The doctor, &c., vol. 4 (of 7) (2024)

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Title: The doctor, &c., vol. 4 (of 7)

Author: Robert Southey

Release date: October 29, 2023 [eBook #71981]

Language: English

Original publication: London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, 1834

Credits: Ron Swanson


There is a kind of physiognomy in the titles of books no less than in the faces of men, by which a skilful observer will as well know what to expect from the one as the other.




The doctor, &c., vol. 4 (of 7) (1)









The Muses forbid that I should restrain your meddling, whom I see already busy with the title, and tricking over the leaves: it is your own. I departed with my right, when I let it first abroad; and now so secure an interpreter I am of my chance, that neither praise nor dispraise from you can affect me.—The commendation of good things may fall within a many, the approbation but in a few; for the most commend out of affection, self-tickling, an easiness or imitation; but men judge only out of knowledge. That is the trying faculty; and to those works that will bear a judge, nothing is more dangerous than a foolish praise. You will say, I shall not have yours therefore; but rather the contrary, all vexation of censure. If I were not above such molestations now, I had great cause to think unworthily of my studies, or they had so of me. But I leave you to your exercise. Begin.


Je n'adresse point ce Livre à un Grand, sur une vaine opinion que j'aurois de le garantir ou de l'envie, ou de le faire vivre contre les rudes assauts du temps, d'autant que sa principale recommendation doit deriver de son propre fonds, et non de l'appuy de celuy à qui je le dedierois: car rien ne l'auctorisera, s'il n'est remply de belles conceptions, et tissu d'un langage bref, nerveux, et escrit d'une plume franche, resoluë et hardie. La rondeur d'escrire plaist; ces choses sont pour donner prix et pointe à nos escrits, et dépiter le temps et la mort. Je prie Dieu que ces Tomes ressemblent à la beauté d'un jardin, duquel l'un cueille une belle rose, l'autre une violette, ou une giroflée; ainsi souhaitay-je qu'en ceste diversité de sujects, dont elles sont plaines, chacun tire dequoy resveiller, resjouyr et contenter son esprit.


Non ego me methodo astringam serviliter ullâ,
Sed temeré Hyblææ more vagabor apis,
Quò me spes prædæ, et generandi gloria mellis,
Liberaque ingenii quo feret ala mei.


Take not too much at once, lest thy brain turn edge; Taste it first as a potion for physic, and by degrees thou shalt drink it as beer for thirst.


Qui l'a fait? Quiconque il soit, en ce a esté prudent, qu'il n'y a point mis son nom.


Io me n' andrò con la barchetta mia,
Quanto l' acqua comporta un picciol legno;
E ciò ch' io penso con la fantasia,
Di piacere ad ognuno è 'l mio disegno:
Convien che varie cose al mondo sia,
Come son varj volti e vario ingegno,
E piace a l' uno il bianco, a l' altro il perso,
O diverse materie in prosa o in verso.

Forse coloro ancor che leggeranno,
Di questa tanto piccola favilla
La mente con poca esca accenderanno
De' monti o di Parnaso o di Sibilla:
E de' miei fior come ape piglieranno
I dotti, s' alcun dolce ne distilla;
Il resto a molti pur darà diletto,
E lo autore ancor fia benedetto.


Most Prefaces are effectually apologies, and neither the Book nor the Author one jot the better for them. If the Book be good, it will not need an apology; if bad it will not bear one: for where a man thinks by calling himself noddy in the epistle, to atone for shewing himself to be one in the text, he does, with respect to the dignity of an author, but bind up two fools in one cover.


Inter cuncta leges,—
Quâ ratione queas traducere leniter ævum;
Ne te semper inops agitet vexetque cupido,
Ne pavor, et rerum mediocriter utilium spes;—
Quid minuat curas; quid te tibi reddat amicum;
Quid purè tranquillet, honos, an dulce lucellum,
An secretum iter, et fallentis semita vitæ.


Si ne suis je toutesfois hors d'esperance, que si quelqu'un daigne lire, et bien gouster ces miens escrits, (encores que le langage n'en soit eslevé, ny enflé) il ne les trouvera du tout vuides de saveur; ny tant desgarniz d'utilité, qu'ils n'en puissent tirer plaisir et profit, pourveu que leurs esprits ne soyent auparavant saisiz de mal vueillance, ou imbuz de quelques autres mauvaises opinions. Je prie doncques tous Lecteurs entrer en la lecture des presents discours, delivres de toute passion et emulation. Car quand l'amertume d'envie ou mal vueillance, est detrempee en desir de contredire, elle ne laisse jamais le goust que depravé et mal jugeant.


Here are no forced expressions, no rack'd phrase,
No Babel compositions to amaze
The tortured reader, no believed defence
To strengthen the bold Atheist's insolence,
No obscene syllable that may compel
A blush from a chaste maid.

Read, and fear not thine own understanding; this book will create a clear one in thee; and when thou hast considered thy purchase, thou wilt call the price of it a charity to thyself.


One caveat, good Reader, and then God speed thee!——Do not open it at adventures, and by reading the broken pieces of two or three lines, judge it; but read it through, and then I beg no pardon if thou dislikest it. Farewell.


Listen while my tongue
Reveals what old Harmodius wont to teach
My early age; Harmodius, who had weigh'd
Within his learned mind whate'er the schools
Of Wisdom, or thy lonely whispering voice,
O faithful Nature, dictate of the laws
Which govern and support this mighty frame
Of universal being.

Δεῦρ᾽ ἒλθ᾽, ὃπως ἂν καὶ σοφώτερος γένῃ.




Hark how the birds do sing,
And woods do ring!
All creatures have their joy, and Man hath his:
Yet if we rightly measure,
Man's joy and pleasure
Rather hereafter, than in present is.



In midst of plenty only to embrace
Calm patience, is not worthy of your praise;
But he that can look sorrow in the face
And not be daunted, he deserves the bays.
This is prosperity, where'er we find
A heavenly solace in an earthly mind.



It seems that you take pleasure in these walks Sir.
Cleanthes. Contemplative content I do, my Lord;
They bring into my mind oft meditations
So sweetly precious, that in the parting
I find a shower of grace upon my cheeks,
They take their leave so feelingly.



If we present a mingle-mangle, our fault is to be excused, because the whole world is become a hodge-podge.




And sure there seem of human kind
Some born to shun the solemn strife;
Some for amusive tasks design'd
To soothe the certain ills of life,
Grace its lone vales with many a budding rose,
New founts of bliss disclose,
Call forth refreshing shades and decorate repose.



We are not to grudge such interstitial and transitional matter as may promote an easy connection of parts and an elastic separation of them, and keep the reader's mind upon springs as it were.




Altri gli han messo nome Santa Croce,
Altri lo chiaman l' A. B. C. guastando
La misura, gl' accenti, et la sua voce.




That place that does contain
My books, the best companions, is to me
A glorious court, where hourly I converse
With the old sages and philosophers;
And sometimes for variety I confer
With Kings and Emperors, and weigh their counsels,
Calling their victories, if unjustly got,
Unto a strict account, and in my fancy
Deface their ill placed statues.



Io dico, non dimando
Quel che tu vuoi udir, perch' io l'ho visto
Ove s' appunta ogni ubi, e ogni quando.




Round white stones will serve they say,
As well as eggs, to make hens lay.



A me parrebbe a la storia far torto,
S' io non aggiungo qualche codicillo;
Acciò che ognun chi legge, benedica
L' ultimo effetto de la mia fatica.




Black spirits and white, red spirits and gray;
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may.
Titty, Tiffin, keep it stiff in!
Firedrake, Puckey, make it lucky!
Liard, Robin, you must bob in!
Round, around, around, about, about!
All good come running in, all ill keep out.



This insertion is somewhat long, and utterly impertinent to the principal matter, and makes a great gap in the tale; nevertheless is no disgrace, but rather a beauty and to very good purpose.




But in these serious works designed
To mend the morals of mankind,
We must for ever be disgraced
With all the nicer sons of taste,
If once the shadow to pursue
We let the substance out of view.
Our means must uniformly tend
In due proportion to their end,
And every passage aptly join
To bring about the one design.



Thoricht, auf Bessrung der Thoren zu harren!
Kinder der klugheit, o habet die Narren
Eben zum Narren auch, wie sich's gehort.




Virtue, and that part of philosophy
Will I apply, that treats of happiness
By virtue specially to be achieved.



Confiesso la digression; mas es facil al que no quisiere leerla, passar al capitulo siguiente, y esta advertencia sirva de disculpa.




Lettor, tu vedi ben com' io innalzo
La mia materia, e però con piu arte
Non ti maravigliar s' i' la rincalzo.




If I have more to spin
The wheel shall go.



J'ecrirai ici mes pensées sans ordre, et non pas peut-étre dans une confusion sans dessein; c'est le veritable ordre, et qui marquera toujours mon objet par le desordre même.




Mucho tengo que llorar,
Mucho tengo que reir.




Duc, Fama,—
Duc me insolenti tramite; devius
Tentabo inaccessos profanis
Invidiæ pedibus recessus.




——Te sonare quis mihi
Genîque vim dabit tui?
Stylo quis æquor hocce arare charteum,
Et arva per papyrina
Satu loquace seminare literas?




Quam multæ pecudes humano in corpore vivunt!



Thou almost makest me waver in my faith
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men.



Y donde sobre todo de su dueño
El gran tesoro y el caudal se infiere,
Es que al grande, al mediano, y al pequeño,
Todo se da de balde á quien lo quiere.



A tale which may content the minds
Of learned men and grave philosophers.



Oh! if in after life we could but gather
The very refuse of our youthful hours!



This field is so spacious, that it were easy for a man to lose himself in it; and if I should spend all my pilgrimage in this walk, my time would sooner end than my way.




Live well, and then how soon so e'er thou die,
Thou art of age to claim eternity.



Clericus es? legito hæc. Laicus? legito ista libenter.
Crede mihi, invenies hic quod uterque voles.




Est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu se
Impediat verbis lassas onerantibus aures;
Et sermone opus est, modo tristi, sæpe jocoso.




Perhaps some Gull, as witty as a Goose,
Says with a coy skew look, “it's pretty, pretty!
But yet that so much wit he should dispose
For so small purpose, faith” saith he, “'tis pity!”



Theo.Look to my Horse, I pray you, well.

Diego. He shall Sir.

Inc.Oh! how beneath his rank and call was that now!
Your Horse shall be entreated as becomes
A Horse of fashion, and his inches.



Every man can say B to a battledore, and write in praise of virtue and the seven liberal sciences; thresh corn out of full sheaves, and fetch water out of the Thames. But out of dry stubble to make an after-harvest, and a plentiful crop without sowing, and wring juice out of a flint, that is Pierce a God's name, and the right trick of a workman.






Hark how the birds do sing,
And woods do ring!
All creatures have their joy, and Man hath his:
Yet if we rightly measure,
Man's joy and pleasure
Rather hereafter, than in present is.

Bertha, Arabella, Sarah, Mary, Caroline, Dorothea, Elizabeth, Kate, Susan,—how many answer to these names, each thinking that peradventure she may be the individual especially addressed—

Alcun' è che risponde a chi nol chiama;1

you are looking with impatience for Deborah's wedding day, and are ready to inveigh against me for not immediately proceeding to that part of my story. Well has Sir William Davenant said,

Slow seems their speed whose thoughts before them run;

but it is true in one sense as applied to you, and in another as applied to myself. To you my progress appears slow because you are eager to arrive at what, rightly considering it the most important point upon the whole journey of life, you may perhaps expect to prove the most interesting in this volume. Your thoughts have sped forward to that point and no farther. Mine travel beyond it, and this, were there no other motive, would retard me now. You are thinking of the bride and bridegroom, and the bridesmaid, and the breakfast at the vicarage, and the wedding dinner at the Grange, and the Doncaster bells which rung that day to the Doctor's ears the happiest peal that ever saluted them, from St. George's tower. My thoughts are of a different complexion; for where now are the joys and the sorrows of that day, and where are all those by whom they were partaken! The elder Allisons have long since been gathered to their fathers. Betsey and her husband (whom at that day she had never seen) are inhabitants of a distant church-yard. Mr. Bacon's mortal part has mouldered in the same grave with Margaret's. The Doctor has been laid beside them; and thither his aged widow Deborah was long ago brought home, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.


“The deaths of some, and the marriages of others,” says Cowper, “make a new world of it every thirty years. Within that space of time the majority are displaced, and a new generation has succeeded. Here and there one is permitted to stay longer, that there may not be wanting a few grave Dons like myself to make the observation.”

Man is a self-survivor every year;
Man like a stream is in perpetual flow.
Death's a destroyer of quotidian prey:
My youth, my noontide his, my yesterday;
The bold invader shares the present hour,
Each moment on the former shuts the grave.
While man is growing, life is in decrease,
And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb.
Our birth is nothing but our death begun,
As tapers waste that instant they take fire.2

Yet infinitely short as the term of human life is when compared with time to come, it is not so in relation to time past. An hundred and forty of our own generations carry us back to the Deluge, and nine more of ante-diluvian measure to the Creation,—which to us is the beginning of time; for “time itself is but a novelty, a late and upstart thing in respect of the Ancient of Days.”3 They who remember their grandfather and see their grandchildren, have seen persons belonging to five out of that number; and he who attains the age of threescore has seen two generations pass away. “The created world,” says Sir Thomas Browne, “is but a small parenthesis in eternity, and a short interposition for a time, between such a state of duration as was before it, and may be after it.” There is no time of life after we become capable of reflection, in which the world to come must not to any considerate mind appear of more importance to us than this;—no time in which we have not a greater stake there. When we reach the threshold of old age all objects of our early affections have gone before us, and in the common course of mortality a great proportion of the later. Not without reason did the wise compilers of our admirable liturgy place next in order after the form of matrimony, the services for the visitation and communion of the sick, and for the burial of the dead.


3 SAMUEL JOHNSON the elder.

I would not impress such considerations too deeply upon the young and happy. Far be it from me to infuse bitters into the cup of hope!

Dum fata sinunt
Vivite læti: properat cursu
Vita citato, volucrique die
Rota præcipitis vertitur anni.
Duræ peragunt pensa sorores,
Nec sua retro fila revolvunt.

What the Spaniards call desengaño (which our dictionaries render “discovery of deceit, the act of undeceiving, or freeing from error,”—and for which if our language has an equivalent word, it is not in my vocabulary,)—that state of mind in which we understand feelingly the vanity of human wishes, and the instability of earthly joys,—that sad wisdom comes to all in time; but if it came too soon it would unfit us for this world's business and the common intercourse of life. When it comes in due season it fits us for a higher intercourse and for a happier state of existence.




In midst of plenty only to embrace
Calm patience, is not worthy of your praise;
But he that can look sorrow in the face
And not be daunted, he deserves the bays.
This is prosperity, where'er we find
A heavenly solace in an earthly mind.

There is a very pleasing passage in a letter of the duch*ess of Somerset's, written in the unreserved intimacy of perfect friendship, without the slightest suspicion that it would ever find its way to the press. “'Tis true my dear Lady Luxborough,” she says, “times are changed with us, since no walk was long enough, or exercise painful enough to hurt us, as we childishly imagined; yet after a ball, or a masquerade, have we not come home very well contented to pull off our ornaments and fine clothes, in order to go to rest? Such methinks is the reception we naturally give to the warnings of our bodily decays; they seem to undress us by degrees, to prepare us for a rest that will refresh us far more powerfully than any night's sleep could do. We shall then find no weariness from the fatigues which either our bodies or our minds have undergone; but all tears shall be wiped from our eyes, and sorrow and crying and pain shall be no more: we shall then without weariness move in our new vehicles, and transport ourselves from one part of the skies to another, with much more ease and velocity, than we could have done in the prime of our strength, upon the fleetest horses, the distance of a mile. This cheerful prospect enables us to see our strength fail, and await the tokens of our approaching dissolution with a kind of awful pleasure. I will ingenuously own to you, dear Madam, that I experience more true happiness in the retired manner of life that I have embraced, than I ever knew from all the splendour or flatteries of the world. There was always a void; they could not satisfy a rational mind: and at the most heedless time of my youth I well remember that I always looked forward with a kind of joy to a decent retreat when the evening of life should make it practicable.”

“If one only anticipates far enough, one is sure to find comfort,” said a young moralizer, who was then for the first time experiencing some of the real evils of life. A sense of its vanities taught the duch*ess that wisdom, before she was visited with affliction. Frances, wife and widow of Algernon seventh Duke of Somerset, was a woman who might perhaps have been happier in a humbler station, but could not have been more uncorrupted by the world. Her husband inherited from his father the honours of the Seymour, from his mother those of the Percy family: but Lord Beauchamp,—

Born with as much nobility as would,
Divided, serve to make ten noblemen
Without a herald; but with so much spirit
And height of soul, as well might furnish twenty,—1

Lord Beauchamp I say, the son thus endowed, who should have succeeded to these accumulated honours, died on his travels at Bologna of the small-pox, in the flower of his youth. His afflicted mother in reply to a letter of consolation expressed herself thus: “The dear lamented son I have lost was the pride and joy of my heart: but I hope I may be the more easily excused for having looked on him in this light, since he was not so from the outward advantages he possessed, but from the virtues and rectitude of his mind. The prospects which flattered me in regard to him, were not drawn from his distinguished rank, or from the beauty of his person; but from the hopes that his example would have been serviceable to the cause of virtue, and would have shown the younger part of the world that it was possible to be cheerful without being foolish or vicious, and to be religious without severity or melancholy. His whole life was one uninterrupted course of duty and affection to his parents, and when he found the hand of death upon him, his only regret was to think on the agonies which must rend their hearts: for he was perfectly contented to leave the world, as his conscience did not reproach him with any presumptuous sins, and he hoped his errors would be forgiven. Thus he resigned his innocent soul into the hands of his merciful Creator, on the evening of his birthday, which completed him nineteen.”


In another letter she says, “when I lost my dear, and by me ever-lamented son, every faculty to please (if ever I were possessed of any such) died with him. I have no longer any cheerful thoughts to communicate to my friends; but as the joy and pride of my heart withers in his grave, my mind is continually haunting those mansions of the dead, and is but too inattentive to what passes in a world where I have still duties and attachments which I ought to be, and I hope I may truly say, I am, thankful for. But I enjoy all these blessings with trembling and anxiety, for after my dear Beauchamp, what human things can appear permanent? Youth, beauty, virtue, health, were not sufficient to save him from the hand of death, and who then can think themselves secure? These are the melancholy considerations which generally entertain my waking hours; though sometimes I am able to view the bright side of my fate, and ask myself for whom I grieve? only for myself? how narrow an affection does this imply! Could he have lived long as my fondest wish desired, what could I have asked at the end of that term more than the assurance that he should be placed where I humbly hope, and confidently trust, he is, beyond the reach of sorrow, sin, or sickness?”

I have said that this duch*ess, the Eusebia of Dr. Watts' Miscellanies, and once more known as the Cleora of her then famous friend Mrs. Rowe's Letters, might perhaps have been happier in a humbler station; but she could not have been more meek and more amiable, nor have possessed in a greater degree the christian virtue of humility. She was one of the daughters and coheiresses of the Honourable Henry Thynne, and was of the bed-chamber to the Princess of Wales, in which office she continued after that Princess became Queen Caroline. It was through her intercession that Savage's life was spared. When the Queen being prejudiced against that wretched man had refused to hear any application in his behalf, “she engaged in it,” says Johnson, “with all the tenderness that is excited by pity, and all the zeal that is kindled by generosity; an advocate,” he calls her, “of rank too great to be rejected unheard, and of virtue too eminent to be heard without being believed.” Her husband's father was commonly called the proud Duke of Somerset,—an odious designation, which could not have been obtained unless it had been richly deserved: but there are some evil examples which incidentally produce a good effect, and Lord Beauchamp whose affability and amiable disposition endeared him to all by whom he was known, was perhaps more carefully instructed in the principles of Christian humility, and more sensible of their importance and their truth, because there was in his own family so glaring an instance of the folly and hatefulness of this preposterous and ridiculous sin. “It is a most terrible thing for his parents,” says Horace Walpole, “Lord Beauchamp's death; if they were out of the question, one could not be sorry for such a mortification to the pride of old Somerset. He has written the most shocking letter imaginable to poor Lord Hartford, telling him that it is a judgment upon him for all his undutifulness, and that he must always look upon himself as the cause of his son's death. Lord Hartford is as good a man as lives, and has always been most unreasonably ill-treated by that old tyrant.” The Duke was brute enough to say that his mother had sent him abroad to kill him. It was not his mother's fault that he had not been secured, as far as human precautions avail against the formidable disease of which he died. Three years before that event she said in one of her letters, “Inoculation is at present more in fashion than ever; half my acquaintance are shut up to nurse their children, grandchildren, nephews or nieces. I could be content notwithstanding the fine weather to stay in town upon the same account, if I were happy enough to see my son desire it; but that is not the case, and at his age it must either be a voluntary act or left undone.”

The proud Duke lived to the great age of eighty-six, and his son died little more than twelvemonths after him, leaving an irreproachable name. The duch*ess survived her son ten years, and her husband four. Upon the Duke's death the Seymour honours were divided between two distant branches of that great and ancient house; those of the Percys devolved to his only daughter and heiress the Lady Elizabeth, then wife of Sir Hugh Smithson, in whom the Dukedom of Northumberland was afterwards revived. The widow passed the remainder of her days at a seat near Colnbrook, which her husband had purchased from Lord Bathurst, and had named Percy Lodge: Richkings was its former appellation. Pope in one of his letters calls it “Lord Bathurst's extravagante bergerie,” in allusion to the title of an old mock-romance. “The environs,” says the duch*ess, “perfectly answer to that title, and come nearer to my idea of a scene in Arcadia than any place I ever saw. The house is old but convenient, and when you are got within the little paddock it stands on, you would believe yourself an hundred miles from London, which I think a great addition to its beauty.” Moses Brown wrote a poem upon it, the Duke and duch*ess having appointed him their laureate for the nonce; but though written by their command, it was not published till after the death of both, and was then inscribed to her daughter, at that time Countess of Northumberland. If Olney had not a far greater poet to boast of, it might perhaps have boasted of Moses Brown. Shenstone's Ode on Rural Elegance, which is one of his latest productions, related especially to this place. He inscribed it to the duch*ess, and communicated it to her in manuscript through their mutual friend Lady Luxborough, sister to Bolingbroke, who possessed much of her brother's talents, but nothing of his cankered nature.

The duch*ess was a great admirer of Shenstone's poetry, but though pleased with the poem, and gratified by the compliment, she told him that it had given her some pain, and requested that wherever her name or that of Percy Lodge occurred, he would oblige her by leaving a blank, without suspecting her of an affected or false modesty, for to that accusation she could honestly plead not guilty. The idea he had formed of her character, he had taken, she said, from a partial friend whose good nature had warped her judgment. The world in general since they could find no fault in his poem, would blame the choice of the person to whom it was inscribed, and draw mortifying comparisons between the ideal lady, and the real one. “But I,” said she, “have a more impartial judge to produce than either my friend or the world,—and that is my own heart, which though it may flatter me I am not quite so faulty as the world would represent, at the same time loudly admonishes me that I am still further from the valuable person Lady Luxborough has drawn you in to suppose me. I hope you will accept these reasons as the genuine and most sincere sentiments of my mind, which indeed they are, though accompanied with the most grateful sense of the honour you designed me.”

I have said something, and have yet more to say of a retired Tobacconist; and I will here describe the life of a retired duch*ess, of the same time and country, drawn from her own letters. Some of Plutarch's parallels are less apposite, and none of them in like manner equally applicable to those of high station and those of low degree.

The duch*ess had acquired that taste for landscape gardening, the honour of introducing which belongs more to Shenstone than to any other individual, and has been properly awarded to him by D'Israeli, one of the most just and generous of critical authors. Thus she described the place of her retreat when it came into their possession: “It stands in a little paddock of about a mile and a half round; which is laid out in the manner of a French park, interspersed with woods and lawns. There is a canal in it about twelve hundred yards long, and proportionably broad, which has a stream continually running through it, and is deep enough to carry a pleasure-boat. It is well stocked with carp and tench; and at its upper end there is a green-house, containing a good collection of orange, myrtle, geranium, and oleander trees. This is a very agreeable room, either to drink tea, play at cards, or sit in with a book on a summer's evening. In one of the woods (through all which there are winding paths), there is a cave; which though little more than a rude heap of stones, is not without charms for me. A spring gushes out at the back of it; which, falling into a basin (whose brim it overflows), passes along a channel in the pavement where it loses itself. The entrance to this recess is overhung with periwinkle, and its top is shaded with beeches, large elms, and birch. There are several covered benches, and little arbours interwoven with lilacs, woodbines, seringas and laurels; and seats under shady trees, disposed all over the park. One great addition to the pleasure of living here, is the gravelly soil; which after a day of rain (if it holds up only for two or three hours), one may walk over without being wet through one's shoes: and there is one gravel walk that encompasses the whole. We propose to make an improvement, by adding to the present ground a little pasture farm which is just without the pale, because there is a very pretty brook of clear water which runs through the meadows to supply our canal, and whose course winds in such a manner that it is almost naturally a serpentine river. I am afraid I shall have tired you with the description of what appear to me beauties in our little possession; yet I cannot help adding one convenience that attends it:—this is, the cheap manner in which we keep it: since it only requires a flock of sheep, who graze the lawns fine; and whilst these are feeding, their shepherd cleans away any weeds that spring up in the gravel, and removes dry leaves or broken branches that would litter the walks.”

“On the spot where the green-house now stands, there was formerly a chapel, dedicated to St. Leonard; who was certainly esteemed as a tutelar saint of Windsor Forest and its purlieus, for the place we left was originally a hermitage founded in honour of him. We have no relics of the saint; but we have an old covered bench with many remains of the wit of my lord Bathurst's visitors, who inscribed verses upon it. Here is the writing of Addison, Pope, Prior, Congreve, Gay, and, what he esteemed no less, of several fine ladies. I cannot say that the verses answered my expectation from such authors; we have however all resolved to follow the fashion, and to add some of our own to the collection. That you may not be surprized at our courage for daring to write after such great names, I will transcribe one of the old ones, which I think as good as any of them:

Who set the trees shall he remember
That is in haste to fell the timber?
What then shall of thy woods remain,
Except the box that threw the main?

There has been only one added as yet by our company, which is tolerably numerous at present. I scarcely know whether it is worth reading or not:

By Bathurst planted, first these shades arose;
Prior and Pope have sung beneath these boughs:
Here Addison his moral theme pursued,
And social Gay has cheer'd the solitude.

There is one walk that I am extremely partial to, and which is rightly called the Abbey-walk, since it is composed of prodigiously high beech-trees, that form an arch through the whole length, exactly resembling a cloister. At the end is a statue; and about the middle a tolerably large circle, with Windsor chairs round it: and I think, for a person of contemplative disposition, one would scarcely find a more venerable shade in any poetical description.”

She had amused herself with improving the grounds of Percy Lodge before her husband's death, as much for his delight as her own.

“Those shady elms, my favourite trees,
Which near my Percy's window grew,
(Studious his leisure hours to please)
I decked last year for smell and shew;
To each a fragrant woodbine bound,
And edged with pinks the verdant mound.

Nor yet the areas left ungraced
Betwixt the borders and each tree;
But on them damask roses placed,
Which rising in a just degree,
Their glowing lustre through the green
Might add fresh beauties to the scene.”

Afterwards when it became her own by the Duke's bequest, and her home was thereby fixed upon the spot of earth which she would have chosen for herself, the satisfaction which she took in adding to it either beauty or convenience was enhanced by the reflection that in adorning it she was at the same time shewing her value for the gift, and her gratitude to the lamented giver. “Every thing,” said she, “both within and without the house reminds me of my obligations to him; and I cannot turn my eyes upon any object which is not an object of his goodness to me.—And as I think it a duty while it pleases God to continue us here, not to let ourselves sink into a stupid and unthankful melancholy, I endeavour to find out such entertainments as my retirement, and my dear Lord's unmerited bounty will admit of.”

And oh the transport, most allied to song,
In some fair villa's peaceful bound,
To catch soft hints from nature's tongue
And bid Arcadia bloom around:
Whether we fringe the sloping hill,
Or smoothe below the verdant mead;
Whether we break the falling rill,
Or thro' meandering mazes lead;
Or in the horrid bramble's room
Bid careless groups of roses bloom;
Or let some sheltered lake serene
Reflect flowers, woods, and spires, and brighten all the scene.

O sweet disposal of the rural hour!
O beauties never known to cloy!
While worth and genius haunt the favoured bower,
And every gentle breast partakes the joy.
While Charity at eve surveys the swain,
Enabled by these toils to cheer
A train of helpless infants dear,
Speed whistling home across the plain;
Sees vagrant Luxury, her handmaid grown,
For half her graceless deeds atone,
And hails the bounteous work, and ranks it with her own.2


The duch*ess was too far advanced in life to find any of that enjoyment in her occupations, which her own poet described in these stanzas, and which he felt himself only by an effort of reflection. But if there was not the excitement of hope, there was the satisfaction of giving useful employment to honest industry. “When one comes,” said she, “to the last broken arches of Mirza's bridge, rest from pain must bound our ambition, for pleasure is not to be expected in this world. I have no more notion of laying schemes to be executed six months, than I have six years hence; and this I believe helps to keep my spirits in an even state of cheerfulness to enjoy the satisfactions that present themselves, without anxious solicitude about their duration. As our journey seems approaching towards the verge of life, is it not more natural to cast our eyes to the prospect beyond it, than by a retrospective view to recall the troublesome trifles that ever made our road difficult or dangerous? Methinks it would be imitating Lot's wife (whose history is not recorded as an example for us to follow) to want to look back upon the miserable scene we are so near escaping from.”

In another letter to the same old friend she says, “I have a regular, and I hope a religious family. My woman, though she has not lived with me quite three years, had before lived twenty-three betwixt Lord Grantham's and Lady Cowper's: my housekeeper has been a servant as long: the person who takes in my accounts, pays my bills, and overlooks the men within doors, has been in the family thirteen years; and the other, who has lived ten, has the care of the stables and every thing without. I rise at seven, but do not go down till nine when the bell rings and my whole family meet me at chapel. After prayers we go to breakfast; any friend who happens to be there, myself, and my chaplain, have ours in the little library; the others in their respective eating rooms. About eleven if the weather permits, we go to walk in the park, or take the air in the coach; but if it be too bad for either we return to our various occupations. At three we dine, sit perhaps near an hour afterwards, then separate till we meet at eight for prayers; after which we adjourn again to the library, where somebody reads aloud (unless some stranger comes who chooses cards), until half past nine, when we sup, and always part before eleven. This to the fine would sound a melancholy monastic life; and I cannot be supposed to have chosen it from ignorance of the splendour and gaiety of a court, but from a thorough experience that they can give no solid happiness; and I find myself more calmly pleased in my present way of living, and more truly contented, than I ever was in the bloom and pomp of my youth. I am no longer dubious what point to pursue. There is but one proper for the decline of life, and indeed the only one worth the anxiety of a rational creature at any age: but how do the fire of youth, and flattery of the world blind our eyes, and mislead our fancies, after a thousand imaginary pleasures which are sure to disappoint us in the end!”

The duch*ess was a person whose moral constitution had not been injured by the atmosphere of a court. But though she kept aloof from its intrigues and had acquired even a distaste for its vanities, she retained always an affectionate regard for Queen Caroline's memory. “I should have been glad,” she says to Lady Pomfret, “to have shared your reverence and have indulged my own at Blansfelden, whilst you were overlooking the fields and the shades where our late mistress had passed the first scenes of her life, before the cares of royalty had clouded the natural vivacity of her temper, or the disguise which greatness is often forced to wear had veiled any of her native goodness; and certainly she had a greater stock of both than is often found in any rank.” She could never think of her without a sigh, she said. The most amiable mistress she calls her that ever adorned a court, and so fitted to charm in society, that it was impossible not to grudge her to that life which involved her in cares and encompassed her with such a cloud of different people, that her real lustre could not always reach those who perhaps had the most pleasure in it.

Before the loss of her son (from which the duch*ess never entirely recovered), her spirits had been affected by the state of her husband's health. “The many solitary hours I pass in a day,” she says, “and the melancholy employment of attending a person in his sufferings, to whom I owe every happiness I enjoy, cannot furnish me with many smiling ideas relating to this world.” The country in its wintry appearances accorded with her feelings, “where,” said she, “every thing around instructs me that decay is the lot of all created beings; where every tree spreads out its naked arms to testify the solemn truth, which I thank heaven I feel no pain in assenting to. It has long been my fixed opinion, that in the latter part of life, when the duties owing to a family no longer call upon us to act on the public stage of life, it is not only more decent, but infinitely more eligible to live in an absolute retirement. However this is not the general opinion of the world, and therefore I conclude that it is better it is not so, since Providence undoubtedly orders better for us than we are able to do for ourselves.”

During the latter years of her life, however, she enjoyed that absolute retirement which was her heart's desire. But the peaceful mansion in which this wise and amiable woman passed her latter years was, after her decease, inhabited by one of those men who insulted public decency by the open and ostentatious profligacy of their lives. Mrs. Carter writing from the Castle Inn at Marlborough, which had not long before been one of the residences of the Seymour family, says, “this house I consider with great respect and veneration, not without a strong mixture of regret, that what was once the elegant abode of virtue and genius, and honoured by the conversation of the duch*ess of Somerset and Mrs. Rowe, should now resound with all the disorderly and riotous clamour of an inn. And yet its fate is more eligible than that of Percy Lodge, as it stands the chance of receiving indifferently good and bad people, and is not destined to be the constant reception of shocking profligate vice.”



It seems that you take pleasure in these walks Sir.
Cleanthes. Contemplative content I do, my Lord;
They bring into my mind oft meditations
So sweetly precious, that in the parting
I find a shower of grace upon my cheeks,
They take their leave so feelingly.

The difference was very great between Thaxted Grange and Percy Lodge, though somewhat less than that between Northumberland House and the Tobacconists at No. 113 Bishopsgate Street. Yet if a landscape painter who could have embodied the spirit of the scene had painted both, the Grange might have made the more attractive picture, though much had been done to embellish the Lodge by consulting picturesque effect, while the Allisons had aimed at little beyond comfort and convenience in their humble precincts.

From a thatched seat in the grounds of the Lodge, open on three sides and constructed like a shepherd's hut, there was a direct view of Windsor Castle, seen under the boughs of some old oaks and beeches. Sweet Williams, narcissuses, rose-campions, and such other flowers as the hares would not eat, had been sown in borders round the foot of every tree. There was a hermitage, absurdly so called, in the wood, with a thatched covering, and sides of straw; and there was a rosary, which though appropriately named, might sound as oddly to the ears of a Roman Catholic. A porter's lodge had been built at the entrance; and after the Duke's death the long drawing room had been converted into a chapel, in Gothic taste, with three painted windows, which, having been bespoken for Northumberland House, but not suiting the intended alterations in that mansion, were put up here. The duch*ess and her servant had worked cross-stitch chairs for this chapel in fine crimson, the pattern was a Gothic mosaic, and they were in Gothic frames.

Se o mundo nos nao anda a' vontade
Naō he pera estranhar, pois he hum sonho
Que nunca con ninguem tratou verdade.
Se quando se nos mostra mais risonho,
Mais brande, mais amigo, o desprezemos,
He graō virtude, e á sua conta o ponho.
Mais se, (o que he mais certo) o desprezamos
Depois que nos engeita e nos despreza,
Que premio, ou que louvor disso esperamos?

All here however was as it should be: Percy Lodge was the becoming retreat of a lady of high rank, who having in the natural course of time and things outlived all inclination for the pomps and vanities of the world, and all necessity for conforming to them, remembered what was still due to her station; and doing nothing to be seen of men, had retired thither to pass the remainder of her days in privacy and religious peace.


All too was as it should be at Thaxted Grange. Picturesque was a term which had never been heard there; and taste was as little thought of as pretended to; but the right old English word comfort, in its good old English meaning, was nowhere more thoroughly understood. Nor anywhere could more evident indications of it be seen both within and without.

A tradesman retiring from business in these days with a fortune equivalent to what Mr. Allison had made, would begin his improvements upon such a house as the Grange by pulling it down. Mr. Allison contented himself with thoroughly repairing it. He had no dislike to low rooms, and casem*nt windows. The whole furniture of his house cost less than would now be expended by a person of equal circ*mstances in fitting up a drawing-room. Every thing was for use, and nothing for display, unless it were two fowling pieces, which were kept in good order over the fire place in the best kitchen, and never used but when a kite threatened the poultry, or an owl was observed to frequent the dove-cote in preference to the barn.

But out of doors as much regard was shown to beauty as to utility. Miss Allison and Betsey claimed the little garden in front of the house for themselves. It was in so neglected a state when they took possession, that between children and poultry and stray pigs, not a garden flower was left there to grow wild: and the gravel walk from the gate to the porch was overgrown with weeds and grass, except a path in the middle which had been kept bare by use. On each side of the gate were three yew trees, at equal distances. In the old days of the Grange they had been squared in three lessening stages, the uppermost tapering pyramidally to a point. While the house had been shorn of its honours, the yews remained unshorn; but when it was once more occupied by a wealthy habitant, and a new gate had been set up and the pillars and their stone-balls cleaned from moss and lichen and short ferns, the unfortunate evergreens were again reduced to the formal shape in which Mr. Allison and his sister remembered them in their childhood. This was with them a matter of feeling, which is a better thing than taste. And indeed the yews must either have been trimmed, or cut down, because they intercepted sunshine from the garden and the prospect from the upper windows. The garden would have been better without them, for they were bad neighbours; but they belonged to old times, and it would have seemed a sort of sacrilege to destroy them.

Flower-beds used, like beds in the kitchen garden, to be raised a little above the path, with nothing to divide them from it, till about the beginning of the seventeenth century the fashion of bordering them was introduced either by the Italians or the French. Daisies, periwinkles, feverfew, hyssop, lavender, rosemary, rue, sage, wormwood, camomile, thyme and box, were used for this purpose: a German horticulturist observes that hyssop was preferred as the most convenient; box however gradually obtained the preference. The Jesuit Rapin claims for the French the merit of bringing this plant into use, and embellishes his account of it by one of those school-boy fictions which passed for poetry in his days, and may still pass for it in his country. He describes a feast of the rural gods:

Adfuit et Cybele, Phrygias celebrata per urbes;
Ipsaque cum reliquis Flora invitata deabus
Venit, inornatis, ut erat neglecta, capillis;
Sive fuit fastus, seu fors fiducia formæ.
Non illi pubes ridendi prompta pepercit,
Neglectam risere. Deam Berecynthia mater
Semotam à turba, casum miserata puellæ,
Exornat, certâque comam sub lege reponit,
Et viridi imprimis buxo (nam buxifer omnis
Undique campus erat) velavit tempora nymphæ.
Reddidit is speciem cultus, cœpitque videri
Formosa, et meruit: novus hinc decor additus ori.

