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N my early years I had the pleasure of being acquainted with the character and writings of that distinguish. ed poet and Divine Dr. Donne, who was Dean of St. Paul's in the reign of James the First. Among the occurrences of his life I was particularly struck with one which took place near the close of his wearisome pilgrimage. His physician, Dr. Fox, perceiving him to be near his end, and finding him perfectly cheerful and resigned, proposed to him, that after his departure a monument should be erected to his memory, to which the Dean very readily acceded, and, without informing the Doctor of his particular intention, soon afterwards sent for a carver, to make for him in wood the figure of an urn, giving him directions for the compass and height of it, and to bring with it a board of the height of his body. These being prepared, a choice painter was in readiness to draw his picture, which was taken as follows: Several charcoal fires being first made in his study, he brought with him into that place his winding-sheet, and having put off all his clothes had this sheet put on him, and so tied at his head and feet, and his hands placed, as dead bodies are interred. Upon this urn he thus stood with his eyes shut, and so much of the sheet turned aside as to shew his face, which was then lean and death-like. This picture being finished was set by his bedside, where it continued till his death, when hisexecutor Dr. King, Bishop of Chichester, caused him to be carved in one entire piece of white marble, and placed in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul's. Upon the urn was a Latin inscription, which I shall not transcribe, as it has been many times printed; nor need I remark, that the Cathedral was destroyed in the fire of 1666, and consequently every monument it contained buried in its ruins.
This figure of Dr. Donne, my ima gination has often dwelt upon with a pleasing kind of melancholy and admiration, of the fortitude which dictated to him the singular thought of enrobing himself while living, in the habiliment of the dead.
A short time since, having a desire to see the burial place of our great Naval Commander, I visited the crypt of St. Paul's; and having viewed the Hero's tomb, rambled under the vaulting that supports the master-piece of Sir Christopher Wren. Upon coming to the Eastern extremity, I discovered an effigies which I immediately recog nised as the identical figure of Dr. Donne*, which I had so frequently contemplated through the obscure medium of description. This inimitable piece of sculpture, according to the statement of Sir Henry Wotton, seems to breathe faintly; and he adds, that posterity shall look upon it as a kind of living miracle; for he never could have anticipated the arrival of an æra when this curious resemblance of his much-esteemed friend should be ignominiously cast aside like a broken vessel. Upon a close inspection of every part of the figure, I had the satisfaction to find that it has not sustained the slightest da
age, although rescued from the embers of so vast a ruin. Its present situation, however, exposes it to every injury; the urn lies near it upon the ground, and may be tossed about by every wanton or idle foot.
I consider, Mr. Urban, that it would do honour to the taste, I had almost said piety, of any person who has sufficient influence, were they to exert it in causing the effigies of Dr. Donne, Dean of St. Paul's, to be removed from its present state of obscurity and degradation, to some conspicuous place in the Cathedral.
It is worthy of remark, that while superb monuments in commemoration of literary greatness, unwearied Phi
* To illustrate the observations of our Correspondent, an accurate resemblance of this curious figure is here annexed (see Plate II). It was carved by Nicholas Stone, who received for it 1207. This fine carving (which Mr. Gongh described, on a visit to this crypt in 1783) had been by some accident removed from its place, and thrown into an obscure corner, among some old lumber; in which situation, Oct. 3, 1786, it was discovered by Dr. Ducarel and Mr. Nichols, and restored to its proper place.-Among the other fragments of Monuments noticed by Mr. Gough, were those of Sir Thomas Heneage, to the knee; his lady perhaps ; Sir John Wolley (only half of his head gone); his lady perfect; a half-length of Sir Nicholas Bacon; a whole figure of a Lady, (query his wife); Sir W. Cockayne, Alderman (a bust in a gown), and his wife, &c. &c. EDIT.
GENT. MAG. February, 1820.
Mr. URBAN, WISH to obtain some authentic information respecting Church wardens, upon whose proper discharge of the duties of their important office the moral and religious state of a parish so much depends. I mean, at present, to confine my inquiries to matters relating to the Church; persuaded, that as the duties of Religion are faithfully or negligently attended to, so will be the moral condition of every people. First, then, Sir, if I am right in my opinion, Church wardens are required by law to be present at Church, on Sundays at least, not only for their own individual benefit, but to ensure a proper performance of the clerical duties, a decent behaviour in the congregation, &c. &c. Being aware too that they, as well as the Clergy, are required to attend the Visitations of their respective Archdeacons, I conclude it is with a view of their making regular reports of all matters respecting their office, and of course such, among others, as will now be adverted to.
