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penned with lese Nor is high puthed preacher
. that “if there should happen to be a majority of his (ur. Atterbury's) kidney, he would as soon hope to have the church's peace established by a convocation of English bulldogs!' (636.) He consoles himself and Dr. Wake by obsexving, that their common foe ' writes with as little strength of argument as ever man did,' (p. 212) and intimates to Mr. Elstob his resolution by the beginning of April, to wipe off the dirt which that foul-mouthed preacher had cast upon him.' (p. 220.) Nor is his published letter to Dr. Kennet * penned with less vigour and politeness.
I need not, Sir, acquaint you what a toil and expence the very collecting of those materials has brought upon me; nor how much trouble I had in the composure. And it is but a discouraging prospect (after all) to see so many men of gravity and good learning, to whom I thought my labours might have been chiefly useful, caressing an empty Misrepresenter of our Antiquities, Histories, and Records ; and patronizing an ambitious wretch in his insolent attempts against our : aptient and Apostolical Church-Governmentit' p. 262.
In another place this ambitious wretch' is complimented with a different and not less suitable designation, . pert and pedling retailer of another man's collections.' (p. 229.)
All this is vastly contemptible; but the altercation which follows is infinitely worse. It happened, somewhat unluckily, it inust be confessed, that soon after Nicolson's promotion to the bishopric of Carlisle, Dr. Atterbury was presented to the deanery. A man of generous feeling would, on this occasion, have gladly overlooked preceding differences; and would have eagerly come forward to shew that anger was not rooted in his heart. Even an enlightened pride might have taught him, after more than one regal example, that it was unworthy of the Bishop to revenge the wrongs of the Archdeacon. Not' so Bishop Nicolson. With a littleness of soul inexpressibly despicable, and alınost unexampled, we should hope, in the annals of learning, he meanly exerted himself to find out some pitiful excuse for disobeying the Queen's mandate; and in a blind gratification of private animosity, forgot not only the dictates of Christian charity, but even all consideration of personal dignity and character: . .
· Nothing (says Dr. A.) could be more barbarous and unfair than the whole scene of this conduct; for, in the first place, he contrived things so, that I should know nothing of his intentions to refuse ine institution till I
* This epistle the writer seems to have looked upon as a chef d'euvre; for he was afterwards at the pains of grinding it into a preface for his Scotch historical library. In this preface, however, he has expunged or altered the most abusive passages.
* With this affronting' paragraph the university were much offended, as well as with the Archdeacon's obstinacy in • terming the said Dr. Mr. Atterbury only' throughout his pamphlet.
camp to York. Then he stopped me eight days at York, under a shama pretence of desiring the Archbishop to institute me in his stead; but, when I applied for a request of that kind to the Archbishop under his Episcopal Seal, he would not grant it, but would have me come to Rose Castle and receive institution from him : and yet, when I came thither, took advantage of the twenty-eight days allowed him by the Canon, without reckoning in those in which he himself had detained me at Bishops-thorpe. We parted, however, pretty civilly; and, I thank God, I had that command of myself, that, notwithstanding his rudeness to me, I was not moved to do or say any thing indecent.
The Bishop had taken as much care as he could to have all man. ner of slights put upon me. The bells were not to ring, the choir, not to attend upon me, nor the Corporation to take any notice of me. All which I bore, and took no notice of ; but in two days. time broke through all his measures.' pp. 280, 281.
Eventually, as might be expected, and as the Archbishop of York had foretold, the dean carried his point; but the bishop, driven back by inches, submitted at last with a very bad grace;
And never could true reconcilement grow
• Where wounds of deadly hate had pierced so deep.' We shall not fatigue our readers with the broils of these holy churchmen (important as they doubtless are) growing out of this unhappy misunderstanding. The election of Mr. Curate Langhorne to the high office of churchwarden--the
refusal of Dr. Todd (supported by the dean) to admit the ' bishop as a local visitor of the chapter, and the letters, proceedings and weary memorials consequent thereuponthese, et cætera de genere hoc,' for an obvious reason we pass
- adeo sunt multa loquacem Delassare valent Fabium.' We proceed therefore slightly to notice the remaining part of the correspondence, which is divided, chiefly, between Dr. Wilkins and Bishop Downes; the bishop of Carlisle's proportion in the second volume being extremely scanty.
The letters of Dr. Wilkins (1714-1721), who is still known and valued as the editor of the Coptic pentateuch and new testament, of the Saxon laws, and of the complete works of Selden, were not by any means penned for posterity: They consist chiefly of the ecclesiastical tittle-tattle of the day, and are, for the most part, exceedingly unimportant, A few passages, however, are. of a different complexion, among which the most amusing is a satirical account of Professor Bentley's inaugural speech. . -The letters of Bishop Downes (1719-1729) come recom. mended to us by the editor, as displaying the pleasantry and amiable disposition of the writer. The latter they
certainly do in a very captivating degree ; but the pleasantry we fear will hardly pass for Attic : e. g.
-The last time I saw your good daughter she had a boil upon her arm: I wonder that any one so nearly related to you should have any ill humour about her. Your son that has learnt to fall from you, will, I hope, learn to rise with you; and so soon that you may long rejoice. together thereat.' 11. p. 503.
"I am very glad the complaint of, your toe is so well over. All your family from head to foot have our best wishes.' p. 536. &c. ;
Upon the whole, however, these letters are undoubtedly the most interesting in the collection, because the most unstudied. The writer is seen undisguised. They are neither stuffed with vapid flattery nor illiberal abuse; and, evidently the artless effusion of the moment, they contain many pleasing indications of a heart alive to nature and social feeling. The following passages may perhaps appear trifling: but it is a sort of trifing that we should never wish to see banished from the fire-side letters of our friends.
"I thank God, in all appearance, the danger is over with our dear Child ; and I believe never any one that had so many, had ever fewer ill symptoms attending him; and I must say this for George's credit, that he bore this sore distemper with all the patience and discretion of a man. I have promised him a hat and feather for his reward, which is but a light recompence for the example he has set of courage and prudence. p. 531,
• All of us in general mourned for the loss of so much good company, which was almost our daily delight. But poor George was inconsolable ; and that upon the strongest reason, as your Lordship will find in the sequel,“ When I came home from taking of leave, my little pet got home before me, and I found him by himself weeping bitterly : upon which (being a little out of humour upon other accounts) I asked, in a füry, « Who has abused this child ?” Poor thing, he was too full to declare it himself; and nobody else knowing any thing of the matter, I took him aside ; and after he had recovered his speech, which he could not for some time do for sobbing, he told me " it was for the loss of his three wives together !” A doleful occasion indeed ; and as it stopped his mouth for a while, so it must the pen of H. E. p. 547, 548,
Besides the letters already noticed, there are a few un. connected epistles which it may be worth while to mention. The third letter is a political address to the archdeaconry of Carlisle, written soon after the accession of William ill, and intended to reconcile the disaffected clergy with the existing government. The reasoning of this address is execrable ; and well it may; for it exhibits a most curious mixture of principles the most violently discordant-a high churchman's defence of a whig governmentan attempt to
justify, the Revolution on the ground of passive obedience and non-resistabce.'.
Our laws will justify (he contends) nay, they enjoin, the paying of al. legiance to a King de facto ; and this a common reasoner would think enough to prove, that ap occupant of the throne is a lawful successor to the prince ihat went before him.'
• The short of our case is, the late King was pleased unexpectedly to leave us; and their present Majesties have stepped into the throne as the next lawful successors. And where is the mischief of all this? You and I are not yet called upon to give our assent to every vote that . passed in either House of Parliament in the management of this mat. ter; and, I hope, we never shall. But I think, we ought thankfully to join in the last result of their councils : that William and Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange, are honestly and gally seated in the English throne.'
