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Indeed, some decry all translators as interlopers, spoiling the trade of learning, which should be driven amongst scholars alone. Such also allege that the best translations are works rather of industry than judgment, and, in easy authors, of faithfulness rather than industry; that many be but bunglers, forcing the meaning of the authors they translate, “ forcing the lock when they cannot open it."
But their opinion resents too much of envy, that such gentlemen who cannot repair to the fountain should be debarred access to the stream. Besides, it is unjust to charge all with the faults of some; and a distinction must be made amongst translators betwixt cobblers and workmen, and our Holland had the true knack of translating.
Many of these his books he wrote with one pen, whereon he himself thus pleasantly versified :
“ With one sole pen I writ this book,
Made of a grey goose quill;
And a pen I leave it still.” This monumental pen he solemnly kept, and showed to my reverend tutor, Doctor Samuel Ward. It seems he leaned very lightly on the neb thereof, though weightily enough in another sense, performing not slightly but solidly what he undertook.
But what commendeth him most to the praise of posterity is his translating Camden’s Britannia, a translation more than a translation, with many excellent additions not found in the Latin, done fifty years since in Master Camden's lifetime, not only with his knowledge and consent, but also, no doubt, by his desire and help. Yet such additions (discoverable in the former part with asterisks in the margent) with some antiquaries obtain not equal authenticalness with the rest. This eminent translator was translated to a better life anno Domini 16 ...
The translation of the translator took place in fact in 1636, when he had reached the venerable age of eighty-five, so that translating would seem to be not an unhealthy occupation. The above sketch is Fuller all over, in heart as well as in head and hand—the last touch especially, which, jest though it be, and upon a solemn subject, falls as gently and kindly as a tear on good old Philemon and his labours. The effect is as if we were told that even so gently fell the touch of death itself upon the ripe old man-even so easy, natural, and smiling, his labours over, was his leave-taking and exchange of this earth of many languages, the confusion or discord of which he had done his best to reduce, for that better world, where there is only one tongue, and translation is not needed or known. And Fuller's wit and jesting are always of this character; they have not in them a particle either of bitterness or of irreverence. No man ever (in writing at least) made so many jokes, good, bad, and indifferent; be the subject what it may, it does not matter; in season and out of season he is equally facetious; he cannot let slip an occasion of saying a good thing any more than a man who is tripped can keep himself from falling; the habit is as irresistible with him as the habit of breathing; and yet there is probably neither an ill-natured nor a profane witticism to be found in all that he has written. It is the sweetest-blooded wit that was ever infused into man or book. And how strong and weighty, as well as how gentle and beautiful, much of his writing is! The work perhaps in which he is oftenest eloquent and pathetic is that entitled The Holy State and the Profane State, the former great popularity of which we have already noticed. It consists in fact of a series of moral, theological, and miscellaneous essays, interspersed with narratives, the first four books being occupied with the Holy State, the fifth with the Profane, many of the papers being delineations of different characters, such as the Good Wife, the Good Husband, the Good Physician, the Good Merchant, the Good Herald, under the former head, the Witch, the Hypocrite, the Heretic, the Liar, under the latter. Almost no writer whatever tells a story so well as Fuller -with so much life and point and gusto. The narratives, however, of the Holy and Profane State, are all too long for extract; and, in selecting from that work the last specimens we can afford to give of this admirable old writer, we must confine ourselves to a few passages that admit of being more easy separated from the context. We will begin with some from his chapter entitled The Good Soldier :
A soldier is one of a lawful, necessary, commendable, and honourable profession ; yea, God himself may seem to be one free of the company of soldiers, in that he sty leth himself a “Man of War.” Now, though many hate soldiers as the twigs of the rod war, wherewith God scourgeth wanton countries into repentance, yet is their calling so needful that, were not some soldiers, we must be all soldiers, daily employed to defend our own, the world would grow so licentious.
