« ElőzőTovább »
From The London Quarterly Review.
now, think that they hold their non-theological attainments in trust for their FIFTY years ago the books whose names flocks; and while Mr. Twining was prestand at the head of our paper would have paring material for his well-known transbeen far less interesting than they now lation of Aristotle, or helping Dr. Burney are, because the mode of life that they in his disquisition on "that most difficult depict would then have contrasted far less of all subjects, the music of the ancients," with that which we live in this day of he would feel no qualms of conscience Church congresses, ruri-decanal synods, because such work did not help to keep and general, if not feverish activity, in-him in touch with his parishioners. For side as well as outside the Established them "he performed the services in a Church. serious and excellent manner The view presented in the first of these than could be said of many of his contemvolumes of a clergyman of the last cen- poraries. To place his music at their tury is, be it remembered, limited to one disposal as completely as Professor Hensparticular aspect of his life. The Twining low did his botanical lore would have family have always been fond of music seemed to him as much out of place as to and travelling; and it is as a correspon- take his choir up to London in days when dent of Dr. Burney and as a traveller in exhibitions and cheap trips were many parts of England and Wales, not in known. What we do get in these letters the least as parish priest or theologian, is the picture of a very lovable man, full that we have to do with the rector of St. of playful humor, so brimming over with Mary's, Colchester. As to his pastoral geniality that we can well believe his work work, about which not a word is said in all among his people was, up to his lights, all these letters, we willingly accept his broth- that a conscientious parson's should have er's testimony that "in the performance been; and (which is of more general interof all the duties of a clergyman, particu- est) a picture of English travel in the days larly of the most important duties of the when “ 'grand old leisure " still ruled as minister of a parish, he was exemplary. king in country towns and on highways as He never lost sight of the behavior which well as in the quiet out-of-the-way nooks. became his position. His unaffected piety, Moreover, the travels bring us face to the regularity of all the habits of his life, face with a cultured Cantab's view of scenthe suavity of his manners, and the serious ery in days when the love of mountains and excellent manner in which he per- was only gaining ground. Cowper's proformed the services of his church-all test against the unreal way of looking at these circumstances obtained for him the and talking about nature was only beginlove and confidence of his parishioners." ning to bear fruit; and Mr. Twining was No one will imagine that Mr. Twining, somewhat before his time when he could either at Fordham, of which for many delight in passes like Penmaenmawr, years he had sole charge, or at White" where the pleasure is mixed and awful." Notley and St. Mary's, Colchester, which he held together, felt moved to do for his parishioners what the late Professor Henslow did for his. Few clergymen, even
In the first of these volumes, then, we must remember we have not the record of pastoral work, but of the parson's "recreations and studies;" and, read in this light, the book is such pleasant reading, not 1. Recreations and Studies of a Country Clergy- least because of the constant contrast it man of the Eighteenth Century. Being Selections from the Correspondence of the Rev. THOMAS TWIN- affords to our own times, that we are not ING, M.A., Translator of Aristotle's Poetics, formerly astonished at the call for an additional Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Murray. volume. This is chiefly made up of let2. Selections from Papers of the Twining Fam-ters from abroad, not by Thomas, but by ily: A Sequel to "The Recreations and Studies of a his brother Richard, who travelled in the Country Clergyman of the Eighteenth Century, by old approved style with his own carriage and servants, and whose sketches of prerevolution Germany are lively and inter
the Rev. THOMAS TWINING, sometime Rector of St.
Mary's, Colchester." Edited by RICHARD TWINING.
Illi sint omnia curae,
esting. He also went about in Wales, | home rule for wives, and acting out the and has his own views on Welsh travel. precept of Tibullus which he wrote in the He, too, talks of "the stupendous pass of first leaf of her account-book :Penmaenmawr," and asks: "Did you ever roll great stones down precipices? This is just the place to do it; and the vale of Aber is close by, which you should never be guilty of passing."*
Et juvet in totâ me nihil esse domo. She died in 1796, after twenty-eight years of married life; and the next year he began his "holiday tour in England and Wales."
This sequel contains a very brief sketch of the family, so well known, not only in the tea-trade, but also because of the quiet than formal essays; and in that age of Letters must always be more lifelike but effectual philanthropic work of one of letter-writing people did take the trouble the daughters. Close to Tewkesbury is a to write real letters. Among the Rev. ferry called Twining's Fleet; and Winch-T. Twining's correspondents is Dr. Hey, combe Abbey had John Twining for its abbot in the days of Edward IV. and V. and Richard III. "He raised it to the
rank of an university," whatever that may mean. At the dissolution, there was a
Twining among the monks pensioned off from Tewkesbury Abbey; and in 1651 Twining helped to hold Evesham against
the Parliament. The founder of the mod
Cambridge Norrisian professor, to whom he sometimes writes in fairly good French - an accomplishment which has always, we fancy, been rare among fellows of Sidney Sussex. In one of these letters he speaks of a petition signed by a numaber of clergy to get rid of subscription to the Articles, and to alter the liturgy. Like a good Tory, he speaks very slightingly of the project, laughing at the rector of Fordham, who had signed ("Voilà, n'y a-t-il pas là un joli petit réformateur?"), and doubting if the plan will go far enough even to furnish a little amusement “à nous autres philosophes qui savons imiter la sagesse de Gallio." He writes, too, to Dr. Burney, from whom to him there is a long letter about the Gordon riots. Burney lived in the same street as Justice Hyde, whose house was completely destroyed. The doctor, who had removed his MSS. and valuable books to a friend's house, thinks "the Oliverian and Republican spirit is gone forth, and religion is a mere pretence for subverting the government and destroying the Constitution." In reply, Mr. Twining quotes the old Lucretian "Suave mari magno; " explaining that "I haven't tasted a bit more of this sugar than just what self has crammed into my mouth whether I would or no. Write at once and tell me how you all have weathered this horrid storm. Good God! what a scene. For my part I be lieve I shall never get my hair out of the perpendicular again as long as I live! At this time of day, and in a philosophic enlightened age, as it is called! What punishment is too much for an endeavor to inflame a people with religious animosi
ern family was Thomas Twining, who at the beginning of the last century went up to London and settled in St. Giles's Cripplegate. He was then doubtless connected in some way with the woollen trade, the staple of his country, and we are not told what led him in 1710 to set up a tea-shop in Tom's Coffee House, in Devereux Court, Strand. As a tea-merchant he prospered, and the growing business has gone on on the same site ever since. He soon built Dial House, Twickenham, at which place his son Daniel's son Thomas was put to school, with the view of preparing him for the trade. But the idea made him so unhappy, and his unfitness for the life was so manifest, that he was sent to the Rev. P. Smythies, of Colchester. Here Miss Smythies was his fellow-pupil in Greek and Latin, and, four years after he had been elected fellow of Sidney Sussex College, they were married, and he took the "sole charge" of Fordham. The marriage was in every way happy; "her good sense and cheerfulness rendered her a most excellent companion for my brother," says Richard, Thomas being a believer in
* Welsh watering-places were very different then from what they are now, and Mr. R. Twining pities the Welsh squires "who leave their big mansions, and for the sake of bathing, submit to be crammed into a mere dog-hole like Abergele."
ties? Especially when that kind of spirit | the massacre of Paris would have been has long been quietly laid, and mankind acted over again by Protestants in the in general, if left to themselves, have little massacre of London! No; Christianity or no propensity to that most horrible of does not give any sort of encouragement all vices called zeal (p. 85). . . . If it had to the cutting one another's throats; but not been for the army what would have I know this, that the Papist who cuts become of us? It is still inconceivable throats upon religious principle, bad and to me how so much mischief has been mistaken as it is, has less to answer for done, considering that a small number of than the Protestant, who does it in direct armed men, with proper resolution, could repugnance to all principle, religious and I suppose disperse very soon the largest moral." The above gives those who read unarmed mob. Now I'll lay you a wager between the lines a thorough insight into —I beg pardon, I pledge myself that the writer's character. He is on the level when the House meets you'll have fine of his age; certainly not above it. To orations against calling in the military, the subject of liberty both he and his martial law, etc." He laughs at "the civil brother return in subsequent letters. He, power," ," "the power that will be civil to a Dr. Hey, and a Yorkshire friend "are in mob," and hopes (p. 87) that the "examples perfect unison that there never can be any that have been made and will be made peace or quiet in the world till the word will keep all quiet." "I do think we are liberty is entirely abolished and expunged the most discontented, ill-humored, black- from all languages. I do really think blooded, unthankful people upon earth, that no word ever did mankind so much and deserve to be ruled with a rod of harm."* Writing on the French Revoluiron. In nine out of ten of us our boasted tion, he wishes the king had escaped at love of liberty is nothing but the hatred of Varennes; but he can't quite believe liberty in others and the desire of tyranny Louis's asseveration that he did not mean for ourselves. Your true Englishman is to go out of the kingdom: "it may be never so happy as under a bad govern- consistent with his intention of joining ment. A perfect administration, could the his party, for which purpose he would not experiment be tried, would dislocate with have had to do more than go to a fortified ennui the jaws of above half of his Majes- place near the frontier. What he says ty's good subjects. Nay, they would about resisting invasion puzzles me most." make grievances, though an angel were The king's death he stigmatizes as “a minister and an archangel king. . . . As deed of complicated injustice, cruelty, and to toleration, we are children yet; the very folly." 'Burke," he thinks, "pushes some word proves it. Religious liberty can things a little too far; yet his book is in the never be upon its right footing while that main right, solid, and irrefragable, meant word exists. Tolerate! it is a word of to oppose and disgrace the wild and daninsult. The world, if it last some thou- gerous principles of modern reformers, sand years longer, will begin perhaps to revolutionists, and triers of confusion." find out the folly and mischief and inutility of paying any regard to each others' opinions and principles as such; that they have nothing to do but with action and conduct. Here are a parcel of fanatical persecuting Papal Protestants who would treat all the Papists in the kingdom as bad subjects and dangerous men, because they would be so if their conduct was perfectly consistent with the spirit of their religion, or rather what was once the spirit of it. It is curious to reflect, or rather would be if it were not shocking, that if the populace had not been opposed, in all probability
* His remarks about the Treason and Sedition Bills
(1795) are characteristic. Their opponents he takes to be "people anxiously wishing to promote general confusion, or people willing to risk such confusion to get into place. Our Bills of Rights, etc., were meant to make us better, ie., happier. Could our ancestors of those rights and liberties to confound all right and liberty, that the best part of the Constitution would be employed to overthrow the Constitution itself; would liberty?. Even in Parliament the doctrine of resistance has been preached; and much ingenuity and industry have been exerted to prevent the bills from answering the end intended, if they should pass. hope Mr. Pitt will be firm and successful. That way we have some chance; the other we have none."
