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“ Tria sunt necessaria puritati : Integritas actionis, simplicitas intentionis, tranquillitas devotionis.”

PSEUDO-BERNARD, Lib. Sentent. ii. 778.

“ It is not the stubborn letter must govern us, but the divine and softening breath of charity, which turns and winds the dictates of every positive command, and shapes it to the good of mankind.”

Milton, Tetrachordon, P. W. ii. 165.

“To those men who employ their natural faculties to the glory of God, and their own and others' edification, God shall afford an exaltation of those natural faculties. In those, who use their learning, or their wealth, or their power, well, God shall increase that power, and that wealth, and that learning, even in this world.”

DONNE's Sermons, xlvi. p. 464.

“ An easy matter it is to bind heavy burdens for other men's shoulders ; but it is not so easy to persuade the people to take them up to bear them, so long as the bin like those Pharisees in the Gospel, refuse to touch them with the least of their fingers. If we think to awaken the world out of their dead sleep, it will not be enough to crow unto others, unless withal we shall beat our wings on our own sides.”

DEAN RALEIGH's Sermons, p. 50. 4to. 1679.

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“Without the sovereign influence of God's extraordinary and immediate grace, men do very rarely put off all the trappings of their Pride, till they who are about them put on their winding-sheet."

CLARENDON'S Essay Of Pride, i. 79.

“ Policy, the great idol of a carnal reason, is that which insensibly works the soul to a despisal of religion.”

South's Sermons, vi. 76.

Parochial fragments,

&c. &c. &c.


I am sorry to have left you so long to yourself. My wish was to have returned last night, but I could not get the business I was about settled. These Parochial concerns are at times both vexatious and harassing. However, you had the library at your command, and few know how to make use of a library better.


Will you credit me, Eubulus, when I say I have scarcely taken down a book? The truth is, I have devoted myself to your sketch of Becket's life, and have looked only to your authorities. It is deeply interesting, and there are more points than one on which I wish to make some inquiries. And first, are you aware how closely the narrative coincides with that beautiful account in Southey's “ Book of the Church ?”

EUBULUS, It is a matter on which I feel the greatest satisfaction; but on comparing the two sketches together, I doubted much as to the publication of my own. In fact, it seemed needless.


I am well pleased to infer that your doubts are at an end.


They are.

On reconsidering the matter in my own mind, it

appeared to me quite worth while to show how diligent historical research, and careful weighing of authorities, had brought two writers, agreeing in the main, but differing on lesser points, to nearly the same conclusions. I do not happen to have at hand the later edition of the " Book of the Church,” where the references are given at the foot of the page, but the great authority of Southey, like my own, was Lord Lyttelton. The order of events would show this. You will have noted a few points of difference. I would by no means assert that my arrangement is correct; but it is made after a careful comparison of conflicting dates.

ALETHES. What other authorities did


make use of ?


At a distance from public libraries, I had no opportunity of consulting those Authors whom I will designate Chroniclers and Annalists'. From these the history of the time is chiefly derived, and all subsequent writers are indebted to them for their details. The facts, however, I was enabled to weigh and to compare, carefully divesting each of favour or prejudice. If in any instances I have been betrayed on one side or the other, some one hereafter will do the like by me.


But say, whose accounts do you look upon as most valuable, next to Lord Lyttelton's ?


I think, the historian Henry; and, making allowance for favourable construction, and possibly something more, I would place Berington next. Butler, in his “Lives of the Saints,” is the advocate of a party, and is as little to be followed closely as Hume or Rapin.

Sharon Turner's account of Becket is not sufficiently in detail, but what is written is well written. I wish it had been longer. Fox, in his “Acts and Monuments," can

1 They are enumerated in Mr. Berington's Preface, who gives a short account of them severally. They are, William of Malmesbury, William of Newborough, Ralph de Diceto, Gervase of Canterbury, Roger de Hoveden, Giraldus Cambrensis, Geoffry Vinisalvus, Mathew Paris, the Chronicles of Mailros, and of Walter Hemingford, and the Annals of Morgan of Burton, and of Waverley. See pp. vii.-xviii. The Quadrilogus and Becket's Letters are of course the great authority.

” scarcely be looked upon as historical authority. He and Butler may be considered as the two extremes. Fuller, again, has a decided bias, though there are many points which he touches well. I am not sure whether Collier does not deserve to be enumerated next to Lord Lyttelton. He takes, I think, a fairer view of Becket's character than his Lordship did. I need hardly tell you that I have consulted every authority I could lay my hands upon,

but I shall not mention other names now.


Perhaps I do not myself much dissent from the opinion expressed by Inett, in his “ Origines Anglicanæ,” which I referred to yesterday. But let me ask, Eubulus, how it is that in concluding Becket's history, you did not sum up his character ! I could much wish to hear from your own mouth an opinion, long ere this, matured in your own breast. The omission is clearly intended and on purpose.


It is. To sketch the character of Becket was no easy matter, and I therefore did not attempt it. My intention was that his acts should speak for him, and that his infirmities should be set down to the score of the cross. As, however, you press the point, I will declare my sentiments. But it is of little use, save to gratify a friend, as each one will draw his own conclusions from the study of the Life. And trust me, it is no easy study. It required much reading, and the careful investigation of conflicting evidence. Prepared as I was, I devoted the leisure of three months to the collection of details, which took but a week to put in the order in which you read it.


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I know your industry and love of research. I recollect the fact, that when, many years ago, the edition of the Acharnians, by Elmsley, was bought up,—at all events, not to be procured, you quietly sat down and made a manuscript copy of it from one lent you by Bishop Butler. I attribute to that your ready knowledge in the Prince of Comic Poets.


Nunc oblita mihi tot car

Such studies are past and gone! mina!"


There needs no tone of melancholy, Eubulus. They have done their work, and have made your taste severe as it is. There are no models like the Greek and Roman writers. But, think aloud ! and let me hear of Becket.


Atyour request I have appended to the Lifemy Second Thoughts. But I omitted to state, that much as I dislike a great portion of Hume's summing up, there is much truth, nevertheless, in parts of it. For example, “ No man who enters into the genius of that age, can reasonably doubt of this prelate's sincerity. The spirit of superstition was so prevalent, that it infallibly caught every careless reasoner, much more every one whose interest, and honour, and ambition, were engaged to support it." Again, “Throughout that large collection of letters which bears the name of St. Thomas, we find, in all the retainers of that aspiring prelate, no less than in himself, a most entire and absolute conviction of the reason and piety of their own party, and a disdain of their antagonists. The spirit of revenge, violence, and ambition, which accompanied their conduct, instead of forming a presumption of hypocrisy, are the surest pledges of their sincere attachment to a cause, which so much flattered their domineering passions.” I will only add to what has been said the extract which follows. It is from Bishop Short's “Sketch of the History of the Church of England," " Of the cleverness and decision of Becket's character there can be no doubt; but it seems equally unquestionable that his object was personal ambition ; he died a martyr to the cause of the advancement of his own ecclesiastical power. The violence of his letters to the Court of Rome, and the vindictive persecution of his enemies, show most forcibly how far he was from that serenity which the disinterestedness of a good cause can alone inspire ?."

2 Vol. i. p. 57.

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