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the last of a great race, all of whom spoke nearly the same language, and had a set of moral feelings and notions in com
A new language, and quite a new turn of tragic and comic interest, came in with the restoration.
SPECIMENS FROM THE WRITINGS OF FULLER,
THE CHURCH HISTORIAN.
The writings of Fuller are usually designated by the title of quaint, and with sufficient reason; for such was his natural bias to conceits, that I doubt not upon most occasions it would have been going out of his way to have expressed himself out of them. But his wit is not always a lumen siccum, a dry faculty of surprising; on the contrary, his conceits are oftentimes deeply steeped in human feeling and passion. Above all, his way of telling a story, for its eager liveliness, and the perpetual running commentary of the narrator happily blended with the narration, is perhaps unequalled.
As his works are now scarcely perused but by antiquaries, I thought it might not be unacceptable to my readers to present them with some specimens of his manner, in single thoughts and phrases, and in some few passages of greater length, chiefly of a narrative description. I shall arrange them as I casually find them in my book of extracts, without being solicitous to specify the particular work from which they are taken.
Pyramids.-" The Pyramids themselves, doting with age, have forgotten the names of their founders.”
Virtue in a short person.—“His soul had but a short diocese to visit, and therefore might the better attend the effectual informing thereof." Intellect in a very tall one.
.-" Ofttimes such who are built four stories high, are observed to have little in their cockloft."
Naturals.-" Their heads sometimes so little, that there is no room for wit; sometimes so long, that there is no wit for so much room."
Negroes.-" The image of God cut in ebony."
School-divinity.--"At the first it will be as welcome to thee as a prison, and their very solutions will seem knots un. to thee."
Mr. Perkins the divine.-—" He had a capacious head, with angles winding and roomy enough to lodge all controversial intricacies."
The same. _“ He would pronounce the word damn with such an emphasis as left a doleful echo in his auditors' ears a good while after."
Judges in capital cases.- 66 Oh let him take heed how he strikes, that hath a dead hand.”
Memory." Philosophers place it in the rear of the head and it seems the mine of memory lies there, because there men naturally dig for it, scratching it when they are at a loss."
Fancy. It is the most boundless and restless faculty of the soul; for while the understanding and the will are kept, as it were, in libera custodia to their objects of verum et bonum, the fancy is free from all engagements : it digs without spade, sails without ship, flies without wings, builds without charges. fights without bloodshed: in a moment striding from the cen. tre to the circumference of the world ; by a kind of omnipotency creating and annihilating things in an instant; and things divorced in Nature are married in fancy as in a lawles» place.”
Infants.—“Some, admiring what motives to mirth infants' meet with in their silent and solitary smiles, have resolved, how truly I know not, that then they converse with angels; as, indeed, such cannot among mortals find any fitter companions."
Music.— Such is the sociableness of music, it conforms itself to all companies, both in mirth and mourning; complying to improve that passion with which it finds the auditors most affected. In a word, it is an invention which might have beseemed a son of Seth to have been the father thereof: though better it was that Cain's great grandchild should havo the credit first to find it, than the world the unhappiness long. er to have wanted it."
St. Monica.—" Drawing near her death, she sent most pious thoughts as harbingers to heaven, and her soul saw a glimpse of happiness through the chinks of her sicknessbroken body."
Mortality.—" To smell to a turf of fresh earth is whole. some for the body, no less are thoughts of mortality cordial 10 the soul.”
Virgin.--" No lordling husband shall at the same time command her presence and distance; to be always near in
* “ The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
constant attendance, and always to stand aloof in awful observance."
Elder brother. - Is one who made haste to come into the world to bring his parents the first news of male posterity, and is well rewarded for his tidings.”
Bishop Fletcher.--" His pride was rather on him than in him, as only gait and gesture deep, not sinking to his heart, though causelessly condemned for a proud man, as who was a good hypocrite, and far more humble than he appeared."
Masters of colleges. -“ A little allay of dulness in a master of a college makes him fitter to manage secular affairs."
The good yeoman.--" Is a gentleman in ore, whom the next age may see refined.”
Good parent.—"For his love, therein, like a well-drawn picture, he eyes all his children alike."
Deformity in children.-" This partiality is tyranny, when parents despise those that are deformed; enough to break those whom God had bowed before.”
Good master.—“In correcting his servant he becomes not a slave to his own passion. Not cruelly making new indentures of the flesh of his apprentice. He is tender of his servant in sickness and age. If crippled in his service, his house is his hospital. Yet how many throw away those dry bones, out of the which themselves have sucked the mar. row !
Good widow.—“If she can speak but little good of him, [her dead husband,] she speaks but litle of him. So handsomely folding up her discourse, that his virtues are shown outward, and his vices wrapped up in silence; as counting it barbarism to throw dirt on his memory who hath mould cast on his body.”
Horses.-" These are men's wings, wherewith they make such speed. A generous creature a horse is, sensible in some sort of honour ; and made most handsome by that which deforms men most, pride.”
Martyrdom.-" Heart of oak hath sometimes warped a lhuile in the scorching heat of persecution. Their want of true courage herein cannot be excused. Yet many censure them for surrendering up their forts after a long siege, who would have yielded up their own at the first summons. Oh! there is more required to make one valiant, than to call Cranmer or Jewel coward; as if the fire in Smithfield had been no hotter than what is painted in the Book of Martyrs.”
