Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

as soone as It was conceived : So as It must needes haue the imperfections and deformities of an immature birth, besides the weakenesse of the Parent. And therefore I could not allowe it so much fauour even from my self as to thinke it worthie of dedication to any. Yet my long deuotion towardes yr Lordp and youre owne noble love of this Art which I handle doe warrant me to intertayne you with a copie thereof. And so I rest

Your Lordps ever

deuoted Servant.”.

Some years afterwards, he presented another copy to Juxon, when he held the same office, with a letter which is printed among his Remains.*

(3.) His“ Plausus et Vota,” addressed to King Charles when returning from Scotland after his Coronation in 1633, were printed in that year.t

Goslin, the most worthie Master of Caies Colledge. Authoris et Operis Do. num.” (On that person, see Fuller's Worthies of Norwich, p. 275. Wood's Fasti, i. 350. Warton's Milton, p. 493, ed. 1791.) See too Rel. Wotton.

p. 357.

* Rel. Wotton. p. 338. Wotton's circumstances made the Lord Treasurer a very important officer to him; and Juxon seems to have treated him with great kindness. It was very different with his predecessor, Weston, Earl of Portland, as we might have guessed even from one of Wotton's respectful letters to him (p. 561). In another place, Wotton speaks out, more boldly than he was wont to do, of the way in which Weston had made a scorn of his poverty and a sport of his modesty (p. 468). Con. sidering the obvious design of the letter in which he gave Weston a sketch of his own character (p. 333), the intimations of his faults which it contains are both honestly and skilfully brought in.

+ See this vol. p. 22. The original edition is on folio paper, with only 17 widely printed lines on a page. Sign. to N 2, with two leaves prefixed, as | 1 and 2. It was reprinted in 1681 in a Tract entitled “ Monarchia Britannica, sub auspiciis Elizabethæ Felicis, Jacobi Pacifici, Caroli I. Pientissimi," &c. (That publication included three small pamphlets, the first by Master, the second by Savile, and the third by Wotton.) In addition to the Translation in Rel. Wotton. Zouch (p. 511) mentions another“ which is very scarce, printed in a very small twenty-fours, on a large type, containing 118 pages, besides the Dedication and Preface."

The two following tracts were first published in 1641 and 1642 :-(4.) “Of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, Some Observations by way of Parallel in the time of their estates of Favour;' and (5.) “ A View of the Life and Death of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.” These noțices of Wotton's two chief Patrons † are his most valuable contribution to the History of his own Times; and they have attracted more general attention than any others of his writings. Both have been reprinted, the former at the Lee Priory Press in 1814, and the latter in the Harleian Miscellany. Much of the matter (as we might have expected) is common to both; and they should be compared with the character of Buckingham which Wotton sent to the Queen of Bohemia in 1626 (Rel. Wotton. pp. 551-6).

These five pieces were all inserted in Rel. Wotton. If we add to them, (6.) “ The State of Christendom," a folio volume, which, though composed before the death of Elizabeth, was not printed till 1657, we shall have completed the list of Wotton's finished Works; of those, at least, which we possess; for we know nothing more than Walton has told us (p. 126) of three lectures de oculo which he delivered at Oxford in his twentieth year.

A perfect catalogue of those which he only designed, or which he forsook as soon as he had made a commencement, would be of much greater length; for he too often wasted his energies in making good beginnings. This may have been what Warton meant, when he called him“ a polite scholar, but on the whole a mixed and desultory character," -an account with which Sir Egerton Brydges, perhaps through a feeling of sympathy, was far from satisfied. It is plain that the defect was acknowledged and regretted by his 'friends; as when Sir Richard Baker, whose “Ancient Friendship” with him (“ which was first, and is ever best, elemented in an Academy”) is recorded by them both, complained that he had “ done himself much wrong, and the kingdom more, in leaving no more of his Writings behind

*“The Difference and Disparity” between them, which follows this by way of answer in Rel. Wotton. is said in eds. 1672-85 to have been" written by the Earl of Clarendon in his younger dayes.” (p. 184.) In the first ed. of Rel. Wotton. it was ascribed to Wotton himself, (and “ dedicated to the Earl of Portland”) as if Wotton had chosen to display his skill by writing on both sides of the question. In the second ed. there is no name at all.

+ Among Mr. B. H. Bright's MSS. (No. 276) was a Journal supposed to have been written by Wotton, when in attendance on Lord Essex, from Aug. 14: to Dec. 17: 1591: This document must be very curious, as Wal. ton evidently knew nothing of his being in the service of Lord Essex till some years after that date; and it fills up a chasm in the series of Letters to Lord Zouch (Rel. Wotton. p. 650) which is interrupted from Apr. 21: 1591; to May 8: 1592,

him."*

Many traces of his abandoned plans may still be found. The literary schemes which he mentions in his Letters to Lord Zouch t should scarcely be ranked among them; for the materials which he was then collecting were probably used in his book on the state of Christendom. But as early as 1606, Camden warned him, that he would rouse up many enemies if he carried out some plans which he had then communicated, of entering on the stormy warfare of Romanist disputation. He was probably quite willing to comply with Camden's advice.--In 1613, Thuanus complained, that Wotton had detained a MS. History, by Father Paul, of the great dispute between Rome and Venice, which Wotton had witnessed and partly shared, on the plea that he meant to undertake the subject himself.ş-Several unfinished pa

[ocr errors]

Chronicle, p. 424, ed. 1733. It was also quoted by Izaak Walton in the Preface to Rel. Wotton.-Wotton's letter to Baker, which is quoted above, is in Rel. Wotton. p. 351. + See Rel. Wotton. pp. 592, 605, 606.

