« ZurückWeiter »
I have set an acorn, which when it becomes an oak, God alone knows what will be the fruit thereof." "These words are round this picture : “ By Vansomer, Ætatis suæ 66 Anno Domini. 1558. Virtute non vi.”
2. Sir Anthony Mildmay, brother to the founder.
3. The conscientious, humble, and pious William Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, painted by P. R. Şans, a full length.
4. Dr. Holbeach, formerly master of the college.
5. Joseph Hall, the pious and exemplary bishop of Nore wich, who has obtained the name of the English Seneca.
6. Joshua Barnes, Greek professor, and editor of Homer, Anacreon, &c. He dedicated his Anacreon to the duke of Marlborough, who hardly understood his mother tongue. The powerful Bentley used to say contemptuously, that “ Barnes just knew as much of Greek, as a Greek cobler." He was a man of great memory, but of weak judgment, which occasioned a wag to recommend this epitaph to be inscribed upon his tomb;
Joshua Barnes, Felicis Memoriæ, Judicium expectans. 7. Sir William Temple, an elegant writer and accomphished statesman. '
8. Dr. Roger Long, author of an elaborate system of astronomy in 2 vols. 4to. and the inventor of a curious planetarium. . 9. The earl of Westmoreland at full length.
10. Dr. Anthony Askew in his doctor's robes.. 11. Dr. Richard Farmer the commentator on Shakespeare,
and late master of this college. This portrait has been engraved. . 12. Dr. Samuel Parr, now living.
In the master's lodge are Dr. Jackson, Bishop of Kildare; the learned and ingenious Dr. Hurd, Bishop of Worcester; Dr. William Bennet, bishop of Cloyne, &c.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Resolves, Divine, Moral, and Political, of Owen FELLth AM. A new Edition, revised and amended, with a short Account of the Author and his Writings. By JAMEs CUMMING, Esq. F. S. A. , 8vo. pp. 404.
LTHOUGH this work was for a long period of time very popular, which evidently appears from its passing through twelve editions, it became at last an obsolete book; and what is still more remarkable, the very name of the author has been passed over in silence by all our biographical collectors. It is difficult to account for this neglect, because the book itself is truly excellent, abounding in sound morality, and distinguished by a stile, which, though rather too antithetical, is uncommonly lively and vigorous. The volume consists of two series of essays on a great variety of interesting subjects, treated with considerable force of judgment. Mr. Cumming has judiciously, in our opinion, exercised his discretion in pruning some of these essays of an unnecessary exuberance of language, and in rejecting a few upon topics which are now regarded with contempt, such as
divination, witchcraft, &c. He has taken extraordinary pains in gathering some memorials of Felltham; and he has been enabled to prefix to this edition an extremely well-written biographical account of this neglected writer, from which we learn that he was the son of Thomas Felltham, of Suffolk, gent. who died on the 11th of March, 1631, aged 62, and was buried at Babraham, in Cambridgeshire. The Fellthams were a family of high antiquity in Norfolk and Suffolk, and were seated, according to Blomefield, at Felltham's manor, in the former county, as early as the reign of Henry III. A branch of them, it seems, remained in Norfolk in 1664, as appears from a pedigree in the college of arms made in a visitation of that year: which sets forth, that Thomas Felltham, of Sculthorpe, in Norfolk, who married Mayant, daughter of Jackson, of 2 in Derbyshire, had issue Thomas Felltham, of Mutford, in Suffolk, who married Mary, daughter of — Ufflett, of Somerleyton, in Suffolk, who had Robert Felltham, of of Sculthorpe, who married Christian, daughter of Wil. liam Lucas, of Horniger, in Suffolk, and had a numerous issue, of which the second son was named Owen. The above-mentioned Thomas Felltham, of Mutford, in Suffolk, must, in all probability, have been the father of our author ; and the Owen described as the second son of Robert Felltham, of Sculthorpe, the nephew of him who wrote the Resolves, from whom that Owen derived his christian name.
It does not seem that Felltham was of either university; but if of any, it was most likely that he was of Cambridge; for Wood in his Athena Oxonienses makes no mention of him.
Of the history of Owen Felltham's private life no further information has been gained than what is afforded by Oldys, in his MS. notes to a copy of Langbain preserved in the British Museum. “William Loughton, the schoolmaster in Kensington,” says he, “ is the only person I have met with who knows any thing more of him, (i. e. than the fact of his parentage). I think he told me once, near thirty years since, that he or some of his family were related to Owen Felltham ; and that he lived in some noble house, in quality of gentleman of the horse, or secretary to some nobleman, with several other particulars now forgot." There is little doubt that the noble family with which Felltham is here said to have been connected, was that of the Earl of Thomond. In the dedication which is prefixed to the later editions of the Resolves, and which is addressed “ to the right honourable my most honoured Lady Mary Countess Dowager of Thomond," he declares “ that most of them were drawn up under her roof,” and notices “ the many other obligations which emboldened him to this dedication;" and in the last edition of his works there is “ a form of prayer composed for the family of the right honourable the Countess Dowager of Thomond.”
