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formly preserved, as in the bishop's case, through life, we prognosticate, without the aid of the graphiologist, clear thought and methodical accuracy. To write intelligibly, was indeed matter of principle with Bishop Copleston; and that any person, able to handle a pen, should habitually do otherwise, he thought showed some degree of arrogance, or else of selfish carelessness.
Let me further mention, as a pleasing trait, that this early MS. book contains a careful transcript of a Latin verse exercise, written by the bishop's younger brother, then of the age of sixteen, and living at home with his father.
An old friend and contemporary of the bishop, when a scholar at C. C. C., has kindly sent me the following specimen of his youthful muse, not unworthy to be classed with Milton's Latin effusions at the same age.
The lines were written at Offwell, during a vacation, and sent to his friend by post, his age being then seventeen.
Sæpe ego vicinâ cùm nuncius urbe rediret
(Unde refert quicquid poscit ab urbe domus)
Adveniat tandem littera facta manu.
Et magis a votis cedere visa meis;
Inter amicorum semper habende chorum,
Felices profers lætus et ipse jocos;
Demere de solido spernis ut antè die;
Sepositâque omni (namque hoc est vivere) curâ
Appetis extremâ non nisi nocte torum :
Gaudet in adversis numen adesse bonæ)
Aufugit ardenti pulsa dolore quies,
Vexat adhuc variam pustula multa cutem;-
Amplius ignavos non sinis ire dies,
Confisus propriis viribus alta petis,
Personet eloquium Sheldoniana tuum ; (Nam te nec pigræ semper succumbere menti
Exstiterit quamvìs hactenus iste pudor, Nec te crediderim ingenio quandò tibi tali
Dî dederunt, paucis quale dedêre frui, Desidiam infamem potiùs sine fine fovere
Quam petere ingenio præmia digna tuo) Quicquid agis, responsa rogo. Si Musa negârit;
Ne pete, quærenti quod tibi Musa negat; Te verò curasque tuas sermone pedestri,
Et reliqui quid agant, fac mihi charta ferat. Intereà (invitâ si sit, mî ignosce, Minerva)
Versiculos, præsens quos tulit hora, dabo: Nec mirêre precor, flatus si Crassior Austri
Spiret Hyperboreis duriùs auriculis, Aut sese incultis Cantata Devonia Musis
Jactet, et agrestes tantùm amet illa modos. Vive meo nunquàm memori elapsurus amore
Et, quod nunc volo se sic et habere, vale.
Offwell, Nov. 24, 1796.
For some few years, the path of the younger followed close upon that of the elder brother,John succeeding to the scholarship which Edward vacated when elected fellow of Oriel. And although in after-life there grew a wide difference between their respective stations and fortunes, yet did the same affectionate interest in each other's welfare, of which this MS. book whispers, continue with increasing warmth throughout their course. The successful prizeman was not an unlikely person to be elected fellow at any college; yet I should not be doing full justice to the subject of my memoir by simply recording the fact that, in the year 1795, he was elected into that college which he afterwards so much adorned. The circumstances under which he was elected were very remarkable; for whereas, in ordinary cases, the candidates present themselves and solicit permission to be admitted to the lists, here, in this case, after examination of a number of competitors, among whom young Copleston was not included, the provost and fellows of Oriel sent for him to C. C. C., and invited him to be chosen into their society. We may well conjecture that, at this early day, there were indications of a character and intellect promising things beyond the éclat of a verse-prize. Nor was it long before these indications were in part made good: for in the next year, his probationary year at Oriel, Mr. Copleston was graced with the riper and more solid honours of the English Essay. The subject of it- Agriculture—was one of national
interest, and his manner of treating it won for the author a compliment quite unique, I believe, in the history of ạniversity prize essays—the thanks of the Agricultural Society were communicated to him by the then president, Sir J. Sinclair.
Few men have been better qualified than Mr. Copleston was, in his twenty-first year, to undertake the responsible office of college tutor, upon the duties of which he entered in October Term, 1797 ; while, strange to say, he almost immediately appears before us as captain in a regiment of Volunteers, and leading his pupils from the class-room to the drill-ground. It was the year of the expected French invasion, when all England was in arms. Happily the threatened danger passed away, and the Oriel tutor laid aside his sword; but so long as the alarm existed he applied his energies to this, as to every other matter claiming his attention, and made, as he said of himself, no inconsiderable progress in the science of tactics. Mr. Copleston was at this period, and for many years after, a person of very active and vigorous habits—. 9., in his diary for 1798 I find the following entry: "Jul. 6. Walked from Oxford to Offwell with my brother-to Marlborough in one day.' And again, in December of the same year:
Walked from Oxford to Ufton—the first twentytwo miles in five hours.' The next year is marked by his first introduction to Mr. Ward, afterwards Lord Dudley and Ward, who entered at Oriel in the October Term, 1799, as Mr. Copleston's private
pupil. This academical connexion ripened into friendship, and led to an intimate correspondence of many years. Some of Lord Dudley's letters, it will be remembered, were given to the world after his decease in a volume published by the bishop, and more, now waiting to see the light, were intended to follow. There is an entry in the diary for this year, 1799, which I notice, as giving perhaps the last well-authenticated instance of robbery on the London-road by mounted highwaymen: 'January 12. Robbed by two mounted highwaymen, on my return to Oxford with Mr. Woollcombe and Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Mant, between Uxbridge and Beaconsfield.' The year 1800 was one of great interest and excitement at Oxford, being the æra of the new examination statute; and, as many of the old régime thought, the æra of an alarming revolution. No doubt it is well that there should be in every department of life conservatives by instinct, but Mr. Copleston was not reckoned among them; on the contrary, he came forward as a decided reformer, defended the statute in convocation against a vehement opposition, and, when it passed, undertook with five other colleagues the delicate and invidious task of conducting the first examinations.
It is impossible to write these notices of what passed at Oxford half a century since without a glance at present circumstances. That there should be some jealousy felt at the interference of an external power, and that some fears of the spirit of