Page images

** Commonwealth,) to conferr with Mr~Dr. Ne"vfll, Deane of Canterbury, and Sir Edward "Stanhope, (two worthie Members thereof,) that "a sute were made at this time, when his Ma"% "exceeding all his progenitors in learning and e* knowledge, fo favdureth and respecteth the "Universities; when our most worthie and af** fedionate Chancellor, my L. Cecill, his Matlc' "principall Secretary, is so propense to further "anything that may honour or profit our Uni"versity; for the obteyning of two Burgesses of "Parliament, that may informe (as occasion shall "be offered) that High Court of the true state "of the University, and of every particular Col~ "ledge: which, with all alacrity, the good "Deane and Sir Edward Stanhope apprehended. "O' Chancellor was moved, who instantly and ** effectually moved his Mat1c, who most princely ** and graciously granted and signed yt, the "booke being ready drawne and provided. I "know yor wisdomes have little need of myne "advise; yet out of my affectionate love unto "you, I have thought good to remember you of ** some things that are comely and necessary to be ** donne.

"1. As soone as you can, that you acknow"ledge humble thanks to his Ma"* for that he s 2 "hath

"hath conferred so great an hon' and benefit! to ** or University.

** 2. To acknowledge yr thankfullness to or ** noble Chancellor, and also to the L. Chancel"lor of England, who have most honourably "given furtherance to yt.

"3. That you thanke the good Deane and Sr "Edward Stanhope, for their inward and hasty "sollicitacon.

"4. That now at this first eleccon, you make "choise of some that are not of the Convocacon "House, for I have knowne the like to have * *bredd a question. And yt is good that the "begynning and first season be cleere and with"out scruple. In respect whereof, if you elect "for this time some Professor of the Civill Lawe, "or any other that is not of the Convocacon "House, yt is the surest way.

** 5. The Vicechancellor, for that he is Go"vernor of the University where the choise is "to be made, is not eligible.

"6. There is also a new wrytt provided for "this present eleccon. When you have made

"your '** your eleccon of your two Burgesses, you must "certifie the fame to the Sheriffe, and he shall "** retome them: or if you fend your eleccon to "me under your scale, I will see them retorned.

** And thus ever resting to doe you any ser- "vice, with all willing readynefs I comytt you ** to the blessed proteccon of the Almighty. "From the Inner Temple, this 12th of March ** 1603.

"Yor very loving frind,

"Ed. Coke."

"You shall also receive the "lettres patents under the * * greate scale to you and yor successors ** for ever, and likewise a "writt for this psent eleccon."

"To the right worshipfull "and his much esteemed ffrend the "Vicechancellor of the Universitie •. of Cambridge give these."

The " Institutes" of Sir Edward Coke have ever been regarded as the most excellent Commentaries on our Laws and Constitution. Yet the learned Bishop Gibson says, in one of his MS. Letters in the Bodleian Library,

"Many of our Laws (as they are derived "from those of the Saxons) foe they contribute s 3 "a great "a great light towards the true understanding ." of them. Besides, it will be no little pleasure "to observe the affinity between those Saxons *

. * " Saxon," fays Sir John Fortefcue Aland, " is the "Mother of the English Tongue. A man cannot tell "twenty, nor name the days of the week in English, but "he must speak Saxon. *V


"Etymologies from a Saxon original will often present "you with the definition of the thing in the reason of the "name. For the Saxons often in their names express the "nature of the thing: as in the word Parijh; in the Saxon "it is a word which signifies the precinct of which the "Priest had the care. Throne, in Saxon, is expressed by a "compound word, which signifies the feat of Majesty. "Death is expressed by a compound word, signifying the "separation of the soul from the body, one of which signi"fies soul or spirit, and the other separation."Preface to Fortefcue on the Limited Monarchy of England.

The Saxon language now appears likely to be cultivated with that diligence to which it is entitled, as the basis of our language, and as containing the first elements of our laws and the ground-work of our happy constitution, in the statutes enacted by our free and intrepid forefathers. The late learned Dr. Rawlinson has founded a Professorship in the Saxon language in the University of Oxford; and the choice the University has made of a person of learning and ingenuity to read the lectures, will surely stimulate the young and the ingenious to become acquainted with a language without which they cannot either speak or write with propriety, or act as it becomes those who have secured from their ancestors the noblest blessing that one generation can procure for another, manly and rational liberty^

« and w and our present customs, in which matters "our Common Lawyers are generally in the "dark. You have heard me also mention the "Life of Sir Henry Spelman. One principal ** part whereof must be to prove, what that. "learned Antiquarian always insisted upon, that "this method of studies was the true foundation ** of the Common Law, and that Coke and the rest run into many visible and even scandalous ** errors for the want of it."—Dr. Gibson to Dr. Charlett, Sept. 17, 1700.



King James took great delight in the conversation of Gondemar, because he knew how to please the King, who thought himself an excellent tutor and scholar. The Ambassador used to speak bad Latin before him, in order to give his Majesty an opportunity of correcting him. Gondemar had, by bribes and pensions, paid many of the first persons about King James's court, in the interest of that of Spain; yet, to insure that interest, says Wilson, "he cast out his baits not "only for men, but if he found an Atalanta, s 4 "whose

« PreviousContinue »