Ex illo, ut Floram decuit cultura, per artem
Floribus ille decor posthac quæsitus, et hortis:
Quem tamen Ausonii cultores, quemque Pelasgi
Nescivere, suos nullâ qui lege per hortos
Plantabant flores, nec eos componere norant
Areolis, tonsâque vias describere buxo.
Culta super reliquas Francis topiaria gentes,
Ingenium seu mite soli cœlique benigni
Temperies tantam per sese adjuverit artem;
Sive illam egregiæ solers industria gentis
Extuderit, seris seu venerit usus ab annis.

The fashion which this buxom Flora introduced had at one time the effect of banishing flowers from what should have been the flower garden: the ground was set with box in their stead disposed in patterns more or less formal, some intricate as a labyrinth and not a little resembling those of Turkey carpets, where mahometan laws interdict the likeness of any living thing, and the taste of Turkish weavers excludes any combination of graceful forms. One sense at least was gratified when fragrant herbs were used in these “rare figures of composures,” or knots as they were called, hyssop being mixed in them with thyme, as aiders the one to the other, the one being dry, the other moist. Box had the disadvantage of a disagreeable odour; but it was greener in winter and more compact in all seasons. To lay out these knots and tread them required the skill of a master-gardener: much labour was thus expended without producing any beauty. The walks between them were sometimes of different colours, some would be of lighter or darker gravel, red or yellow sand; and when such materials were at hand, pulverised coal and pulverised shells.

Such a garden Mr. Cradock saw at Bordeaux no longer ago than the year 1785; it belonged to Monsieur Rabi, a very rich Jew merchant, and was surrounded by a bank of earth, on which there stood about two hundred blue and white flower-pots; the garden itself was a scroll work cut very narrow, and the interstices filled with sand of different colours to imitate embroidery; it required repairing after every shower, and if the wind rose the eyes were sure to suffer. Yet the French admired this and exclaimed, superbe! magnifique!

Neither Miss Allison nor her niece, would have taken any pleasure in gardens of this kind, which had nothing of a garden but the name. They both delighted in flowers; the aunt because flowers to her were “redolent of youth,” and never failed to awaken tender recollections; Betsey for an opposite reason; having been born and bred in London, a nosegay there had seemed always to bring her a foretaste of those enjoyments for which she was looking forward with eager hope. They had stocked their front garden therefore with the gayest and the sweetest flowers that were cultivated in those days; larkspurs both of the giant and dwarf species, and of all colours; sweet-williams of the richest hues; monks-hood for its stately growth; Betsey called it the dumbledore's delight, and was not aware that the plant in whose helmet- rather than cowl-shaped flowers that busy and best-natured of all insects appears to revel more than in any other, is the deadly aconite of which she read in poetry: the white lily, and the fleur-de-lis; peonies, which are still the glory of the English garden; stocks and gilly flowers which make the air sweet as the gales of Arabia; wall-flowers, which for a while are little less fragrant, and not less beautiful; pinks and carnations added their spicy odours; roses red and white peeped at the lower casem*nts, and the jessamine climbed to those of the chambers above. You must nurse your own flowers if you would have them flourish, unless you happen to have a gardener who is as fond of them as yourself. Eve was not busier with her's in Paradise, her “pleasant task injoined,” than Betsey Allison and her aunt, from the time that early spring invited them to their cheerful employment, till late and monitory autumn closed it for the year.

“Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these;” and Solomon in all his wisdom never taught more wholesome lessons than these silent monitors convey to a thoughtful mind and an “understanding heart.” “There are two books,” says Sir Thomas Browne, “from whence I collect my divinity; besides that written one of God, another of his servant Nature, that universal and public manuscript that lies expansed unto the eyes of all. Those that never saw him in the one, have discovered him in the other. This was the scripture and theology of the heathens: the natural motion of the sun made them more admire him than its supernatural station did the children of Israel; the ordinary effects of nature wrought more admiration in them, than in the other all his miracles. Surely the heathens knew better how to join and read these mystical letters, than we Christians who cast a more careless eye on these common hieroglyphics, and disdain to suck divinity from the flowers of nature.”



If we present a mingle-mangle, our fault is to be excused, because the whole world is become a hodge-podge.


It occurs to me that some of my readers may perhaps desire to be informed in what consists the difference between a Chapter and an Inter Chapter; for that there is a difference no considerate person would be disposed to deny, though he may not be able to discover it. Gentle readers,—readers after my own heart, you for whom this opus was designed long before it was an opus, when as Dryden has said concerning one of his own plays, “it was only a confused mass of thoughts, tumbling over one another in the dark; when the fancy was yet in its first work, moving the sleeping images of things towards the light, there to be distinguished, and then either chosen or rejected by the judgement,”—good-natured readers, you who are willing to be pleased, and whom therefore it is worth pleasing,—for your sakes,

And for because you shall not think that I
Do use the same without a reason why,1

I will explain the distinction.


It is not like the difference between a Baptist and an Anabaptist, which Sir John Danvers said, is much the same as that between a Whiskey and a Tim-Whiskey, that is to say no difference at all. Nor is it like that between Dryads and Hamadryads, which Benserade once explained to the satisfaction of a learned lady by saying qu'il avait autant de difference qu'entre les Evêques et les Archevêques. Nor is it like the distinction taken by him who divided bread into white bread, brown bread, and French rolls.

A panegyrical poet said of the aforesaid Benserade that he possessed three talents which posterity would hardly be persuaded to believe;

De plaisanter les Grands il ne fit point scrupule,
Sans qu'ils le prissent de travers;
Il fut vieux et galant sans être ridicule,
Et s'enrichit à composer des vers.

He used to say, that he was descended and derived his name from the Abencerrages. Upon a similar presumption of etymological genealogy it has been said that Aulus Gellius was the progenitor of all the Gells. An Englishman may doubt this, a Welshman would disbelieve, and a Jew might despise it. So might a Mahommedan, because it is a special prerogative of his prophet to be perfectly acquainted with his whole pedigree; the Mussulmen hold that no other human being ever possessed the same knowledge, and that after the resurrection, when all other pedigrees will be utterly destroyed, this alone will be preserved in the archives of Eternity.

Leaving however Sir William Gell to genealogize, if he pleases, as elaborately as he has topographized, and to maintain the authenticity and dignity of his Roman descent against all who may impugn it, whether Turk, Jew, or Christian, I proceed with my promised explanation.

The Hebrews call chapters and sections and other essential or convenient divisions, the bones of a book. The Latins called them nodi, knots or links; and every philologist knows that articles, whether grammatical, conventional, or of faith, are so denominated as being the joints of language, covenants and creeds.

Now reader, the chapters of this book are the bones wherewith its body is compacted; the knots or links whereby its thread or chain of thoughts is connected; the articulations, without which it would be stiff, lame and disjointed. Every chapter has a natural dependence upon that which precedes, and in like manner a relation to that which follows it. Each grows out of the other. They follow in direct genealogy; and each could no more have been produced without relation to its predecessor, than Isaac could have begotten Jacob unless Abraham had begotten Isaac.

Sometimes indeed it must of necessity happen that a new chapter opens with a new part of the subject, but this is because we are arrived at that part in the natural prosecution of our argument. The disruption causes no discontinuance; it is, (to pursue the former illustration,) as when the direct line in a family is run out, and the succession is continued by a collateral branch; or as in the mineral world, in which one formation begins where another breaks off.

In my chapters, however, where there is no such natural division of the subject matter, I have ever observed that “one most necessary piece of mastership, which is ever performed by those of good skill in music, when they end a suit of lessons in any one key, and do intend presently to begin another in a differing key.” Upon which piece of mastership, the worthy old “Remembrancer of the best practical music, both divine and civil, that has ever been known to have been in the world,” thus instructs his readers.

“They do not abruptly and suddenly begin such new lessons, without some neat and handsome interluding-voluntary-like playing; which may by degrees (as it were) steal into that new and intended key.

“Now that you may be able to do it handsomely, and without blemish, or incompleteness, (for you must know it is a piece of quaintness so to do), you must take notice, that always, when you have made an end of playing upon any one key, (if discourse or some other occasion do not cause a cessation of play for some pretty time, so as the remembrance of that former key may, in a manner, be forgotten), it will be very needful that some care be taken that you leave that key handsomely, and come into that other you intend next to play upon without impertinency.

“For such impertinencies will seem to be very like such a thing as this, which I shall name—to wit—

“That when two or more persons have been soberly and very intently discoursing upon some particular solid matter, musing and very ponderously considering thereof; all on the sudden, some one of them shall abruptly (without any pause) begin to talk of a thing quite of another nature, nothing relating to the aforesaid business.

“Now those by-standers (who have judgement), will presently apprehend that although his matter might be good, yet his manner and his wit might have been better approved of in staying some certain convenient time, in which he might have found out some pretty interluding discourse, and have taken a handsome occasion to have brought in his new matter.

“Just so is it in music, and more particularly in this last-recited-matter; as to chop different things of different natures, and of different keys, one upon the neck of another, impertinently.

“For I would have it taken notice of, that music is (at least) as a language, if it will not be allowed a perfect one; because it is not so well understood as it might be.—

“Having thus far prepared you with an apprehension of the needfulness of the thing, I will now show you how it is to be done without abruption and absurdness.

“First, (as abovesaid) it may be that discourse may take off the remembrance of the last key in which you played, or some occasion of a leaving off for some pretty time, by a string breaking or the like; or if not, then (as commonly it happens) there may be a need of examining the tuning of your lute, for the strings will alter a little in the playing of one lesson, although they have been well stretched. But if lately put on, or have been slacked down by any mischance of pegs slipping, then they will need mending, most certainly.

“I say some such occasion may sometimes give you an opportunity of coming handsomely to your new intended key: but if none of these shall happen, then you ought, in a judicious and masterly way, to work from your last key which you played upon, in some voluntary way till you have brought your matter so to pass that your auditors may be captivated with a new attention; yet so insinuatingly, that they may have lost the remembrance of the foregoing key they know not how; nor are they at all concerned for the loss of it, but rather taken with a new content and delight at your so cunning and complete artifice.”

With strict propriety then may it be said of these my chapters as Wordsworth has said of certain sonnets during his tour in Scotland and on the English border, that they

Have moved in order, to each other bound
By a continuous and acknowledged tie
Tho' unapparent, like those shapes distinct
That yet survive ensculptured on the walls
Of Palace, or of Temple, 'mid the wreck
Of famed Persepolis; each following each,
As might beseem a stately embassy
In set array; these bearing in their hands
Ensign of civil power, weapon of war,
Or gift to be presented at the Throne
Of the Great King; and others as they go
In priestly vest, with holy offerings charged,
Or leading victims dressed for sacrifice.

For an ordinary book then the ordinary division into chapters might very well have sufficed. But this is an extraordinary book. Hath not the Quarterly Review—that Review which among all Reviews is properly accounted facile Princeps,—hath not that great critical authority referred to it κατ᾽ εξοχην as “the extraordinary book called the Doctor?” Yes reader;

All things within it
Are so digested, fitted and composed
As it shows Wit had married Order.2

And as the exceptions in grammar prove the rule, so the occasional interruptions of order here are proofs of that order, and in reality belong to it.


Lord Bacon (then Sir Francis) said in a letter to the Bishop of Ely upon sending him his writing intitled Cogitata et Visa, “I am forced to respect as well my times, as the matter. For with me it is thus, and I think with all men in my case; if I bind myself to an argument it loadeth my mind; but if I rid my mind of the present cogitation it is rather a recreation. This hath put me into these miscellanies, which I purpose to suppress if God give me leave to write a just and perfect volume of philosophy.”

That I am full of cogitations like Lord Bacon the judicious reader must ere this time have perceived; though he may perhaps think me not more worthy on that score to be associated with Bacon, than beans or cabbage or eggs at best. Like him however in this respect I am, however unlike in others; and it is for the reader's recreation as well as mine, and for our mutual benefit, that my mind should be delivered of some of its cogitations as soon as they are ripe for birth.

I know not whence thought comes; who indeed can tell? But this we know, that like the wind it cometh as it listeth. Happily there is no cause for me to say with Sir Philip Sydney,

If I could think how these my thoughts to leave;
Or thinking still, my thoughts might have good end;
If rebel Sense would Reason's law receive,
Or Reason foiled would not in vain contend;
Then might I think what thoughts were best to think,
Then might I wisely swim, or gladly sink.

Nor with Des-Portes,

O pensers trop pensez, que rebellez mon ame!
O debile raison! O lacqs! O traits!

thanks to that kind Providence which has hitherto enabled me through good and evil fortune to maintain an even and well-regulated mind. Neither need I say with the pleasant authors of the “Rejected Addresses” in their harmless imitation of a most pernicious author,

Thinking is but an idle waste of thought,
And nought is every thing and every thing is nought.

I have never worked in an intellectual treadmill, which as it had nothing to act on was grinding the wind.

“He that thinks ill,” says Dean Young, (the poet's father,) “prevents the Tempter, and does the Devil's business for him; he that thinks nothing, tempts the Tempter, and offers him possession of an empty room; but he that thinks religiously, defeats the Tempter, and is proof and secure against all his assaults.” I know not whether there be any later example where the word prevent is used as in the Collect in its Latin sense.

It is a man's own fault if he excogitate vain thoughts, and still more if he enunciate and embody them; but it is not always in his power to prevent their influx. Even the preventative which George Tubervile recommends in his monitory rhymes, is not infallible;

Eschew the idle life!
Flee, flee from doing nought!
For never was there idle brain
But bred an idle thought.

Into the busiest brain they will sometimes intrude; and the brain that is over-busy breeds them. But the thoughts which are not of our own growth or purchase, and which we receive not from books, society, or visible objects, but from some undiscovered influence, are of all kinds.

Who has a breast so pure,
But some uncleanly apprehensions
Keep leets and law days, and in session sit
With meditations lawful?3

I dare not affirm that some are suggestions of the enemy; neither dare I deny it: from all such tela ignea and tela venenata, whatever be their origin, or whencesoever they come, God preserve us! But there are holy inspirations, which philosophy may teach us to expect, and faith to pray for.


My present business is not with these, but it is with those conceptions which float into the solitary mind, and which if they are unrecorded pass away, like a dream or a rainbow, or the glories of an evening sky. Some of them are no better than motes in the sunbeams, as light, as fleeting, and to all apprehension as worthless. Others may be called seminal thoughts, which if they light not upon a thorny, or stoney, or arid field of intellect, germinate, and bring forth flowers, and peradventure fruit. Now it is in the Interchapters that part of this floating capital is vested; part of these waifs and strays impounded; part of this treasure-trove lodged; part of these chance thoughts and fancies preserved: part I say, because

J'ay mille autres pensers, et mille et mille et mille,
Qui font qu'incessamment mon esprit se distile.


“There are three things,” says a Welsh triad, “that ought to be considered before some things should be spoken; the manner, the place, and the time.” Touching the manner, I see none whereby they could more conveniently or agreeably be conveyed; and for the place and time these must be allowed to be at my own discretion.

And howsoever, be it well or ill
What I have done, it is mine own; I may
Do whatsoever therewithal I will.5

(Be it remarked in passing that these lines bear a much greater resemblance to Italian poetry than any of those English sonnets which have been called Petrarcal.) One place being (generally speaking) as suitable as another, it has not been necessary for me to deliberate,

Desta antigua preñez de pensamientos
Qual el primero hare, qual el segundo.

I have interspersed them where I thought fit, and given them the appellation which they bear, to denote that they are no more a necessary and essential part of this opus, than the voluntary is of the church service.

Εισὶν δὲ περι του;
Περὶ Αθηνων, περι Πύλου,
Περι σοῦ, περι ἐμοῦ, περὶ απαντων πραγματων.




A Chapter is, as has been explained, both procreated and procreative: an Interchapter is like the hebdomad, which profound philosophers have pronounced to be not only παρθένος, but αμητωρ, a motherless as well as a virgin number.

Here too the exception illustrates the rule. There are at the commencement of the third volume four Interchapters in succession, and relating to each other, the first gignitive but not generated; the second and third both generated and gignitive, the fourth generated but not gignitive. They stand to each other in the relation of Adam, Seth, Enoch, Kenan. These are the exceptions. The other chapters are all Melchizedekites.

The gentle Reader will be satisfied with this explanation; the curious will be pleased with it. To the captious one I say in the words of John Bunyan, “Friend, howsoever thou camest by this book, I will assure thee thou wert least in my thoughts when I writ it. I tell thee, I intended the book as little for thee as the goldsmith intended his jewels and rings for the snout of a sow!”

If any be not pleased, let them please themselves with their own displeasure. Je n'ay pas enterpris de contenter tout le monde: mesme Jupiter n'aggree à tous.8




And sure there seem of human kind
Some born to shun the solemn strife;
Some for amusive tasks design'd
To soothe the certain ills of life,
Grace its lone vales with many a budding rose,
New founts of bliss disclose,
Call forth refreshing shades and decorate repose.

Dr. Hammond says he had “heard say of a man who, upon his death-bed, being to take his farewell of his son, and considering what course of life to recommend that might secure his innocence, at last enjoined him to spend his time in making verses, and in dressing a garden; the old man thinking no temptation could creep into either of these employments.” As to the former part of this counsel, a certain Sir Edmund King was of a different opinion; for meeting with Watts in his youth, he said to him, “Young man, I hear that you make verses! Let me advise you never to do it but when you can't help it.” If there were ever a person who could not help it, Joanna Baillie would have said nothing more than what was strictly true, when she observed that “surely writing verses must have some power of intoxication in it, and can turn a sensible man into a fool by some process of mental alchemy.”

“Gardening,” says Mr. Courtenay, in his Life of Sir William Temple, “is a pursuit peculiarly adapted for reconciling and combining the tastes of the two sexes, and indeed of all ages. It is therefore of all amusem*nts the most retentive of domestic affection. It is perhaps most warmly pursued by the very young, and by those who are far advanced in life,—before the mind is occupied with worldly business, and after it has become disgusted with it. There is nothing in it to remind of the bustle of political life; and it requires neither a sanguine disposition nor the prospect of a long life, to justify the expectation of a beautiful result from the slight and easy care which it exacts. Is it too much to say that the mind which can with genuine taste occupy itself in gardening, must have preserved some portion of youthful purity; that it must have escaped, during its passage through the active world its deeper contaminations; and that no shame nor remorse can have found a seat in it.”

Certainly it is not too much to say this of Sir William Temple; nor would it be too much to say it of his biographer, whether he occupy himself, or not, in gardening as well as in literature, after many laborious years honourably passed in political and official life.

Peter Collinson, whose pious memory ought to be a standing toast at the meetings of the Horticultural Society, used to say that he never knew an instance in which the pursuit of such pleasure as the culture of a garden affords, did not either find men temperate and virtuous, or make them so. And this may be affirmed as an undeniable and not unimportant fact relating to the lower classes of society, that wherever the garden of a cottage or other humble dwelling, is carefully and neatly kept, neatness and thrift and domestic comfort will be found within doors.

When Mr. Allison settled at Thaxted Grange, English gardens were beginning generally to profit by the benevolent and happy endeavours of Peter Collinson to improve them. That singularly good man availed himself of his mercantile connections, and of the opportunities afforded him by the Royal Society, of which he was one of the most diligent and useful members, to procure seeds and plants from all parts of the world, and these he liberally communicated to his friends. So they found their way first into the gardens of the curious, then of the rich, and lastly, when their beauty recommended them, spread themselves into those of ordinary persons. He divided his time between his counting-house in Gracechurch street, and his country house and garden at Mill Hill, near Hendon: it might have grieved him could he have foreseen that his grounds there would pass after his death into the hands of a purchaser who in mere ignorance rooted out the rarest plants, and cut down trees which were scarcely to be found in perfection anywhere else in the kingdom at that time.

Mr. Collinson was a man of whom it was truly said that not having any public station, he was the means of procuring national advantages for his country, and possessed an influence in it which wealth cannot purchase, and which will be honoured when titles are forgotten. For thirty years he executed gratuitously the commissions of the Philadelphian Subscription Library, the first which was established in America; he assisted the directors in their choice of books, took the whole care of collecting and shipping them, and transmitted to the directors the earliest accounts of every improvement in agriculture and the arts, and of every philosophical discovery.

Franklin, who was the founder of that library, made his first electrical experiments with an apparatus that had been sent to it as a present by Peter Collinson. He deemed it therefore a proper mark of acknowledgement to inform him of the success with which it had been used, and his first Essays on Electricity were originally communicated in letters to this good man. They were read in the Royal Society, “where they were not thought worth so much notice as to be printed in their Transactions;” and his paper in which the sameness of lightning with electricity was first asserted, was laughed at by the connoisseurs. Peter Collinson however gave the letters to Cave for the Gentleman's Magazine; Cave forming a better judgment than the Royal Society had done, printed them separately in a pamphlet, for which Dr. Fothergill wrote a preface; the pamphlet by successive additions swelled to a volume in quarto which went through five editions, and as Franklin observes, “cost Cave nothing for copy money.”

What a contrast between this English Quaker and Monsieur Le Cour, (observe, reader, I call him Monsieur, lest you should mistake him for a Dutchman, seeing that he lived at Leyden,) who having raised a double tuberose from the seed, and propagated it by the roots, till he had as many as he could find room to plant, destroyed the rest as fast as they were produced, that he might boast of being the only person in Europe who possessed it. Another French florist of the same stamp, M. Bachelier was his name, kept in like manner some beautiful species of the anemone to himself, which he had procured from the East Indies, and succeeded in withholding them for ten years from all who wished to possess them likewise. A counseller of the Parliament however one day paid him a visit when they were in seed, and in walking with him round the garden, contrived to let his gown fall upon them; by this means he swept off a good number of the seeds, and his servant who was apprized of the scheme, dexterously wrapt up the gown and secured them. Any one must have been a sour moralist who should have considered this to be a breach of the eighth commandment.

Mr. Allison was well acquainted with Peter Collinson; he and his sister sometimes visited him at Mill Hill, and upon their removal into Yorkshire they were supplied from thence with choice fruit trees, and fine varieties of the narcissus and polyanthus, which were the good Quaker's favourite tribes. The wall fruits were under Mr. Allison's especial care; he called himself indeed First Lord of the Fruit Department; and if the first lords of certain other departments had taken as much pains to understand their business and to perform it, the affairs of the state would have been better managed than they were in his days, and than they are in ours. Some part also he took in directing the business of the kitchen garden; but the flowers were left entirely to Betsey and her aunt.

The old poet who called himself Shepherd Tonie, and whom Sir Egerton with much likelihood supposes to have been Anthony Munday, gives in his Woodman's Walk an unfavourable representation of provincial morals, when after forsaking the court and the city because he had found nothing but selfishness and deceit in both, he tried the country.

There did appear no subtle shows,
But yea and nay went smoothly:
But Lord! how country folks can glose
When they speak most untruly!
More craft was in a buttoned cap
And in the old wives' rail,
Than in my life it was my hap
To see on down or dale.
There was no open forgery,
But underhanded gleaning,
Which they call country policy
But hath a worser meaning.
Some good bold face bears out the wrong,
Because he gains thereby;
The poor mans back is crackt ere long,
Yet there he lets him lie:
And no degree among them all
But had such close intending,
That I upon my knees did fall
And prayed for their amending.

If the author of these verses, or any one who entertained the same opinion, had been a guest of Mr. Allison's at Thaxted Grange, and had remained under his roof long enough to see the way of life there, and the condition of the hamlet, he would have gone away with a very different persuasion. It was a remark of Bishop Percy's that you may discern in a country parish whether there is a resident clergyman or not, by the civil or savage manners of the people. The influence of the clergyman, however exemplary he may be, is materially impaired if his benefice is so poor and his means so straitened that his own necessities leave him little or nothing to spare; but when such a parish priest as Mr. Bacon has for his neighbour such a resident landholder as his friend at the Grange, happy are—not the cottagers only, but all who live within their sphere.

There was no alehouse in the hamlet, and as the fashion of preserves had not yet been introduced, there were no poachers, the inhabitants being thus happily exempted from two of the great temptations with which in our days men of that class are continually beset. If a newspaper ever found its way among them, newspapers were at that time harmless; and when a hawker came he had no pestiferous tracts either seditious or sectarian for sale, or for gratuitous distribution: a scurvy jest-book was the worst article in his assortment. Mr. Bacon had nothing to counteract his pastoral labours except the pravity of human nature. Of this there must every where be but too much; but fortunate indeed is the parish priest who finds himself in like manner stationed where there are no external circ*mstances to aggravate and excite it.

Wherever more than ordinary pains were bestowed upon a cottager's or farmer's garden, Mr. Allison supplied the housewife with seed of a better kind than she might otherwise have been able to procure, and with grafts from his most serviceable fruit trees. No one who behaved well in his employ was ever left in want of employment; he had always some work going on, the cost of which was allowed for as charity, in his accounts: and when he observed in a boy the diligence and the disposition which made it likely that an opportunity of bettering his condition would not be thrown away upon him, he advised, or if need were, enabled the parents to educate him for trade, and at a proper age provided a situation for him in London. If any of their daughters desired to acquire those useful arts which might qualify them for domestic service, they came to assist and learn from Miss Allison when she distilled her waters, made her cowslip, elder, and gooseberry wines, prepared her pickles and preserves, dried her medicinal plants, or constructed the great goose-pye, which in the Christmas week was always dispatched by the York coach to Bishopsgate Street, for the honour of Yorkshire, and the astonishment of the Londoners. They came also when preparations were making for a holiday, for old observances of this kind were maintained as duly there as by the Romans when the Laws of the Twelve Tables were in use, and every man constantly observed his family festivals as thereby enjoined.

Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday are still in general usage; indeed I do not know that it was ever deemed malignant and idolatrous to eat them on that day even under the tyranny of the Puritans. But in Mr. Allison's days Mid-lent Sunday was not allowed to pass without a wholesome and savoury bowl of furmity on the social board: and Easter day brought with it not only those coloured eggs which are the friendly offering of that season throughout the whole north of Europe, but the tansy pudding also,—originally perhaps introduced, (and possibly by some compulsory converts from Judaism,) as a representative of the bitter herbs with which the Paschal Lamb was to be eaten.

Both Christmas-days were kept at the Grange. There were people in those times who refused to keep what they called Parliament Christmas. But whether the old computation or the new were right, was a point on which neither the master nor mistress of this house pretended to form an opinion. On which day the Glastonbury Thorn blossomed they never thought it necessary to enquire, nor did they go into the byre or the fields to see upon which midnight the oxen were to be found on their knees. They agreed with Mr. Bacon that in other respects it was a matter of indifference, but not so that Christmas should be celebrated on the same day throughout Christendom: and he agreed with them that as the ritual ought to be performed at the time appointed by authority, so the convivial observances might be regulated by the old kalendar, or still more fitly, repeated according to the old reckoning, in deference to old feelings and recollections which time had consecrated.

In Bishopsgate Street it had been found convenient to set down the children and their young guests on these occasions at Pope-Joan, or snip-snap-snorum, which was to them a more amusing because a noisier game. But here was room for more legitimate gambols; and when a young party had assembled numerous enough for such pastime, hunt the slipper, hot co*ckles, or blind-man's buff were the sports of a Christmas evening. These had been days of high enjoyment to Betsey for a few years after their removal into the country; they ceased to be so when she saw that her aunt's hair was passing from the steel to the silver hue, and remembered that her father had reached the term of life, beyond which, in the ordinary course of nature our strength is but labour and sorrow;—that the one was at an age

When every day that comes, comes to decay
A day's work in us;1

the other,—

Even in the downfall of his mellowed years
When Nature brought him to the door of Death.1




We are not to grudge such interstitial and transitional matter as may promote an easy connection of parts and an elastic separation of them, and keep the reader's mind upon springs as it were.


Dear impatient readers,—you whom I know and who do not know me,—and you who are equally impatient, but whom I cannot call equally dear, because you are totally strangers to me in my out-of-cog character,—you who would have had me hurry on

In motion of no less celerity
Than that of thought,—1

you will not wonder, nor perhaps will you blame me now, that I do not hasten to the wedding day. The day on which Deborah left her father's house was the saddest that she had ever known till then; nor was there one of the bridal party who did not feel that this was the first of those events, inevitable and mournful all, by which their little circle would be lessened, and his or her manner of life or of existence changed.


There is no checking the course of time. When the shadow on Hezekiah's dial went back, it was in the symbol only that the miracle was wrought: the minutes in every other horologe held their due course. But as Opifex of this opus, I when it seems good unto me, may take the hour-glass from Time's hand and let it rest at a stand-still, till I think fit to turn it and set the sands again in motion. You who have got into this my omnibus, know that like other omnibusses, its speed is to be regulated not according to your individual and perhaps contrariant wishes, but by my discretion.

Moreover I am not bound to ply with this omnibus only upon a certain line. In that case there would be just cause of complaint, if you were taken out of your road.

Mas estorva y desabre en el camino
Una pequeña legua de desvio
Que la jornada larga de contino.

Whoever has at any time lost his way upon a long journey can bear testimony to the truth of what the Reverend Padre Maestro Fray Marco Antonio de Camos says in those lines. (I will tell you hereafter reader (for it is worth telling), why that namesake of the Triumvir, when he wrote the poem from whence the lines are quoted, had no thoughts of dedicating it as he afterwards did to D. Juan Pimentel y de Requesens.) But you are in no danger of being bewildered, or driven out of your way. It is not in a stage coach that you have taken your place with me, to be conveyed to a certain point, and within a certain time, under such an expectation on your part, and such an engagement on mine. We will drop the metaphor of the omnibus,—observing however by the bye, which is the same thing in common parlance as by the way, though critically there may seem to be a difference, for by the bye might seem to denote a collateral remark and by the way a direct one; observing however as I said, that as Dexter called his work, or St. Jerome called it for him, Omnimoda Historia, so might this opus be not improperly denominated. You have embarked with me not for a definite voyage, but for an excursion on the water; and not in a steamer, nor in a galley, nor in one of the post-office packets, nor in a man-of-war, nor in a merchant-vessel; but in

A ship that's mann'd
With labouring Thoughts, and steer'd by Reason's hand.
My Will's the seaman's card whereby she sails;
My just Affections are the greater sails,
The top sail is my fancy.2

Sir Guyon was not safer in Phædria's “gondelay bedecked trim” than thou art on “this wide inland sea,” in my ship

That knows her port and thither sails by aim;
Ne care, ne fear I how the wind do blow;
Or whether swift I wend, or whether slow,
Both slow and swift alike do serve my turn.3

My turn is served for the present, and yours also. The question who was Mrs. Dove? propounded for future solution in the second Chapter P. I., and for immediate consideration at the conclusion of the 71st Chapter and the beginning of the 72nd, has been sufficiently answered. You have been made acquainted with her birth, parentage and education; and you may rest assured that if the Doctor had set out upon a tour, like Cœlebs, in search of a wife, he could never have found one who would in all respects have suited him better. What Shakespeare says of the Dauphin and the Lady Blanch might seem to have been said with a second sight of this union:

Such as she is
Is this our Doctor, every way complete;
If not complete, O say, he is not she:
And she again wants nothing, to name want,
If want it be not, that she is not he.
He is the half part of a blessed man,
Left to be finished by such a she;
And she a fair divided excellence
Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.

2 QUARLES: mutatis mutandis.


You would wish me perhaps to describe her person. Sixty years had “written their defeatures in her face” before I became acquainted with her; yet by what those years had left methinks I could conceive what she had been in her youth. Go to your looking glasses, young ladies,—and you will not be so well able to imagine by what you see there, how you will look when you shall have shaken hands with Threescore.

One of the Elizabethan minor-poets, speaking of an ideal beauty says,

Into a slumber then I fell,
When fond Imagination
Seemed to see, but could not tell,
Her feature, or her fashion.
But even as babes in dreams do smile,
And sometimes fall a weeping,
So I awaked, as wise this while,
As when I fell a-sleeping.

Just as unable should I feel myself were I to attempt a description from what Mrs. Dove was when I knew her, of what Deborah Bacon might be supposed to have been,—just as unable as this dreaming rhymer should I be, and you would be no whit the wiser. What the disposition was which gave her face its permanent beauty you may know by what has already been said. But this I can truly say of her and of her husband, that if they had lived in the time of the Romans when Doncaster was called Danum, and had been of what was then the Roman religion, and had been married, as consequently they would have been, with the rights of classical Paganism, it would have been believed both by their neighbours and themselves that their nuptial offerings had been benignly received by the god Domicius and the goddesses Maturna and Gamelia; and no sacrifice to Viriplaca would ever have been thought necessary in that household.



Altri gli han messo nome Santa Croce,
Altri lo chiaman l' A. B. C. guastando
La misura, gl' accenti, et la sua voce.


The reader has now been informed who Mrs. Dove was, and what she was on that day of mingled joy and grief when the bells of St. George's welcomed her to Doncaster as a bride. Enough too has been related concerning the Doctor in his single state, to show that he was not unworthy of such a wife. There is, however, more to be told; for any one who may suppose that a physician at Doncaster must have been pretty much the same sort of person in the year 1761 as at present, can have reflected little upon the changes for better and worse which have been going on during the intervening time. The fashions in dress and furniture have not altered more than the style of intellectual upholstery.

Our Doctor flourished in the Golden Age of Magazines, when their pages were filled with voluntary contributions from men who never aimed at dazzling the public, but came each with his scrap of information, or his humble question, or his hard problem, or his attempt in verse.

In those days A was an Antiquary, and wrote articles upon Altars and Abbeys and Architecture. B made a blunder, which C corrected. D demonstrated that E was in error, and that F was wrong in Philology, and neither Philosopher nor Physician, though he affected to be both. G was a Genealogist: H was an Herald, who helped him. I was an inquisitive inquirer, who found reason for suspecting J to be a Jesuit. M was a mathematician. N noted the weather. O observed the stars. P was a poet, who piddled in pastorals, and prayed Mr. Urban to print them. Q came in the corner of the page with his query. R arrogated to himself the right of reprehending every one who differed from him. S sighed and sued in song. T told an old tale, and when he was wrong U used to set him right. V was a virtuoso. W warred against Warburton. X excelled in algebra. Y yearned for immortality in rhyme; and Z in his zeal was always in a puzzle.

Those were happy times when each little star was satisfied with twinkling in his own sphere. No one thought of bouncing about like a cracker, singeing and burning in the mere wantonness of mischief, and then going out with a noise and a stink.

But now

——‘when all this world is woxen daily worse,’1

see what a change has taken place through the whole Chriscross Row! As for A, there is Alaric Watts with his Souvenir, and Ackerman with his Forget-me-not, and all the rest of the Annual Albumers. B is a blackguard, and blusters in a popular Magazine. C is a coxcomb who concocts fashionable novels for Colburn; and D is a dunce who admires him. E being empty and envious, thinks himself eminently qualified for Editor of a Literary Gazette. F figures as a fop in Knight's Quarterly. G is a general reformer, and dealer in Greek scrip. H is Humbug and Hume; and for my I, it may always be found with Mr. Irving and Mrs. Elizabeth Martin. J jeers at the Clergy in Mr. Jeffery's journal. K kicks against the pricks with his friend L, who is Leigh Hunt, the Liberal. M manufactures mischief for the Morning Chronicle. N is nobody knows who, that manufactures jokes for John Bull, and fathers them upon Rogers. O is an obstreperous orator. P was Peter Pindar, and is now Paul Pry. Q is the Quarterly Review, and R S Robert Southey, who writes in it. T tells lies in the Old Times. U is a Unitarian who hopes to be Professor of Theology at the London University. V is Vivian Grey. W is Sir Walter Scott. X the Ex-Sheriff Parkins. Y was the Young Roscius; and Z,—Zounds, who can Z be, but Zachary Macauley?



——se oggidi vivesse in terra
Democrito, (perchè di lagrimare
Io non son vago, e però taccio il nome
D' Eracl*to dolente;) or, se vivesse
Fra' mortali Democrito, per certo
Ei si smascellerebbe della risa,
Guardando le sciocchezze de' mortali.




That place that does contain
My books, the best companions, is to me
A glorious court, where hourly I converse
With the old sages and philosophers;
And sometimes for variety I confer
With Kings and Emperors, and weigh their counsels,
Calling their victories, if unjustly got,
Unto a strict account, and in my fancy
Deface their ill placed statues.

A certain Ludovicus Bosch, instead of having his coat of arms, or his cypher engraved to put in his books, had a little print of himself in his library. The room has a venerable collegiate character; there is a crucifix on the table, and a goodly proportion of folios on the shelves. Bosch in a clerical dress is seated in an easy chair, cogitabund, with a manuscript open before him, a long pen in his hand, and on his head a wig which with all proper respect for the dignity and vocation of the wearer, I cannot but honestly denominate a caxon. The caxon quizzifies the figure, and thereby mars the effect of what would otherwise have been a pleasing as well as appropriate design. Underneath in the scrolled framing is this verse

In tali nunquam lassat venatio sylvâ.

Dr. Charles Balguy of Peterborough had for the same purpose a design which though equally appropriate, was not so well conceived. His escutcheon, with the words

Jucunda oblivia vitæ

above, and his name and place of abode below, is suspended against an architectural pile of books. It was printed in green. I found it in one of our own Doctor's out-of-the-way volumes, a thin foolscap quarto, printed at Turin, 1589, being a treatise della natura de' cibi et del bere, by Baldassare Pisanelli, a physician of Bologna.

Dr. Balguy's motto would not have suited our Doctor. For though books were among the comforts and enjoyments of his life from boyhood to old age, they never made him oblivious of its business. Like Ludovicus Bosch,—but remember I beseech you Ladies! his wig was not a caxon; and moreover that when he gave an early hour to his books, it was before the wig was put on, and that when he had a leisure evening for them, off went the wig, and a velvet or silken cap according to the season, supplied its place:—like Bosch, I say, when he was seated in his library,—but in no such conventual or collegiate apartment, and with no such assemblage of folios, quartos, and all inferior sizes, substantially bound, in venerable condition, and “in seemly order ranged;” nor with that atmospheric odour of antiquity and books which is more grateful to the olfactories of a student than the fumes of any pastille; but in a little room, with a ragged regiment upon his shelves, and an odour of the shop from below, in which rhubarb predominated, though it was sometimes overpowered by valerian, dear to cats, or assafœtida which sprung up, say the Turks, in Paradise, upon the spot where the Devil first set his foot:—like Bosch I say once more and without farther parenthesis,

περισσοὶ Παντες ὁι ᾿ν μεσῳ λογοι,1

like Bosch the Doctor never was weary with pursuing the game that might be started in a library. And though there was no forest at hand, there were some small preserves in the neighbourhood, over which he was at liberty to range.


Perhaps the reader's memory may serve him, where mine is just now at fault, and he may do for himself, what some future editor will do for me, that is supply the name of a man of letters who in his second childhood devised a new mode of book-hunting: he used to remove one of the books in his library from its proper place, and when he had forgotten as he soon did, where it had been put, he hunted the shelves till he found it. There will be some who see nothing more in this affecting anecdote than an exemplification of the vanity of human pursuits; but it is not refining too much, if we perceive in it a consolatory mark of a cheerful and philosophical mind, retaining its character even when far in decay. For no one who had not acquired a habit of happy philosophy would have extracted amusem*nt from his infirmities, and made the failure of his memory serve to beguile some of those hours which could then no longer be profitably employed.

Circulating libraries, which serve for the most part to promote useless reading, were not known when Daniel Dove set up his rest at Doncaster. It was about that time that a dissenting minister, Samuel Fancourt by name, opened the first in London, of course upon a very contracted scale. Book clubs are of much later institution. There was no bookseller in Doncaster till several years afterwards: sometimes an itinerant dealer in such wares opened a stall there on a market day, as Johnson's father used to do at Birmingham; and one or two of the trade regularly kept the fair. A little of the live stock of the London publishers found its way thither at such times, and more of their dead stock, with a regular supply of certain works popular enough to be printed in a cheap form for this kind of sale. And when at the breaking up of a household such books as the deceased or removing owner happened to possess were sold off with the furniture, those which found no better purchaser on the spot usually came into the hands of one of these dealers, and made the tour of the neighbouring markets. It was from such stragglers that the Doctor's ragged regiment had been chiefly raised. Indeed he was so frequent a customer, that the stall-keepers generally offered to his notice any English book which they thought likely to take his fancy, and any one in a foreign language which had not the appearance of a school book. And when in one book he found such references to another as made him desirous of possessing, or at least consulting it, he employed a person at York to make enquiry for it there.



Io dico, non dimando
Quel che tu vuoi udir, perch' io l'ho visto
Ove s' appunta ogni ubi, e ogni quando.


The person whom the Doctor employed in collecting certain books for him, and whom Peter Hopkins had employed in the same way, was that Thomas Gent of whom it was incidentally said in the 47th Chapter that he published the old poem of Flodden Field from a transcript made by Daniel's kind hearted schoolmaster Richard Guy, whose daughter he married. Since that chapter was written an account of Gent's life, written by himself in 1746, when he was in his 53d year, and in his own handwriting, was discovered by Mr. Thorpe the bookseller among a collection of books from Ireland, and published by him, with a portrait of the author copied from a fine mezzotinto engraving by Valentine Green, which is well known to collectors. Gent was a very old man when that portrait was taken; and his fine loose-flowing silver hair gave great effect to a singularly animated and cheerful face. His autobiography is as characteristic as John Dunton's, and like it contains much information relating to the state of the press in his days, and the trade of literature. A few curious notices occur in it of the manners and transactions of those times. But the portion pertinent to the business of these volumes is that which in its consequences led him to become the Doctor's purveyor of old books in the ancient city of York.

Gent, though descended, he says, from the Gents of Staffordshire, was born in Dublin: his parents were good people in humble life, who trained him up in the way he should go, gave him the best education their means could afford and apprenticed him to a printer, from whom after three years' service he ran away, because of the brutal usage which he received. He got on board ship with little more than a shilling in his pocket, and was landed at Parkgate to seek his fortune. But having made good use of the time which he had served with his tyrannical master, he obtained employment in London, and made himself useful to his employers. After having been four years there, he accepted an offer from Mr. White, who, as a reward for printing the Prince of Orange's Declaration when all the printers in London refused to undertake so dangerous a piece of work, was made King's printer for York and five other counties. Mr. White had plenty of business, there being few printers in England, except in London, at that time; “None,” says Gent, “I am sure, at Chester, Liverpool, Whitehaven, Preston, Manchester, Kendal, and Leeds. The offer was eighteen pounds a year, with board, washing and lodging, and a guinea to bear his charges on the road. Twenty shillings of this I offered,” he says, “to Crofts the carrier, a very surly young fellow as ever I conversed with, but he would have five or six shillings more; finding him so stiff with me, I resolved to venture on foot. He set out with his horses on Monday, and the next morning, being the 20th of April, 1714, I set forward and had not, I think, walked three miles, when a gentleman's servant with a horse ready saddled and himself riding another overtook me, and for a shilling, with a glass or so on the road, allowed me to ride with him as far as Caxton, which was the period of his journey.”

Having reached York about twelve o'clock on the Sunday following, and found the way to Mr. White's house the door was opened by the head-maiden. “She ushered me,” says Gent, “into the chamber where Mrs. White lay something ill in bed; but the old gentleman was at his dinner, by the fire side, sitting in a noble arm-chair, with a good large pie before him, and made me partake heartily with him. I had a guinea in my shoe lining, which I pulled out to ease my foot; at which the old gentleman smiled, and pleasantly said, it was more than he had ever seen a journeyman save before. I could not but smile too, because my trunk, with my clothes and eight guineas, was sent, about a month before to Ireland, where I was resolved to go and see my friends had his place not offered to me as it did.”

Gent was as happy as he could wish here, and as he earned money bought clothes to serve him till he should rejoin his trunk in Dublin, which at the year's end he determined to do, refusing to renew his engagement till he had visited his parents. “Yet,” says he, “what made my departure somewhat uneasy, I scarce then well knew how, was through respect of Mrs. Alice Guy, the young woman who I said, first opened the door to me, upper maiden to Mrs. White, who I was persuaded to believe had the like mutual fondness for me—she was the daughter of Mr. Richard Guy, schoolmaster at Ingleton, near Lancashire; had very good natural parts, quick understanding, was of a fine complexion, and very amiable in her features. Indeed I was not very forward in love, or desire of matrimony, till I knew the world better, and consequently should be more able to provide such a handsome maintenance as I confess I had ambition enough to desire; but yet my heart could not absolutely slight so lovely a young creature as to pretend I had no esteem for her charms, which had captivated others, and particularly my master's grandson, Mr. Charles Bourne, who was more deserving than any. However I told her (because my irresolution should not anticipate her advancement,) that I should respect her as one of the dearest of friends; and receiving a little dog from her as a companion on the road, I had the honour to be accompanied as far as Bramham Moor by my rival.”

He was received by his parents like the Prodigal son, and had engaged himself as journeyman in Dublin, when his old master Powell employed officers to seize him for leaving his apprenticeship. It was in vain that his father and a friendly brother-in-law offered a fair sum for his release, while he concealed himself; more was demanded than would have been proper for them to give; there was no other remedy than to leave Ireland once more, and as about that time he had received a letter from his dearest at York, saying that he was expected there, thither purely again to enjoy her company, he resolved to direct his course. His friends were much concerned at their parting, “but my unlucky whelp,” says he, “that a little before while taking a glass with Mr. Hume (the printer with whom I had engaged), had torn my new hat in pieces, seemed nowise affected by my taking boat; so I let the rascal stay with my dear parents who were fond of him for my sake, as he was of them for his own; nor was he less pleasant by his tricks to the neighbourhood, who called him Yorkshire, from the country whence I brought him.”

There is a chasm in this part of the manuscript: it appears, however, that he remained some months at York, and then went to London, where he was as careful as possible in saving what he had earned, “but yet,” says he, “could not perceive a prospect of settlement whereby to maintain a spouse like her as I judged she deserved, and I could not bear the thoughts to bring her from a good settlement, without I could certainly make us both happy in a better.” He went on, however, industriously and prosperously, had “the great happiness” in the year 1717 of being made freeman of the company of Stationers, and in the same year commenced citizen of London, his share of the treat that day with other expences coming to about five pounds. Now that he was beyond his reach, his old tyrant in Dublin was glad to accept of five pounds for his discharge; this money he remitted, and thus became absolutely free both in England and Ireland, for which he gave sincere thanks to the Almighty.

“And now,” says he, “I thought myself happy, when the thoughts of my dearest often occurred to my mind: God knows it is but too common, and that with the best and most considerate persons, that something or other gives them disquietude or makes them seek after it.” A partnership at Norwich was offered him, and he accepted it; but a few hours afterwards there came a mournful letter from his parents, saying that they were very infirm, and extremely desirous to see him once more before they died. It is to Gent's honour that he immediately gave up his engagement at Norwich, though the stage coach had been ordered to receive him. The person whom he recommended in his stead, was Mr. Robert Raikes, who when Gent wrote these memoirs was settled as a master in Gloucester; he became the father of a singularly prosperous family, and one of his sons his successor in the printing office is well known as the person who first established Sunday schools.

Yet though Gent acted under an impulse of natural duty on this occasion, he confesses that he was not without some cause for self reproach: “I wrote,” said he, “a lamenting letter to my dear in York, bewailing that I could not find a proper place as yet to settle in, told her that I was leaving the kingdom, and reminded her by what had past that she could not be ignorant where to direct if she thought proper so to do; that I was far from slighting her, and resigned her to none but the protection of Heaven. But sure never was poor creature afflicted with such melancholy as I was upon my journey, my soul did seem to utter within me, ‘wretch that I am, what am I doing, and whither going?’ My parents, it's true, as they were constantly most affectionate, so indeed they are, especially in far advanced years, peculiar objects of my care and esteem; but am I not only leaving England, the Paradise of the world, to which as any loyal subject I have now an indubitable right, but am I not also departing, for aught I know for ever, from the dearest creature upon earth? from her that loved me when I knew not well how to respect myself; who was wont to give me sweet counsel in order for my future happiness, equally partook of those deep sorrows which our tender love had occasioned, was willing to undergo all hazards with me in this troublesome life, whose kind letters had so often proved like healing balm to my languishing condition, and whose constancy, had I been as equally faithful and not so timorous of being espoused through too many perplexing doubts, would never have been shaken, and without question would have promoted the greatest happiness for which I was created.”

These self-reproaches, which were not undeserved, made him ill on the road. He reached Dublin, however, and though the employment which he got there was not nearly so profitable as what he had had in London, love for his parents made him contented, “and took,” he says, “all thoughts of further advantages away, till Mr. Alexander Campbell, a Scotchman in the same printing office with me, getting me in liquor, obtained a promise that I should accompany him to England, where there was a greater likelihood of prosperity. Accordingly he so pressed me, and gave such reasons to my dear parents that it was not worth while to stay there for such small business as we enjoyed, that they consented we should go together: but alas! their melting tears made mine to flow, and bedewed my pillow every night after that I lodged with them. ‘What Tommy,’ my mother would sometimes say, ‘this English damsel of yours, I suppose, is the chiefest reason why you slight us and your native country!’ ‘Well,’ added she, ‘the ways of Providence I know are unsearchable; and whether I live to see you again or no, I shall pray God to be your defender and preserver!’—I thought it not fit to accumulate sorrows to us all, by returning any afflictive answers; but taking an opportunity whilst she was abroad on her business, I embarked with my friend once more for England.”

Tommy, however, made the heart of his English damsel sick with hope long deferred. He was provident overmuch; and this he acknowledges even when endeavouring to excuse himself:—“all that I had undergone I must confess,” he says, “I thought were but my just deserts for being so long absent from my dear,” (it had now been an absence of some years,) “and yet I could not well help it. I had a little money it is very true, but no certain home wherein to invite her. I knew she was well fixed; and it pierced me to the very heart to think, if through any miscarriage or misfortune I should alter her condition for the worse instead of the better. Upon this account my letters to her at this time were not so amorously obliging as they ought to have been from a sincere lover; by which she had reason, however she might have been mistaken, to think that I had failed in my part of those tender engagements which had passed between us.”

Gent had sometimes the honour of being the Bellman's poet, and used to get heartily treated for the Christmas verses which he composed in that capacity. One lucky day he happened to meet his friend Mr. Evan Ellis, who was the Bellman's printer in ordinary: “Tommy,” said his friend, “I am persuaded that sometime or other you'll set up a press in the country, where I believe you have a pretty northern lass at heart; and as I believe you save money and can spare it, I can help you to a good pennyworth preparatory to your design.” Accordingly upon this recommendation he purchased at a cheap price a considerable quantity of old types, which Mr. Mist, the proprietor of a journal well known at that time by his name, had designed for the furnace. To this he added a font almost new, resolving to venture in the world with his dearest, who at first, he says, gave him encouragement. He does not say that she ever discouraged him, and his own resolution appears to have been but half-hearted. His purse being much exhausted by these purchases, he still worked on for further supplies; by and by he bought a new font, and so went on increasing his stock, working for his old first master and for himself also, and occasionally employing servants himself, though the fatigue was exceedingly great and almost more than he could go through. Alas the while for Alice Guy, who was now in the tenth year of her engagement to lukewarm Thomas!

Lukewarm Thomas imagined “things would so fall out that after some little time he should have occasion to invite his dear to London.” But let him tell his own story. “One Sunday morning, as my shoes were japanning by a little boy at the end of the lane, there came Mr. John Hoyle, who had been a long time in a messenger's custody on suspicion for reprinting Vox Populi Vox Dei, under direction of Mrs. Powell with whom he wrought as journeyman; ‘Mr. Gent,’ said he, ‘I have been at York to see my parents, and am but just as it were returned to London. I am heartily glad to see you, but sorry to tell you that you have lost your old sweetheart; for I assure you that she is really married to your rival Mr. Bourne!’ I was so thunderstruck that I could scarcely return an answer,—all former thoughts crowding into my mind, the consideration of spending my substance on a business I would not have engaged in as a master but for her sake, my own remissness that had occasioned it, and withal that she could not in such a case be much blamed for mending her fortune,—all these threw me under a very deep concern.”

He consoled himself as Petrarch had done: and opening his old vein of poetry and bell-metal, gave some vent to his passion by writing a copy of verses to the tune of “Such charms has Phillis!” then much in request, and proper for the flute. He entitled it “The Forsaken Lover's Letter to his former Sweetheart.” “When I had done,” says he, “as I did not care that Mr. Midwinter (his master) should know of my great disappointment, I gave the copy to Mr. Dodd, who printing the same sold thousands of them, for which he offered me a price; but as it was on my own proper concern, I scorned to accept of anything except a glass of comfort or so.” If the Forsaken Lover's Lamentation had been sung about the streets of York, Mrs. Bourne might have listened to it without suspecting that she was the treacherous maid, who for the sake of this world's splendour had betrayed her only sweet jewel, left him to languish alone, and broken his heart,

Proving that none could be falser than she.

Conscience would never have whispered to her that it was lukewarm Thomas who closed his complaint with the desperate determination expressed in the ensuing stanza.

Now to the woods and groves I'll be ranging,
Free from all women I'll vent forth my grief:
While birds are singing and sweet notes exchanging
This pleasing concert will yield me relief.
Thus like the swan before its departing
Sings forth its elegy in melting strains,
My dying words shall move all the kind powers above
To pity my fate, the most wretched of swains.

He neither went to the woods, nor died; but entered into an engagement with Mr. Dodd's widow to manage her printing business, being the more willing to enter into the service of this gentlewoman since he was disappointed of his first love. The widow was a most agreeable person, daughter to a sea captain, and had been educated at the boarding school at Hackney: Dodd was her second husband, and she had been left with a child by each. “I thought her,” says Gent, “worthy of the best of spouses; for sure there never could be a finer economist or sweeter mother to her dear children, whom she kept exceedingly decent. I have dined with her; but then as in reason I allowed what was fitting for my meals, and her conversation, agreeably to her fine education, almost wounded me with love, and at the same time commanded a becoming reverence. What made her excellent carriage the more endearing was, that I now must never expect to behold my first love at York: though I heard by travellers that not only she, but her husband used to enquire after me. Indeed I was sensible that Mr. Bourne, though a likely young man, was not one of the most healthful persons; but far from imagining otherwise then that he might have outlived me who then was worn to a shadow. But, see the wonderful effects of Divine Providence in all things!

“It was one Sunday morning that Mr. Philip Wood, a quondam partner at Mr. Midwinter's, entering my chambers where I sometimes used to employ him too when slack of business in other places—‘Tommy,’ said he, ‘all these fine materials of yours, must be moved to York!’ At which wondering, ‘what mean you?’ said I. ‘Aye,’ said he, ‘and you must go too, without its your own fault; for your first sweetheart is now at liberty, and left in good circ*mstances by her dear spouse, who deceased but of late.’ ‘I pray heaven,’ answered I, ‘that his precious soul may be happy: and for aught I know it may be as you say, for indeed I think I may not trifle with a widow as I have formerly done with a maid.’ I made an excuse to my mistress that I had business in Ireland, but that I hoped to be at my own lodgings in about a month's time; if not, as I had placed every thing in order, she might easily by any other person carry on the business. But she said she would not have any beside me in that station I enjoyed, and therefore should expect my return to her again: but respectfully taking leave, I never beheld her after, though I heard she was after very indifferently married. I had taken care that my goods should be privately packed up, and hired a little warehouse and put them in ready to be sent, by sea or land, to where I should order: and I pitched upon Mr. Campbell my fellow traveller, as my confidant in this affair, desiring my cousins to assist him; all of whom I took leave of at the Black Swan in Holborn, where I had paid my passage in the stage coach, which brought me to York in four days time. Here I found my dearest once more, though much altered from what she was about ten years before that I had not seen her. There was no need for new courtship; but decency suspended the ceremony of marriage for some time: till my dearest at length, considering the ill consequence of delay in her business, as well as the former ties of love that passed innocently between us by word and writing, gave full consent to have the nuptials celebrated,”—and performed accordingly they were, “in the stately cathedral,” the very day of Archbishop Blackburne's installation.



Round white stones will serve they say,
As well as eggs, to make hens lay.

If I were given to prolixity, and allowed myself to be led away from the subject before me, I might here be tempted to relate certain particulars concerning Thomas Gent; how under his first London master, Mr. Midwinter, whose house was a ballad-house, “he worked many times from five in the morning till twelve at night, and frequently without food from breakfast till five or six in the evening, through their hurry with hawkers.” And how in that same service he wrote, which is to say in modern language reported, Dr. Sacheverel's sermon after his suspension, for which his master gave him a crown piece, and a pair of breeches,—not before they were wanted;—and by which the said master gained nearly thirty pounds in the course of the week. And how he once engaged with Mr. Francis Clifton, who having had a liberal education at Oxford proved a Papist, set up a press, printed a newspaper, and getting in debt moved his goods into the liberty of the Fleet and there became entered as a prisoner; and how Gent sometimes in extreme weather worked for him under a mean shed adjoining to the prison walls, when snow and rain fell alternately on the cases, yet, he says, the number of wide mouthed stentorian hawkers, brisk trade, and very often a glass of good ale, revived the drooping spirits of him and his fellow workmen: and he often admired the success of this Mr. Clifton in his station, for whether through pity of mankind or the immediate hand of Divine Providence to his family, advantageous jobs so often flowed upon him as gave him cause to be merry under his heavy misfortunes.

And how while in this employ a piece of work came in which he composed and helped to work off, but was not permitted to know who was the author. It was a vindication of an honest clergyman who had been committed to the King's Bench upon an action of scandalum magnatum: however says he, “when finished the papers were packed up, and delivered to my care; and the same night, my master hiring a coach we were driven to Westminster, where we entered into a large sort of monastic building. Soon were we ushered into a spacious hall, where we sate near a large table covered with an ancient carpet of curious work, and whereon was soon laid a bottle of wine for our entertainment. In a little time we were visited by a grave gentleman in a black lay habit, who entertained us with one pleasant discourse or other. He bid us be secret; for, said he, the imprisoned divine does not know who is his defender; and if he did, I know his temper; in a sort of transport he would reveal it, and so I should be blamed for my good office: and whether his intention was designed to show his gratitude, yet if a man is hurt by a friend, the damage is the same as if done by an enemy: to prevent which is the reason I desire this concealment. You need not fear me, Sir, said my master; ‘and I, good sir,’ added I, ‘you may be less afraid of; for I protest I do not know where I am, much less your person, nor heard where I should be driven, or if I shall not be driven to Jerusalem before I get home again. Nay I shall forget I ever did the job by tomorrow, and consequently shall never answer any questions about it, if demanded. Yet sir, I shall secretly remember your generosity, and drink to your health with this brimfull glass.’ Thereupon this set them both a laughing, and truly I was got merrily tipsy, so merry that I hardly knew how I was driven homewards. For my part I was ever inclined to secresy and fidelity; and therefore I was nowise inquisitive concerning our hospitable entertainer.—But happening afterwards to behold a state prisoner in a coach, guarded from Westminster to the Tower, God bless me, thought I, it was no less than the Bishop of Rochester, Dr. Atterbury, by whom my master and I had been treated!”

Were I to ramble from my immediate purpose I might relate how Gent saw Mr. John Mathews, a young printer, drawn on a sledge to the place of execution where he suffered for high treason; and how Mathews's clothes were exceeding neat, the lining of his coat a rich Persian silk, and every other thing as befitted a gentleman; and how he talked of death like a philosopher to some young ladies who came to take their farewell. This poor youth was but in his nineteenth year, and not out of his apprenticeship to his mother and brother. He had been under misfortunes before, and through the favour of the government at that time was discharged, at which time his brother had given public orders to the people in his employ that if ever they found John either doing or speaking any thing against the government, they would inform him that he might take a proper method to prevent it. Nevertheless for ten guineas, he with the assistance of another apprentice and a journeyman printed a treasonable paper intitled Vox Populi Vox Dei, containing direct incitement to rebellion. I might relate also how this journeyman Lawrence Vezey, who went by the name of old gentleman in the printing office, and who had not the character of an honest man about his printing; and who moreover had gone to the criminal's mother and offered to go out of the way if she would give him money, and accordingly had gone to St. Albans, and staid there nine days, but no money coming, he could not stay out of the way longer, but seems rather to have been suspected of putting himself in the way,—I might, I say, relate, how this Vezey did not long survive the ill-fated youth; and how at his burial in an obscure part of Islington church-yard, many of the printers boys called devils, made a noise like such, with their ball stocks carried thither for that purpose, and how the minister was much interrupted thereby in the burial service, and shameful indignities were committed at the grave: and how the printers who had been at Islington that day, had their names sent off to the Courts of Westminster, where it cost their pockets pretty well before their persons were discharged from trouble. But Gent, who desired to be out of harm's way, had shunned what he called the crew of demons with their incendiaries to a mischief.

I might also relate how he once carried skull caps made of printing balls stuffed with wool to his brother printers, who were to exhibit their faces in that wooden frame called the pillory; in which frame nevertheless he seems to think they were properly set; and the mob were of the same opinion, for these skull caps proved but weak helmets against the missiles wherewith they were assailed. Moreover further to exemplify the perils which in those days environed the men who meddled with printer's types, I might proceed to say how, after a strange dream, poor Gent was in the dead of the night alarmed by a strange thundering noise at the door, and his door broken open, and himself seized in his bed by two king's messengers upon a false information that he had been engaged in printing some lines concerning the imprisoned Bishop of Rochester, which had given offence; and how he was carried to a public house near St. Sepulchre's Church, whither his two employers Mr. Midwinter and Mr. Clifton were also brought prisoners, and how they were taken to Westminster and there imprisoned in a very fine house in Manchester Court which had nevertheless within the fusty smell of a prison; and how from the high window of his humble back apartment he could behold the Thames, and hear the dashing of the flowing waters against the walls that kept it within due bounds: and how in the next room to him was confined that unhappy young Irish clergyman Mr. Neynoe, (not Naypoe as the name in these memoirs is erroneously given.) “I used,” says Gent, “to hear him talk to himself when his raving fits came on; and now and then would he sing psalms with such a melodious voice as produced both admiration and pity from me, who was an object of commiseration myself, in being awhile debarred from friends to see me, or the use of pen, ink, and paper to write to them.” And how after five days he was honourably discharged, and took boat from Palace Yard stairs, in which he says “my head seemed to be affected with a strange giddiness; and when I safely arrived at home, some of my kinder neighbours appeared very joyful at my return. And my poor linnet, whose death I very much feared would come to pass, saluted me with her long, pleasant, chirping notes; and indeed the poor creature had occasion to be the most joyful, for her necessary stock was almost exhausted, and I was come just in the critical time to yield her a fresh supply.” It was some compensation for his fright on this occasion that he printed the Bishop of Rochester's Effigy “with some inoffensive verses that pleased all parties,” which sold very well; and that he formed some observations upon the few dying words of Counsellor Layer, in nature of a large speech, which for about three days had such a run of sale that the unruly hawkers were ready to pull his press in pieces for the goods.

Farther I might say of Gent that in January 1739 when the Ouse at York was frozen, he set up a press on the ice, and printed names there, to the great satisfaction of young gentlemen, ladies, and others, who were very liberal on the occasion. And how having been unjustly as he thought ejected from a house in Stonegate which was held under a prebendal lease and which fell to Mr. Laurence Sterne, (to whom however it was in vain to apply for redress, it not being in his power to relieve him,) he bought a house in Petergate and built a tower upon it; “by which addition,” said he “my house seems the highest in the city and affords an agreeable prospect round the country: we have a wholesome air whenever we please to ascend, especially the mornings and evenings, with great conveniency for my business when overcrowded in the narrow rooms below; and several gentlemen have occasionally taken a serious pipe there, to talk of affairs in printing, as well as neighbours to satisfy their curiosity in viewing the flowers that grow almost round about upon the walls.”

This, and much more than this, might be said of Thomas Gent, and would have been deemed not uninteresting by the collectors of English topography, and typographic curiosities, Gent being well known to them for his “famous history of the City of York, its magnificent Cathedral, St. Mary's Abbey, &c.;” his “History of the Loyal Town of Ripon, Fountains Abbey, Beverley, Wakefield, &c.;” and his “History of the Royal and Beautiful Town of Kingston-upon-Hull.” He entered upon a different province when he wrote his Treatise, entitled “Divine Justice and Mercy displayed in the Life of Judas Iscariot.” But though it was because of his turn for books and antiquities that the Doctor employed him to hunt the stalls at York, as Browne Willis did to collect for him epitaphs and tradesmen's halfpence, what I had to say of him arises out of his connection with Richard Guy, and must therefore be confined to his dilatory courtship and late marriage.



A me parrebbe a la storia far torto,
S' io non aggiungo qualche codicillo;
Acciò che ognun chi legge, benedica
L' ultimo effetto de la mia fatica.


I cannot think so meanly of my gentle readers as to suppose that any of them can have forgotten the story of the Japanese Prince Abino Jassima, and the gradual but lamentable metamorphosis of his beautiful wife. But perhaps it may not have occurred to them that many a poor man, and without any thing miraculous in the case, finds himself in the same predicament,—except that when he discovers his wife to be a vixen he is not so easily rid of her.

Let me not be suspected of insinuating that Alice Gent, formerly Bourne, formerly Guy, proved to be a wife of this description, for which, I know not wherefore, an appellation has been borrowed from the she-fox. Her husband who found that ten years had wrought a great change in her appearance, complained indeed of other changes. “I found,” he says, “her temper much altered from that sweet natural softness and most tender affection that rendered her so amiable to me while I was more juvenile and she a maiden. Not less sincere I must own; but with that presumptive air and conceited opinion (like Mrs. Day in the play of the Committee) which made me imagine an epidemical distemper prevailed among the good women to ruin themselves and families, or if not prevented by Divine Providence to prove the sad cause of great contention and of disquietude. However as I knew I was but then a novice in the intricate laws of matrimony, and that nothing but a thorough annihilation can disentangle or break that chain which often produces a strange concatenation for future disorders, I endeavoured to comply with a sort of stoical resolution to some very harsh rules that otherwise would have grated my human understanding. For as by this change I had given a voluntary wound to my wonted liberty, now attacked in the maintenance partly of pretended friends, spunging parasites, and flatterers who imposed on good nature to our great damage; so in this conjugal captivity, as I may term it, I was fully resolved, likewise in a Christian sense, to make my yoke as easy as possible, thereby to give no offence to custom or law of any kind. The tender affection that a good husband naturally has to the wife of his bosom is such as to make him often pass by the greatest insults that can be offered to human nature: such I mean as the senseless provoking arguments used by one who will not be awakened from delusion till poverty appears, shows the ingratitude of false friends in prosperity, and brings her to sad repentance in adversity: she will then wish she had been foreseeing as her husband, when it is too late; condemn her foolish credulity, and abhor those who have caused her to differ from her truest friend, whose days she has embittered with the most undutiful aggravations, to render every thing uncomfortable to him!”

I suspect that Thomas Gent was wrong in thinking thus of his wife; I am sure he was wrong in thus writing of her, and that I should be doing wrong in repeating what he has written, if it were not with the intention of showing that though he represents himself in this passage as another Job, Socrates, or Jerry Sneak, it must not be concluded that his wife resembled the termagant daughter of Sir Jacob Jollup, Xantippe, Rahamat the daughter of Ephraim, her cousin Makher the daughter of Manasseh, or Queen Saba, whichever of these three latter were the wife of Job.

And here let me observe that although I follow the common usage in writing the last venerable name, I prefer the orthography of Junius and Tremellius who write Hiob, because it better represents the sound of the original Hebrew, and is moreover more euphonous than Job, or Jobab, if those commentators err not who identify that King of Edom with the man of Uz. Indeed it is always meet and right to follow the established usage unless there be some valid reason for departing from it; and moreover there is this to be said in favour of retaining the usual form and pronunciation of this well known name, that if it were denaturalized and put out of use, an etymology in our language would be lost sight of. For a job in the working or operative sense of the word is evidently something which it requires patience to perform; in the physical and moral sense, as when for example in the language of the vulgar a personal hurt or misfortune is called a bad job, it is something which it requires patience to support; and in the political sense it is something which it requires patience in the public to endure: and in all these senses the origin of the word must be traced to Job, who is the proverbial exemplar of this virtue. This derivation has escaped Johnson; nor has that lexicographer noticed the substantives jobing and jobation, and the verb to jobe, all from the same root, and familiar in the mouths of the people.

For these reasons therefore, and especially the etymological one, I prefer the common though peradventure, and indeed perlikelihood, erroneous manner of writing the name to Iob, Hiob, Ajob, Ajoub, or Jjob, all which have been proposed. And I do not think it worth while, (that is my while or the reader's,) to enquire into the derivation of the name, and whether it may with most probability be expounded to mean sorrowful, jubilant, persecuted, beloved, zealous, or wise in the sense of sage, seer, or magician. Nor whether Job was also called Jasub, Jaschub, Jocab, Jocam, Jobal, Jubab, Hobab, or Uz of that ilk, for this also has been contended. Nor to investigate the position of a territory the name of which has been rendered so famous by its connection with him, and of which nothing but the name is known. This indeed has occasioned much discussion among biblical chorographers. And not many years have elapsed since at a late hour of the night, or perhaps an early one of the morning, the watchman in Great Russel Street found it necessary in the discharge of his duty to interpose between two learned and elderly gentlemen, who returning together from a literary compotation, had entered upon this discussion on the way, and forgetting the example of the Man of Uz, quarrelled about the situation of his country. The scene of this dispute,—the only one upon that subject that ever required the interference of the watch in the streets of London at midnight,—was near the Museum Gate, and the Author of the Indian Antiquities was one of the disputants.

Returning however to the matter which these last parenthetical paragraphs interrupted, I say that before luke-warm Thomas represented himself as another Job for matrimonial endurance, he ought to have asked himself whether the motives for which he married the widow Bourne, were the same as those for which he wooed the fair maiden Alice Guy; and whether, if Mrs. Gent suspected that as she had been obliged to her first husband for her money, she was obliged to the money for her second, it was not very natural for her to resent any remonstrances on his part, when she entertained or assisted those whom she believed to be her friends, and who peradventure had claims upon her hospitality or her bounty for her late husband's sake.

A woman's goodness, when she is a wife,
Lies much upon a man's desert; believe it Sir.
If there be fault in her, I'll pawn my life on't
'Twas first in him, if she were ever good.1

If there be any reader so inconsiderate as to exclaim, “what have we to do with the temper and character of a low-lived woman who was dead and buried long before we were born, whom nobody ever heard of before, and for whom nobody cares a straw now! What can have induced this most unaccountable of authors to waste his time and thoughts upon such people and such matter!”—Should there I say, be persons, as in all likelihood there may, so impatient and so unreasonable as to complain in this manner, I might content myself with observing to them in the words of that thoughtful and happy-minded man Mr. Danby of Swinton, that if Common Sense had not a vehicle to carry it abroad, it must always stay at home.


But I am of the school of Job, and will reply with Uzzite patience to these objectors, as soon as I shall have related in a few words the little more that remains to be said of Thomas Gent, printer of York, and Alice his wife. They had only one child, it died an infant of six months, and the father speaks with great feeling of its illness and death. “I buried its pretty corpse,” he says, “in the Church of St. Michael le Belfrey where it was laid on the breast of Mr. Charles Bourne, my predecessor, in the chancel on the south side of the altar.” This was in 1726; there he was buried himself more than half a century afterwards, in the 87th year of his age; and Alice who opened the door to him when he first arrived in York was no doubt deposited in the same vault with both her husbands.



Black spirits and white, red spirits and gray;
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may.
Titty, Tiffin, keep it stiff in!
Firedrake, Puckey, make it lucky!
Liard, Robin, you must bob in!
Round, around, around, about, about!
All good come running in, all ill keep out.

Nine years after the convention of Cintra a representation was made to the Laureate in favour of some artillery horses employed in Sir Arthur Wellesley's army. They were cast-off Irish cavalry, and their efficiency had been called in question; indeed it had been affirmed that they were good for nothing; attestations to disprove this were produced, and the Laureate was requested to set this matter right in his History of the Peninsular War. The good-natured historian has given accordingly a note to the subject, saying that he thought himself bound to notice the representation were it only for the singularity of the case. If Dr. Southey thought it became him for that reason and for truth's sake, to speak a good word of some poor horses who had long ago been worked to death and left to the dogs and wolves by the way side, much more may I feel myself bound for the sake of Dr. Dove to vindicate the daughter of his old schoolmaster from a splenetic accusation brought against her by her husband. The reader who knows what the Doctor's feelings were with regard to Mr. Guy, and what mine are for the Doctor, would I am sure excuse me even if on such an occasion I had travelled out of the record.

Gent when he penned that peevish page seems to have thought with Tom Otter, that a wife is a very scurvy clogdogdo! And with John Bunyan that “Women, whenever they would perk it and lord it over their husbands, ought to remember that both by creation and transgression they are made to be in subjection to them.” “Such a thing,” says the Arch-tinker, “may happen, as that the woman, not the man, may be in the right, (I mean when both are godly) but ordinarily it is otherwise!”

Authors of a higher class than the York printer and topographist have complained of their wives. We read in Burton that Bartholomæus Scheræus, Professor of Hebrew at Wittenberg, whom he calls “that famous Poet Laureate,” said in the introduction to a work of his upon the Psalms, he should have finished it long before, but amongst many miseries which almost broke his back (his words were inter alia dura et tristia, quæ misero mihi pene tergum fregerunt,) he was yoked to a worse than Xantippe. A like lamentation is made more oddly and with less excuse, by Domenico Bernino, the author of a large history of All Heresies, which he dedicated to Clement XI. Tertullian, he says, being ill advised in his youth, and deceived by that shadow of repose which the conjugal state offers to the travellers in this miserable world, threw himself into the troubled sea of matrimony. And no sooner had he taken a wife, than being made wise by his own misfortunes, he composed his laborious treatise de molestiis nuptiarum, concerning the troubles of marriage, finding in this employment the only relief from those continual miseries, to which, he adds, we who now write may bear our present and too faithful testimony,—delle quali Noi ancora che queste cose scriviamo, siamo per lui testimonio pur troppo vero e presente.

The Historian of Heresy and the Hebrew Professor might have learnt a lesson from Petrarch's Dialogue de importunâ Uxore, in that work of his de Remediis Utriusque Fortunæ. When DOLOR complains of having a bad wife, RATIO reminds him that he might blame his ill fortune for any other calamity, but this he had brought upon himself and the only remedy was patience.

Est mala crux, conjux mala; crux tamen illa ferenda est
Quâ nemo nisi Mors te relevare potest.

“It is the unhappy chance of many,” says Jeremy Taylor, “that finding many inconveniences upon the mountains of single life, they descend into the valleys of marriage to refresh their troubles, and there they enter into fetters, and are bound to sorrow by the cords of a man's or woman's peevishness; and the worst of the evil is, they are to thank their own follies, for they fell into the snare by entering an improper way.” To complain of the consequences, which are indeed the proper punishment, is to commit a second folly by proclaiming the first, and the second deserves the ridicule it is sure to meet with. Hartley Coleridge has well said, that there must always be something defective in the moral feelings or very unfortunate in the circ*mstances of a man who makes the public his confidant!

If Thomas Gent had read Lord Berners' Castle of Love, which might easily, rare as it has now become, have fallen in his way a hundred years ago, he would there have seen fifteen reasons why men do wrong when they speak ill of women, and twenty reasons why they ought to speak well of them. All lovers of our old literature know how greatly we are beholden to John Bouchier, Knight, Lord Berners, who when Deputy General of the Kings Town of Calais and Marches of the same, employed his leisure in translating books out of French into English. But he must have been one of those persons who with a great appetite for books have no discriminating taste, or he would not have translated Arthur of Little Britain, when Gyron le Courtoys and Meliadus were not extant in his own language; nor would he, even at the instance of Lady Elizabeth Carew, if he had known a good book from a bad one, have englished from its French version the Carcel de Amor, which Diego de San Pedro composed at the request of the Alcayde de los Donzelles, D. Diego Hernandez, and of other Knights and Courtiers.

