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fruits of the spirit; there being in him such a remarkable meekness, that as St. Paul advised his Timothy in the election of a Bishop, “ That he have a good report of those that be without ;"* so had he : for those that were without, even those that in point of Religion were of the Roman persuasion,—of which there were very many in his Diocese,-did yet—such is the Power of visible piety-ever look upon him with respect and reverence, and testified it by a concealing, and safe protecting him from death in the late horrid rebellion in Ireland, when the fury of the wild Irish knew no distinction of persons: and yet, there and then he was protected and cherished by those of a contrary persuasion ; and there and then he died, not by violence or misusage, but by grief in a quiet prison (1629). And with him was lost many of his learned writings which were thought worthy of preservation ; and amongst the rest was lost the Bible, which by many years labour, and conference, and study, he had translated into the Irish tongue, with an intent to have printed it for public use.
More might be said of Mr. Bedel, who, I told the Reader, was Sir Henry Wotton's first Chaplain; and much of his second Chaplain, Isaac Bargrave,t Doctor in Divinity, and the late learned and hospitable Dean of Canterbury; as also of the merits of many others, that had the happiness to attend Sir Henry in his foreign employments : but the Reader may think that in this di'gression I have already carried him too far from Eton College, and therefore I shall lead him back as gently and as orderly as I may to that place, for a further conference concerning Sir Henry Wotton.
Sir Henry Wotton had proposed to himself, before he entered into his Collegiate life, to write the Life of Martin Luther, and in it the History of the Reformation, as it was carried on in Germany: for the doing of which he had many advantages by his several Embassies into those parts, and his interest in the several Princes of the Empire; by whose means he had access to the
* 1 Tim. jii. 7.
+ Dean of Canterbury, born at Bridge, in Kent, in 1586, and educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge. He was fined 10001. at the commencement of the Civil Wars, for being a member of the Convocation; and, in 1642, Colonel Sandys, whom he had saved from execution, threw him into the Fleet, which caused his death in January, 1643.
Records of all the Hans Towns, and the knowledge of many secret passages that fell not under common view; and in these he had made a happy progress, as was well known to his worthy friend Dr. Duppa, the late reverend Bishop of Salisbury. But in the midst of this design, his late Majesty King Charles the First, that knew the value of Sir Henry Wotton's pen, did, by a persuasive loving violence—to which may be added a promise of 5001. a yearforce him to lay Luther aside, and betake himself to write the history of England; in which he proceeded to write some short characters of a few Kings, as a foundation upon which he meant to build ; but for the present, meant to be more large in the story of Henry the Sixth, the Founder of that College, in which he then enjoyed all the worldly happiness of his present being. But Sir Henry died in the midst of this undertaking, and the footsteps of his labours are not recoverable by a more than common dili.
This is some account both of his inclination and the employ. ment of his time in the College, where he seemed to have his youth renewed by a continual conversation with that learned society, and a daily recourse of other friends of choicest breeding and parts; by which that great blessing of a cheerful heart was still maintained; he being always free, even to the last of his days, from that peevishness which usually attends age.
And yet his mirth was sometimes damped by the remembrance of divers old debts, partly contracted in his foreign employments, for which his just arrears due from the King would have made satisfaction: but being still delayed with Court-promises, and finding some decays of health, he did, about two years before his death, out of a Christian desire that none should be a loser by him, make his last Will; concerning which a doubt still remains, namely, whether it discovered more holy wit, or conscionable policy. But there is no doubt but that his chief design, was a Christian endeavour that his debts might be satisfied.
And that it may remain as such a testimony, and a legacy to those that loved him, I shall here impart it to the reader, as it was found written with his own hand.
* The passages from," for I shall here make a little stop” in page 148 to this place were not in the first edition.
“In the name of God Almighty and All-merciful, I Henry Wotton, Provost of his Majesty's College by Eton, being mindful of mine own mortality, which the sin of our first parents did bring upon all flesh, do by this last Will and Testament thus dispose of myself, and the poor things I shall leave in this world. My Soul I bequeath to the Inimortal God my Maker, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, my blessed Redeemer and Mediator, through his all sole-sufficient satisfaction for the sins of the whole world, and efficient for his elect; in the number of whom I am one by his mere grace, and thereof most unremoveably assured by his Holy Spirit, the true eternal Comforter. My body I bequeath to the earth, if I shall end my transitory days, at or near Eton, to be buried in the Chapel of the said College, as the Fellows shall dispose thereof, with whom I have lived—my God knows-in all loving affection; or if I shall die near Bocton Malherbe, in the County of Kent, then I wish to be laid in that Parish Church, as near as may be to the sepulchre of my good father, expecting a joyful resurrection with him in the day of Christ.”