Maxim I. He keepeth a clear and quiet conscience in his breast, which otherwise will gnaw out the roots of all valour.--For vicious soldiers are compassed with enemies on all sides; their foes without them, and an ambush within them of fleshly lusts, which, as St. Peter saith, “ fight against the soul.” None fitter to go to war than those who have made their peace with God in Christ. For such a man's soul is an impregnable fort. It cannot be scaled with ladders, for it reacheth up to heaven; nor be broken with batteries, for it is walled with brass ; nor undermined by
pioneers, for it is founded on a rock ; nor betrayed by treason, for faith itself keeps it; nor be burnt by granadoes, for he can quench the fiery darts of the devil ; nor be forced by famine, for “a good conscience is a continual feast.”
Maxim III. He counts his prince's lawful command to be his sufficient warrant to fight.-In a defensive war, when his country is hostilely invaded, it is pity but his neck should hang in suspense with his conscience, that doubts to fight. In offensive war, though the case be harder, the common soldier is not to dispute, but do, his prince's command. Otherwise princes, before they levy an army of soldiers, must first levy an army of casuists and confessors to satisfy each scrupulous soldier in point of right to the war; and the most cowardly will be the most conscientious, to multiply doubts eternally. Besides, causes of war are so complicated and perplexed, so many things falling in the prosecution, as may alter the original state thereof; and private soldiers have neither calling nor ability to dive into such mysteries. But, if the conscience of a counsellor or commander in chief remonstrates in himself the unlawfulness of this war he is bound humbly to represent to his prince his reasons against it.
Maxim IV. He esteemeth an hardship easy, through hopes of victory. -Moneys are the sinews of war;' yet, if these sinews should chance to be shrunk, and pay casually fall short, he takes a fit of this convulsion patiently. He is contented though in cold weather his hands must be their own fire, and warm themselves with working; though he be better armed against their enemies than the weather, and his corslet wholer than his clothes; though he hath more fasts and vigils in his almanac than the Romish church did ever enjoin. He patiently endureth drought, for desire of honour; 'and one thirst quencheth another. In a word, though much indebted to his own back and belly, and unable to pay them, yet he hath credit himself, and confidently runs on ticket with himself, hoping the next victory will discharge all scores with advantage.
Along with this we will give the concluding head of the next chapter, entitled The Good Sea Captain, which is very characteristic :
He daily sees and duly considers God's wonders in the deep.—Tell me, ye naturalists, who sounded the first march and retreat to the tide, “ Hither shalt thou come, and no further?” Why doth not the water recover his right over the earth, being higher in nature? Whence came the salt, and who first boiled it, which made so much brine? When the winds are not only wild in a storm, but even stark mad in an hurricane, who is it that restores them again to their wits, and brings them asleep in a calm? Who made the mighty whales, which swim in a sea of water, and have a sea of oil swimming in them? Who first taught the water to imitate the creatures on land, so that the sea is the stable of horse-fishes,
| “Then to advise how War may, best upheld,
Milton, Sonnet to the Younger Vane.
the stall of kine-fishes, the sty of hog-fishes, the kennel of dog-fishes, and in all things the sea the ape of the land ? Whence grows the ambergris in the sea? which is not so hard to find where it is as to know what it is, Was not God the first shipwright? and all vessels on the water descended from the loins (or ribs rather) of Noah's ark ? or else, who durst be so bold, with a few crooked boards nailed together, a stick standing upright, and a rag tied to it, to adventure into the ocean? What loadstone first touched the loadstone ? Or how first fell it in love with the North, rather affecting that cold climate than the pleasant East, or fruitful South or West ? How comes that stone to know more than men, and find the way to the land in a mist? In most of these men take sanctuary at occulta qualitas [some hidden quality]; and complain that the room is dark, when their eyes are blind. Indeed, they are God's wonders; and that seaman the greatest wonder of all for his blockishness, who, seeing them daily, neither takes notice of them, admires at them, nor is thankful for them.
