Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

'Merlinus' in 1660-Eulogy on the late Protector. 359 whatever took place in the remotest parts of Europe, the name of the wily astrologer of Corner-house, over against Strand Bridge, would surely be found.

But that great ruler died, nor did the stars give any sign; and his son succeeded to an unchallenged rule, so all the almanac-makers for the year 1659 prophesied that the son would be heir to the father's proud fortune, and follow out his father's great plans. Alas! the events of 1659 told a very different story, and the astrologers were all confounded. Poor Lilly was compelled to apologize in his Merlinus for 1660, remarking, that the many turnings and windings, and frequent sudden alterations, revolutions, and changes in the government in 1659, what man or angel 'could predict ?' So he assures his readers that it was the only ‘hand and finger of God; the actions themselves so miraculous, 'so unexpected, that they were not in any ways to be found out 'by the sharpest rules of astrology.' Then, flinging aside all pretence to astral knowledge, he very truly says, 'the reason * of our so inconsiderate failings, monthly, concerning Richard, the ‘late Protector, was, that seeing the unanimity of the nations, ' and that he was courted by all, or most of the English allies,' he really followed out his own judgment in foretelling the continuance of the Protectorate. We write this year in great perplexity of spirit,' is the conclusion of the preface, which bears the date of Nov. 8th, 1659. His prognostications, however, unlike those in the Merlinus for 1659, sometimes offer guesses very near the truth. Thus, in his prediction for April, he remarks, it will begin 'with fair pretensions, sugared words, and promises;' while in May, “the commonalty seem somewhat satisfied with an expectation of better days; they rejoice and hope well. And rejoice they did-though most unwisely, on the 29th of that month. But strange as it may appear, after the many proofs furnished by himself of his very unscrupulous character, Lilly was at this crisis no time-server. Few almanac-makers would have written thus at the close of 1659. “How much the death of one grand statesman may be of concernment, let the world take notice by

the death of that superlative person, Oliver, late Lord Pro'tector, whose death amazed and confounded all the consulta'tions of Europe, especially France and Spain. But Oliver is *dead; and though many may tyrannize over his dead body, yet, whilst alive, the greatest prattler that now lives durst not, unless in private, breathe forth his name with reproach. It's no less than the doggish index of a depraved mind in any man, to ‘rob the dead of that honour which was due unto them when

living. Honour to William Lilly for this unbought tribute to the memory of the greatest ruler England ever saw, at a time

[ocr errors]

when South, Dryden, and Waller were eager to vilify him they had but just before offered incense to: let it be remembered as one of the redeeming traits in Lilly's character, that he alone, in the year 1660, dared to vindicate the fame of the great Protector.

With the Restoration, the history of the political almanac ends, and here we must conclude. Booker died soon after; Vincent Wing was forced to content himself with prophecies of murrain among the cattle, and toothache among his readers; while Captain Wharton, notwithstanding the violent outbursts of loyalty of his Calendarium Ecclesiasticum of 1660, lived to experience and deplore the usual gratitude of the Stuarts. Lilly, having received a pardon, took to physic, as well as astrology, still publishing his Merlinus Anglicus, but keeping far aloof from political matters. At length, in 1681, he died, in a good old age, and was buried in Walton church by his friend and admirer, credulous Elias Ashmole, who placed over his remains' a fair black marble stone,' which he tells us with laudable minuteness, cost exactly six pounds, four shillings and sixpence.'

ART. IV.-(1.) Fasciculi Zizaniorum Magistri Johannis Wyclif cum

Tritico : ascribed to Thomas Netter of Walden, Provincial of the Carmelite Order in England, and Confessor to King Henry V. Edited by the Rev. WALTER WADDINGTON SHIRLEY, M.A., Tutor

and late Fellow of Wadham College. Oxford. 8vo. Longmans. (2.) The Quarterly Review, No. 207. July, 1858. (3.) Diatribe in Johannis Wicliffi Reformationis Prodromi Vitam,