Residing, as I do, in a place where, from either fear, self-interest,* or ignorance, a lamentable neglect of duty prevails among Churchwardens, notwithstanding the strict and solemn oath which they take to discharge the duties of their office, the points on which I am anxious for information I will now proceed to. First, having both leisure and inclination to attend Church on week-days as well as Sundays, particularly on Festivals, (upon which there is service still performed in a few of our Churches) what steps must I take to obtain the opportunity of so doing in my own
* One of our Churchwardens keeps a public-house, which is generally filled with customers during the time of Divine Service.
Parish Church, which is never open but once on a Sunday, and on Wedne days and Fridays only, even in Passion week, during Lent. I hear it urged, sometimes, that, if the Clergyman were to attend, there would be little chance of a congregation to meet him. But that, I conceive, no Clergyman has a right to take for granted; nor is it likely often to happen if due pains are taken to exhort the parishioners, both privately and publicly, to the practice of so laudable a cus tom. Besides, how few parishes are there, one should hope, that would not furnish Paupers enough, in workhouses or elsewhere, to make a congregation, and who have souls to save, as well as their betters. Persons also might be found in most parishes, who visit the poor and have their welfare at heart, and who (setting the example themselves) would have influence to bring them to Church on these occasions. And how commendable would it be in Parish-officers, were they to require some of the poor under their care to do the same. The laws of the Church, if I mistake not, expect every Clergyman to be present in his Church, not only on Wednesdays and Fridays, as before mentioned, but on every day in the week; and most certainly on those days for which special Services have been appointed; but which days are, it is to be feared, falling very fast into oblivion.
Allow me, next, to notice certain omissions in the service; such as the Athanasian Creed, the Acts against profane swearing and other vices and immoralities. Now, Sir, whether these neglects (which are very frequent indeed, and in churches, the incumbents ofwhich cannot be suspected of wanting attachment to either Church or State) arise from carelessness or caprice, they ought not to be allowed, espe cially where they are perceived to be, as in the case of many, uniform. 1 have myself been present in a very large Parish Church in the Metropolis, upon a Festival, where the Clergyman has thought proper to omit the whole of the Communion Service, and assigned afterwards as a reason, that he had not time to perform it. Church discipline will ever be disregarded, especially by the enemies of the Church, while such liberties as these are suffered to be taken with it; and
from the perusal of the Utopia, I proceed to the chief purport of my address to you at this time; which is, to express my concern at that change of words in our language which every successive year introduces, modifies, and ripens into practice. Johnson advised that "we make some struggle for our language ;" and remarks, that the great pest of speech is the frequency of translation; and that no book was ever turned from one language to another, without imparting some of its native idiom. It is true that he says afterwards," single words may enter by thousands, and the fabric of the tongue continue the same." But I must confess that I have much dread of single words entering by thousands, or even by hundreds; and cannot help conjecturing that, if Dr. Johnson himself was now alive, and a witness to the innovations making in the English language, by the introduction of French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian words, he would have rejected the innovation with all the powers of his great mind. One mode of defence that occurs to me at this time would be for some energetic and daring scholar to compile and publish a new Dictionary of the English Language, not as in some modern instances, by affecting and boasting to introduce thousands of words omitted by the great Lexicographer (Johnson), who, as he plainly told us, purposely rejected many words, and seldom introduced compounded or double ones; but, by throwing aside all words of novel and foreign origin, and introducing in their places words (whether now obsolete or not) which are to be found in the popular English writings of our an cestors, whether derived from British, Roman, Danish, Saxon, Norman, or even Dutch or German originals, the two latter (as Johnson expresses it), though not the parents, being sisters of the English.
