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the King's payment of his arrears, due for his foreign employ. ments. He had brought into England many servants, of which some were German and Italian Artists : this was part of his condition, who had many times hardly sufficient to supply the occasions of the day: for it may by no means be said of his providence, as himself said of Sir Philip Sidney's wit, “ That it was the very measure of congruity,” he being always so careless of money, as though our Saviour's words, “ Care not for to-morrow,” were to be literally understood.
But it pleased the God of Providence, tha in this juncture of time, the Provostship of his Majesty's College of Eton, became void by the death of Mr. Thomas Murray,* for which there were, as the place deserved, many earnest and powerful suitorst to the King. And Sir Henry, who had for many years--like Sisyphus -rolled the restless stone of a State-employment, knowing experimentally that the great blessing of sweet content was not to be found in multitudes of men or business, and that a College was the fittest place to nourish holy thoughts, and to afford rest both to his body and mind, which his age-being now almost threescore years—seemed to require, did therefore use his own, and the interest of all his friends to procure that place. By which means, and quitting the King of his promised reversionary offices, and a piece of honest policy,—which I have not time to relate,-he got a grant of it from his Majesty.
And this was a fair satisfaction to his mind; but money was wanting to furnish him with those necessaries which attend removes, and a settlement in such a place; and, to procure that, he wrote to his old friend Mr. Nicholas Pey,for his assistance. Of which Nicholas Pey I shall here say a little, for the clearing of some passages that I shall mention hereafter.
* He was a native of Scotland, Tutor and Secretary to Prince Charles. His zeal in opposing the marriage of the Prince with the Infanta of Spain, occasioned his imprisonment for sometime, along with Dr. George Hackwell, Archdeacon of Surrey, the author of "A Discourse against the Spanish Match." He died April 1, 1623.
+ Among other unsuccessful candidates at this time was the great Lord Ba. con, as appears from a letter written by him to Mr. Secretary Conway, dated Gray's Inn, March 25, 1623.
One of the Clerks of the Kitchen.
He was in his youth a Clerk, or in some such way a servant to the Lord Wotton, Sir Henry's brother; and by him, when he was Comptroller of the King's Household, was made a great officer in his Majesty's house. This and other favours being conferred upon Mr. Pey-in whom there was a radical honesty-were always thankfully acknowledged by him, and his gratitude expressed by a willing and unwearied serviceableness to that family even till his death. To him Sir Henry Wotton wrote, to use all his interest at Court, to procure five hundred pounds of his arrears, for less would not settle him in the College ; and the want of such a sum “ wrinkled his face with care ;" —'twas his own expression,—and, that money being procured, he should the next day after find him in his College, and “ Invidiæ remedium” writ over his study door.
This money, being part of his arrears, was by his own, and the help of honest Nicholas Pey's interest in Court, quickly procured him, and he as quickly in the College ; the place, where indeed his happiness then seemed to have its beginning; the College being to his mind as a quiet harbour to a sea-faring man after a tempestuous voyage; where, by the bounty of the pious Founder, his very food and raiment were plentifully provided for him in kind, and more money than enough; where he was freed from all corroding cares, and seated on such a rock, as the waves of want could not probably shake: where he might sit in a calm, and, looking down, behold the busy multitude turmoiled and tossed in a tempestuous sea of trouble and dangers; and—as Sir William Davenant has happily expressed the like of another per.
Laugh at the graver business of the State,
Being thus settled according to the desires of his heart, his first study was the Statutes of the College ; by which he conceived himself bound to enter into Holy Orders, which he did, being made Deacon with all convenient speed. Shortly after which time, as he came in his surplice from the Church-service, an old friend, a person of quality, met him so attired, and joyed him of his new habit. To whom Sir Henry Wotton replied, “ I thank God and the
King, by whose goodness I now am in this condition ; a condition which that Emperor Charles the Fifth seemed to approve ; who, after so many remarkable victories, when his glory was great in the
eyes of all men, freely gave up his Crown, and the many cares that attended it, to Philip his Son, making a holy retreat to a Cloisteral life, where he might, by devout meditations, consult with God,—which the rich or busy men seldom do—and have leisure both to examine the errors of his life past, and prepare for that great day, wherein all flesh must make an account of their actions: and after a kind of tempestuous life, I now have the like advantage from him, 'that makes the outgoings of the morning to praise him ;' even from my God, whom I daily magnify for this particular mercy of an exemption from business, a quiet mind, and a liberal maintenance, even in this part of my life, when my age and infirmities seem to sound me a retreat from the pleasures of this world, and invite me to contemplation, in which I have ever taken the greatest felicity.”
And now to speak a little of the employment of his time in the College. After his customary public Devotions, his use was to retire into his Study, and there to spend some hours in reading the Bible, and Authors in Divinity, closing up his meditations with private prayer; this was, for the most part, his employment in the forenoon. But when he was once sat to dinner, then no. thing but cheerful thoughts possessed his mind, and those still increased by constant company at his table, of such persons as brought thither additions both of learning and pleasure : but some part of most days was usually spent in Philosophical conclusions. Nor did he forget his innate pleasure of Angling, which he would usually call, "his idle time not idly spent ;" saying often," he would rather live five May months than forty Decembers.”
He was a great lover of his neighbours, and a bountiful entertainer of them very often at his table, where his meat was choice, and his discourse better.
He was a constant cherisher of all those youths in that School, in whom he found either a constant diligence, or a genius that prompted them to learning ; for whose encouragement he was— beside many other things of necessity and beauty-at the charge of setting up in it two rows of pillars, on which he caused to be
choicely drawn the pictures of divers of the most famous Greek and Latin Historians, Poets, and Orators; persuading them not to neglect Rhetoric, because “ Almighty God has left mankind affections to be wrought upon :" And he would often say, “ That none despised Eloquence, but such dull souls as were not capable of it.” He would also often make choice of some observations out of those Historians and Poets; and would never leave the School, without dropping some choice Greek or Latin apophthegm or sentence, that might be worthy of a room in the memory of a growing scholar.*
He was pleased constantly to breed up one or more hopeful youths, which he picked out of the School, and took into his own domestic care, and to attend him at his meals : out of whose discourse and behaviour, he gathered observations for the better completing of his intended work of Education : of which, by his still striving to make the whole better, he lived to leave but part to posterity.
He was a great enemy to wrangling disputes of Religion ; concerning which I shall say a little, both to testify that, and to show the readiness of his wit.
Having at his being in Rome made acquaintance with a pleasant Priest, who invited him one evening to hear their Vesper music at Church; the Priest seeing Sir Henry stand obscurely in a corner, sends to him by a boy of the Choir this question, writ in a small piece of paper; “Where was your religion to be found before Luther ?" To which question Sir Henry presently underwrit, “My Religion was to be found then, where yours is not to be found now, in the written word of God."
The next Vesper, Sir Henry went purposely to the same Church, and sent one of the Choir boys with this question to his honest, pleasant friend, the Priest : “Do you believe all those many thousands of poor Christians were damned, that were excommunicated because the Pope and the Duke of Venice could not agree about their temporal power ? even those poor Christians that knew not why they quarrelled. Speak your conscience." To which he underwrit in French, “ Monsieur, excusez-moi.”
* This paragraph was not in the first edition, neither was the one beginning The next Vesper."
To one that asked him, “ Whether a Papist may be saved ?" he replied, “ You may be saved without knowing that. Look to yourself.”
To another, whose earnestness exceeded his knowledge, and was still railing against the Papists, he gave this advice : “Pray, Sir, forbear till you have studied the points better: for the wise italians have this Proverb; "He that understands amiss concludes worse.' And take heed of thinking, the farther you go from the Church of Rome, the nearer you are to God.
And to another that spake indiscreet and bitter words against Arminius, I heard him reply to this purpose :
“In my travel towards Venice, as I passed through Germany, I rested almost a year at Leyden, where I entered into an acquaintance with Arminius,*—then the Professor of Divinity in that University,—a man much talked of in this age, which is made up of opposition and controversy. And indeed, if I mistake not Arminius in his expressions,—as so weak a brain as mine is may easily do,—then I know I differ from him in some points ; yet I profess my judgment of him to be, that he was a man of most rare learning, and I knew him to be of a most strict life, and of a most meek spirit. And that he was so mild appears by his proposals to our Master Perkinst of Cambridge, from whose book, • Of the Order and Causes of Salvation'—which first was writ in Latin-Arminius took the occasion of writing some queries to him concerning the consequents of his doctrine; intending them, 'tis said, to come privately to Mr. Perkins' own hands, and to receive from him a like private and a like loving answer. But Mr. Perkins died before these queries came to him, and 'tis thought Arminius meant them to die with him; for though he lived long
* James Arminius, born in 1560, at Oudewater, studied at Leyden, Geneva, and Padua. Being employed to answer Theodore Beza on Predestination, he became a convert to the very tenets he was endeavouring to refute; and the principal features of his persuasion were, a denial of election, a belief in the free-will of man to attain salvation, and an idea that Christians may
away, and be lost. The violent disputes in which these principles involved him, preyed upon his spirits, and brought on an illness, of which he died in 1609.
† Mr. William Perkins, was of Christ College in the University of Cambridge, where he died in 1602. He was minister of St. Andrew's parish, in Cambridge, and had the character of a learned, pious, and laborious preacher.