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pointment added its stings to ill health, for he had hoped for some Government sinecure about this time, which political changes placed out of his grasp. The old gentleman had love besides to plague him, for he hoped to marry till the very last, though he died a bachelor. He was a person of strong affections, and had had the malady of an exclusive attachment in a violent form two or three times in the course of his life. Writing, at the mature age of fiftysix, to his sister Kate, he says, " How therefore should I ever get a wife? or what ground have I to expect after all that has happened, that any but a mere dowdy will accept my hand? Yet I still keep on hoping that something may happen, and, unless it does, the new peerage will be quite thrown away." This last was in allusion to the Sunderlin title, the patent of which included the provision, "with remainder to his brother, Edmond Malone, Esq., of Shinglas." To Grifford, the kindly bachelor critic and editor, he lent his services, solacing his solitude with study, as freely as to other literary men ; his library, his stores of knowledge, his counsel, being at the disposal of any applicant. Never was there student more liberal in the distribution of his acquisitions; one had but to ask, in order to receive all the aid Malone could render. He seemed incapable of the feeling of jealousy. His hand was open as day to melting charity. Pursuing his literary course and correspondence, we find him in later years half blind, and depressed in spirits, glad to lean upon the sympathy and society of the Rev. J. Jcphson, incumbent of Kilbixy, near Baronston, who came to London to be with him in his loneliness. Frequent remonstrances were addressed to him by his friends, upon the undue labours he continued to give to his eyes. Lord Charlemont, who suffered from a severe infirmity, while Percy had gone quite blind, often remonstrated with him :—" Five hours a day employed in transcribing from obscure manuscripts! How in the name of wonder do your eyes hold oat?"
Other publications and projects filled up his leisure, and passed away our author's time; amongst others, the superintendence of six successive editions of Boswell's Johnson, down to the year 1811. He annotated largely the books in his own library; he jotted down memoranda of his literary acquaintance; ho frequented book sales; he corresponded freely with his friends. The pen was rarely out of his hands. He sought to improve all he had published, and so late as March, 1812, is profuse in acknowledgment of the courtesy which procured for him copies of some of Dryden's letters. But by this time the destroyer had made such ravages in his frame, that his prolonged existence was a matter of weeks and days, rather than of months and years. His digestive powers were completely destroyed by the continued pressure on the Drain. In consequence of a letter he wrote to Ireland on the 4th of May, Lord Sunderlin and his sister Kate hurried over to Foley-place where the dying man resided, but only to witness his decease three weeks afterwards, on the 25th May, in the seventy-first year of his age. Thus died at a good old age one of Ireland's most meritorious sons—a man of real learning, of varied accomplishments, of unwearied industry, of suave disposition, and gentlemanly manners. Of his own free-will, he wrought harder with his pen than those who depend on it to earn their bread. Had he done less, he might hare lived longer: but life prolonged at the expense of enforced idleness, would have been to Malone a protracted treadmill. A true worker, work was his element, and work his reward. Malone was a credit to his name and nation; and Sir James Prior has done well to perpetuate the recollection of his merits. Those who would revive and enlarge their acquaintance with the Boswellean circle, will do well to read the present Memoir, with its budget of anecdotes—an appropriate supplement to the biographer's previous labours on Goldsmith and Burke.
In these sketches of the rise of the Reformation in England, and of the early history of Protestantism in France, Dr. Hanna exhibits a comprehensive grasp of his subject, intimate acquaintance with its details, a clear and pleasing style, and that spirit of impartiality so difficult to preserve when one is drawn within the vortex of ecclesiastical controversy. About half of his volume is devoted to the career of the great English reformer, who, a century and a half before Luther, and when the great sacerdotal system of Borne had attained its fullest strength, was the first to denounce, openly and boldly, the doctrines and claims of the papacy as unseriptural. unreasonable, and degrading to the human spirit, and to present in their stead the simple doctrines of the Redeemer, and the simple institute of the Church as set forth in Holy Writ. We propose to follow Dr. Hanna for a little in his sketch of this great and good man, the least egotistical and most faultless of all our reformers.
John Wycliffe was born in 1324, in the small parish of Wycliffe, situated on the banks of the Tees, in Yorkshire, a few miles above Rokeby, and about as many below Bernard Castle. His infancy is lost in obscurity, and of the character of his parents nothing is known. Not even an anecdote of his boyhood remains, and his life at Oxford, extending over a period of forty years, presents us with but one illustrative incident. The last six years of his life, from
• "Wycliffe and the Huguenots." By the Kev. William Hanna, LL.D. Edinburgh: Thomas Constable and Co. 1860.
fifty-four to sixty, spent at his rectory of Lutterworth—years of toil, in -which multitudes of tracts, pamphlets, and treatises were poured forth by the indefatigable reformer—afford no trace of his private life or domestic habits. No personal allusions are to be found in his voluminous writings, and it would be difficult to point out another historical personage of equally high standing, of whose personal tastes and habits we know so little. We must be content to accept the public man, and dispense with the minor characteristics which bring him down to our own level, humanize him, and give him a stronger hold upon our hearts. We may safely infer, however, from, this remarkable want of egotism in his writings, that Wycliffe •was a singularly self-oblivious man, totally absorbed by, and intent upon, his work. His deeds prove him to have been animated by the warmest philanthropy, the purest patriotism, and most ardent piety; and, though for twenty-five years he lived in the stormy atmosphere of controversy, and lashed with unsparing severity the ambition, luxury, and worldliness of friars, prelates, and priests, he never stooped to personal abuse, nor became involved in a personal quarrel. There is not a trace of vindictive or malignant feeling even in his rudest assault. His was the vehemence of the roused conscience, rather than the resentment of offended passion, and herein he affords a striking contrast to Luther and Knox, who were occasionally betrayed into a virulence of abuse, and an offensive personality injurious to the great cause they so nobly supported.
Wycliffe was early destined for the church, and at sixteen years of age entered Queen's College, Oxford, as a commoner, where he remained for a year; and then, in 1341, joined Merton College, the most celebrated foundation in Oxford. During this century, the Universities of Paris, Bologna, and Oxford were in the height of their fame; and, at the time when Wycliffe entered Merton College, no fewer than 30,000 students were assembled at Oxford. Wycliffe speedily distinguished himself by the ardour and success with which he prosecuted his academical studies. He became a proficient, both in the canon and civil law, and so great an adept in the scholastic philosophy that one of the bitterest of his contemporary opponents acknowledges that "in philosophy he was second to none; in scholastic exercises, incomparable; struggling to excel all others in disputation, both in subtlety and depth." He appears to have been early impressed by the truths of Christianity, as set forth in the Scriptures, so that he was known among his fellow-collegians by the title of the Evangelical or Gospel Doctor. These early religious impressions were strengthened and confirmed by the ravages of the fearful pestilence of 1345, which, originally breaking out in the east, crept along the shores of the Mediterranean, desolated Greece, swept over Italy, crossed the Alps, and, in 1350, almost depopulated London, when 100,000 of the inhabitants perished. In 1300, after he had been for twenty years, first a scholar, and then a fellow of Merton College, Wycliffe received his first ecclesiastical preferment, the living of Freylingham, in the diocese of Lincoln; and at the close of the same year, was chosen Master or Warden of Balliol College.
The payment of a thousand marks annually as tribute from the nation of England to which King John had unconstitutionally bound himself and his successors had, at this period, been discontinued for about thirty years. But in 13*55, Edward 111. received an unexpected communication from Pope Urban V., not only demanding a renewal of the payment, but also the discharge of the accumulated arrears. Edward III. laid the matter before his Parliament; and Wycliffe has reported to us the speeches of some of the great Barons on this important occasion. They opposed the Papal claims in the most distinct and uneeremoniou-. manner; the last speaker uttering these remarkable words pregnant with the germ of English liberty :—" I wonder that you do not at once lay your hand upon the entire illegality of the original transaction, here. King John bound himself without legal consent of the kingdom. No golden seal of royalty, nor the seals of a few lords, whom the king coerced to join him, could supply the place of the national consent, or give validity to the deed. That deed, therefore, should be treated as a nullity." Ultimately, the three estates of the realm solemnly decided that " Inasmuch as neither King Jolui, nor any other king could bring his realm and kingdom into such thraldom and subjection, but by common assent of Parliament, the which was not given; therefore, that which he did was against his oath at his coronation. If, therefore, the Pope should attempt anything against the king by process or other matters in deed, the king with all his subjects should, with all their force and power, resist the same." This noble assertion of national rights, and uncompromising defiance of papal usurpations, was conveyed to Rome, when Urban prudently withdrew his demands, and relinquished his claim to civil supremacy over the nation of England. Wycliffe came up from Oxford to be present at the meeting of this famous Parliament, and also on account of a controversy which had sprung up between the University of Oxford and the Mendicant Friars, in which he was deeply interested, and in which, for the remainder of his life, he was destined to take a prominent part, as the ablest opponent of the pretensions of those mendicant orders. Dr. Hanna gives an admirable account of the rise of these begging fraternities, founded in the earlier part of the thirteenth century, by St. Dominic and St. Francis. They were distinguished from the more ancient monastic orders by a fundamental rule that, neither individually nor collectively, could they hold any property, but should depend for their subsistence on the alms of the faithful. In another important particular, too, they differed. The older monastic orders, for the most
art, were devoted to lives of retirement and seclusion from the world.
t was not so with the Dominicans and Franciscans. Theirs was to be a career of active missionary itinerancy among the people. During the first twenty or thirty years of their existence, the mendicant orders, animated by the zeal of their founders, devoted to their
religious duties, and mixing freely with the humblest of the people, spread rapidly over Europe, and acquired great influence. But their decline and corruption were as remarkable as their success. Their fundamental rule as to the possession of property was soon violated, and donations and bequests from all quarters were poured into their treasuries. Converts, cloisters, and churches of the mendicants arose, ■which, in beauty of architecture, costliness of materials, and richness of decoration, vied with the noblest cathedrals and abbeys of the Benedictines and Augustines. The Roman Pontiffs, too, recognizing in the mendicant orders their ablest and most unscrupulous defenders, assisted still further to corrupt them, by entrusting them with the amplest ecclesiastical powers, and exempting them from episcopal jurisdiction, and any check or control by the parochial clergy. And thus it arose, that, in Wycliffe's days, the mendicant orders, instead of being poor, humble, and self-denying missionaries, were wealthy, proud, and luxurious, possessing much power and influence, and aiming at acquiring more, especially by getting into their hands the education of youth. They attempted to get possession of the chairs in the great universities of Europe; and, in that of Paris, they triumphed by the assistance of the Pope, after a long struggle in which the famous Thomas Aquinas was their great champion, and William de St. Amour their principal opponent. In the beginning of the fourteenth century, the strife was transferred from Paris to Oxford, where the begging friars had obtruded themselves into the office of lecturers on theology, had seduced many of their scholars into their ranks, and had persuaded them to take the vows at an age when they were unfitted to decide on so grave a matter. The University, indeed, passed certain statutes to meet these evils; but from these the friars, by their interest at the court of Rome, obtained"' dispensation, so that the authorities of the University were at length obliged to appeal to Parliament—that same Parliament which had so nobly resisted Pope Urban's claim of annual tribute from the realm of England—from which they obtained an act providing, "That as well the Chancellor and scholars as the friars should in all school exercises use each other in friendly wise, without any rancour, as before; that none of their Orders should receive any scholar under the age of eighteen years; that the friars should take no advantage, nor procure any bull or other process from Rome against the University, or proceed therein; and that the king have power to redress all controversies between them from henceforth; the offender to be punished at the pleasure of the king and of his Council." Wycliffe was early mixed up with the strife, and took an active part in the controversy, soon going beyond the narrow bounds of the original collegiate dispute, and making it, for a time at least, the chief object of his life to expose the false principles, the proud and hollow pretensions, the iniquitous and corrupt practices of the Mendicant Orders. He describes the friars' sermons of his day as made up of "fables, chronicles of the world, and stories from the siege of Troy;" and thus characterises the indulgences and absolutions with