« PreviousContinue »
maker to engage the church party in support of his production. He next addresses himself in the same style to the parliamentary and dissenting interests. The House of Commons, he tells us, having heard of the matter, sent to him to desire his attendance before a committee which they appointed to inquire into it. We take it for granted that this is merely his way of stating the fact that such a committee had been appointed on his own application, as in all probability it was in this way also that Laud's attention had been called to the subject, if indeed the part of the story relating to his Grace be not from beginning to end as mere an invention as that of the old man with the broad white beard, and all the rest that goes before it. However, the committee having heard what he had to say, eventually, on the suggestion of their chairman, Sir Edward Dearing, determined to call inthe assistance of a Mr. Paul Amiraut, " a learned minister beneficed in Essex, who had lived long in England, but was born in High Germany, in the Palatinate." The papers were afterwards submitted, along with Mr. Amiraut's report, to two members of the Assembly of Divines, which was then sitting,—Mr. Charles Herle and Mr. Edward Corbet; and they having reported in favour of the translation, "the House," says the Captain, " did give order for the printing thereof."
Upon reference, however, to the documents, this turns out to be something more than an embellishment of the truth. The Report of Herle and Corbet, which is dated 10th November, 1646, says, " We find many excellent and divine things are contained in the book worthy the light and public view; amongst which, Luther professeth that he acknowledgeth his error which he formerly held touching the real presence corporaliter in coena Domini. But we find withal many impertinent things—some things which will require a grain or two of salt, and some things which will require a marginal note or a preface." The House gave no order upon this for the printing of the book; but, some time after, the usual licence was obtained by the translator in the form simply of a grant, under the authority of both Houses, of the whole right and profits of printing it for the term of fourteen years. From some letters which are subjoined, it appears that strong efforts had been in vain made to induce parliament to go farther, and to affix the stamp of its authority upon the publication. All this seems to have occasioned some delay in bringing it out. The Captain's statement is dated the 3rd of July, 1650: but it was not till the year 1652 that the work at length appeared, in a folio volume of nearly six hundred pages, with the following title :— 'Drs. Martini Lutheri Colloquia Mensalia; or, Dr. Martin Luther's Divine Discourses at his Table, &c. which in his life he held with divers Learned Men, such as were Philip Melancthon, Casparus Cruciger, Justus Jonas, Paulus Eberus, Vitus Dietericus, Joannes Bugenhagen, Joannes Forsterus, and others: containing Questions and Answers touching Religion and other main points of Doctrine, as also many notable Histories, and all sorts of Learning, Comforts, Advices, Prophecies, Admonitions, Directions, and Instructions. Collected first together by Dr. Antonius Lauterbach, and afterward disposed into certain common-places by John Aurifaber, Doctor in Divinity. Translated out of the High German into the English Tongue by Captain Henry Bell. London: printed by William Du Gard, dwelling in Suffolk-lane, near London-stone. 1652.'
By this time Bell was dead, and the book is ushered in by a long "Epistle Dedicatory," signed Thomas Thorowgood, "To the Right Honourable John Kendrick, Lord Major, the Right Worshipful the Sheriffs and Alderman, the Common Council, and the other worthy Senators and Citizens of the famous City of London." Mr. Thorowgood, who we presume must have been a clergyman of some persuasion, acquits himself with a great display of learning, sacred and profane, and even very considerable eloquence. We shall quote, however, only a few sentences from the less elevated portions of his discourse. "As the original Dutch book," he says, " was dedicated to the imperial cities and senates of Germany, it was the desire of the noble Captain when he lived to honour his translation with your names, right honourable and worthy senators; and to you, my lord, the book is with the more confidence presented, because your lordship hath been conversant in, a lover of, and related to that nation.' The following is all that Mr. Thorowgood says of the translator:—" I was not unwilling, upon request, to premise these lines in memory of the noble Captain (unknown to me, yet), my countryman both by birth and education, of Norfolk and at Ely. His family is of great note and nobility in the former; his father was dean of the latter. He has been a military man, it seemeth, in Hungary and Germany, but was afterwards employed in state atlairs by the two last kings, which, with the success, is related by himself, as also the manner how he came by the original copy." Upon the subject of the vision the writer expresses himself somewhat cautiously, but yet with an evident disposition to believe the Captain's story. Having referred to several other instances on record of similar appearances, he proceeds: "These were, doubtless, marvellous phantasms and representations; but that is a wonder of wonders, and so it is said to be called and commonly seen in Ireland, which had been much spoken of before by persons of credit, but it is now reported by the mouth and under the hand of a minister (Mr. Samuel Smith), who had relation some time to Colonel Hampden" (he means the famous patriot); "and thus he writes, subscribing his name—' It is most certain that there is a visible ghost, which walks in the shape of a Christian, and most probably in a woman's shape; it walkcth the whole length of one street and part of another. In the daytime it is seen only as a woman's head of hair upon the top of the water; in the night it constantly passeth over the bridge. It is all white, refrains none, hurts none it meets withal, but only passeth softly by and goeth its course. It hath formerly spoken with a loud voice, saying, Revengel and no other word; now it only hisseth as a snake or a goose.'" This Irish ghost of the Reverend Mr. Samuel Smith's may match old Aubrey's spirit, which showed itself not far from Cirencester in the year 1670; and "being demanded whether a good spirit or a bad, returned no answer, but disappeared with a curious perfume, and most melodious twang."
