Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

a

[ocr errors]

author was not born to. Besides this piece was composed in haste and in my dayes of mourning on the sad occasion of a beloved brother's death." (p 65). Then again in his epistle-dedicatory of his “Man-Mouse" (1650) which is thus inscribed "To my learned and much respected friend, Mr. Matthew Harbert” (sic), there are confirmations of the two brothers epigram-uttered reverence for their Master'. It thus begins : "Sir, I know you are not great; there's a better title, you are good. I might have fix'd this piece to a pinnacle, made the dedication high : but to what purpose ? Greatness is a thing which I cannot admire in others, because I desire it not in my self. It is a proud follie, a painted ceremonious raunt. There is nothing necessarie in it: for most men live without it, and I may not applie to that which my reason declines, as well as my fortune. The truth is I know no use of hoghens and titulados. If they are in a humor to give, I am no beggar to receive. I look not (for) any thing Sir, but what the learned are inrich'd withall, judgement and candor. You are a true friend to both, and to my third self”. It thus ends : “ This is my subject Sir, and now I must tell you, my address to your self hath somthing of duty in it. I had no sooner left milke for meat, but my first learning came from you Bee pleas'd to accept this small acknowledgement from your pupil and servant”. Similarly “Lumen de Lumine" (1651) is addressed To my deare mother, the most famous Universitie of Oxford” and as a specimen of his ordinaryextraordinary way of putting things, the whole Epistle must be here adduced.

66

“I have observ'd-most deare mother-and that in most of thy sons, a complexion of fame and ingratuitie. Learning indeed they have, but they forget the brests that gave it. Thy good works meet not with one Samaritan, but many hast thou cur'd of the leprosie of ignorance. This is the spot that soyls our perfections : we have all drunk of thy fountaine, but we sacrifice not the water to the well. For my own part, I can present thee with nothing that's voluminous, but here is a mustard-seed, which may grow to be the greatest amongst herbs. (Mat. 13. 32). The draught itself hath nothing of nature, but what is under the veile : I wish indeed thou mayst see her sine flammeo, but her face like that of the annuntiata expects the pencils of an angell. I cannot say this composure deserves thy patronage, but give me leave to make it my opportunitie, that I may returne the acknowledgement, where I receiv'd the benefit. I intend not my addresse for the banks of Isis : thou hast no portion there, unlesse thy stones require my inscription. It is thy dispersed body I have knowne, and that only I remember. Take it then wheresoever thou art, in thy sad removes and visitations. It is neither Sadducee nor Pharisee, but the test of an Israelite, and thy legitimate child".

The Reader may turn at this point to the Verses “ To Oxford” with the quotation at the head, and also to the Latin Verses on Bodley. There are numerous kindredly kind and grateful references to his University. His College was "Jesus," whither with Henry he proceeded in 1638, being recorded as matriculating, 14 December, aged 16. He passed M. A. Walker in the “Sufferings” makes two Thomas Vaughans out of the one and dubs him “Fellow(a mistake.) By some unfortunate mischance even industrious Anthony-a-Wood has failed to trace his progress at the University. It seems certain that the characteristically blundering Welshaccounts ante-date by a goodly number of years his receiving orders' in the Church. 1640 is usually given, but as he only entered late in 1638 aged 16, it is self-corrective. On finishing his college-attendances he had a presentation to the ‘living' of his native parish-Llansaintfread, through it would appear a distant relative, SIR GEORGE VAUGHAY, of Fallerstone in Wilts. He received ordination from Bishop Mainwaring, a co-son of Brecon, about whom the one vital thing that has come down is that his little pet-dog on his death lay yearning on his grave and volunta. rily starved itself to death in its great desolateness and love. May light lie on its memory!

[ocr errors]

a

6

It must have been a pleasant thing for the elder brother thus to return to his cradle-land and to have Henry as one of his parishoners. There was no fore-thought perhaps of the Master's warning on the reception of a prophet in his own country,' nor did the swift-coming trials that ensued spring from his own people'. But trials did comeafter a few years.

I have just been reading the following tractate : “ Gemitus Ecclesiæ Cambro-Britannicæ, or The Candle-sticks Removed, by the Ejectment of the Ministers of Wales, under the power of the late Act, for the Propagation of the Gospell there. Being a Declaration to all Christian People and more especially the reverend Ministers of England. Expressing the sad condition of the severall Parishes, and ejected Ministers in that Countrey. London, Printed in the yeare 1654" (4to., 8 leaves) and it is a pathetic Appeal, bringing a mist of tears over one's eyes inevitably even at this late day. The * Act' fell on the Rector of Llansaintfread heavily, as he was 'ejected' by the Parliamentary Ecclesiastical Commisioners. The charges were I am willing to believe

very

much after the wonted form of making them : but equally am I bound to believe-on unquestionable testimony--that the form was as a rule sorrowfully truthful. Beside the Gemitus Ecclesiæ " must be put the “ Chirps” and other pungent and drastic tractates of as saintly and heroic a man as ever has lived in or out of Wales—VAVASOR POWELL: and from these the general incompetency and worthlesness of the Welsh clergy of the period are demonstrated, and a key given to the alien character of the National Church until now,

when a very different clergy (again as a rule) fill her pulpits. The Powell and other contemporaneous books are before me: but I don't even care to give their title-pages, as I don't care to stir ashes of an old strife. By his own admissions and by the necessities of his conviction, Thomas VAUGHAN stood for the King as against the Nation, for the one rather than the many, and 'bore arms' for his royalism. Very good as vindicating allegiance to conscience: only don't let us have the penalty of ejectment' declaimed against. “Having borne arms for the king,' as before the supreme authority of the Commonwealth he was 'guilty. I am not arguing on the meritsalbeit I go with the Nation as against the 'one' especially when the one was so false, so treacherous, so selfish (however interesting in portraits and the like) as the first Charles and so utterly and abominably unworthy as the second Charlesbut as matter of law, and thereby ejectment' was compelled.

6

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »