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youth, and tenderness to the effusions of love. On other occasions it not a little heightens the comic effect of rustic humour.
While exhibiting the manners, the anthor has endeavoured also to employ something of the language of the times : he describes, but he has now and then gone too far back into antiquity, and has brought forward words that had even then been long obsolete. The error was, however, on the right side, and it would be advantageous, if, instead of the prevailing fashion of importing French terms, we resorted more to the wells of undefiled English, afforded by our elder writers.
Art. VII.-DUCATUS Leodiensis, or, the Topography
of the ancient and populous town and parish of Leedes, and parts adjacent, in the West Riding of the County of
York. By RALPH THORESBY, F. R. S. The second edition, with notes and additions. By THOMAS DUNHAM WHITAKER, L.L.D. F. R. S. Vicar of Whalley, and
Rector of Heysham. Leeds, Robinson and Son, 1816. Loidis and Elmete, or, an attempt to illustrate the dis
tricts described in those words by Bede, and supposed to embrace the lower portion of Aredale and Wharfdale, together with the entire Vale of Calder, in the County of York, By THOMAS DUNHAM WHITAKER, L.L.D. F. R. S. „Vicar of Whalley, and Rector of Heysham. Leeds, Ro
binson and Son, 1816.-folio, pp. 464. RICHARD the First, having taken a bishop during an engagement, the pope immediately applied to him for the restoration of his son. The king, in answer, sent the armour of his right reverend captive to his holiness, with this brief recommendation, “See now, if this be thy son's coat, or not." - The bishop here spoken of, most assuredly belonged to the church militant, so, from the general spirit manifested in the works of the learned and reverend editor of the Ducatus Leodiensis, , we must refer him to the same order; and, had it been permitted in modern times, for ecclesiastics to enter into the profession of arms, we should not be at all surprised to find him in the situation of his mitred precursor. His hostility is more undistinguishing than is at all usual in secular contests ; he shews it towards the leader he affects to follow, he employs it agaiņst the subject he undertakes to discuss, and, like the knights-errant of the dark ages, this sable champion seems to be anxious. Crit. Rev. VÓL. IV. Dec. 1816.
to meet with an antagonist in every direction, and to irritate those by intrusion and defiance, who would be disposed to pass him both unmolested and unheeded.
By a periodical writer of great repute in the last century, a sort of military organization was given to the clergy, similar to that which Peter the Great assigned to his civil administrators, and they were divided into generals, fieldofficers, and subalterns. Among the first, were reckoned bishops, deans, and arch-deacons, with the second, were the doctors, prebendaries, and all enrobed with scarfs; the rest were comprehended in the humbler class of subalterns. It was said then, and it may, on much stronger grounds, be asserted now, that there has been “ a great exceeding of late years, in the second division;" such numerous brevets having been granted for the conversion of subalterns unto scarf-officers. But be this as it may, to the rank of field officers our priestly editor belongs; and, with conscious security, he flourishes about his offensive weapons, the defensive even disdaining to assume. It will be our duty to examine, if he possess that invulnerability which his indiscriminate challenges would indicate, or if he be subject to the common infirmities of ordinary beings, and liable to misguidance and error like other men, whether subalterns, field-officers, or generals, in every walk and profession of
The first of the volumes of this splendid work, is called the Ducatus Leodiensis; the worthy antiquary to whose labours we are indebted for it, being extremely fond of princely distinctions. The second is entitled Loidis and Elmete; in order to permit the extension of the ground, or to illustrate the district supposed to be comprehended under these terms by the venerable Bede. The whole is introduced by a slight sketch of the life of the author, Mr. Ralph Thoresby, who was born at Leeds in the year 1658; and who was, after the usual school education, placed with a merchant for instruction in commerce; but, even at this early period, his love of antiquities, interfered with his trading pursuits. He was, in 1678,' introduced into the counting house of a person at Amsterdam, to be further informed on subjects of foreign traffic, and, at the same time, to acquire the French and Dutch languages. This situation he seems also to have turned to account only for the object of his favourite study; and thus, having obtained one dialect of the Teutonic language, he became a skilful etymo. logist in the Saxon local names at home, by which he was greatly assisted in his topographical enquiries.
Notwithstanding his disinclination to commerce, on the decease of his father, he undertook the mercantile concerns of the house; and the staple trade of the town of Leeds being in a state of temporary depression, he purchased his freedom in the company of Hamburgh merchants. In 1684; he married; and sustaining some losses about this period, he withdrew himself entirely from trade, and devoted himself, almost exclusively, to the study for which he had contracted so early an ardent and unconquerable passion.
About this time, a religious change occurred in the mind of Mr. Thoresby, to which his learned editor attaches very great importance, and the public have reason to rejoice in it, since it is probable, that had not this alteration taken place, we should not have been favoured with Dr: White aker's luminous exposition of the present work, such would have been his disinclination to follow the steps of a sectary.