Text of St. Paul.—“St. Paul saith, let not the sun go down on your wrath, to carry news to the antipodes in another world of thy revengeful nature Yer let us take the Apostle's
meaning rather than his words, with all possible speed to je pose our passion ; not understanding him so literally that we mav take leave to be angry till sunset : then might our wrath lengthen with the days; and men in Greenland, where ne day lasts above a quarter of a year, have plentiful scope for revenge.
Biskop Brownrig.-" He carried learning enough in numerato about him in his pockets for any discourse, and had much more at home in his chests for any serious dispute.”
Modest want.-" Those that with diligence fight against poverty, though neither conquer till death makes it a drawn battle, expect not, but prevent their craving of thee : for God forbid the heavens should never rain, till the earth first opens her mouth; seeing some grounds will sooner burn than chap.”
Death’ed temptations.-" The devil is most busy on the last day of his term ; and a tenant to be outed cares not what mischief he doth."
Conversation.—“Seeing we are civilized Englishmen, let us not be naked savages in our talk.”
Wounded soldier.—“Halting is the stateliest march of a soldier; and 'tis a brave sight to see the flesh of an ancient as torn as his colours."
Wat Tyler.--"A misogrammatist ; if a good Greek word may be given to so barbarous a rebel."
Heralds.—“ Heralds new mould men's names—taking from them, adding to them, melting out all the liquid letters, torturing mutes to make them speak, and making vowels dumbto bring it to a fallacious homonomy at the last, that their name: may be the same with those noble houses they pretend to."
Antiquarian diligence.-" It is most worthy observation with what diligence he [Camden] inquired after ancien places, making hue and cry after many a city which was rur away, and by certain marks and tokens pursuing to find it; as by the situation on the Roman highways, by just distance from other ancient cities, by some affinity of name, by tradition of the inhabitants, by Roman coins digged up, and by somo appearance of ruins. A broken urn is a whole evi. dence; or an old gate still surviving, out of which the city is
Besides, commonly some new spruce town not far off is grown out of the ashes thereof, which yet hath so much
* This whimsical prevention of a consequence which no one would havo thought of deducing-setting up an absurdam on purpose to hunt it downplacing guards as it were at the very outposts of possibility-gravely giving out laws to insanity, and prescribing moral fences to distempered intellects, could never have entered into a head less entertainingly constructed than that of Fuller or Sir Thomas Browne, the very air of whose style the conclusin & this passage most aptly imitates
natural affection as dutifully to own those reverend ruins for her mother."
Henry de Essex.-.“ He is too well known in our English chronicles, being Baron of Raleigh in Essex, and hereditary standard-bearer of England. It happened in the reign of this king (Henry II.] there was a fierce battle fought in Flintshire, at Coleshall
, between the English and Welsh, wherein this Henry de Essex animum et signum simul abjecit, between traitor and coward, cast away both his courage and banner together, occasioning a great overthrow of English. But he that had the baseness to do, had the boldness to deny the doing of so foul a fact; until he was challenged in combat by Robert de Momford, a knight, eyewitness thereof, and by him overcome in a Quel. Whereupon his large inheritance was confiscated to the king, and he himself, partly thrust, partly going into a convent, hid his head in a cowl, under which, between shame and sanctity, he blushed out the remainder of his life. "*_Worthies. Article, Bedfordshire.
Sir Edward Harwoud, Knight.—“I have read of a bird which hath a face like, and yet will prey upon a man ; who, coming to the water to drink, and finding there by reflection that he had killed one like himself, pineth away by degrees, and never afterward enjoyeth itself. Such is in some sort the condition of Sir Edward. This accident, that he had killed one in a private quarrel, put a period to his carnal mirth, and was a covering to his eyes all the days of his life. No pos
* The fine imagination of Fuller has done what might have been pronounced impossible: it has given an interest, and a holy character, to coward infamy. Nothing can be more beautiful than the concluding account of the last days, and expiatory retirement, of poor Henry de Essex. The acciress with which the whole of this little story is told is most consummate ; the charm of it seems to consist in a perpetual balance of antitheses not too violently opposed, and the consequent activity of mind in which the reader is kept :
Between traitor and coward”- - baseness to do, boldness to deny”-“partly thrust, partly going into a convent”-“ between shame and sanctity.” The reader by this artifice is taken into a kind of partnership with the writer-his judgment is exercised in settling the preponderance-he feels as if he were consulted as to the issue. But the modern historian flings at once the dead weight of his own judgment into the scale, and settles the matter.
t I do not know where Fuller read of this bird ; but a more awful and atfecting story, and moralizing of a story, in natural history, or rather in that fabulous natural history, where poets and mythologists found the phenix and the unicorn, and other strange fowl,” is nowhere extant. It is a sable which Sir Thomas Browne, if he had heard of it, would have exploded among his Vulgar Errors; but the delight which he would have taken in the discussing of its probabilities would have shown that the truth of the foct, though the avowed object of his search was not so much the motive whicle put him .upcn the investigation, as those hidden affinities and poetical analogiesthose essential verities, in the application of strange table, which made himn linger with such reluctant delay among the last fading lights of popular tradition und not seldom to conjure up a superstition, that had been long extinct, from its dusty grave, to inter it himself with greater ceremonies and so emnities Bburial