Page images


the translation, and it is amusing to compare the two versions. When we were taken upstairs,' says he in one of his letters, a dirty fellow bounced out of the bed on which one of us was to lie.' This incident is recorded in the Journey as follows: Out of one of the beds, on which we were to repose, started up, at our entrance, a man black as a Cyclops from the forge.' Sometimes Johnson translated aloud. The Rehearsal,' he said, very unjustly, has not wit enough to keep it sweet;' then, after a pause, 'it has not vitality enough to preserve it from putrefaction."" In the first of the two periods just quoted, the style is characterized as unidiomatic, quite as much by the suspension of the sense, in consequence of the complicated inversion, "Out of one of the beds started up, at our entrance, a man,' as by the selection of the words which compose it. Many languages are so copious and so flexible,

[ocr errors]

that the same thing, or nearly the same thing, may be said in several different forms; but there are few, if any, where the range of expression is so great as in English. Take, for example, two or three good English translations of a foreign author, and you will generally find them, though perhaps equally true to the original, yet very widely different from each other, both in vocabulary and in structure of period. This may happen in different ways. One translator may choose his words from the Saxon, the other from the Latin stock; or they may incorporate into their respective styles the two elements in equal proportions, but differ in their selection of synonymous expressions; or, again, they may prefer, the one a structure of period formed more upon classical, the other more upon indigenous models.-Lectures on the English Language.



[JOHN FOX. 1517-1587.] DEATH OF ANNE BOLEYN. IN certain records thus we find, that the king being in his justs at Greenwich, suddenly, with a few persons, departed to Westminster, and the next day after Queen Anne his wife was had to the Tower, with the Lord Rochford, her brother, and certain other; and the nineteenth day after was beheaded. The words of this worthy and Christian lady at her death were these: "Good Christian people, I am come hither to die; for, according to the law, and by the law, I am judged to death, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that whereof I am accused

and condemned to die; but I pray God save the king, and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler or a more merciful prince was there never; and to me he was a very good, a gentle, and a sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world, and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. The Lord have mercy on me; to God I recommend my soul. And so she kneeled down, saying, "To Christ I commend my soul; Jesus, receive my soul;" repeating the same divers times, till at length the stroke was given, and her head was stricken off.

And this was the end of that godly lady and queen. Godly I call her, for sundry respects, whatsoever the cause was, or


quarrel objected against her. First, her last words spoken at her death declared no less, her sincere faith and trust in Christ, than did her quiet modesty utter forth the goodness of the cause and matter, whatsoever it was. Besides that, to such as wisely can judge upon cases occurrent, this also may seem to give a great clearing unto her, that the king, the third day after, was married in his whites unto another. Certain this was, that for the rare and singular gifts of her mind, so well instructed, and given toward God, with such a fervent desire unto the truth, and setting forth of sincere religion, joined with like gentleness, modesty, and pity toward all men, there have not many such queens before her borne the Crown of England. Principally, this one commendation she left behind her, that during her life the religion of Christ most happily flourished, and had a right prosperous


Many things might be written more of the manifold virtues and the quiet moderation of her mild nature; how lowly she would bear, not only to be admonished, but also, of her own accord, would require her chaplains plainly and freely to tell whatsoever they saw in her amiss. Also, how bountiful she was to the poor, passing not only the poor example of other queens, but also the revenues almost of her estate: insomuch, that the alms which she gave in three quarters of a year, in distribution, is summed to the number of fourteen or fifteen thousand pounds; besides the great piece of money, which her Grace intended to impart into four sundry quarters of the realm, as for a stock, there to be employed to the behoof of poor artificers and occupiers. Again, what a zealous defender she was of Christ's gospel all the world doth know, and her acts do and will declare to the world's end. Amongst which other her acts, this is one, that she placed Master Hugh Latimer in the bishopric of Worcester, and also preferred Doctor Sharton to his bishopric, being then accounted a good man. Furthermore, what a true faith she bore unto the Lord, this one example may stand for many: for that, when King Henry was with her at

Woodstock, and there being afraid of an old blind prophecy, for the which, neither he nor other kings before him durst hunt in the said park of Woodstock, nor enter into the town of Oxford, at last, through the Christian and faithful counsel of that queen, he was so armed against all infidelity, that both he hunted in the foresaid park, and also entered into the town of Oxford, and had no harm. But, because touching the memorable virtues of this worthy queen, partly we have said something before, partly because more also is promised to be declared of her virtuous life (the Lord so permitting) by other who then were about her, I will cease in this matter further to proceed.-Book of Martyrs.

[ROGER ASCHAM. 1515-1568.]