“ After the accession of King James, and when his conduct, however plausible towards the Dissenters, threatened the ruin of Protestantism in all its denominations; he became more frequent in his attendance upon the worship of the established church. For this he had two reasons : first the learned and excellent discourses of his parish minister, Mr. Milner; and secondly, a generous resolution to support by his countenance and example that church, to the existsnce of which it was evident that the Dissenters would finally be indebted for their own.
“ But the minister of his own congregation, a bigotted and angry man, bore this partial abandonment of his conventicle with extreme impatience. All the topics of persuasion usual on such occasions, were tried with that inefficacy which is always produced by want of temper and its consequence, want of judgment. Meantime the revolution took place, and while the church of Leeds was supplied by a minister, even more attractive than Mr. Milner, the see of York was filled by a prelate who condescended to number the antiquary among his friends. In the catalogue of Thoresby's acquaintance at the same time, was Mr. Thornton, recorder of Leeds, a man, as appears, of real piety, and a true friend of the established church. To these persons he communicated his remaining scruples on the subject of an entire couformity. From the arehbishop in particular, he received the most affectionate attention, and by his arguments the church finally acquired a proselyte, who did her honour by his virtues, as well as attainments.” (p. viii. vol. 1.)
We have quoted this passage, not to go out of our way to make any comment upon it, for it would not be worth the deviation, but to shew the spirit and temper with which the reverend editor treats persons of a different persuasion
from the establishment, of which we admit him to be a learned and honourable member.
In the year 1724 was published by Mr. Thoresby the Vicaria Leodiensis, from his regard to the church of his own parish, and the many eminent divines who, according to the expression of the editor, had presided over it. In 1725, on the 16th of October, when he was in his sixty-eighth year, a paralytic stroke terminated his life, which had be. fore been threatened by a similar attack
The editor admits that the knowledge of the author in the Greek and Latin languages was not inconsiderable, yet he objeets that it “ partook of the nature of his original breeding, and was scarcely that of a man who had been regularly educated as a scholar.”—Dr. Whitaker so reluctantly applies the language of approbation, that be ever seems anxious to throw in a kind of set-off to counterbalance it. 6 Mr. Thoresby,” says he, “ was attentive to the religious instruction of his children, and to the moral character of his servants-a class of the community, who at that time had some regard to character, and some endurance of restraint.” We see no occasion for this obtrusive exercise of asperity towards that portion of society which has enough to suffer from the difficulties of situation, without having a further exercise of patience from the arrogance, contempt, and injustice, of those who assume to be their superiors; but the disposition is never more severely tried, than when this humiliation is attempted by those from whom the consolations of religion are expected, and who are taught to moderate the pride of rank and wealth by the instructions of that sacred volume, in which we read, “ The rich and poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them
In the conclusion of the life the editor says,
« To confirm what has already been observed of the mildness and piety of our author's disposition, two original letters are subjoined, the first from Toland, and the second, in answer to it, from Thores. bv. highly honourable to his temper as a man, and his consistency as a Christian. The calm but firm reproof which it contains is pro dnced not only out of respect to the author's memory, but to put to shame some of the correspondents of a later unbeliever (Gibbon). Thoresby, though too much addicted to panegyric, disdained to flatter av infidel, because an infidel had flattered hin,” (p. xvxvi. vol. i.)
It might be imagined from this statement that Mr.
Thoresby had wholly abandoned the gentleness of his nature, and employed the language of indignation and abhorrence at this free-thinker; but his reproof was the most mild that could be resorted to, and was coupled with terms of the highest commendation : “ I am parti. cularly pleased,” he remarks, “ with one expression in your's, that there were no parties in the republic of let. ters, for I am, as you kindly observe, an honest man, (let me add, simple and plain-hearted,) and can converse with great ease and satisfaction, with both high and low (though I would wish all distinctions were laid aside,) and have correspondents of all denominations, but you will pardon me for wishing that a gentleman of so much humanity, learning, and curiosity, was in one point more of the sentiments of the catholic church. Pardon, Sir, this single expression, as proceeding from the affectionate desires of a simple recluse in his country cell, where he prays for peace and truth, and the welfare of all mankind."
The first volume is divided into two parts; the one consists of what is properly called the topography of the town and parish of Leeds; and the other is a catalogue of the antiquities, and of the natural and artificial rarities of Mr. Ralph Thoresby, the author. The former commences with an account of the town and manor of Leeds, and then proceeds to the different places assigned to the parochial limits, all tending to shew the comparatively humble condition of these rich and populous districts at the close of the seventeenth, and commencement of the eighteenth century, when this production was indited. The greater proportion, by far, is devoted to the pedigrees of the principal families of the neighbourhood, and we cannot even get over the description given in the first page without the intrusion of these genealogies, the introduction of which would afford very little entertainment or instruction to the generality of rea. ders. We should have thought that the editor might have incorporated the addenda of his own with the body of the work, connecting the respective subjects with the local cir. cumstances to which they belong ; but it will have been seen by an extract we have before supplied, that this gentleman was principally influenced by the “ importunate demand of the present generation for the integrity of an original text,” and for this he has endured the reprinting of the “ sepulchral trash;” and such is his apology for not doing what the author would certainly have taken the trouble to do, had he possessed the same opportunity. With