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tion to find punishment where he looked for preferment, as if his life were bound up by sympathy in his book, he ended his days soon after." Poor Mocket was only forty when he died, succumbing, like Cowell, to the rough reception accorded to his book.
Mocket's book is less one to read than to treasure as a sort of lusus naturæ in the literary world; for it would certainly have seemed safe antecedently to wager a million to one that no Warden of All Souls' would ever write a book that would be subjected to the indignity of fire; and, in spite of his example, I would still wager a million to one that a similar fate will never befall any literary work of Mocket's successors. Mocket's book, therefore, has a certain distinction which is all its own; but those who do not love the Church of England without it will hardly be led to such love by reading Mocket. And Mocket himself, if we follow Fuller, seems to have wished to make his love for the Church a vehicle to his own preferment; but as, perhaps, in that respect he does not stand alone, I should be sorry that the implied reproach should rest as any stain upon his memory.
Next to the question of the rights of kings over their subjects, the most important one of that time was concerning the rights of popes over kingsa question which, having been intensified by the Reformation, naturally came to a crisis after the Gunpowder Plot. James I. then instituted an oath of allegiance as a test of Catholic loyalty, and many Catholics took the oath without scruple, including the Archpriest Blackwell. Cardinal Bellarmine thereupon wrote a letter of rebuke to the latter, and Pope Paul V. sent a brief forbidding Catholics either to take the oath or to attend Protestant churches (October 1606). But it is remarkable that, so little did the Catholics believe in the authenticity of this brief, another-and an angry one-had to come from Rome the following September, to confirm and enforce it. King James very fairly took umbrage at the action and claims of the Pope, and spent six days in making notes which he wished the Bishop of Winchester to use in a reply to the Pope and the Cardinal. But when the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely saw the King's notes, they thought them answer enough, and so James's "Apology for the Oath of Allegiance" came to light, but without his name, the author, among other reasons, deeming it beneath his dignity to contend in argument with a cardinal. As the Cardinal responded, the King took a stronger measure, and under his own name wrote, in a single week, his "Premonition to all most Mighty Monarchs," wherein he exposed with great force the danger to all states from the pretentions of the Papacy. Thereupon, at Paul's invitation, Suarez penned that vast folio (778 pp.), the "Defensio Catholicæ Fidei contra Anglicanæ Sectæ Errores (1613),
as a counterblast to James's "Apology." Considering the subject, it was certainly written with singular moderation; and James would have done better to have left the book to the natural penalty of its immense bulk. As it was, he ordered it to be burnt at London, and at Oxford and Cambridge; forbade his subjects to read it, under severe penalties; and wrote to Philip III. of Spain to complain of his Jesuit subject. Jesuit subject. But Philip, of course, only expressed his sympathy with Suarez, and exhorted James to return to the Faith. The Parlement of Paris also consigned the book to the flames in 1614, as it had a few years before Bellarmine's "Tractatus de Potestate summi Pontificis in Temporalibus," in which the same high pretentions were claimed for the Pope as were claimed by Suarez.
The question at issue remains, of course, a burning one to this day. To James I., however, is due the credit of having been one of the earliest and ablest champions against the Temporal Power; and therefore side by side on our shelves with Bellarmine and Suarez should stand copies of the "Apology" and the "Premonition"-both of them works which can scarcely fail to raise the King many degrees in the estimation of all who read them.
But we have yet to see James as a theologian, for on his divinity he prided himself no less than on his king-craft. The burnings of Legatt at Smithfield and of Wightman at Lichfield for heretical opinions are sad blots on the King's memory; for it would seem that he personally pressed the bishops to proceed to this extremity, in the case of Legatt at least. Nor in the case of poor Conrad Vorst did he manifest more toleration or dignity. It was no concern of his if Vorst was appointed by the States to succeed Arminius as Professor of Theology at Leyden; yet, deeming his duty as Defender of the Faith to be bound by no seas, he actually interfered to prevent it, and rendered Vorst's life a burden to him, when he might just as reasonably have protested against the choice of a Grand Lama of Thibet.
Vorst's book-the" Tractatus Theologicus de Deo," an ugly, square, brown book of five hundred pages-is as unreadable as it is unprepossessing. Bayle says that it was shown to the King whilst out hunting, and that he forthwith read it with such energy as to be able to despatch within an hour to his resident at the Hague a detailed list of its heresies. Nothing in his reign seems to have excited him so much. Not only did he have it publicly burnt in St. Paul's Churchyard (October, 1611), and at Oxford and Cambridge, but he entreated the States, under the pain of the loss of his friendship, to banish Vorst from their dominions altogether. No heretic, he said, ever better deserved to be burnt, but that he would leave to their Christian wisdom. "Such a Disquisition deserved the punishment of the Inquisition." If Vorst remained, no English
youths should repair to "so infected a place" as the University of Leyden.
The States resented at first the interference of the King of England, and supported Vorst, but the ultimate result of James's prolonged agitation was that in 1619 the National Synod of Dort declared Vorst's works to be impious and blasphemous, and their author unworthy to be an orthodox professor. He was accordingly banished from the University and from Holland for life, and died three years afterwards, fully justified by his persecution in his original reluctance to exchange his country living for the dignity of a professorship of theology.
Bayle thinks he was fairly chargeable with Socinian views, but what most offended James was his metaphysical speculations on the Divine attributes. I will quote from Vorst two passages which vexed the royal soul, and should teach us to rejoice that the reign of such discussions show signs of passing away:
"Is there a quantity in God?
There is; but not a physical quantity,
But a supernatural quantity;
One nevertheless that is plainly imperceptible to us,
And merely spiritual."
Or again :
"Hath God a body? If we will speak properly, He has none; yet is it no absurdity, speaking improperly, to ascribe a body unto God, that is, as the word is taken improperly and generally (and yet not very absurdly) for a true substance, in a large signification, or, if you will, abusive."
The above are the principal books whose names have come down to us as burnt in the reign of James, and the initiation of such burning seems always to have come from the King himself. As yet, the Star Chamber and Court of High Commission do not appear to have assumed the direction of this lesser but not unimportant department of government. Nor is there yet any mention of the hangman: the mere burning by any menial official being thought stigma enough. It is also remarkable that the books which chiefly roused James's anger to the burning point were the works of foreigners-of Paræus, Suarez, and Vorst. After James our country was too much occupied in burning its own books and pamphlets to burden itself with the additional labor of burning its neighbours'; the instances that occur are comparatively few and far between. But it is clear that, whatever were James's real views as to the limits of his political prerogative, in the field of literature he meant to play and did play the despot. Pity that one who could so deftly wield his pen should have rested his final argument on the bonfire!
(Next: "Charles the First's Book-Fires.")
John Jacob Astor owns one of the most valuable manuscripts in this country. It is the famous Sforza missal and was bought for $15,000. It measures 13 7-8x9 3-8 inches, has 184 pages of vellum and is bound in red morocco. It was made and decorated for Galeazzo Sforza by the great Florentine artist, Francesca Filippo Lipp.
LITERATURE IN CAPTIVITY.
Although we may be inclined to admit that stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage, we may still doubt whether they make a commodious or enviable study. There are certain conventional frames in which we like to picture our authors, and a four-square dungeon is not one of these. "It makes such a difference where you read," says Whitman somewhere (and Lamb before him) with some force. Surely it should make quite a difference where you write. But both of these propositions admit of so many exceptions that one hardly knows whether to call the exception the rule, and the rule the exception, or to leave the statement as it stands. "You may put my body in prison," said Epictetus, "but my mind not even Zeus can overpower." It takes more than bodily confinement to curb the freedom of the imagination; and often from the most depressing surroundings has come a work over which the shades of the prison-house have failed to cast even a temporary gloom.
"Virgil, though cherished in courts, Relates but a splenetic tale: Cervantes revels and sports, Although he writ in a jail."
The tradition that Farquhar's verses enshrine is fast going the way of all traditions. That Cervantes was imprisoned in a cellar in Argamasilla, La Mancha, is perfectly true. The cellar remains to this day, and draws Cervantist pilgrims to itself as to a little Mecca, but that worthy's last biographer will not allow us any longer to cherish the belief that "Don Quixote" was actually written there. Yet, even as he destroys the legend that still clings. to that underground cell, he admits that in that place the idea of the book was first conceived; so the story is not so far wrong after all. Sheridan declared his comedy finished before he had written a single scene, and we may still, in a manner of speaking hold that "Don Quixote" was at least partially written in a cellar, although in his retreat the author may have been denied the use of pen and ink.
So far as absolute quiet, solitude, continued leisure and freedom from interruption are concerned, a prison undoubtedly approaches the perfect residence for an industrious writer, and so long as the confinement is not physically painful or distressing, there is much to be said for it. Many great writers and artists have practically imprisoned themselves when engaged on great undertakings. Michael Angelo used to cut himself off from the world when he was evolving some specially high conception, and justify his seclusion by declaring that Art was
jealous mistress, requiring the whole and entire man. Harrington, of the "Oceana," Descartes, and even Macaulay, similarly immured themselves from interruption. Victor Hugo, working at "Notre
Dame," writing against time to appease the ire of his publisher, carried the idea to the verge of absurdity. He procured a "great gray knitted woolen wrapper" that shrouded him from head to foot, and then locked up his clothes so that he might not yield to the temptation to go out. For five months he maintained his voluntary incarceration. "In truth the prison into which we doom Ourselves no prison is."
The monastic enthuiasts to whom we owe so many treasures of art and literature endured hardships of application and confinement, compared to which Hugo's experience appears but momentary. Their cloisteral separation was lifelong, but that gave them only the more leisure for their work. They could enjoy to the full that love of solitude which is said to be natural to men of genius. They might command either the "imperfect" solitude or the "sympathetic." They always had plenty of time for meditation before composition, and in the engrossment of their chosen occupations they never thought of fretting "at their convent's narrow
The essence of imprisonment, however, lies in its involuntariness, and in an unwilling prisoner one does not expect to find a hermit-like contentment with his cell; nevertheless, the flow of thought that solitude encourages and the necessity for beguiling tedious days have been the means of producing books without number, some of them, it is true, mere monuments of industry, but others showing in a striking degree how independent the mind can sometimes be of the shells it inhabits. The same reason that induces one captive to scratch his name on his dungeon wall leads another to relieve his strained feelings by composition, a common, melancholy interest thus attaching itself to the half-effaced inscriptions in the Beauchamp Tower and to the "Pilgrim's Progress.". There are few of our old goals but can furnish examples of prison literature. Imprisonment in the Tower of London too often meant "close" confinement, the terms of which forbade the use of writing materials, but this was not always the case. Raleigh was free to write his "History of the World" during his long sojourn there, and had sufficient liberty of intercourse with the outside world to get other choice pens to help him in his work. The course of nearly thirteen years imprisonment did not break his spirit-witness the events that fill the space between his release and his execution-but the dead sense of separation from the world gave a melancholy resignation to his style when he thought of his book going into that outer air from which he had been so long debarred: "The general acceptance can yield me no other profit at this time than doth a fair sunshine day to a seaman after shipwreck; and the contrary no other harm than an outrageous tempest after the port attained." There is a story, though
generally discredited, that in 1386 Chaucer suffered imprisonment in the Tower for participation in the perturbed political events of that time, and that there he consoled himself by writing "The Testament of Love," in some sort of imitation of the "Consolation of Philosophy," which Boethius had written to ease his own captivity. In the Tower also, during the imprisonment with which Charles I. rewarded his patriotism, Sir John Eliot wrote a treatise on the Monarchy of Man; and half a century later, William Penn, for street preaching, was confined to the same stronghold, and then wrote his "No Cross, No Crown." The Duke of Orleans, taken prisoner at Agincourt, amused himself in his durance by writing poetry, and also at the same time another distinguished foreigner-for the Scots were foreigners then-James, afterwards James I. of Scotland, was beguiling his solitude with song in another English fortress. Intercepted on his way to France, while still a boy, he was imprisoned in Windsor Castle for many years. One morning he was bewailing his loss of liberty:
"Bewailing in my chamber thus alone,
when through a window in his tower he saw the
With this lady he promptly fell in love, and recorded the progress of his passion in a poem called "The King's Quhair," much oftener prated of than read. It is refreshing to remember, while dealing with a subject so gloomy as prisons, that James gained both his liberty and his love, though a sadder fate than anything he had experienced at English hands awaited him in his native land. Windsor Castle was also the unsought abode of Sir Robert Howard in 1657, and he, too, passed his time largely in composition. Unfortunately his prison windows gave glimpses of no Court ladies. He wrote without a flame, and naturally his poems have neither savor nor salt.
A little earlier another Royalist knight and poet was languishing in a parliamentary prison. In 1641 William Davenant, Shakespeare's godson, was accused of being party to a plot to bring the army to London for the King's protection, and to sap its adhesion to the Parliament. Sir John Suckling, another poet, was mixed up in this affair. (Poets were allowed to be politicians in those days, though it must be confessed they gained but little glory in that doubtful field.) Davenant fled. He was stopped at Feversham and sent back to London, but was liberated on bail. Again he tried to get away, and again he was arrested in Kent; subsequently, however, he contrived to evade his captors and joined the Queen in France. He served in several campaigns, received the honor of knighthood for services at the siege of Gloucester, and on the fall
of the King retired again to France. But Charles's restless consort had another mission for him. was appointed to conduct an expedition of French emigrants to Virginia. The vessel started, but scarcely had she left the shores of Normandy when she fell into the hands of an English ship in the services of the Parliament. Davenant, as a known adherent of the Stuarts, who had slipped through the fingers of the authorities once already, was safely lodged in Cowes Castle, and seems to have been in danger of his life.
He was not very much affected by his fears, but set himself at once to take advantage of his unexpected leisure. During his stay in France he had finished the first two books of an heroic poem; he now proceeded with the composition of a third. When he was half way through his task he wrote: "Tis high time to strike sail and cast anchor, though I have run but half my course, when at the helm I am threatened with death: who, though he can visit me but once, seems troublesome; and even in the innocent may beget such a gravity as diverts the music of verse." It will be noticed that his recent brief naval experience had been enough to give a salt-water flavor to his metaphors. But he was not in a mood to get on with "Gondicert." Theophilus Cibber mentions a letter from Davenant in Cowes Castle to Hobbes, in which the poet gives his friend some particulars of the progress he is making with his third book, and offers some criticisms on the heroic style of poetry. "But why," says he, "should I trouble you or myself with these thoughts when I am pretty certain I shall be hanged next week?" Clearly these were not the conditions for comfortable composition, even in the heroic vein. Things grew worse before they became better. In 1651 he was removed to the Tower, an ominous change; but the next time we see him he is at large once more, owing his liberty undoubtedly, to the intervention of some one with influence in Parliamentary quarters, probably-for there seems no reason in this case to cast discredit on the long established story "related to Richardson (the painter) upon the authority of Pope, who received it from Betterton, the protege of Davenant"-probably to the good offices of Milton. We are so accustomed to surrender, with as much resignation as we may, longcherished anecdotes and traditional history, that we feel we owe a debt of gratitude to some person or persons unknown for that we have not been shaken in the pleasing belief that the Laureate of the Martyr King owed his life on this occasion to the Latin Secretary of the greatest of that monarch's foes. It makes the story completer, and adds to it an air of poetical justice to learn that at the Restoration Sir William had an opportunity of repaying this kindness, and that it was largely due to his intercession that Milton escaped the spite of the exultant courtiers.
In the revolutionary changes of the middle of the 17th century, when a paper war went on side by side with the more deadly struggle, the prisons were much in request, filled alternately with partisans of either side, who, when they had the chance, continued their wranglings and protestations even in confinement. Men were very much in earnest then, and a matter of a few feet of masonry and certain barred approaches made but little difference to the enthusiast of liberty. Of this fervid type there is no better example than the Puritan Prynne. An Oxford graduate and a barrister, he was no vulgar and illiterate libeller, as too often he is carelessly considered, but the vices of his time served from an early age to inflame his mind to a pitch of indignation that made his pen one of the most voluminous that writer ever held, and induced Butler to address him as "Thou perpetual Scribe, Pharisee and Hypocrite, born to the destruction of paper, and most unchristian effusion of ink: thou Egyptian taskmaster of the press, and unmerciful destroyer of goose quills." It was inevitable that sooner or later he should come into conflict with the authorities, and the publication of his "Histrio-Mastix" provided a convenient excuse. In this book, which had been some years in maturing, he denounced stage plays with great vehemence, but above all did the idea of female actors irritate him, and upon them he was specially severe. It so happened that a little before the publication of this onslaught a masque had been performed at Court in which Queen Henrietta Maria had borne a part, and it was decided to torture Prynne's references into an attack upon Her Majesty. The poor man was brought before the Star Chamber, and after a year's delay, passed of course in prison, there was pronounced upon him one of the most flagitious sentences ever decreed even by that vile Court. He was doomed to imprisonment for life, fined five thousand pounds, twice pilloried; his book was burned by the common hangman, he was expelled from his University, degraded from the Bar and deprived of his ears. The Court intended his to be an exemplary sentence, and they were not disposed to undue leniency.
Soon after the trial Noy, the Attorney-General, who had conducted the prosecution, died, and from the Fleet Prison Prynne issued a tract entitled "A Divine Tragedy lately enacted, or a Collection of Sundry Memorable Examples of God's Judgment upon Sabbath - Breakers." Noy figuring as one of the horrible examples. Nor was this the only work to which he turned his abundant leisure. All kinds of subjects engaged his thought, especially-as befitted one who considered himself in great measure Laud's peculiar victimthe questions of Episcopacy, and the Book of Sports; pamphlets streamed from the prison with great regularity, until at last one more than usually
violent goaded his captors into bringing him for the second time before the dread Chamber. Again he was sentenced to imprisonment for life and fined, and again their barbarity would have spent itself upon his ears, had nature in the meanwhile supplied the deficiency themselves had created. As it was, they commanded that the hangman should eradicate whatever slight "parings" of ear had escaped his knife in 1634, and further that the contumacious pamphleteer should be branded on the cheek with the letters S. L. (Seditious Libeller). As he went back to his cell, Prynne turned a couplet in which the burned letters were made to stand for Stigmata Laudis. What a spirit the man had! What could they do with a man like that? The only way to keep him silent was to forbid the use of pen and ink-which was done. He was also shifted to Carnarvon Castle, and later into Jersey, where a liberal government mitigated his penalty and allowed him once again to wield his beloved quill, but not on controversial or theological matters. Thus excluded from his legitimate sphere, yet perfectly unable to resist the writing spirit that possessed him, he turned his attention to rhyme; the prison and the meditations of his own restless brain supplied him with materials, and his unexampled industry did the rest. Although after his release Prynne attacked Laud with great, if not unnatural, bitterness, he kept a kindly recollection of Mount Orgueil Castle, and when its genial governor, Sir Philip Carteret, was indicted as a malignant, he was successfully defended by his old prisoner.
Prynne seems to have been a true irreconcilable, for just after Pride's Purge he was again imprisoned, this time for his opposition to the Independents. During his brief captivity at this time he contrived to print a condemnation of the proposed trial of the King, and a statement of his own case and that of his fellow-prisoners. Finally, in 1650, it was found necessary to incarcerate him once more. He was offered his liberty if he would promise to do nothing against the Government, but he refused, and was not released until 1653. Prisons and pamphlets sum up his life. He wrote nearly two hundred works-a sheet says Wood, for every day of his life. At the Restoration he resumed his acquintaince with the Tower, for, surely, in a mischievous mood, Charles II. made him Keeper of the Records at a salary of £500 a year.
The Fleet Prison, which harbored Prynne for so long, has seen a melancholy succession of writers. within its walls. Lord Surry was there twice, once for an offence so unpoetical as juvenile swashbuckling in the streets at night and breaking windows with bolts from a cross-bow. Nash, for umbrage taken at his "Isle of Dogs," was there also for a short space; and Donne also, most extraordinary of Elizabethans, for a clandestine marriage with the daughter of Sir George More, Lieutenant of the
Tower. His friends and fellow-poets, Christopher and Samuel Brooke, who had been concerned in the consummation of this love-match, were imprisoned with him so that they might meditate together on the infamy of their proceedings. Sir Richard Baker, less fortunate, was an inmate for twenty years, and there compiled his "Chronicles of the Kings of England;" thither, too, was sent Lilburne—“ freeborn John "-and many another vigorous pamphleteer of the Stuart tyranny. Howel was there for some time, and wrote a good deal in the prison; and in the Fleet for seven dreary years did the brilliant Wycherley suffer foul eclipse, while his works retained their popularity, and went better clad than their author. From his retreat he was extricated by the bounty of James II., who took pity on the unfortunate dramatist, once so flattered and so gay, paid his debts and pensioned him. The still more wretched Savage availed himself of the hospitality of this limbo of debtors, this dingy Alsatia, where the reckless and the unlucky were able to live in some sort of security, and set their creditors at defiance. Johnson and others used to send him a guinea every Monday, but incorrigible vagabond that he was, he usually spent it before Tuesday dawned, and trusted to chance for the rest of the week-a type, unhappily, of a numerous race of men rendered callous by miseries and degradations, relieved by the evil debtor-prison system from any greater responsibility than was involved in maintaining a hand-to-mouth existence, and kept in dissolute idleness until inactivity and hopelessness had sapped the foundations of whatever manhood they once possessed. Savage, at a later period, was confined in Newgate and enjoyed himself there more than he had done for a long time. He was well treated by the keeper of the prison; he had a room to himself, and could pursue his studies without interruption. In one of his letters from Newgate he expressed his thankfulness that though his person was confined, his mind could "expatiate on ample and useful subjects with all the freedom imaginable." He continues, "I am now more conversant with the Nine than ever, and if, instead of a Newgate bird, I may be allowed to be a bird of the Muses, I assure you, sir, I sing very freely in my cage; sometimes, indeed, in the plaintive notes of the nightingale; but at others, in the cheerful strains of the lark." Six months later he died in prison.
Modern times have tempered the horrors of the political dungeon, and to to the dens which were held fit for Eliot and Prynne no greater contrast could be afforded than by the room that Leigh Hunt occupied in Horsemonger Lane Gaol in 1813-1815. Hunt was not altogether a stranger to prison life, for his father had been a guest of the King's Bench during Leigh's infancy; but this time he was a martyr, not a debtor's child.