After this account of his faith, and this surrender of his soul to that God that inspired it, and this direction for the disposal of his body, he proceeded to appoint that his Executors should lay over his grave a marble stone, plain, and not costly: and considering that time moulders even marble to dust,—for—*Monuments them. selves must die; therefore did he—waving the common waythink fit rather to preserve his name—to which the son of Sirach adviseth all men--by a useful Apophthegm, than by a large enumeration of his descent or merits, of both which he might justly have boasted ; but he was content to forget them, and did choose only this prudent, pious sentence to discover his disposition, and preserve his memory.
It was directed by him to be thus inscribed ;
Hic jacet hujus Sententiæ primus Author :
Nomen alias quære.
* Juven. Sat. x. 146
Which may be Englished thus:
Here lies the first Author of this sentence:
THE ITCH OF DISPUTATION WILL PROVE
THE SCAB OF THE CHURCH.
Inquire his Name elsewhere.
And if any shall object, as I think some have, that Sir Henry Wotton was not the first author of this sentence: but that this, or a sentence like it, was long before his time ; to him I answer, that Solomon says, “ Nothing can be spoken, that hath not been spoken ; for there is no new thing under the sun. that in his various reading he had met with this, or a like sentence, yet reason mixed with charity should persuade all Readers to believe, that Sir Henry Wotton's mind was then so fixed on that part of the communion of Saints which is above, that an holy lethargy did surprise his memory. For doubtless, if he had not believed himself to be the first author of what he said, he was too prudent first to own, and then expose it to public view and censure of every critic. And questionless it will be charity in all Readers to think his mind was then so fixed on Heaven, that a holy zeal did transport him; and that, in this sacred ecstacy, his thoughts were then only of the Church Triumphant, into which he daily expected his admission ; and that Almighty God was then pleased to make him a Prophet, to tell the Church Militant, and particularly that part of it in this nation, where the weeds of controversy grow to be daily both more numerous and more destructive to humble piety; and where men have consciences that boggle at ceremonies, and yet scruple not to speak and act such sins as the ancient humble Christians believed to be a sin to think; and where, our reverend Hooker says, “ former simplicity, and softness of spirit, is not now to be found, because Zeal hath drowned Charity, and Skill, Meekness.” It will be good to think, that these sad changes, have proved this Epitaph to be a useful caution unto us of this nation; and the sad effects thereof in Germany have proved it to be a mournful truth.
This by way of observation concerning his Epitaph ; the rest of his Will follows in his own words :
“Further, I the said Henry Wotton, do constitute and ordain to be joint Executors of this my last Will and Testament, my two grand-nephews, Albert Morton, second son to Sir Robert Morton, Knight, late deceased, and Thomas Bargrave, eldest son to Dr. Bargrave, Dean of Canterbury, husband to my right virtuous and only Niece. And I do pray the foresaid Dr. Bargrave, and Mr. Nicholas Pey, my most faithful and chosen friends, together with Mr. John Harrison,* one of the Fellows of Eton College, best acquainted with my books, and pictures, and other utensils, to be Supervisors of this my last Will and Testament. And I do pray the foresaid Dr. Bargrave, and Mr. Nicholas Pey, to be solicitors for such arrearages as shall appear due unto me from his Maj. esty's Exchequer at the time of my death; and to assist my forenamed Executors in some reasonable and conscientious satisfaction of my creditors, and discharge of my legacies now specified; or that shall be hereafter added unto this my Testament, by any Codicil or Schedule, or left in the hands, or in any memorial with the aforesaid Mr. John Harrison. And first, to my most dear Sovereign and Master, of incomparable goodness,-in whose gracious opinion I have ever had some portion, as far as the interest of a plain honest man—I leave four pictures at large of those Dukes of Venice, in whose time I was there employed, with their names written on the back side, which hang in my great ordinary Dining room, done after the life by Edoardo Fialetto: likewise a table of the Venetian College, where Ambassadors had their audience, hanging over the mantle of the chimney in the said room, done by the same hand, which containeth a draught in little, well resembling the famous Duke Leonardo Donato, in a time which needed a wise and constant man. Item. The picture of a Duke of Venice, hanging over against the door, done either by Titiano, or some other principal hand, long before my time. Most humbly
* Elected Fellow of Eton College, October 28th, 1636. He was probably that “learned and eminent Divine,” whom Anthony Wood mentions as the Author of " A Vindication of the Holy Scriptures, or the Manifestation of Jesus Christ, the true Messiah already come." Lond. 1656. 8vo.