Besides, I should think, we ought all to desire to part with his late Majesty with as much respect, and as quietly as is possible. The unraveling the mystery of the Prince of Wales would, as we may well imagine, cast such reflections on the late King, as might tempt some forward people to entertain very sorry notions even of Monarchy itself (for all men have not the gift of true logical thinking); and it is, at least, ill manners to be over-busy in prying into the failures of Princes.' pp. 8-10. .
But the main objection,' it should seem, was raised from the conduct of his grace of Canterbury; a consideration, indeed, of such momentous force, as evidently to stagger our ingenious archdeacon himself. He eludes the full force of this blow, by adroitly interposing the conduct of his grace of York; sagaciously observing, that whatever weight there may be in this objection on the other side Trent,' the riorth side clergy, ought in all reason to be regulated by their own metropolitan !""
The fiftieth letter is from Mr. John Wallis to Bishop Lloyd, and contains some curious etymological discussion. How this letter comes to form a part of Bishop Nicolson's correspondence, we are not told. Indeed there are several others which stand in the same predicament.
Mr. Chamberlayne's letters are remarkable, chiefly on account of their exquisitely elegant and unaffected exordia, of wbich let the following suffice for specimens,
My Honoured Lord, •Your Lordship’s most kind Letter of the 5th instant has lain some. where by the way; for it came not to hand till last night. But it came then with a duck in its mouth, as we say; and it would have been extreme savory meat if your Lordship had taken the pains to dress it. p. 9. "My Honoured Lord, JF I had compliments as ready at hand as your Lardship, and could
bestow them in as cleanly a manner, this whole sheet of gilt paper in a large quarto, would not contain the just returns ; but, in truth, I am so awkward at them, and ever was, that I shall never come up to the fruitfulness of a dry pump, for that would yield as much water as 16 thrown into it, and sometimes much more. p. 413. .
We shall only detain our readers with one or two additional remarks. In the first place, it is obvious that these letters are valuable principally, if not solely, from association. The subjects,' notwithstanding their division into
literary, political, and ecclesiastical,' are of the most trivial kind. We have no discussion on points of general in. terest--no well conducted reasoning-no maturity of thought ---no play of fancy--and comparatively but very little of that expression of amiable feeling which constitutes the lasting and all powerful charm of familiar correspondence. And as to the writers, they are by no means of that splendid waa ter as to shed lustre upon a long continuity of dull, tes dious, temporary matter. Besides, a great proportion of the corresponding fraternity are downright “ P. P.'s;" without taste, wit, or learning, without one observable public qualification, and almost without a name. Who, for instance, is Mr. Joseph Yates,, who entertains such a violent dislike to protestant dissenters? And for what imaginable purpose are we to be distracted with the tragic outcries of Dr. Todd; or stupified with the proposals Mr. T. Wearing agrees to ?",
In the next place, we must explicitly avow our opinion that these letters confer no real honour on the memory of Bishop Nicolson. Why the learned primate should have
preserved them with such peculiar attention,' we are curious to know. Perhaps he might be elevated with the admiration of Dr. Wilkins, who' despaired' of ever being able to come up to the elegance of his style, or the excellency of his expressions ;' and might hope to infuse a similar des pondency into distant generations. Possibly, indeed, he inight intend to establish a criterion for unborn reviewers, who should be compelled to shew their taste and judgement with the duchess of Grafton, by highly approving his epistolary style.' Be this as it may, it is quite certain that neither his expressions nor his.stylei are at all sufficient to excuse the more obvious errors of the writer's mind; to' atone for that self-complacent vanity which could relish the most uncouth andyvulgar adulation; or neutralize that fret- ful acidity of temper, which could resent a difference of opinion with abuse, and at once convert a literary controversy into a personal quarrel.
But another and more serious complaint lies against the untheological stamp of these letters; against the unpardon