The reader will please to observe that though all worthless books are bad, all bad books are not necessarily worthless. A work however bad, if written, as the Carcel de Amor was, early in the sixteenth century, and translated into Italian French and English, must be worth reading to any person who thinks the history of literature (and what that history includes) a worthy object of pursuit. If I had not been one of those who like Ludovicus Bosch—(my friend in the caxon)—are never weary of hunting in those woods, I could not, gentle reader, have set before you as I shall incontinently proceed to do, the fifteen above-mentioned and here following reasons, why you will commit a sin if you ever speak in disparagement of womankind.

First then, Leriano, the unhappy hero of Diego de San Pedro's tragic story, says that all things which God has made are necessarily good; women therefore being his creatures, to calumniate them is to blaspheme one of his works.

Secondly, there is no sin more hateful than ingratitude; and it is being ungrateful to the Virgin Mary if we do not honour all women for her sake.

Thirdly, it is an act of cowardice for man who is strong, to offend woman who is weak.

Fourthly, the man who speaks ill of woman brings dishonour upon himself, inasmuch as every man is of woman born.

Fifthly, such evil speaking is, for the last mentioned reason, a breach of the fifth commandment.

Sixthly, it is an obligation upon every noble man to employ himself virtuously both in word and deed; and he who speaks evil incurs the danger of infamy.

Seventhly, because all knights are bound by their order to show respect and honour to all womankind.

Eighthly, such manner of speech brings the honour of others in question.

Ninthly, and principally, it endangers the soul of the evil speaker.

Tenthly, it occasions enmities and the fatal consequences resulting therefrom.

Eleventhly, husbands by such speeches may be led to suspect their wives, to use them ill, to desert them, and peradventure to make away with them.

Twelfthly, a man thereby obtains the character of being a slanderer.

Thirteenthly, he brings himself in jeopardy with those who may think themselves bound to vindicate a lady's reputation or revenge the wrong which has been done to it.

Fourteenthly, to speak ill of women is a sin because of the beauty which distinguishes their sex, which beauty is so admirable that there is more to praise in one woman than there can be to condemn in all.

Fifteenthly, it is a sin because all the benefactors of mankind have been born of women, and therefore we are obliged to women for all the good that has ever been done in the world.

Such are the fifteen reasons which Diego de San Pedro excogitated to show that it is wrong for men to speak ill of women; and the twenty reasons which he has superinduced to prove that they are bound to speak well of them are equally cogent and not less curious. I have a reason of my own for reserving these till another opportunity. Not however to disappoint my fair readers altogether of that due praise which they have so properly expected, I will conclude the present chapter with a few flowers taken from the pulpit of my old acquaintance Adam Littleton. There is no impropriety in calling him so, though he died before my grandfathers and grandmothers were born; and when I meet him in the next world I hope to improve this one sided acquaintance by introducing myself and thanking him for his Dictionary and his Sermons.

The passage occurs in a sermon preached at the obsequies of the Right Honourable the Lady Jane Cheyne. The text was “Favour is deceitful, and Beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised:” in which proposition, says the Preacher, we have first the subject, Woman, with her qualification that fears the Lord: Secondly the predicate, she shall be praised.

“WOMAN, in the primitive design of Nature, God's master-piece, being the last work of creation, and made with a great deal of deliberation and solemnity.

“For to look upon her as a supernumerary creature, and one brought into the world by the bye, besides the Creator's first intention, upon second thoughts,—is to lay a foul imputation upon Divine Wisdom, as if it had been at a stand, and were to seek.

“Wherefore, as we use to argue that all things were made for the use and service of man, because he was made last of all; I do not see, if that argument be good, why the same consequences should not be of like force here too, that Man himself was made for the affectionate care of Woman, who was framed not only after him, but out of him too, the more to engage his tenderest and dearest respects.

“Certainly this manner of production doth plainly evince the equality of the Woman's merits and rights with Man; she being a noble cyon transplanted from his stock, and by the mystery of marriage implanted into him again, and made one with him.

“She is then equally at least partaker with him of all the advantages which appertain to human nature, and alike capable of those improvements which by the efforts of reason, and the methods of education and the instincts of the Blessed Spirit, are to be made upon it,—

“Hence it was that all Arts and Sciences, all Virtues and Graces, both divine and moral, are represented in the shape and habit of Women. Nor is there any reason for fancying Angels themselves more of our sex than of the other, since amongst them there is no such distinction, but they may as well be imagined female as male.

“Above all for Piety and Devotion, which is the top-perfection of our nature, and makes it most like angelical; as the capacity of Women is as large, so their inclinations are generally more vigorous, the natural bias and tendency of their spirits lying that way, and their softer temper more kindly receiving the supernatural impression of God's Spirit.

“This is that, if any thing, which gives their sex the pre-eminence above us men and gains them just advantages of praise; that whereas those who have only a handsome shape and good features to commend them, are adored and idolized by persons of slight apprehensions and ungoverned passions, pious and virtuous women command the veneration of the most judicious, and are deservedly admired by holy men and Angels.”

Thus saith that Adam of whom even Adam Clarke might have been proud as a namesake; and whose portrait the Gentlemen of the name of Adam who meet and dine together at a tavern in London, once a year, ought to have in their club room.



This insertion is somewhat long, and utterly impertinent to the principal matter, and makes a great gap in the tale; nevertheless is no disgrace, but rather a beauty and to very good purpose.


It has been a custom in popish countries, when there were no censors of the press civil or ecclesiastical to render it unnecessary, for an author to insert at the beginning of his work a protestation declaring, that if the book contained any thing contrary to the established faith, he thereby revoked any such involuntary error of opinion. Something similar has sometimes been done in free countries, and not then as a mere form, nor for prudential considerations, but in the sincerity of an upright intention and a humble mind.—“Who can tell how oft he offendeth? O cleanse thou me from my secret faults!”

To be sure what I am about to say is upon a matter of less import, and may seem neither to require nor deserve so grave a prelude. But it is no part of my philosophy to turn away from serious thoughts when they lie before me.

Φράσω γὰρ δὴ ὅσον μοι
Ψυχᾷ προσφιλές ἐστιν εἰπεῖν.

I had no intention of quoting scripture when I began, but the words came to mind and I gave them utterance, and thou wilt not be displeased, good reader, at seeing them thus introduced.—Good reader, I have said:—if thou art not good, I would gladly persuade thee to become so;—and if thou art good, would fain assist thee in making thyself better. Si de tout ce que je vous ai dit, un mot peut vous être utile, je n'aurai nul regret à ma peine.2



Well then benevolent and patient reader, it is here my duty to confess that there is a passage in the last chapter which I am bound to retract. For since that chapter was written I have found cause to apprehend that in vindicating Guy's daughter I have wronged Job's wife, by accrediting a received calumny founded upon a mistranslation. I did not then know, what I have now learnt, that a judicious and learned writer, modest enough to conceal his name and designate himself only as a private gentleman, had many years ago, in a Review of the History of Job, stated his reasons for regarding her as a much injured woman.

Every one knows that the wife of Job in our Bible says to her husband, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die!” Now this writer asserts that the Hebrew verb which our translators render in this place to curse, means also to bless, to salute, or give the knee, and that there are but four more places in all the Bible where it can be supposed to have an opposite meaning, and that even in those places it may admit of the better signification. It is not surprizing that many verbal difficulties should occur in a book, which if of later date than the books of Moses, is next to them in antiquity. Such difficulties might be expected whether we have it in its original language, or whether it were written, as many have opined, by Job himself in Syriac, Arabic or Idumean, and translated into Hebrew; much more if the opinion of Dr. Wall could be admitted, that it was written at first in hieroglyphics, against which the length of the book is a conclusive objection. “I should imagine,” says the anonymous defender, “she had so high an opinion of her husband's innocence that she might mean to advise him, seeing notwithstanding his uprightness he was thus amazingly afflicted, to go and kneel or bow down before God, and plead or as it were expostulate with him concerning the reason of these dreadful calamities,—even though he should die. If this sense of her expressions be allowed, it will justify Job's wise rebuke for her inconsiderateness, while, as he still possessed his soul in submissive patience, crying out—‘Thou speakest as a rash, thoughtless, or foolish woman: what, shall we receive good at the hands of God, and shall we not receive evil?’ Indeed it should seem that God himself did not behold her as an impious or blasphemous woman, inasmuch as we find she was made a great instrument in Job's future and remarkable prosperity, becoming after their great calamity the mother of seven sons and three most beautiful daughters. I say she was their mother, because we have no intimation that Job had any other wife.”

Now upon consulting such authorities as happen to be within my reach, I find that this interpretation is supported by the Vulgate,—benedic Deo, et morere; and also by the version of Junius and Tremellius—“adhuc tu retines integritatem tuam, benedicendo Deum atque moriendo.” Piscator too renders the word in its better sense, as I learn from the elder Wesley's elaborate collation of this most ancient book, from which I collect also that the Chaldee version gives the good meaning, the Arabian and Syriac the bad one; and that the words of the Septuagint ἀλλὰ εἰπόν τι ῥῆμα εἰς κύριον καὶ τελεύτα, are interpreted by the Scholiast κατάρασον τον θέον.

Moreover a passage of some length which is in no other translation except that of St. Ambrose, is found in three manuscripts of the Septuagint, one of them being that from which the text of the Oxford edition of 1817 is taken. It is as follows. “But after much time had elapsed, his wife said unto him, ‘how long wilt thou endure thus saying, “I will expect yet a little while, awaiting the hope of my salvation?” Behold thy memory hath past away from the earth, the sons and daughters of my womb, whom I have with pain and sorrow brought forth in vain. Thou thyself sittest among filthy worms, passing the night under the open sky; and I am a wanderer and a servant, from place to place and from house to house, looking for the sun to go down that I may rest from the grief and labour that oppress me. Speak then a word against the Lord, and die!’”

If the text were to be considered singly, without reference to any thing which may assist in determining its meaning, it would perhaps be impossible now to ascertain among these contrariant interpretations which is the true one. But the generous Englishman who in this country first in our language undertook the vindication of this Matriarch and by whom I have been led to make the present pertinent enquiry, has judiciously (as has been seen) observed in confirmation of his opinion, that the circ*mstance of her having been made a partaker in her husband's subsequent prosperity is proof that she also had been found righteous under all their trials. This is a valid argument deduced from the book itself.

It would be invalidated were there any truth in what certain Talmudists say, that Job came into the world only to receive his good things in it; that when Satan was permitted to afflict him he began to blaspheme and to revile his Maker, and that therefore the Lord doubled his measure of prosperity in this life, that he might be rejected from the world to come. But when we remember that he is called “a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil,” we may say with the great Cistercian Rabbinomastix “hæc est magna blasphemia et convicium in Iob.” Other Rabbis represent him as a fatalist, put into his mouth the common argument of that false and impious philosophy, and affirm that there is no hope of his salvation: what they say concerning him may safely be rejected. Others of the same school assert that there never was any such person as Job, in the teeth of the Prophet Ezekiel,—and that his whole history is only a parable: if their opinion were right it would be useless to enquire into the character of his wife; sed isti redarguuntur says Bartolocci, ex nomine ipsius et nomine civitatis ejusdem. Just as, whatever inconsiderate readers may suppose who take these my reminiscences of the Doctor for a work of fiction, Daniel Dove was Daniel Dove nevertheless, and Doncaster is Doncaster.

There is nothing then among the Jewish traditions, so far as my guides lead me, that can throw any light upon the subject of this enquiry. But there is among the Arabian, where it was more likely to be found; and though the Arabic translation supports the evil meaning of the equivocal text, the tradition on the contrary is in favour of Job's wife. It is indeed a legend, a mere figment, plainly fabulous; but it is founded upon the traditional character of Job's wife in Job's own country. There are two versions of the legend. The one Sale has given as a comment upon the text of the Koran,—“Remember Job when he cried unto his Lord, saying, Verily evil hath afflicted me; but Thou art the most merciful of those who show mercy!”

When Job, says this legend, was in so loathsome a condition that as he lay on a dunghill none could bear to come near him, his wife alone attended him dutifully with great patience, and supported him with what she earned by her labour. One day the Devil appeared to her, reminded her of their former prosperity, and promised to restore all they had lost if she would worship him. He had overcome Eve by a less temptation; the Matriarch did not yield like the Mother of Mankind, but neither did she withstand it; she took a middle course, and going to her husband repeated to him the proposal, and asked his consent: whereat he was so indignant that he swore if he recovered to give her an hundred stripes; and then it was that he uttered the ejacul*tion recorded in the Koran. Immediately the Lord sent Gabriel, who took him by the hand and raised him up; a fountain sprung up at his feet, he drank of it, and the worms fell from his wounds, and he washed in it, and his health and beauty were restored. What his wife had done was not imputed to her for sin, doubtless in consideration of the motive, and the sense of duty and obedience to her lord and master which she had manifested. She also became young and beautiful again; and that Job might keep his oath and neither hurt her nor his own conscience, he was directed to give her one blow with a palm branch having an hundred leaves.

The legend as related in D'Herbelot, is more favourable to her and exempts her from all blame. According to Khondemir whom he follows, what Job's wife, here called Rasima, provided for her miserable husband, Satan stole from her, till he deprived her at last of all means of supporting him, and thus rendered him utterly destitute. As soon as the tempter had effected this, he appeared to Rasima in the form of a bald old woman, and offered if she would give him the two locks which hung down upon her neck, to supply her every day with whatever she wanted for her husband. Rasima joyfully accepted the proposal, cut off her locks and gave them to the false old woman. No sooner was Satan possessed of them than he went to Job, told him that his wife had been detected in dishonouring herself and him, and that she had been ignominiously shorn in consequence, in proof of which he produced the locks. Job when he saw that his wife had indeed been shorn of her tresses, believed the story, and not doubting that she had allowed the Devil to prevail over her, swore if ever he recovered his health to punish her severely. Upon this Satan exulting that he had provoked Job to anger, assumed the form of an Angel of Light, and appearing to the people of the land, said he was sent by the Lord to tell them that Job had drawn upon himself the displeasure of the Most High, wherefore he had lost the rank of Prophet which theretofore he had held, and they must not suffer him to remain among them, otherwise the wrath of the Lord would be extended to them also. Job then breathed the prayer which is in the Koran, and the legend proceeds as in the other version, except that nothing is said concerning the manner in which he was discharged of his vow, the vow itself being annulled when Rasima's innocence was made known.

The Koran where it touches upon this legend, says, it was said to Job, “take a handful of rods in thy hand, and strike thy wife therewith, and break not thine oath.” Sale observes upon this that as the text does not express what this handful of rods was to be, some commentators have supposed it to be dry grass, and others rushes, and others (as in the legend) a palm branch. But the elder Wesley takes the words in their direct and rigorous meaning, and says that as the Devil had no small part in the Koran, this passage indubitably bears his stamp, for who but the Devil would instigate any one to beat his wife? This erudite commentator, (he deserves to be so called,) vindicates the Matriarch in one of his Dissertations, and says that in the speech for which Job reproved her she only advised him to pray for death: in the mouth of a Greek or Roman matron it might have been understood as an exhortation to suicide;—Hæc ore Græcæ aut Romanæ mulieris prolata ut heroica quædam exhortatio esset suspecta.

His favourable opinion is entitled to more weight, because it was formed when he made the book of Job his particular study, whereas in an earlier work, the History of the Bible in verse, he had followed the common error, and made Satan as the last and worst of Job's torments play his wife against him, saying that the fiercest shock which the Patriarch sustained was from the tempest raised by her tongue.

The expositors who comment upon this text of the Koran without reference to the legend, have differed in opinion as to the offence which Job's wife had committed thus to provoke her husband, some asserting that he swore to punish her with stripes because she had stayed too long on an errand,—an opinion by no means consistent with his patience.

Returning to the main argument I conclude, that if upon the meaning of the doubtful word in the Hebrew text authorities are so equipoised as to leave it doubtful, these traditions being of Arabian growth have sufficient weight to turn the scale; even if it were not a maxim that in cases of this kind the most charitable opinion ought to be preferred. And as Dr. Southey has classed this injured Matriarch in a triad with Xantippe and Mrs. Wesley, I cannot but hope that the candid and learned Laureate, who as I before observed, has condescended to clear the character of some Irish cast-off cavalry horses, will, when he has perused this chapter, render the same justice to Job's wife; and in the next edition of his Life of Wesley, substitute Hooker's in her place.



But in these serious works designed
To mend the morals of mankind,
We must for ever be disgraced
With all the nicer sons of taste,
If once the shadow to pursue
We let the substance out of view.
Our means must uniformly tend
In due proportion to their end,
And every passage aptly join
To bring about the one design.

Dr. Johnson says that, “perhaps there is no human being, however hid in the crowd from the observation of his fellow mortals, who if he has leisure and disposition to recollect his own thoughts and actions, will not conclude his life in some sort a miracle, and imagine himself distinguished from all the rest of his species by many discriminations of nature or of fortune.” This remark he makes in relation to what Sir Thomas Brown asserts of the course of his own life, that it was “a miracle of thirty years, which to relate were not a history, but a piece of poetry, and would sound to common ears like a fable.” Now it is not known that any thing extraordinary ever befell him. “The wonders,” says Johnson, “probably were transacted in his own mind: self-love, cooperating with an imagination vigorous and fertile as that of Brown, will find or make objects of astonishment in every man's life.”

What the Philosopher of Norwich considered as miraculous was probably this, that he had escaped from “Pyrrho's maze,” and had never been contaminated in Epicurus' sty; that he had neither striven for place among the “wrangling crew” nor sought to make his way with the sordid herd; that he had not sold himself to the service of Mammon; but in mature years and with deliberate judgement had chosen a calling in which he might continually increase his knowledge and enlarge his views, and entertain a reasonable hope that while he endeavoured to relieve the sufferings of his fellow creatures and discipline his own mind, the labours wherein his life was past would neither be useless to others nor to himself. He might well consider it a miracle of divine mercy that grace had been given him to fulfil the promise made for him at his baptism, and that he had verily and indeed renounced the pomps and vanities of this wicked world. He might indeed take comfort in his “authentic reflections how far he had performed the great intention of his Maker;—whether he had made good the principles of his nature and what he was made to be; what characteristic and special mark he had left to be observable in his generation; whether he had lived to purpose or in vain; and what he had added, acted, or performed, that might considerably speak him a man.”

There were more resemblances between Sir Thomas Brown and the Doctor than Fluellen discovered between Henry of Monmouth and Alexander the Great. Both graduated in the same profession at the same university; and each settled as a practitioner in a provincial town. (Doncaster indeed was an inconsiderable place compared with Norwich; and Brown merely procured his degree at Leyden, which was not in his time, as it was in Daniel Dove's, the best school of physic in Europe.) Both too were Philosophers as well as Physicians, and both were alike speculative in their philosophy and devout. Both were learned men. Sir Thomas Brown might have said of himself with Herbert,

I know the ways of learning; both the head
And pipes that feed the press and make it run;
What reason hath from nature borrowed,
Or of itself, like a good housewife, spun
In laws and policy: what the Stars conspire;
What willing Nature speaks, what forced by fire;
Both the old discoveries, and the new found seas:
The stock and surplus, cause and history:
All these stand open, or I have the keys.

The Doctor could not have said this; he would rather have said,

I am but one who do the world despise
And would my thoughts to some perfection raise,
A wisdom-lover, willing to be wise.1

Yet he was as justly entitled to the appellation of a learned man by his multifarious knowledge, as he was far from pretending to it. There were many things of which he was ignorant, and contented to be ignorant, because the acquirement would not have been worth the cost. Brown would have taken with just confidence a seat at the Banquet of the Philosophers, whereas Dove would have thought himself hardly worthy to gather up the crumbs that fell from their table.


A certain melancholy predominated as much in the constitution of Sir Thomas's mind, as in that of Charles the First, to whom his portrait bears so remarkable a resemblance; and a certain mirth entered as largely into the composition of the Doctor's, as it did into Charles the Second's, to whom in all moral respects no one could be more utterly unlike. The elements have seldom been so happily mixed as they were in the Philosopher of Norwich; he could not have been perfectly hom*ogeneous if a particle of the quintelement had been superadded;—such an ingredient would have marred the harmony of his character: whereas the Philosopher of Doncaster would have been marred without a large portion of it.

It was a greater dissimilarity, and altogether to be regretted, that my Doctor left no “characteristic and special mark to be observable in his generation;” but upon this I shall make some observations hereafter. What led me to compare these persons, incomparable each in his own way, was that my Doctor, though he did not look upon his own history as miraculous, considered that the course of his life had been directed by a singular and special Providence. How else could it have been that being an only son,—an only child, the sole representative in his generation of an immemorial line,—his father instead of keeping him attached to the soil, as all his forefathers had been, should have parted with him for the sake of his moral and intellectual improvement, not with a view to wealth or worldly advancement, but that he might seek wisdom and ensue it?—that with no other friend than the poor schoolmaster of a provincial townlet, and no better recommendation, he should have been placed with a master by whose care the defects of his earlier education were supplied, and by whose bounty, after he had learned the practical routine of his profession, he was sent to study it as a science in a foreign university, which a little before had been raised by Boerhaave to its highest reputation;—that not only had his daily bread been given him without any of that wearing anxiety which usually attends upon an unsettled and precarious way of life, but in the very house which when sent thither in boyhood he had entered as a stranger, he found himself permanently fixed, as successively the pupil, the assistant, the friend, and finally the successor and heir of his benefactor;—above all, that he had not been led into temptation, and that he had been delivered from evil.

“My life,” said an unfortunate poor man who was one of the American Bishop Hobart's occasional correspondents, “has been a chapter of blunders and disappointments.” John Wilkes said that “the chapter of accidents is the longest chapter in the book;” and he, who had his good things here, never troubled himself to consider whether the great volume were the Book of Chance, or of Necessity, the Demogorgon of those by whom no other deity is acknowledged. With a wiser and happier feeling Bishop White Kennett when he was asked “where are we?” answered the question thus,—“in a world where nothing can be depended on but a future state; in the way to it, little comfort but prayers and books.” White Kennett might have enjoyed more comfort if he had been born in less contentious times, or if he had taken less part in their contentions, or if he had been placed in a less conspicuous station. Yet he had little cause to complain of his lot, and he has left behind him good works and a good name.

There is scarcely any man who in thoughtfully contemplating the course of his own life, would not find frequent reason to say,—

in fede mia
Ho fatto bene a non fare a mio modo.

The Doctor however was one of the very few who have never been put out of their designed course, and never been disposed to stray from it.

Spesso si perde il buono
Cercando il meglio. E a scegliere il sentiero
Chi vuol troppo esser saggio,
Del tempo abusa, e non fa mai viaggio.





Thoricht, auf Bessrung der Thoren zu harren!
Kinder der klugheit, o habet die Narren
Eben zum Narren auch, wie sich's gehort.


In these days when honours have been so profusely distributed by the most liberal of Administrations and the most popular of Kings, I cannot but think that Tom Fool ought to be knighted. And I assure the reader that this is not said on the score of personal feeling, because I have the honour to be one of his relations, but purely with regard to his own claims, and the fitness of things, as well as to the character of the Government.

It is disparaging him, and derogatory to his family, which in undisputed and indisputable antiquity exceeds any other in these kingdoms,—it is disparaging him, I say, to speak of him as we do of Tom Duncombe, and Tom Cribb, and Tom Campbell; or of Tom Hood and Tom Moore, and Tom Sheridan; and before them of Tom Browne and Tom D'Urfey, and Tom Killigrew. Can it be supposed if he were properly presented to his Majesty (Lord Nugent would introduce him), and knelt to kiss the royal hand, that our most gracious and good-natured King would for a moment hesitate to give him the accollade, and say to him “Rise Sir Thomas!”

I do not ask for the Guelphic Order; simple Knighthood would in this case be more appropriate.

It is perfectly certain that Sir Thomas More, if he were alive, would not object to have him for a brother knight and namesake. It is equally certain that Sir Thomas Lethbridge could not, and ought not.

Dryden was led into a great error by his animosity against Hunt and Shadwell when he surmised that “dullness and clumsiness were fated to the name of Tom.” “There are,” says Serjeant Kite, “several sorts of Toms; Tom o'Lincoln, Tom Tit, Tom Tell-truth, Tom o'Bedlam and Tom Fool!” With neither of these is dullness or clumsiness associated. And in the Primitive World, according to the erudite philologist who with so much industry and acumen collected the fragments of its language, the word itself signified just or perfect. Therefore the first Decan of the constellation Virgo was called Tom, and from thence Court de Gebelin derives Themis: and thus it becomes evident that Themistocles belongs to the Toms. Let no Thomas then or Sir Thomas, who has made shipwreck of his fortune or his reputation or of both, consider himself as having been destined to such disgrace by his godfathers and godmothers when they gave him that name. The name is a good name. Any one who has ever known Sir Thomas Acland may like it and love it for his sake: and no wise man will think the worse of it for Tom Fool's.

No! the name Thomas is a good name, however it has been disparaged by some of those persons who are known by it at this time. Though Bovius chose to drop it and assume the name Zephiriel in its stead in honour of his tutelary Angel, the change was not for the better, being indeed only a manifestation of his own unsound state of mind. And though in the reign of King James the First, Mr. William Shepherd of Towcester christened his son by it for a reason savouring of disrespect, it is not the worse for the whimsical consideration that induced him to fix upon it. The boy was born on the never to be forgotten fifth of November 1605, about the very hour when the Gunpowder Treason was to have been consummated; and the father chose to have him called Thomas, because he said this child if he lived to grow up would hardly believe that ever such wickedness could be attempted by the sons of men.

It is recorded that a parrot which was seized by a kite and carried into the air, escaped by exclaiming Sancte Thoma adjuva me! for upon that powerful appeal the kite relaxed his hold, and let loose the intended victim. This may be believed, though it is among the miracles of Thomas a Becket, to whom and not to the great schoolman of Aquino, nor the Apostle of the East, the invocation was addressed. Has any other human name ever wrought so remarkable a deliverance?

Has any other name made a greater noise in the world. Let Lincoln tell, and Oxford; for although “omnis clocha clochabilis in clocherio clochando, clochans clochativo, clochare facit clochabiliter clochantes,” yet among them all, Master Janotus de Bragmardo would have assigned pre-eminence to the mighty Toms.

The name then is sufficiently vindicated, even if any vindication were needed, when the paramount merits of my claimant are considered.

Merry Andrew likewise should be presented to receive the same honour, for sundry good reasons, and especially for this, that there is already a Sir Sorry Andrew.

I should also recommend Tom Noddy, were it not for this consideration, that the honour would probably soon be merged in an official designation, and therefore lost upon him; for when a certain eminent statesman shall be called from the Lower House, as needs he must ere long, unless the party who keep moving and push him forward as their leader, should before that time relieve him of his hereditary rights, dignities, and privileges, no person can possibly be found so worthy to succeed him in office and tread in his steps, as Tom Noddy.

Nor is Jack Pudding to be forgotten who is cousin-german to that merry man Andrew! He moreover deserves it by virtue of his Puddingship; the Puddings are of an ancient and good family: the Blacks in particular boast of their blood.

Take reader this epigram of that cheerful and kind-hearted schoolmaster Samuel Bishop of Merchant Taylors, written in his vocation upon the theme Aliusque et Idem

Five countries from five favorite dishes name
The popular stage buffoon's professional name.
Half fish himself, the Dutchman never erring
From native instinct, styles him Pickle Herring.
The German whose strong palate haut-gouts fit,
Calls him Hans Werst, that is John-Sausage-Wit.
The Frenchman ever prone to badinage
Thinks of his soup, and shrugs, Eh! voila Jean Potage!
Full of ideas his sweet food supplies,
The Italian, Ecco Macaroni! cries.
While English Taste, whose board with dumplin smokes,
Inspired by what it loves, applauds Jack Pudding's jokes.
A charming bill of fare, you'll say, to suit
One dish, and that one dish a Fool, to boot!

“A learned man will have it,” says Fuller, “that Serapis is nothing more than Apis with the addition of the Hebrew Sar, a Prince, whence perchance our English Sir.” Odd, that the whole beast should have obtained this title in Egypt, and a part of it in England. For we all know that Loin of Beef has been knighted, and who is not pleased to meet with him at dinner? and John Barleycorn has been knighted, and who is not willing to pledge him in all companies in a glass?

But wherefore should I adduce precedents, as if in this age any regard were paid to them in the distribution of honours, or there could be any need of them in a case which may so well stand upon its own merits.



Virtue, and that part of philosophy
Will I apply, that treats of happiness
By virtue specially to be achieved.

A practitioner of medicine possesses in what may be called his cure, that knowledge of all who are under his care, which the parochial priest used to possess in former times, and will it is to be hoped regain whenever the most beneficial of all alterations shall be effected in the Church Establishment, and no Clergyman shall have a duty imposed upon him which it is impossible to fulfil,—impossible it is, if his parishioners are numbered by thousands instead of hundreds. In such cases one of two consequences must inevitably ensue. Either he will confine himself to the formalities of his office, and because he cannot by any exertions do what ought to be done, rest contented with performing the perfunctory routine; or he will exert himself to the utmost till his health, and perhaps his heart also, is broken in a service which is too often found as thankless as it is hopeless.

Our Doctor was, among the poorer families in his cure, very much what Herbert's Country Parson is imagined to be in his parish. There was little pauperism there at that time; indeed none that existed in a degree reproachful to humanity; or in that obtrusive and clamorous form which at present in so many parts of this misgoverned country insults and outrages and endangers society. The labourers were not so ill paid as to be justly discontented with their lot; and he was not in a manufacturing district. His profession led him among all classes; and his temper as well as his education qualified him to sympathize with all, and accommodate himself to each as far as such accommodation was becoming. Yet he was every where the same man; he spoke the King's English in one circle, and the King's Yorkshire in another; but this was the only difference in his conversation with high and low. Before the professors of his art indeed, in the exercise of their calling, the distinctions of society disappear, and poor human nature is stript to its humanities. Rank, and power, and riches,—these—

cannot take a passion away, Sir,
Nor cut a fit but one poor hour shorter.1

The most successful stock jobber, or manufacturer that ever counted his wealth by hundreds of thousands—

must endure as much as the poorest beggar
That cannot change his money,—this is the equality
In our impartial essences!1

Death is not a more inexorable leveller than his precursors age and infirmity and sickness and pain.


Hope and fear and grief and joy act with the same equitable disregard of conventional distinctions. And though there is reason for disbelieving that the beetle which we tread upon feels as much as a human being suffers in being crushed, it is yet undoubtedly true that except in those cases where individuals have so thoroughly corrupted their feelings as to have thereby destroyed the instinctive sense of right and wrong, making evil their good, what may be termed the primitive affections exist in as much strength among the rudest as among the most refined. They may be paralyzed by pauperism, they may be rotted by the licentiousness of luxury; but there is no grade of society in which they do not exhibit themselves in the highest degree. Tragic poets have been attracted by the sufferings of the great, and have laid the scene of their fables in the higher circles of life; yet tragedy represents no examples more touching or more dreadful, for our admiration or abhorrence, to thrill us with sympathy or with indignation, than are continually occurring in all classes of society.

They who call themselves men of the world and pride themselves accordingly upon their knowledge, are of all men those who know least of human nature. It was well said by a French biographer, though not well applied to the subject2 of his biography, that il avait pu, dans la solitude, se former à l'amour du vrai et du juste, et même à la connoissance de l'homme, si souvent et si mal à propos confondue avec celle des hommes; c'est-à-dire, avec la petite experience des intrigues mouvantes d'un petit nombre d'individus plus ou moins accrédités et des habitudes etroites de leurs petites coteries. La connoissance des hommes est à celle de l'homme ce qu'est l'intrigue sociale à l'art social.


Of those passions which are or deserve to be the subject of legal and judicial tragedy, the lawyers necessarily see most, and for this reason perhaps they think worse of human nature than any other class of men, except the Roman Catholic Clergy. Physicians on the contrary, though they see humanity in its most humiliating state, see it also in the exercise of its holiest and most painful duties. No other persons witness such deep emotions and such exertions of self-controul. They know what virtues are developed by the evils which flesh is heir to, what self-devotion, what patience, what fortitude, what piety, what religious resignation.

Wherefore is it then that physicians have lain under the reproach of irreligion, who of all men best know how fearfully and wonderfully we are made, and who it might be thought would be rendered by the scenes at which they are continually called upon to assist, of all men the most religious? Sir Thomas Brown acknowledges that this was the general scandal of his profession, and his commentator Sir Kenelm Digby observes upon the passage, that “Physicians do commonly hear ill in this behalf,” and that “it is a common speech (but,” he parenthesizes, “only amongst the unlearned sort) ubi tres medici duo athei.” Rabelais defines a Physician to be animal incombustible propter reliqionem.

“As some mathematicians,” says an old Preacher, “deal so much in Jacob's staff that they forget Jacob's ladder, so some Physicians (God decrease the number!) are so deep naturalists that they are very shallow Christians. With us, Grace waits at the heels of Nature, and they dive so deep into the secrets of philosophy that they never look up to the mysteries of Divinity.”

Old Adam Littleton who looked at every thing in its best light, took a different view of the effect of medical studies, in his sermon upon St. Luke's day. “His character of Physician,” said he, “certainly gave him no mean advantage, not only in the exercise of his ministry by an acceptable address and easy admission which men of that profession every where find among persons of any civility; but even to his understanding of Christian truths and to the apprehending the mysteries of faith.

“For having as that study directed him, gone orderly over all the links of that chain by which natural causes are mutually tied to one another, till he found God the supreme cause and first mover at the top; having traced the footsteps of Divine Goodness through all the most minute productions of his handmaid Nature, and yet finding human reason puzzled and at a loss in giving an account of his almighty power and infinite wisdom in the least and meanest of his works; with what pious humility must he needs entertain supernatural truths, when upon trial he had found every the plainest thing in common nature itself was mystery, and saw he had as much reason for his believing these proposals of faith, as he had for trusting the operations of sense, or the collections of reason itself.

“I know there is an unworthy reproach cast upon this excellent study that it inclines men to atheism. 'Tis true the ignorance and corruption of men that profess any of the three honourable faculties, bring scandal upon the faculty itself. Again, sciolists and half-witted men are those that discredit any science they meddle with. But he that pretends to the noble skill of physic, and dares to deny that which doth continually incurrere in sensus, that which in all his researches and experiments he must meet with at every turn, I dare to say he is no Physician; or at least that he doth at once give his profession and his conscience too the lye.”



Confiesso la digression; mas es facil al que no quisiere leerla, passar al capitulo siguiente, y esta advertencia sirva de disculpa.


If the elder Daniel had thought that the moral feelings and religious principles of his son were likely to be endangered by the study of medicine, he would never have been induced to place him with a medical practitioner. But it seemed to him, good man, that the more we study the works of the Creator, the more we must perceive and feel his wisdom and his power and his goodness. It was so in his own case, and like Adam Littleton and all simple-hearted men, he judged of others by himself.

Nevertheless that the practice of Physic, and still more of surgery, should have an effect like that of war upon the persons engaged in it, is what those who are well acquainted with human nature might expect, and would be at no loss to account for. It is apparent that in all these professions coarse minds must be rendered coarser, and hard hearts still farther indurated; and that there is a large majority of such minds and hearts in every profession, trade and calling, few who have had any experience of the ways of the world can doubt. We need not look farther for the immediate cause. Add to a depraved mind and an unfeeling disposition, either a subtle intellect or a daring one, and you have all the preparations for atheism that the Enemy could desire.

But other causes may be found in the history of the medical profession which was an art in the worst sense of the word, before it became a science, and long after it pretended to be a science, was little better than a craft. Among savages the sorcerer is always the physician; and to this day superstitious remedies are in common use among the ignorant in all countries. But wherever the practice is connected with superstition as free scope is presented to wickedness as to imagination; and there have been times in which it became obnoxious to much obloquy, which on this score was well deserved.

Nothing exposed the Jews to more odium in ages when they were held most odious, than the reputation which they possessed as physicians. There is a remarkable instance of the esteem in which they were held for their supposed superiority in this art as late as the middle of the sixteenth century. Francis I. after a long illness in which he found no benefit from his own physicians, dispatched a courier into Spain, requesting Charles V. to send him the most skilful Jewish practitioner in his dominions. This afforded matter for merriment to the Spaniards; the Emperor however gave orders to make enquiry for one, and when he could hear of none who would trust himself in that character, he sent a New-Christian physician, with whom he supposed Francis would be equally satisfied. But when this person arrived in France, the King by way of familiar discourse sportively asked him if he were not yet tired of expecting the Messiah? Such a question produced from the new Convert a declaration that he was a Christian, upon which the King dismissed him immediately without consulting him, and sent forthwith to Constantinople for a Jew. The one who came found it necessary to prescribe nothing more for his royal patient than Asses milk.

This reputation in which their physicians were held was owing in great measure to the same cause which gave them their superiority in trade. The general celebrity which they had obtained in the dark ages, and which is attested by Eastern tales as well as by European history, implies that they had stores of knowledge which were not accessible to other people. And indeed as they communicated with all parts of the known world, and with parts of it which were unknown to the Christian nations, they had means of obtaining the drugs of the East, and the knowledge of what remedies were in use there, which was not of less importance in an art, founded, as far as it was of any avail, wholly upon experience. That knowledge they reserved to themselves, perhaps as much with a view to national as to professional interests.

Nicolas Antonio sent to Bertolacci a manuscript entitled Otzar Haanijm, that is, “the Treasure of the Poor,” written by a certain Master Julian in the Portuguese language, but in rabbinical characters. It was a collection of simple receipts for all diseases, and appears to have been written thus that it might be serviceable to those only who were acquainted with Hebrew. There was good policy in this. A king's physician in those days was hardly a less important person than a king's confessor; with many princes indeed he would be the more influential of the two, as being the most useful, and frequently the best informed; and in those times of fearful insecurity, it might fall within his power, like Mordecai, to avert some great calamity from his nation.

