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Full text of "John William Burgon, late Dean of Chichester : a biography, with extracts from his letters and early journals vol.1"

r IIBRARY ST. MARY'S COLLEGE 



LIFE OF DEAN BURGON 





Collegium Criclcnsc Collegium IDigorniense 



HORACE HART, PKINTKR TO THK 'MVERSITY 




v//' / y/w//w/ 



JOHN WILLIAM BURGON. 

LATE DEAN OF CHI CHESTER 



WITH EXTRACTS FROM HIS LETTERS AND 
. EARLY JOURNALS 



V 



, 



BY EDWARD MEYRICK GOULBURN, D.D., D.C.L. 

o 

SOMETIME DEAN OF NORWICH 



IN TWO VOLUMES: WITH PORTRAITS 

VOL. I 



116329 



LONDON 

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET 
1892 

LIBRARY ST. tWYS CQUEGE 



TO THE RIGHT REVEREND FATHER IN GOD 

RICHARD 

LORD BISHOP OF CHICHESTER 
WHOSE UNVARYING KINDNESS AND TRUE FRIENDSHIP 

THE SUBJECT OF THIS BIOGRAPHY 
ACCOUNTED TO BE ONE CHIEF SOURCE OF THE HAPPINESS OF HIS 

LIFE AT CHICHESTER 

AND WHOSE SERMON ON THAT MOURNFUL SUNDAY 
AUGUST 5, l888 

is DEAN BURGON'S BEST AND MOST ELOQUENT EULOGY 
THIS WORK is (BY PERMISSION) INSCRIBED 

WITH SENTIMENTS OF AFFECTIONATE ESTEEM AND VENERATION 

AND WITH GRATITUDE FOR ASSISTANCE RECEIVED IN IT 

BY THE AUTHOR 



LIBRARY ST. MARY'S COLLEGF 



TlWorfcs bg tbe late Dean JBurgon. 



THE REVISION REVISED THREE ESSAYS FROM THE 'QLAK- 

TERLY REVIEW.' (I) NEW GREEK TEXT; (II) NEW ENGLISH 
VERSION ; (III) WESTCOTT AND HORT'S TEXTUAL THEORY. Corrected 
and Enlarged. With a Dissertation on i Timothy iii. 16. 8rv>. 14*. 



THE LIVES OF TWELVE GOOD MEN. 



MARTIN JOSEPH ROUTH. 
HUGH JAMES ROSE. 
CHARLES MARRIOTT. 
EDWARD HAWKINS. 
SAMUEL WILBERFORCE. 
RICHARD LYNCH COTTON. 



RICHARD GRESUELL. 
HENRY OCTAVIUS COXK. 
HENRY LONGUEVILIE MANSKL. 
WILLIAM JACOBSON. 
CHARLES PAGE EDEN. 
CHAKLES LONGUET HIGGINS. 



. / .\'ew Edition, with Portraits of the Author and the 
T^velve Good Men. One Volume, %vo. 16*. 



PREFACE. 



IT may perhaps be questioned, even by some of those 
who greatly esteemed and admired John William Bur- 
gon, whether his claims to be gratefully remembered by 
the Church, and had in honour by future generations of 
English Christians, might not have been satisfied by a 
short Memoir. whether the part he played in ecclesias- 
tical affairs, and in the history of religious thought during 
the past half-century, was of sufficient importance to 
justify so detailed a record of his life as is attempted in 
these volumes. The author entirely thinks it was so, and 
for the following reason. Burgon was in this country 
the leading religious teacher of his time, who brought 
all the resources of genius and profound theological 
learning to rebut the encroachments of Rationalism, 
by maintaining inviolate the integrity of the written 
Word of God as the Church has received it ; by pointing 
out its depth, its versatility of application, and absolute 
inexhaustibility of significance ; and by insisting upon its 
paramount claims to the humble and reverent reception of 



viii LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

mankind, as having been " given by Inspiration of God.'' 
That Rationalism has been in our times largely under- 
mining the simple faith of our Bishops and Clergy, as 
well as our laity, in those parts of the Divine Testimony 
which seem to present difficulties either to the under- 
standing or moral sense, there are unhappily only too 
many evidences on all sides of us. ' ; By faith we stand " 
spiritually. And the great object of faith, the stay 
and support on which it assures itself in temptation 
and trial, is the Word of God. Rationalism therefore 
busies itself industriously with the Word of God, to 
see whether it cannot call in question its certainty, and 
throw doubt upon its infallibility. The initial question 
of Rationalism, the question by which the Evil One suc- 
ceeded in supplanting the loyalty of our first mother to 
her Creator, was, " YEA, HATH GOD SAID ? " " Is His 
Word genuine ? Is it authentic 1 Are you sure that it 
was He who spake to you ? Are you sure of what He 
spake ? And if indeed He uttered the vexatious restric- 
tion which prevents your enjoyment of a tree ' good for 
food,' and 'pleasant to the eyes,' and ' a tree to be desired 
to make one wise,' how does that restriction comport 
with His goodness and His desire to make yon happy?" 
This was pure Rationalism in the germ thereof, and as 
it came from the mouth of its author. And it was to 
receive subsequent developments in the history of the 
Church. Sadducaism was its great development in the 
Church of the Old Dispensation. And Sadducaism out- 
lined with great exactness the features of modern 
Rationalism. Without rejecting the Scriptures of the Old 



PREFACE. ix 

Testament, as the Jewish Church had received them, the 
Sadducees declined to interpret them in the obvious sense 
which was ordinarily and traditionally attached to them; 
they explained away, it is hard to say how, but pro- 
bably by some convenient allegorizing such passages 
as were understood to assert a life after death, and a 
world above and beyond the senses; "the Sadducees 
say that there is no resurrection, neither angel nor 
spirit." Now the two methods of modern Rationalism 
are to call in question, wherever it can, the genuineness 
of much which has hitherto passed as Holy Scripture, 
and, where it cannot do this, to offer natural explanations 
of the supernatural, and to regard the narrative, where 
it presents difficulties, not as historical in the strict 
sense, but as an instructive legend or fable. And the 
fundamental fallacy of all such methods will be found to 
be an entirely wrong and derogatory mental attitude 
taken up at the outset towards what the Church 
presents to us as the Word of God. That Word is 
conceived of as an ordinary book, to be subjected to 
criticism of exactly the same kind as that which is 
applied to Livy, or Herodotus, or Homer, by way of 
discriminating the genuine from the spurious, the au- 
thentic from the fictitious. The student is not in the 
cell of an oracle, listening devoutly on his knees for the 
response of the Deity, but in the dissecting room of an 
anatomist, going to work with the scalpel upon a body 
which he conceives of as dead, but which really in the 
minutest member of it is instinct with the Divine 
Life, the breath of the Holy Ghost. When shall w- 



x LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

learn that no profit is to be had from God's Oracles, 
aye, and no progress to be made in the right under- 
standing of them unless they are approached in quite 
a different spirit ? " When ye received the word of God 
which ye heard of us, YE RECEIVED IT NOT AS THE WORD 

OF MEN, BUT AS IT IS IN TRUTH, THE WORD OF GOD, 
WHICH EFFECTUALLY WORKETH ALSO IN YOU THAT 
BELIEVE." 

Now this view of Holy Scripture as, in virtue of its 
having been " given by Inspiration of God," altogether 
unique in its character and its claims upon mankind, 
Burgon stoutly and consistently defended in our time 
against the underminings and corrosions of Rationalism, 
bringing to the defence, as has been said, (what thousands 
of those who entirely concur with his views have not 
to bring,) talents, accomplishments, and learning of the 
highest order, and that patient indefatigable industry of 
research, which never jumps prematurely at conclusions, 
however attractive, but toils and plods on, in the 
assurance that the highest Wisdom reveals herself only 
to those who bestow upon her the miner's toil, " seeking 
her as silver, and searching for her as for hid treasures." 
That in protesting for the grand truth, to the main- 
tenance of which he consecrated his life, he 'was guilty 
of occasional extravagances ; that the very impetuosity 
of his zeal for the integrity of God's Word and its para- 
mount claims carried him away now and then into sallies 
of the pen, which it would have been better to restrain, 
and perhaps sometimes led him to take up positions not 
altogether defensible, may be freely admitted, without 



PREFACE. xi 

in the least disparaging the value of the great work 
which he did, or the grandeur of the position which he 
held, as the brave champion in a rationalizing genera- 
tion of God's Inspired Word. No great cause was ever 
maintained successfully without infirmities of temper 
and extravagances of statement in its champions. The 
Reformation might have been strangled in its birth, had 
it not been for Luther. But few indeed of those who 
acknowledge the deep indebtedness of the Reformed 
Church to Luther, would care to defend all his para- 
doxical assertions about good works, or the slur passed 
by him upon the Epistle of St. James as ." an epistle of 
straw." 

Moreover, in a state of society, when a fresh originality 
of character seems, under the levelling tendencies of the 
day, to have become almost extinct among us, a strong 
vivid individuality, like that of John William Burgon 
especially when it is an individuality which has con- 
secrated itself to a grand cause, seems to deserve a 
distinct and detailed record. The very circumstances 
of Burgon's birth and breeding contributed to give him 
an originality of character possessed by few indeed 
among the English clergy of his day. Of foreign ex- 
traction by the mother's side, with a strong infusion of 
Smyrniote blood in him (which of itself accounts to a 
great extent for that perfervidum ingenivm of his, which 
was always breaking forth) ; destined originally for a 
mercantile life, and leading it till he had attained an age, 
ten years in advance of that at which young English- 
men usually go to College ; familiar too, long before 



xii LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

he came up to Oxford, with poets, artists, archaeologists, 
literary men, his antecedents, so entirely out of the ordi- 
nary groove, gave a peculiar complexion to his character 
throughout life, and made other men, however gifted, 
more or less tame in comparison with him. But quite 
independently of external circumstances, which may 
have contributed to form his character, the character 
itself was one of great originality, with a vivid colour, 
and an indomitable force of will all its own. This force 
of will, while it gave him a tenacity of purpose in carry- 
ing into effect everything he undertook, by its very 
unyieldingness failed entirely to carry others with it. 
Compromise was a word unknown to him ; he was in- 
capable of making the smallest concession to those who 
differed from him ; perfectly assured of the truth of his 
own conclusions, he was also perfectly assured that those 
who arrived at different conclusions were in the wrong ; 
and therefore he stood and acted alone, and never had (as 
indeed he never cared to have) a following among his 
equals. Never, it is thought, were two members of the 
same Communion so singularly contrasted in character 
as he and Archbishop Tait, whose biographers have 
recently presented the Church and the world with so 
faithful and so graphic a portraiture of that very con- 
siderable figure in the English Church of our day. Here 
was a born ruler of men, a man who had the secret of 
carrying his own point with others, but carrying it (as 
only it can be carried in a free society, every member of 
which has a voice of his own,) by conceding whatever 
he did not think to involve a vital principle, in order that 



PREFACE. xiii 

what was vital might be maintained and preserved. Thus 
the Archbishop became a great social force, not only 
in the Church, but in the State; his weight was dis- 
tinctly felt, and consciously acknowledged, in the Upper 
Chamber of the Legislature. The Dean, though ardently 
beloved and profoundly revered by his disciples, was no 
social force at all. His work lay in literature, not 
in affairs. He attracted by overwhelming kindness ; 
he attached others by the strongest ties of gratitude, 
affection, sympathy ; but he was no wielder of move- 
ments, nor leader of men ; God had not formed him 
to be so. Other points of vivid contrast between the 
two characters will probably strike those who were 
acquainted with both men, such as the calm, deliberate 
judgment of the one, the passionate impulsiveness of the 
other ; the phlegmatic temperament of the one, the 
excessive sensibility of the other ; the ultra-Liberalism 
of the one, the old-fashioned Toryism (not only by he- 
reditary sentiment, but also by mental constitution) of 
the other ; the somewhat prosaic, unsesthetic mind of the 
one, and the exuberant poetry, romance, and artistic pro- 
clivities of the other ; contrasts which cease only when 
one reaches the lowest deep of both characters, where 
it is seen clearly enough that both were men of prayer, 
and both men of God. And when the survey both of 
the contrasts and of the fundamental harmony is com- 
pleted, the truth is realised of that profound and weighty 
saying of the Apostle's ; " Now there are diversities of 
gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of 
administrations, but the same Lord. And there are 



xiv LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

diversities of operations, but it is the same God which 
worketh all in all." 

But putting on one side the interest of the character 
which it is the purpose of these pages to depict, the 
author ventures to hope that the work may be regarded 
as a humble contribution to the Church history of our 
times times characterized by a restless fermentation of 
thought on all religious questions, and by the equally 
restless movement which must always follow upon such 
fermentation. If the review of these times has been in 
the main a saddening one, if the movements and changes 
have seemed to take a wrong direction, and if at present 
the outlook upon religious thought in this country is 
as dismal as it well can be, Rationalism speaking out 
more confidently than ever its insinuations as to the 
fallibility both of the written and the Personal Word of 
God, writer and reader alike must console themselves 
with the thought that a deference is due to accomplished 
facts, as having been, even when calamitous, brought 
about in the order of Divine Providence (as punishments, 
it may be, of the Church's sin) ; and that there are still the 
"seven thousand in Israel," " the remnant according to 
the election of grace," who value the Inspired Volume of 
Holy Scripture above all earthly treasure, and whose 
simple child-like faith in its testimonies is proof against 
all the suggestions of its fallibility thrown out by the 
(so-called) Higher Criticism. In the hearts of all such 
persons the memory of John William Burgon will be 
embalmed for ever. 

In concluding this Preface, the author desires to 



PREFACE. xv 

remind the reader that Burgon himself has not yet said 
his last word on the subject nearest his heart. The 
Church yet anticipates the great work, to the prepara- 
tion of which he devoted the better part of his life, but 
which he was not permitted to complete, his " Exposi- 
tion of the true principles of the Textual Criticism of the 
New Testament, and the Vindication and Establishment of 
the Traditional Text by the application of those principles" 
It is confidently expected that this work, now in pro- 
cess of completion under the able editorship of the 
Reverend Edward Miller, will, when it makes its ap- 
pearance, set its seal upon the fame of Purgon as a 
Textual Critic of the highest order, equally indefatig- 
able in research, cautious in judgment, and keen in 
acumen. 

The enthusiastic affection, which Burgon inspired in 
those who knew him well, and came under his influence, 
has been the means of procuring for the author a vast mass 
of materials, both in the shape of letters, and written con- 
tributions ; and he is quite sensible that by far the 
greater part of the interest of his work is due not to 
his own share in it, but to communications made to him 
by the friends of the deceased. To enumerate all those 
who have made these helpful communications to him. 
would be to fill several pages with names, and thus materi- 
ally to lengthen the Preface. Let it suffice, while cordially 
thanking all contributors, whatever shape their con- 
tributions may have taken, to acknowledge his special 
obligations to Mr. Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave, of Great 
Yarmouth, the letters lent by whom (addressed to the 



xvi LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

late Mr. Dawson Turner) will be found to constitute 
the chief interest of the earlier part of the work ; to 
Mrs. Samuel Bickersteth, a typical disciple of Burgon's, 
whose letters to her show, better than any description 
can do, the affectionate ties which bound him to the 
younger members of his flock ; to the Venerable Arch- 
deacon Palmer, who has given all sorts of aid, in- 
cluding a most able and interesting paper upon Burgon's 
ministry at Finmere ; to the Reverend R. G. Living- 
stone, Fellow and Tutor of Pembroke College, Oxford, 
who, like other of Burgon's former curates, writes with 
a warmth of affection and liveliness of appreciation 
about him, which shows what he was to his colleagues 
in the Ministry ; to the Reverend Alfred Hensley, of 
Cotgrave Rectory, his earliest Oxford friend, who, de- 
spite some differences of opinion, clung to him to the last 
with unabated affection ; and to Lord Cranbrook, who 
had the discrimination to see his singular merits, and 
the claims which he had established upon the gratitude 
both of the Church of England and the University of 
Oxford, and who was doubtless the means of procuring 
for him some recognition of these claims, in the very 
modest preferment to which quite late in life he 
attained. 

We, his friends, deeply deplore him. not only from the 
warm personal love which we entertained for him, but also 
from its seeming to us, in our purblind view of capacities 
and coming emergencies, that in the great struggle which 
is impending for the genuineness, authenticity, and in- 
fallibility of the Holy Scriptures, he was the man, who 



PREFACE. xvii 

from his studies, his genius, his faithfulness, could 
most effectively have helped the cause of Divine Truth. 
But be we assured it is best as it is. As regards the 
cause, God has many other arrows in His quiver, and 
can and will raise up " the man of His right hand," and 
" make him strong for His own self." And as regards 
our friend, while we have lost, not indeed his sym- 
pathy nor his prayers, but his counsel, and that access 
to him which was so enlivening and so edifying, it is 
our comfort to think that he has been spared from 
witnessing the more recent developments of a Rational- 
ising Criticism and a Latitudinarianising Theology, 
and that 

THE RIGHTEOUS is TAKEN AWAY FKOM THE EVIL 
TO COME. 



BRIGHTON, 

September 18, 1891. 



VOL. I. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. I. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

THE EARLY LIFE i 

(From his Birth [Aug. 21, 1813] to his Matriculation at 
Oxford [Oct. 21, 1841].) 

CHAPTER II. 

THE OXFORD LIFE : FIRST PERIOD . . . .114 

(From his Matriculation [Oct. 21, 1841] to his Admission 
into the Order of Deacons [Dec. 24, 1848].) 

THE OXFORD LIFE : SECOND PERIOD . . . .162 
(West Ilsley, Worton, and Finmere [Dec. 24, i848-June 6, 
1853]-) 

THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD . . . .219 

(From his leaving Finmere [June 6, 1853] to the commence- 
ment of his tour in Egypt, the Arabian Desert, and 
Palestine [Sept. 10, 1861].) 

THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD . . .292 

(Tour in Egypt, the Sinaitic Peninsula, and Palestine 
[Sept. 10, i86i-July 18, 1862].) 



LIFE OF DEAN BTJRGON. 



CHAPTEE I. 

THE EARLY LIFE. 

From Ms Birth [Aug. 21, 1813] to his Matriculation at 
Oxford [Oct. 21, 1841.] 

IT is usual to begin a Biography with some notice of 
the ancestry of the person whose life is to be recorded. 
If a prelude of this sort is in any and every case suitable 
and appropriate, much more so is it in the case of the 
subject of this memoir, JOHN WILLIAM BURGON. For 
with many other striking characteristics he combined a 
perfect passion for pedigrees, and a remarkable industry 
in the investigation of them. Among many other works 
of a character wholly dissimilar, he has left behind him 
a series of papers which he entitled " Parentalia," being 
the results of a research into the pedigrees of his father 
and mother ; a research to which, besides prosecuting it 
at odd moments, he devoted a tour in the West Riding 
of Yorkshire during the autumn of 1840. In a letter 
descriptive of this tour, which he addressed to his great 
friend Mr. Dawson Turner, of Great Yarmouth, under 
date Dec. 2, 1840, other extracts from which will be 
given lower down, he writes : 

" At the risk of being laughed at, I must tell you what 
I principally wished to do, in taking the queer tour I am 
going to describe. Without such an explanation, you 
will set me down for a tasteless ass, with all the world 

VOL. i. B 



2 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

before me, to select the West Riding of Yorkshire for the 
scene of my summer pilgrimage. I wished to fill up the 
wanting links in my pedigree, and to investigate the 
history of my worshipful progenitors by a local inspec- 
tion of wills, parish registers, and the like. So with 
a little portfolio of memoranda collected in previous 
years, a map, and Ay sketching apparatus, I started ; 
and Tom" [his younger brother] "was the companion 
of my wanderings aforesaid." 

This tour added considerably to the genealogical par- 
ticulars respecting his ancestry, which he had been for 
several years previously engaged in collecting ; and the 
fresh particulars were incorporated in the " Parentalia." 
After a lengthy introduction, telling his reader how he 
was first " put on the right scent " in his genealogical 
researches ; how difficult any such work proves " when 
accuracy and detail are aimed at " (" the age of a maiden 
aunt being sometimes as great a mystery as any of an- 
cient Eleusis") ; how much still remains to be done by 
him in the way of research " at Doctors' Commons, at the 
Rolls' Chapel, and other similar repositories " ; and how 
he is " wholly unable to sympathize with men who are 
strangers to an interest" in such enquiries, he divides his 
subject thus : " My plan is simply this. My prefatory 
matter is followed by (i) a dissertation on our family 
name ; (2) some account of the several families who have 
borne that surname ; (3) some account of our own family. 
This genealogical and biographical sketch is accompanied 
by a pedigree and abstracts of wills, etc. Then comes a 
short account of the De Cramer family " [his mother's] ; 

" then of the Johnson family, and the families of 

Murdoch and Broomer ; then of Eyre. After which 

come some notices of Rose. These are followed by a 
series of pedigrees of Burgon, from which a collateral 
descent alone is to be traced." He labours learnedly to 



THE EARLY LIFE. 3 

prove that the name Burgon, or Le Burgon. " simply 
signifies ' the Burgundian,' the native of Bourgogne or 
Burgundy." From the mass of " Dryasdust " genea- 
logical details there emerges every now and then (as 
could not fail to be the case with one so brimful of sen- 
timent) the sentiment of the writer ; as, when he comes 
to the Burgons of Silkstone, in the West Eiding of York- 
shire (" a village/' as he writes to Mr. Dawson Turner, 
" degraded by its coal-mine, and by the vices such a 
neighbour is ever productive of ") ; 

" It is a pleasure to think that Silhtone was the first 
parish in this part of Yorkshire which was christianized, 
that from this spot, as from a centre, the rays of 
Gospel-light first disseminated themselves over the 
neighbourhood. My forefathers therefore enjoyed in 
a peculiar degree the priviledges " (in these early days 
he always spells the word thus, as was the fashion 
formerly), " and dwelt among the hills which were first 
imprinted by ' the beautiful feet of them who preach the 
Gospel of peace.' " 

He has not put upon record anything remarkable as 
to his ancestry on the father's side ; but as to his mother's 
father, the Chevalier de Cramer, Austrian consul at 
Smyrna (who was born at Cologne, Feb. 10, 1757, and 
died at Smyrna, Nov. 9, 1809), he tells this story, which 
will be read with interest for its own sake, and more 
especially in connexion with the character of the teller. 
The Chevalier's antecedents were these : Meeting with 
indifferent success in commerce, he changed his line of 
life, and having been thrown across an American gentle- 
man (one Isaac Cramer 1 ), who took a strong fancy to 

1 The original form of the Cheva- Cramer, a process easily effected 

lier's name was Cremer ; but Isaac by the change of a single vowel. 

Cramer made him his heir on con- The change, however, was duly 

dition of his taking the name of legalized. 

B 2 



4 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

him, and furnished him with the necessary funds, he 
studied law and diplomacy at the University of Vienna, 
and so distinguished himself in this more congenial 
sphere, that in 1777 ne was appointed Austrian Consul 
at Smyrna. How he became Chevalier will be seen by 
the following anecdote, given in one of the notes to the 
" Parentalia." 

" When Napoleon was at Jaffa " [March 4 to 14, 1799], 
" the French Church of St. Polycarp at Smyrna was 
treated by the Turks as part of the spoil of the enemy. 
Karasman Oglu 2 , claiming to be the lawful proprietor of 
the church by right of conquest, sold it to the Greeks for 
the sum of 50,000 thalers, 30,000 of which were actually 
paid into his hands by the Greek purchaser. A few 
Turkish soldiers had already entered the church, and 
seated themselves upon the altars. At this juncture 
intelligence of the outrage was brought to my grand- 
father by the Cure of the church. ' Sir,' he said, ' there 
is no French Consul here for me to apply to. To him of 
right would belong the duty of defending this church from 
sacrilegious invasion. But your faith supplies a suffi- 
cient reason why you should stand forth as the defender of 
the Church of St. Polycarp.' Not an instant was to be 
lost. My grandfather had not even time to draw on his 



2 Eeaders of Byron will be re- First of the bold Timariot bands, 

minded of Giaffir's recommendation That won and well can keep their 
to Zuleika (in The Bride of Aby- lands. 

dos ") of the bridegroom he had Enough that he who comes to woo 

selected for her, a kinsman of this Is kinsman of the Bey Oglou." 
very Karasman Oglu." The note on thig pasgage says . 

" a braver man " Carasman Oglou, or Kara Os- 

Was never seen in battle's van. man Oglou, is the principal land- 

\Ve Moslem reck not much of owner in Turkey ; he governs 

blood ; Magnesia. Those who, by a kind 

But yet the line of Carasman of feudal tenure, possess land on 

Unchanged, unchangeable hath condition of service, are called 

stood Timariots." 



THE EARLY LIFE. 5 

boots. He hastily put on his uniform, and seizing the 
Austrian banner, repaired alone to the scene of outrage. 
He quickly drove out the one or two Turks, whom he 
found within the sacred edifice, and took up his station 
on the threshold, grasping the Austrian flag, while the 
banner of France floated about him. It was not long 
before Karasman Oglu appeared in person, attended by 
about two hundred Janissaries. Finding the entrance of 
the church so guarded, he called upon toy grandfather 
instantly to withdraw. The other refused. ' This church,' 
said the Turkish Prince, ' was French property, and by 
right of conquest has become mine.' The other replied 
that a possession of the Church cannot change hands like 
a secular estate, and may on no account be forfeited. 
The Turk advised the other not to resort to extremities, 
declaring that he was resolved to obtain possession of an 
edifice which he had already sold. My grandfather for 
all reply drew his sword, and vowed that no one should 
enter that church except by pulling down the Austrian 
banner, nor cross that threshold except over his dead 
body. His firmness triumphed. He saved the church of 
St. Polycarp, and won for himself the abiding friendship 
of Karasman Oglu, who, by. the way, refused to refund 
the 30,000 thalers, declaring they were the price of the 
trouble he had already taken in the affair, 20,000 thalers 
more being required for the actual transfer of the pro- 
perty. When the story of his heroism was related to 
the Pope, my grandfather was created a count of Rome 3 . 
To this day, on the anniversary of its rescue out of the 
hands of the infidels, a Mass is celebrated in the church 
of St. Polycarp to the memory of Ambroise Hermann 
de Cramer." 

It is impossible for anyone who knew John "William 
Burgon not to recognise in him that chivalrous gal- 



3 In a note to the " Parentalia " Pope Pius VII, dated 3oth Sept., 

he says; "My maternal grand- 1802, was created a Chevalier of 

father received his lettres de noblesse the Order of Christ." 
28th Feb., 1800 ; and by a Bull of 



6 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Ian try, that utter carelessness of what might be the 
consequences of a generous action to himself, which had 
come clown to him in the current of the Chevalier's 
blood. He was just the man, had he been a soldier, to 
have put himself at the head of a forlorn hope, and, 
grasping the banner of England, to lead it into the 
breach. He has been called, with something approaching 
to a sneer, " the champion of impossible orthodoxies." 
Substituting for the word " impossible," " offering diffi- 
culties to belief" (as what really orthodox creed does 
not ? the difficulties of belief are the trial to which God 
submits our faith), we his friends, who mourn his loss, 
not for our own sake only, but still more for that of 
the Church, accept that description of him. In the 
true spirit of his maternal grandfather he planted 
himself resolutely in the doorway of the sanctuary of 
the Faith, and grasping the banner of Divine Truth, 
he vowed that the rationalist's desecrating foot should 
never enter, except by pulling down the banner. 
" nor cross that threshold except over his own dead 
body." 

There was another person of some mark among his 
ancestry, of whom something may here be said, his 
mother's aunt, Mrs. Baldwin (nee Maltass), of whom he 
himself wrote an obituary notice in the ' Gentleman s 
Magazine' for December, 1839. The extraordinary 
beauty of this lady, whose portrait by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, with an ancient coin of Smyrna (her native 
place) in her hand, is still to be seen in Lord Lans- 
downe's gallery at Bowood, created a great sensation, 
both at Vienna and in London, procured for her atten- 
tions from the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV, 
and elicited even from Dr. Johnson a burst of clumsy 
amorousness. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 7 

"In all the pride of youth and beauty," writes 
her great nephew to the ' Gentleman s Magazine] "she 
was brought before the aged and infirm sage, whose 
curiosity had been aroused by the story of her foreign 
birth, and residence in distant lands. Johnson asked 
her what was the colour of the Abyssinians ? Mrs. 
Baldwin replied that she did not know. ' But what 
colour do you think they are ? ' persisted the author of 
Rasselas. After some hesitation, and renewed professions 
of utter ignorance on the subject, Mrs. Baldwin said that 
she supposed they were broicn. The doctor next said 
that he should like to give her a kiss ; and the husband's 
permission having been obtained, a kiss was formally 
inflicted. Mrs. Baldwin could never forget the for- 
bidding exterior of her Platonic admirer, and the servile 
adulation of his future biographer." 

Mrs. Baldwin had infirmities of temper, it appears (for 
which, however, great excuses and allowances were made 
by those acquainted with her circumstances), and in a 
letter to Mr. Dawson Turner, accompanying the obituary 
sketch above cited, her nephew, who, " knowing that she 
was living quite alone, and but indifferently off, used to 
pay her a periodical visit," describes amusingly how the 
loss of a penny had on one occasion made her violate the 
son of Sirach's precept, "Be not as a lion in thy house, 
nor frantic among thy servants." She was storming at 
her maidservant. " On such occasions I used to sit 
quietly and say nothing ; for though I verily believe 
she loved me exceedingly (simply because I used always 
to be very respectful to her), I dared not begin any 
buffoonery, such as ' Well, Aunt ; it certainly is a very 
bad business, but I'll soon find it for you/ and then by 
a piece of legerdemain fumble a penny out of my pocket ; 
for she was so sensitive, so extremely shrewd, so clear 
sighted in spite of her obliquity of mental vision, so 
clever in spite of all her absurdities, that one would 



8 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

have been infallibly detected, and, if detected, rebuked 
in the manner one does not like to be rebuked by 
a woman, young or old." He dutifully accounts for 
these occasional outbursts by her having been alter- 
nately spoiled by adulation, and soured by unkindness ; 
but doubtless she was naturally a woman of strong and 
passionate temper, and those who love him best, and 
esteem him most, will be the last to deny that he too 
inherited a share of this characteristic of his mother's 
family, while entirely free at all times from resentment 
and personal dislike. 

But to come to his immediate progenitors. 

JOHN WILLIAM BUKGON was born at Smyrna, August 
21, 1813. His parents were Thomas Burgon, of London, 
merchant (born Aug. i, 1787), and Catharine Marguerite 
de Cramer 4 (born Aug. 7, 1790), eldest daughter and child 
of the Chevalier Ambroise Hermann de Cramer, Austrian 
Consul at Smyrna (some particulars of whose life have 



4 It may be convenient here to family who are mentioned or al- 

give a pedigree of the descendants luded to in this narrative, as also 

of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Burgon, to show who are its present repre- 

in reference to the members of the sentatives. 

Thomas Burgon, Esq., =^ Catharine Marguerite de 



ft. Aug. i, 1787, 
d. Aug. 28, 1858. 



Cramer, 
6. Aug. 7, 1790, d. Sept. 7, 1854. 



I I I I I I 

Sarah Caroline JOHN Thoinas Emily Helen Catharine 

Burgon a , WILLIAM, Charles, Mary, Eliza b , Margaret, 

6. July i, 6. Aug. 21, ft. June 25, 6. Feb. 16, 1). May 28, 6. Oct. 27, 

1812, 1813, 1816, 1819, 1823. 1828, 

r?. Apr. 6, d. Aug. 4, d. Feb. 14, d. May 6, d. Apr. 28, 

1889. 1888. 1872. 1871. 1836. 

a Married (May 24, 1838) to the Rev. Henry John Rose, Rector of Houghton Con- 
quest and afterwards (1866) Archdeacon of Bedford, who died Jan. 31, 1873. They had 
five children, four of whom survive, Emily Susannah, Hugh James [d. 1878], William 
Francis (Vicar of Worle), Anna Caroline, Gertrude Mary. 

b Married (July 26, 1853) to Charles Longuet Higgins, Esq., of Turvey Abbey, 
Beds. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 9 

been given above), by Sarah Maltass, daughter of 
William Maltass 5 , a merchant of Smyrna. Mr. Thomas 
Burgon's family had for many years been connected with 
the commerce of the City of London. He was a Turkey 
merchant, and a member of the Court of Assistants of the 
Levant Company, which position gave him a voice in the 
management of the Company's affairs and the appoint- 
ment of its officers. The Company, while it existed, 
enjoyed a monopoly of the trade in the Levant ; but 
in the first quarter of this century monopolies were 
becoming out of keeping with the spirit of the times ; 
and by an Act of Parliament passed in 1826 (6 Geo. IV. 
cap. 83) the Levant Company, which had long carried 
on a thriving business, was abolished. Mr. Burgon's 
bouse, which was an old established one and had ex- 
cellent connexions in the Levant, maintained its ground 
for some time ; but the competition which the abolition 
of the Company introduced into the trade, told more 
and more unfavourably upon it, and having struggled 
vainly for some fifteen years against losses, which to- 
wards the end of that time 

"huddled on" its "back.. 
Enough to press a royal merchant down, 
And pluck commiseration of his state 
' From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint/' 

5 Mrs. Thomas Burgon, there- Dean Burgon is often said to have 
fore, was on her mother's side Eng- been of Greek extraction. But 
lish, as on her father's Austrian. how ? If Margoton Icard (his mo- 
Mrs. Baldwin (nee Jane Maltass) ther's maternal grandmother) were 
was her mother's younger sister. Greek, he would have had Greek 
The mother, however, of Sarah Mai- blood in his veins. But probably 
tass (afterwards Madame de Cra- the word Greek is used loosely to 
mer) and of Jane Maltass (after- denote a Smyrniote. Mrs. Thomas 
wards Mrs. Baldwin) was one Burgon was a Smyrniote, as having 
Margoton Ickhard (or, Icard). Of been born and bred at Smyrna, 
what nationality was this lady ? where her family resided. 



io LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

at length collapsed in August 1841, and began to wind 
up its affairs, a calamity memorable principally for the 
effect it had upon the fortunes of the subject of this 
Biography, for, had it not occurred, he would never pro- 
bably have felt at liberty to gratify what had long been 
the cherished wish t>f his heart, and to enter the Sacred 
Ministry of the Church. Mr. Thomas Burgon, though 
in the earlier part of his life distracted by the calls and 
cares of business, incidental to the position of the head of 
a great mercantile house, made himself, under the prompt- 
ing of a natural instinct, one of the most eminent anti- 
quarians of his time. So innate in him was the passion 
for research into the monuments of antiquity, that, as 
a child, he is said to have buried halfpence in his 
father's garden, and to please himself with digging them 
up again, and making believe that they were old coins 
discovered by excavation. As his son inherited from 
him this propensity for archaeology, and in his early 
days contributed several articles to the ' Numismatic 
-Ion mail besides a paper to the ' Gentleman 's Magazine' 
" On a cairn in the Isle of Skye 6 ," it will not be out of 

6 Here are two private memo- [Apr. 1838]. No. VIII. Art. xxvii. 

randa of his own. p. 237. 

u My contributions to Akerman's 4. Pistrucci's Invention : A letter 

1 Numitmatio Journal' were as to the Editor [June 1838] Num. 

follows : Chron. No. I. Art. vii. p. 53. 

1. Review of Millingen's ' Sylloge 5. On the Amelioration of the 
of Ancient Unedited Coins of Greek Coinage, A.D. 1560 [May, 1839]. 
Cities and Kings' [Oct. 1837]. No. No. V. Art. IV. p. 12. 

VI. Art. xiii. p. 81. 6. On a hoard of Pennies of 

2. On the Current Coins of Great Henry II. found in Bedfordshire 
Britain, considered as works of Art [June 1839]. No. V. Art. XL 
[Nov. 1837]. No - VII. Art xvii. p. 54. 

p. I2i. 7. On a new Method of obtaining 

3. Review of the Marquis de Representations of Coins [Jan. 
L 's ' Description de queries 1841]." 

Medailles imdites de Massilia^ etc. And again; 



THE EARLY LIFE. n 

place here to re-produce the obituary notice of Mr. 
Thomas Burgon, which appeared in the * Athenaum* of 
Sept. n, 1858: 

"In the death of Mr. Thomas Burgon the world of 
collectors and connoisseurs of ancient art has lately 
suffered an irreparable loss. He was long and honour- 
ably known for his experience and judgment on matters 
connected with antiquities and painted vases ; but more 
especially in Greek and Roman metallurgy. His dictum 
respecting the genuineness of a work of Art belonging 
to these branches was almost infallible, and not a few 
instances could be brought to bear in which the judg- 
ment of foreign authorities deferred to his. To classic 
learning he had no pretension ; and all his scholarly 
attainments appear to have been purely the result of 
his devotion to the relics of antiquity. In early life, 
Mr. Burgon was occupied in commerce, and his long 
residence at Smyrna as a Greek merchant afforded him 
peculiar opportunities of becoming practically acquainted 
with the various circumstances under which particular 

"My contributions to the ' Gen- "4. A reply to Bolton Corney 

tleman's Magazine' are as fol- (refused), 

lows : 5- A reply to Mr. John Bruce 

i. A memoir of poor Boddington. on the orthography of Shakspeare's 

See the Obituary of the" [Feb. name." [March 1840. Vol. xiii. p. 

1838. New Series, vol. ix. p. 211. 264. Signed, John William Burgon.] 

No signature*.] " 6. A review of Rose's New 

" 2. Strictures on the Review of General Biographical Dictionary." 

Tytler's Book Defence of Ty tier's [May 1840. Vol. xiii. p. 497. No 

views." [July 1839. Vol. xii. signature.] 

New Series, p. 22. "A lover of "7. A reply to Mr. Bruce's Reply 

Historic Truth."] to my former letter b ." 

" 3. A Memoir of Mrs. Baldwin. " 8. On a cairn in the Isle of 

See the Obituary for" [Dec. 1839. Sky c ." 

New Series, vol. xii. p. 656. No "9. A letter on D. Turner's book 

signature.] of painted screens 11 ." 

a The insertions in square brackets are not in the original memorandum, the 
hiatuses of which have been filled up by a reference to the ' Gentleman's Magazine: 
b [May 1840. Vol. xiii. p. 474. Signed, John William Burgon.] 
Sky." [Jan. 1841. Vol. xv. p. 33. Signed, J. W.B.] 
d [Oct. 1841. Vol. xvi. p. 375 Signed, J. W. B.] 



12 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

objects were to be found. In his vocation he was 
necessarily a traveller; but his own choice may, pro- 
bably, have kept him so much among the Islands of the 
Archipelago. He was at one time as much an explor- 
ator as a collector, and his researches and excavations 
in the Island of Melos (Mifo) have tended considerably 
to enrich the stores'of the British Museum. At Athens, 
also, Mr. Burgon carried on extensive excavations, and 
discovered many fine vases, especially the celebrated 
Minerva one, containing burnt bones, with the inscription 
upon it, 'Tor 3 A0ev0v 'A0Aoi> et/ott, from which the 
accidental omission of a letter puzzled Brondsted 7 and 
all the learned world for a considerable time. His 
entire collection passed some fifteen years ago to the 
British Museum. Having so long had dealings with the 
Turks, Mr. Burgon well knew how to pursue and to 
obtain without suspicion objects of value that had been 
discovered. His taste and judgment on Greek coins were 
unparalleled ; and at an early period of his career, the 
eminent connoisseur, Payne Knight, whose bronzes 
and coins now form so important a part of the British 
Museum, purchased from him a handful of Greek coins, 
not indeed for an enormous price, but for (at that 
time) a very large sum. Late in life Mr. Burgon found 
a quiet retreat in the Medal Room of the British 
Museum, where his wonderful memory and quick detec- 
tion of forgeries were of especial value in regulating the 
numerous acquisitions made by that department, and 

7 The Panathenaic Amphora in [London, A. J. Valpy, M.A.], a 

question was found by Mr. Burgon translation of which monograph into 

at Athens, near the old Acharnian French was the earliest published 

Gate, in the year of his eldest son's work of the subject of the present 

birth (1813). The letter accidentally Biography. The whole inscription, 

omitted by the copyist from the taken out of the archaic Greek 

inscription on this Amphora is the spelling (which does not recognise 

third c of the word AOfvtOtv. As long vowels) runs thus : TO>J/ 

the word appears on the Amphora, ^ABrjvrjOfv dO\cuv tlfu ; " I am [one] 

it is AOeveOv. The Chevalier of the prizes from Athens." It is 

Brondsted restored the missing written from right to left, like 

letter in his Monograph on Pana- Hebrew, 
thena'ic Vases published in 1832 



THE EARLY LIFE. 13 

\vhere his courtesy and readiness to convey information 
to visitors will ever be remembered with thankfulness. 
He died on the 28th of August, in Burton Crescent, 
aged seventy-one/' 

Before we part company with Mr. Thomas Burgon it 
may interest the reader to be presented with a short 
sketch of his character drawn by his son in a letter to 
his intimate friend Mr. Fellows ; " He is very anti- 
poetical never read a romance in his life a high Tory 
and high Churchman the creature of habit fond of 
matter-of-fact reading and conversation still fonder of 
chewing the cud of his own thoughts over his pipe in 
a great measure self-taught that is to say all his pursuits 
were struck out and followed alone not too rich and 
having the care of a great business. . . . Before quitting 
the subject however I must tell you that he likes and 
esteems you, and, being a most indulgent parent in- 
dulgent to a fault in no way opposes my fondness for 
you and yours, tho', in his dry way, he wonders at 
times what our correspondence can be all about." If 
the son has rightly conceived the father's character, we 
must suppose that the strong element of poetry, senti- 
ment, and romance, which was so marked an ingredient 
in his own mind, came to him from his mother. 

Here is an extract from ' Music and Friends, or Pleasant 
Recollections of a Dilettante', (a work by William Gardiner, 
of Leicester, [1838, Longmans]), which gives a somewhat 
lively picture both of Mr. and Mrs. Burgon. [Vol. I, pp. 
422-3]. 

" Dr. Reid also introduced me to his near neighbours, 
Mr. and Mrs. Burgon of Brunswick Square. Mr. Burgon, 
our Consul 8 at Smyrna, is respectably noticed by Clarke 

8 It may be queried whether Mr. Burgon was ever British Consul at 
Smyrna. Undoubtedly he was a Turkey Merchant who had resided there. 



14 LIFE OF DEAN BURQON. 

in his Travels as a Collector of Grecian Antiquities. 
He employed not less than twenty men at Athens in 
constantly digging for curiosities, and the coins he has 
collected are considered rare and of great value. The 
impressions of some are as fresh as if just come from 
the mint. Mr. Taylor Combe, one of the Curators of 
the British Museum* spent the evening with us," [at the 
Burgons' house in Brunswick Square], "and I was much 
instructed by the knowledge he displayed upon all the 
Greek antiquities. He particularly admired a gold coin 
of Alexander, the helmet in such high relief that it 
projected with an inconvenient degree of sharpness. 
He pronounced it superior to any one in the Museum, 
and said it was worth fifty times its weight in gold. 
But the most invaluable of Mr. Burgon's eastern 
treasures was his wife, a native of Greece 9 . Though not 
beautiful, her form and manners were singularly elegant. 
I could not but notice the peculiarity of the Grecian 
outline in the nose forming an almost straight line with 
the forehead, and the peculiar length of her neck. She 
spoke, with great facility, most of the European 
languages, and had a fine taste in music. I tendered 
my service in choosing her a grand pianoforte at Broad- 
wood's. In going there, I complimented her upon her 
walking, when to my surprise she replied ; ' I walk 
pretty well, consider I learn only tree year. In my 
own country I always was carried.' This lady realised 
in her person all the epithets which the poets of old 
have bestowed upon the female form and grace of the 
Circassian women." 

Mr. Thomas Burgon was well known to, and on 
intimate terms with, many of the literary, artistic, and 
scientific men of his day. Rogers, the poet, as will appear 
a little later in this chapter, was one of them ; C. R. 
Cockerell, the celebrated architect, another. In the year 
after John William Burgon's birth the family moved from 

9 Mrs. Burgon's nationality has been discussed in a previous note. [See 
above, p. 9, note 5.] By " a native of Greece " is meant a Smyrniote. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 15 

Smyrna to England, stopping at Athens in their way. 
Here they accidentally encountered Mr. Cockerell ; and 
the father showed his friend with some pride the eldest 
son, who had been born to him at Smyrna rather more 
than seven months ago. Then followed a freak of Mr. 
Cockerell's, which borrowed part of its point from the 
circumstance of Mr. Thomas Burgon's having in the 
preceding year discovered at Athens the Panathena'ic 
Vase above referred to, and gained a name in con- 
sequence among the savants and virtuosos of the day. 
" He carried me up to the Parthenon on his shoulders " 
(says a memorandum of the late Dean Burgon's), " and 
dedicated me to Minerva at Athens on Sunday 3rd of 
April, 1814." And the perpetrator of the freak attests 
the fact, and gives it a happy turn in the following 
letter: 

" 20 July, 1842. 

" My dear John, I can indite nothing more interesting 
to you or to me on this page than the reminder that 
about the year 1813" [the exact date, however, is that 
given in the memorandum,^ Sunday April 3, 1814] "I 
dedicated you to the Athenian goddess of Wisdom, 
carrying you up to the Acropolis in my arms " (it 
doubtless was so ; the child would be too young to sit 
on a man's " shoulders," though it may have been raised 
to that position for a moment in the act of dedication), 
" which I should be very sorry to do now, and in company 
with your father and mother. 

"You have shown me that my labour was not in 
vain ; for from Athenian you have now devoted yourself 
to Divine Wisdom, and I doubt not will do credit to 
us all 

" Affectionately yours, 

"C. K COCKERELL." 



1 6 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Here is an earlier letter to him from Mr. Cockerell, 
adverting to the dedication at the Parthenon, written 
in reference to his article in Akerman's ' Numismatic 
Journal^ " On the Current Coins of Great Britain, con- 
sidered as Works of Art" (Nov. 1837). 
. 

" My dear Burgon, When I had the pleasure of thank- 
ing you for your essay on our coinage, I was really not 
qualified (by the hasty view of it) to endure any cross- 
questioning on the subject. Since then I have read it 
more carefully, and with very great pleasure, as well as 
instruction. 

" I think the criticism most apt and valuable, and 
hope you will circulate it. The ideas thrown out are 
ingenious, and often beautiful, and very creditable to 
you. The justice done to Pistrucci is also a worthy act, 
though I think Pistrucci over-raled, and differ with you 
on the St. George and Dragon as a composition, and will 
satisfy you of its absurdity any day you please, or I will 
eat one. Then I think the lively, good humoured, and 
smart manner (without flippancy) in which you have 
written the article is entirely Platonic (?) *, and a style 
never to be lost sight of on all subjects, because it is 
Af/H'tiictH, giving 'to science a milder air, and making art 
but nature.' 

<; Go on and prosper ; be assured that these elegant 
tastes will make you more really prized and more really- 
happy, than if you were to be Lord Mayor, monopolizer 
of the Turkey Trade, cloathed outside with fine linen and 
inside with turtle, in short, than if you were a Bashaw 
of four Tails. I feel to have dedicated you to the 
Athenian Goddess to some purpose, and trust you will 
remain a faithful devotee. 

" Ever yours, 

"C. R COCKERELL." 

1 The writer has doubts whether " Platonic," his handwriting being 
the word used by Mr. Cockerell is here and there difficult to read. 

E. M. G. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 17 

It should perhaps be said, as even great reputations do 
not in these days of rapid movement long survive, that Mr. 
Cockerell was very eminent as an architect, and also as a 
man of general cultivation, and had spent many of his early 
years in the study of ancient architectural remains in 
Greece, Home, Sicily, and Asia Minor, from which circum- 
stance he imbibed a predilection for the classical style of 
architecture. He was architect of the Bank of England. 
Like most of Burgon's early friends, he was considerably 
older than Burgon himself, a full quarter of a century. 

It is a curious circumstance, the memory of which still 
survives in the Burgon family, in connexion with 
John William's inborn propensity to the use both of 
the pen and the pencil, that, before he was two years 
old, and when he could only speak a few words of 
modern Greek, which he had picked up from his mother 
and his nurse, he would imitate the action of writing 
with his little hand on the table, saying, ypa^w, ypa^co ! 
(GrajJw, Grapho ; " I write," " I write.") His parents often 
mentioned with amusement this incident of his earliest 
years ; and added that " Johnny was never happy, unless 
he had a pencil in his hand." 

Having received instruction from his mother during 
the first eleven years of his life, young Burgon was sent 
to a school at Putney, kept by Mr. Watts, October 2, A.D. 1824. 
1824. He had already acquired the rudiments of draw- ' 
ing at home, under the private tuition of Mr. Woodley ; 
and it is characteristic of him both that one of his early 
sketches (he had made attempts at drawing ancient 
vases when he was only five years old) should be a 
drawing of his first school, and also that his first letter 
from school to his mother is to ask her acceptance (" as 
I know that you are fond of poems ") of a book of poems 
" by Mr. Alaric Watts, who is Mr. Watts's brother." 

VOL. T . c 



1 8 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

In connexion with his school life at Putney his sur- 
viving sister writes : 

" From a very early age my brother was a most 
religiousl} 7 disposed boy. I have heard my mother say 
that at his first school (Mr. Watts's, at Putney) it 
was his custom, besides showing kindness to and sup- 
porting any little boys in trouble, to protect a French 
boy, who was a Roman Catholic, while saying his 
prayers. J. W. B. used to keep guard at the door of 
their bedroom, and give notice of the approach of his 
tormentors. . . From infancy he was I should say, won- 
derfully pure, thoughtful, liberal, and loving to the poor. 
I have heard my mother say that, when quite a little 
boy, he would occupy himself of an evening in making 
little articles of worsted w T ork for a poor woman (who 
sat with her basket near our house in Prunswick 
Square) to sell. He would take the articles to her Jiim- 
se/f. and on his return would describe to our mother 
her thankfulness, and say ' she had Messed him.' This he 
dwelt upon, and seemed to appreciate. These visits to 
the poor woman afforded him the liveliest pleasure." 

.n. 1828. In the summer of 1828, when he had not been quite 
' I5 ' four years at Putney, where latterly he does not appear 
to have been happy, he was removed to a school at Plack- 
heath, and placed under the charge of Mr. Greenlaw. 
Several of his letters to his parents from both schools 
have been preserved. While their topics are the ordinary 
topics of schoolboys' letters, they show every now and 
then, as might be anticipated, an intelligence and an 
interest in certain branches of knowledge (not in the 
regular school- work) above the average ; and they 
derive a certain importance, in connexion with his life 
and character, from the following memorandum made by 
him respecting them when he came of age, which, even 
if it shows perhaps a little sense of self-importance, 
shows also a power of introspection not very common at 
the age of twenty-one. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 19 

" Memorandum. To-day, by mere chance, I stumbled on 
this bundle of letters, written for the most part by myself 
from school at an early period, and I lay them aside, 
thinking that at some future day they may be interesting. 

" From a hasty glance over their contents, I perceive 
that I was 10 years ago much the same creature that I 
am now. I notice the same love of books and of study, 
the same hatred of school and contempt for the society 
of my equals in age, which since I was 1 1, and first went 
to school, I have never been able to shake off," (he 
always, in his earlier days, lived with men older than 
himself), "the same love of quiet, and consequent love 
of home, the same ill-health, which is after all at the 
root of half the evils of life ; in fact I perceive that, save 
in a general manliness, which at 21 everyone must more or 
less acquire, the i o years in question have produced very 
little alteration in the materials of my moral organisation. 

" Good-night to you. Sunday Night, i o'clk. 
"June 8th, 1834, 

{: JOHN W. BURGON." 

A few short extracts from these schoolboy letters are 
here subjoined, showing the affectionateness and domes- 
ticity of his character, and his interest (even at that 
early age) in antiquities, and in the vindication of the 
truth of the Holy Scriptures. 

Aug. 22, 1828 \JEtat. 15]. (Eeturning, with his younger 
brother Thomas, to school at Blackheath.) To his 
Mother. 

" I am sure the reason why the boys do not mind so 
much leaving home is, because they do not feel the same 
happiness in their circle at home, which proceeds from 
that mutual affection which we always have, and I am 
sure we ever will enjoy." 

Blackheath, Oct. 27, 1828 \JEtat. 15]. To his Father. 

" I heard from Greenlaw " (the master of his school) 
" that a mummy lately arrived from Egypt has been dis- 
covered to have been the high priest of Pharaoh, by 

C 2 



20 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

means of the hieroglyphics, in which great improvements 
are making. This event is perhaps as excellent a proof 
of the truth of Scripture History as can be produced for 
the conviction of the incredulous, and I dare say it will 
make many a fellow, who is fond of being thought 
remarkable in his nojbions, &c., appear a most egregious 
ass." In this last observation there is surely an augury 
of much that was to come after. 

His account of his Confirmation (by Bishop Murray of 
Rochester) will be read with interest. It shows his serious- 
ness in attending the Ordinance, though not the sensibility 
which was so marked a feature of his character. 

A.D. 1829. Blackheath, May 26, 1829. To his Father. 

" I thought it a very solemn ceremony ; but my com- 
panions seem to think very little about it. One thing 
though I thought very absurd ; several of the women 
and girls were in tears ! ! ! Now Mr. G. has been kind 
enough to explain to us all, so often, and so fully, the 
whole meaning and purpose of Confirmation, that I was 
very far from anything like this ; and indeed, to tell 
you the truth, this circumstance provoked my laughter 
in spite of myself. I see nothing further to be implied, 
than that you own that you are old enough to perceive 
the necessity of doing your duty, and the propriety of 
what has been promised in your name, when an infant, 
and that in confessing your belief in Christ, you under- 
take to do your best to do what is right. Three sermons 
I have heard, and two I have read on the subject, and 
this is what I extract from them. The bishop seemed 
young. He was attended by a great many clergymen. 
I enclose a little sketch of him from memory. Which I 
think is rather like 2 ." 

2 It surprises us to find in his be recorded ; but it appears strange 
Journal of the year 1834 the year that in the five years which had 
in which he came of age this elapsed since the Confirmation of 
entry : " March 28, Good Friday . . . one so religiously minded from boy- 
Took the Sacrament for the second hood, he should have only corn- 
time in my life." The date of his municated twice ; more especially 
first Communion does not seem to as hid attendance at Church on 



THE EARLY LIFE. 



21 



It is very many years since the writer saw Bishop 

Murray ; but " the 
little sketch" (in 
pencil, the slightest 
thing in the world 
done with wonder- 
fully few strokes) 
seems to summon 
back the stately 
and dignified pre- 
sence of the Bishop 
with his wig. Be- 
neath it is written 
by the draughtsman, 
" Bishop of Roches- 
. ~ ter. May 26, 1829." 
It may be men- 




later life Burgon, 
who, as has been said, received instruction in drawing 



Sundays (frequently twice, and not 
unfrequently thrice) is carefully 
noted, and observations are 
usually made on the preachers he 
hears. It must be remembered 
however that it is quite of late years 
that the desirableness of frequent 
Communion has been recognised in 
our Church, and admonitions to it 
and opportunities for it given, and 
that in the earlier part of the 
century the notion of something 
terrible and repelling in connexion 
with the great Ordinance ("as if a 
different God entered the Church 
after the sermon," as an eminent 
divine of those days well and 
pointedly said) prevailed very 



widely, and kept a persistent hold 
even upon the minds of those who 
were quite bent on doing their 
duty, and were very attentive to 
other religious observances. Mis- 
taken as this notion undoubtedly 
was, it yet furnished a security 
against irreverence and the dis- 
pensing with previous preparation ; 
and it may be gravely questioned 
whether, since this security has been 
swept away, good Christians have 
not been somewhat the losers in 
edification. Constant Communion 
implies a life of constant watchful- 
ness and prayer, and only in associa- 
tion with those conditions can a 
blessing be expected upon it. 



22 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

before he went to school, from Mr. Woodley, had a few 
lessons from Dibdin in landscape-painting ; in which 
he attained great proficiency, as may be seen from the 
beautiful water-colour drawings which he made in the 
course of his tour to Egypt and Palestine. 

His desire to take lloly Orders dated from his earliest 
youth, and it was only in deference to his father's strong 
wish, and out of his own sense of the duty of filial 
obedience, that he went into the counting-house after his 
removal from school. " He disliked it more than I can 
tell r (writes his surviving sister), " and found relief 
only in the pursuit of Poetry and Art during his .leisure 
moments, when he returned from the city." 

And thus we are brought to the year (1^30) succeeding 
his Confirmation, when he commenced a book of extracts 
from his reading with the following memorandum, which 
shows his thoughtfulness at that early age, and his serious 
determination to improve his mind : 

"I have now attained my iyth year; and although in 
the course of the last 10 years I have perused several 
works, the contents of many, and the titles of a still 
greater number, have escaped my recollection. This may 
have been partly owing to my youth ; but must. I think, 
be principally attributed to my never having preserved 
extracts from them, or committed to paper my opinion 
of their contents : such a custom would have induced me 
to read with greater care, and by leading me to reflect 
on what I had read, might have materially assisted me 
in forming my judgment and taste. Although I have 
suffered so many years to elapse without doing this, I do 
not intend any longer to do so ; but as I read, shall note 
in this book everything that may appear interesting or 
worthy of observation. 

" For my note book. 

"(Signed) J. W. BUKGON. 

" Aug. 27, 1830." 



THE EARLY LIFE. 23 

It should be added that, by way of completing his 
education, he attended lectures at the London Univer- 
sity, where he gained a prize for the best Essay in the 
Junior Class, at the conclusion of the Session of 1829-30. 

And now it will be well, before going further, to take 
a general view of his occupations and surroundings 
during the eleven years which were to elapse between 
1830 and 1841. He was taken into his father's count- 
ing-house, in the expectation that he would one day 
succeed to the headship of it. The work, always most 
distasteful to him, occupied most of his mornings, and 
often detained him, especially on " Turkey Post days," 
till a late hour in the evening. But so extraordinary 
was his mental energy, that he not only (as will be seen 
further on) composed his ' Life and Times of GretfiamJ 
and many other literary pieces, both in prose and poetry, 
of a more fugitive and less substantial character, but 
found time, chiefly by sitting up to a very late hour, to 
become versed in several departments of Art and 
Archaeology, in the knowledge of rare and eld books, of 
pictures and engravings, and in the study and criticism 
of Shakspere. And we are to think of him as moving, 
from his school-days onward, in the society of men of 
high cultivation, and literary cr artistic eminence, who 
were frequent guests at his father's house. This fell in 
with his intellectual leaning, which was towards research 
and literature in all its forms, and also with his moral 
temperament, which was of an aspiring character, a 
leaning and a temperament recognised by himself in the 
memorandum which he made on coming of age, and which 
has been given above : " I notice the same love of books 

and of study, the same contempt for the society of 

my equals in age, which .... since I first went to school 
I have never been able to shake off." (See above, p. 19.) 



24 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

A few are here mentioned, whose names are constantly 
re-appearing in his Journals and Letters, and whose 
tastes and studies were no doubt in some measure com- 
municated to him and contributed to the formation of 
his mind. Mr. Cockerell has already made his appearance 
in our narrative. Tho*mas Leverton Donaldson [. 1795] 
was another celebrated architect, and connoisseur of Art, 
who was on intimate terms with the Burgon family. 
Then, in the department of travel, besides Sir Charles 
Fellows, who will be mentioned at length presently, 
there was Mr. Frederick Catherwood, the author of 
' Travels in Yucatan! Sir Richard Westmacott, the sculptor 
[b. 1775, (L 1856], well known as having executed the 
bronze Achilles in Hyde Park, the statue on the Duke of 
York's column, and several of the monuments of public 
men in St. Paul's Cathedral, was another member of the 
same circle. James Millingen [. 1774, d. 1845] nac ^ been 
a very early friend of Mr. Thomas Burgon, and was in 
entire sympathy with his tastes and pursuits, having 
written on the " Ancient Unedited Coins of Greek Cities 
and Kings, from various Collections, principally in Great 
Britain [1837: 4to]," and on many similar subjects, and 
being possessed of great critical acumen in judging of 
coins, gems, and antiquities in general. He lived at 
Florence, but frequently visited England in the summer, 
and, when he did so, never failed to make his appearance 
(always duly noted in John William Burgon's journal) 
in Brunswick Square. Dr. Leemans, a Dutchman, 
" Conservateur " of the Museum at Leyden, who came to 
England to study Egyptian Antiquities in the British 
Museum, received much kindness from Mr. Burgon 
senior, and was constantly in the house, as John William 
records, when little " Kitty," the treasure and joy of the 
whole family, was snatched away by death. Dr. Lepsius, 



THE EARLY LIFE. 25 

a German, was introduced to the Burgons by Dr. 
Leemans. He was a great student of Hieroglyphics and 
a learned Egyptologist, became Keeper of the Egyptian 
Museum at Berlin, and was appointed leader of the 
great scientific expedition sent out by the Prussian 
Government to Egypt, of which he wrote a description 
in several large volumes. Of English literary men, 
whose names are familiar to all, there were several who 
maintained friendly relations with the family. The 
poet Rogers was one of these ; and the following account, 
extracted from John William's Journal, of a conversation, 
which he had the honour of holding with Rogers at his 
father's table, will be read with interest, as throwing 
light both on his own character and that of the poet. 

"Aug. 4, 1832." \_Mat. 19]. "Rogers dined with 
us. After dinner the following conversation took place 
between us as nearly as I can remember. I asked him 
how his new edition went on. He said, ' But slowly, it 
being in the hands of the engravers.' When I asked 
after Moore, what he was at, &c., he told me he talked 
of a long poem we are some day to see of his. Rogers 
is a queer man : he thinks me too young, I suppose, to 
merit his confidence, or even to deserve being conversed 
with. I was afraid of being troublesome, and therefore 

said no more on the subject I then observed ; 

{ What a pity it is that the poet cannot exercise the same 
power as the sculptor, and, after he has conceived some- 
thing grand, commission another to execute it for him ! 
For,' I added, ' the charming part of the task is the con- 
ception ; the execution is laborious, and takes up time.' 
' Then,' said Rogers, ' how much Byron would have left 
us! He would have sickened us!' I begged him to 
recall that word. ' We might then have had an accumu- 
lation Q pleasures? said I. He smiled, but said nothing. 
I asked him what quality must we consider as most 
essential for a poet to possess, imagination, judgment, 
common sense, or what? He replied, he supposed 
imagination, though common sense was indispensable. ' It 



26 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

is a pity,' said he, ' Byron had not more common sense.' 
I said nothing. ' Homer,' he added, * had more common 
sense than any poet who ever lived.' The conversation 
at table turned on Death (violent Death principally ; for 
they were discussing the proposed reform in criminal 
punishment). Donaldson observed that he did not see 
why that extreme degree of fear should be manifested at 
the prospect of Death. The answer seemed to remain 
with Rogers, who replied ; * You are the first man that 
I ever beard say so/ Then, after a pause ; ' Shakspere 
has expressed the sentiment better than any one else ; 

" Aye, but to die to go we know not whither," &c.' " 

Here is another account from his journal of a dinner 
at Miss Rogers', at which he met the poet, and three 
painters, Westall (' he teaches the Princess Victoria 
drawing, and loves her as his own child ") ; Leslie ( i{ a 
fine man, with an intelligent, agreeable face .... his wife 
is said to be the original of all his ladies") ; and Ottley 
('* strong in a particular branch of painting, very con- 
descending and communicative, and possessing much of 
the ' milk of human kindness ' "). 

"Tuesday, J^th" (the year and month are not given. 
Perhaps it was December, 1835, or perhaps March, 1836 ; 
the i/, th of both these months fell on a Tuesday). 
" Samuel Rogers I have often scribbled about. He has 
a peculiar way, and one which it is difficult to describe ; 
for /a h/orfe parole gives one no notion of lone and manner. 
His ' God bless me ' is as comical as a long paragraph 

from the lips of a common man When Miss 

Ottley had ended a little song, 'That is Italian,' said 
Rogers, ' eh 1 ' Miss Ottley told him that it was Spanish. 
' Ah ! Spanish,' observed the poet, without the least 
alteration of feature or tone, 'I didn't know whether 
I was in Italy or Spain.' ... In the course of the even- 
ing I asked him whether he had ever seen Johnson. 
' No,' said Rogers, ' I never did.' I pressed him a little 
closer. ' Once,' said he, ' when I was a very young man, 
younger than you, I was passing Bolt Court with a 



THE EAELY LIFE. 27 

schoolfellow, and I proposed that we should pay Johnson 
a visit. But when I laid my hand on the knocker my 
courage failed me.' 'Have you not often repented it 
since 1 ' * Yes ; for I should have had a story to tell. I 
dare say he would have received us kindly ; and if he 
had not, I don't know that I should have minded it/ 
We were disturbed from the conversation by the sound 
of the guitar in the next room. . . . The conversation at 
table turned principally on painting and painters 
Vandyke and so on. In answer to an inquiry Rogers 
told me that Gainsborough's ' Boy in Blue ' was a bravura 
occasioned by Reynolds having said that bine was not a 
good colour for the principal light in a picture. The 
original was the son of a coachmaker in Long Acre." 

And here another of his breakfasting with the poet 
in company with his brother. 

" This morning Tom and I breakfasted at St. James's 
Place with Mr. Rogers. We were invited for half-past 
nine, and took care to be punctual. I think Rogers so 
interesting a person, that I shall set down everything 
that passed as nearly as I am able. 

" We found the breakfast on the table, and the Poet 
writing at a little side-table. He rose to receive us, 
remarking that he was sorry that it was such a dull day* 
I replied that everything would be bright where we 
were, with which I think he was pleased ; and then in 
compliance with our entreaties he continued his letter. 

" We amused ourselves in the meantime with his 
pictures, and happened to be contemplating a most inter- 
esting bust of Pope by Roubiliac, when he ceased writing. 
He came near us, and talked to us about Pope, and that 
bust, which is an original. Sir R. Peel has the marble 
which was executed from it, and which is not nearly so 
beautiful as the model. Rogers made us notice the 
character of the mouth, and the intellectual formation of 
the head. Then he alluded to Pope's deformity, and we 
agreed that Millingen resembled Pope in some respects. 
When we sat down to breakfast, I observed to Mr. 
Rogers that I never approached his house without feel- 



28 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

ing that I trod on holy ground, so many eminent men 
had imprinted it with their footsteps. He smiled, and 
told us that he certainly could number among his guests 
some great names. ' After I had been here four weeks/ 
said he, ' Fox came to pay me a visit, and there has 
scarcely been a greater man than he.' I reminded him 
of Sheridan, Scott, Byron, &c. He assented, and observed 
that Sheridan had often been at his house. ( Oh, yes,' 
said I, ' we know that well from books.' ... I told him, 
a propos of Sheridan, that I did not think he was enough 
regarded in the light of a warning ; with such splendid 
talents, to have lived so unhappily and died so miserably ! 
' Yes,' said Rogers, ' I think so too. If he had had one 
vice more, his history would not have been such a warn- 
ing as it is, had he had the littleness to love money, 
and the meanness to hoard it.' 

"He said, speaking of his illustrious guests, that 
nothing would satisfy Queen Caroline, short of paying 
him a visit ; and she came. 

" I happened to mention the name of Gray incidentally ; 
and I am glad I did so, for it led to some interesting 
conversation on the part of Rogers. I discovered that 
he has my taste for old associations and classic haunts in 
perfection. He told us where Gray lived (which with 
some other particulars I shall note down in my life of 
Gray) and perceiving the pleasure it gave us to hear him 
talk about such things, told us which was Dryden's 
house, which Newton's, and which Lord Mansfield's 
(Pope's Murray). 

" The hint for Dryden's house he had found (it seems), 
in Spence's anecdotes, a book of which he is extremely 
fond, and which he subsequently made his man-servant 
bring down stairs for him to refer to. Gray's he was 
told of by Mr. Nicholls, and Newton's he discovered in 
walking through St. Martin's Street. He noticed a 
curious little construction at the top of a house in that 
street, on which he thought he could discern the word 
Neictoni inscribed. He went in and found a boy scraping 
the floor of the lower room, and he enquired of him the 
meaning of the little pigeon-house on the roof. The 



THE EARLY LIFE. 29 

boy said that an old man named Newton used to sit up 
and watch the stars from that little building all night. 
'Now,' said Rogers, 'no one notices such things!' . . 
We expressed our satisfaction at finding him as fond as 
ourselves of such things. ' I live upon such recollections/ 
he replied, ' I think of nothing else all day. . . . When 
Wordsworth came to see me the other day, I took him 
to see Dryden's house and Newton's observatory/ He 
reminded us that Addison used to live in St. James's 
Place, but he did not know the number. 

" To return to Gray. I told him that I had seen Gray's 
rooms at Cambridge, and the bar of iron which he had 
caused to be fixed outside his windows, to effect his 
escape in case of fire. ' Is it there still ? ' said Rogers ; 
' I remember Mr. Canning's narrative of the circum- 
stance which occasioned Gray's departure from Peter 
House. Some frolicsome young men placed a tank of 
water under his window, and called out fire. Up flew 
the window, and out came Gray with his fire-escape, 
which necessarily conducted him into the tank prepared 
for his reception. The young men apologized, alleging 
that they meant to have called out watery but that in 
their confusion they called out fire instead. Gray left 
the College, contenting himself with observing that the 
College was noisy, and the young men troublesome.' 

" ' I was always from a boy fond of Gray,' said Rogers. 
. . . * Gray was a nervous, perhaps a finical man ; but he 
commanded the greatest respect. Lord St. Helen's, who 
is alive and well at 85 (?), told me that, when he went up 
to Trinity College as a boy, he took with him a letter 
for Gray, who came next morning to pay him a visit, 
attended by three of his friends Stonhewer, Palgrave, 
and another. They did not come as if in conversation, 
in a group, or two and two ; but they walked in a line, 
one after the other. On their departure the young men 
of the College, who were assembled in the quadrangle to 
see Gray come out, all took off their caps to him.' 

" While on the subject of interesting sites, Rogers 
remarked to us how few persons passing Milk Street and 
Bread Street, remembered Milton and Sir Thomas More, 



30 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

who were born there. He praised Mackintosh's life of 
the latter, and in remarking on the character of Sir 
Thomas, insisted that he did not die for the sake of 
Popish Supremacy, but that he died far freedom of opinion. 
We talked a little about Egyptian antiquities, a study, 
as Rogers observed, ^in which so much remains to be 
learned by those who will concentrate their attention. 

" When we arose from breakfast. Rogers told us that 
the mahogany pier, which stands in his dining-room, and 
supports a vase, was the work of Chantrey when he 
worked for 5*. per day 3 . 

" Turning to one of his pictures, he made a remark to 
Tom which displeased me ; it displayed, I thought, such 
a want of taste. ' West,' said he, ' used to refuse ,^ J icoo 
for that picture ' ; and in a similar strain he would remark 
of other objects, as if the money value of the objects 
around him was of any moment. 

" I was meanwhile engaged in making some memo- 
randa from his copy of Gray, which had belonged to 
Cole 4 , the antiquary. I was amused to see that Rogers 
has another of my weaknesses, viz., that of writing in 
his books, and when he meets with anything which 
interests him, noting the page at the end of the volume, 
a trick of my own. Gray appears indeed to be one 
of Rogers' favourites ; he told me that he was an 
especial object of his admiration from boyhood. Hence, 
obviously, Rogers' ' Ode to Superstition,' which I re- 
marked to him. I told him too, that I thought his 

3 There is an anecdote, which the Antiquary, was born in 1714 and 

writer is unable to trace to its died in 1782. He graduated at 

source, of Chantrey himself having Cambridge, where he was the College 

seen this mahogany pier, when he friend of Walpole, Mason, and Gray, 

was breakfasting with Rogers, and He held the benefices of Hornsey, 

having asked the pott if he could Bletchley in Bucks, and Burnham, 

call to mind the name of the man near Eton. He left to the British 

who made it. On Rogers' saying Museum fifty folios of Manuscript 

that lie could not, and that it was Antiquarian Collections. It was 

made by some poor working man, his intention to compose an Athena 

Chantrey is said to have replied, Cantabriyiense*, as a companion to 

" That man was myself." Anthony Wood's A thence OJCOHI- 

* The Rev. William Cole, the vises. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 31 

genius very much resembled that of Gray ; they both 
have written so little and so well. . . . We went^up into 
the drawing-room, and after looking a little at his vases, 
left him. He is certainly a very amusing gentleman-like 
man, and has the courtier-like art to make it appear that 
he is receiving a favour, while it is qu'te obvious that he 
is, on the contrary, conferring a considerable one." 

Having seen what were the literary surroundings of 
John William Burgon in his early life, we now return to 
our narrative, which we left off with the memorandum 
made by him in his note-book, at the age of 1 7, in the year 
1830. The following year, 1831, was marked by the A.D. 1831. 
formation of a very strong early friendship, almost of 
the Pylades and Orestes type, such as young men are 
apt to form in their premiere jeunesse, such as one whose 
nature was so intense and passionate was certain to form. 
His first acquaintance with the object of this friendship 
is thus briefly recorded in the diary, which he appears to 
have commenced in the previous year : 

"Monday, Oct. 31, 1831. Went to Mr. Booth's a 
small dance met a Mr. Fellows a delightful fellow, who 
has seen Byron and H. K. White, and knows Moore, &c., 
&c., &c. very agreeable evening." 

In the autumn of the following year the friendship 
thus begun was cemented by a tour which the friends 
made together in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. 

