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names and phrases to the children. If there is any honour or dishonour in the matter at all, it undoubtedly belongs to the Church of England, as Puritanism remained in the Church until after the decay of the objectionable practice, and would probably have remained until this time had it not been for the fatal day of St. Bartholomew, when nearly two thousand rectors and vicars, or about a fifth of the English clergy, were driven from their parishes as Nonconformists.'*
It is an easy matter to understand why the Puritans selected their names from the Bible; but it is hard to say why, in so many instances, they selected some of the strangest and absurdest names which can be found in the obscurest places of the Bible. It might be, as our author says, that "it was a practice instituted of deliberate purpose, as conducive to vital religion, and as intending to separate the truly godly and renewed portion of the community from the world at large.' This undoubtedly is correct to some extent. But it is difficult to conceive that the Puritans would believe that the curious names would aid this separation, or intensify the zeal of the rising generation. These names would tend to cause the children to swear rather than to pray. We should think that the Puritan possessed too much religious intelligence to be led astray by such ideas. It has been said that bodies of men, and even whole nations, have been led astray so far in the pursuit of a chimera as to make their conduct resemble madness, and it is possible that a passion for eccentric names had taken possession of the Puritans similar to that mania we have nowa-days for a legion of baptismal names.
In the second division of the second chapter Mr. Bardsley discusses the question of the origin of the eccentricities. He considers that the practice was begun and greatly encouraged by the Presbyterian clergy, and he instances two-Hopkinson, of Salehurst, and Hely, of Warbleton—as giving these names to their own children. It is to be presumed that the villagers would follow the example of their clergymen, who would make use of all the pressure they well couldto prevail on parents and god-parents to name their children in the
Our author states that the commencement of the system of Biblical nomenclature was about the year 1580, and while the purely Biblical Dames swept over the whole country, those names that savour of eccentricity and fanaticism combined scarcely reached England north of the Trent, and, for lack of volume, have left but the faintest traces.'
Green's Short History of the English People.
We will pass over the third division, which is devoted to curious names not Puritan, and proceed to the fourth, in which are given instances of the eccentricities with which Puritans are charged. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries there was a pedantic practice among learned men of assuming Latin names. Before the Reformation was completed this practice had been introduced at the font, and we find English children receiving in baptism Latin names.
This practice was tolerated somewhat by the Puritan clergy, especially when the names given had been borne by the fathers of the church. Mr. Bardsley states that, quite early, the names Renovata, Donatus, and others had become quite common.
It might be anticipated that, among a class of men so intensely religious as the Puritans, 'grace-names' would early become favourites. Such was the case. Our author states that these names were probably suggested by the moralities or interludes which were a mixture of the mystery play and the regular drama. The three Graces themselves soon became favourites. Love, as the synonym of Charity, was also a favourite. Other instances are to be found in Humanity, Clemency, Mercy, Constance, Patience, Prudence, and Truth. These by no means exhaust the list. Honour, Temperance, and Silence may be added. The last, like some other names, was applied indiscriminately to boys and girls. It might do well enough for men, but there were many men, especially in Puritan times, who would regard it as a misnomer when applied to the opposite sex. It would sound comical, indeed, to hear a Puritan mother saying to a mischievous two-year-old, “Now, Experience, do be a good boy. Yet this was a grace name. The Puritans, still progressing, left grace names bebind, and next made use of exhortatory names.' In regard to these names Mr. Bardsley says, “I am bound to confess, however, that the prevailing tone of these names is rather contradictory of the picture of gloomy sourness drawn by the facile pens of Macaulay and Walter Scott.'
At the head of this class is placed · Praise-God’ Barebone, as being the most celebrated. This head of the Rump Parliament is said to have had two brothers, with the inordinately long names of Jesuscame-into-the-world-to-save,' and . If-Jesus-bad-not-died-for-the-thouhadst-been-dammed.' Mr. Bardsley seems hardly to credit this statement, and the names are too long for any one to accept, unless they be supported by better testimony than that which has been adduced up to the present. The names which our author gives as instances do not at all confirm the long names of the brothers Barebone. On the contrary, they seem to consist of one, two, and three words. Illustrations of this assertion are to be found in the names Help-on-high, Be-thankful, Magnify, Be-strong, Give-thanks, Repent, Obey, Livewell, Do-good, and Fare-well. In fact, in all the instances introduced we cannot find one well authenticated case of the paragraph-length class attributed to the brothers of the unfortunate Praise-God Barebone. After mentioning the eccentricities which arose from the accidents of birth,' the work proceeds, after referring also to eccentricities that were general, to observe what has been said by a scoffing world.