Among the articles which fantastic superstition, or theories not less fantastic had introduced into the materia medica, there were some which seemed more appropriate to the purposes of magic than of medicine, and some of an atrocious kind. Human fat was used as an unguent,—that of infants as a cosmetic. Romances mention baths of children's blood; and there were times and countries in which such a remedy was as likely to be prescribed, as imagined in fiction. It was believed that deadly poisons might be extracted from the human body;—and they who were wicked enough to administer the product, would not be scrupulous concerning the means whereby it was procured. One means indeed was by tormenting the living subject. To such practices no doubt Harrison alludes when, speaking, in Elizabeth's reign, of those who graduated in the professions of law or physic, he says, “one thing only I mislike in them, and that is their usual going into Italy, from whence very few without special grace do return good men, whatever they pretend of conference or practice; chiefly the physicians, who under pretence of seeking of foreign simples, do oftentimes learn the framing of such compositions as were better unknown than practised, as I have often heard alleged.” The suspicion of such practices attached more to the Jewish than to any other physicians, because of the hatred with which they were supposed to regard all Christians, a feeling which the populace in every country, and very frequently the Rulers also did every thing to deserve. The general scandal of atheism lay against the profession; but to be a Jew was in common opinion to be worse than an atheist, and calumnies were raised against the Jew Physicians on the specific ground of their religion, which, absurd and monstrous as they were, popular credulity was ready to receive. One imputation was that they made it a point of conscience to kill one patient in five, as a sacrifice of atonement for the good which they had done to the other four. Another was that the blood of a Christian infant was always administered to a Jewess in child-bed, and was esteemed so necessary an ingredient in their superstitious ceremonies or their medical practice at such times, that they exported it in a dried and pulverized form to Mahommedan countries, where it could not be obtained fresh.

There are some pages in Jackson's Treatise upon the Eternal Truth of Scripture and Christian Belief, which occurring in a work of such excellent worth, and coming from so profound and admirable a writer, must be perused by every considerate reader with as much sorrow as surprize. They show to what a degree the most judicious and charitable mind may be deluded when seeking eagerly for proofs of a favorite position or important doctrine, even though the position and the doctrine should be certainly just. Forgetful of the excuse which he has himself suggested for the unbelief of the Jews since the destruction of Jerusalem, saying, with equal truth and felicity of expression, that “their stubborness is but a strong hope malignified, or, as we say, grown wild and out of kind,” he gives credit to the old atrocious tales of their crucifying Christian children, and finds in them an argument for confirming our faith at which the most iron-hearted supralapsarian might shudder. For one who passes much of his time with books, and with whom the dead are as it were living and conversing, it is almost as painful to meet in an author whom he reveres and loves, with anything which shocks his understanding and disturbs his moral sense, as it is to perceive the faults of a dear friend. When we discover aberrations of this kind in such men, it should teach us caution for ourselves as well as tolerance for others; and thus we may derive some benefit even from the errors of the wise and good.

That the primitive Christians should have regarded the Jews with hostile feelings as their first persecutors, was but natural, and that that feeling should have been aggravated by a just and religious horror for the crime which has drawn upon this unhappy nation it's abiding punishment. But it is indeed strange that during so many centuries this enmity should have continued to exist, and that no sense of compassion should have mitigated it. For the Jews to have inherited the curse of their fathers was in the apprehension of ordinary minds to inherit their guilt; and the cruelties which man inflicted upon them were interpreted as proofs of the continued wrath of Heaven, so that the very injuries and sufferings which in any other case would have excited commiseration, served in this to close the heart against it. Being looked upon as God's outlaws, they were everywhere placed as it were under the ban of humanity. And while these heart-hardening prepossessions subsisted against them in full force, the very advantages of which they were in possession rendered them more especial objects of envy, suspicion and popular hatred. In times when literature had gone to decay throughout all Christendom, the Jews had not partaken of the general degradation. They had Moses and the Prophets whose everlasting lamps were kept trimmed amongst them, and burning clearly through the dark when the light of the Gospel had grown dim in the socket, and Monkery and Popery had well nigh extinguished it. They possessed a knowledge of distant countries which was confined to themselves; for being dispersed every where, they travelled every where with the advantage of a language which was spoken by the Children of Israel wherever they were found, and nowhere by any other people. As merchants therefore and as statesmen they had opportunities peculiar to themselves. In both capacities those Princes who had any sense of policy found them eminently useful. But wealth made them envied, and the way in which they increased it by lending money made them odious in ages when to take any interest was accounted usury. That odium was aggravated whenever they were employed in raising taxes; and as they could not escape odium, they seem sometimes to have braved it in despite or in despair, and to have practised extortion if not in defiance of public opinion, at least as a species of retaliation for the exactions which they themselves endured, and the frauds which unprincipled debtors were always endeavouring to practise upon them.

But as has already been observed, nothing exposed them to greater obloquy than the general opinion which was entertained of their skill in medicine, and of the flagitious practices with which it was accompanied. The conduct of the Romish Church tended to strengthen that obloquy, even when it did not directly accredit the calumnies which exasperated it. Several Councils denounced excommunication against any persons who should place themselves under the care of a Jewish Physician, for it was pernicious and scandalous they said, that Christians who ought to despise and hold in horror the enemies of their holy religion, should have recourse to them for remedies in sickness. They affirmed that medicines administered by such impious hands became hurtful instead of helpful; and moreover that the familiarity thus produced between a Jewish practitioner and a Christian family, gave occasion to great evil and to many crimes. The decree of the Lateran Council by which physicians were enjoined under heavy penalties to require that their patients should confess and communicate before they administered any medicines to them, seems to have been designed as much against Jewish practitioners as heretical patients. The Jews on their part were not more charitable when they could express their feelings with safety. It appears in their own books that a physician was forbidden by the Rabbis to attend upon either a Christian or Gentile, unless he dared not refuse; under compulsion it was lawful, but he was required to demand payment for his services, and never to attend any such patients gratuitously.



Lettor, tu vedi ben com' io innalzo
La mia materia, e però con piu arte
Non ti maravigliar s' i' la rincalzo.


But the practice both of medicine and of surgery, whatever might be the religion of the practitioner, was obnoxious to suspicions for which the manners of antiquity, of the dark ages and of every corrupted society gave but too much cause. It was a power that could be exercised for evil as well as for good.

One of the most detestable acts recorded in ancient history is that of the Syrian usurper Tryphon, who when he thought it expedient to make away with young Antiochus the heir to the kingdom, delivered him into a surgeon's hands to be cut for the stone, that he might in that manner be put to death. It is a disgraceful fact that the most ancient operation known to have been used in surgery, is that abominable one which to the reproach of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities is still practised in Italy.

Physicians were not supposed to be more scrupulous than surgeons. The most famous and learned Doctor Christopher Wirtzung, whose General Practice of Physic was translated from German into English at the latter end of Queen Elizabeth's reign by his countryman Jacob Mosan, Doctor in the same faculty, has this remarkable section in his work:

“Ancient Physicians were wont to have an old proverb, and to say that Venom is so proud that it dwelleth commonly in gold and silver; whereby they meant that great personages that eat and drink out of gold and silver, are in greater danger to be poisoned than the common people that do eat and drink out of earthen dishes.” Christopher Wirtzung might have quoted Juvenal here;

Nulla aconita bibuntur
Fictilibus. Tunc illa time, cum pocula sumes
Gemmata, et lato Setinum ardebit in auro.

“Wherefore,” proceeds the German Doctor, “must such high personages that are afraid to be poisoned, diligently take heed of the meat and drink that they eat, and that are drest of divers things. Also they must not take too much of all sweet, salt and sour drinks; and they must not eat too eagerly, nor too hastily; and they must at all times have great regard of the first taste of their meat and drink. But the most surest way is, that before the mealtide he take somewhat that may resist venom, as figs, rue, or nuts, each by himself, or tempered together. The citrons, rape-seed, nepe, or any of those that are described before, the weight of a drachm taken with wine, now one and then another, is very much commended. Sometimes also two figs with a little salt, then again mithridate or treacle, and such like more may be used before the mealtide.”

“It is a matter of much difficulty,” says Ambrose Paré, “to avoid poisons, because such as at this time temper them are so thoroughly prepared for deceit and mischief that they will deceive even the most wary and quick-sighted; for they so qualify the ingrate taste and smell by the admixture of sweet and well-smelling things that they cannot easily be perceived even by the skilful. Therefore such as fear poisoning ought to take heed of meats cooked with much art, very sweet, salt, sour, or notably endued with any other taste. And when they are opprest with hunger or thirst, they must not eat nor drink too greedily, but have a diligent regard to the taste of such things as they eat or drink. Besides, before meat let them take such things as may weaken the strength of the poisons, such as is the fat broth of good nourishing flesh-meats. In the morning let them arm themselves with treacle or mithridate, and conserve of roses, or the leaves of rue, a walnut and dry figs: besides let him presently drink a little draught of muscadine, or some other good wine.”

How frequent the crime of poisoning had become in the dark ages appears by the old laws of almost every European people, in some of which indeed its frequency, “proh dolor,” is alleged as a reason for enacting statutes against it. And whilst in the empire the capital sentence might be compounded for, like other cases of homicide, by a stated compensation to the representatives of the deceased, no such redemption was allowed among the Wisi-Goths, but the poisoner, whether freeman or slave, was to suffer the most ignominious death. In the lower ranks of life men were thought to be in most danger of being thus made away with by their wives, in the higher by their Physicians and their cooks.

There are two curious sections upon this subject in the Laws of Alphonso the Wise, the one entitled Quáles deben ser los fisicos del Rey, et qué es lo que deben facer;—What the Physicians of a King ought to be, and what it is they ought to do:—the other, Quáles deben ser los oficiales del Rey que le han de servir en su comer et en su beber: What the officers of a King ought to be who minister to him at his eating and at his drinking.

“Physic,” says the royal author, “according as the wise antients have shown, is as much as to say the knowledge of understanding things according to nature, what they are in themselves, and what effect each produces upon other things; and therefore they who understand this well, can do much good, and remove many evils; especially by preserving life and keeping men in health, averting from them the infirmities whereby they suffer great misery, or are brought to death. And they who do this are called Physicians, who not only must endeavour to deliver men from their maladies, but also to preserve their health in such manner that they may not become sick; wherefore it is necessary that those whom the King has with him should be right good. And as Aristotle said to Alexander, four things are required in them,—first that they should be knowing in their art; secondly, that they should be well approved in it; thirdly, that they should be skilled in the cases which may occur; fourthly, that they should be right loyal and true. For if they are not knowing in their art, they will not know how to distinguish diseases; and if they are not well approved in it, they will not be able to give such certain advice, which is a thing from whence great hurt arises; and if they are not skilful, they will not be able to act in cases of great danger when such may happen; and if they are not loyal, they can commit greater treasons than other men, because they can commit them covertly. And when the King shall have Physicians in whom these four aforesaid things are found, and who use them well, he ought to do them much honour and much good; and if peradventure they should act otherwise knowingly, they commit known treason, and deserve such punishment as men who treacherously kill others that have confided in them.

“Regiment also in eating and drinking is a thing without which the body cannot be maintained, and therefore the officers who have to minister to the King or others, have no less place than those of whom we have spoken above, as to the preservation of his life and his health. For albeit the Physicians should do all their endeavours to preserve him, they will not be able to do it if he who prepares his food for him should not chuse to take the same care; we say the same also of those who serve him with bread, and wine, and fruit, and all other things of which he has to eat, or drink. And according as Aristotle said to Alexander, in these officers seven things are required: first, that they be of good lineage, for if they be, they will always take heed of doing things which would be ill for them; secondly, that they be loyal, for if they be not so, great danger might come to the King from them; thirdly, that they be skilful, so that they may know how to do those things well which appertain to their offices: fourthly, that they be of good understanding, so that they may know how to comprehend the good which the King may do them, and that they be not puffed up, nor become insolent because of their good fortune; fifthly, that they be not over covetous, for great covetousness is the root of all evil; sixthly, that they be not envious in evil envy, lest if they should be, they might haply be moved thereby to commit some wrong; seventhly, that they be not much given to anger, for it is a thing which makes a man beside himself, and this is unseemly in those who hold such offices. And also besides all those things which we have specified, it behoveth them greatly that they be debonair and clean, so that what they have to prepare for the King, whether to eat or drink, may be well prepared; and that they serve it to him cleanlily, for if it be clean he will be pleased with it, and if it be well prepared he will savour it the better, and it will do him the more good. And when the King shall have such men as these in these offices, he ought to love them, and to do them good and honour; and if peradventure he should find that any one offends in not doing his office loyally, so that hurt might come thereof to the person of the King, he ought to punish him both in his body and in his goods, as a man who doth one of the greatest treasons that can be.”

The fear in which the Princes of more barbarous states lived in those ages is no where so fully declared as in the Palace-laws compiled by that King of Majorca who was slain at the battle of Cressy, from which laws those of his kinsman Pedro the Ceremonious of Arragon, who drove him from his kingdom, were chiefly taken. His butler, his under butler, his major domo, and his cooks were to swear fealty and homage, quia tam propter nefandissimam infidelitatem aliquorum ministrorum, quam ipsorum negligentiam, quæ est totius boni inimica, quâ ministrante omittuntur præcavenda, audivimus pluries tam Regibus quam aliis Principibus maxima pericula evenisse, quod est plus quam summe abhorrendum. No stranger might approach the place where any food for the King's table was prepared or kept; and all the cooks purveyors and sub-purveyors, and the major domo, and the chamberlain were to taste of every dish which was served up to him. The noble who ministered to him when he washed at table was to taste the water, and the barber who washed his head was to do the like; for great as the King was, being mindful that he was still but a man, he acknowledged it necessary that he should have a barber, pro humanis necessitatibus, quibus natura hominum quantâcunque fretum potentiâ nullum fecit expertem, etiam nos Barbitonsorum officio indigemus. His taylor was to work in a place where no suspicious people could have access; and whatever linen was used for his bed, or board, or more especially for his apparel, was to be washed in a secret place, and by none but known persons. The Chief Physician was to taste all the medicines that he administered. Every morning he was to inspect the royal urinal, and if he perceived any thing amiss prescribe accordingly. He was to attend at table, caution the King against eating of any thing that might prove hurtful, and if notwithstanding all precautions poison should be administered, he was to have his remedies at hand.

By the Chinese laws if either the superintending or dispensing officer, or the cook introduces into the Emperor's kitchen any unusual drug, or article of food, he is to be punished with an hundred blows, and compelled to swallow the same.



If I have more to spin
The wheel shall go.

Another reproach to which the medical profession was exposed arose from the preparatory studies which it required. The natural but unreflecting sentiment of horror with which anatomy is everywhere regarded by the populace, was unfortunately sanctioned by the highest authorities of the Roman Church. Absolutely necessary for the general good as that branch of science indisputably is, it was reprobated by some of the Fathers in the strongest and most unqualified terms; they called it butchering the bodies of the dead; and all persons who should disinter a corpse for this purpose, were excommunicated by a decree of Boniface the 8th, wherein the science itself was pronounced abominable both in the eyes of God and man. In addition to this cause of obloquy, there was a notion that cruel experiments, such as are now made upon animals, and too often unnecessarily, and therefore wickedly repeated, were sometimes performed upon living men. The Egyptian Physician who is believed first to have taught that the nerves are the organs of sensation, is said to have made the discovery by dissecting criminals alive. The fact is not merely stated by Celsus, but justified by him. Deducing its justification as a consequence from the not-to-be disputed assertion cum in interioribus partibus et dolores, et morborum varia genera nascantur, neminem his adhibere posse remedia, quæ ipse ignoret:—necessarium ergo esse, he proceeds to say, incidere corpora mortuorum, eorumque viscera atque intestina scrutari. LONGEQUE OPTIME FECISSE Herophilum et Erasistratum, qui nocentes homines à regibus ex carcere acceptos, VIVOS INCIDERINT; considerarintque, ETIAM SPIRATU MANENTE, ea quæ natura antea clausisset, eorumque posituram, colorem, figuram, magnitudinem, ordinem, duritiem, mollitiem, lævorem, contactum; processus deinde singulorum et recessus; et sive quid inseritur alteri, sive quid partem alterius in se recipit. As late as the sixteenth century surgeons were wont to beg (as it was called) condemned malefactors, whom they professed to put to death in their own way, by opium before they opened them. It might well be suspected that these disciples of Celsus were not more scrupulous than their master; and they who thus took upon themselves the business of an executioner, had no reason to complain if they shared in the reproach attached to his infamous office.

A French author1 of the sixteenth century says that the Physicians at Montpelier, which was then a great school of medicine, had every year two criminals, the one living, the other dead, delivered to them for dissection. He relates that on one occasion they tried what effect the mere expectation of death would produce upon a subject in perfect health, and in order to this experiment they told the gentleman (for such was his rank) who was placed at their discretion, that, as the easiest mode of taking away his life, they would employ the means which Seneca had chosen for himself, and would therefore open his veins in warm water. Accordingly they covered his face, pinched his feet without lancing them, and set them in a foot-bath, and then spoke to each other as if they saw that the blood were flowing freely, and life departing with it. The man remained motionless, and when after a while they uncovered his face they found him dead.


It would be weakness or folly to deny that dangerous experiments for the promotion of medical or surgical practice may, without breach of any moral law, or any compunctious feeling, be tried upon criminals whose lives are justly forfeited. The Laureate has somewhere in his farraginous notes de omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis, produced a story of certain Polish physicians who obtained permission to put on the head of a criminal as soon as it had been cut off, and an assurance of his pardon if they should succeed in reuniting it. There is nothing to be objected to such an experiment, except its utter unreasonableness.

When it was necessary that what was at that time a most difficult and dangerous surgical operation should be performed upon Louis XIV, enquiry was made for men afflicted with the same disease, they were conveyed to the house of the minister Louvois, and there in presence of the King's physician fa*gon, Felix the chief surgeon operated upon them. Most of these patients died; they were interred by night, but notwithstanding all precautions it was observed that dead bodies were secretly carried from that house, and rumours got abroad that a conspiracy had been discovered, that suspected persons had been brought before the minister and had either died under the question or been made away with by poison under his roof. The motive for this secresy was that the King might be saved from that anxiety which the knowledge of what was going on must have excited in him. In consequence of these experiments, Felix invented new instruments which he tried at the Hotel des Invalides, and when he had succeeded with them the result was communicated to the King, who submitted to the operation with characteristic fortitude. The surgeon performed it firmly and successfully; but the agitation which he had long struggled against and suppressed, produced then a general tremour from which he never recovered. The next day, in bleeding one of his own friends he maimed him for life.

This was a case in which the most conscientious practitioner would have felt no misgiving; there was no intentional sacrifice of life, or infliction of unnecessary suffering. So too when inoculation for the small-pox was introduced into this country; some condemned criminals gladly consented to be inoculated instead of hanged, and saved their lives by the exchange.

It is within the memory of some old members of the profession, that a man was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey, who had a wen upon his throat weighing between thirty and forty pounds. To hang him was impossible without circ*mstances of such revolting cruelty as would, even at that time, have provoked a general outcry of indignation. The case found its way from the lawyers to the surgeons; the latter obtained his pardon, and took off the tumour. John Hunter was the operator; the man, his offence not having been of a very heinous kind, though the indiscriminating laws made it at that time capital, was taken into his service, and used to show his own wen in his master's museum; it was the largest from which any person had ever been relieved. The fate of the poor Chinese who underwent a similar operation in London with a different result, is fresh in remembrance and will long be remembered. The operation was made a public exhibition for medical students, instead of being performed with all circ*mstances that could tend to soothe the patient; and to the consequent heat of a crowded room, and partly perhaps to the excitement which such an assemblage occasioned in the object of their curiosity, the fatal termination was with too much probability imputed. We may be sure that no such hazardous operation will ever again be performed in this country in the same public manner.

The remarks which were called forth on that occasion are proofs of the great improvement in general feeling upon such points, that has taken place in modern times. In the reign of Louis XI. a franc-archer of Meudon was condemned to be hanged for robbery and sacrilege; he appealed to the Court of Parliament, but that Court confirmed the sentence, and remanded him to the Provost of Paris for execution. The appeal however seems to have brought the man into notice, and as he happened to afford a surgical case as well as a criminal one, the surgeons and physicians of the French capital petitioned the King for leave to operate upon him. They represented that many persons were afflicted with the stone and other internal disorders; that the case of this criminal resembled that of the Sieur de Bouchage who was then lying dangerously ill; it was much to be desired for his sake that the inside of a living man should be inspected, and no better subject could have occurred than this franc-archer who was under sentence of death. This application was made at the instance of Germaine Colot, a practitioner who had learned his art under one of the Norsini, a Milanese family of itinerant surgeons, celebrated during several generations for their skill in lithotomy. Whether the criminal had his option of being hanged, or opened alive, is not stated; but Monstrelet by whom the fact is recorded, says that permission was granted, that the surgeons and physicians opened him, inspected his bowels, replaced them, and then sewed him up; that the utmost care was taken of him by the King's orders, that in the course of fifteen days he was perfectly cured, and that he was not only pardoned but had a sum of money given him. To such means were the members of this profession driven, because anatomy was virtually if not formally prohibited.

A much worse example occurred when the French King Henry II. was mortally wounded in tilting with Montgomery. It is stated by most historians that a splinter from Montgomery's spear entered the King's visor and pierced his eye; but Vincent Carloix, who probably was present, and if not, had certainly the best means of information, shows that this is altogether an erroneous statement. He says that when the Scot had broken his spear upon the King, instead of immediately throwing away the truncheon, as he ought to have done, he rode on holding it couched; the consequence of this inadvertence was that it struck the King's visor, forced it up, and ran into his eye. His words are these, ayans tous deux fort valeureusem*nt couru et rompu d'une grande dexterité et adresse leurs lances, ce mal-habile Lorges ne jecta pas, selon l'ordinaire coustume, le trousse qui demoura en la main la lance rompue; mais le porta tousjours baissé, et en courant, rencontra la teste du Roy, du quel il donna droit dedans la visiere qui le coup haulsa, et luy creva un œil.

The accuracy of this account happens to be of some importance, because the course which the King's surgeons pursued in consequence illustrates the state of surgery at that time, and of manners and laws also; for with the hope of ascertaining in what direction the broken truncheon had entered the brain and how they might best proceed to extract the splinters, they cut off the heads of four criminals, and drove broken truncheons into them, as nearly as they could judge at the same inclination, and then opened the heads. But after these lessons, five or six of the most expert surgeons in France were as much at a loss as before.

It was well that there were criminals ready upon the occasion, otherwise perhaps, in the then temper of the French Court, the first Huguenots who came to hand might have been made to serve the turn. And it was well for the subjects that it was not thought advisable to practise upon them alive; for no scruples would have been entertained upon the score of humanity. When Philip Von Huten, whom the Spanish writers call Felipe de Utre, made his expedition from Venezuela in search of the Omeguas, an Indian wounded him with a spear, under the right arm, through the ribs. One Diego de Montes, who was neither surgeon nor physician, undertook to treat the wound, because there was no person in the party better qualified to attempt it. A life was to be sacrificed for his instruction, and accordingly a friendly Cacique placed the oldest Indian in the village at his disposal. This poor creature was drest in Von Huten's coat of mail (sayo o escaulpil) and set on horseback; Montes then ran a spear into him through the hole in this armour, after which he opened him, and found that the integuments of the heart had not been touched, this being what he wished to ascertain. The Indian died; but Von Huten's wound was opened and cleansed in full reliance upon the knowledge thus obtained, and he recovered.



J'ecrirai ici mes pensées sans ordre, et non pas peut-étre dans une confusion sans dessein; c'est le veritable ordre, et qui marquera toujours mon objet par le desordre même.


Gentle reader,—and if gentle, good reader,—and if good, patient reader; for if not gentle, then not good; and if not good, then not gentle; and neither good nor gentle, if not patient;—dear reader, who art happily for thyself all three, it is, I know, not less with thy good will than with my own, that I proceed with this part of my subject. Quelle matiére que je traite avec vous, c'est toujours un plaisir pour moi.1 You will say to me “amuse yourself (and me) in your own way; ride your own round-about, so you do but come to the right point at last.”2 To that point you are well assured that all my round-abouts tend; and my care must be to eschew the error of that author, engineer, statesman, or adventurer of any kind,

Which of a weak and nigg*rdly projection,
Doth like a miser spoil his coat with scanting
A little cloth.3




Lady Hester Stanhope had an English Physician with her in Syria who, if he be living, can bear testimony that her Ladyship did not commit this fault, when she superintended the cutting out of his scarlet galligaskins. Neither will I commit it.

You indeed, dear reader, would express no displeasure if, instead of proceeding in the straight line of my purpose, I should sometimes find it expedient to retrograde; or, borrowing a word of barbarous Latin coined in the musician's mint, cancrizare, which may be rendered to crab-grade. For as Roger North says, when, at the commencement of his incomparable account of his brother the Lord Keeper's life, he confesses that it would be hard to lead a thread in good order of time through it—“there are many and various incidents to be remembered, which will interfere, and make it necessary to step back sometimes, and then again forwards;—and in this manner I hope to evacuate my mind of every matter and thing I know and can remember materially concerning him. And if some things are set down which many may think too trivial, let it be considered that the smallest incidents are often as useful to be known, though not so diverting, as the greater, and profit must always share with entertainment.”

I am not however side-ling toward my object crab-like; still less am I starting back from it, like a lobster, whose spring upon any alarm is stern-foremost: nor am I going I know not where, like the three Princes Zoile, Bariandel and Lyriamandre, when, having taken leave of Olivier King of England, to go in search of Rosicler, they took ship at London sans dessein d'aller plustôt en un lieu qu'en un autre. Nor like the more famous Prince Don Florisel and Don Falanges, when having gone on board a small vessel, y mandada por ellos en lo alto de la mar meter, hazen con los marineros que no hagan otro camino mas de aquel que la nao movido por la fuerza de los ayres, quisiesse hazer, queriendo yr a buscar con la aventura lo que a ella hallar se permitia segun la poca certinidad que para la demanda podian llevar.

I should say falsely were I to say with Petrarch,

Vommene in guiza d'orbo senza luce,
Che non sa ove si vada, e pur si parte.

But I may say with the Doctor's name-sake Daniel de Bosola in Webster's tragedy,4 “I look no higher than I can reach: they are the gods that must ride on winged horses. A lawyer's mule, of a slow pace, will both suit my disposition and business: for mark me, when a man's mind rides faster than his horse can gallop, they quickly both tire.”—Moreover

———This I hold
A secret worth its weight in gold
To those who write as I write now,
Not to mind where they go, or how,
Thro' ditch, thro' bog, o'er hedge and stile,
Make it but worth the reader's while,
And keep a passage fair and plain
Always to bring him back again.5



“You may run from major to minor,” says Mrs. Bray in one of her letters to Dr. Southey, “and through a thousand changes, so long as you fall into the subject at last, and bring back the ear to the right key at the close.”

Where we are at this present reading, the attentive reader cannot but know; and if the careless one has lost himself, it is his fault, not mine. We are in the parenthesis between the Doctor's courtship and his marriage. Life has been called a parenthesis between our birth and death; the history of the human race is but a parenthesis between two cataclasms of the globe which it inhabits; time itself only a parenthesis in eternity. The interval here, as might be expected after so summary a wooing, was not long; no settlements being required, and little preparation. But it is not equally necessary for me to fix the chapter, as it was for them to fix the day.

Montaigne tells us that he liked better to forge his mind than to furnish it. I have a great liking for old Michel, Seigneur de Montaigne, which the well-read reader may have perceived;—who indeed has ever made his acquaintance without liking him? I have moreover some sympathies with him; but upon this point we differ. It is more agreeable to me to furnish than to forge,—intellectually speaking, to lay in than to lay out;—to eat than to digest. There is however (following the last similitude) an intermediate process enjoyed by the flocks and herds, but denied to Aldermen; that process affords so apt a metaphor for an operation of the mind, that the word denoting it has passed into common parlance in its metaphorical acceptation, and its original meaning is not always known to those who use it.

It is a pleasure to see the quiet full contentment which is manifested both in the posture and look of animals when they are chewing the cud. The nearest approach which humanity makes toward a similar state of feeling, seems to be in smoking, when the smoker has any intellectual cud on which to chew. But ruminating is no wholesome habit for man, who, if he be good for any thing, is born as surely to action as to trouble;—it is akin to the habit of indulging in day dreams, which is to be eschewed by every one who tenders his or her own welfare.

There is however a time for every thing. And though neither the Doctor nor Deborah had thought of each other in the relation of husband and wife, before the proposal was made, and the silent assent given, they could not chuse but ruminate upon the future as well as the past, during the parenthesis that ensued. And though both parties deliberately approved of what had been suddenly determined, the parenthesis was an uneasy time for both.

The commentators tell us that readers have found some difficulty in understanding what was Shakespear's meaning when he made Macbeth say

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly.

Johnson says he never found them agreeing upon it. Most persons however are agreed in thinking, that when anything disagreeable must be done, the sooner it is done the better. Who but a child ever holds a dose of physic in his hand,—rhubarb to wit,—or Epsom salts—delaying as long as possible to take the nauseous draught? Who ever, when he is ready for the plunge, stands lingering upon the side of the river, or the brink of the cold bath?—Who that has entered a shower-bath and closed the door, ever hesitates for a moment to pull the string? It was upon a false notion of humanity that the House of Commons proceeded, when it prolonged the interval between the sentence of a murderer and the execution. The merciful course in all cases would be, that execution should follow upon the sentence with the least possible delay.

“Heaven help the man, says a goodnatured and comely reader who has a ring on the fourth finger of her left hand,—Heaven help the man! Does he compare marriage to hanging, to a dose of physic, and to a plunge over head and ears in cold water?” No madam, not he: he makes no such unseemly comparisons. He only means to say that when any great change is about to take place in our circ*mstances and way of life,—any thing that is looked on to with anxiety and restlessness, any thing that occasions a yeasty sensation about the pericardium,—every one who is in that state wishes that the stage of fermentation were past,—that the transition were over.

I have said that little preparation was needed for a marriage which gave little employment to the upholsterers, less to the dress-makers, and none to the lawyers. Yet there was something to be done. Some part of the furniture was to be furbished, some to be renewed, and some to be added. The house required papering and painting, and would not be comfortably habitable while the smell of the paint overpowered or mingled with the odour of the shop. Here then was a cause of unavoidable delay; and time which is necessarily employed, may be said to be well employed, though it may not be upon the business which we have most at heart. If there be an impatient reader, that is to say an unreasonable one, who complains that instead of passing rapidly over this interval or parenthesis (as aforesaid), I proceed in such a manner with the relation, that many of my chapters are as parenthetical as the Euterpe of Herodotus, which whole book as the present Bishop Butler used to say, is one long parenthesis, and the longest that ever was written;—if, I say, there be so censorious a reader, I shall neither contradict him, nor defend myself, nor yet plead guilty to the fault of which he accuses me. But I will tell him what passed on a certain occasion, between Doctor, afterwards Archbishop, Sharp, when he was Rector of St. Giles's, and the Lord Chancellor Jefferies.

In the year 1686 Dr. Sharp preached a sermon wherein he drew some conclusions against the Church of Rome, to show the vanity of her pretensions in engrossing the name of Catholic to herself. The sermon was complained of to James II, and the Lord Chancellor Jefferies was directed to send for the preacher, and acquaint him with the King's displeasure. Dr. Sharp accordingly waited upon his Lordship with the notes of his sermon, and read it over to him. “Whether,” says his son, “the Doctor did this for his own justification, and to satisfy his Lordship that he had been misrepresented, or whether my Lord ordered him to bring his sermon and repeat it before him, is not certain; but the latter seems most probable: because Dr. Sharp afterwards understood that his Lordship's design in sending for him and discoursing with him, was, that he might tell the King that he had reprimanded the Doctor, and that he was sorry for having given occasion of offence to his Majesty, hoping by this means to release Dr. Sharp from any further trouble. However it was, his Lordship took upon him, while the Doctor was reading over his sermon, to chide him for several passages which the Doctor thought gave no occasion for chiding; and he desired his Lordship when he objected to these less obnoxious passages, to be patient, for there was a great deal worse yet to come.”

The sermon nevertheless was a good sermon, as temperate as it was properly timed, and the circ*mstance was as important in English history, as the anecdote is pertinent in this place. For that sermon gave rise to the Ecclesiastical Commission, which, in its consequences, produced, within two years, the Revolution.



Mucho tengo que llorar,
Mucho tengo que reir.


It is a melancholy consideration that Fame is as unjust as Fortune. To Fortune indeed injustice ought not to be imputed, for Fortune is blind, and disposes of her favours at random. But Fame with all her eyes and ears and tongues, overlooks more than she perceives, and sees things often in a wrong light, and hears and reports as many falsehoods as truths.

We need not regret that the warriors who lived before Agamemnon should be forgotten, for the world would have been no worse if many of those who lived after him had been forgotten in like manner. But the wise also perish, and leave no memorial. What do we know of “Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol,” whom it was accounted an honour for Solomon to have excelled in wisdom? Where is now the knowledge for which Gwalchmai ab Gwyar, and Llechau ab Arthur, and Rhiwallawn Wallt Banadlen were leashed in a Triad as the three Physiologists or Philosophers of the Isle of Britain; because “there was nothing of which they did not know its material essence, and its properties, whether of kind, or of part, or of quality, or of compound, or of coincidence, or of tendency, or of nature, or of essence, whatever it might be?” Where is their knowledge? where their renown? They are now “merely nuda nomina, naked names!” “For there is no remembrance of the wise, more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is, in the days to come shall all be forgotten!”

——If our virtues
Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
As if we had them not.1

The Seven Wise Men have left almost as little as the Sybils.


“What satisfaction,” says Sir John Hawkins, “does the mind receive from the recital of the names of those who are said to have increased the chords of the primitive lyre from four to seven, Chorebus, Hyagius, and Terpander? Or when we are told that Olympus invented the enarmonic genus, as also the Harmatian mood? Or that Eumolpus and Melampus were excellent musicians, and Pronomus, Antigenides and Lamia celebrated players on the flute? In all these instances, where there are no circ*mstances that constitute a character, and familiarize to us the person spoken of, we naturally enquire who he is, and for want of farther information become indifferent as to what is recorded of him.” The same most learned and judicious historian of his favourite art, laments that most of the many excellent musicians who flourished in the ages preceding our own, are all but utterly forgotten. “Of Tye,” he says, “of Redford, Shephard, Douland, Weelkes, Welbye, Est, Bateson, Hilton and Brewer, we know little more than their names. These men composed volumes which are now dispersed and irretrievably lost; yet did their compositions suggest those ideas of the power and efficacy of music, and those descriptions of its manifold charms, that occur in the verses of our best poets.”

Is there one of my Readers in a thousand who knows that Philistes was a Greco-Phœnician, or Phœnico-Grecian Queen of Malta and Gozo, before the Carthaginians obtained the dominion of those islands, in which their language continues living, though corrupted, to this day?—Are there ten men in Cornwall who know that Medacritus was the name of the first man who carried tin from that part of the world?

What but his name is now known of Romanianus, who in St. Augustin's opinion was the greatest genius that ever lived; and how little is his very name known now! What is now remembered “of the men of renown before the Flood?” Sir Walter Raleigh hath a chapter concerning them, wherein he says, “of the war, peace, government and policy of these strong and mighty men, so able both in body and wit, there is no memory remaining; whose stories if they had been preserved, and what else was then performed in that newness of the world, there could nothing of more delight have been left to posterity. For the exceeding long lives of men, (who to their strength of body and natural wits had the experience added of eight and nine hundred years,) how much of necessity must the same add of wisdom and understanding? Likely it is that their works excelled all whatsoever can be told of after-times; especially in respect of this old age of the world, when we no sooner begin to know than we begin to die: according to Hippocrates, Vita brevis, ars longa, tempus præceps, which is, life is short, art is long, and time is headlong. And that those people of the first age performed many things worthy of admiration, it may be gathered out of these words of Moses, these were mighty men, which in old time were men of renown.” What is known of them now? Their very names have perished!

Who now can explain the difference between the Agenorian, the Eratoclean, the Epigonian, and the Damonian sects of musicians, or knows any thing more than the names of their respective founders, except that one of them was Socrates's music-master?

What Roman of the age of Horace would have believed that a contemporaneous Consul's name should only live to posterity, as a record of the date of some one of the Poet's odes?

Who now remembers that memorable Mr. Clinch, “whose single voice, as he had learned to manage it, could admirably represent a number of persons at sport, and in hunting, and the very dogs and other animals,”—himself a whole pack and a whole field in full cry: “but none better than a quire of choristers chanting an Anthem”—himself a whole quire.

“How subdued,” says Mr. David Laing, who has rescued from oblivion so much that is worthy of being held in remembrance,—“how subdued is the interest that attaches to a mere name, as for instance, to that of Dunbar's contemporaries, Stobo, Quintyne, or St. John the Ross, whose works have perished!”

Who was that famous singer nick-named Bonny Boots, who, because of his excellent voice, or as Sir John Hawkins says, “for some other reason, had permission to call Queen Elizabeth his Lady:” and of whom it is said in the canzonet,

Our Bonny Boots could toot it,
Yea and foot it,
Say lusty lads, who now shall Bonny-Boot it?

Sir John thinks it might “possibly be one Mr. Hale.” But what is Fame when it ends in a poor possibility that Bonny Boots who called the Queen his Lady, and that Queen, not Bergami's popular Queen, but Queen Elizabeth, the nation's glorious Queen Elizabeth, the people's good Queen Bess,—what, I repeat, is Fame, when it ends in a mere conjecture that the Bonny Boots who was permitted to call such a Queen his Lady, might be “one Hale or Hales in whose voice she took some pleasure.” Well might Southey say

Fame's loudest blast upon the ear of Time
Leaves but a dying echo!

And what would posterity have heard of my Dove, my Daniel, my Doctor,—my Doctor Daniel Dove,—had it not been for these my patient and humble labours;—patient, but all too slow; humble, if compared with what the subject deserves, and yet ambitious, in contemplation of that desert, that inadequate as they are, they will however make the subject known; so that my Dove, my Daniel, my Doctor, shall be every-body's Dove, every-body's Daniel, every-body's Doctor,—yea the World's Doctor, the World's Doctor Daniel Dove!