Our last extract shall be the conclusion of his eloquent sketch of the Life of Bishop Ridley :
His whole life was a letter written full of learning and religion, whereof his death was the seal. .... Old Hugh Latimer was Ridley's partner at the stake, some time Bishop of Worcester, who crawled thither after him; one who had lost more learning than many ever had who flout at his plain sermons, though his downright style was as necessary in that age as it would be ridiculous in ours. Indeed, he condescended to people's capacity; and many men unjustly count those low in learning who indeed do but stoop to their auditors. Let me see any of our sharp wits do that with the edge, which his bluntness did with the back, of the knife, and persuade so many to restitution of ill-gotten goods. Though he came after Ridley to the stake, he got before him to heaven : his body, made tinder by age, was no sooner touched by the fire, but instantly this old Simeon had his Nunc dimittis, and brought the news to heaven that his brother was following after. But Ridley suffered with far more pain, the fire about him being not well made; and yet one would think that age should be skilful in making such bonfires, as being much practised in them. The gunpowder that was given him did little service; and his brother-in-law, out of desire to rid him out of pain, increased it (great grief will not give men leave to be wise with it!) heaping fuel upon him to no purpose ; so that neither the faggots which his enemies' anger, cor his brother's good will, cast upon him, made the fire to burn kindly.
In like manner, not much before, his dear friend Master Hooper suffered with great torment; the wind (which too often is the bellows of great fires) blowing it away from him once or twice. Of all the Martyrs in those days, these two endured most pain; it being true that each of them Quaerebut in ignibus ignes--And still he did desire for fire in midst of fire ;-both desiring to burn, and yet both their upper parts were but Confessors when their lower parts were Martyrs and burnt to ashes. Thus God, where he hath given the stronger faith, he layeth on the stronger pain. And so we leave them going up to heaven, like Elijah, in a chariot of fire.
FELTHAM'S RESOLVES.—MICROCOSMOGRAPHY. This volume of Fuller's, The Holy and the Profane State, may be considered as belonging to a class of books the best of which seem to have been more popular than any other works, out of the region of poetry and fiction, among our ancestors of the seventeenth century. Bacon's Essays, for instance, which first appeared in 1597, were reprinted in 1606, in 1612, in 1613, and in 1625, during the lifetime of the author; and after his death new editions were still more rapidly called for. Another favourite volume of this kind was the Resolves, Divine, Moral, and Political, of Owen Feltham, the first edition of which has the date of 1628, and of which there were re-impressions in 1631, in 1634, in 1636, in 1647, in 1661, in 1670, in 1677, and in 1696. Feltham tells us himself that a portion of his book was written when he was only eighteen; and from this statement it has been conjectured that he was probably born about 1610: he is supposed to have been still alive when the 1677 edition of his Resolves came out. Very little more is known of his history than that he appears to have resided for the greater part of his life in the house of the Earl of Thomond-in quality of gentleman of the horse or secretary, Oldys says, on the contemporary report of Mr. William Loughton, schoolmaster in Kensington, who was related to Feltham. The later editions of the Resolves are dedicated to the Countess of Thomond, a daughter of Sir George Fermor (ancestor of the Earls of Pomfret); and the author in his address states that most of them were drawn up under her roof. The work is divided into two Parts or Centuries (the last being that first written and published); and consists of a hundred and forty-six short papers or essays on moral and theological subjects. Like those of Bacon, most of Feltham's essays have a practical character or object, aiming, in Bacon's own phrase, to carry home some useful truth or maxim to the business and bosoms of their readers; they are, what Bacon expressly calls his, Counsels, Civil and Moral; and hence no doubt in great part the acceptance they met with. The difference of the times, however, as well as of the writers, is evidenced by the more decidedly religious spirit which leavens Feltham's book. It is the spirit which was generally prevalent in England for the quarter of a century before the breaking out