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faculty and profession, he had an exquisite skill in natural philosophy and medicine. He was well versed in mathematics. Of his mechanic skill he left for his monument the most glorious structure that ever stood upon earth. He was very skilful in poetry and music; he had great ability in rhetoric ; he did wonderfully excel in ethics. As for theology, as the study of that was the chief study to which he exhorteth others; he was himself most conversant therein. In fine, there was no sort of knowledge to which he did not apply his study. Such a scholar was he , and such if we have a noble ambition to be, we must use the course that he did, which was first in his heart to prefer wisdom before all earthly things; then to pray God for it, or for his blessing in quest of it; then to use the means of attaining it, diligent searching and hard study.” The author winds up his exhortations by informing us “that Luther would not part with a little Hebrew he had for all the Turkish empire,” and that “a lank purse is better than an empty brain.” We must express our parting approbation of the feeling and spirit in which Dr. Wordsworth's work is written, and of the sound argument and knowledge by which it is conducted throughout. And, seeing that there is so much unprofitable discussion, dangerous speculation, and unsound doctrine at once assailing us from opposite quarters, it is consolatory to find that those who are the most noted for their learning and their temperate wisdom are speaking on the most important subjects in language too impressive and authentic to be listened to without conviction. Thus are the doctrines of our faith and our Church best adorned and perhaps our dangers best removed; and assuredly it is not in her secular privileges, not in the antiquity of her establishment, not in the opulence of her members, nor even in the orthodoxy of her tenets, that she is to trust in days like these, wherein, on the one hand, a fond and mistaken piety is desecrating her altars, and on the other, a cloud of dark and pestilential heresies is frowning over her battlements.
JOHN ROUS, THE ANTIQUARY, OF WARWICK.
WE are enabled by the courtesy of and more than smile when learned men
the College of Arms to present to our readers an accurate copy of the Portrait of John Rous, of Warwick, one of the most eminent of our earliest English antiquaries. The original is drawn upon a contemporary historical roll preserved in the Library of the College ; and is the same which was engraved by the hands of Hollar at the expense of Elias Ashmole for Dugdale's History of Warwickshire, and copied by Michael Burghers, at the expense of Dr. Richard Mead, for Hearne's edition of Rous's Historia Regum Angliae. The very moderate or rather the very distant degree of resemblance which was at that time deemed sufficient when an ancient work of art was represented, makes one wonder that any such trouble was taken at all,
are seen inditing pompous dedications,
ments which Rous himself lets fall in his Historia Regum. John Rous was born at Warwick, and was the son of Geoffrey Rous of that town, descended from the Rouses of Brinklow in Warwickshire." He was educated at Oxford, where he received the degree of Master of Arts.t On leaving the university he returned to his native town, and immediately found a home as chaplain of the neighbouring hermitage of Guy's Cliffe.: This was about the year 1445, Ś and,
* So Sir William Dugdale, on the authority of one of Rous's rolls. Leland had supposed him to have been “of the house of the Rouses of Ragley by Aulcester.” Rous himself makes the following remarks upon the name, when speaking of the death of King William Rufus, his possible descent from whom, in a tone apparently more serious than jocose, he leaves as a matter of doubt: “Iste rex obiit sine prole proprii corporis legitimo. De aliis mentionem non facio, quia de facto erat virvalde incontinens, et quamvis ejusdem cognominis fuero, Rous videlicet cognominatus, non tamen ab ipso linealiter descendere nec nego, sed sub dubitatione relinquo. Venerunt generosi illius nominis cum Conquestore in Angliam, et vix est in Anglia unus comitatus vel nullus quid in illo de generosis aut plebeis sunt illius cognominis incolae et indigenae, quidam de ipso, quidam de aliis illius nominis linealiter descendentes.” + Wood assigns him to Balliol College, because he speaks of John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, as his fellow scholar; but the words “in universitate Oxoniensi tempore mei conscolarem" seem of scarcely sufficient force to identify the college, and, though he notices many other colleges, he never mentions Balliol. : He does not himself say that he at once received such preferment, but merely that he removed thither from the university, and had resided there more than forty-one years when he wrote his book: “Etibi cum ab universitate recessi mansionem elegi, et continuavi per multos annos; quorum anno xlii". hunc libellum ad laudem Dei, beatae Mariae et omnium sanctorum, et complacentiam et proficuum regis regnigue compilavi.” Bryan Twyne, and after him Anthony à Wood, misread this as implying that the book was written in the 42d year of his age. § Because his Historia Aegum was written shortly after the birth of Prince Arthur, in 1426, from which deduct fortyQue years for the statement mentioned in
therefore, before the chapel and its appurtenent buildings were rebuilt in the latter part of the reign of Henry VI. Of all the places which Leland visited in his “laboriose ’’ journeys through England, none delighted him more than Guy's Cliff. “Widi multa loca in quibus natura variä lusit amoenitate : nullus tamen in primo conspectu magis unquam meis adblandiebatur oculis.” But the occasion is one on which the full account of the place which he gives in his ltinerary may properly be quoted: “There is a right goodly chappell of saint Mary Magdalene upon Avon river, ripa dertra, scant a mile above Warwick. The place of some is called Gibclife, of some Guy cliffe ; and ould fame remaineth
with the people there, that Guido earle of
Warwike in king Athelston's dayes had a great devotion to this place, and made an oratory there. Some adde unto it, that, after he had done great victories in outward partes, and had beene so long absent that he was thought to have been dead, he came and livid in this place like an heremite, unknowen to his wife Felice, untill at the article of his death he shewed what he was. Men shewe a cave there in a rocke hard on Avon ripe, where they say that he used to sleepe. Men alsoe yet shewe fayre springes in a fayre meadow thereby, where they say earle Guido was wont to drinke. This place had been to the time of Richard earl of Warwike onely a small chappell and a cottage wherein an heremite dwelt. “Earle Richard, bearing a great devotion to the place, made there a goodly new chappell, dedicate to saint Mary Magdalene, and founded two chauntery priests there to serve God. He sett up there an image of earle Guido gyant-like, and enclosed the silver welles in the meadowe with pure white slickestones like marble, and there sett up a praty house open like a cage covered, onely to keepe comers thither from the raine. He also made there a praty house of stone for the chauntery priests, by the chappell. The landes that he gave to it lye about the house. It is a house of pleasure, a place meet for the muses. There is sylence, a praty wood, antra in vivo saro, the river rouling over the stones with a praty
noyse, nemusculum ibidem opacum, fontes liquidi et gemmei, prata florida, antra muscosa, riri levis et par sara decursus, necnon solitudo et quies musis amicissima.”
Rous, however, was not a recluse confined to this solitary spot like some of the hermits his predecessors. Guy's Cliff was within an easy mile of Warwick, where he could enjoy the society not only of his early friends and relations, but also of the priests and clerks connected with the collegiate church. The neighbouring castles of Warwick and Leamington frequently attracted the concourse of the court, or the great earls; and so far did Rous take an interest in political matters that he once ventured to draw a petition on the state of the country, which he presented to the Parliament held at Coventry in the year 1459, though, as he confesses, it failed to attract attention.” From such matters, as may readily be supposed, he did not escape without making some enemies.t. He was occasionally a visitor of the metropolis, where he mentions having perused the records at Guildhall, and that he saw the elephant which was brought to London in the reign of Edward the Fourth.Ş On one occasion he even travelled so far as North Wales and the Isle of Anglesey, being sent thither for the purpose of consulting the Welsh chronicles.|
Rous was honoured by intercourse with John Fox, bishop of Exeter, to whom he lent a book on the subjection
of the crown of Scotland to that of
Leland affirms that he had seen and
read the following:—
* P. 120.
+ “Sepius in diebus meis, ut Deus novit, injuste vexatus fui in multis tribulationibus,” &c. p. 137.
: P. 200. § P. 212.
| By whom he does not say (p. 54). Whether Leland had any other authority for his flourishing phrase, “perlustratis enim apud Anglos et Cambros omnibus fere bibliothecis,” does not immediately appear; but it is evident that he gives a wrong colouring to Rous's biography, when he represents him as first travelling to form his historical collections, and afterwards seeking out the retirement of Guy's Cliff in order to digest them.
W Historia Regum, p. 190,
On the antiquity of the town of Warwick. On the Bishops of Worcester. On the antiquity of Guy's Cliff. On the Earls of Warwick. Against a false history of the antiquity of Cambridge. An unfinished work on the antiquity of the English universities." And also a Chronicle, a complete volume, to which in honour of his town he gave the title “Verovicum.” Besides these, Rous himself tells us that he wrote a tractate on Giants, particularly of those that lived after the Flood.t Some of these exist in a volume of Dugdale’s MSS. in the Ashmolean Museum (G. 2); but only two of them, and a third work, the Life of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, have attained the honour of being printed. His most connected work is his “Historia Regum Angliae,” which was edited by Hearne in 1716, 8vo. and a second edition in 1745. The original manuscript is a small quarto volume : of 136 vellum leaves, in the British Museum, MS. Cotton. Vespas. A. x11. Hearne made use of a transcript taken by Ralph Jennings, and now in the Bodleian Library, collating it with another transcript in the library of Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, supposed to have been made for Archbishop Parker. Rous was not without the highest ambition of an historical writer, that of influencing the policy of his own or future times. He gives the following account of the origin of this work:— Master John Seymour, the master of the works of the college of Windsor, who had been his fellow-scholar at Oxford, requested him in the latter days of Edward IV. to compile an “opusculum ” of the kings and princes founders of churches and cities, as a guide for the selection of the statues
* Historia Regum, p. 18.
+ Quoted by Leland in his Collectanea, iv. 110, 212, 224.
f This volume is remarkably full of the autograph signatures of eminent men, written on its fly-leaves : in front are those of Tho. Allen. Tho. Cotton. Again, Thomas Cotton, and at the end, Henricus Ferrarius. Willms. Dugdale, A• 1638. A. Woode, 1667. Antonius Beauforde, and Anthonius Huldratus.