Besides his Resolves, Felltham wrote some poems, particularly an answer to Ben Jonson's ode on leaving the stage, and a Latin epitaph on Abp. Laud, which is neat, elegant, and appropriate. He is supposed to have died about 1678.
Having thus extracted as much of the biographical preface as we well could, we shall present our readers with a specimen or two, by which they will be enabled to judge of the sterling merit of this writer, and of the obligations
which are due to his present editor for reviving him from
dust and cobwebs. The following will prove that Felltham's piety was ra
tional and orthodox in gloomy and fanatical times.
** OF PURITANs.
“I find many who are called Puritans; yet few or none who will own the name. The reason of which is surely this, that it is a name of infamy; and is so new, that it hath scarcely yet obtained a definition: nor is it an appellation derived from one man's name, whose tenets we can find digested into a volume: whereby we do much err in our application of it. In itself, it imports a kind of excellency above one another; which man (being conscious of his own frail bendings) is ashamed to assume to himself. So that I believe there are men who would be Puritans; but not any that indeed are so. One will have him to be one who lives religiously and will not revel in an unbounded excess; another, him who separates from our divine assemblies; another, him who, in some tenets only, is peculiar; another, him who will not swear. Absolutely to define him is, I think, a work of difficulty. Some I know who rejoice in the name, but they are such as least understand it. A Puritan, as he is more generally, in these times, taken to-be, is a church-rebel, or one who would exclude order, that his brain may rule. To decline offences; to be careful and conscientious in our several actions, is a purity which every man ought to labour for, and which we may well do, without sullenly separating ourselves from society. If there be any privileges, they are surely granted to the children of the king, who are those that are the children of heaven. If mirth and recreations be lawful, surely such a one may lawfully use them. If wine was given to cheer the heart, why should I fear to use it for that end ? The merry soul is freer from intended mischief, than the man of gloomy thoughts. God delights in nothing more than in a cheerful heart, careful to perform him service. What parent is it, that rejoices not to see his child cheerful while within the limits of filial duty It is true, we read of Christ's weeping, not of his laughter: yet we know that he graced a feast with his first miracle, and that a feast of joy: and can we think that such a meeting could pass without the noise of laughter? What a lump of quickened care is the melancholy man! Change anger into mirth, and the precept will hold good still: be merry, but sin not. As there are many, who in their lives assume too great a liberty; so I believe there are some who abridge themselves of what they might lawfully use. Ignorance is an ill steward to provide for either soul or body. A man who submits to reverend order, who sometimes unbends himself in a moderate relaxation ; and in all things labours to improve himself in the sereneness of a healthful conscience; such a Puritan
a Puritan. I will love immutably. But when a man, in things but ceremonial, shall spurn at the grave authority of the church, and out of a needless nicety, be a thief to himself, of those bea nefits which God has allowed him; or out of a blind and uncharitable pride, censure and scorn others as reprobates; or out of obstinacy, fill the world with brawls about indeterminable tenets :. I shall think him one of those, whose opinion hath fevered his zeal to madness, and distraction. I have more faith in one Solomon, than in a thousand such. Behold then, what I have seen good! That it is meet for man to eat and to drink, and to take pleasure in all his labour wherein he travails under the sun, the whole number of the days of his life, which God gives himn ;---for this is his portion. Nay, there is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. Methinks the reading of Ecclesiastes should make a Puritan undress his brain, and lay off all those fanatic toys that jingle about his understanding. For my part, I think the world hath not better men than some who suffer under that name, nor yet worse and more mischievous.”
On the inestimable importance of laying in a stock of knowlege at the proper season of life, Felltham has these excellent observations. . " THE MISERY OF AN IGNORANT OLD AGE. . · « As old age is not only a collection of diseases, but even a disease of itself, and by the decree which Providence hath passed upon man, incurable, save by death; the best thing, next to a remedy, is a diversion or an abatement of the malady. The cold Corelian cannot change his clime: but yet by furs and fires he can preserve himself in a boisterous and icy winter. The drum and fife sometimes can drown the battle's noise, when there is no way to escape it. The little pismire does instruct great man, that, winter coming, store should be provided. And what thing is there, within the fathom of his industry, that can so well support him under the decay and infirmities of age, as knowledge, study, and meditation With this, a man can feast at home alone, and in his closet put himself into whatever company shall best please him; with youth's vigour, age's gravity, beauty's pleasantness, with peace or war, as he may like best. Virtuous study will relieve the tediousness of decrepit age, and the divine raptures of contemplation will beguile the weariness of the pillow and the chair. It makes him not unpleasing to the young, revered by the aged, and beloved of all. A grey head, with a wise mind, enriched by learning, is a treasury of grave precept, experience, and wisdom. It is an oracle to which the lesser wise resort to know their fate. He that can read and me ditate, need not think the evening long, or life irksome; it is, at all times, a fit employment, and a particular solace to him i Vol. X. Churchm. Mag. for June 1806 3M