Ingenium, Scripta. Auctore s. A. J. DE REUVER GRONEMAN,

Theol. Doct. Trajecti ad Rhenum apud Rob. Natan. MDCCCXXXVII. (4.) Die theologische Doctrin Johann Wycliffe's. Nach den Quellen

dargestellt und Kritisch beleuchtet. Von Dr. Ernst ANTON LEWALD, Kirchenrath und Professor der Theologie zu Heidelberg. (“The Theological Doctrine of John Wycliffe, exhibited from the Original Sources, and critically illustrated. By Dr. E. A. LEWALD.) In the Quarterly Journal of Historical Theology (Zeitschrift für die Historische Theologie'); Parts 2 and 4 for

1846, and Part 4 for 1847. (5.) Wiolif und die Lollarden. Ein Beitrag zur Kirchengeschichte

Englands in den letzten 150 Jahren vor der Reformation. Von GOTTHARD VICTOR LECHLER, Dr. Phil. Diakonus in Waiblingen bei Stuttgart. (Wiclif and the Lollards. A Contribution to the Church History of England during the last 150 years before the Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain. 36) Reformation. By Dr. G. V. LECHLER.') Quarterly Journal of

Historical Theology, Parts 3 and 4 for 1853, and Part 2 for 1854. (6.) Johann Wycliffe und seine Bedeutung für die Reformation.

Von Oscar JAEGER, Phil. Dr. Gekrönte Preisschrift. ("John Wycliffe and his Importance with respect to the Reformation. By

Dr. O. JAEGER. A Prize Work.) Halle. 1844. (7.) Geschichte der Kirchen Reformation in Gross Brittanien. Von

Dr. GEORG WEBER, Professor und Schul-Direktor in Heidelberg. Neue Ausgabe. ("History of the Reformation of the Church in Great Britain. By Dr. G. WEBER, Professor and School-Director

at Heidelberg.') (8.) Gerson, Wiclefus, Hussus inter se et cum Reformatoribus con

parati. Auctore J. C. A. WINKELMANN. Commentatio in Certamine Literario Civium Academiæ Georgiæ Augustæ ex sententia Rev. Theol. Ord. die iv. mens. Jun. 1856. Præmio Regio ornata. (Gerson, Wiclif, and Huss, compared with One Another and with the Reformers. University Prize Essay. By J. C. A. WINKEL

MANN.') Gottingen. 1857. (9.) Wiclif, als Vorlaufer der Reformation. Antritts Vorlesung

gehalten zu Leipzig, den 9 Juli, 1858. Von G. V. LECHLER, der Phil. u. Theol. Dr., Superint. u. Ordent. Prof. der Theologie. ( Wiclif, considered as a Forerunner of the Reformation. An Inaugural Discourse delivered at Leipzig, July 9, 1858. By Prof.

G. V. LECHLER.') Leipzig: 1858. (10.) Die Vorreformatoren des vierzehnten und funfzehnten Jahrhun

derts, Erste Hälfte : Johannes von Wycliffe. Von FRIEDRICH BÖHRINGER. (The Forerunners of the Reformation in the

Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries.' First Part.) (11.) The Character and Place of Wickliffe as a Reformer. By

HERBERT COWELL, of Wadham College. J. and G. Parker.

Oxford. The volume placed first in the list of works at the head of this article, is one of a series in course of publication under the sanction of the Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury, at the suggestion of the Master of the Rolls. The works thus published are to consist of materials for the history of this country from the invasion by the Romans to the reign of 'Henry VIII. Hitherto the publication of documents relating to English history under the direction of our government has gone on so slowly as to exhaust the patience of the student, and to be far from satisfactory to the public. And when such works have made their appearance, it has generally been in forms so costly as to place them beyond the reach of the great majority of the persons likely to make the best use of them, by rendering it necessary that they should be consulted, for the most part, only in large public libraries. The Master of the Rolls has avoided these

By the employment of a sufficient number of competent NO. LVI.

в в

editors, he hopes to send forth as many as twelve volumes in a year. It is a part of his plan also that these volumes shall be published at a price which may allow of their finding a place in the libraries of scholars who do not often purchase very expensive works. Mr. Shirley's volume extends to more than six hundred handsomely printed royal octavo pages, it is strongly and even elegantly bound, and may be purchased for 88. 6d.