O his desert speaks loud; and I should wrong it,
To lock it in the wards of covert bosom,
When it deserves with characters of brass
A forted residence, 'gainst the tooth of time
And razure of oblivion.2


Alas that there should have been in that generation but one Boswell. Why did Nature break his mould? Why did she not make two? for I would not have had Johnson deprived of what may almost be called his better part;—but why were there not two Boswells, as there are two Dromios in the Comedy of Errors, and two Mr. Bulwers at this day, and three Hunchbacks in the Arabian Tale. Why was there not a duplicate Boswell, a fac-simile of the Laird of Auchinleck, an undistinguishable twin-brother, to have lived at Doncaster, and have followed my Doctor, like his dog, or his shadow, or St. Anthony's pig, and have gathered up the fragments of his wit and his wisdom, so that nothing should have been lost? Sinner that I am, that I should have had so little forethought in the golden days of youth and opportunity! As Brantôme says when speaking of Montluc, j'etois fort souvent avec luy, et m'aymoit fort, et prenoit grand plaisir quand je le mettois en propos et en train et luy faisois quelques demandes,—car je ne suis jamais esté si jeune, que je n'aye tousjours esté fort curieux d'apprendre; et luy, me voyant en cette volonte, il me respondoit de bon cœur, et en beaux termes; car il avoit une fort belle eloquence. Truly therefore may I say of thee, O my friend and master!

——s'alcun bel frutto
Nasce di me, da voi vien prima il seme.
Io per me son quasi un terreno asciutto
Colto da voi, e'l pregio è vostro in tutto.


Sinner that I was! not to have treasured up all his words when I enjoyed and delighted in his presence; improvident wretch! that I did not faithfully record them every night before I went to bed, while they were yet fresh in memory! How many things would I fain recall, which are now irrecoverably lost! How much is there, that if it were possible to call back the days that are past, I would eagerly ask and learn! But the hand of Time is on me. Non solebat mihi tam velox tempus videri; nunc incredibilis cursus apparet: sive quia admoveri lineas sentio, sive quia attendere cœpi et computare damnum meum.4 I linger over these precious pages while I write, pausing and pondering in the hope that more recollections may be awakened from their long sleep; that one may jog and stir up another. By thus rummaging in the stores of memory many things which had long been buried there have been brought to light;—but O reader! how little is this all to what it might have been! It is but as a poor armful of gleanings compared to a waggon well piled with full sheaves, carrying the harvest home.


Here too I may apply with the alteration of only one word what that good man Gotthilf Franck says in his Preface to the History of the Danish Mission in India, as translated into Latin from Niecamp's German Work. Quamquam vero huic æquo desiderio gratificandi animum tanto promptiorem gessimus, quanto plus ad illustrationem nominis dilecti ex tali compendio redundaturum esse perspeximus, multa tamen impedimenta in dies subnata sunt, quo minus res in effectum dari potuerit. Siquidem ad ejusmodi epitomen accurate conscribendum et res præcipuas breviter complectendas non solum multum temporis, patientiæ et laboris, sed singularis etiam epitomatoris ἱκανοτης et dexteritas requiritur.

The Doctor himself was careless of Fame. As he did nothing to be seen of men, so he took no thought for anything through which he might be remembered by them. It was enough for him if his jests and whims and fancies and speculations, whether sportive or serious, pleased himself, brought a smile to his wife's lips and a dimple to her cheek, or a good-humoured frown which was hardly less agreeable, to her brow;—it was enough for him if they amused or astonished those to whom they were addressed. Something he had for every one within the sphere of his little rounds; a quip for this person and a crank for that; “nods and becks and wreathed smiles” for those who were in the May-day of youth, or the hey-day of hilarity and welfare; a moral saying in its place and a grave word in season; wise counsel kindly given for those who needed it, and kind words for all,—with which kind actions always kept pace, instead of limping slowly and ungraciously behind. But of the world beyond that circle, he thought as little as that world thought of him; nor had he the slightest wish for its applause. The passion which has been called “the last infirmity of noble minds” had no place in his;—for he was a man in quo, as Erasmus says of his Tutor Hegius, unum illud vel Momus ipse calumniari fortasse potuisset, quod famæ plus æquo negligens, nullam posteritatis haberet rationem.



Duc, Fama,—
Duc me insolenti tramite; devius
Tentabo inaccessos profanis
Invidiæ pedibus recessus.


Guess, Reader, where I once saw a full-sized figure of Fame, erect, tip-toe in the act of springing to take flight and soar aloft, her neck extended, her head raised, the trumpet at her lips, and her cheeks inflated, as if about to send forth a blast which the whole city of London was to hear? Perhaps thou mayest have seen this very figure thyself, and surely if thou hast, thou wilt not have forgotten it. It was in the Borough Road, placed above a shop-board which announced that Mr. Somebody fitted up Water-Closets upon a new and improved principle.

But it would be well for mankind if Fame were never employed in trumpeting any thing worse. There is a certain stage of depravity, in which men derive an unnatural satisfaction from the notoriety of their wickedness, and seek for celebrity “ob magnitudinem infamiæ, cujus apud prodigos novissima voluptas est.1—“Ils veulent faire parler d'eux,” says Bayle, “et leur vanité ne seroit pas satisfaite s'il n'y avoit quelque chose de superlatif et d'eminent dans leur mauvaise reputation. Le plus haul degré de l'infamie est le but de leurs souhaits, et il y a des choses qu'ils ne feroient pas si elles n'etoient extraordinairement odieuses.


Plutarch has preserved the name of Chærephanes who was notorious among the ancients for having painted such subjects as Julio Romano has the everlasting infamy of having designed for the flagitious Aretine. He has also transmitted to posterity the name of Parmeno, famous for grunting like a pig, and of Theodorus, not less famous for the more difficult accomplishment of mimicking the sound of a creaking cart-wheel. Who would wish to have his name preserved for his beggarliness, like Pauson the painter, and Codrus the poet? Or for his rascality and wickedness like Phrynondas? Or like Callianax the physician for callous brutality? Our Doctor used to instance these examples when he talked of “the bubble reputation,” which is sometimes to be had so cheaply, and yet for which so dear a price has often been paid in vain. It amused him to think by what odd, or pitiful accidents that bubble might be raised. “Whether the regular practitioner may sneer at Mr. Ching,” says the Historian of Cornwall, “I know not; but the Patent Worm-Lozenges have gained our Launceston Apothecary a large fortune, and secured to him perpetual fame.”

Would not John Dory's name have died with him, and so been long ago dead as a door-nail, if a grotesque likeness for him had not been discovered in the Fish, which being called after him, has immortalized him and his ugliness? But if John Dory could have anticipated this sort of immortality when he saw his own face in the glass, he might very well have “blushed to find it fame.” There would have been no other memorial of Richard Jaquett at this day, than the letters of his name in an old deed and obsolete hand, now well nigh rendered illegible by time, if he had not in the reign of Edward VI. been Lord of the Manor of Tyburn with its appurtenances, wherein the gallows was included, wherefore from the said Jaquett it is presumed by antiquaries that the hangman hath been ever since corruptly called Jack Ketch. A certain William Dowsing who during the Great Rebellion was one of the Parliamentary Visitors for demolishing superstitious pictures and ornaments of Churches, is supposed by a learned critic to have given rise to an expression in common use among school-boys and blackguards. For this worshipful Commissioner broke so many “mighty great Angels” in glass, knocked so many Apostles and Cherubims to pieces, demolished so many pictures and stone-crosses, and boasted with such puritanical rancour of what he had done, that it is conjectured the threat of giving any one a dowsing, preserves his rascally name. So too while Bracton and Fleta rest on the shelves of some public Library, Nokes and Stiles are living names in the Courts of Law: and for John Doe and Richard Roe, were there ever two litigious fellows so universally known as these eternal antagonists!

Johnson tells a story of a man who was standing in an inn kitchen with his back to the fire, and thus accosted a traveller who stood next him, “Do you know Sir, who I am?” “No Sir,” replied the traveller—“I have not that advantage.” “Sir,” said the man, “I am the great Twalmley who invented the new Flood-gate Iron.”—Who but for Johnson would have heard of the great Twalmley now? Reader I will answer the question which thou hast already asked, and tell thee that his invention consisted in applying a sliding door, like a flood-gate, to an ironing-box, flat-irons having till then been used, or box-irons with a door and bolt.

Who was Tom Long the Carrier? when did he flourish? what road did he travel? did he drive carts, or waggons, or was it in the age of pack-horses? Who was Jack Robinson? not the once well known Jack Robinson of the Treasury, (for his celebrity is now like a tale that is told,) but the one whose name is in every body's mouth, because it is so easily and so soon said. Who was Magg? and what was his diversion? was it brutal, or merely boorish? the boisterous exuberance of rude and unruly mirth, or the gratification of a tyrannical temper and a cruel disposition? Who was Crop the Conjuror, famous in trivial speech, as Merlin in romantic lore, or Doctor Faustus in the school of German extravagance? What is remembered now of Bully Dawson? all I have read of him is, that he lived three weeks on the credit of a brass shilling because nobody would take it of him. “There goes a story of Queen Elizabeth,” says Ray, “that being presented with a Collection of English Proverbs, and told by the Author that it contained them all, ‘Nay,’ replied she, ‘Bate me an ace, quoth Bolton!’ which proverb being instantly looked for, happened to be wanting in his collection.” “Who this Bolton was,” Ray says, “I know not, neither is it worth enquiring.” Nevertheless I ask who was Bolton? and when Echo answers “who?” say in my heart Vanitas Vanitatum, omnia Vanitas. And having said this, conscience smites me with the recollection of what Pascal has said, Ceux qui écrivent contre la gloire, veulent avoir la gloire d'avoir bien écrit; et ceux qui le lisent, voulent avoir la gloire de l'avoir lu; et moi qui écris ceci, j'ai peut-être cette envie, et peut-être que ceux qui le liront, l'auront aussi.

Who was old Ross of Pottern, who lived till all the world was weary of him? all the world has forgotten him now. Who was Jack Raker, once so well known that he was named proverbially as a scape-grace by Skelton, and in the Ralph Roister Doister of Nicholas Udall,—that Udall, who on poor Tom Tusser's account, ought always to be called the bloody schoolmaster? Who was William Dickins, whose wooden dishes were sold so badly that when any one lost by the sale of his wares, the said Dickins and his dishes, were brought up in scornful comparison? Out-roaring Dick was a strolling singer of such repute that he got twenty shillings a day by singing at Braintree Fair: but who was that Desperate Dick that was such a terrible cutter at a chine of beef, and devoured more meat at ordinaries in discoursing of his frays and deep acting of his flashing and hewing, than would serve half a dozen brewers' draymen? It is at this day doubtful whether it was Jack Drum or Tom Drum whose mode of entertainment no one wishes to receive;—for it was to haul a man in by the head and thrust him out by the neck and shoulders. Who was that other Dick who wore so queer a hat-band that it has ever since served as a standing comparison for all queer things? By what name besides Richard was he known? Where did he live and when? His birth, parentage, education, life, character and behaviour, who can tell? Nothing, said the Doctor, is remembered of him now, except that he was familiarly called Dick, and that his queer hat-band, went nine times round and would not tie.

“O vain World's glory, and unstedfast state
Of all that lives on face of sinful earth!”2

Who was Betty Martin, and wherefore should she so often be mentioned in connection with my precious eye or yours? Who was Ludlam whose dog was so lazy that he leant his head against a wall to bark? And who was Old Cole whose dog was so proud that he took the wall of a dung-cart and got squeezed to death by the wheel? Was he the same person of whom the song says

Old King Cole
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he?

And was his dog proud because his master was called King? Here are questions to be proposed in the Examination papers of some Australian Cambridge, two thousand years hence, when the people of that part of the world shall be as reasonably inquisitive concerning our affairs, as we are now concerning those of the Greeks. But the Burneys, the Parrs and the Porsons, the Elmsleys, Monks and Blomfields of that age, will puzzle over them in vain, for we cannot answer them now.


“Who was the Vicar of Bray? I have had a long chase after him,” said Mr. Brome to Mr. Rawlins, in 1735. “Simon Aleyn, or Allen, was his name; he was Vicar of Bray about 1540 and died in 1588; so he held the living near fifty years. You now partake of the sport that has cost me some pains to take. And if the pursuit after such game seems mean, one Mr. Vernon followed a butterfly nine miles before he could catch him.” Reader, do not refuse your belief of this fact, when I can state to you on my own recollection that the late Dr. Shaw, the celebrated Naturalist, a librarian of the British Museum and known by the name of the learned Shavius, from the facility and abundance of his Latin compositions, pointed out to my notice there many years ago two volumes written by a Dutchman upon the wings of a butterfly. “The dissertation is rather voluminous Sir, perhaps you will think,” said the Doctor, with somewhat of that apologetic air, which modest science is wont occasionally to assume in her communications with ignorance, “but it is immensely important.” Good natured, excellent enthusiast! fully didst thou appreciate the Book, the Dutchman, and above all the Butterfly.

“I have known a great man,” says Taylor the Water-Poet, “very expert on the Jews-harp; a rich heir excellent at Noddy; a Justice of the Peace skilful at Quoytes; a Merchant's Wife a quick gamester at Irish, especially when she came to bearing of men, that she would seldom miss entering.” Injurious John Taylor! thus to defraud thy friends of their fame, and leave in irremediable oblivion the proper name of that expert Jews-Harper, that person excellent at Noddy, that great Quoytes-man, and that Mistress who played so masterly a game at Irish!—But I thank thee for this, good John the Water-Poet; thou hast told us that Monsieur La Ferr, a Frenchman, was the first inventor of the admirable game of Double-hand, Hot co*ckles, &c., and that Gregory Dawson, an Englishman, devised the unmatchable mystery of Blind-man's-buff. But who can tell me what the game of Carps was, the Ludus Carparum, which Hearne says was used in Oxford much, and being joined with cards, and reckoned as a kind of alea, is prohibited in some statutes. When Thomas Hearne, who learned whatever Time forgot, was uncertain what game or play it really was, and could only conjecture that perhaps it might be a sort of Back-gammon, what antiquary can hope to ascertain it?

“Elizabeth Canning, Mary Squires the Gipsey, and Miss Blandy,” says one who remembered their days of celebrity, “were such universal topics in 1752, that you would have supposed it the business of mankind to talk only of them; yet now, in 1790, ask a young man of twenty-five or thirty a question relative to these extraordinary personages, and he will be puzzled to answer.”

Who now knows the steps of that dance, or has heard the name of its author, of which in our father's days it was said in verse that

Isaac's rigadoon shall live as long
As Rafael's painting, or as Virgil's song.

Nay, who reads the poem wherein those lines are found, though the author predicted for them in self-applauding pleasantry, that

Whilst birds in air, or fish in streams we find,
Or damsels fresh with aged partners join'd,
As long as nymphs shall with attentive ear
A fiddle rather than a sermon hear,
So long the brightest eyes shall oft peruse
These useful lines of my instructive muse.

Even of the most useful of those lines, the “uses are gone by.” Ladies before they leave the ball room, are now no longer fortified against the sudden change of temperature by a cup of generous white wine mulled with ginger; nor is it necessary now to caution them at such times against a draught of cold small beer, because as the Poet in his own experience assured them

Destruction lurks within the poisonous dose,
A fatal fever, or a pimpled nose.3




——Te sonare quis mihi
Genîque vim dabit tui?
Stylo quis æquor hocce arare charteum,
Et arva per papyrina
Satu loquace seminare literas?


That dwelling house which the reader may find represented in Miller's History of Doncaster, as it was in his time, and in the Doctor's, and in mine,—that house in which the paper-hangers and painters were employed during the parenthesis, or to use a more historical term, the Interim of this part of our history,—that house which when, after an interval of many years, I saw it last, had the name R. Dennison on the door, is now, the Sheffield Mercury tells me, occupied as Mr. Baxter's Offices. I mean no disrespect to Mr. R. Dennison. I mean no disrespect to Mr. Baxter. I know nothing of these gentlemen, except that in 1830 the one had his dwelling there, and in 1836 the other his offices. But for the house itself, which can now be ascertained only by its site, totally altered as it is in structure and appearance, without and within,—when I think of it I cannot but exclaim, in what Wordsworth would call “that inward voice” with which we speak to ourselves in solitude, “If thou be'est it,” with reference to that alteration,—and with reference to its change of tenants and present appropriation I cannot but carry on the verse, and say—“but oh how fallen, how changed!”

In that house Peter Hopkins had entertained his old friend Guy; and the elder Daniel once, upon an often pressed and special invitation, had taken the longest journey he ever performed in his life, to pass a week there. For many years Mr. Allison and Mr. Bacon made it their house of call whenever they went to Doncaster. In that house Miller introduced Herschel to Dr. Dove; and Mason when he was Mr. Copley's guest never failed to call there, and enquire of the Doctor what books he had added to his stores,—for to have an opportunity of conversing with him was one of the pleasures which Mason looked for in his visits at Netherhall.

Miller disliked Mason: described him as sullen, reserved, capricious and unamiable; and this which he declared to be “the real character of this celebrated poet,” he inserted, he said, “as a lesson to mankind, to shew them what little judgement can be formed of the heart of an author, either by the sublimity of his conceptions, the beauty of his descriptions, or the purity of his sentiments.”

Often as Miller was in company with Mason, there are conclusive proofs that the knowledge which he attained of Mason's character, was as superficial as the poet's knowledge of music, for which as has heretofore been intimated, the Organist regarded him with some contempt.

He says that the reason which Mason assigned for making an offer to the lady whom he married, was, that he had been a whole evening in her company with others, and observed, that during all that time she never spoke a single word. Mason is very likely to have said this; but the person who could suppose that he said it in strict and serious sincerity, meaning that it should be believed to the letter, must have been quite incapable of appreciating the character of the speaker.

Mason whom Gray described, a little before this offer, as repining at his four and twenty weeks residence at York, and longing for the flesh-pots and coffee-houses of Cambridge, was notwithstanding in his friend and fellow-poet's phrase, a long while mariturient, “and praying to heaven to give him a good and gentle governess.” “No man,” says Gray, “wants such a thing more in all senses; but his greatest wants do not make him move a foot faster, nor has he, properly speaking, any thing one can call a passion about him, except a little malice and revenge.” Elsewhere he speaks of Mason's “insatiable repining mouth.” Yet there was no malice in these expressions. Gray loved him, taking him for all in all, and to have been the friend of Gray will always be considered as evidence of no ordinary worth; for it is not on intellect alone that the friendship of so good and wise a man as Gray could be founded.

When Gray first became acquainted with Mason he wrote concerning him thus. “He has much fancy, little judgement, and a good deal of modesty. I take him for a good and well-meaning creature; but then he is really in simplicity a child, and loves every body he meets with: he reads little or nothing, writes abundance, and that with a design to make his fortune by it.” In another letter “Mason grows apace in my good graces; he is very ingenious, with great good-nature and simplicity; a little vain, but in so harmless and so comical a way that it does not offend one at all; a little ambitious, but withal so ignorant in the world and its ways, that this does not hurt him in one's opinion. So sincere and so undisguised, that no mind with a spark of generosity would ever think of hurting him, he lies so open to injury; but so indolent that if he cannot overcome this habit, all his good qualities will signify nothing at all.”

This surely is the character of an amiable and very likeable man. Mason said when he printed it, “my friends, I am sure will be much amused at this; my enemies (if they please) may sneer at it, and say (which they will very truly,) that twenty-five years have made a very considerable abatement in my general philanthropy. Men of the world will not blame me for writing from so prudent a motive, as that of making my fortune by it; and yet the truth I believe, at the time was, that I was perfectly well satisfied if my publications furnished me with a few guineas to see a Play, or an Opera.”

During the short time that his wife lived after his marriage, Miller observed that he appeared more animated and agreeable in his conversation, that is to say, he was cheerful because he was happy. After her death (and who has ever perused her epitaph without emotion?) he relapsed into a discontented habit of mind, as might be expected from one who had remained unmarried too long, and who although he might be said in the worldly sense of the word to have been a fortunate man, was never, except during the short duration of his marriage, a happy one. He had no near relations, none to whom he was in any degree attached; and in Gray he lost the most intimate of his friends, probably the only one towards whom he ever felt anything approaching to a warmth of friendship. This produced a most uncomfortable effect upon him in the decline of life; for knowing that he was looked upon as one who had wealth to leave for which there were no near or natural claimants, he suspected that any marks of attention which were shewn him, whether from kindness or from respect, proceeded from selfish views. That in many cases such suspicions may be well-founded, any one who knows what the world is, will readily believe; and if they made him capricious, and rendered him liable to be accused of injustice and want of feeling, the effect is not so extraordinary as it is pitiable. It is one of the evils attendant upon the possession of riches where there is no certain heir; it is part of the punishment which those persons bring upon themselves who accumulate unnecessary wealth, without any just or definite object.

But Mason is chargeable with no such sin. When a young man he made a resolution that if he came into possession of an estate which was entailed upon him, he would accept of no additional preferment; and he adhered to that resolution, though many offers were made to him which might have induced a worldly man to depart from it. The first thing he did after the inheritance fell to him was to resign his King's Chaplainship: “a priest in that situation,” he said, “could not help looking forward to a bishoprick, a species of ambition incompatible with the simplicity and purity of the Christian character, for, the moment a man aspires to the purple that moment virtue goes out of him.” Mr. Greville who after a visit to Mason, related this in a letter to his friend Polwhele, was informed that his income was about £1500 a-year, and that of this one third was appropriated to patronage and charity.

He had made another resolution, which was not kept, because it was not reasonable. When the Earl of Holdernesse offered him the Rectory of Aston, he was not in orders, and he called upon Warburton to ask his advice. “I found him,” says Warburton, “yet unresolved whether he should take the Living. I said, was the question about a mere secular employment, I should blame him without reserve if he refused the offer. But as I regarded going into orders in another light, I frankly owned to him he ought not to go, unless he had a call: by which I meant, I told him, nothing fanatical or superstitious; but an inclination, and, on that, a resolution, to dedicate all his studies to the service of religion, and totally to abandon his poetry. This sacrifice, I said, I thought was required at any time, but more indispensably so in this, when we are fighting with infidelity pro aris et focis. This was what I said; and I will do him the justice to say, that he entirely agreed with me in thinking that decency, reputation, and religion, all required this sacrifice of him; and that, if he went into orders, he intended to give it.” “How much shall I honour him,” says Warburton in another letter, “if he performs his promise to me of putting away those idle baggages after his sacred espousals!” This unwise promise explains Mason's long silence as a poet, and may partly account for his uncomfortable state of mind as long as he considered himself bound by it.

There were other circ*mstances about him which were unfavourable to happiness; he seems never to have been of a cheerful, because never of a hopeful temper; otherwise Gray would not have spoken of his “insatiable repining mouth,”—the lively expression of one who clearly perceived his constitutional faults, and yet loved him, as he deserved to be loved, in spite of them. The degree of malice also, which Gray noticed as the strongest passion in his nature, is to be reckoned among those circ*mstances. By far the most popular of his compositions were those well known satires which he never owned, and which professional critics with their usual lack of acumen, pronounced not to be his because of their sarcastic humour and the strength of their language. He had a great deal of that sarcastic humour, and this it was which Gray called malice; in truth it partakes of maliciousness, and a man is the worse for indulging it, if he ever allows himself to give it a personal direction, except in cases where strong provocation may warrant and strict justice require it. That these satires were written by Mason will appear upon the most indisputable proof whenever his letters shall be published; and it is earnestly hoped those letters may not be allowed to perish, for in them and in them only will the character of the writer appear in its natural lights and shades.

Mason would not (especially after their signal success,) have refrained from acknowledging these satires, which are the most vigorous of his compositions, unless he had been conscious that the turn of mind they indicated was not that which ought to be found in a member of his profession. And it can only have been the same feeling which induced the Editor to withhold them from the only collective edition of his works. That edition was delayed till fourteen years after his death, and then appeared without any memoir of the author, or any the slightest prefatory mark of respect: it seems therefore that he had left none by whom his memory was cherished. But though this may have been in some degree his fault, it was probably in a far greater degree his misfortune.

Mason had obtained preferment for his literary deserts, and in such just measure as to satisfy himself, and those also who would wish that ecclesiastical preferment were always so properly bestowed. But he was not satisfied with his literary fame. Others passed him upon the stream of popularity with all their sails set, full speed before the wind, while he lay quietly upon his oars in a pleasant creek; and he did not sufficiently bear in mind that he was safe at his ease, when some of those who so triumphantly left him behind were upset and went to the bottom. He had done enough to secure for himself a respectable place among the poets of his country, and a distinguished one among those of his age. But more through indolence than from any deficiency or decay of power, he had fallen short of the promise of his youth, and of his own early aspirations. Discontent, especially when mingled with self-reproach, is an uneasy feeling, and like many others he appears to have sought relief by projecting it, and transferring as much of it as he could upon the world. He became an acrimonious whig, and took an active part in the factious measures by which Yorkshire was agitated about the close of the American war. Gray if he had been then living might perhaps have been able to have rendered him more temperate and more reasonable in his political views; certainly he would have prevailed upon him not to write, or having written not to publish or preserve, the last book of his English Garden, which is in every respect miserably bad; bad in taste as recommending sham castles and modern ruins; bad in morals, as endeavouring to serve a political cause and excite indignation against the measures of Government by a fictitious story, (which if it had been true could have had no bearing whatever upon the justice or injustice of the American war;) and bad in poetry because the story is in itself absurd. Not the least absurd part of this puerile tale is the sudden death of the heroine, at the unexpected sight of her betrothed husband, whom she was neither glad nor sorry to see; and the description of the facies Hippocratica is applied to this person, thus dying in health, youth and beauty! Dr. Dove used to instance this as a remarkable example of knowledge ignorantly misapplied.

Yet though the Doctor did not rank him higher as a physiologist than Miller did as a musician, or than Sir Joshua must have done as a painter, he found more pleasure than the organist could do in his conversation; partly because there was an air of patronage in Mason's intercourse with Miller at first, and afterwards an air of estrangement, (a sufficient reason;) and partly because Mason was more capable of enjoying the richness of the Doctor's mind, and such of its eccentricities as were allowed to appear in company where he was not wholly without reserve, than he was of appreciating the simplicity of Miller's. That vein of humour which he indulged in his correspondence opened when he was conversing with one, like the Doctor, upon whom nothing was lost; at such times the heavy saturnine character of Mason's countenance, which might almost be called morose, seemed to be cast off; and pleasantry and good-nature animated its intellectual strength. But according to Polwhele's friend, there was a “sedate benignity in his countenance, which taught me,” says Mr. Greville, “instantaneously to rely on him as a man the leading traits of whose disposition were feeling and reflection. This immediate impression of his character I found afterwards to be strictly just. I never yet met with a human being whose head and heart appear to act and re-act so reciprocally, so concordantly upon each other as his.—In his style of conversation, you can trace nothing of the vis vivida of the poet. Here his inventive powers apparently lie dormant. Those flashes of genius, those intellectual emanations which we are taught to believe great men cannot help darting forward in order to lighten up the gloom of colloquial communication, he seems to consider as affected; he therefore rejects them whenever they occur, and appears to pride himself on the preference which he gives to simplicity and perspicuity. Conversation (if you will excuse a pedantic allusion,) with him resembles the style of painting mentioned in the earlier part of the Athenian History, which consisted in representing the artist's ideas in a simple unaffected point of view, through the medium of one colour only; whereas his writings are like the pictures of Polygnotus. They glow with all the warmth of an invigorated imagination, an animated diction, and a rich luxuriant phraseology.

“His manners, too, are equally as chaste and unaffected as his conversation. The stream that winds its easy way through woods and verdant meads, is not less artificial or more insinuating than he is in doing the honours of the table, or promoting the graces of the drawing room. That peculiar happiness which some few I have met with possess, of reconciling you implicitly to their superiority, he enjoys in an eminent degree, by the amiability of his sentiments, the benignity of his attention, and particularly by an indescribable way with him, of making you appear to advantage, even when he convinces you of the erroneousness of your opinions, or the inconclusiveness of your reasoning.

“In regard to his morals, I believe from what I have collected, that few can look back upon a period of sixty years existence, spent so uniformly pure and correct. In the course of our chit chat, he informed me, in an unostentatious unaffected manner, that he never was intoxicated but once.”

There was another point of resemblance, besides their vein of humour, between Mason and the Doctor, in their latter days; they were nearly of the same age, and time had brought with it to both the same sober, contemplative, deep feeling of the realities of religion.

The French Revolution cured Mason of his whiggery, and he had the manliness to sing his palinode. The fearful prevalence of a false and impious philosophy made him more and more sensible of the inestimable importance of his faith. On his three last birth-days he composed three sonnets, which for their sentiment and their beauty ought to be inserted in every volume of select poems for popular use. And he left for posthumous publication a poem called RELIGIO CLERICI: as a whole it is very inferior to that spirited satire of Smedley's which bears the same title, and which is the best satire of its age; but its concluding paragraph will leave the reader with a just and very favourable impression of the poet and the man.

This humble offering to thy equal shrine
Here thy unworthy servant grateful pays,
Of undivided thanks, united praise,
For all those mercies which at birth began,
And ceaseless flow'd thro' life's long-lengthened span,
Propt my frail frame thro' all the varied scene,
With health enough for many a day serene;
Enough of science clearly to discern
How few important truths the wisest learn;
Enough of arts ingenuous to employ
The vacant hours, when graver studies cloy;
Enough of wealth to serve each honest end,
The poor to succour, or assist a friend;
Enough of faith in Scripture to descry,
That the sure hope of immortality,
Which only can the fear of death remove,
Flows from the fountain of REDEEMING LOVE.

One who visited York a few years after the death of the Poet, says, “the Verger who showed us the Minster upon my inquiring of him concerning Mason, began an encomium upon him in an humble way indeed, but more honourable than all the factitious praises of learned ostentation; his countenance brightened up when I asked him the question; his very looks told me that Mason's charities did not evaporate in effusions of sensibility; I learned that he was humble, mild, and generous; the father of his family; the delight of all that came within the sphere of his notice. Then he was so good in his parish. My soul contemplates, with fond exultation, the picture of a man, endowed with genius, wit and every talent to please the great, but suâ se virtute involventem, resigning himself with complacency to the humble duties of a country pastor,—turning select Psalms into Verse to be sung in his Church; simplifying and arranging, and directing to the purposes of devotion his church music; and performing his duties as a minister with meekness, perseverance, and brotherly love.”

Enough has now been adduced to vindicate Mason's character from Miller's aspersion. They who desire to see his merits as a poet appreciated with great ability and equal justice should peruse his life in Hartley Coleridge's Boreal Biography,—what a boisterous title for a book in which there is not one blustering sentence, and so many sweet strains of feeling and of thought!



Quam multæ pecudes humano in corpore vivunt!

Like Mason, Dr. Dove looked to the future in that sure and certain hope without which the present would be intolerable to a thinking mind and feeling heart. But in his speculations he looked to the past also.

Watson Bishop of Llandaff amused himself with asking from whom his mind descended? where it existed before he was born? and who he should have been if he had not been Richard Watson? “The Bishop was a philosopher,” says Dr. Jarrold, “and ought not to have asked such idle questions.”

My Doctor would not have agreed with Dr. Jarrold in this opinion. Who the Bishop might have been if he had not been the discontented hero of his own auto-biography, he could not indeed have pretended to divine; but what he was before he was Richard Watson, where his mind had existed before he was born, and from whom, or rather from what, it had been transmitted, were questions which according to his notions, might admit of a probable solution.

It will not surprise the judicious reader to be told that the Doctor was a professed physiognomist, though Lavater had not in those days made it fashionable to talk of physiognomy as a science. Baptista Porta led him to consider the subject; and the coarse wood-cuts of a bungling Italian elucidated the system as effectually as has since been done by Mr. Holloway's graver. But Dr. Dove carried it farther than the Swiss enthusiast after, or the Neapolitan physician before him. Conceiving in a deeper sense than Lebrun, que chacun avait sa bête dans la figure, he insisted that the strong animal likenesses which are often so distinctly to be traced in men, and the correspondent propensities wherewith they are frequently accompanied, are evidence of our having pre-existed in an inferior state of being. And he deduced from it a theory, or notion as he modestly called it, which he would have firmly believed to be a part of the patriarchal faith, if he had known how much it resembled the doctrine of the Druids.

His notion was that the Archeus, or living principle, acquires that perfect wisdom with which it acts, by passing through a long progression in the lower world, before it becomes capable of being united to a rational and immortal soul in the human body. He even persuaded himself that he could discover in particular individuals indications of the line by which their Archeus had travelled through the vegetable and animal kingdoms.

There was a little pragmatical exciseman, with a hungry face, sharp nose, red eyes, and thin, coarse, straggling hair of a yellow cast, (what was formerly called Judas-colour,) whom he pronounced to have been a ferret in his last stage. “Depend upon it,” he said, “no rat will come under the roof where he resides!” And he was particularly careful when they met in the open air always to take the wind of him.

One lawyer, a man of ability and fair character, but ready to avail himself of every advantage which his profession afforded, he traced from a bramble into a wasp, thence into a butcher-bird, and lastly into a fox, the vulpine character being manifestly retained in his countenance. There was another, who from sweeping his master's office and blacking his shoes, had risen to be the most noted pettifogger in those parts. This fellow was his peculiar abhorrence; his living principle, he affirmed, could never have existed in any other form than that of a nuisance; and accordingly he made out his genealogy thus:—a stinker (which is the trivial name of the phallus impudicus,) a London bug, an ear-wig, a pole-cat,—and, still worsening as he went on, a knavish attorney.

He convicted an old Major in the West York Militia of having been a turkey co*ck; and all who knew the Major were satisfied of the likeness, whatever they might be of the theory.

One of the neighbouring justices was a large, square-built, heavy person, with a huge head, a wide mouth, little eyes, and a slender proportion of intellect. Him he set down for a hippopotamus.

A brother magistrate of the Major's had been a goose, beyond all dispute. There was even proof of the fact; for it was perfectly well remembered that he had been born web-fingered.

All those persons who habitually sit up till night is far spent, and as regularly pass the best hours of the morning in bed, he supposed to have been bats, night-birds, night-prowling beasts, and insects whose portion of active life has been assigned to them during the hours of darkness. One indication of this was, that candle-light could not have such attractions for them unless they had been moths.

The dog was frequently detected in all its varieties, from the lap-dog, who had passed into the whipper-snapper petit-maître, and the turnspit, who was now the bandy-legged baker's boy,—to the Squire's eldest son, who had been a lurcher,—the Butcher, who had been a bulldog, and so continued still in the same line of life;—Lord A——'s domestic chaplain, harmless, good-natured, sleek, obsequious, and as fond of ease, indulgence and the fire-side, as when he had been a parlour spaniel; Sir William B——'s huntsman, who exercised now the whip which he had felt when last upon four legs, and who was still an ugly hound, though staunch; and the Doctor's own man, Barnaby, whom, for steadiness, fidelity and courage, he pronounced to have been a true old English mastiff, and one of the best of his kind.

Chloris had been a lily. You saw it in the sickly delicacy of her complexion. Moreover she toiled not, neither did she spin.

A young lady, in whose family he was perfectly familiar, had the singular habit of sitting always upon one or other foot, which as she sat down she conveyed so dexterously into the seat of her chair, that no one who was not previously acquainted with her ways, could possibly perceive the movement. Upon her mother's observing one day that this was a most unaccountable peculiarity, the Doctor replied, “No, madam! I can account for it to my own entire satisfaction. Your daughter was a bird of some gentle and beautiful species, in her last stage of existence; in that state she used always to draw up one leg when at rest. The habits that we acquire in our pre-existent state, continue with us through many stages of our progress; your daughter will be an Angel in her next promotion, and then, if Angels close their eyes in slumber, she will sleep with her head under her wing.”

The landlady of the White Lion had been a cabbage, a blue-bottle fly, a tame duck, and a bacon pig.

Who could doubt that Vauban had been an earthworm, a mole and a rabbit? that Euclid acquired the practical knowledge of geometry when he was a spider; and that the first builder of a pyramid imitated unconsciously the proportionately far greater edifices which he had been employed in raising when he was one of a nation of white ants?

Mrs. Dove had been a cowslip, a humble bee, and, lastly, a cushat.

He himself had been a Dove and a Serpent—for “Dan was a Serpent by the way;” and moreover he flattered himself that he had the wisdom of the one, and the simplicity of the other. Of his other stages he was not so certain,—except that he had probably once been an inhabitant of the waters, in the shape of some queer fish.



Thou almost makest me waver in my faith
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men.

Many facts in illustration or exemplification of the Doctor's theory concerning progressive existence must have occurred to every one within the circle of his own observations. One of the scientific persons who abridged the Philosophical Transactions says, he “was acquainted with a medical practitioner of considerable eminence who could not refrain from eating toasted cheese, though he was subject to an alarming pulmonary complaint which was uniformly aggravated by it, and which terminated fatally at an age by no means advanced.” This practitioner, the Doctor would have said, had been either a mouse or a rat, and in that pre-existent form had nibbled at such a bait,—perhaps once too often. This would account for the propensity even if he were not a Welshman to boot.

The same author says “there is now living a physician of my acquaintance who at an autumnal dessert, never ceases eating all the filberts he can lay his hands upon, although he very candidly acknowledges that they are extremely indigestible and hurtful things.” Upon the Doctor's theory, who can doubt that he had been a squirrel?

“I remember,” says a certain Mr. George Garden in a letter written from Aberdeen in 1676, “when Mrs. Scougall and I were with you last summer, we had occasion to speak of a man in this country very remarkable for something peculiar in his temper, that inclines him to imitate unawares all the gestures and motions of those with whom he converses. We then had never seen him ourselves. Since our return we were together at Strathbogie where he dwells, and notwithstanding all we had heard of him before, were somewhat surprized with the oddness of this dotterel quality. This person named Donald Munro, being a little old and very plain man, of a thin slender body, has been subject to this infirmity, as he told us, from his very infancy. He is very loath to have it observed, and therefore casts down his eyes when he walks in the streets, and turns them aside when he is in company. We had made several trials before he perceived our design, and afterwards had much ado to make him stay. We caressed him as much as we could, and had then the opportunity to observe that he imitated not only the scratching of the head, but also the wringing of the hands, wiping of the nose, stretching forth of the arms, &c., and we needed not strain compliments to persuade him to be covered, for he still put off and on as he saw us do, and all this with so much exactness, and yet with such a natural and unaffected air that we could not so much as suspect that he did it on design. When we held both his hands and caused another to make such motions, he pressed to get free; but when we would have known more particularly how he found himself affected, he could only give us this simple answer, that it vexed his heart and his brain.”

The writer of this letter had hit upon the solution of the idiosyncracy which he describes, but had not perceived it. The man had been a dotterel.