Everyone knows how everything that is Puritan has been lampooned, skitted, and raved at by wits, and poets, and writers great and small. Of course, these men were persons of extraordinary holiness and chastity, and not what many of them are said to have been, so immoral that it would be a matter of heavy fine or imprisonment to quote even the titles of some of their works. While these men have not failed to attack what may be regarded as the strong points of Puritanism, and tried to hold them up to ridicule, it is to be expected that they would unmercifully gibbet the weaknesses of Puritanism, and in this nothing could have afforded them a better opportunity than the Puritans did in giving such outrageous Christian names. The wits embraced the opportunity given them, and Mr. Bardsley, in several extracts, shows with what skill they did their work. As this paper has already extended beyond its intended limit, we will only say that Mr. Bardsley, after noticing under this head, in addition to the playwrights, the “Sussex jury,' and the Royalists with Puritan names,' he closes the chapter with dissertations on · Bunyan's debt to the Puritans,' and the influence of Puritanism on American nomenclature.'
At the end of the work follows an Epilogue, in which our author treats on · Double Christian names, their rise and progress. These double Christian names are becoming very common, and it is not often that you will find a family of children now without nearly all of them having more than one name. And we suppose this practice will continue until it becomes more absurd than the Puritan Nomenclature, and then the fashion will change.
Of Mr. Bardsley's work we have little to say in the way of criticism. except praise. One thing in the book is very disagreeable, and that is the constant application of the words zealot or fanatic to the Puritans. We know that, in the use of these terms, our author does. not wish to offend, as he is free from everything approaching to narrow-mindedness or bigotry. Still, the words are offensive.
The book is written in a graceful, easy style, and those who know and have heard the writer will recognise it as perfectly natural. We trust that the work may become as widely known as it deserves to be, as it is calculated to give both instruction and pleasure to all classes of readers, except those who are at once captious and bigoted; and it may be relied upon as a faithful account of the subject Mr. Bardsley has taken in hand.
X.-POETS AND THEIR WIVES.
Marriage is such a rabble rout,
And those that are in would fain get out. THIS sentiment of the father of English poetry, looking at it as we do four centuries after its utterance, is prophetic of the conjugal life of his literary sons and daughters. So much of infelicity, disappointment, and discord has entered into their lives, that, were we fatalists or believers in chance, we should feel that the fates had been unkind to them. Discarding these agencies, we are brought face to face with the natural law of cause and effect, nothing more. One of the number has said, 'We are not poets without suffering for it.' The peculiar sensitiveness that is seldom wanting in a poet, coming in contact with commonplace thought and action, produces a discord proportionate to the delicacy of feeling. This sensitiveness enables him to see more of the beautiful than his neighbour sees, while it compels him to look farther into the darkness and gloom that surrounds him. The ordinary man sees nothing more in the rain-storm than the formation of mud, or, at most, the increased facilities of his mill and a greater growth of his grain.
These, and far more than these,
Down through chasms and gulfs profound
Of lakes and rivers underground. To the poet the realities of life, as such, are either trifling or vexing. It is only when the poet gives place to the man that he is of the earth. One cannot, at the same time, walk upon the earth and ramble among the stars. To make the attempt is to occupy an unenviable place between man and angels. Above the one, not reaching the other, he finds humanity uncongenial; humanity finds him uncompanionable. The muses are so exacting in their demands, so powerful in their influence, that he who would receive their patronage must give them his beart. Devoted thus to the conceptions of his brain, his wife must be content to occupy a second place. Goethe became so much in love with one of his imaginary characters that he was compelled to change the plan of his drama. The wife of Dryden once told her husband that