II. NAMES OF AUTHORS IN THE MIDDLE
M. Baillet, in his 'Jugemens des Savans' (reprint of 1723), has given a curious list of disguises of every class under which the names of authors have appeared. We shall make a few extracts, which will amuse some readers and perhaps be useful to others. In addition to M. Baillet, we have looked into some other old French writers. The oldest author who has gone under different names, according to Baillet, is Moses, whom he follows Huet in asserting to be at once Thoth, Adonis, Thammuz, Osiris, Serapis, Apis, Orus, Anubis, Typhon, Zoroaster, Pan, Apollo, Bacchus, Vulcan, Priapus, Prometheus, Minos, Orpheus, iEsculapius, Proteus, Tiresias, Janus, Evander, and several more. We were somewhat surprised at this list, till we saw Proteus among the number. However, the author gets on firmer ground as he comes nearer his own time.
The practice of changing the name was forbidden in France by Henry II. in 1555, except by letters patent. The Council of Trent, in 1546, required, under pain of excommunication, that the real name of the author should appear in every work on religious subjects, and the edicts of various kings appeared in France in support of the order of the Council, but without much success; indeed, only six years after the decree of the Council, a controversial work was printed at Paris by the English Bishop Gardiner, under the title of Constantius. Bellarmin wrotr under the name of Matthew Tortus and several others.
At the revival of letters in Europe, the prevailing fancy was for ancient Latin and Greek names, and neither Christian name nor surname (when there was
NAMES OF AUTHORS IN THE MIDDLE AGES. 57
one) was exempt from invasion. Peter of Calabria wrote under the title of Julius Pomponius Laetus; Marco Antonio Coccio under that of Marcus Antonius Curt ins Sabellicus; Cristoval de Escobar under that of Lucius Cbristophorus Escobarius. Florent Chretien, the tutor of Henry IV., took the name of Quintus Septimius Florens Christianus; the first because he was a fifth son, the second because he was a seven months' child. Many who were named John preferred Janus to Johannes, as being more pagan. John Paul of Paris, who ought to have been Johannes Paulus Parisius, preferred Aulus Janus Parrhasius.
Among the disguises of names is that of the scurrilous Pietro Aretino; the booksellers, after his death, fearing that his religious writings would hardly sell under that name, transposed it into Partenio Etiro.
Among those who have changed their names to conceal the lowness of their origin is the celebrated mathematician Gilles Personne, whom nobody knows under that name, but who is a great lord or squire, to all appearance, as well as a philosopher, under the title of M. de Roberval. He took the name of a small village, with the consent of the proprietor.
Aldo of Bassano, a peasant, began by styling himself Aldus de Bassano. After some residence at Rome, he preferred Aldus Romanus, and then adopted the Manucci, a distinguished family at Rome, calling himself Aldus Manutius Romanus. Afterwards, becoming acquainted with Alberto Pio, Prince of Carpi, he engrafted, by consent, another name upon his previous ones, and was Aldus Pius Manutius Romanus, the well-known printer.
There is a reverse sort of instance in Barthelemi, secretary of the Duke of Ferrara (died 1545), who took the surname of Ferrinus on marrying the daughter of a rich iron-merchant.
A French author could not bear his own name of Disne-Maudi (Dine in the Morning), but changed it to Dorat: but he gave his daughter to a M. Goulu (Mr. Guttle) without any stipulation as to change of name.