“Have we not heard,” said the Doctor, “of persons who have ruminated? Do we not read well authenticated cases of some whose skins were tuberculated? Is it not recorded of Dioscorides, not the botanist but the Alexandrian physician of Cleopatra's time, that he was called Phacas because his body was covered with warts? And where was this so likely to have happened as in Egypt? He had been a crocodile. The cases are more frequent of people who in the scaliness of their skins have borne testimony of their piscine origin.”

Was not Margaret Griffith, wife of David Owen of Llan Gaduain in Montgomeryshire shown in London, because a crooked horn four inches long grew out of the middle of her forehead? “A miraculous and monstrous, but yet most true and certain account” of her, with her rude portrait affixed, was imprinted at London by Thomas Owen, in the year of the Spanish Armada, and sold by Edward White, at the little north door of St. Pauls Church at the Sign of the Gun. And in the British Museum there is not only the picture of another horned woman, Davies by name, who was born at Shotwick in Cheshire, but one of the horns also which she shed.

There was a Mistress Bomby, (not the Mother Bombie of the old play, but a person of our own times,) who having been a schoolmistress till the age of fifty, married at that age, and on the day of her marriage became deranged. She never recovered her reason, but she lived to be fourscore; and in the latter year of her life a crooked horn sprouted from the side of her forehead, and grew to the length of nearly six inches. Another made its appearance, but its growth was stopped. It is to be regretted that the person who recorded this did not say whether the second horn made its appearance on the other side of the forehead, so as to correspond with the former and form a pair.

Blumenbach had three human horns in his collection, all the growth of one woman. She had broken her head by a fall and the first of them grew from the wound; it continued growing for thirty years, till it was about ten inches long, then it dropped off; a second grew from its place, this was short thick and nearly straight, and she shed it in less time; the third was growing when she died, and the Professor had it cut from the corpse. The first was completely twisted like a ram's horn, was round and rough, of a brownish colour, and full half an inch in diameter at the roots. All three appeared to be hollow and were blunt and rounded at the termination. It has been said that all the cases of this kind which have been observed have been in women; the remark whether it were made by Blumenbach, or by the intelligent traveller who describes this part of his collection, would if it were true be unimportant, because of the paucity of cases that have been recorded: but there is a case of a male subject, and it is remarkable for the circ*mstances attending it.

Marshal Laverdin in the year 1599 was hunting in the province of Maine, when his attendants came in sight of a peasant who, instead of waiting to pay his obeisance to their master, fled from them. They pursued and overtook him; and as he did not uncover to salute the Marshal, they plucked off his cap, and discovered that he had a horn growing on his head. François Trouillu was this poor man's name, and he was then aged thirty-four years: the horn began to sprout when he was about seven years old; it was shaped almost like that of a ram, only the flutings were straight instead of spiral, and the end bowed inwards toward the cranium. The fore part of his head was bald, and his beard red and tufted, such as painters bestow upon Satyrs. He had retired to the woods hoping to escape exposure there, and there he wrought in the coal-pits. Marshal Laverdin took possession of him as he would of a wild beast, and sent him as a present to Henry IV; and that King, with even more inhumanity than the Marshal, bestowed him upon somebody who carried him about as a show. Mezeray, who relates this without any comment upon the abominable tyranny of the Marshal and the King, concludes the story by saying “the poor man took it so much to heart to be thus led about like a bear and exposed to the laughter and mockery of his fellow creatures, that he very soon died.”

Blumenbach says “it has been ascertained by chemical analysis that such horns have a greater affinity in their composition with the horns of the rhinoceros than of any other animal.” It may be so; but the short and straight horns were stunted in their growth; their natural tendency was to twist like a sheep's horn;—and the habit of cornification is more likely to have been formed nearer home than in the interior of Africa.

The first rope-dancer, or as Johnson would have called him ‘funambulist,’ the Doctor said, had been a monkey; the first fellow who threw a somerset, a tumbler pigeon.

The Oneirocrites, or Oneirologists, as they who pretended to lay down rules for the interpretation of dreams called themselves, say that if any one dreams he has the head of a horse on his shoulders instead of his own, it betokens poverty and servitude. The Doctor was of opinion that it presaged nothing, but that it bore a retrospective interpretation, being the confused reminiscence of a prior state.

Amateur thieves,—for there are persons who commit petty larcenies with no other motive than the pleasure of stealing,—he supposed to have been tame magpies or jackdaws. And in the vulgar appellation which is sometimes bestowed upon an odious woman, he thought that though there was not more meant than meets the ear, there was more truth conveyed than was intended.

A dramatist of Charles the First's reign, says,

'Tis thought the hairy child that's shown about
Came by the mother's thinking on the picture
Of Saint John Baptist, in his camel's coat.

But for this and other recorded cases of the same kind the Doctor accounted more satisfactorily to himself by his own theory. For though imagination, he said, might explain these perfectly well, (which he fully admitted,) yet it could not explain the horned, nor the tubercular, nor the ruminating cases; nor the case of John Ferguisson, of the parish of Killmelfoord in Argyleshire, who lived eighteen years without taking any other sustenance than water, and must therefore either have been a leech, tortoise, or some other creature capable of being so supported. Nor could any thing so well as his hypothesis explain the cases in which various parts of the human body had been covered with incrustations, which were shed and reproduced in continual succession, a habit retained from some crustaceous stage of existence, and probably acquired in the form of a crab or lobster. Still more remarkable was the case of a German, communicated by Dr. Steyerthall to the Royal Society: this poor man cast his leg by an effort of nature, not by an immediate act of volition as he would have done in his crab or lobster state, for the power had not been retained with the habit, but after long and severe suffering; the limb however at last separated of itself, and the wound healed.

Neither, he said, could imagination explain the marvellous and yet well-attested story of the Danish woman who lay in, like Leda, of two eggs. The neighbours who were called in at the delivery, most improperly broke one and found that it contained a yolk and white, to all appearance as in that of a hen, which it also resembled in size. The other, instead of endeavouring to hatch it, they sent to Olaus Wormius, and it is still to be seen at Copenhagen.

How, he would ask, was the case of Samuel Chilton, near Bath, to be explained, who used to sleep for weeks and months at a time; but as an old habit of hibernation, acting at irregular times, because it was no longer under the direction of a sane instinct. And how that of the idiot at Ostend, who died at last in consequence of his appetite for iron, no fewer than eight and twenty pieces to the amount of nearly three pounds in weight, having been found in his stomach after death. Who but must acknowledge that he had retained this habit from an ostrich?

This poor creature was really ferrivorous. The Doctor though he sometimes pressed into his service a case to which some exceptions might have been taken, would not have classed as a quondam ostrich, the sailor who used to swallow knives for a feat of desperate bravery, and died miserably as might be expected. Nor would he have formed any such conclusion concerning the person of whom Adam Clarke has preserved the following remarkable story, in the words of Dr. Fox who kept a lunatic asylum near Bristol.

“In my visits among my patients, one morning, I went into a room where two, who were acquaintances of each other, were accustomed to live: immediately I entered, I noticed an unusual degree of dejection about one of them, and a feverish kind of excitement in the other. I enquired what was the matter? ‘Matter!’ said the excited one, ‘matter enough! he has done for himself!’—‘Why? what has he done?’—‘Oh he has only swallowed the poker!’ During this short conversation the other looked increasingly mournful; and on my enquiring what was the matter with him, he replied, ‘He has told you true enough; I have swallowed the poker, and do not know what I shall do with it!’ ‘I will tell you how it happened,’ said the first. ‘My friend and I were sitting by the fire talking on different things, when I offered to lay him a wager that he could not eat any of the poker: he said he could and would; took it up, twisted the end of it backward and forward between the bars of the grate, and at last broke off some inches of it, and instantly swallowed it; and he has looked melancholy ever since.’ I did not believe,” said Dr. Fox, “a word of this tale; and I suppose the narrator guessed as much, for he added, ‘O, you can see that it is true, for there is the rest of the poker.’ I went to the grate and examined the poker, which, being an old one, had been much burned; and where the action of the fire had been fiercest and had worn away the iron, a piece of between two and three inches had been wrenched off and was missing. Still I could hardly credit that the human stomach could receive such a dose and remain ‘feeling,’ as the professed swallower of it said, ‘nothing particular.’ However the constant affirming of the first, united to the assent and rueful looks of the second, induced me to use the patient as though the account were true: I administered very strong medicines, and watched their effects constantly. The man eat and drank and slept as usual, and appeared to suffer nothing but from the effect of the medicines. At last, to my astonishment, the piece of the poker came away, and the man was as well as ever. The iron had undergone a regular process of digestion and the surface of it was deeply honey-combed by the action of the juices. This was a most singular case, and proves how the God of Nature has endowed our system with powers of sustaining and redressing the effects of our own follies.”

The tales of lycanthropy which are found in such different ages and remote countries, strongly supported the Doctor's theory. Virgil, and Ovid in his story of Lycaon, had only adapted a popular superstition to their purposes. And like its relator he regarded as a mere fable the legend which Pliny has preserved from the lost works of Evanthes a Greek author not to be despised. Evanthes had found it written among the Arcadians that a man from the family of a certain author in that country was chosen by lot and taken to a certain lake; there he stript, hung his garments upon an oak, swam across and going into the wilderness, became a wolf, and herded with wolves for nine years; and if during that time he abstained from doing any hurt to men, he returned to the lake, recrossed it, resumed his human form, with the only change of being the worse, not for the wear indeed, but for the lapse of those nine years; and moreover found his clothes where he had left them. Upon which Pliny observes, Mirum est quo procedat Græca credulitas! Nullum tam impudens mendacium est quod teste careat.

A worse manner of effecting the same metamorphosis Pliny relates from the Olympionics of Agriopas; that at a human sacrifice offered by the Arcadians to Jupiter Lycæus, one Demænetus Parrhasius tasted the entrails, and was transformed into a wolf; at the expiration of ten years he resumed his original form, and obtained the prize of pugilism at the Olympic games.

But the Doctor differed from Pliny's opinion that all which is related concerning lycanthropy must be rejected or all believed;—Homines in lupos verti rursumque restitui sibi, falsum esse confidenter existimare debemus; aut credere omnia, quæ fabulosa tot seculis comperimus. The belief however, he admits, was so firmly fixed in the common people that their word for turncoat was derived from it;—Unde tamen ista vulgo infixa sit fama in tantum, ut in maledictis versipelles habeat, indicabitur. These fables the Doctor argued, could not invalidate the testimony of ancient physicians, that there was an actual and well known species of madness, in which men howled like wolves, and wandered by night about in lonely places or among the tombs. It was most severe at the commencement of spring; and was sometimes epidemic in certain countries. Pieter Forest whose character for accuracy and sagacity stands high among medical writers, affirms that he, in the sixteenth century, had seen the disease, and that it was as it had been described by the ancients. He must have been a credulous person who believed Constantinople had been so infested by these wolf-men, that the Grand Seignior and his guards had been obliged to go out against them; killing a hundred and fifty, and putting the rest of the pack to flight. This was a traveller's tale; and the stories related in books of demonology and witchcraft, concerning wretches who had been tried and executed for having, in the shape of wolves, killed and eaten children, and who had confessed their guilt, might be explained, like other confessions of witchcraft, by the effects of fear and tortures; yet there were cases upon which the Doctor thought no doubt could be entertained.

One case upon which the Doctor insisted, was that of an Italian peasant near Pavia, who in the year 1541, was seized with this madness, and fancying himself to be a wolf, attacked several persons in the fields and killed some of them. He was taken at last, but not without great difficulty; and when in the hands of his captors he declared that he was a wolf, however much they might doubt the avowal, and that the only difference between him and other wolves was, that they had their fur on the outside of the skin, but his was between the skin and the flesh. The madman asserted this so positively that some of the party, trop inhumains et loups par effect, as Simon Goulart says with a humanity above the standard of his age, determined to see, and made several slashes in his arms and legs. Repenting of their cruelty, when they had convinced themselves by this experiment that the poor wretch was really insane, they put him under the care of a surgeon; and he died in the course of a few days under his hands. “Now” said the Doctor “if this were a solitary case, it would evidently be a case of madness; but as lycanthropy is recognized by physicians of different times and countries, as a specific and well known affection of the human mind, can it be so satisfactorily explained in any other manner, as by the theory of progressive existence,—by the resurrection of a habit belonging to the preceding stage of the individual's progress?”

The superstition was not disbelieved by Bishop Hall. In the account of what he observed in the Netherlands, he says of Spa, “the wide deserts on which it borders are haunted with three kinds of ill cattle, free booters, wolves, and witches, though these two last are often one.”

When Spenser tells us it was said of the Irish, as of the Scythians, how they were once a year turned into wolves, “though Master Camden in a better sense doth suppose it was the disease called Lycanthropia,”—he adds these remarkable words, “yet some of the Irish do use to make the wolf their gossip.” Now it must be observed that gossip is not here used in its secondary meaning of a talking, tattling, or tippling companion, but in its original import, though wickedly detorted here: “Our Christian ancestors,” says Verstegan, “understanding a spiritual affinity to grow between the parents and such as undertook for the child at baptism, called each other by the name of God-sib, which is as much as to say as that they were sib together, that is, of kin together, through God.” The Limerick schoolmaster whose words are transcribed by Camden, says, “they receive wolves as gossips, calling them Chari-Christ, praying for them, and wishing them happy; upon which account they are not afraid of them.” There was great store of wolves in Ireland at that time; and the Doctor asked whether so strange a custom could be satisfactorily explained in any way but by a blind consciousness of physical affinity,—by supposing that those who chose wolves to be godfathers and godmothers for their children, had in the preceding stage of their own existence been wolves themselves?

How triumphantly would he have appealed to a story which Captain Beaver relates in his African Memoranda. “In the evening” says that most enterprising, resolute, able, and right minded man, “two or three of the grumetas came to me and said that Francisco, one of their party, was not a good man: that he wanted to eat one of them, John Basse, who had been this day taken very ill. As I could not comprehend what they meant by saying that one of them wanted to eat another, I sent for Johnson to explain. He said that the man accused of eating the other was a witch, and that he was the cause of John Basse's illness, by sucking his blood with his infernal witchcraft; and that these people had come to request that I would let them tie him to a tree and flog him, after they had finished their work. I told them that there was no such thing as a witch; that it was impossible for this man to suck the blood of another, by any art which he could possibly possess; that he could not be the cause of another man's illness by such means; and that with respect to flogging, no one punished on the island but myself. Johnson who is as bigotted in this instance as any of them, says that he is well known to be a witch; that he has killed many people with his infernal art, and that this is the cause of his leaving his own country, where if he should ever be caught, he would be sold as a slave; and that he with difficulty had prevented the other grumetas from throwing him overboard on their passage from Bissao hither. Johnson moreover told me that there was another witch among the grumetas, who had the power of changing himself into an alligator, and that he also had killed many people by his witchcraft, and was consequently obliged to run from his country. They therefore most earnestly entreated me to let them punish them, country-fashion, and they promised not to kill either of them. Astonished at the assurance that neither of them should be killed if they were permitted to punish them, I told Johnson that if such a thing should occur, I would immediately hang all those concerned in it, and then endeavoured to reason them out of their foolish notions respecting these two poor men. Johnson replied, that it was the custom of the country for white men never to interfere in these cases, and that at Bissao the governor never took notice of their thus punishing one another according to their own country fashion, and that they expected the same indulgence here; for that if these people were in their own country, they would either be killed or sold, as witchcraft was never forgiven and its professors never suffered to remain in their own country when once found out. I had now all the grumetas round me, among whom were the accused themselves, and endeavoured again to convince them of the innocence of these people, by pointing out the impossibility of their hurting others by any magic or spell, or of transforming themselves into any other shape. When many of them said this man had often avowed his turning himself into an alligator to devour people: ‘How say you Corasmo, said I, did you ever say so to any of these people?’ ‘Yes,’ was his reply. ‘What do you mean? do you mean to say that you ever transformed yourself into any other shape than that which you now bear?’ ‘Yes,’ was the answer. ‘Now, Corasmo, you know that white man knows every thing; you cannot deceive me; therefore avow to those people, that you never changed yourself into an alligator, and that these are all lies.’ ‘No,’ was his reply,—who can believe it? ‘I can change myself into an alligator, and have often done it.’ This was such an incorrigible witch that I immediately gave him up to the grumetas to punish him, but desired them to be merciful.—It is scarcely credible that a man can so work upon his own weak imagination as to believe, which I doubt not this man did, its own fanciful creations to be realities.—After the grumetas had left me last night I regretted having delivered up to them the two poor miserable wretches accused of witchcraft. From ten till twelve at night their cries were most piteous and loud, and though distant a full half mile, were distinctly heard. This morning they cannot move.”

There was a Mr. William Wright of Saham Tony in Norfolk who used to cast his skin every year, sometimes once, sometimes twice; it was an uneasy and distressing effort of nature, preceded by itching, red spots and swellings; the fingers became stiff, hard, and painful at the ends, and about the nails the pain was exquisite. The whole process of changing was completed in from ten to twelve days, but it was about six months before the nails were perfectly renewed. From the hands the skin came off whole like a glove: and a print representing one of these gloves is given with the account of the case in the Gentleman's Magazine.

When this was related to the Doctor it perplexed him. The habit was evidently that of a snake; and it did not agree with his theory to suppose that the Archeus would pass, as it were per saltum, from so low a stage of existence to the human form. But upon reading the account himself he was completely satisfied as soon as he found that the subject was an Attorney.

He did not know, because it was not known till Mr. Wilkin published his excellent edition of Sir Thomas Browne's Works, that that Philosopher sent to his son Dr. Edward Browne “the skin of the palm of a woman's hand, cast off at the end of a fever, or in the declination thereof. I called it,” he says, “exuvium palmæ muliebris, the Latin word being exuvia in the plural, but I named it exuvium, or exuvia in the singular number. It is neat, and worthy to be shown when you speak of the skin. Snakes and lizards and divers insects cast their skins, and they are very neat ones: men also in some diseases, by pieces, but I have not met with any so neat as this: a palmister might read a lecture of it. The whole soles of the feet came off, and I have one.” If the Doctor had heard of this case, and had not suspected the woman of having once belonged to a generation of vipers, or some snekki-famili as the words are rendered in the Talkee-talkee version, he would have derived her from an eel, and expressed a charitable hope that she might not still be a slippery subject.



Y donde sobre todo de su dueño
El gran tesoro y el caudal se infiere,
Es que al grande, al mediano, y al pequeño,
Todo se da de balde á quien lo quiere.


Here might be the place for enquiring how far the Doctor's opinions or fancies upon this mysterious subject were original. His notion he used to call it; but a person to whom the reader will be introduced ere long, and who regarded him with the highest admiration and the profoundest respect, always spoke of it as the Columbian Theory of Progressive Existence. Original indeed in the Doctor it was not; he said that he had learned it from his poor Uncle William; but that William Dove originated it himself there can be little doubt. From books it was impossible that he should have derived it, because he could not read; and nothing can be more unlikely than that he should have met with it as a traditional opinion. The Doctor believed that this poor Uncle, of whom he never spoke without some expression of compassionate kindness, had deduced it intuitively as an inference from his instinctive skill in physiognomy.

When subjects like these are treated of, it should be done discreetly. There should be, in the words of Bishop Andrewes, “Οἰκονομία, a dispensation, not a dissipation; a laying forth, not διασκορπισμος, a casting away; a wary sowing, not a heedless scattering; and a sowing χεὶρι, οὐ θυλακῃ, by handfulls, not by basket-fulls, as the heathen-man well said.” Bearing this in mind I have given a Chapterfull, not a Volumefull, and that Chapter is for physiologists and philosophers; but this Opus is not intended for them alone; they constitute but a part only of that “fit audience” and not “few,” which it will find.

One Andrew Henderson, a Scotchman, who kept a bookseller's shop, or stand, in Westminster Hall, at a time when lawyers' tongues and witnesses' souls were not the only commodities exposed for sale there, published a tragedy, called “Arsinoe, or The Incestuous Marriage.” The story was Egyptian; but the drama deserves to be called Hendersonian, after its incomparable author; for he assured the reader, in a prefatory advertisem*nt, that there were to be found in it “the most convincing arguments against incest and self-murder, interspersed with an inestimable treasure of ancient and modern learning, and the substance of the principles of the illustrious Sir Isaac Newton, adapted to the meanest capacity, and very entertaining to the Ladies, containing a nice description of the passions and behaviour of the Fair Sex.”

The Biographer, or Historian, or Anecdotist, or rather the reminiscent relator of circ*mstances concerning the birth, parentage and education, life, character and behaviour, of Dr. Daniel Dove, prefers not so wide a claim upon the gratitude of his readers as Andrew Henderson has advanced. Yet, like the author of “Arsinoe,” he trusts that his work is “adapted to the meanest capacity;” that the lamb may wade in it, though the elephant may swim, and also that it will be found “very entertaining to the Ladies.” Indeed, he flatters himself that it will be found profitable for old and young, for men and for women, the married and the single, the idle and the studious, the merry and the sad; that it may sometimes inspire the thoughtless with thought, and sometimes beguile the careful of their cares. One thing alone might hitherto seem wanting to render it a catholic, which is to say, an universal book, and that is, that as there are Chapters in it for the closet, for the library, for the breakfast room, for the boudoir, (which is in modern habitations what the oriel was in ancient ones,) for the drawing-room, and for the kitchen, if you please, (for whatever you may think, good reader, I am of opinion, that books which at once amuse and instruct, may be as useful to servant men and maids, as to their masters and mistresses)—so should there be one at least for the nursery. With such a chapter, therefore, will I brighten the countenance of many a dear child, and gladden the heart of many a happy father, and tender mother, and nepotious uncle or aunt, and fond brother or sister;

ἡδεῖαν φάτιν
Φεροίμεν ἀυτοῖς.

For their sakes I will relate one of William Dove's stories, with which he used to delight young Daniel, and with which the Doctor in his turn used to delight his young favourites; and which never fails of effect with that fit audience for which it is designed, if it be told with dramatic spirit, in the manner that our way of printing it may sufficiently indicate, without the aid of musical notation. Experto crede. Prick up your ears then,

“My good little women and men;”2

and ye who are neither so little, nor so good, favete linguis, for here follows the Story of the Three Bears.




A tale which may content the minds
Of learned men and grave philosophers.

Once upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; and one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear. They had each a pot for their porridge, a little pot for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized pot for the Middle Bear, and a great pot for the Great, Huge Bear. And they had each a chair to sit in; a little chair for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized chair for the Middle Bear; and a great chair for the Great, Huge Bear. And they had each a bed to sleep in; a little bed for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized bed for the Middle Bear; and a great bed for the Great, Huge Bear.

One day, after they had made the porridge for their breakfast, and poured it into their porridge-pots, they walked out into the wood while the porridge was cooling, that they might not burn their mouths, by beginning too soon to eat it. And while they were walking, a little old Woman came to the house. She could not have been a good, honest old Woman; for first she looked in at the window, and then she peeped in at the keyhole; and seeing nobody in the house, she lifted the latch. The door was not fastened, because the Bears were good Bears, who did nobody any harm, and never suspected that any body would harm them. So the little old Woman opened the door, and went in; and well pleased she was when she saw the porridge on the table. If she had been a good little old Woman, she would have waited till the Bears came home, and then, perhaps, they would have asked her to breakfast; for they were good Bears,—a little rough or so, as the manner of Bears is, but for all that very good natured and hospitable. But she was an impudent, bad old Woman, and set about helping herself.

So first she tasted the porridge of the Great, Huge Bear, and that was too hot for her; and she said a bad word about that. And then she tasted the porridge of the Middle Bear, and that was too cold for her; and she said a bad word about that, too. And then she went to the porridge of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and tasted that; and that was neither too hot, nor too cold, but just right; and she liked it so well, that she ate it all up: but the naughty old Woman said a bad word about the little porridge-pot, because it did not hold enough for her.

Then the little old Woman sate down in the chair of the Great Huge Bear, and that was too hard for her. And then she sate down in the chair of the Middle Bear, and that was too soft for her. And then she sate down in the chair of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and that was neither too hard, nor too soft, but just right. So she seated herself in it, and there she sate till the bottom of the chair came out, and down came hers, plump upon the ground. And the naughty old Woman said a wicked word about that too.

Then the little old Woman went up stairs into the bed-chamber in which the three Bears slept. And first she lay down upon the bed of the Great, Huge Bear; but that was too high at the head for her. And next she lay down upon the bed of the Middle Bear; and that was too high at the foot for her. And then she lay down upon the bed of the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and that was neither too high at the head, nor at the foot, but just right. So she covered herself up comfortably, and lay there till she fell fast asleep.

By this time the Three Bears thought their porridge would be cool enough; so they came home to breakfast. Now the little old Woman had left the spoon of the Great, Huge Bear, standing in his porridge.

Somebody has been at my porridge!

said the Great, Huge Bear, in his great, rough, gruff voice. And when the Middle Bear looked at his, he saw that the spoon was standing in it too. They were wooden spoons; if they had been silver ones, the naughty old Woman would have put them in her pocket.

“Somebody has been at my porridge!”

said the Middle Bear, in his middle voice.

Then the Little, Small, Wee Bear, looked at his, and there was the spoon in the porridge-pot, but the porridge was all gone.

Somebody has been at my porridge, and has eaten it all up!

said the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.

Upon this the Three Bears, seeing that some one had entered their house, and eaten up the Little, Small, Wee Bear's breakfast, began to look about them. Now the little old Woman had not put the hard cushion straight when she rose from the chair of the Great, Huge Bear.

Somebody has been sitting in my chair!

said the Great, Huge Bear, in his great, rough, gruff voice.

And the little old Woman had squatted down the soft cushion of the Middle Bear.

“Somebody has been sitting in my chair!”

said the Middle Bear, in his middle voice.

And you know what the little old Woman had done to the third chair.

Somebody has been sitting in my chair, and has sate the bottom of it out!

said the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.

Then the Three Bears thought it necessary that they should make farther search; so they went up stairs into their bed-chamber. Now the little old Woman had pulled the pillow of the Great, Huge Bear, out of its place.

Somebody has been lying in my bed!

said the Great, Huge Bear, in his great, rough, gruff voice.

And the little old Woman had pulled the bolster of the Middle Bear out of its place.

“Somebody has been lying in my bed!”

said the Middle Bear, in his middle voice.

And when the Little, Small, Wee Bear, came to look at his bed, there was the bolster in its place; and the pillow in its place upon the bolster; and upon the pillow was the little old Woman's ugly, dirty head,—which was not in its place, for she had no business there.

Somebody has been lying in my bed,—and here she is!

said the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.

The little old Woman had heard in her sleep the great, rough, gruff voice, of the Great, Huge Bear; but she was so fast asleep that it was no more to her than the roaring of wind, or the rumbling of thunder. And she had heard the middle voice of the Middle Bear, but it was only as if she had heard some one speaking in a dream. But when she heard the little, small, wee voice, of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, it was so sharp, and so shrill, that it awakened her at once. Up she started; and when she saw the Three Bears on one side of the bed, she tumbled herself out at the other, and ran to the window. Now the window was open, because the Bears, like good, tidy Bears, as they were, always opened their bed-chamber window when they got up in the morning. Out the little old Woman jumped; and whether she broke her neck in the fall; or ran into the wood and was lost there; or found her way out of the wood, and was taken up by the constable and sent to the House of Correction for a vagrant as she was, I cannot tell. But the Three Bears never saw any thing more of her.



Oh! if in after life we could but gather
The very refuse of our youthful hours!

O dear little children, you who are in the happiest season of human life, how will you delight in the Story of the Three Bears, when Mamma reads it to you out of this nice book, or Papa, or some fond Uncle, kind Aunt, or doting Sister! Papa and Uncle, will do the Great, Huge Bear, best; but Sister, and Aunt, and Mamma, will excel them in the Little, Small, Wee Bear, with his little, small, wee voice. And O Papa and Uncle, if you are like such a Father and such an Uncle as are at this moment in my mind's eye, how will you delight in it, both for the sake of that small, but “fit audience,” and because you will perceive how justly it may be said to be

—a well-writ story,
Where each word stands so well placed that it passes
Inquisitive detraction to correct.1


It is said to be a saying of Dr. Southey's, that “a house is never perfectly furnished for enjoyment, unless there is a child in it rising three years old, and a kitten rising six weeks.”

Observe, reader; this is repeated upon On-dit's authority, which is never to be taken for more than it is worth. I do not affirm that Dr. Southey has said this, but he is likely enough to have said it; for I know that he sometimes dates his letters from Cat's Eden. And if he did say so, I agree with him, and so did the Doctor; he specialiter as regards the child, I specialiter as regards the kitten.

Kitten is in the animal world what the rosebud is in the garden; the one the most beautiful of all young creatures, the other the loveliest of all opening flowers. The rose loses only something in delicacy by its developement,—enough to make it a serious emblem to a pensive mind; but if a cat could remember kittenhood, as we remember our youth, it were enough to break a cat's heart, even if it had nine times nine heart strings.

Do not the flowers spring fresh and gay,
Pleasant and sweet, in the month of May;
And when their time cometh they fade away.2


It is another saying of the Laureate's, according to On-dit, that, “live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life.” They appear so while they are passing; they seem to have been so when we look back upon them; and they take up more room in our memory than all the years that succeed them.

But in how strong a light has this been placed by the American teacher Jacob Abbott whose writings have obtained so wide a circulation in England. “Life, he says, if you understand by it the season of preparation for eternity, is more than half gone;—life so far as it presents opportunities and facilities for penitence and pardon,—so far as it bears on the formation of character, and is to be considered as a period of probation,—is unquestionably more than half gone, to those who are between fifteen and twenty. In a vast number of cases it is more than half gone, even in duration: and if we consider the thousand influences which crowd around the years of childhood and youth, winning us to religion, and making a surrender of ourselves to Jehovah easy and pleasant,—and, on the other hand, look forward beyond the years of maturity, and see these influences losing all their power, and the heart becoming harder and harder under the deadening effects of continuance in sin,—we shall not doubt a moment that the years of immaturity make a far more important part of our time of probation than all those that follow.”

That pious man, who, while he lived, was the Honourable Charles How, and might properly now be called the honoured, says, that, “twenty years might be deducted for education, from the three score and ten, which are the allotted sum of human life; this portion,” he observes, “is a time of discipline and restraint, and young people are never easy till they are got over it.”

There is, indeed, during those years, much of restraint, of wearisomeness, of hope, and of impatience; all which feelings lengthen the apparent duration of time. Suffering, I have not included here; but with a large portion of the human race, in all Christian countries, (to our shame be it spoken!) it makes a large item in the account: there is no other stage of life in which so much gratuitous suffering is endured,—so much that might have been spared,—so much that is a mere wanton, wicked addition, to the sum of human misery,—arising solely and directly from want of feeling in others, their obduracy, their caprice, their stupidity, their malignity, their cupidity and their cruelty.

Algunos sabios han dicho que para lo que el hombre tiene aprender es muy corta la vida; mas yo añado que es muy larga para los que hemos de padecer. “Some wise men,” writes Capmany, “have said that life is very short for what man has to learn,—but I (he says) must add, that it is very long for what we have to suffer.” Too surely this is but too true; and yet a more consolatory view may be taken of human existence. The shortest life is long enough for those who are more sinned against than sinning; whose good instincts have not been corrupted, and whose evil propensities have either not been called into action, or have been successfully resisted and overcome.

The Philosopher of Doncaster found, in his theory of progressive existence, an easy solution for some of those questions on which it is more presumptuous than edifying to speculate, yet whereon that restless curiosity which man derives from the leaven of the forbidden fruit, makes it difficult for a busy mind to refrain from speculating. The horrid opinion which certain Fathers entertained concerning the souls of unbaptized infants, he never characterized by any lighter epithet than damnable, for he used to say, “it would be wicked to use a weaker expression:” and the more charitable notion of the Limbo he regarded as a cold fancy, neither consonant to the heart of man, nor consistent with the wisdom and goodness of the Creator. He thought that when the ascent of being has been from good to better through all its stages, in moral qualities as well as in physical developement, the immortal spirit might reach its human stage in such a state that it required nothing more than the vehicle of humanity, and might be spared its probation. As Enoch had been translated without passing through death, so he thought such happy spirits might be admitted into a higher sphere of existence without passing through the trials of sin and the discipline of sorrow.



This field is so spacious, that it were easy for a man to lose himself in it; and if I should spend all my pilgrimage in this walk, my time would sooner end than my way.


The Doctor, though he played with many of his theories as if they were rather mushrooms of the fancy than fruits of the understanding, never expressed himself sportively upon this. He thought that it rested upon something more solid than the inductions of a speculative imagination, because there is a feeling in human nature which answers to it, acknowledges, and confirms it. Often and often, in the course of his painful practice, he had seen bereaved parents seek for consolation in the same conclusion, to which faith and instinctive reason led them, though no such hypothesis as his had prepared them for it. They believed it simply and sincerely; and it is a belief, according to his philosophy, which nature has implanted in the heart for consolation, under one of the griefs that affect it most.

He had not the same confidence in another view of the same branch of his hypothesis, relating to the early death of less hopeful subjects. Their term, he supposed, might be cut short in mercy, if the predisposing qualities which they had contracted on their ascent were such as would have rendered their tendency toward evil fatally predominant. But this, as he clearly saw, led to the brink of a bottomless question; and when he was asked after what manner he could explain why so many in whom this tendency predominates, are, to their own destruction, permitted to live out their term, he confessed himself at fault. It was among the things, he said, which are inexplicable by our limited powers of mind. When we attain a higher sphere of existence, all things will be made clear. Meantime, believing in the infinite goodness of God, it is enough for us to confide in His infinite mercy, and in that confidence to rest.

When St. Anselm, at the age of seventy-six, lay down in his last illness, and one of the Priests who stood around his bed said to him, it being then Palm Sunday, “Lord Father, it appears to us, that, leaving this world, you are about to keep the Passover in the Palace of your Lord!” the ambitious old theologue made answer,—“et quidem, si voluntas ejus in hoc est, voluntati ejus non contradico. Verum si mallet me adhuc inter vos saltem tamdiu manere, donec quæstionem quam de animæ origine mente revolvo, absolvere possem, gratiosus acciperem, eo quod nescio, utrum aliquis eam, me defuncto, sit absoluturus. If indeed this be his will, I gainsay it not. But if He should chuse rather that I should yet remain among you at least long enough to settle the question which I am revolving in my mind concerning the origin of the Soul, I should take it gratefully; because I do not know whether any one will be able to determine it, after I am dead.” He added, “ego quippe, si comedere possem, spero convalescere; nam nihil doloris in aliqua parte sentio, nisi quod lassescente stomacho, ob cibum quem capere nequit, totus deficio.1—If I could but eat, I might hope to recover, for I feel no pain in any part, except that as my stomach sinks for lack of food, which it is unable to take, I am failing all over.”


The Saint must have been in a most satisfactory state of self-sufficiency when he thus reckoned upon his own ability for disposing of a question which he thought it doubtful whether any one who came after him would be able to solve. All other appetite had forsaken him; but that for unprofitable speculation and impossible knowledge clung to him to the last; so strong a relish had he retained of the forbidden fruit;

Letting down buckets into empty wells,
And growing old in drawing nothing up2

So had the Saint lived beyond the allotted term of three-score years and ten, and his hand was still upon the windlass when the hand of death was upon him. One of our old Dramatists3 represented a seven years apprenticeship to such a craft as sufficient for bringing a man to a just estimate of it:—

I was a scholar; seven useful springs
Did I deflower in quotations
Of cross'd opinions 'bout the soul of man;
The more I learnt, the more I learnt to doubt.
DELIGHT, my spaniel, slept, whilst I baused leaves,
Toss'd o'er the dunces, pored on the old print
Of titled words; and still my spaniel slept.
Whilst I wasted lamp-oil, baited my flesh,
Shrunk up my veins: and still my spaniel slept.
And still I held converse with Zabarell,
Aquinas, Scotus, and the musty saw
Of antick Donate; still my spaniel slept.
Still on went I; first, an sit anima?
Then an it were mortal? O hold, hold; at that
They're at brain-buffets, fell by the ears amain
Pell-mell together: still my spaniel slept.
Then whether 'twere corporeal, local, fixt,
Ex traduce, but whether't had free will
Or no, hot Philosophers
Stood banding factions, all so strongly propt,
I staggered, knew not which was firmer part,
But thought, quoted, read, observed and pryed,
Stufft noting-books; and still my spaniel slept.
At length he waked and yawn'd; and by yon sky,
For aught I know he knew as much as I.

In a more serious mood than that of this scholar, and in a humbler and holier state of mind than belonged to the Saint, our philosopher used to say, “little indeed does it concern us, in this our mortal stage, to enquire whence the spirit hath come,—but of what infinite concern is the consideration whither is it going!”





Live well, and then how soon so e'er thou die,
Thou art of age to claim eternity.

Dr. Cadogan used to say that the life of man is properly ninety years instead of three-score and ten; thirty to go up, thirty to stand still, and thirty to go down.

Who told him so? said Dr. Dove; and who made him better informed upon that point than the Psalmist?

Any one who far exceeded the ordinary term, beyond which “our strength is but labour and sorrow,” was supposed by our philosopher, to have contracted an obstinate habit of longevity in some previous stage of existence. Centenaries he thought must have been ravens and tortoises; and Henry Jenkins, like Old Parr, could have been nothing in his preceding state, but a toad in a block of stone or in the heart of a tree.

Cardinal D'Armagnac, when on a visitation in the Cevennes, noticed a fine old man sitting upon the threshold of his own door and weeping; and as, like the Poet, he had

—not often seen
A healthy man, a man full-grown
Weep in the public roads, alone,

he went up to him, and asked wherefore he was weeping? The old man replied he wept because his father had just beaten him. The Cardinal who was amazed to hear that so old a man had a father still living, was curious enough to enquire what he had beaten him for: “because,” said the old man, “I past by my grandfather without paying my respects to him.” The Cardinal then entered the house that he might see this extraordinary family, and there indeed he saw both father and grandfather, the former still a hale though a very aged man; the latter unable to move because of his extreme age, but regarded by all about him with the greatest reverence.

That the habit in this instance, as in most others of the kind, should have been hereditary, was what the Doctor would have expected: good constitutions and ill habits of body are both so;—two things which seldom co-exist, but this obstinate longevity, as he called it, was proof both of the one and the other. A remarkable instance of hereditary longevity is noticed in the Statistical Account of Arklow. A woman who died at the age of an hundred and ten, speaking of her children said that her youngest boy was eighty; and that old boy was living several years afterwards, when the account was drawn up. The habit, however, he thought, was likely in such cases to correct itself, and become weaker in every generation. An ill habit he deemed it, because no circ*mstances can render extreme old age desirable: it cannot be so in a good man, for his own sake; nor in a bad one for the sake of every body connected with him. On all accounts the appointed term is best, and the wise and pious Mr. How has given us one cogent reason why it is so.

“The viciousness of mankind,” that excellent person says, “occasioned the flood; and very probably God thought fit to drown the world for these two reasons; first to punish the then living offenders; and next to prevent mens plunging into those prodigious depths of impiety, for all future ages. For if in the short term of life, which is now allotted to mankind, men are capable of being puffed up to such an insolent degree of pride and folly, as to forget God and their own mortality, his power and their own weakness; if a prosperity bounded by three-score and ten years, (and what mortal's prosperity, since the deluge, ever lasted so long?) can swell the mind of so frail a creature to such a prodigious size of vanity, what boundaries could be set to his arrogance, if his life and prosperity, like that of the Patriarch's were likely to continue eight or nine hundred years together? If under the existing circ*mstances of life, mens passions can rise so high; if the present short and uncertain enjoyments of the world, are able to occasion such an extravagant pride, such unmeasurable ambition, such sordid avarice, such barbarous rapine and injustice, such malice and envy, and so many other detestable things, which compose the numerous train of vice,—how then would the passions have flamed, and to what a monstrous stature would every vice have grown, if those enjoyments which provoked and increased them, were of eight or nine hundred years duration? If eternal happiness and eternal punishment are able to make no stronger impressions upon men's minds, so near at hand, it may well be imagined that at so great a distance, they would have made no impression at all; that eternal happiness would have been entirely divested of its allurements, and eternal misery of its terrors; and the Great Creator would have been deprived of that obedience and adoration, which are so justly due to him from his creatures. Thus, the inundation of vice has in some measure, by the goodness of God, been prevented by an inundation of water. That which was the punishment of one generation, may be said to have been the preservation of all those which have succeeded. For if life had not been thus clipped, one Tiberius, one Caligula, one Nero, one Louis XIV. had been sufficient to have destroyed the whole race of mankind; each of whose lives had they been ten times as long, and the mischiefs they occasioned multiplied by that number, it might easily be computed how great a plague one such long-lived monster would have been to the world.”

Reflect, reader upon this extract. The reasoning is neither fantastic, nor far-fetched; but it will probably be as new to you as it was to me, when I met with it in Mr. How's Devout Meditations. The republication of that book is one of those good works for which this country is beholden to the late excellent Bishop Jebb. Mr. Hetherington in his very original and able treatise upon the Fullness of Time, has seen this subject in the same point of view. He says “Even our three-score and ten years, broken and uncertain as that little span is, can delude us into the folly of putting death and its dread reckoning far from us, as if we were never to die, and might therefore neglect any preparation for the after judgement. But if we were to see before us the prospect of a life of one thousand years, we should doubtless regard death as a bug-bear indeed, and throw off all the salutary restraint which the fear of it now exercises. Suppose our tendencies to every kind of sinful indulgence as strong as at present, with the prospect of such lengthened enjoyment and immunity from danger, and we may easily imagine with what hundred-fold eagerness we should plunge into all kinds of enormity, and revel in the wildest licentiousness. But this is the very consummation to which the race of Adam had reached, when ‘God looked on the earth, and behold it was corrupt and filled with violence;’ and God determined to destroy the earth with its inhabitants.”

A remark of Brantome's may be quoted as the curious confirmation of a pious man's opinion by a thoroughly corrupt one. It occurs in his Discourse upon the Emperor Charles the fifth. “Il faut certes confesser,” he says, “comme j'ouy dire une fois à un vieux Capitaine Espagnol, que si ce grand Empereur eust été immortel, ou seulement de cent ans bien sain et dispos, il auroit esté par guerre le vray Fleau du Monde, tant il estoit frappé d'ambition, si jamais Empereur le fut.



Clericus es? legito hæc. Laicus? legito ista libenter.
Crede mihi, invenies hic quod uterque voles.


If we look to the better part of the human race as well as the worse, with regard to them also the ordinary term of human life will be found the best that could have been appointed both for themselves and for the purposes of society, the wisdom and the goodness of the ways of Providence becoming evident in this, as in all other things upon which our limited faculties are capable of forming a comprehensive judgement.

The term is long enough for all we have to learn. Madame de Sevigné said sportively, that she should be a very wise person if she could but live about two hundred years: je tâche tous les jours à profiter de mes reflexions; et si je pouvois vivre seulement deux cents ans, il me semble que je serois une personne bien admirable. This the Doctor thought might hold good in the case of Madame de Sevigné herself, and of all other persons who regarded the acquirement of information as an amusem*nt, or at most an accomplishment; “One small head might carry all they knew,” though their lives should be prolonged to the length of antediluvian old age. But in his opinion it would be otherwise with those who devoted themselves to the pursuit of knowledge, for the purpose of storing their own minds, and enabling themselves to instruct their fellow creatures. For although the mind would retain its faculties unimpaired for a length of time in proportion to the greater length of life, it by no means follows that its capacity would be enlarged. Horace Walpole lived forty years after he had said “my mould has taken all its impressions, and can receive no more. I must grow old upon the stock I have.” It is indeed highly probable that the most industrious students for some time before they reach the confines of senility forget as much as they learn. A short life is long enough for making us wise to salvation, if we will but give our hearts to the wisdom which is from above: and this is the one thing needful.

There are some however who in their eulogistic and extravagant lamentations seem to have thought no lease long enough for the objects of their admiration. A certain John Fellows published an elegy on the death of the Reverend John Gill, D.D. This learned Doctor in Dissent died at a good old age; nevertheless the passionate mourner in rhyme considered his death as a special mark of the Almighty's displeasure, and exclaimed

How are the mighty fallen! Lord when will
Thine anger cease? The great the learned Gill
Now pale and breathless lies!

Upon which a reviewer not improperly remarked that without dwelling upon the presumption of the writer he could not but notice the folly of thus lamenting as though it were an untimely stroke, the natural departure of a venerable old man of near eighty. “Was this,” said he, “sufficient cause for raising such an outcry in Zion, and calling on her sons and daughters to weep and wail as if the Day of Judgement were come.”

Nothing however in former times excited so great a sensation in the small world of Noncons as the death of one of their Divines. Their favorite poet Dr. Watts, wished when the Reverend Mr. Gouge died that he could make the stones hear and the rocks weep,

And teach the Seas and teach the Skies
Wailings and sobs and sympathies.

Heaven was impatient of our crimes,
And sent his minister of death
To scourge the bold rebellion of the times,
And to demand our prophet's breath.
He came commissioned for the fates
Of awful Mead and charming Bates:
There he essay'd the vengeance first,
Then took a dismal aim, and brought GREAT GOUGE to dust.

GREAT GOUGE to dust! how doleful is the sound!
How vast the stroke is! and how wide the wound!—
Sion grows weak and England poor;
Nature herself with all her store
Can furnish such a pomp for death no more.

This was pretty well for a threnodial flight. But Dr. Watts went farther. When Mr. Howe should die, (and Howe was then seventy years of age,) he thought it would be time that the world should be at an end,—and prayed that it might be so.

Eternal God! command his stay!
Stretch the dear months of his delay;—
O we could wish his age were one immortal day!
But when the flaming chariot's come
And shining guards to attend thy Prophet home,
Amidst a thousand weeping eyes,
Send an Elisha down, a soul of equal size;
Or burn this worthless globe, and take us to the skies!

What would the Dissenters have said if a clerical poet had written in such a strain upon the decease of a Bishop or Archbishop?

We pray in the Litany to be delivered from sudden death. Any death is to be deprecated which should find us unprepared: but as a temporal calamity with more reason might we pray to be spared from the misery of an infirm old age. It was once my fortune to see a frightful instance of extreme longevity,—a woman who was nearly in her hundredth year. Her sight was greatly decayed, though not lost; it was very difficult to make her hear, and not easy then to make her understand what was said, though when her torpid intellect was awakened she was, legally, of sane mind. She was unable to walk, or to assist herself in any way. Her neck hung in such wrinkles that it might almost be likened to a turkey's; and the skin of her face and of her arms was cleft like the bark of an oak, as rough, and almost of as dark a colour. In this condition, without any apparent suffering, she passed her time in a state between sleeping and waking, fortunate that she could thus beguile the wearisomeness of such an existence.

Instances of this kind are much rarer in Europe than in tropical climates. Negresses in the West Indies sometimes attain an age which is seldom ascertained because it is far beyond living memory. They outlive all voluntary power, and their descendants of the third or fourth generation carry them out of their cabins into the open air, and lay them, like logs, as the season may require, in the sunshine, or in the shade. Methinks if Mecænas had seen such an object, he would have composed a palinode to those verses in which he has perpetuated his most pitiable love for life. A woman in New Hampshire, North America, had reached the miserable age of 102, when one day as some people were visiting her, the bell tolled for a funeral; she burst into tears and said “Oh when will the bell toll for me! It seems as if it never would toll for me! I am afraid that I shall never die!” This reminds me that I have either read, or heard, an affecting story of a poor old woman in England,—very old, and very poor,—who retained her senses long after the body had become a weary burden; she too when she heard the bell toll for a funeral used to weep, and say she was afraid God had forgotten her! Poor creature, ignorantly as she spake, she had not forgotten Him; and such impatience will not be accounted to her for a sin.

These are extreme cases, as rare as they are mournful. Life indeed is long enough for what we have to suffer, as well as what we have to learn; but it was wisely said by an old Scottish Minister (I wish I knew his name, for this saying ought to have immortalized it,) “Time is short; and if your cross is heavy you have not far to carry it.”

Chi ha travaglio, in pace il porti:
Dolce è Dio, se il mondo è amaro.
Sappia l'uom, che al Cielo è caro;
Abbia fede, è aura conforti.

Were the term shorter it would not suffice for the developement of those moral qualities which belong peculiarly to the latter stage of life; nor could the wholesome influence which age exercises over the young in every country where manners are not so thoroughly corrupted as to threaten the dissolution of society, be in any other manner supplied.


Il me semble que le mal physique attendrit autant que le mal moral endurcit le cœur,” said Lord Chesterfield, when he was growing old, and suffering under the infirmities of a broken constitution. Affliction in its lightest form, with the aid of time, had brought his heart into this wholesome state.

O figliuol' d'Adam, grida Natura,
Onde i tormenti? Io vi farà tranquilli,
Se voi non rebellate alla mia legge.

There is indeed a tranquillity which Nature brings with it as duly toward the close of life, as it induces sleep at the close of day. We may resist the salutary influence in both cases, and too often it is resisted, at the cost of health in the one, and at a still dearer cost in the other: but if we do this, we do it wilfully, the resistance is our own act and deed,—it is our own error, our own fault, our sin, and we must abide the consequences.


The greatest happiness to which we can attain in this world is the peace of God. Ask those who have attained the height of their ambition, whether in the pursuit of wealth, or power, or fame, if it be not so? ask them in their sane mind and serious hours, and they will confess that all else is vanity.

Fond man, that looks on earth for happiness,
And here long seeks what here is never found!3

This His own peace, which is his last and crowning gift, our Heavenly Father reserves for us in declining life, when we have earned our discharge from its business and its cares; and He prepares us for it by the course of nature which he has appointed.

O all the good we hope, and all we see,
That Thee we know and love, comes from Thy love and Thee.3

Hear reader the eloquent language of Adam Littleton when speaking of one who has received this gift:—it occurs in a funeral sermon, and the preacher's heart went with his words. After describing the state of a justified Christian, he rises into the following strain: “And now what has this happy person to do in this world any longer, having his debts paid and his sins pardoned, his God reconciled, his conscience quieted and assured, his accusers silenced, his enemies vanquished, the law satisfied, and himself justified, and his Saviour glorified, and a crown of Immortality, and a robe of righteousness prepared for him? What has he to do here more, than to get him up to the top of Pisgah and take a view of his heavenly Canaan; to stand upon the Confines of Eternity, and in the contemplation of those joys and glories, despise and slight the vanities and troubles of this sinful and miserable world; and to breathe after his better life, and be preparing himself for his change; when he shall be called off to weigh anchor, and hoist sail for another world, where he is to make discoveries of unutterable felicities, and inconceivable pleasures?

“Oh what a happy and blest condition is it to live, or to die in the midst of such gracious deliverances and glorious assurances; with this fastening consideration to boot, that ‘neither life nor death, nor things present, nor things to come, nor any creature is able to separate him from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ his Lord!’”




Est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu se
Impediat verbis lassas onerantibus aures;
Et sermone opus est, modo tristi, sæpe jocoso.


The Reader is now so far acquainted with the Doctor and his bride elect, (for we are still in the Interim,)—he knows so much of the birth, parentage and education of both, so much of their respective characters, his way of thinking and her way of life, that we may pass to another of those questions propounded in the second post-initial chapter.

The minister of a very heterodox congregation in a certain large city, accosted one of his friends one day in the street with these words, which were so characteristic and remarkable that it was impossible not to remember and repeat them,—“I am considering whether I shall marry or keep a horse.” He was an eccentric person, as this anecdote may show; and his inspirited sermons (I must not call them inspired,) were thought in their style of eloquence and sublimity to resemble Klopstock's Odes.

No such dubitation could ever have entered the Doctor's head. Happy man, he had already one of the best horses in the world: (Forgive me, O Shade of Nobs in thine Elysian pastures, that I have so long delayed thy eulogy!)—and in Deborah he was about to have one of the best of wives.

If he had hesitated between a horse and a wife, he would have deserved to meet with a Grey Mare.



Perhaps some Gull, as witty as a Goose,
Says with a coy skew look, “it's pretty, pretty!
But yet that so much wit he should dispose
For so small purpose, faith” saith he, “'tis pity!”

Who was Nobs?

Nobs, I may venture to affirm, is not mentioned by Reginald Heber. I have never had an opportunity of ascertaining the fact by a careful examination of his volumes, but the enquiries which it has been in my power to make, have led to this conclusion. Judicious readers will, I hope, acknowledge, that in consequence of the scrupulous care with which I guard against even the appearance of speaking positively upon subjects whereon there may be any reasonable doubt, I am, comparatively with most authors, superlatively correct.

Now as Reginald Heber must have seen Nobs, and having seen could not but have remarked him, and having remarked must also have perceived how remarkable he was for all the outward and visible signs of a good horse, this omission is to be lamented. A culpable omission it must not be called, because it was not required that he should mention him; but it could not have been considered as hors d'œuvre to have noticed his surpassing merits, merits which Reginald Heber could have appreciated, and which no one perhaps could have described so well; for of Nobs it may veritably be said that he was a horse

———tanto buono e bello,
Che chi volesse dir le lodi sue,
Bisognarebbe haver un gran cervello,
Bisognarebbe un capo come un bue.


Perhaps some captious reader may suppose that he has here detected a notable error in my chronology. Nobs, he may say, was made dog's-meat before Reginald Heber was born, or at least before he had exchanged his petticoats for the garb-masculine, denominated galligaskins in philippic verse.

Pardon me, reader; the mistake is on your part; and you have committed two in this your supposition. Mistakes indeed, like misfortunes, seldom come single.

First it is a mistake, and what, if it were not altogether inconsiderate, would be a calumnious one,—to suppose that Nobs ever was made dog's-meat. The Doctor had far too much regard for his good horse, to let his remains be treated with such indignity. He had too much sense of obligation and humanity to part with an old dumb servant when his strength began to fail, and consign him to the hard usage which is the common lot of these poor creatures, in this, in this respect, hard-hearted and wicked nation. Nobs when his labour was past, had for the remainder of his days the run of the fields at Thaxted Grange. And when in due course of nature, he died of old age, instead of being sent to the tanners and the dogs, he became, like “brave Percy” food for—worms.—A grave was dug, wherein he was decently deposited, with his shoes on, and Barnaby and his master planted a horse-chesnut on the spot. Matthew Montagu, and Montagu Matthew ought to have visited it in joint pilgrimage.

Hadst thou been a bay horse, Nobs, it would have been a bay-tree instead. But though the tree which was thy monument was deciduous and has perhaps been doomed to fall by some irreverent or ignorant hand, thy honours are perennial.

Secondly, the captious reader is mistaken in supposing me to have spoken of Bishop Heber,—that Heber, who if he had been a Romish Bishop would already have been Saint Reginald by the courtesy of Rome, as in due time he must have been by right of canonization. Sir Edward Lloyd would smile at such a mistake. So would a Yorkshire or a Shropshire Genealogist. I am not enough of one to know in what degree the two Reginalds were related; but that they were of the same family is apparent, and the elder, who is of the equestrian order of Authors and ought to have taken the name of Philip, was contemporary with the Doctor. He published yearly lists of horse matches run from 1753 to 1758,—I know not how much longer. If such registers as his had been preserved of the Olympic Games, precious would they be to historians and commentators, examining Masters, and aspirant Under-Graduates.



Theo.Look to my Horse, I pray you, well.

Diego. He shall Sir.

Inc.Oh! how beneath his rank and call was that now!
Your Horse shall be entreated as becomes
A Horse of fashion, and his inches.

Who was Nobs?

A troop of British cavalry which had served on the continent was disbanded in the City of York, and the horses were sold. Their commander Sir Robert Clayton was a wealthy man, and happening to be a noble-minded man also, he could not bear to think that his old fellow campaigners, who had borne brave men to battle, should be ridden to death as butcher's hacks, or worked in dung-carts till they became dog's meat. So he purchased a piece of ground upon Knavesmire heath, and turned out the old horses to have their run there for life. There may be persons living who remember to have heard of this honourable act, and the curious circ*mstance which has preserved it from being forgotten. For once these horses were grazing promiscuously while a summer storm gathered, and when the first lightnings flashed from the cloud, and the distant thunder began to roll; but presently, as if they supposed these fires and sounds to be the signal of approaching battle, they were seen to get together and form in line, almost in as perfect order as if they had had their old masters upon their backs.

One of these old soldiers was what the Spaniards with the gravity peculiar to their language call a Caballo Padre; or what some of our own writers, with a decorum not less becoming, appellate an Entire horse;—or what a French interpreter accompanying an Englishman to obtain a passport wherein the horse as well as the rider was to be described, denominated un cheval de pierre to the astonishment of the clerks in the office, whose difficulty was not at all removed by the subsequent definition of the English applicant, which the said interpreter faithfully rendered thus, un cheval de pierre est un cheval qui couvre les officiers municipaux. He had found his way in a Cossack regiment from the Steppes of Tartary to the plains of Prussia; had run loose from a field of battle in which his master was killed, and passing from hand to hand had finally been sold by a Jew into the service of his majesty King George II. In the course of this eventful life he had lost his Sclavonic name, and when he entered the British regiment was naturalized by that of Moses in honour of his late possessor.

It so happened that a filly by name Miss Jenny had been turned out to recover from a sprain in a field sufficiently near Knavesmire Heath for a Houyhnhnm voice to be within hearing of Houyhnhnm ears. In this field did Miss Jenny one day beguile the solitude by exclaiming “heigh-ho for a husband!” an exclamation which exists in the Equine as well as in the English language. It is also found in the Feline tongue, but Grimalkin has set it to very unpleasant music. Moses heard the strain and listened to the voice of love. The breezes did for him what many a lover has in vain requested them to do in sonnet, and in elegy, and in song;—they wafted back his sympathetic wishes, and the wooing was carried on at a quarter of a mile distance: after which the Innamorato made no more of hedge and ditch than Jupiter was wont to do of a brazen Tower. Goonhilly in Cornwall was indebted for its once famous breed of horses to a Barb, which was turned loose (like Moses) by one of the Erisey family,—the Erisey estate joining the down.

A few days afterwards Miss Jenny having perfectly recovered of her sprain was purchased by Dr. Dove. The alteration which took place in her shape was so little that it excited no suspicion in any person:—a circ*mstance which will not appear extraordinary to those who remember that the great Mr. Taplin himself having once booked his expectations of a colt, kept the mare eleven lunar months and a fortnight by the Almanack, and then parted with her, after taking the opinion of almost every farmer and breeder in the country, upon an universal decision that she had no foal in her;—ten days afterwards the mare shewed cause why the decision of the judges should be reversed. Those persons, I say, who know the supereminent accuracy of Mr. Taplin, and that in matters of this kind every thing past under his own eye, (for he tells you that it was a trust which he never delegated to another), will not be so much surprised as the Doctor was at what happened on the present occasion. The Doctor and Nicholas were returning from Adwick-in-the-Street where they had been performing an operation. It was on the eleventh of June; the day had been unusually hot; they were overtaken by a thunderstorm, and took shelter in a barn. The Doctor had no sooner alighted than Miss Jenny appeared greatly distressed; and to the utter astonishment both of Dr. Dove and Nicholas, who could scarcely believe their own eyes, there was—almost as soon as they could take off the saddle—what I once saw called in the letter of a waiting gentlewoman—dishion to the family. To express the same event in loftier language,

Ἦλθεν δ᾿ υπὸ σπλάγχνων ὑπ ὠ——
δῖνος τ᾽ ἐρατᾶς ΝΟΨ
Ες φάος ἀυτίκα._

It is for the gratification of the learned Thebans who will peruse this history that I quote Pindar here.



Every man can say B to a battledore, and write in praise of virtue and the seven liberal sciences; thresh corn out of full sheaves, and fetch water out of the Thames. But out of dry stubble to make an after-harvest, and a plentiful crop without sowing, and wring juice out of a flint, that is Pierce a God's name, and the right trick of a workman.


There is an anecdote related of the Speaker in one of Queen Elizabeth's Parliaments, who when the Queen, during a session in which small progress had been made in the public business, asked him what the House had got through, made answer, “May it please your Majesty, eight weeks.” In like manner, if it be asked what I have got through in the prosecution of this my Opus, I reply, “May it please your Readership, four volumes.”

This brings to my recollection another anecdote, which though not matter of history like the former, is matter of fact, and occurred in the good town of Truro. A lady in that town hired a servant, who at the time of hiring thought herself bound to let the lady know that she had once “had a misfortune.” When she had been some time in service, she spoke of something to her Mistress, inadvertently, as having happened just after the birth of her first child. Your first! said the Lady; why how many have you had then?—Oh Ma'am said she, I've had four. Four! exclaimed the Mistress; why you told me you had had but one. However I hope you mean to have no more. Ma'am, replied the woman, that must be as it may please God.

“We are” says Lord Camelford, “as it pleases God,—and sometimes as it displeases him.”

The reflection is for every one; but the anecdote is recommended to the special notice of a Critic on the Athenæum establishment, who in delivering his opinion upon the third volume of this Opus, pronounced it to be “clear to him,” that the Author had “expended” on the two former, “a large portion of his intellectual resources, no less than of his lengthy common-place book.”

The aforesaid Critic has also pronounced that the Opus entitled The Doctor might have been and ought to have been a Novel. Might have been is one consideration, ought to have been is another, and whether it would have been better that it should have been, is a third; but without discussing either of these propositions, because as Calderon says,

Sobre impossibles y falsas
proposiciones, no hai

without, I say, enquiring into what might, would, could, or should have been, neither of which imports of the preterperfect tense, optative, potential or subjunctive, are suitable to the present case, the Author of this Opus replies to the aforesaid Critic's assertion that the Opus might have been a Novel,—That, Sir, must have been as it pleased ME.

When Corporal Trim in one of his many attempts to begin the immortal story of the King of Bohemia and his Seven Castles, called that King unfortunate, and Uncle Toby compassionately asked “was he unfortunate then?” the Corporal replied, the King of Bohemia, an' please your honour was unfortunate, as thus,—that taking great pleasure and delight in navigation and all sort of sea affairs, and there happening throughout the whole Kingdom of Bohemia, to be no sea-port town whatever,—“How the Deuce should there, Trim? cried my Uncle Toby; for Bohemia being totally inland, it could have happened no otherwise.”—“It might said Trim, if it had pleased God.”—“I believe not, replied my Uncle Toby, after some pause—for being inland as I said, and having Silesia and Moravia to the East; Lusatia and Upper Saxony to the North; Franconia to the West, and Bavaria to the South, Bohemia could not have been propelled to the sea, without ceasing to be Bohemia,—nor could the sea, on the other hand, have come up to Bohemia, without overflowing a great part of Germany, and destroying millions of unfortunate inhabitants who could make no defence against it,—which would bespeak, added my Uncle Toby, mildly, such a want of compassion in Him who is the Father of it,—that, I think, Trim—the thing could have happened no way.”

Were I to say of a hom*o on any establishment whatsoever, political, commercial or literary, public or private, legal or ecclesiastical, orthodox or heterodox, military or naval,—I include them all that no individual in any may fancy the observation was intended for himself and so take it in snuff, (a phrase of which I would explain the origin if I could,)—and moreover that no one may apply to himself the illustration which is about to be made, I use the most generic term that could be applied,—Were I to say of any hom*o, (and how many are there of whom it might be said!) that he might have been whelped or foaled, instead of having been born, no judicious reader would understand me as predicating this to be possible, but as denoting an opinion that such an animal might as well have been a quadruped as what he is; and that for any use which he makes of his intellect, it might have been better for society if he had gone on four legs and carried panniers.

“There stands the Honourable Baronet, hesitating between two bundles of opinions”—said a certain noble Lord of a certain County Member in the course of an animated debate in the House of Commons on a subject now long since forgotten. I will not say of any hom*o on any establishment that his fault is that of hesitating too long or hazarding too little; but I will say of any such hypothetical hom*o as might better have been foaled, that I wish his panniers had supplied him with better bundles to choose of.

“How,” says Warburton, “happened it in the definitions of Man, that reason, is always made essential to him? Nobody ever thought of making goodness so. And yet it is certain that there are as few reasonable men as there are good. To tell you my mind, I think Man might as properly be defined, an animal to whom a sword is essential, as one to whom reason is essential. For there are as few that can, and yet fewer that dare, use the one as the other.”—And yet, he might have added, too many that misuse both.

The aforesaid Critic on the Athenæum establishment spoke with as little consideration as Trim, when he said that the Opus might have been a novel, implying the while—if it had so pleased the Author; and I make answer advisedly like my Uncle Toby in saying that it could not have pleased me.

The moving accident is not my trade;
To freeze the blood I have no ready arts.1


Wherefore should I write a novel? There is no lack of novels nor of novel-writers in these days, good, bad, and indifferent. Is there not Mr. James who since the demise of Sir Walter is by common consent justly deemed King of the historical Novelists? And is there not Mrs. Bray who is as properly the Queen? Would the Earl of Mulgrave be less worthily employed in writing fashionable tales upon his own views of morality, than he is in governing Ireland as he governs it? Is there any season in which some sprigs of nobility and fashion do not bring forth hot-house flowers of this kind? And if some of them are rank or sickly, there are others (tell us, Anne Grey! are there not?) that are of delicate penciling, rich colours, and sweet scent. What are the Annuals but schools for Novelists male and female? and if any lady in high life has conceived a fashionable tale, and when the critical time arrives wishes for a temporary concealment, is not Lady Charlotte Bury kindly ready to officiate as Sage Femme?

The Critic was not so wide of the mark in saying that this Opus ought to have been a novel—to have pleased him, being understood.

Oh, like a book of sport thou'lt read me o'er;
But there's more in me than thou understandest:2

And indeed as Chapman says in his Commentary on the Iliad, “where a man is understood there is ever a proportion between the writer's wit and the writees,—that I may speak with authority, according to my old lesson in philosophy, intellectus in ipsa intelligibilia transit.”


Le role d'un auteur est un role assez vain, says Diderot, c'est celui d'un homme qui se croit en etat de donner des leçons au public. Et le role du critique? Il est plus vain encore; c'est celui d'un homme qui se croit en etat de donner des leçons à celui qui se croit en etat d'en donner au public. L'auteur dit, Messieurs, écoutezmoi, car je suis votre maitre. Et le critique, C'est moi, Messieurs, qu'il faut écouter, car je suis le maitre de vos maitres.

The Athenæan Critic plays the Master with me,—and tops his part. “It is clear, he says, from every page of this book that the Author does not in vulgar parlance, think Small Beer of himself.” Right, my Master? certainly I do not. I do not think that the contents of this book would be truly compared to small beer, which is either weak and frisky, or weak and flat; that they would turn sour upon a sound, that is to say an orthodox stomach, or generate flatulence except in an empty one. I am more inclined, as my Master insinuates, to think Strong Beer of myself, Cwrw, Burton, Audit Ale, Old October,—what in his parlance used be called Stingo; or Porter, such as Thrale's Entire, and old Whitbread's, in days when the ingredients came from the malster and the hop merchant, not from the Brewer's druggist. Or Cider, whether of Herefordshire, Somersetshire or Devonshire growth, no matter; Stire, co*kaghee, or Fox-whelp, a beverage as much better than Champagne, as it is honester, wholesomer and cheaper. Or Perry, the Teignton-Squash. These are right old English liquors, and I like them all. Nay, I am willing if my Master pleases, to think Metheglin of myself also, though it be a Welsh liquor, for there is Welsh blood in my veins, and Metheglin has helped to make it, and it is not the worse for the ingredient. Moreover with especial reference to the present Opus, there is this reason why I should think Metheglin of myself,—that Metheglin is made of honey and honey is collected from all the flowers of the fields and gardens: and how should I have been able to render this tribute to the Philosopher of Doncaster, my true Master, if I had not been busy as a Bee in the fields and gardens of literature, yea in the woods and wilds also? And in the orchards,—for have I not been plying early and late amongst

“the orchard trees
Last left and earliest found by birds and bees?”3

Of Bees however let me be likened to a Dumbledore, which Dr. Southey says is the most goodnatured of God's Insects; because great must be the provocation that can excite me to use my sting.


My Master's mention of Small Beer, in vulgar parlance Swipes, reminds me of Old Tom of Oxford's Affectionate Condolence with the Ultras, some years ago, whereby it appears that he thought Small Beer at that time of some very great Patriots and Queenites.

I see your noble rage too closely pent;
I hear you Whigs and Radicals ferment,
Like close-cork'd bottles fill'd with fizzing barm.

Now, Gentlemen, whose stopper is the strongest?
Whose eloquence will bottle-in the longest?
Who'll first explode, I wonder, or who last?
As weak small Beer is sure to fly the first,
Lo! poor Grey Bennet hath already burst,
And daub'd with froth the Speaker as he past.

Who next? Is't Lambton, weak and pert and brisk,
And spitting in one's face, like Ginger-frisk?
Lord John, keep in thy cork, for Heaven's sake do!
The strength and spirit of Champagne is thine,
Powers that will mellow down to generous wine;
Thy premature explosion I should rue.

The Oxford satirist thought Champagne of Lord John in the reign of Queen Caroline. I think Champagne of him still, which the Satirist assuredly does not, but we differ in opinion upon this point only because we differ concerning the merits of the wine so called. I request him to accept the assurance of my high consideration and good-will, I shake hands with him mentally and cordially, and entreat him to write more songs, such as gladden the hearts of true Englishmen.

Dr. Clarke says in a note to his Travels, that Champagne is an artificial compound: that “the common champagne wine drunk in this country is made with green grapes and sugar; and that the imitation of it, with green gooseberries and sugar, is full as salutary, and frequently as palatable.” A Frenchman who translated these Travels remarks upon this passage thus, C'est sans doute par un sentiment de patriotisme, et pour degoûter ses compatriotes du vin de Champagne, que le Docteur Clarke se permet de hasarder de pareilles assertions. Croit-il que le vin de Champagne se fasse avec du sucre et des raisins verts, ou des groseilles, et qu'un semblable mélange puisse passer, même en Angleterre, pour un analogue des vins d'Ai et d'Epernai? Dr. Clarke, as it became him to do, inserted this remark in his next edition, and said in reply to it, “It so happens that the author's information does not at all depend upon any conjectures he may have formed; it is the result of enquiries which he made upon the spot, and of positive information relative to the chemical constituents ‘des vins d'Ai et d'Epernai,’ from Messrs. Moett and Company, the principal persons concerned in their fabrication.” It was in the town of Epernai, whither the author repaired for information upon this subject, that in answer to some written questions proposed to Mons. Moett, the following statement was given by that gentleman touching the admission of sugar into the composition of their wine:

Peut-être regarderoit-on en Champagne comme un indiscretion, la réponse a cette question, puisque la révélation de ce qu'on appelle LE SECRET DU PROPRIETAIRE pourroit nuire a la reputation des vins de Champagne: mais les hommes instruits et éclairés doivent connoître les faits et les causes, parcequ'ils savent apprecier et en tirer les justes consequences.

Il est tres vrai que dans les années froides ou pluvieuses, le raisin n'ayant pas acquis assez de maturité, ou ayant été privé de la chaleur du soleil, les vins n'ont plus cette liqueur douce et aimable qui les characterise: dans ce cas quelques propriétaires y ont supplée par l'introduction dans leur vins d'une liqueur tres eclaire, dont la base est nécessairement du sucre; sa fabrication est un secrêt; cette liqueur meslée en très petites quantités aux vins verts, corrige le vice de l'année, et leur donne absolument la même douceur que celle que procure le soleil dans les années chaudes. Il s'est élevé en Champagne même des frequentes querelles entre des connoisseurs qui pretendoient pouvoir distinguer au goût la liqueur artificielle de celle qui est naturelle; mais c'est une chimère. Le sucre produit dans le raisin, comme dans toute espèce de fruit par le travail de la nature, est toujours du sucre, comme celui que l'art pourroit y introduire, lorsque l'intemperance des saisons les en a privé. Nous nous sommes plûs très souvent à mettre en defaut l'expérience de ces prétendus connoisseurs; et il est si rare de les voir rencontrer juste, que l'on peut croire que c'est le hazard plus que leur goût qui les a guidé.

Having thus upon the best authority shown that Champagne in unfavourable years is doctored in the country, and leaving the reader to judge how large a portion of what is consumed in England is made from the produce of our own gardens, I repeat that I think Champagne of Lord John Russell,—not such as my friend of Oxford intended in his verses,—but Gooseberry Champagne, by no means brisk, and with a very disagreeable taste of the Cork.

If the Oxford Satirist and I should peradventure differ concerning Champagne, we are not likely to differ now concerning Lord John Russell. I am very well assured that we agree in thinking of his Lord Johnship as he is thought of in South Devonshire. Nor shall we differ in our notions of some of Lord John's Colleagues, and their left handed friends. If he were to work out another poem in the same vein of satire, some of the Whole-hoggery in the House of Commons he would designate by Deady, or Wet and Heavy, some by weak tea, others by Blue-Ruin, Old Tom which rises above Blue-Ruin to the tune of three pence a glass—and yet more fiery than Old Tom, as being a fit beverage for another Old one who shall be nameless,—Gin and Brimstone.

There is a liquor peculiar to Cornwall, with which the fishermen regale, and which because of its colour they call Mahogany, being a mixture of two parts gin and one part treacle, well beaten together. Mahogany then may be the representative liqueur of Mr. Charles Buller, the representative of a Cornish borough: and for Sir John Campbell there is Athol porridge, which Boswell says is the counterpart of Mahogany, but which Johnson thought must be a better liquor, because being a similar mixture of whiskey and honey, both its component parts are better: qui non odit the one, amet the other.

Mr. Shiel would put the Satirist in mind of Whiskey “unexcised by Kings,” and consequently above proof. Mr. Roebuck of Bitters, Mr. Joseph Hume of Ditch Water, Mr. Lytton Bulwer of Pop, Mr. Ward of Pulque, Mr. O'Connell of Aqua Tofana, and Lord Palmerston of Parfait Amour.

Observe good Reader, it was to bottled Small Beer that the Oxford Satirist likened Grey Bennet, not to Brown Stout, which is a generous liquor having body and strength.

Hops and Turkeys, Carp and Beer
Came into England all in one year

and that year was in the reign of Henry VIII. The Turkeys could not have come before the discovery of America, nor the Beer before the introduction of the Hops. Bottled Beer we owe to the joint agency of Alexander Nowell, Bishop Bonner, and Mr. Francis Bowyer, afterwards Sheriff of London.

Alexander Nowell, Dean of St. Pauls,

A famous preacher in the halcyon days
Of Queen Elizabeth of endless praise,

was at the beginning of Queen Mary's cruel reign, Master of Westminster School. Izaak Walton would have pronounced him a very honest man from his picture at Brazen Nose College, (to which he was a great Benefactor,) inasmuch as he is there represented “with his lines, hooks and other tackling, lying in a round on one hand, and his angles of several sorts on the other.” But says Fuller, whilst Nowell was catching of Fishes, Bonner was catching of Nowell, and understanding who he was, designed him to the shambles, whither he had certainly been sent, had not Mr. Francis Bowyer then a London merchant, conveyed him upon the seas. Nowell was fishing upon the Banks of the Thames when he received the first intimation of his danger, which was so pressing that he dared not go back to his own house to make any preparation for his flight. Like an honest angler he had taken with him provision for the day; and when in the first year of England's deliverance he returned to his own country and his own haunts, he remembered that on the day of his flight he had left a bottle of beer in a safe place on the bank; there he looked for it, and “found it no bottle but a gun, such the sound at the opening thereof; and this, says Fuller, is believed, (casualty is mother of more inventions than industry,) the original of Bottled Ale in England.”

Whatever my Master may think of me, whether he may class me with Grey Bennet's weak and frothy, or Dean Nowell's wholesome and strong, be the quality of the liquor what it may, he certainly mistook the capacity of the vessel, even if he allowed it to be a Magnum Bonum or Scotch Pint. Greatly was he mistaken when he supposed that a large portion of my intellectual resources was expended, and of my common-place Book also.—The former come from a living spring,—and the latter is like the urn under a River God's arm. I might hint also at that Tun which the Pfalzgraf Johannes Kasimir built at Heidelberg in the year 1591,

Dessgleichen zu derselben zeit
War keines in der Christenheit:

but alas! it is now a more melancholy object than the Palace to which it appertained,—for the ruins of that Palace are so beautiful, that the first emotion with which you behold them is that of unmingled pleasure:—and the tun is empty! My Master, however, who imagines that my vat runs low and is likely to be drawn dry, may look at one of the London Brewers great casks.


W. Nicol, 51, Pall Mall.


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The doctor, &c., vol. 4 (of 7) (2024)


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