Camdeni Epistolæ, 1691, p. 70. (Letter from Camden to Wotton, dated Feb. 10: 1606.) Wotton certainly considered that his experience had qualified him for such subjects. See Rel. Wotton. pp. 323, 328, 654-5.

Ś Camdeni Epistolæ, p. 139. (Letter from Thuanus to Camden, dated

pers on various points in Venetian History are found among his Remains.*-He had also collected many materials for a Life of Luther, with a general History of the Rěformation in Germany; but it was laid aside, after he became Provost of Eton College, at the request of King Charles, who wished him to direct his attention to the Ancient History of England. To further this design, a pension of 2001. a year, which had been settled on him by the King, was augmented to 500l., that he might be able to provide “the amanuenses and clerks necessary to be employed in that work.”+ “ Little, however, appears to have been written,” says Mr. Lodge," and probably less was paid." The one fact is certain, whatever may be thought of the other. In“ A Conceipt of some Observations” on remarkable passages in English History, which were to extend from the Norman Conquest to the time of Charles I., he advanced no farther than the reign of the Conqueror; and of a Latin account of Henry VI., we have only three broken pages. 1--At the close

Easter, 1613.)-That Wotton was engaged on that subject, we know from other sources (see Winw. iii. 432); but the MS. to which Thuanus alludes was entrusted to Bedel, not Wotton. See Letters of F. Paul, pp. 339, 393.

* His accounts of “The Election of the New Duke of Venice, after the Death of Giovanni Bembo” (March 16: 1618 :) and of “The Election of the following Duke after the death of Niccolo Donato” (May 8: 1618 :) are prefaced by a dedicatory letter dated May 25: 1618: (Rel. Wotton. pp. 253-264.) Part of a Latin Introduction to a more general History of Venice was sent to the King with a letter dated Dec. 9: 1622: (Rel. Wota ton. pp. 247-250. A difficulty occurs in that brief Preface, of which the greater part is evidently lost. He dates it “ Anno unici Mediatoris supra Millesimuin sexcentesimum vicesimo secundo, Ætatis meæ quinquagesimo tertio jam labente.” Now if Wotton was born, as Wood states, Mar. 30: 1568: bis 53rd year would close Mar. 30 : 1621 : i. e, nearly twelve months before 1622 wonld then begin, Mar. 25: 1622: and more than 20 months before the date of bis letter to the King. Yet Wood's date for his birth is confirmed by the account of bis age when he died, and in particular by some Pedigrees in the Herald's College, which Mr. Courthope has kindly examined for me.) There is also an nnfinished “ Letter concerning the Original of Venice,” Rel. Wotton. pp. 250-2.

+ See Zouch's Walton, pp. 176,510. Cf. Rel. Wotton. p. 562. | Rel. Wotton. pp. 100-110. A copy of the former is printed (from a

of his Treatise on Architecture, he announced that he in-
tended to publish another work, which he had “long de-
voted to the service of Chis] Countrey," namely, “ A Philo-
sophical Survey of Education, which is indeed a second
Building or repairing of Nature, and, as I may term it, a
kind of Moral Architecture.” This design he kept in view
at Eton, where “ 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.”

Some still smaller fragments may be enumerated in a
note;t but even those will probably leave our list imperfect.
Wood mentions two of Wotton's unpublished MSS. which
he had seen; † and he had heard of several others. Some
perished altogether; for Walton tells us (p. 187), that in

"*

[ocr errors]

Tann. MS.) in Gutch's Collect. Cur. i. 215-222, with a Preface wbich is
not in Rel. Wotton.

* Walton, p. 165. Rel. Wotton. p. 71. The commencement of this pro..!
jected Treatise is in Rel. Wotton., together with “ The Aphorisms of Edo.
cation," pp. 73-99.

+ His “ Character of Ferdinando di Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany," was dedicated to the King (Rel. Wotton. pp. 243-6). It confirms Walton's account of Wotton's introduction to King James.—A few remarks on “the Great Action between Pompey and Cæsar” were to be dedicated to Sir Edmund Bacon (ib. pp. 239-242). This may be the commencement of the work which he mentioned in a letter to Sir Edmund written in 1637 (ib. p. 468).-There are also two Religious Meditations, one on Gen. xxii., and the other on Christmas Day (ib. pp. 265-272).

# The first was, a “ Journal of bis Embassies to Venice. MS. fairly written in the library of Edw. Lord Conway.” The second,“ Three Propositions to the Count d'Angosciola in Matter of Dnel,” &c. This had been in Sheldon's Library, and is “ now," says Wood," among the books in the Coll. of Arms.” (A. O. ii. 646.) I am told that it cannot be found in the Herald's College. It seems that some of Sheldon's MSS. which were in. tended for that Library never reached it; and probably Wood only knew that this MS. had been Sheldon's, and stated its subsequent destination as a matter of course.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ÖncekiDevam »