Abbildungen der Seite

satrapa; so that the regent of France was fain to be sent for, from beyond the seas, to sett them at one, and to go between them ; for the bishop was as able and ready to buckle with the lord protector, as he was with him.”

Latimer enquires, " whether this was not an excellent prelate, who left his diocese to dispute with the noble duke Humphrey on state affairs ?” The bishop who thus opposed the protector, exerted himself in favour of the church, and was rewarded by the pope

with the office of cardinal of Calais; and thither the bishop of Rome sent him a cardinal's hat :-" He should have had a Tyburn-tippet, a half-penny halter; and all such proud prelates. These Romish hats never brought good into England. Upon this the bishop goeth unto the queen Katherine, the king's wife, a proud woman, and a stout; and perswaded her that if the duke were in such authority still, and lived, the people would honour him more than they did the king, and the king should not be set by. And so, between them, I cannot tell how it came to pass, but at St. Edmondsbury, in a parliament, the good duke Humphrey was smothered.”

At another time the indefatigable Latimer attacked the officers of state, in preaching before the successor of Henry VIII. and charged them with resisting all applications for their interference, unless the person applying presented a bribe.

« Hear

“ Hear poor men's suits yourself,” he exclaimed: “ I require you in God's behalf, and put them to none other to hear; let them not be delayed. The saying is now, that money is heard every where; if he be rich, he shall soon have an end of his matter: other are fain to go home with weeping tears for any help they can obtain at any Judge's hand. Hear men's suits yourself, I require you in God's behalf, and put it not to the hearing of these velvet coats, these up-skippis.

“ Now a man can scarce know them from an antient knight of the country. I cannot go to any book, for poor folks come unto me desiring me that I will speak that their matters may be heard. I trouble my lord of Canterbury; and being at his house now and then, I walk in the garden, looking in my book, as I can do but little good at it. But something I must needs do, to satisfy this place. I am no sooner in the garden, and have read awhile, but hy and by comieth there some one or other knocking at the gate. Anon cometh my man, and saith, “Sir, there is one at the gate would speak with you. When I come there, then it is some one or other that desireth me that I will speak that his matter might be heard ; and that he hath lain this long, at great costs and charges, and cannot once have his matter come to the hearing.”

It is not, perhaps, altogether justifiable to rely implicitly on the assertions of sermons, as to the



operations of vice and immorality: the preacher, in the heat of argument, may be supposed to exaggerate and enlarge upon facts. For instance:-Numerous, indeed, were the sins of the inhabitants of London : but it is going too far to say, with Latimer, that it“ is marvel that it doth not sink :; and that the earth gapeth not, and swalloweth it up.” The homilies of this reformer were of infinite service to me in compiling the peculiarities of the time when he lived. His comprehensive mind perceived, and understood the whole system of abuses which enveloped the sovereign ; he was indefatigable in searching for them; and, when discovered, they were cast at the base of the throne, without much ceremony or circumloçution, though he sometimes hinted at them: “ There is some place in London, as they say immunity-impunity-what shall I call it?-a privileged place for w-n.

The lord mayor hath nothing to do there; the sheriffs, they cannot meddle with it; and the quest, they do not enquire of it: and there men do bring their w yea, other men's wives; and there is no reformation of it. There is such dicing-houses also, they say, as hath not been wont to be, where young gentlemen dice away their thrift; and where dicing is, there are other follies also."

He complained, besides, that the necessary exercise for the preservation of health was commuted for domestic vices ; and that archery was



greatly neglected. He entreated his noble auditors to revive the laws, which lay dormant, made to compel the people to practise with the bow and arrow.

“ In my time,” he continued, “ my poor father was as diligent to teach me to shoot, as to learn me any other thing; and so, I think, other men did their children. He taught me how to draw, how to lay my body in my bow, and not to draw with strength of arms, as other nations do, but with strength of the body. I had my bows bought me according to my age and strength. As I encreased in them, so my bows were made bigger and bigger : for men shall never shoot well, except they be brought up in it.” However excellent the advice of Latimer was,

he had some difficulty, in procuring attention : yet he declared he would, rather than none, have an auditory of persons similar to the woman, who being asked, by an acquaintance in the street, where she was going, answered, “ To St. Thomas of Acres, to hear the sermon; for, as she had not slept well the night before, she should be certain of a nap there.” Speaking of St. Chrysostom — “ They heard him," saith he, “in silence; not interrupting the order of his preaching." He means they heard him quietly, without any shuffling of feet, or walking up and down. “Surely, it is an il}-misorder, the folk shall be walking up and down in the sermon-time (as I have seen in this place, this Lent); and there shall be such buzzing and


buzzing in the preacher's ear, that it maketh him oftentimes to forget his matter. O let us consider the king's majesty's goodness: this place was prepared for banquetting of the body; and his majesty hath made it a place for the comfort of the soul, and to have the word of God preached in it.”

An illustration of part of the Scripture led Latimer to mention, that he had crossed the Thames from Lambeth to Westminster in a wherry. His words are: “ The watermen came about me (as the manner is);, and he would have me, and he would have me.” From which it will appear, that their customs on that element have not materially changed since the days of Edward VI. The same eagerness and intemperance was observable in the higher ranks of life. “ Alas! where is this discipline now in England? The people regard no discipline ; they be without all order. Where they should give place, they will not stir one inch ; yea, where magistrates should determine matters, they will break into the place before they come ; and at their coming, not move a whit for them.”

A practice prevailed, which will be well understood at the present moment. Let us hear what our reformer says of the antient fifteenths ; and the reader will make the application. “When the parliament, the high court of this realm, is gathered together, and there it is determined that every man shall pay a fifteenth part of his


« ZurückWeiter »