have been far more so, but for assistance on all hands liberally accorded. To William Hopkinson, Esq., of Stamford, my thanks are pre-eminently due. If Gidding church now reflects the image of days which have thrown a
1 See Appendix, p. 300, for a list of existing relics. A slight account of the restorations may interest those who design a pilgrimage to the spot. The little edifice (nave inside 36 ft. 9 inches x 13.6; chancel 22.7*11.7: width of front