"By St. Beelzebub!" he exclaimed, "I have been well bested." He looked round, and saw me, "Oh, by the fiend! here is another ally of the mighty one. To what saint did you offer prayers, friend—if not to mine? Yet I remember you not on board."
I shrank from the monster and his blasphemy. Again he questioned me, and I muttered some inaudible reply. He continued:——
"Your voice is drowned by this dissonant roar. What a noise the big ocean makes! Schoolboys bursting from their prison are not louder than these waves set free to play. They disturb me. I will no more of their ill-timed brawling.—Silence, hoary One!—Winds, avaunt!—to your homes!—Clouds, fly to the antipodes, and leave our heaven clear!"
As he spoke, he stretched out his two long lank arms, that looked like spiders' claws, and seemed to embrace with them the expanse before him. Was it a miracle? The clouds became broken, and fled; the azure sky first peeped out, and then was spread a calm field of blue above us; the stormy gale was exchanged to the softly breathing west; the sea grew calm; the waves dwindled to riplets.
"I like obedience even in these stupid elements," said the dwarf, "How much more in the tameless mind of man! It was a well got up storm, you must allow—and all of my own making."
It was tempting Providence to interchange talk with this magician. But Power, in all its shapes, is venerable to man. Awe, curiosity, a clinging fascination, drew me towards him.
"Come, don't be frightened, friend," said the wretch: "I am good-humored when pleased; and something does please me in your well-proportioned body and handsome face, though you look a little woe-begone. You have suffered a land—I, a sea wreck. Perhaps I can allay the tempest of your fortunes as I did my own. Shall we be friends?"—And he held out his hand; I could not touch it. "Well, then, companions—that will do as well. And now, while I rest after the buffeting I underwent just now, tell me why, young and gallant as you seem, you wander thus alone and downcast on this wild sea-shore."
The voice of the wretch was screeching and horrid, and his contortions as he spoke were frightful to behold. Yet he did gain a kind of influence over me, which I could not master, and I told him my tale. When it was ended, he laughed long and loud; the rocks echoed back the sound; hell seemed yelling around me.
"Oh, thou cousin of Lucifer!" said he; "so thou too hast fallen through thy pride; and, though bright as the son of Morning, thou art ready to give up thy good looks, thy bride, and thy well-being, rather than submit thee to the tyranny of good. I honor thy choice, by my soul! So thou hast fled, and yield the day; and mean to starve on these rocks, and to let the birds peck out thy dead eyes, while thy enemy and thy betrothed rejoice in thy ruin. Thy pride is strangely akin to humility, methinks."
As he spoke, a thousand fanged thoughts stung me to the heart.
"What would you that I should do?" I cried.
"I!—Oh, nothing, but lie down and say your prayers before you die. But, were I you, I know the deed that should be done."
I drew near him. His supernatural powers made him an oracle in my eyes; yet a strange unearthly thrill quivered through my frame as I said—"Speak!—teach me—what act do you advise?"
"Revenge thyself, man!—humble thy enemies!—set thy foot on the old man's neck, and possess thyself of his daughter!"
"To the east and west I turn," cried I, "and see no means! Had I gold, much could I achieve; but, poor and single, I am powerless."
The dwarf had been seated on his chest as he listened to my story. Now he got off; he touched a spring; it flew open!—What a mine of wealth—of blazing jewels, beaming gold, and pale silver—was displayed therein. A mad desire to possess this treasure was born within me.
"Doubtless," I said, "one so powerful as you could do all things."
"Nay," said the monster, humbly, "I am less omnipotent than I seem. Some things I possess which you may covet; but I would give them all for a small share, or even for a loan of what is yours."
"My possessions are at your service," I replied, bitterly—"my poverty, my exile, my disgrace—I make a free gift of them all."
"Good! I thank you. Add one other thing to your gift, and my treasure is yours."
"As nothing is my sole inheritance, what besides nothing would you have?"
"Your comely face and well-made limbs."
I shivered. Would this all-powerful monster murder me? I had no dagger. I forgot to pray—but I grew pale.
"I ask for a loan, not a gift," said the frightful thing: "lend me your body for three days—you shall have mine to cage your soul the while, and, in payment, my chest. What say you to the bargain?—Three short days."
We are told that it is dangerous to hold unlawful talk; and well do I prove the same. Tamely written down, it may seem incredible that I should lend any ear to this proposition; but, in spite of his unnatural ugliness, there was something fascinating in a being whose voice could govern earth, air, and sea. I felt a keen desire to comply; for with that chest I could command the world. My only hesitation resulted from a fear that he would not be true to his bargain. Then, I thought, I shall soon die here on these lonely sands, and the limbs he covets will be mine no more:—it is worth the chance. And, besides, I knew that, by all the rules of art-magic, there were formula and oaths which none of its practisers dared break. I hesitated to reply; and he went on, now displaying his wealth, now speaking of the petty price he demanded, till it seemed madness to refuse. Thus is it; place our bark in the current of the stream, and down, over fall and cataract it is hurried; give up our conduct to the wild torrent of passion, and we are away, we know not whither.
He swore many an oath, and I adjured him by many a sacred name; till I saw this wonder of power, this ruler of the elements, shiver like an autumn leaf before my words; and as if the spirit spake unwillingly and per force within him, at last, he, with broken voice, revealed the spell whereby he might be obliged, did he wish to play me false, to render up the unlawful spoil. Our warm life-blood must mingle to make and to mar the charm.
Enough of this unholy theme. I was persuaded—the thing was done. The morrow dawned upon me as I lay upon the shingles, and I knew not my own shadow as it fell from me. I felt myself changed to a shape of horror, and cursed my easy faith and blind credulity. The chest was there—there the gold and precious stones for which I had sold the frame of flesh which nature had given me. The sight a little stilled my emotions; three days would soon be gone.
They did pass. The dwarf had supplied me with a plenteous store of food. At first I could hardly walk, so strange and out of joint were all my limbs; and my voice—it was that of the fiend. But I kept silent, and turned my face to the sun, that I might not see my shadow, and counted the hours, and ruminated on my future conduct. To bring Torella to my feet—to possess my Juliet in spite of him—all this my wealth could easily achieve. During dark night I slept, and dreamt of the accomplishment of my desires. Two suns had set—the third dawned. I was agitated, fearful. Oh, expectation, what a frightful thing art thou, when kindled more by fear than hope! How dost thou twist thyself round the heart, torturing its pulsations! How dost thou dart unknown pangs all through our feeble mechanism, now seeming to shiver us like broken glass, to nothingness—now giving us a fresh strength, which can do nothing, and so torments us by a sensation, such as the strong man must feel who cannot break his fetters, though they bend in his grasp. Slowly paced the bright, bright orb up the eastern sky; long it lingered in the zenith, and still more slowly wandered down the west; it touched the horizon's verge—it was lost! Its glories were on the summits of the cliff—they grew dun and gray. The evening star shone bright. He will soon be here.
He came not!—By the living heavens, he came not!—and night dragged out its weary length, and, in its decaying age, "day began to grizzle its dark hair;" and the sun rose again on the most miserable wretch that ever upbraided its light. Three days thus I passed. The jewels and the gold—oh, how I abhorred them!
Well, well—I will not blacken these pages with demoniac ravings. All too terrible were the thoughts, the raging tumult of ideas that filled my soul. At the end of that time I slept; I had not before since the third sunset; and I dreamt that I was at Juliet's feet, and she smiled, and then she shrieked—for she saw my transformation—and again she smiled, for still her beautiful lover knelt before her. But it was not I—it was he, the fiend, arrayed in my limbs, speaking with my voice, winning her with my looks of love. I strove to warn her, but my tongue refused its office; I strove to tear him from her, but I was rooted to the ground—I awoke with the agony. There were the solitary hoar precipices—there the plashing sea, the quiet strand, and the blue sky over all. What did it mean? was my dream but a mirror of the truth? was he wooing and winning my betrothed? I would on the instant back to Genoa—but I was banished. I laughed—the dwarfs yell burst from my lips—I banished! Oh, no! they had not exiled the foul limbs I wore; I might with these enter, without fear of incurring the threatened penalty of death, my own, my native city.
I began to walk towards Genoa. I was somewhat accustomed to my distorted limbs; none were ever so ill-adapted for a straightforward movement; it was with infinite difficulty that I proceeded. Then, too, I desired to avoid all the hamlets strewed here and there on the sea-beach, for I was unwilling to make a display of my hideousness. I was not quite sure that, if seen, the mere boys would not stone me to death as I passed, for a monster: some ungentle salutations I did receive from the few peasants or fishermen I chanced to meet. But it was dark night before I approached Genoa. The weather was so balmy and sweet that it struck me that the Marchese and his daughter would very probably have quitted the city for their country retreat. It was from Villa Torella that I had attempted to carry off Juliet; I had spent many an hour reconnoitring the spot, and knew each inch of ground in its vicinity. It was beautifully situated, embosomed in trees, on the margin of a stream. As I drew near, it became evident that my conjecture was right; nay, moreover, that the hours were being then devoted to feasting and merriment. For the house was lighted up; strains of soft and gay music were wafted towards me by the breeze. My heart sank within me. Such was the generous kindness of Torella's heart that I felt sure that he would not have indulged in public manifestations of rejoicing just after my unfortunate banishment, but for a cause I dared not dwell upon.
The country people were all alive and flocking about; it became necessary that I should study to conceal myself; and yet I longed to address some one, or to hear others discourse, or in any way to gain intelligence of what was really going on. At length, entering the walks that were in immediate vicinity to the mansion, I found one dark enough to veil my excessive frightfulness; and yet others as well as I were loitering in its shade. I soon gathered all I wanted to know—all that first made my very heart die with horror, and then boil with indignation. To-morrow Juliet was to be given to the penitent, reformed, beloved Guido—to-morrow my bride was to pledge her vows to a fiend from hell! And I did this!—my accursed pride—my demoniac violence and wicked self-idolatry had caused this act. For if I had acted as the wretch who had stolen my form had acted—if, with a mien at once yielding and dignified, I had presented myself to Torella, saying, I have done wrong, forgive me; I am unworthy of your angel-child, but permit me to claim her hereafter, when my altered conduct shall manifest that I abjure my vices, and endeavor to become in some sort worthy of her; I go to serve against the infidels; and when my zeal for religion and my true penitence for the past shall appear to you to cancel my crimes, permit me again to call myself your son. Thus had he spoken; and the penitent was welcomed even as the prodigal son of scripture: the fatted calf was killed for him; and he, still pursuing the same path, displayed such open-hearted regret for his follies, so humble a concession of all his rights, and so ardent a resolve to reacquire them by a life of contrition and virtue, that he quickly conquered the kind old man; and full pardon, and the gift of his lovely child, followed in swift succession.
Oh! had an angel from paradise whispered to me to act thus! But now, what would be the innocent Juliet's fate? Would God permit the foul union—or, some prodigy destroying it, link the dishonored name of Carega with the worst of crimes? To-morrow, at dawn, they were to be married: there was but one way to prevent this—to meet mine enemy, and to enforce the ratification of our agreement. I felt that this could only be done by a mortal struggle. I had no sword—if indeed my distorted arms could wield a soldier's weapon—but I had a dagger, and in that lay my every hope. There was no time for pondering or balancing nicely the question: I might die in the attempt; but besides the burning jealousy and despair of my own heart, honor, mere humanity, demanded that I should fall rather than not destroy the machinations of the fiend.
The guests departed—the lights began to disappear; it was evident that the inhabitants of the villa were seeking repose. I hid myself among the trees—the garden grew desert—the gates were closed—I wandered round and came under a window—ah! well did I know the same!—a soft twilight glimmered in the room—the curtains were half withdrawn. It was the temple of innocence and beauty. Its magnificence was tempered, as it were, by the slight disarrangements occasioned by its being dwelt in, and all the objects scattered around displayed the taste of her who hallowed it by her presence. I saw her enter with a quick light step—I saw her approach the window—she drew back the curtain yet further, and looked out into the night. Its breezy freshness played among her ringlets, and wafted them from the transparent marble of her brow. She clasped her hands, she raised her eyes to heaven. I heard her voice. Guido! she softly murmured, Mine own Guido! and then, as if overcome by the fulness of her own heart, she sank on her knees:—her upraised eyes—her negligent but graceful attitude—the beaming thankfulness that lighted up her face—oh, these are tame words! Heart of mine, thou imagest ever, though thou canst not portray, the celestial beauty of that child of light and love.
I heard a step—a quick firm step along the shady avenue. Soon I saw a cavalier, richly dressed, young, and, methought, graceful to look on, advance. I hid myself yet closer. The youth approached; he paused beneath the window. She arose, and again looking out she saw him, and said—I cannot, no, at this distant time I cannot record her terms of soft silver tenderness; to me they were spoken, but they were replied to by him.
"I will not go," he cried: "here where you have been, where your memory glides like some heaven-visiting ghost, I will pass the long hours till we meet, never, my Juliet, again, day or night, to part. But do thou, my love, retire; the cold morn and fitful breeze will make thy cheek pale, and fill with languor thy love-lighted eyes. Ah, sweetest! could I press one kiss upon them, I could, methinks, repose."
And then he approached still nearer, and methought he was about to clamber into her chamber. I had hesitated, not to terrify her; now I was no longer master of myself. I rushed forward—I threw myself on him—I tore him away—I cried, "O loathsome and foul-shaped wretch!"
I need not repeat epithets, all tending, as it appeared, to rail at a person I at present feel some partiality for. A shriek rose from Juliet's lips. I neither heard nor saw—I felt only mine enemy, whose throat I grasped, and my dagger's hilt; he struggled, but could not escape; at length hoarsely he breathed these words: "Do!—strike home! destroy this body—you will still live; may your life be long and merry!"
The descending dagger was arrested at the word, and he, feeling my hold relax, extricated himself and drew his sword, while the uproar in the house, and flying of torches from one room to the other, showed that soon we should be separated—and I—oh! far better die; so that he did not survive, I cared not. In the midst of my frenzy there was much calculation:—fall I might, and so that he did not survive, I cared not for the death-blow I might deal against myself. While still, therefore, he thought I paused, and while I saw the villanous resolve to take advantage of my hesitation, in the sudden thrust he made at me, I threw myself on his sword, and at the same moment plunged my dagger, with a true desperate aim, in his side. We fell together, rolling over each other, and the tide of blood that flowed from the gaping wound of each mingled on the grass. More I know not—I fainted.
Again I returned to life: weak almost to death, I found myself stretched upon a bed—Juliet was kneeling beside it. Strange! my first broken request was for a mirror. I was so wan and ghastly, that my poor girl hesitated, as she told me afterwards; but, by the mass! I thought myself a right proper youth when I saw the dear reflection of my own well-known features. I confess it is a weakness, but I avow it, I do entertain a considerable affection for the countenance and limbs I behold, whenever I look at a glass; and have more mirrors in my house, and consult them oftener than any beauty in Venice. Before you too much condemn me, permit me to say that no one better knows than I the value of his own body; no one, probably, except myself, ever having had it stolen from him.
Incoherently I at first talked of the dwarf and his crimes, and reproached Juliet for her too easy admission of his love. She thought me raving, as well she might, and yet it was some time before I could prevail on myself to admit that the Guido whose penitence had won her back for me was myself; and while I cursed bitterly the monstrous dwarf, and blest the well-directed blow that had deprived him of life, I suddenly checked myself when I heard her say—Amen! knowing that him whom she reviled was my very self. A little reflection taught me silence—a little practice enabled me to speak of that frightful night without any very excessive blunder. The wound I had given myself was no mockery of one—it was long before I recovered—and as the benevolent and generous Torella sat beside me talking such wisdom as might win friends to repentance, and mine own dear Juliet hovered near me, administering to my wants, and cheering me by her smiles, the work of my bodily cure and mental reform went on together. I have never, indeed, wholly, recovered my strength—my cheek is paler since—my person a little bent. Juliet sometimes ventures to allude bitterly to the malice that caused this change, but I kiss her on the moment, and tell her all is for the best. I am a fonder and more faithful husband—and true is this—but for that wound, never had I called her mine.
I did not revisit the sea-shore, nor seek for the fiend's treasure; yet, while I ponder on the past, I often think, and my confessor was not backward in favoring the idea, that it might be a good rather than an evil spirit, sent by my guardian angel, to show me the folly and misery of pride. So well at least did I learn this lesson, roughly taught as I was, that I am known now by all my friends and fellow-citizens by the name of Guido il Cortese.
From the North British Review
PHILIP DODDRIDGE, AND SOME OF HIS FRIENDS.
In the ornithological gallery of the British Museum is suspended the portrait of an extinct lawyer, Sir John Doddridge, the first of the name who procured any distinction to his old Devonian family. Persons skilful in physiognomy have detected a resemblance betwixt King James's solicitor-general and his only famous namesake. But although it is difficult to identify the sphery figure of the judge with the slim consumptive preacher, and still more difficult to light up with pensive benevolence the convivial countenance in which official gravity and constitutional gruffiness have only yielded to good cheer; yet, it would appear, that for some of his mental features the divine was indebted to his learned ancestor. Sir John was a bookworm and a scholar; and for a great period of his life a man of mighty industry. His ruling passion went with him to the grave; for he chose to be buried in Exeter Cathedral, at the threshold of its library. His nephew was the rector of Shepperton in Middlesex; but at the Restoration, as he kept a conscience, he lost his living. In the troubles of the Civil War, the judge's estate of two thousand a year had also been lost out of the family, and the ejected minister was glad to rear his son as a London apprentice, who became, on the twenty-sixth of June, 1702, the father of Philip Doddridge.
The child's first lessons were out of a pictorial Bible, occasionally found in the old houses of England and Holland. The chimney of the room where he and his mother usually sat, was adorned with a series of Dutch tiles, representing the chief events of scriptural story. In bright blue, on a ground of glistering white, were represented the serpent in the tree, Adam delving outside the gate of Paradise, Noah building his great ship, Elisha'a bears devouring the naughty children, and all the outstanding incidents of holy writ. And when the frost made the fire burn clear, and little Philip was snug in the arm-chair beside his mother, it was endless joy to hear the stories that lurked in the painted porcelain. That mother could not foresee the outgoings of her early lesson; but when the tiny boy had become a famous divine, and was publishing his Family Expositor, he could not forget the nursery Bible in the chimney tiles. At ten years of age he was sent to the school at Kingston, which his grandfather Baumann had taught long ago; and here his sweet disposition, and alacrity for learning drew much love around him—a love which he soon inspired in the school at St. Albans, whither his father subsequently removed him. But whilst busy there with his Greek and Latin, his heart was sorely wrung by the successive tidings of the death of either parent. His father was willing to indulge a wish he had now begun to cherish, and had left money enough to enable the young student to complete his preparations for the Christian ministry. Of this provision a self-constituted guardian got hold, and embarked it in his own sinking business. His failure soon followed, and ingulfed the little fortune of his ward; and, as the hereditary plate of the thrifty householders was sold along with the bankrupt's effects, if he had ever felt the pride of being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, the poor scholar must have felt some pathos in seeing both spoon and tankard in the broker's inventory.
A securer heritage, however, than parental savings, is parental faith and piety. Daniel Doddridge and his wife had sought for their child first of all the kingdom of heaven, and God gave it now. Under the ministry of Rev. Samuel Clarke of St. Alban's, his mind had become more and more impressed with the beauty of holiness, and the blessedness of a religious life; and, on the other hand, that kind-hearted pastor took a deepening interest in his amiable and intelligent orphan hearer. Finding that he had declined the generous offer of the Duchess of Bedford, to maintain him at either University, provided he would enter the established church, Dr. Clarke applied to his own and his father's friends, and procured a sufficient sum to send him to a dissenting academy at Kibworth, in Leicestershire, then conducted by an able tutor, whose work on Jewish antiquities still retains considerable value—the Rev. David Jennings.
To trace Philip Doddridge's early career would be a labor of some amusement and much instruction. And we are not without abundant materials. No man is responsible for his remote descendants. Sir John Doddridge, judge of the Court of King's Bench, would have blushed to think that his great-grandnephew was to be a Puritan preacher. With more reason might Dr. Doddridge have blushed to think that his great-grandson was to be a coxcomb. But so it has proved. Twenty years ago Mr. John Doddridge Humphreys gave to the world five octavos of his ancestor's correspondence, which, on the whole, we deem the most eminent instance, in modern times, of editorial incompetency. But the book contains many curiosities to reward the dust-sifting historian. And were it not our object to hasten on and sketch the ministerial model to which our last number alluded, we could cheerfully halt for half an hour, and entertain our readers and ourselves with the sweepings of Dr. Doddridge's Kibworth study.
Suffice it to say that the protege of the good Dr. Clarke rewarded his patron's kindness. His classical attainments were far above the usual University standard, and he read with avidity the English philosophers from Bacon down to Shaftesbury. He early exhibited that hopeful propensity—the noble avarice of books. In his first half-yearly account of nine pounds are entries for "King's Inquiry," and an interleaved New Testament; and a guinea presented by a rich fellow-student, is invested in "Scott's Christian Life." Nor was he less diligent in perusing the stores of the Academy Library. In six months we find him reading sixty volumes; and some of them as solid as Patrick's Exposition and Tillotson's Sermons. With such avidity for information, professional and miscellaneous, and with a style which was always elastic and easy, and with brilliant talent constantly gleaming over the surface of unruffled temper and warm affections, it is not wonderful that his friends hoped and desired for him high distinction; but it evinces unusual and precocious attainments, that, when he had scarcely reached majority, he should have been invited to succeed Mr. Jennings as pastor at Kibworth, and that whilst still a young man he should have been urged by his ministerial brethren to combine with his pastorate the responsible duties of a college tutor....
From such a catastrophe the hand of God saved Philip Doddridge. In 1729 he was removed to Northampton, and from that period may be dated the consolidation of his character, and the commencement of a new and noble career. The anguish of spirit occasioned by parting with a much-loved people, and the solemn consciousness of entering on a more arduous sphere, both tended to make him thoughtful, and that thoughtfulness was deepened by a dangerous sickness. Nor in this sobering discipline must we leave out of view one painful but salutary element—a mortified affection. Mr. Doddridge had been living as a boarder in the house of his predecessor's widow, and her only child—the little girl whom he had found amusement in teaching an occasional lesson, was now nearly grown up, and had grown up so brilliant and engaging, that the soft heart of the tutor was terribly smitten. The charms of Clio and Sabrina, and every former flame, were merged in the rising glories of Clarinda—as by a classical apotheosis Miss Kitty was now known to his entranced imagination; and in every vision of future enjoyment Clarinda was the beatific angel. But when he decided in favor of Northampton, Miss Jennings showed a will of her own, and absolutely refused to go with him. To the romantic lover the disappointment was all the more severe, because he had made so sure of the young lady's affection; nor was it mitigated by the mode in which Miss Jennings conveyed her declinature. However, her scorn, if not an excellent oil, was a very good eyesalve. It disenchanted her admirer, and made him wonder how a reverend divine could ever fancy a spoiled child, who had scarcely matured into a petulant girl. And as the mirage melted, and Clarinda again resolved into Kitty, other realities began to show themselves in a sedater and truer light to the awakened dreamer. As an excuse for an attachment at which Doddridge himself soon learned to smile, it is fair to add that love was in this instance prophetic. Clarinda turned out a remarkable woman. She married an eminent dissenting minister, and became the mother of Dr. John Aiken and Mrs. Barbauld, and in her granddaughter, Lucy Aiken, her matrimonial name still survives; so that the curious in such matters may speculate how far the instructions of Doddridge contributed to produce the "Universal Biography," "Evenings at Home," and "Memoirs of the Courts of the Stuarts."
His biographers do not mark it, but his arrival at Northampton is the real date of Doddridge's memorable ministry. He then woke up to the full import of his high calling, and never went to sleep again. The sickness, the wounded spirit, the altered scene, and we may add seclusion from the society of formal religionists, had each its wholesome influence; and, finding how much was required of him as a pastor and a tutor, he set to work with the concentration and energy of a startled man, and the first true rest he took was twenty years after, when he turned aside to die.
Glorying in such names as Goodwin, and Charnock, and Owen, it was the ambition of the early Nonconformists of England to perpetuate among themselves a learned ministry. But the stern exclusiveness of the English Universities rendered the attainment of this object very difficult. It may be questioned whether it is right in any established church to inflict ignorance as a punishment on those dissenting from it. If intended as a vindictive visitation, it is a very fearful one, and reminds us painfully of those tyrants who used to extinguish the eyes of rebellious subjects. And if designed as a reformatory process, we question its efficiency. The zero of ignorance is unbelief, and its minus scale marks errors. You cannot make dissenters so ignorant thereby to make them Christians; and, even though you made them savages, they might still remain seceders. However, this was the policy of the English establishment in the days of Doddridge. By withholding education from dissenters, they sought either to reclaim them, or to be revenged upon them; and had this policy succeeded, the dissenting pulpits would soon have been filled with fanatics, and the pews with superstitious sectaries. But, much to their honor, the Nonconformists taxed themselves heavily in order to procure elsewhere the light which Oxford and Cambridge refused. Academies were opened in various places, and, among others selected for the office of tutor, his talents recommended Mr. Doddridge. A large house was taken in the town of Northampton, and the business of instruction had begun, when Dr. Reynolds, the diocesan chancellor, instituted a prosecution, in the ecclesiastical courts, on the ground that the Academy was not licensed by the bishop. The affair gave Dr. Doddridge much trouble, but he had a powerful friend in the Earl of Halifax. That nobleman represented the matter to King George the Second, and conformably to his own declaration, "That in his reign there should be no persecution for conscience' sake," his majesty sent a message to Dr. Reynolds, which put an end to the process.
Freed from this peril, the institution advanced in a career of uninterrupted prosperity. Not only was it the resort of aspirants to the dissenting ministry, but wealthy dissenters were glad to secure its advantages for sons whom they were training to business or to the learned professions. And latterly, attracted by the reputation of its head, pupils came from Scotland and from Holland; and, in one case at least, we find a clergyman of the Church of England selecting it as the best seminary for a son whom he designed for the established ministry. Among our own compatriots educated there, we find the names of the Earl of Dunmore, Ferguson of Kilkerran, Professor Gilbert Robinson, and another Edinburgh professor, James Robertson, famous in the annals of his Hebrew-loving family.
With an average attendance of forty young men, mostly residing under his own roof, this Academy would have furnished abundant occupation to any ordinary teacher; and although usually relieved of elementary drudgery by his assistant, the main burden of instruction fell on Doddridge himself. He taught algebra, geometry, natural philosophy, geography, logic, and metaphysics. He prelected on the Greek and Latin classics, and at morning worship the Bible was read in Hebrew. Such of his pupils as desired it were initiated in French; and besides an extensive course of Jewish Antiquities and Church History, they were carried through a history of philosophy on the basis of Buddaeus. To all of which must be added the main staple of the curriculum, a series of two hundred and fifty theological lectures, arranged, like Stapfer's, on the demonstrative principle, and each proposition following its predecessor with a sort of mathematical precision. Enormous as was the labor of preparing so many systems, and arranging anew materials so multifarious, it was still a labor of love. A clear and easy apprehension enabled him to amass knowledge with a rapidity which few have ever rivalled, and a constitutional orderliness of mind rendered him perpetual master of all his acquisitions; and, like most millionaires in the world of knowledge, his avidity of acquirement was accompanied by an equal delight in imparting his treasures. When the essential ingredients of his course were completed, he relieved his memory of its redundant stores, by giving lectures on rhetoric and belles-lettres, on the microscope, and on the anatomy of the human frame; and there is one feature of his method which we would especially commemorate, as we fear that it still remains an original without a copy. Sometimes he conducted the students into the library, and gave a lecture on its contents. Going over it case by case, and row by row, he pointed out the most important authors, and indicated their characteristic excellences, and fixed the mental association by striking or amusing anecdotes. Would not such bibliographical lectures be a boon to all our students? To them a large library is often a labyrinth without a clue—a mighty maze—a dusty chaos. And might not the learned keepers of our great collections give lectures which would at once be entertaining and edifying on those rarities, printed and manuscript, of which they are the favored guardians, but of which their shelves are in the fair way to become not the dormitory alone, but the sepulchre? Nor was it to the mere intellectual culture of his pupils that Dr. Doddridge directed his labors. His academy was a church within a church; and not content with the ministrations which its members shared in common with his stated congregation, this indefatigable man took the pains to prepare and preach many occasional sermons to the students. These, and his formal addresses, as well as his personal interviews, had such an effect, that out of the two hundred young men who came under his instructions, seventy made their first public profession of Christianity during their sojourn at Northampton....
Whilst in labors for his students and his people thus abundant, Doddridge was secretly engaged on a task which he intended for the Church at large. Ever since his first initiation into the Bible story, as he studied the Dutch tiles on his mother's knee, that book had been the nucleus round which all his vast reading and information revolved and arranged itself; and he early formed the purpose of doing something effectual for its illustration. Element by element the plan of the "Family Expositor" evolved, and he set to work on a New Testament Commentary, which should at once instruct the uninformed, edify the devout, and facilitate the studies of the learned. Happy is the man who has a "magnum opus" on hand! Be it an "Excursion" poem, or a Southey's "Portugal," or a Neandrine "Church History,"—to the fond projector there is no end of congenial occupation, and, provided he never completes it, there will be no break in the blissful illusion. Whenever he walks abroad, he picks up some dainty herb for his growthful Pegasus; or, we should rather say, some new bricks for his posthumous pyramid. And wherever he goes he is flattered by perceiving that his book is the very desideratum for which the world is unwittingly waiting; and in his sleeve he smiles benevolently to think how happy mankind will be as soon as he vouchsafes his epic or his story. It is delightful to us to think of all the joys with which, for twenty years, that Expositor filled the dear mind of Dr. Doddridge; how one felicitous rendering was suggested after another; how a bright solution of a textual difficulty would rouse him an hour before his usual, and set the study fire a blazing at four o'clock of a winter's morning; and then how beautiful the first quarto looked as it arrived with its laid sheets and snowy margins! We see him setting out to spend a week's holiday at St. Albans, or with the Honorable Mrs. Scawen at Maidwell, and packing the "apparatus criticus" into the spacious saddle-bags; and we enjoy the prelibation with which Dr. Clarke and a few cherished friends are favored. We sympathize in his dismay when word arrives that Dr. Guyse has forestalled his design, and we are comforted when the doctor's chariot lumbers on, and no longer stops the way. We are even glad at the appalling accident which set on fire the manuscript of the concluding volume, charring its edges, and bathing it all in molten wax: for we know how exulting would be the thanks for its deliverance. We can even fancy the pious hope dawning in the writer's mind, that it might prove a blessing to the princess to whom it was inscribed; and we can excuse him if, with bashful disallowance, he still believed the fervid praises of Fordyce and Warburton, or tried to extract an atom of intelligent commendation from the stately compliments of bishops. But far be it from us to insinuate that the chief value of the Expositor was the pleasure with which it supplied the author. If not so minutely erudite as some later works which have profited by German research, its learning is still sufficient to shed honor on the writer, and, on a community debarred from colleges; and there must be original thinking in a book which is by some regarded as the source of Paley's "Horae Paulinae." But, next to its Practical Observations, its chief excellence is its Paraphrase. There the sense of the sacred writers is rescued from the haze of too familiar words, and is transfused into language not only fresh and expressive, but congenial and devout; and whilst difficulties are fairly and earnestly dealt with, instead of a dry grammarian or a one-sided polemic, the reader constantly feels that he is in the company of a saint and a scholar. And although we could name interpreters more profound, and analysts more subtle, we know not any who has proceeded through the whole New Testament with so much candor, or who has brought to its elucidation truer taste and holier feeling. He lived to complete the manuscript, and to see three volumes published. He was cheered to witness its acceptance with all the churches; and to those who love his memory, it is a welcome thought to think in how many myriads of closets and family circles its author when dead has spoken. And as his death in a foreign land forfeited the insurance by which he had somewhat provided for his family, we confess to a certain comfort in knowing that the loss was replaced by this literary legacy. But the great source of complacency is, that He to whom the work was consecrated had a favor for it, and has given it the greatest honor that a human book can have—making it extensively the means of explaining and endearing the book of God.
Whilst this great undertaking was slowly advancing, the author was from time to time induced to give to the world a sermon or a practical treatise. Several of these maintain a considerable circulation down to the present day; but of them all the most permanent and precious is "The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul." The publication of this work was urged upon him by Dr. Isaac Watts, with whom it had long been a cherished project to prepare a manual which should contain within itself a complete course of practical piety, from the first dawn of earnest thought to the full development of Christian character, But when exhaustion and decay admonished Dr. Watts that his work was done, he transferred to his like-minded friend his favorite scheme; and, sorely begrudging the interruption of his Commentary, Doddridge compiled this volume. It is not faultless. A more predominant exhibition of the Gospel remedy would have been more apostolic; and it would have prevented an evil which some have experienced in reading it, who have entangled themselves in its technical details, and who, in their anxiety to keep the track of the Rise and Progress, have forgotten that after all the grand object is to reach the Cross. But, with every reasonable abatement, it is the best book of the eighteenth century; and, tried by the test of usefulness, we doubt if its equal has since appeared. Rendered into the leading languages of Europe, it has been read by few without impression, and in the case of vast numbers that impression has been enduring. What adds greatly to its importance, and to the reward of its glorified writer—many of those whom it has impressed were master minds, and destined in their turn to be the means of impressing others. As in the instance of Wilberforce, this little book was to be in their minds the germ of other influential books, or of sermons; and, like the lamp at which many torches and tapers are lighted, none can tell how far its rays have travelled in the persons and labors of those whose Christianity it first enkindled.
But what was the secret of Dr. Doddridge's great success? He had not the rhetoric of Bates, the imagination of Bunyan, nor the massive theology of Owen; and yet his preaching and his publications were as useful as theirs. So far as we can find it out, let us briefly indicate where his great strength lay.
As already hinted, we attach considerable importance to his clear and orderly mind. He was an excellent teacher. At a glance he saw every thing which could simplify his subject, and he had self-denial sufficient to forego those good things which would only encumber it. Hence, like his college lectures, his sermons were continuous and straightforward, and his hearers had the comfort of accompanying him to a goal which they and he constantly kept in view. It was his plan not only to divide his discourses, but to enunciate the divisions again and again, till they were fully imprinted on the memory; and although such a method would impart a fatal stiffness to many compositions, in his manipulation it only added clearness to his meaning, and precision to his proofs. Dr. Doddridge's was not the simplicity of happy illustration. In his writings you meet few of those apt allusions which play over every line of Bunyan, like the slant beams of evening on the winking lids of the ocean; nor can you gather out of his writings such anecdotes as, like garnet in some Highland mountain, sparkle in every page of Brooks and Flavel. Nor was it the simplicity of homely language. It was not the terse and self-commending Saxon, of which Latimer in one age, and Swift in another, and Cobbett in our own, have been the mighty masters, and through it the masters of their English fellows. But it was the simplicity of clear conception and orderly arrangement. A text or topic may be compared to a goodly apartment still empty; and which will be very differently garnished according as you move into it piece by piece the furniture from a similar chamber, or pour in pell-mell the contents of a lumber attic. Most minds can appreciate order, and to the majority of hearers it is a greater treat than ministers always imagine, to get some obscure matter made plain, or some confused subject cleared up. With this treat Doddridge's readers and hearers were constantly indulged. Whether they were things new or old, from the orderly compartments of his memory he fetched the argument or the quotation which the moment wanted. He knew his own mind, and told it in his own way, and was always natural, arresting, instructive. And even if, in giving them forth, they should cancel the ticket-marks—the numerals by which they identify and arrange their own materials, authors and orators who wish to convince and to edify must strive in the first place to be orderly. To this must be added a certain pathetic affectionateness, by which all his productions are pervaded.
Leaving the tutor, the pastor, the author, it is time that we return to the man; and might we draw a full-length portrait, our readers would share our affection. That may not be, and therefore we shall only indicate a few features. His industry, as has been inferred, was enormous; in the end it became an excess, and crushed a feeble constitution into an early grave. His letters alone were an extensive authorship. With such friends as Bishop Warburton and Archbishop Secker, with Isaac Watts and Nathaniel Lardner, with his spiritual father, the venerable Clarke, and with his fervent and tender-hearted brother, Barker, it was worth while to maintain a frequent correspondence; but many of his epistolizers had little right to tax a man like Doddridge. Those were the cruel days of dear posts and "private opportunities;" and a letter needed to contain matter enough to fill a little pamphlet; and when some cosy country clergyman, who could sleep twelve hours in the twenty-four, or some self-contained dowager, who had no charge but her maid and her lap-dog, insisted on long missives from the busiest and greatest of their friends, they forgot that a sermon had to be laid aside, or a chapter of the Exposition suspended in their favor; or that a man, who had seldom leisure to talk to his children, must sit up an extra hour to talk to them. And yet, amidst the pressure of overwhelming toil, his vivacity seldom flagged, and his politeness never. Perhaps the severest thing he ever said was an impromptu on a shallow-pated student who was unfolding a scheme for flying to the moon:—
And will Volatio leave this world so soon, To fly to his own native seat, the moon? 'Twill stand, however, in some little stead, That he sets out with such an empty head.
But his wit was usually as mild as his dispositions; and it was seldom that he answered a fool according to his folly. His very essence was his kindness and charity; and one of the worst faults laid to his charge is a perilous sort of catholicity. The dissenters never liked his dealings with the Church of England; and both Episcopalians and Presbyterians have regretted his intimacy with avowed or suspected Arians. Bishop Warburton reproached him for editing Hervey's Meditations, and Nathaniel Neal warned him of the contempt he was incurring amongst many by associating with "honest crazy Whitefield;" whilst the "rational dissenters," represented by Dr. Kippis, have regretted that his superior intelligence was never cast into the Socinian scale. Judging from his early letters, this latter consummation was at one time far from unlikely; but the older and more earnest he grew, the more definite became his creed, and the more intense his affinity for spiritual Christianity. In ecclesiastical polity he never was a partisan, and for piety his attraction was always more powerful than for mere theology. But in that essential element of vital Christianity, a profound and adoring attachment to the Saviour of men, the orthodoxy of Doddridge was never gainsaid. Had any one intercepted a packet of his letters, and found one addressed to Whitefield and another to Wesley; one to the Archbishop of Canterbury and another to Dr. Webster of Edinburgh; one to Henry Baker, F.R.S., describing a five-legged limb and similar prodigies; and another to the Countess of Huntingdon or Joseph Williams, the Kidderminster manufacturer, on some rare phasis of spiritual experience; he might have been at a loss to devise a sufficient theory for such a miscellaneous man. And yet he had a theory. As he writes to his wife, "I do not merely talk of it, but I feel it at my heart, that the only important end of life, and the greatest happiness to be expected in it, consists in seeking in all things to please God, attempting all the good we can." And from the post-office could the querist have returned to the great house at the top of the town, and spent a day in the study, the parlor, and the lecture-room, he would have found that after all there was a true unity amidst these several forthgoings. Like Northampton itself, which marches with more counties than any other shire in England, his tastes were various and his heart was large, and consequently his borderline was long. And yet Northampton has a surface and a solid content, as well as a circumference; and amidst all his complaisance and all his versatility, Doddridge had a mind and a calling of his own.
The heart of Doddridge was just recovering from the wound which the faithless Kitty had inflicted, when he formed the acquaintance of Mercy Maris. Come of gentle blood, her dark eyes and raven hair and brunette complexion were true to their Norman pedigree; and her refined and vivacious mind was only too well betokened in the mantling cheek, and the brilliant expression, and the light movements of a delicate and sensitive frame. When one so fascinating was good and gifted besides, what wonder that Doddridge fell in love? and what wonder that he deemed the twenty-second of December (1730) the brightest of days, when it gave him such a help-meet? Neither of them had ever cause to rue it; and it is fine to read the correspondence which passed between them, showing them youthful lovers to the last. When away from home the good doctor had to write constantly to apprise Mercy that he was still "pure well;" and in these epistles he records with Pepysian minuteness every incident which was likely to be important at home; how Mr. Scawen had taken him to see the House of Commons, and how Lady Abney carried him out in her coach to Newington; how soon his wrist-bands got soiled in the smoke of London, and how his horse had fallen into Mr. Coward's well at Walthamstow; and how he had gone a fishing "with extraordinary success, for he had pulled a minnow out of the water, though it made shift to get away." They also contain sundry consultations and references on the subject of fans and damasks, white and blue. And from one of them we are comforted to find that the Northampton carrier was conveying a "harlequin dog" as a present from Kitty's husband to the wife of Kitty's old admirer—showing, as is abundantly evinced in other ways, how good an after-crop of friendship may grow on the stubble fields where love was long since shorn. But our pages are not worthy that we should transfer into them the better things with which these letters abound. Nor must we stop to sketch the domestic group which soon gathered round the paternal table—the son and three daughters who were destined, along with their mother, to survive for nearly half a century their bright Northampton home, and, along with the fond father's image, to recall his first and darling child—the little Tetsy whom "every body loved, because Tetsy loved every body."
SIR JAMES STONEHOUSE.
The family physician was Dr. Stonehouse. He had come to Northampton an infidel, and had written an attack on the Christian evidence, which was sufficiently clever to run through three editions, when the perusal of Dr. Doddridge's "Christianity Founded on Argument" revolutionized all his opinions. He not only retracted his skeptical publication, but became an ornament to the faith which once he destroyed. To the liberal mind of Doddridge it was no mortification, at least he never showed it, that his son in the faith preferred the Church of England, and waited on another ministry. The pious and accomplished physician became more and more the bosom friend of the magnanimous and unselfish divine, and, in conjunction, they planned and executed many works of usefulness, of which the greatest was the Northampton Infirmary. At last Dr. Stonehouse exchanged his profession for the Christian ministry, and became the rector of Great and Little Cheverell, in Wiltshire. Belonging to a good family, and possessing superior powers, his preaching attracted many hearers in his own domain of Bath and Bristol, and, like his once popular publications, was productive of much good. He used to tell two lessons of elocution which he had one day received from Garrick, at the close of the service. "What particular business had you to do to-day when the duty was over?" asked the actor. "None." "Why," said Garrick, "I thought you must from the hurry in which you entered the desk. Nothing can be more indecent than to see a clergyman set about sacred service as if he were a tradesman, and wanted to get through it as soon as possible. But what books might those be which you had in the desk before you?" "Only the Bible and Prayer-Book," replied the preacher. "Only the Bible and Prayer-Book," rejoined the player. "Why, you tossed them about, and turned the leaves as carelessly as if they were a day-book and ledger." And by the reproof of the British Roscius the doctor greatly profited; for, even among the pump-room exquisites, he was admired for the perfect grace and propriety of his pulpit manner. Perhaps he studied it too carefully, at least he studied it till he became aware of it, and talked too much about it. His old age was rather egotistical. He had become rich and a baronet, and, as the friend of Hannah More, a star in the constellation "Virgo." And he loved to transcribe the laudatory notes in which dignitaries acknowledged presentation copies of his three-penny tracts. And he gave forth oracles which would have been more impressive had they been less querulous. But with all these foibles, Sir James was a man of undoubted piety, and it may well excuse a little communicativeness when we remember that of the generation he had served so well, few survived to speak his praise. At all events, there was one benefactor whom he never forgot; and the chirrup of the old Cicada softened into something very soft and tender every time he mentioned the name of Doddridge.
Amongst the visitors at their father's house, at first to the children more formidable than the doctor, and by and by the most revered all, was a Scotch cavalry officer. With his Hessian boots, and their tremendous spurs, sustaining the grandeur of his scarlet coat and powdered queue, there was something to youthful imaginations very awful in the tall and stately hussar; and that awe was nowise abated when they got courage to look on his high forehead which overhung gray eyes and weather-beaten cheeks, and when they marked his firm and dauntless air. And then it was terrible to think how many battles he had fought, and how in one of them a bullet had gone quite through his neck, and he had lain a whole night among the slain. But there was a deeper mystery still. He had been a very bad man once, it would appear, and now he was very good; and he had seen a vision; and altogether, with his strong Scotch voice, and his sword, and his wonderful story, the most solemn visitant was this grave and lofty soldier. But they saw how their father loved him, and they saw how he loved their father. As he sat so erect in the square corner-seat of the chapel, they could notice how his stern look would soften, and how his firm lip would quiver, and how a happy tear would roll down his deep-lined face; and they heard him as he sang so joyfully the closing hymn, and they came to feel that the colonel must indeed be very good. At last, after a long absence, he came to see their father, and staid three days, and he was looking very sick and very old. And the last night, before he went away their father preached a sermon in the house, and his text was, "I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him." And the colonel went away, and their father went with him, and gave him a long convoy; and many letters went and came. But at last there was war in Scotland. There was a rebellion, and there were battles; and then the gloomy news arrived. There had been a battle close to the very house of Bankton, and the king's soldiers had run away, and the brave Colonel Gardiner would not run, but fought to the very last, and alas for the Lady Frances!—he was stricken down and slain, scarce a mile from his own mansion door.
Near Northampton stands the little parish church of Weston Favel. Its young minister was one of Doddridge's dearest friends. He was a tall and spectral-looking man, dying daily; and, like so many in that district, was a debtor to his distinguished neighbor. After he became minister of his hereditary parish, and when he was preaching with more earnestness than light, he was one day acting on a favorite medical prescription of that period, and accompanying a ploughman along the furrow in order to smell the fresh earth. The ploughman was a pious man, and attended the Castle-Hill Meeting; and the young parish minister asked him, "What do you think the hardest thing in religion?" The ploughman respectfully returned the question, excusing himself, as an ignorant man; and the minister said, "I think the hardest thing in religion is to deny sinful self;" and, expatiating some time on its difficulties, asked if any thing could be harder? "No, sir, except it be to deny righteous self." At the moment the minister thought his parishioner a strange fellow, or a fool; but he never forgot the answer, and was soon a convert to the ploughman's creed. James Hervey had a mind of uncommon gorgeousness. His thoughts all marched to a stately music, and were arrayed in the richest superlatives. Nor was it affectation. It was the necessity of his ideal nature, and was a merciful compensation for his scanty powers of outward enjoyment. As he sat in his little parlor watching the saucepan, in which his dinner of gruel was simmering, and filled up the moments with his microscope, or a page of the Astro-Theology, in his tour of the universe he soon forgot the pains and miseries of his corporeal residence. To him "Nature was Christian;" and after his own soul had drunk in all the joy of the Gospel, it became his favorite employment to read in the fields and the firmament. One product of these researches was his famous "Meditations." They were in fact a sort of Astro and Physico-Evangelism, and, as their popularity was amazing, they must have contributed extensively to the cause of Christianity. They were followed by "Theron and Aspasio"—a series of Dialogues and Letters on the most important points of personal religion, in which, after the example of Cicero, solid instruction is conveyed amidst the charms of landscape, and the amenities of friendly intercourse. This latter work is memorable as one of the first attempts to popularize systematic divinity; and it should undeceive those who deem dulness the test of truth, when they find the theology of Vitringa and Witsius enshrined in one of our finest prose poems. It was hailed with especial rapture by the Seceders of Scotland, who recognized "the Marrow" in this lordly dish, and were justly proud of their unexpected apostle. Many of them, that is, many of the few who achieved the feat of a London journey, arranged to take Weston on their way, and eschewing the Ram Inn and the adjacent Academy, they turned in to Aspasio's lowly parsonage. Here they found a "reed shaking in the wind:"—a panting invalid nursed by his tender mother and sister; and when the Sabbath came, James Erskine, or Dr. Pattison, or whoever the pilgrim might be, saw a great contrast to his own teeming meeting-house in the little flock that assembled in the little church of Weston Favel. But that flock hung with up-looking affection on the moveless attitude and faint accents of their emaciated pastor, and with Scotch-like alacrity turned up and marked in their Bibles every text which he quoted; and though they could not report the usual accessories of clerical fame—the melodious voice, and graceful elocution, and gazing throng—the visitors carried away "a thread of the mantle," and long cherished as a sacred remembrance, the hours spent with this Elijah before he went over Jordan. Others paid him the compliment of copying his style; and both among the Evangelical preachers of the Scotch Establishment and its Secession, the "Meditations" became a frequent model. A few imitators were very successful; for their spirit and genius were kindred; but the tendency of most of them was to make the world despise themselves, and weary of their unoffending idol. Little children prefer red sugar-plums to white, and always think it the best "content" which is drunk from a painted cup; but when the dispensation of content and sugar-plums has yielded to maturer age, the man takes his coffee and his cracknel without observing the pattern of the pottery. And, unfortunately, it was to this that the Herveyites directed their chief attention, and hungry people have long since tired of their flowery truisms and mellifluous inanities; and, partly from impatience of the copyists, the reading republic has nearly ostracized the glowing and gifted original.
Gladly would we introduce the reader to a few others of Dr. Doddridge's friends; such as Dr. Clarke, his constant adviser and considerate friend, whose work on "The Promises" still holds its place in our religious literature; Gilbert West, whose catholic piety and elegant taste found in Doddridge a congenial friend; Dr. Watts, who so shortly preceded him to that better country, of which on earth they were among the brightest citizens; Bishop Warburton, who in a life-long correspondence with so mild a friend, carefully cushioned his formidable claws, and became the lion playing with the lamb; and William Coward, Esq., with cramps in his legs, and crotchets in his head—the rich London merchant who was constantly changing his will, but who at last, by what Robert Baillie would have termed the "canny conveyance" of Watts and Doddridge, did bequeath twenty thousand pounds towards founding a dissenting college. At each of these and several others we would have wished to glance; for we hold that biography is only like a cabinet specimen when it merely presents the man himself, and that to know him truly he must be seen in situ and surrounded with his friends; especially a man like Doddridge, whose affectionate and absorptive nature imbibed so much from those around him. But perhaps enough has been already said to aid the reader's fancy.
The sole survivor of twenty children, and with such a weakly frame, the wonder is that, amidst incessant toil, Doddridge held out so long. Temperance, elasticity of spirits, and the hand of God upheld him. At last, in December, 1750, preaching the funeral sermon of Dr. Clarke, at St. Albans, he caught a cold which he could never cure. Visits to London and the waters of Bristol had no beneficial effect; and, in the fall of the following year, he was advised to try a voyage to Lisbon. His kind friend, Bishop Warburton, here interfered, and procured for his dissenting brother a favor which deserves to be held in lasting memorial. He applied at the London Post-office, and, through his influence, it was arranged that the captain's room in the packet should be put at the invalid's disposal. Accordingly, on the thirtieth of September, accompanied by his anxious wife and a servant, he sailed from Falmouth; and, revived by the soft breezes and the ship's stormless progress, he sat in his easy-chair in the cabin, enjoying the brightest thoughts of all his life. "Such transporting views of the heavenly world is my Father now indulging me with, as no words can express," was his frequent exclamation to the tender partner of his voyage. And when the ship was gliding up the Tagus, and Lisbon with its groves and gardens and sunny towers stood before them, so animating was the spectacle, that affection hoped he might yet recover. The hope was an illusion. Bad symptoms soon came on; and the chief advantage of the change was, that it perhaps rendered dissolution more easy. On the twenty-sixth of October, 1751, he ceased from his labors, and soon after was laid in the burying-ground of the English factory. The Lisbon earthquake soon followed; but his grave remains to this day, and, like Henry Martyn's at Tocat, is to the Christian traveller a little spot of holy ground.
A hundred years have passed away since then; but there is much of Doddridge still on earth. The "Life of Colonel Gardiner" is still one of the best-known biographies; and, with Dr. Brown, we incline to think that, as a manual for ministers, there has yet appeared no memoir superior to his own. The Family Expositor has undergone that disintegrating process to which all bulky books are liable, and many of its happiest illustrations now circulate as things of course in the current popular criticism; and though his memory does not receive the due acknowledgment, the church derives the benefit. The singers of the Scotch Paraphrases and of other hymn collections are often unwitting singers of the words of Doddridge; and the thousands who quote the lines—
Live while you live, the epicure would say, &c.,
are repeating the epigram which Philip Doddridge wrote, and which Samuel Johnson pronounced the happiest in our language. And if the "Rise and Progress" shall ever be superseded by a modern work, we can only wish its successor equal usefulness; however great its merits we can scarcely promise that it will keep as far ahead of all competitors for a hundred years as the original work has done. Had Doddridge lived a little longer, missionary movements would have been sooner originated by the British churches; but he lived long enough to be the father of the Book Society. And though Coward College is now absorbed in a more extensive erection, the founders of St. John's Wood College should rear a statue to Doddridge, as the man who gave the mightiest impulse to the work of rearing an educated Nonconformist ministry in England.
From Leigh Hunt's Journal.
LORD THURLOW, AND HIS TERRIBLE SWEARING.
Lord Thurlow, once Lord High Chancellor of England, Keeper of the Conscience of George the Third, &c., was a tall, dark, harsh-featured, deep-voiced, beetle-browed man, of strong natural abilities, little conscience, and no delicacy. Having discovered, in the outset of life, that the generality of the world were more affected by manner than matter, he indulged a natural inclination to huffing and arrogance, by acting systematically upon it to that end; and, in a worldly point of view, he succeeded to perfection; with this drawback—which always accompanies false pretensions of the kind—that, knowing to what extent they were false, his mind was kept in a proportionate state of irritability and dissatisfaction; so that his success, after all, was only that of a man who prospers by parading an infirmity. With good intention as a judge in ordinary cases, he had sufficient patience neither to study nor to listen. As a statesman, he was actuated wholly by personal feelings of ambition and rivalry; and as keeper of the Royal Conscience, he presented an aspect of ludicrous inconsistency, discreditable to both parties; for he openly kept a mistress, while his master professed to be a pattern of chastity and decorum. But he had face for any thing. Seeing that airs of independence would turn to good account, even in the royal closet, provided he was servile at heart, he sometimes, with great cunning, huffed the King himself; and he did as much with the Prince of Wales, and with the like success. What he really could have done best, had his industry equalled his acuteness, and his ambition been less towards the side of pomp and power, would have been something in literary and metaphysical criticism, as may be seen in his letters to Cowper and others. What he became most famous for doing, was swearing.
We must here advertise our fair readers (in case any of them should be doing us the honor of reading this article aloud), that we are going to give some specimens of the swearing of this solemn and illustrious person; so that, if they do not regard the words in the same childish, meaningless, and nonsensical light that we do ourselves (for reasons that we shall give presently), and therefore cannot comfortably frame their lovely and innocent lips to utter them (which, indeed, custom will hardly allow us to expect), they had better hand over the passages to the nearest male friend that happens to be with them, and get him to read or to initialize them instead. As to ourselves (for reasons also to be presently given), we shall write the words at full length, out of sheer sense of their nothingness; only premising, that such was not the opinion entertained of them by this tremendous Lord Chancellor, or by the age in which he lived; otherwise he would not have resorted to them as clenches for his thunderbolts, neither would his contemporaries have given them to the reading world under those mitigated and whispering forms of initials and hyphens, which have come down to our own times, and which are intended to impress their audacity by intimating their guilt.
"Damns have had their day," says the man in the "Rivals." So they have; and so we would have the reader think, and treat them accordingly; that is to say, as things of no account, one way or the other. But such was not the case when the dramatist wrote; and therefore Lord Thurlow was renowned as a swearer, even in a swearing age. It was his ambition to be considered a swearer. He took to it, as a lad does, who wishes to show that he has arrived at man's estate. Every thing with the judge was "damned bad" or "damned good," damned hot or cold, damned stupid, &c. It was his epithet, his adjective, his participle, his sign of positive and superlative, his argument, his judgment. He could not have got on without it. To deprive Thurlow of his "damn" would have been to shave his eyebrows, or to turn his growl to a whisper.
"Lamenting," says Lord Campbell, "the great difficulty he had in disposing of a high legal situation, he described himself as long hesitating between the intemperance of A. and the corruption of B., but finally preferring the man of bad temper. Afraid lest he should have been supposed to have admitted the existence of pure moral worth, he added, 'Not but that there was a d——d deal of corruption in A.'s intemperance.' Happening to be at the British Museum, viewing the Townley Marbles, when a person came in and announced the death of Mr. Pitt, Thurlow was heard to say, 'a d——d good hand at turning a period!' and no more.
"The following anecdote (continues his lordship) was related by Lord Eldon:—
"After dinner, one day, when nobody was present but Lord Kenyon and myself, Lord Thurlow said, 'Taffy,[P] I decided a cause this morning, and I saw from Scott's face he doubted whether I was right.' Thurlow then stated his view of the case, and Kenyon instantly said, 'Your decision was quite right.' 'What say you to that?' asked the Chancellor. I said, 'I did not presume to form a judgment upon a case in which they both agreed. But I think a fact has not been mentioned, which may be material.' I was about to state the fact, and my reasons. Kenyon, however, broke in upon me, and, with some warmth, stated that I was always so obstinate, there was no dealing with me. 'Nay,' interposed Thurlow, 'that's not fair. You, Taffy, are obstinate, and give no reasons; you, Jack Scott, are obstinate, too; but then you give your reasons, and d——d bad ones they are!'"
* * * * *
"In Thurlow's time, the habit of profane swearing was unhappily so common, that Bishop Horsley, and other right reverend prelates, are said not to have been entirely exempt from it; but Thurlow indulged in it to a degree that admits of no excuse. I have been told by an old gentleman, who was standing behind the woolsack at the time that Sir Ilay Campbell, then Lord Advocate, arguing a Scotch appeal to the bar in a very tedious manner, said, 'I will noo, my lords, proceed to my seevent pownt.' 'I'll be d——d if you do,' cried Lord Thurlow, so as to be heard by all present; 'this house is adjourned till Monday next,' and off he scampered. Sir James Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, used to relate that, while he and several other legal characters were dining with Lord Chancellor Thurlow, his lordship happening to swear at his Swiss valet, when retiring from the room, the man returned, just put his head in, and exclaimed, 'I von't be d——d for you, Milor;' which caused the noble host and all his guests to burst out into a roar of laughter. From another valet he received a still more cutting retort. Having scolded this meek man for some time without receiving any answer, he concluded by saying, 'I wish you were in hell.' The terrified valet at last exclaimed, 'I wish I was, my lord! I wish I was!'
"Sir Thomas Davenport, a great nisi prius leader, had been intimate with Thurlow, and long flattered himself with the hopes of succeeding to some valuable appointment in the law; but, several good things passing by, he lost his patience and temper along with them. At last he addressed this laconic application to his patron: 'The Chief Justiceship of Chester is vacant; am I to have it?' and received the following laconic answer—'No! by God! Kenyon shall have it.'
"Having once got into a dispute with a bishop respecting a living, of which the Great Seal had the alternate presentation, the bishop's secretary called upon him, and said, 'My lord of —— sends his compliments to your lordship, and believes that the next turn to present to —— belongs to his lordship.' Chancellor.—'Give my compliments to his lordship, and tell him that I will see him d——d first before he shall present.' Secretary.—'This, my lord, is a very unpleasant message to deliver to a bishop.' 'You are right, it is so, therefore tell the bishop that I will be damned first before he shall present.'"[Q]
Lord Campbell concludes his records of the Chancellor's jusjuration (if we may coin a word for a precedent so extraordinary), by frankly extracting into his pages the whole of a long damnatory ode, which was put into the judge's mouth by the authors of the once-famous collection of libels called Criticisms on the Rolliad, and Probationary Odes for the Laureateship,—the precursor, and very witty precursor, though flagrantly coarse and personal, of the Anti-Jacobin Magazine and the Rejected Addresses. They were on the Whig side of politics, and are understood to have been the production of Dr. Lawrence, a civilian, and George Ellis, the author of several elegant works connected with poetry and romance. We shall notice the book further when we come to speak of Mr. Ellis himself. Lord Thurlow is made to contribute one of the Probationary Odes; and he does it in so abundant and complete a style, that bold as our "innocence" makes us in this particular, yet not having the legal warrant of the biographer, we really have not the courage to bring it in as evidence. The reader, however, may guess of what sort of stuff it is composed, when he hears that it begins with the comprehensive line,
"Damnation seize ye all;"
and ends with the following pleasing and particular couplet:—
"Damn them beyond what mortal tongue can tell; Confound, sink, plunge them all, to deepest, blackest hell."
After this, it will hardly be a climax to add, that Peter Pindar said of this Keeper of the King's Conscience, with great felicity, that he "swore his prayers."
We have been thus particular on the subject of Lord Thurlow's swearing, partly because it is the main point of his lordship's character with posterity, but chiefly that we might show what has already been intimated; namely, what a nothing such talk has become, and what high time it is to treat it as it deserves, and give it no longer in typography those implied awful significances, those under-breaths and intensifications of initials and hyphens, which make it pretend to have a meaning, and are the main cause why it survives. The word damned in Lord Thurlow's mouth, for all its emphasis and effect, had as little meaning as the word blest, or the word conscience. It has equally little meaning in any body's. It no more signifies what it was originally intended to signify, than the word "cursed" means anathematized, or the word "pontificate" means bridge-making. This is the natural death of oaths in any tremendous sense of the words, or in any sense at all. They become things of "sound and fury, signifying nothing." Who that utters the word "zounds," imagines that he is speaking of such awful and inconceivable things as "God's wounds," though literally he is doing so? Or what honest farmer, who ejaculates "Please the pigs" (such extraordinary things do reform and vicissitude bring together!) supposes that his Protestant soul is propitiating the Pyx, or Holy Sacrament box, of the Roman Catholic Church? Yet time was, when the innocent word "zounds" was written with the same culpatory dashes and hyphens as the "damns that have had their day;" and "pigs," we suppose, were exenterated in like manner: suggested only by their heads and tails,—the first letter and the last. We happen to be no swearers ourselves, so that we are speaking a good word for no custom of our own; though, we confess, that when we come to an oath as a trait of character, in biography or in fiction, we are no more in the habit of balking it, than we are of ignoring any other harmless ejaculation; and therefore, by reason of its very nonsense and nothingness, we like to see it written plainly out as if it were nothing, instead of being mystified into a more nonsensical importance. We have known better men than ourselves who have sworn; and we have known worse; but with none of them had the word any meaning, nor has it any, ever, except in the pulpit; where it is a pity (as many an excellent clergyman has thought) that it is heard at all. Treat it lightly elsewhere, as an expletive and a mere way of speaking, and it will come to nothing as it deserves, and follow the obsolete "plagues" and "murrains" of our ancestors.
The only persons who profess to swear to any purpose, are the Roman Catholics; and they, indeed, may well be said to swear "terribly"—or rather they would do so, if any poor set of human creatures, fallible by the necessity of their natures, could of a surety know what is infallible, and be commissioned by a writing on the sun or moon to let us hear it. Lord Thurlow, with all his damns, and his big voice, and his power of imprisonment to boot, was a babe of grace compared with the Roman Catholic Bishop of Rochester who thundered forth the famous excommunication which the Protestant chapter-clerk of that city gave to the author of Tristram Shandy to put in his book; to the immortal honor of said Protestant, and disgrace of the unalterable and infallible Roman Catholic Churchmen; who, when delivered from their bonds, and complimented on partaking of the progress and civilization common to the rest of the world, take the first opportunity for showing us we are mistaken, and crying damnation to their deliverers.
We shall not repeat the document alluded to, lest we should be thought to give the light matter of which we have been treating, a tone of too much importance. Suffice it to say, that when all the powers, and angels, and very virgins of heaven are called upon by the excommunication to "curse" and "damn" the object of it limb by limb (literally so), his eyes, his brains, and his heart (how unlike fair human readers, who doubt whether the very word "damn" should be uttered), good Uncle Toby interposes one of those world-famous pleasantries which have shaken the old Vatican beyond recovery.
"'Our armies swore terribly in Flanders,' cried my Uncle Toby; 'but nothing to this. For my own part, I could not have the heart to curse my dog so.'"
[P] Thurlow politely calls Kenyon Taffy, because the latter was a Welshman. Scott is Lord Eldon himself.
[Q] Lives of the Chancellors. Second Series. Vol. v. pp. 644, 664.
From Chambers' Edinbourgh Journal.
THE LAST OF THE FIDDLERS.
A VILLAGE TALE.
BY BERTHOLD AUERBACH.
The midnight silence of the village is broken by unusual clattering sounds—a horse comes galloping along at the top of his speed, his rider crying aloud, "Fire—fire! Help, ho! Fire!" Away he rides straight to the church, and presently the alarm-bell is heard pealing from the steeple.
It is no easy matter to arouse the harvest folks, after a hard day's work, from their first sound sleep: there they lie, stretched as unconsciously as the corn in the fields which they have reaped in the sweat of their brow. But wake they must—there is no help for it. The stable-boys are the first on the alert—every one anxious to win the reward which, time out of mind, has been given to the person, who, on the occasion of a fire, is the first to reach the engine-house with harnessed horses. Here and there a light is seen at a cottage lattice—a window is opened—the men come running out of doors with their coats half drawn on, or in their shirt sleeves. The villagers all collect about the market-house, and the cry is heard on all sides, "Where is it? Where is the fire?"