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Lord Charlemont, “ An Inquiry into the Authenticity of Certain Papers Attributed to Shakspeare." It formed a volume of 400 pages. Sothing can be more complete than the exposure. Not a point is neglected not one remains doubtful. Not the least compliment paid the author was that of his jealous rival-editor, Steevens, who thanks him for his “ elegant present, which exhibits one of the most decisive pieces of criticism that was ever produced.” If Hamiltons and Madders now-a-days are sorely abused for their services to the public in a case of kindred character, these gentlemen need not wonder, since Malone met with little gratitude from many of the dupes of the deception Even after critical proof, and the open confession of the forger Do longer left a peg to hang a doubt upon, pamphlets appeared dealing freely with Mr. Malone's critical pretensions, and endeavouring to prove that the documents ought to have been genuine, although unhappily they were not.
In 1797, during a run down to Brighton, for relaxation, we get glimpse of his life and opinions, in a letter to his sister Catherine
"I dined one day with the Prince of Wales (not at his own house l. and had a great deal of talk with him. But this is an old stort, as you have probably heard it all from Dick (Lord Sunderlin). Hs simple object is the payment of his debts; and, as Pitt will not that, he has thrown himself upon Fox. . . . Yet the latter ani his party are not very willing to have anything to do with him. He retailed all the common cant about the grievances of the Iris Catholics with sufficient dexterity and address. But I did not let them pass, and fairly told him that they were merely imaginary, and that the people were worked up into discontent and clamour abat grievances by wicked and artful men for factions purposes. I she be, therefore, certainly no favourite at Carlton House.
“I was two or three times at the Rooms, but I can scarcely see anything in large lighted apartments. It is surprising bow little beauty or attraction there is in the world, at least to a prepossessed mind."
In 1799, a letter remains conveying George Canning's regar that Malone will take the chair at the ('lub, as his substitute re. particular occasion, should he himself find it impossible to attend.
In the spring of 1800 came out in four volumes, " The initial sai Miscellaneous Prose Works of John Dryden: trith an lemount Losbe Life and Writings of the Author," marked by the same studeres diligence of investigation that he ever showed in his literary tasks No source of information was left untried. Still literary men are that none but Malone could have accomplished so much. Tots pages those must turn who want accurate information up the works and life of Dryden, although much may still remain mare elucidation. Bell's new life of the poet in part supplies the w but even now there is much left to desiderate respecting the fortan and inner life of ** glorious John."
In 1802 we find Malone dyspeptic and hypochondriacal as we he might be--an incessant toiler over books at sixty-one. Daar
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 Gifford, 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. Jephson, 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 out ?”
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; he 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 brain. 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 me wearied 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 have lived longer: but life prolonged at the expense of enforced idleness, would have been to Malone a protracted treadmil). 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 revire and enlarge their acquaintance with the Boswellean circle, will do well to read the present Memoir, with its budget of anecdotes-10 appropriate supplement to the biographer's previous labours a 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 exhibit a comprehensive grasp of his subject, intimate acquaintance with me details, a clear and pleasing style, and that spirit of impartialty s difficult to preserve when one is drawn within the vortex of eco siastical controversy. About half of his volume is devoted to the career of the great English reformer, who, a century and a has before Luther, and when the great sacerdotal system of Rome hai attained its fullest strength, was the first to denounce, openly ani boldly, the doctrines and claims of the papacy as unscriptusi 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 is follow Dr. Hanna for a little in his sketch of this great and good man, the least egotistical and most faultless of all our reformen
John Wycliffe was born in 1324, in the small parish of Wyolite situated on the banks of the Tees, in Yorkshire, a few miles aber Rokeby, and about as many below Bernard Castle. His infancy >> lost in obscurity, and of the character of his parents nothing » known. Not even an anecdote of his boyhood remains, and bus at Oxford, extending over a period of forty years, presents us with but one illustrative incident. The last six years of his life, frum
• “Wycliffe and the Huguenots." By the Rev. William Hanns, LLD 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 Balhol College.
The payment of a thousand marks annually as tribute from the nation of England to which King John had unconstitute ally bound himself and his successors had, at this period. bera discontinued for about thirty years. But in 1365, Edward III. received an unexpected communication from Pope Crban V, at only demanding a renewal of the payment, but also the discharp of the accumulated arrears. Edward III. laid the matter befu 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 unceremonius manner; the last speaker uttering these remarkable words pregui with the germ of English liberty :-“ I wonder that you do not at asce lay your hand upon the entire illegality of the original transaction here King John bound himself without legal consent of the kingdoe. No golden seal of royalty, nor the seals of a few lords, wbom us king coerced to join him, could supply the place of the nationa consent, or give validity to the deed. That deed, therefore, she's be treated as a nullity." Ultimately, the three estates of the reais solemnly decided that “Inasmuch as neither King John, nor RT other king could bring his realm and kingdom into such thral. and subjection, but by common assent of Parliament, the wt.. was not given; therefore, that which he did was against oath at his coronation. If, therefore, the Pope should attempt E. thing against the king by process or other matters in deed, tbe 1 :: with all his subjects should, with all their force and power, *. . same." This noble assertion of national rights, and uncompro defiance of papal usurpations, was conveyed to Rome, wheatre prudently withdrew his demands, and relinquished his claim to.. supremacy over the nation of England. Wycliffe cane ar frOxford to be present at the meeting of this famous Parliament'. also on account of a controversy which had sprung up betwe ! University of Oxford and the Mendicant Friars, in which he or deeply interested, and in which, for the remainder of his life, be vze destined to take a prominent part, as the ablest opponent : pretensions of those mendicant orders. Dr. Hanna gives an rable account of the rise of these begging fraternities, founde:,:. earlier part of the thirteenth century, by St. Dominic and Francis. They were distinguished from the more ancient in s orders by a fundamental rule that, neither individually nor ... tively, could they hold any property, but should depend for :-* subsistence on the alms of the faithful. In another important ra ticular, too, they differed. The older monastic orders, for the =part, were devoted to lives of retirement and seclusion froin the It was not so with the Dominicans and Franciscans. Thein . . a career of active missionary itinerancy among the people. I '. the first twenty or thirty years of their existence, the mos orders, animated by the zeal of their founders, devoted to