We scarcely need say, that in this matter the Master of the Rolls, and the Lords of the Treasury, are doing a good work. Our only fear is lest this change from the delays of the past, as regards the rate of publication, to the speed of the present, should be found greater than will consist with due care and accuracy. In Mr. Shirley's volume there are not a few signs of haste which we shall have occasion to notice, and which may suffice to show the ground of our apprehension in this particular.

The manuscript volume from which Mr. Shirley has made his selections has been long known to scholars, and has already served the purposes of history to a large extent. Though described as Wycliffe's Tares, it consists in only a small degree of papers by Wycliffe, and only partially of papers relating to him. But it shows largely what the opponents of Wycliffe thought of him, and of his real or supposed disciples—the Lollards. The first hundred pages in this volume are occupied by a Carmelite friar named Cunningham, with arguments directed against certain metaphysical and scholastic speculations attributed to Wycliffe. Something more than another hundred pages are assigned to two monks, named Tyssington and Winterton, who wrote in reply to Wycliffe's Confession on the Eucharist. In what remains, there is about a hundred pages which may be said to concern Wycliffe directly. About half this space is filled with papers from the pen of Wycliffe. But these papers have all been printed, entirely or in their substance, before, with the exception of the one in which the Reformer replies to Cunningham. The fifty pages remaining, consist of documents which are well known, and which might have been seen in extenso, or in their substance, by turning to the printed pages of such writers as Walsingham, Foxe, and Collier, before they made their appearance in the Appendix to Lewis's Life of IViclif.

The merit of Mr. Shirley accordingly is not the merit of a discoverer. But he has done good service in editing this volume. He has given us documents together which are not so found elsewhere; and he has given one or two of them for the first time in completeness, and carefully collated, so that, as far as those papers are concerned, we need not depend any longer on extracts, abridgments, or second-hand information. It should be

Fasciculi Zizaniorum-Contents-the Editor.

363

added that the papers by Cunningham, Tyssington, and Winterton, though well known to be existing in manuscript, have not been printed before, and the question naturally comes as to the value that should be attached to these two hundred pages of new material. It must be at once obvious that we are not at liberty to judge of the opinions of the Reformer from such polemical representations of them. He often complains of being grossly misunderstood and misrepresented by his assailants. The historical worth of such documents accordingly is limited-we may say very limited. They have their uses, but there are points on which they may require to be used with great caution. Taken alone, their authority must be small. But it is otherwise with Wycliffe's reply to Cunningham. In this defence of himself Wycliffe states his own case, as he does in his Confession on the Eucharist. This reply is the only contribution in this collection from the pen of Wycliffe that Mr. Shirley has been the first to print; and unfortunately the disputation throughout this paper is of a sort to be little interesting to modern readers, affording small help in respect to what we most wish to know concerning its author. Cunningham's papers are, as we have said, wholly metaphysical and scholastic, and such is the character of Wycliffe's reply. In the dispute as here presented there is nothing to prepare us for what was to follow. For anything that is here said, Wycliffe might have lived and died no more a reformer than Bradwardine or Duns Scotus. It is of course no fault of Mr. Shirley's if these documents do next to nothing towards enlarging or correcting the views of well-informed men concerning the life or the doctrine of our great Reformer. Such, at all events, is the fact. After a careful examination of this volume, we find ourselves at the same point on this subject. We may feel our footing a little more firmly, but our footing is where it was.

What we have said in favour of this volume relates exclusively to the papers which Mr. Shirley has edited. The sketch of the Life and Times of the Reformer which precedes the documents is another affair. We should have been glad if we could have spoken as favourably of this part of Mr. Shirley's labours as of what follows. But this we cannot do. Nothing can be imagined in worse taste -more unsuitable or unjust—than that works of this nature should be used to give expression, and factitious influence, to personal prejudices and party feeling. These publications are issued at the cost of the nation. They are meant to serve the interest of the nation. Future generations are expected to read them and study them, and they will so do. If used to give vent to the spleen of sects or coteries, either political or religious, the

в в 2

« ÖncekiDevam »