It is pity that commonly more care is had, and that among very wise men, to find out rather a cunning man for their horse, than a cunning man for their children. To the one they will gladly give a stipend of 200 crowns by the year, and loth to offer the other 200 shillings. God, that sitteth in heaven, laugheth their choice to scorn, and rewardeth their liberality as it should; for he suffereth them to have tame and well ordered horse, but wild and unfortunate children.

One example, whether love or fear doth work more in a child for virtue and learning, I will gladly report; which may be heard with some pleasure, and followed with more profit. Before I went into Germany, I came to Broadgate in Leicestershire, to take my leave of that noble Lady Jane Grey, to whom I was exceeding much beholden. Her parents, the duke and the duchess, with all the household, gentlemen, and gentle-women, were hunting in the park. I found her in her chamber, reading Phoedon Platonis in Greek, and that with as much delight as some gentlemen would read a merry tale in Bocace. After salutation and duty done, with some other talk, I asked her,

why she would lose such pastime in the park? Smiling, she answered me, "I wiss, all their sport in the park is but a shadow to that pleasure that I find in Plato. Alas! good folk, they never felt what true pleasure meant. "And how came you, Madam," quoth I, "to this deep knowledge of pleasure? And what did chiefly allure you unto it, seeing not many women, but very few men, have attained thereunto?" "I will tell you," quoth she, "and tell you a truth which, perchance, ye will marvel at. One of the greatest benefits that ever God gave me, is that he sent me so sharp and severe parents, and so gentle a schoolmaster. For when I am in presence either of father or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do it, as it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea, presently, sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs, and other ways, which I will not name for the honour I bear them, so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time come that I must go to Mr. Elmer; who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time nothing, whiles I am with him. And when I am called from him, I fall on weeping, because whatever I do else, but learning, is full of grief, trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book hath been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to me more pleasure and more, that, in respect of it, all other pleasures, in very deed, be but trifles and troubles unto The Schoolmaster.





THUS died King Edward VI., that incomparable young prince. He was then in the sixteenth year of his age, and was

counted the wonder of that time. He was not only learned in the tongues, and other liberal sciences, but knew well the state of his kingdom. He kept a book, in which he writ the characters that were given him of all the chief men of the nation, all the judges, lord-lieutenants, and justices of the peace over England: in it he had marked down their way of living, and their zeal for religion. He had studied the matter of the mint, with the exchange and value of money; so that he understood it well, as appears by his journal. He also understood fortification, and designed well. He knew all the harbours and ports, both of his own dominions, and of France and Scotland; and how much water they had, and what was the way of coming into them. He had acquired great knowledge of foreign affairs; so that he talked with the ambassadors about them in such a manner, that they filled all the world with the highest opinion of him that was possible; which appears in most of the histories of that age. He had great quickness of apprehension; and, being mistrustful of his memory, used to take notes of almost everything he heard: he writ these first in Greek characters, that those about him might not understand them; and afterwards writ them out in his journal. He had a copy brought him of everything that passed in council, which he put in a chest, and kept the key of that always himself.

In a word, the natural and acquired perfections of his mind were wonderful; but his virtues and true piety were yet more extraordinary. [He] was tender and compassionate in a high measure; so that he was much against taking away the lives of heretics; and therefore said to Cranmer, when he persuaded him to sign the warrant for the burning of Joan of Kent, that he was not willing to do it, because he thought that was to send her quick to hell. He expressed great tenderness to the miseries of the poor in his sickness, as hath been already shown. He took particular care of the suits of all poor persons; and gave Dr. Cox special charge to see that thei

petitions were speedily answered, and used oft to consult with him how to get their matters set forward. He was an exact keeper of his word; and therefore, as appears by his journal, was most careful to pay his debts, and to keep his credit, knowing that to be the chief nerve of government; since a prince that breaks his faith, and loses his credit, has thrown up that which he can never recover, and made himself liable to perpetual distrust and extreme contempt.

He had, above all things, a great regard to religion. He took notes of such things as he heard in sermons, which more especially concerned himself; and made his measures of all men by their zeal in that matter. All men who saw and observed these qualities in him, looked on him as one raised by God for most extraordinary ends; and when he died, concluded that the sins of England had been great, that had provoked God to take from them a prince, under whose government they were like to have seen such blessed times. He was so affable and sweet-natured, that all had free access to him at all times; by which he came to be most universally beloved; and all the high things that could be devised were said by the people to express their esteem of him.-History of the Reformation.

than became one who had so much at stake. He wandered about England for ten weeks after that, hiding from place to place. But, under all the apprehensions he had then upon him, he showed a temper so careless, and so much turned to levity, that he was then diverting himself with little household sports, in as unconcerned a manner as if he had made no loss, and had been in no danger at all. He got at last out of England. But he had been obliged to so many who had been faithful to him, and careful of him, that he seemed afterwards to resolve to make an equal return to them all; and finding it not easy to reward them all as they deserved, he forgot them all alike. Most princes seem to have this pretty deep in them, and to think that they ought never to remember past services, but that their acceptance of them is a full reward. He, of all in our age, exerted this piece of prerogative in the amplest manner: for he never seemed to charge his memory, or to trouble his thoughts, with the sense of any of the services that had been done him. While he was abroad at Paris, Cologne, or Brussels, he never seemed to lay anything to heart. He pursued all his diversions and irregular pleasures in a free career, and seemed to be as serene under the loss of a crown as the greatest philosopher could have been. Nor did he willingly hearken to any of those projects with which he often complained that his chancellor persecuted him. That in which he seemed most concerned was, THUS lived and died King Charles II. to find money for supporting his expense. He was the greatest instance in history of And it was often said, that if Cromwell the various revolutions of which any one would have compounded the matter, and man seemed capable. He was bred up have given him a good round pension, the first twelve years of his life with the that he might have been induced to resplendour that became the heir of so sign his title to him. During his exile, great a crown. After that, he passed he delivered himself so entirely to his through eighteen years of great inequali-pleasures, that he became incapable of ties; unhappy in the war, in the loss of application. He spent little of his time his father, and of the crown of England. Scotland did not only receive him, though upon terms hard of digestion, but made an attempt upon England for him, though a feeble one. He lost the battle of Worcester with too much indifference. And then he showed more care of his person

[ocr errors]


in reading or study, and yet less in thinking. And in the state his affairs were then in, he accustomed himself to say to every person, and upon all occasions, that which he thought would please most; so that words or promises went very easily from him. And he had so ill an opinion

of mankind, that he thought the great art of living and governing was, to manage all things and all persons with a depth of craft and dissimulation. And in that few men in the world could put on the appearances of sincerity better than he could; under which so much artifice was usually hid, that in conclusion he could deceive none, for all were become mistrustful of him. He had great vices, but scarce any virtues to correct them. He had in him some vices that were less hurtful, which corrected his more hurtful ones. He was, during the active part of life, given up to sloth and lewdness to such a degree, that he hated business, and could not bear the engaging in anything that gave him much trouble, or put him under any constraint. And though he desired to become absolute, and to overturn both our religion and our laws, yet he would neither run the risk, nor give himself the trouble, which so great a design required. He had an appearance of gentleness in his outward deportment; but he seemed to have no bowels nor tenderness in his nature, and in the end of his life he became cruel. He was apt to forgive all crimes, even blood itself, yet he never forgave anything that was done against himself, after his first and general act of indemnity, which was to be reckoned as done rather upon maxims of state than inclinations of mercy. He delivered himself up to a most enormous course of vice, without any sort of restraint, even from the consideration of the nearest relations. The most studied extravagances that way seemed, to the very last, to be much delighted in and pursued by him. He had the art of making all people grow fond of him at first, by a softness in his whole way of conversation, as he was certainly the best bred man of the age. But when it appeared how little could be built on his promise, they were cured of the fondness that he was apt to raise in them. When he saw young men of quality, who had something more than ordinary in them, he drew them about him, and set himself to corrupt them both in religion and morality; in which he proved so un

happily successful, that he left England much changed at his death from what he had found it at his restoration. He loved to talk over all the stories of his life to every new man that came about him. His stay in Scotland, and the share he had in the war of Paris, in carrying messages from the one side to the other, were his common topics. He went over these in a very graceful manner, but so often and so copiously, that all those who had been long accustomed to them grew weary of them; and when he entered on those stories, they usually withdrew. So that he often began them in a full audience, and before he had done, there were not above four or five persons left about him, which drew a severe jest from Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. He said he wondered to see a man have so good a memory as to repeat the same story without losing the least circumstance, and yet not remember that he had told it to the same persons the very day before. This made him fond of strangers, for they hearkened to all his often-repeated stories, and went away as in a rapture at such an uncommon condescension in a king.

His person and temper, his vices as well as his fortunes, resemble the character that we have given us of Tiberius so much, that it were easy to draw the parallel between them. Tiberius's banishment, and his coming afterwards to reign, makes the comparison in that respect come pretty near. His hating of business, and his love of pleasures; his raising of favourites, and trusting them entirely; and his pulling them down, and hating them excessively; his art of covering deep designs, particularly of revenge, with an appearance of softness, brings them so near a likeness, that I did not wonder much to observe the resemblance of their faces and persons. At Rome, I saw one of the last statues made for Tiberius, after he had lost his teeth. But, bating the alteration which that made, it was so like King Charles, that Prince Borghese and Signior Dominico, to whom it belonged, did agree with me in think ing that it looked like a statue made him.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »