Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

stowed upon cups.

What speak we of cups ? in which the gold, albeit that it be not given to poor men, yet is it saved, and may be given in alms when men will, which they never will; how small a portion, ween we, were the gold about all the pieces of Christ's cross, if it were compared with the gold that is quite cast away about the gilting of knives, swords, spurs, arras, and painted clothes; and (as though these things could not consume gold fast enough) the gilting of posts, and whole roofs, not only in palaces of princes and great prelates, but also many right mean men's houses. And yet, among all these things, could Luther spy no gold that grievously glittered in his bleared eyes, but only about the cross of Christ.–For thạt gold, if it were thence, the wise man weeneth, it would be strait given to poor men,

and that where: he daily seeʼth, that such as have their purse full of gold, give to the poor not one piece thereof; but, if they give ought, they ransack the Bottom among all the gold, to seek out here an halfpenny, or in his country a brass penny whereof four make a farthing: such goodly causes find they, that pretend holiness for the colour of their cloaked heresies.

I subjoin from the same " Dialogue” More's cunning defence of Miracles done at Saints' shrines, on Pilgrimages, &c. all which he defends, as he was bound by holy church to do, most stoutly. The manner of it is arch and surprising, and the narration infinitely naive; the matler is the old fallacy of confounding miracles (things happening out of nature) with natural things, the grounds of which we cannot explain. In this sense every thing is a miracle, and nothing is.

166 And first if men should tell you, that they saw before an image of the crucifix a dead map raised to life, would much marvel thereof, and so might ye well; yet could I tell you somewhat that I have seen myself, that mejhinketh as great marvel, but I have no lust to tell you, because that ye be so circumspect and ware in belief of any miracles, that ye would not believe it for me, but mistrust me for it.

“ Nay, Sir, (quod he), in good faith, if a thing seemed to me pever 80 unlikely, yet if ye would earnestly say that yourself have seen it, I peither would nor could mistrust it.

“Well (quod I) then ye make me the bolder to tell ye. will I tell you nothing, but that I would, if need were, find you good witness to prove it.

“ It shall not need, Sir, (quod he), but I beseech you let me hear it.

“ Forsooth (quod I) because we speak of a man raised from death to life. There was in the parish of St. Stephen's in Walbrook, in London, where I dwelled before I come to Chelsith, a man and a woman, which are yet quick and quething, and young were they both. The eldest I am sure passed not twenty-four. It happed them, as doth among folk, the one to cast the wind to the other. And after many lets, for the maiden's mother was mych against it, at last they came together, and were married in St. Stephen's church, which is not greatly famous for many miracles, but yet yearly on St. Stephen's day it is somewhat sought unto and visited with folk's devotion. But now short tale to make, this young woman (as mauner is in brides ye wot

ye

And yet

well) was at night brought to bed with honest women. And then after that went the bridegroom to bed, and every body went their ways, and Jeft them twain there alone. And the same night, yet abide let me not lie, now on faith to say the truth I am not very sure of the time, but surely as it appeared afterward, it was of likelihood the same night, or some other time soon after, except it happened a little before.

6 No force for the time (quod he).

66 Truth (quod I) and as for the matter, all the parish will testify for truth, the woman was known for so honest. But for the conclus sion, the seed of them twained turned in the woman's body, first into blood, and after into shape of manchild. And then waxed quick, and she great therewith. And was within the year delivered of a fair boy, and forsooth it was not then (for I saw it myself) passing the length of a foot. And I am sure he is grown now an inch longer than I.

“ How long is it ago? (quod he).
“By my faith (quod I) about twenty-one years.
“ Tush! (quod he), this is a worthy miracle!

"In good faith, (quod I) never wist I that any man could tell that he had any other beginning. And methinketh that this is as great a miracle as the raising of a dead man.”

Diabolical Possession was a rag of the the old abomination, which this Contunder of Heresies thought himself obliged no less to wrap tightly about the loias of his faith, than any of the splendiores panni of the old red Harlot. But (read with allowance for the belief of the times) the narrative will be found affecting, particularly in what relates to the parents of the damsel, rich, and sore abashed.” "Amongst which (true miracles) I durst boldly tell you for one,

, the wonderful work of God, that was within these few years wrought, in the house of a right worshipful knight, Sir Roger Wentworth, upon divers of his children, and especially one of his daughters, a very fair young gentlewoman of twelve years of age, in marvellous manner vexed and tormented by our ghostly enemy the devil, her mind alienated and raving with despising and blasphemy of God, and hatred of all hallowed things, with knowledge and perceiving of the hallowed from the unhallowed, all were she nothing warned thereof. And after that moved in her own mind, and monished by the will of God, to go to our Lady of Ippiswitche. In the way of which pilgrimage, she prophesied and told many things done and said at the same time in other places, which were proved true, and many things said, lying in her trance, of such wisdom and learning, that right cunning men highly marvelled to hear of so young an unlearned maiden, when herself wist not what she said, such things uttered and spoken, as well learned men might have missed with a long study, and finally being brought and laid before the Image of our Blessed Lady, was there in the sight of many worshipful people so grievously tormented, and in face, eyen, look, and countenance, so griesly changed, and her mouth drawn aside, and her eyen laid out upon her cheeks, that it was a terrible sight to behold. And after many marvellous things at the same time shewed upon divers pero

[ocr errors]

rem

a

more, from

song by the devil upon God's sufferance, as s well all the nant as the maiden herself, in the presence of all the company, restored to their good state perfectly cured and suddenly. And in this matter no pretext of begging, no suspicion of feigning, no possibility of counterfeiting, no simpleness in the seers, her father and mother right honourable and rich, sore abashed to see such chances in their children, the witnesses great number, and many of great worship, wisdom, and good experience, the maid herself too young to feign, and the end of the matter virtuous, the virgin so moved in her mind with the miracle, that she forthwith for aught her father could do, foro sook the world, and profest religion in a very good and godly company at the Mynoresse, where she hath lived well and gracious ever since." I shall trouble you with one Excerpt

Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation;" because the style of it is solemn and weighty; and because it was written by More in his last imprisonment in the Tower, preparatory to his sentence. After witnessing his treatment of Sir John llytton, and his brethren, we shall be inclined to mitigate some of our remorse, that More should have suffered death himself for conscience sake. The reader will not do this passage justice, if he do not read it as part of a sermon; and as putting himself into the feelings of an auditory of More's Creed and Times.

“ But some men now when this calling of God [any tribulation] causeth them to be sad, they be loth to leave their sinful lusts that hang in their hearts, and specially if they have any such kind of living, as they must needs leave off, or fall deeper in sin: or if they have done so many great wrongs, that they have many 'mends to make, that must (if they follow God)’minish much their money, then are these folks (alas) woefully bewrapped, for God pricketh upon them of his great goodness still, and the grief of this great pang pincheth them at the heart, and of wickedness they wry away, and fro this tribulation they turn to their flesh for help, and labour to shake off this thought, and then they mend their pillow, and lay their head softer, and assay to sleep; and when that will not be, then they find a talk awhile with them that lie by them. If that cannot be neither, then they lie and long for day, and then get them forth about their worldly wretchedness, the matter of their prosperity, the self-same sinful things with which they disa please God most, and at length with many times using this manner, God utterly casteth them off. And then they set nought neither by God nor depil.

But alas ! when death cometh, then cometh again their sorrow, then will no soft bed serve, nor no company make him merry, then must he leave his outward worship and comfort of his glory, and lie panting in his bed as if he were on a pine-bank, then cometh his fear of his evil life and his dreadful death. Then cometh the torment, his cumbered conscience and fear of his heavy judgment. Then the devil draweth him to despair with imagination of hell, and suffereth him not then to take it for a fable. And yet if he do, then findeth it the wretch to fable. *** Some have I seen even in their last

sickness set up in their death-bed underpropped with pillows, take their play fellows to them, and comfort themself with cards, and this they said did ease them well to put fantasies out of their ads; and what fantasies trow you? such as I told you right now of, their own lewd life and peril of their soul, of heaven and of hell that irked them to think of, and therefore cast it out with cards' play as long as ever they might, till the pure pangs of death pulled their heart fro their play, and put them in the case they could not reckon their game. And then left them the gameners, and slily slunk away, and long was it not ere they galped up the ghost. And what game they came then to, that God knoweth and not I. I pray God it were good, but I fear it

very sore."

THE “ DRY BOOK."

1. A bibliomaniac, who possessed it in his library, discovered that it gave

his house the dry rot. B. A man who carried it about him for one day was afflicted with a dry cough till his death.

A. The trustees of a road in Wales have their toll-tickets printed on the waste sheets of it; the London hackney-coachmen go down there, drive once through the gates, take a ticket, and are always dry in wet weather.

B. A friend of mine who lived in a damp house, careful of the consequences of a charcoal chaffing-dish, kept one in his bed-room, and waked in the morning in a high fever, from the drowth it occasioned.

A. A gardener wrapt a water-melon in a waste sheet of it, and, on cutting it up, found it as dusty as a dry poppy-head.

B. They cover warehouses for dry goods with it, instead of slates, and it answers the end.

A. A hatter makes water-proof hats by pasting an inch of it in the inside.

B. A bunch of grapes was bagged in it, and in half an hour they became dried raisins.

A. They dry grasses and winter-fodder for cattle, by reading a chapter of it through the fens of Lincolnshire.

B. If you place a leaf of it in the heart of a hay-rick, it never fires from damp.

4. A cow that was milked by a man who had hicaru its title-page read never yielded milk afterwards.

B. I knew a laundress who bought the last edition of it, and sold her drying-ground immediately.

A. A spiteful critic took a review of it to Sadler's Wells, and they were obliged to postpone the water-piece usual at that theatre.

B. If you take it to sea, the ship never leaks: the ship-caulkers are starving in consequence.

A. If a mariner has breath enough to repeat a paragraph of it, when he falls overboard, he cannot drown.

B. Tradition says, that Richard, Duke of Gloster, leaned his elbow on it, and his arm became dry and withered.

A. Ladies who are shocked at that robustious indication of good health, a moist palm, touch it once, and their hands become dry as a mummy's.

B. A star-gazer fell into a deep well with the work in his pocket; it saved his life from drowning, though he died in three weeks of starvation, after eating his boots, because he could neither get out, nor digest one of its arguments.

4. I know an author of a very prolific brain who fell asleep with his head resting on it, and he has had a dry brain ever since. 3. B. It is said to be the book that gave poor Petrarch his death'; he was found dead in his study, his head leaning over it.

A. Now we will change the subject. The vice of wit is, that it too frequently runs into a forgetfulness of the best feelings of the human heart. · The death of a man who was a fine and deep poet, an excellent scholar, a real lover, a fast friend, a patriot, a gentleman, àod an honest man," is no subject for a jest.

C. W.

Printed and published by JOSEPH APPLEYARD, No. 19, Catherine-street, Strand.

Price 2d. And sold also by A. GLIDDON, Importer of Snuff-, No.31, Tavistockstreet, Covent-garden. Orders received at the above places, and by all Books sellers and Newsmen.

« ElőzőTovább »