have foreseen that their descendants would use a part
they have secured to us so many rights and so much
These specious but false theories of gov- abhorred a level as much as according to ernment, he thinks, are due to Locke, "who some she abhors a vacuum, and where in his famous treatise sowed the first seeds cottages are perched about in the most of this madness." Of the charge against romantic and improbable situations, more Marie Antoinette he remarks: "Her real like stone nests than houses," throws him character I do not know; nor can we say into ecstasies. Coming down from Hudwhat is or is not possible to the corruption dersfield into Ealand, "the little falls in of human nature; but will any man in his the river producing a perpetual rustle of senses believe this story upon the faith of water, and the effects varying at every the unprincipled and murderous villains bend of the road, a little gleam of sunshine, from whom we have it? It is too shock through an opening cloud at the extremity ing to talk of." He is indignant that of a long vale on the left, came stealing Whig magnates should be the avowed along, till by degrees the whole valley correspondents of men like Brissot: "the and the town were illuminated, part of the Tower opens its gates wide for some of surrounding hills still remaining in shade these corresponding lords and gentlemen." and forming a sort of black frame to this Yet he strongly deprecates the idea of bright picture. I never felt anything so going to war, "because we are angry." fine. I shall remember it and thank God He can't imagine the French had any for it as long as I live. I am sorry I did design to attack us. His consolation he not think to say grace after it." Round finds in the thought that "our rulers know Huddersfield and Thornhill Edge, more more than we know. But then, I ask and steeper hills, but the whole way if myself again and again, and am at a loss possible more beautiful, though in rather for an answer, "If they do know more a different style. Then by way of Bank than has yet appeared, is it not natural Top to Sheffield ("Sootland; I never saw to suppose they would produce these so black a place "). Then eighteen miles stronger reasons for their own justifica- to Worksop before breakfast; this was tion?" Meanwhile he preaches for the his usual plan, but it did not always anFrench priests, getting twenty guineas, swer. In the present instance "the road "the best collection in Colchester," and was so execrable that we were tired, sick, the closing passage in his sermon may be and discouraged, and had not spirit even quoted as an instance of his style at its to go through the parks. But to say the best: "Lastly, let us in the true spirit of truth the great scenes of nature that I had Christianity, recommend, not ourselves been seeing left me very indifferent about only, but even our enemies also, to the houses and parks, and even in a great merciful protection of that Almighty Being measure about pictures." And so they who judgeth among the nations; who saw nothing of "the Dukeries " and Sheralone can hide us from the gathering to-wood Forest; and, finding that " Nottinggether of the froward and from the insur-hamshire has few natural beauties," they rection of evil-doers; who stilleth the got back to Newark, and this time did not raging of the sea, and what is still more miss Burleigh. Soon after his return he calamitous in its effects, and almost as ejaculates: "Oh! this green trencher of a much beyond human power to set bounds country called Essex, where we think it a the madness of the people." His pity sublime thing to look over one hedge and Oh, poor France! and poor king of see another. Well, thank God, it is not France! what shall we say to them now?" Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, nor Hunt- does not hinder him from enjoying his ingdon." On this first visit, too, he liked autumn holiday. In 1792 he took Mrs. the Yorkshire people as much as he did Twining a driving tour by way of Matlock their scenery: "I find whether we stay an for a third visit to Yorkshire. Their first hour or a month with them they are never route had been by Huntingdon, where incommoded. I envy them their style of they slept. Next day dined at Stamford; easy hospitality still more than their prosbut, as it rained, left Burleigh for the pects or their coals." On his second visit return, and slept at Colsterworth, and he saw Studley and other show places admired Grantham spire, as new-looking round Harrogate; but what struck him as if it was kept all the week in a band-most was a bit of the Calder Valley, box."
It is delightful to note how each time he finds fresh beauties in this part of the West Riding. Round Todmorden, "the wild tumbled ground, a perpetual wave of smaller hills, where nature seems to have
where, "over Hepton (now Hebden) Bridge, on the top of a monstrous hill, is perched the town of Heptonstall, the road up to it having the appearance of an absolute perpendicular." The third journey was made by way of Dunstable,