During a recent course of miscellaneous reading, I took care to note several obsolete words, from which I have extracted the fifty following, in order to shew the great strength of
some of them, and that from among them several ought to be restored to their former stations in the English tongue; for, as Dryden justly remarks, "obsolete words may be laudably revived, when they are more soundthose in practice."
ing or significant than
1. AULMERY. - 2. AUMENER. "Blessed shalt thine aulmerye be."
Matthew's Bible, 28 Deuteronomy. There seems no good reason for rejecting the word auimerye. It has the same signification as aumener, used by Chaucer for a cupboard, or storehouse, which is, I think, more to the purpose than the figurative word basket, now used in its place. It is evidently derived from the Latin urmarium.' [Vide Skinner in loco.]. 3. AYEL.
Came by report unto the audience of his eyel the great Istiages."
Lydgate's Bochas. 55. "I am thine ayel, redy at thy will, Wepe no more, woll thy lust fu'fill." Knight's Tale, Chaucer.
I do not contend for the restoration of the word ayel, because the words grandsire and grandfather very well supply its place; but it being evidently derived from the Saxon aya (ever), I should not absolutely condemn the continuance of it. Ash appears to consider it only as used by Chaucer instead of the adverb always, forgetting that Saturn calls himself in the passage last above quoted, the ayel or grandsire of Venus. [Ayl, semper. Skinner.]
"There was a certain ryche man which was clothed in purple and fine bysse, &e." Matthew's Bible, Luke 16.
This word having been adopted from both the Hebrew and the Greek by the earliest Latin and English translators of the Bible, I see no good reason for its having been wholly laid aside. The Bishops' Bible has the words fine white instead; and the word linen now used, may be proper enough; but probably the word bysse, as part of the rich man's every day dress, meant something more rare and gorgeous than linen. The Latin word byssus means fine flax; but byssinus is lawn or cambrick, the usual garb of the rich men of the East. 5. BLYVE.
"But her pomp was overturned blyve."
Lydgate's Bochas, 30. The word means quickly or suddenly;
7. CHAULE BONE.- 8. CHAWS. "Of an asse he caught the chaule bone." Bochas, 33. "Bought also and redeemed out of the wolve's chats."
Pref. to Bullinger's Sermons, p. 2. "My tong shall speak out of my chates." Taverner's aud Tindal's Bibles, 33 Job. "When the voice of the mylner (marginal note, the chaws) shall be laid down."
Bishop's Bible, Eccles. 12, 5.
I merely introduce these words, to notice the change of them to jaw and jaws. Query, the necessity of omitting the former? Farmers to this day talk of a choule-band, meaning that part of a horse's bridle which goes underneath the jaw.*
"I wasted them and so clouted them, that they could not arise."
In an old black-letter edition of the Fables of Avian, I find one "of the two crevisses," or crabs. (SeeFable 3.) Query, how is the word crevisse derived, if not from crevish, crayfish! (Vide Skinner).
I am equally at a loss for an explanation of the words "cloth of Raynes," and "curtesy of honey," in the Bishops' Bible, Genesis, &c.
* Pigs' Chauls are to be had at every Pork-shop. EDIT.
The word dare, in the sense of blinding, concealing, lurking, and shunning observation, is so directly opposite to its present use (to challenge, to provoke, to defy, &c.) that I am lost in conjecture as to its etymology. Johnson derives it both from the Saxon and the Dutch. The same use of the word occurs in other places. "A daring glass" (a device for catching larks) is mentioned by Johnson, Bailey, and Ash; and the two for-. mer quote the following line from Dryden :
"As laiks lie dar'd to shun the hobby's fight."
How is all this reconcilable with the general explanation, courageously to dare,&c.? and with the etymology of Skinuer, Audere, q. s. Hominum audaciores contentis oculis alios aspiciunt?
"If one man sinne against another, duisemen may make his peace, but it a man siune against the Lord, who can be his dayesmun?" Tindal's Bible, 1 Sam. 2. "For be I must give answer unto, and with whom I go to lawe, is not a man as I am; neither is there any dayesman to reprove the parties, or to lay his hand betwixt us." Ibid. Joს 9.
In our present translation of the book of Job, the word daysman is retained. In the book of Samuel it is changed, and advocate or umpire is substituted. Johnson says, it is an old word for umpire, referring to Ainsworth (arbiter, &c.) and quoting Spenser,
"For what art thou "That mak'st thyself his Daysman, to pro"The vengeance prest”— [long
As it is actually now retained in the Bible, and in the sense of mediator or intercessor, I do not see why the word daysman (being a genuine English word) may not be still used, [To be continued.]