Page images
PDF
EPUB

DR SOUTH'S ADVICE.

71

otherwise treated with great severity. Donne, however, wrote a very eloquent and submissive letter to the offended father-inlaw, which was signed: "John Donne, Ann Donne, undone." This quibble is said to have been the means of restoring the distressed couple to the parental favour.

SABBATICAL PASTIME.

HE clergy have frequently differed in opinion whether the precept, "Keep holy the Sabbath-day," is a command to make holiday by playing, or by abstaining from all kinds of amusements. Some think it ordains joy, game, and sport, gaiety and festivals; others consider that it enjoins fasting, mourning, penance, silence, meditation, gloom, and austerity. Of the former description of prelates was Aylmer, Bishop of London, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who, according to Strype, "upon the green at his countryhouse at Fulham, used to play bowls on a Sunday, with his clerical and other guests."

DR SOUTH'S ADVICE.

HE celebrated Dr South, the witty chaplain of King Charles II., one day called on his old friend and fellowcollegian, Dr Waterland, who pressed him to stay dinner. Mrs W., however, thought her arrangements disturbed, and refused to make any addition to the leg of mutton already provided, saying "she would not be put out of her way—that she would not;" the husband, provoked beyond all patience, declared that, if it were not for the stranger in the house, he would thrash her. Dr South, who heard all this through a thin partition, hallooed out, "Dear doctor! as we have been friends so long, I beseech you not to make a stranger of me on this occasion."

CROMWELL'S CHAPLAIN.

HE Rev. John Howe, when minister of Great Torrington, in Devonshire, having occasion to make a journey to London, went as a hearer to the chapel at Whitehall. Cromwell was present, and struck with his demeanour and person, sent a messenger to inform him that he wished to speak to him when the service was over. In the course of the interview, the Protector desired him to preach before him the following Sunday. Mr Howe requested to be excused, but Cromwell was not to be denied. The reverend gentleman preached accordingly, and the Protector was so pleased with him, that he immediately appointed him his domestic chaplain. To some of the peculiar notions of Cromwell, Mr Howe could not, however, assent; and in one particular instance he had the boldness to preach against them in his presence, believing that they might lead to practical ill consequences. The friends of the preacher were alarmed for him, and one of them predicted that he would find it difficult, if not impossible, to regain the Protector's favour. "I have," said the worthy man, 66 discharged my conscience, and the event must be left to God." But from this period, the friendship of Cromwell was less ardent, and his manners cool and reserved, but he never mentioned the subject to Mr Howe.

DR BALGUY.

HE celebrated Dr Balguy, author of the work on "Divine Benevolence," after having delivered an exceeding good discourse at Winchester Cathedral, the text of which was "All wisdom is sorrow," received the following elegant compliment from Dr Watson, then at Winchester School :"If what you advance, dear doctor, be true,

That' wisdom is sorrow,' how wretched are you!"

CLERICAL POCKET-COMPANION.

73

DR PALEY.

HE Archbishop of York," said Paley, speaking of a certain primate of his time, "preached one day at

Carlisle. I was present, and felt muzzy and half asleep, when on a sudden I was roused, and began to prick up my ears; and what should I hear, but a whole page of one of my own books quoted word for word, and this without the least acknowledgment, though it was a white bear" (a passage that is often quoted and well known). "Now," said Dr Milner, Dean of Carlisle, who related the anecdote, "guess what inference Paley drew from this plagiarism: it was this, 'I suppose the archbishop's wife makes his grace's sermons for him.""

CLERICAL POCKET-COMPANION.

HE Earl of Sandwich, known by the name of "Jemmy Twitcher," who was noted for making pretty free with the clerical cloth, being in a large company where there were ten clergymen present, secretly offered a considerable bet to the gentleman who sat next him, that there was not a single prayer-book in the pocket of any of the parsons. The wager being accepted, a pretended dispute respecting some article in the church service gave occasion to an inquiry for a prayer-book, but none of the clergymen could produce one. Some time afterwards, the earl privately offered another bet to the same amount, that there was not among the ten parsons a single one of them without a corkscrew. This wager was accepted; and the butler, being properly instructed, presently entered the room with a bottle of claret and a broken corkscrew, requesting the favour of any gentleman who had such a thing, to lend it to him, when, in an instant, each of the ten parsons pulled a corkscrew out of their pockets.

THE PALEY ARMS.

HEN I set up a carriage," said Dr Paley, "it was thought

Wright that my armorial bearings should appear on the

panels. Now, we had none of us ever heard of the Paley arms; none of us had ever dreamt that such a thing existed, or had ever been. All the old folks of the family were consulted: they knew nothing about it. Great search was made, however, and at last we found a silver tankard, on which was engraved a coat of arms. It was carried by common consent that these must be the family arms; so they were painted · on the carriage, and looked very handsome. The carriage went on very well with them, and it was not till six months afterwards, that we found out that the tankard had been bought at a sale."

INDOLENCE REBUKED.

66

CURE of souls in one of the parishes of the county of Somerset, failing to be as closely attended by its spiritual shepherd as was his duty, one Sunday morning a gentleman rode up to the church-door, and not finding it open, inquired for the clerk or sexton, to whom he put the question, whether there would be any service that morning? Why, now, zur," said John, "I don't think there wool. We mus'n't expect measter here to-day!"-" Well, never mind him," said the inquirer, "go and ring the bell; I am come to do this day's service." John's dutiful instinct being sufficiently alive to the command, without the ceremony of first learning the name and quality of his interlocutor, the grateful bells were gladly heard, and soon the parishioners flocked to the church. The stranger proceeded with the service, and delivered a discourse that fully convinced his admiring hearers there was no lack of reverend qualifications for his office. Upon his departure, the preacher left a

SWEARING AND DRIVING.

75

record in the vestry-book, under the proper date, to this effect : "Divine service was performed here this day by the Bishop of Bath and Wells." The preacher was no other but Dr Law, the bishop of the diocese.

A CLERICAL ERROR.

TRADITIONAL anecdote represents the Rev. William Thomson, a clergyman of the Church of Scotland in the time of Queen Anne, as having got into a scrape by a very indecorous alteration of a word in Scripture. A young divine, on his first public appearance, had to read the solemn passage in I Corinthians: "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." Thomson scratched the letter c out of the word changed. The effect of the passage so mutilated can easily be tested.

SWEARING AND DRIVING.

66

BISHOP being at his seat in the country, where the roads were uncommonly bad, went to pay a visit to a person of quality in the neighbourhood, when his coach. was overturned in a slough, whence the servants were unable to extricate it. As it was far from any house, and the weather bad, the coachman at last told his master he believed they must stay there all night, " for," said he, “ while your grace is present, I cannot make the horses move." Astonished at this strange assertion, his lordship desired him to explain himself. "It is," said the man," because I dare not swear in your presence; and if I don't, we shall never get clear." The bishop, finding nothing could be done if the servant was not humoured, replied, "Well, then, swear a little, but not much." The coachman made use

« PreviousContinue »