"Monday, Sep. 17, 1832. Drank tea with Fellows A.D. 1832. 
planned trip to Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire." ^- J 9- 

The trip began on Sept. 21, when they left London 
for Nottingham, and ended on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 
when they returned by the night coach from Not- 
tingham to London. Matlock, Bakewell, Haddon Hall, 
Chatsworth, the Peak, Dove-dale ("the most lovely 
spot in the world "), Alton Towers, Southwell, Newstead 



32 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Abbey, Annesley, and Hucknall (the place of Lord Byron's 
burial) were all visited. The last occasion of course did 
not fail to elicit verses from Burgon ("written in the 
Book at Hucknall Church ") ; Byron's poetry always had 
a special charm for him, all the more from that vein of 
sadness and melancholy which runs through it, and 
which, though overlaid and concealed occasionally by the 
exuberant and even extravagant frolicsomeness of his tem- 
perament, was a real constituent of his own mind. He him- 
self recognises this tendency of his mind, and the colour 
which his own verses took from it, in his correspondence 
with Mr. Fellows a month or two after the Derbyshire tour. 

"Tuesday Night, Nov. 13, 1832. Do you remember 
the few words that passed between us some hours ago, 
about the melancholy that runs thro' my poetry ? For- 
give a midnight apology. 

Oh ! blame not if I sometimes wake 
A note thy friendship deems too sad 

I would not, if I could, forsake 

That mournful note, for one more glad! 

Perchance you deem my spirits light, 
Because these lips are wont to jest? 

Alas ! they share the gloom of night 
When left, unmoved, within my breast. 

The harp beneath the minstrel's touch 

Oft utters such a blissful tone, 
That you, to hear, might deem that such 

Were uttered by its strings, alone. 

But let the breath of heaven fly 

Uncheck'd amid those trembling wires, 

Go. hear the deep impassioned sigh 
They render as each breath expires ! 

Then tell oh ! tell me which you deem 
To be in truth their proper strain 

The minstrel's gay, enchanting theme, 
Or those self-uttered notes of pain? 



THE EARLY LIFE. 33 

Such are my feelings, ev'n if bliss 

Is sometimes offered to me here, 
My heart reminds me that it is 

The prelude to a future tear. 

And thus from childhood have I learned 
To see things in their darker view ; 

For even then my joys were earned 
By drinking deep of sorrow too. 

Then blame not, if I sometimes wake 
A note thy friendship deems too sad ; 

I could not, if I would, forsake 

That mournful note for one more glad ! " 

Mr. (afterwards Sir Charles) Fellows was a very con- 
siderable man, perhaps the most distinguished archaeo- 
logical explorer and discoverer of this century. He was 
born at Nottingham in 1799, and thus was senior by 
fourteen years to Burgon, a seniority which character- 
ized almost all the early friends of the subject of this 
Biography. Not only his love of archaeological research, 
but his great artistic aptitudes and his extraordinary 
genius for drawing, were links uniting him to Burgon, 
who was similarly endowed. He it was who discovered 
(in 1827) the present route to the summit of Mont 
Blanc, which superseded the route previously taken 
by travellers, and who in his first expedition to Asia 
Minor discovered the ruins of Xanthus, the ancient 
capital of Lycia, and in his second thirteen other an- 
cient cities. These Asiatic discoveries are recorded in 
a volume of some 500 pages published by Mr. Murray 
in 1852, entitled 'Travels and Researches in Asia Minor, 
more particularly in the Province of LyciaJ a work 
which will be found as interesting to the general reader 
as it is to connoisseurs in Archaeology. In reading 
over the letters addressed by Burgon to this gentleman, 

VOL. I. D 



34 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

we are struck by the circumstance that, although Mr. 
Fellows had so much the advantage of him both in 
age, and in regard of a recognised position among the 
literary and scientific circles of London, their familiarity 
seems to have been as unrestrained as if the two had 
been starting in life together. Burgon thinks that he 
may talk any nonsense to Fellows, and vents upon him 
the most atrociously bad puns ; nor is there any of that 
self-restraint, and desire to write what is worth reading, 
which characterizes his letters (for example) to Mr. 
Dawson Turner, to Mr. Hunter, and to Mr. Tytler. 
Indeed a vein of punning and poetizing runs through 
all his letters to this early friend, to whom he was 
evidently, despite one or two occasional misunderstand- 
ings (which only proved the truth of the old adage, " The 
resentments of lovers are the renewals of love "), most 
deeply and, one may say, sentimentally attached. Mr. 
Fellows had given him a ring containing a fragment 
of granite taken from the summit of Mont Blanc; and 
of course Burgon bursts into rhyme forthwith. Here is 
his effusion : 

i. 

" My ring ! though I prize thee (and almost divine 
Is the charm Friendship lends to that circlet of 

thine), 
When I think of thy dwelling on Earth's highest 

hill, 
There's a lustre comes o'er thee that's holier still! 



2. 

For the purest of snow, and the freshest of dew, 
Unseen, sinking on thee, have hallowed thee too ; 
And how oft, ere it gladdened the valleys below, 
Has the breeze cooled its wings on thy dwelling of 
snow! 



THE EARLY LIFE. 35 

3- 

If the tale be a true one our fathers have told 5 
(And who'd not believe them 1 ?), that Angels of old 
Full oft from their world of enchantment have flown, 
To count the bright eyes that enliven our own, 

4- 
The peak, where this granite once grew, must have 

been 

The first trace of Earth they could ever have seen; 
And who oh ! who knows, in their flight thro' the 

air, 
How often they've lingered to rest themselves there?" 

Mr. Fellows took a strong interest in ancient clocks 
and watches, a curious collection of which was left by 
his widow, Lady Fellows, to the British Museum ; and 
we find from their correspondence that Burgon, out of 
the resources of his extensive reading (the pursuit of his 
evenings when the business of the counting-house was 
over), sent his friend several pertinent and helpful 
memoranda on that subject. It seems that on one 
occasion Mr. Fellows had pressed upon him the accept- 
ance of a great curiosity, which from his intense love for 
antiquities, and objects associated with great men, he 
would naturally have much desired to possess, a watch 
which had belonged to Milton. But with his usual 
chivalrous delicacy of feeling, Burgon would not deprive 
his friend of so great a treasure. It may be added that 
on religious subjects the friends entertained different 
opinions, of a sufficiently serious character; but these 
differences do not seem on either side, certainly not on 
Mr. Burgon's, to have created any coolness, or to have 
diminished their intimacy and the interest which they 

5 An allusion to Gen. vi. 2 ; " The be the Angels) "saw the daughters 
sons of God " (by many supposed to of men lhat they were fair," &c. 

D 2 



36 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

felt in one another. Both parties candidly avowed their 
convictions, and maintained them argumentatively, and 
there the matter was allowed to drop, there was no 
breach of mutual confidence or esteem. Burgon's tone 
on the subject may be gathered from a single passage of 
a letter to Mr. Fellows w r hich bears date July 21, 1833. 

" As regards what you have stated about religion, I 
have only to say what I have often said before, and 
what I shall often say again. I believe the sincerity, and 
not the naf/tre, of our peculiar modes of regarding the 
Deity, will be one day called in question. I believe, in 
spite of all that St. Athanasius has written on the 
subject, that the Turk, who in a broiling sun thrice a 
day prostrates himself on the soil, and, though there is 
not a soul who beholds him, offers in that position his 
adoration to his God, has a much better chance of going 
to Heaven than the Christian, who is as regular in his 
weekly round of crime as he is in his appearance on 
Sunday Mornings at Church. Such is my creed ; and, if 
it were not, you may very easily imagine that I should 
weary you day and night with intreaties to think as I 
think, and to see as I see 

" The wonder is NOT that certain divine points should 
be incomprehensible : but the wonder is that Jin-He 
reason should be able to comprehend so many of the 
designs of Infinity. We believe sundry matters in every 
day life, though we cannot explain them ; ' So let it be 
with Caesar.' " 

Quite in harmony with this last thought are the fine 
lines which he sends to Mr. Fellows in the letter, in 
which he announces to him his having won Lord Mayor 
Copeland's prize for the best " Essay on the Life and 
Character of Sir Thomas Gresham." It will be admitted 
that the image, by which he illustrates the sentiment 
that in the future state we, whose knowledge here has 
been so partial, shall " know even as we are known," is 
graceful and beautiful : 



THE EARLY LIFE. 37 

' Cold, prone to err. incredulous, and slow, 
Man knows alas! how little here below, 
In vain attempts, with vision so confined, 
To scan the works of the Almighty Mind, 
Or of the little, which 'tis his to scan, 
To comprehend the complicated plan. 
Yet will the day arrive no distant day 
When, like thin mists before the morning's ray, 
One glance from the Omnipotent shall roll 
Error, and doubt, and darkness from his soul. 
The mind, which, destined for a higher sphere, 
Toiled darkly on through gloom and sorrow here, 
Will wake in wisdom, and at once expand 
In the mild climate of ' that better land ' ! 

So fared the lily, which I saw lift up 
Above the Ouse its alabaster cup ; 
Fair as it seemed, while yet beneath the wave, 
No sign whate'er of loveliness it gave ; 
But when at last it rose above the stream, 
Like one that wakens from a gloomy dream 
It opened its bright eye, and far and wide 
Burst into beauty o'er the azure tide." 

" You understand of course that the water-lily yields 
no blossom till it emerges from the waters. 

" It is past i o'clock. Good night, dear F. 

" J. W. B." 

One more of his letters to Mr. Fellows, which reveals 
much of his moral and intellectual character at this early 
date, will be presented to the reader at the end of the 
Chapter. 

We pass on now to the date of his earliest publication, A.D. 1833. 
J 833, when he had reached the age of twenty. This, as 
has been said, was a translation 6 , which was published in 

6 The Title Page of this work is par le Chev*. P. O. Brondsted, el- 
an full, " Memoire sur les Vases traduit de 1'Anglais par J. W. 
Panathe"naiques, adressd, eii forme Burgon. Avec six planchea." 
de lettre, a M. W. R. Hamilton, [Here follows a representation of 



38 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Paris, of Chevalier Brondsted's monograph on Panathe- 
na'ic Vases. The discovery by his father in 1813 of the 
Panathena'ic Amphora, the inscription on which had 
given rise to a question, which Brondsted in this 
monograph settles, naturally had great interest for him ; 
(" comme la decouveite du premier vase panathe'na'ique," 
he says in the " avant-propos " of his translation, "fut 
faite par mon pere a Athenes, il est naturel que j'aie du 
sentir un interet particulier et, pour ainsi dire, personnel, 
pour tout ce qui concerne 1'explication de ces monuments 
remarquables"), and he seems to have thought that it 
would be useful to present in a language " plus re'pandue 
sur le continent" an essay which he characterises as 
" rempli d'e'rudition et de recherches profondes." No 
more need be said of this earliest publication of J. W. 
Burgon's than that it shows not only his deep interest, 
which, as we have already said, was hereditary with him, 
in antiquarian research, but also a mastery over the 
French language attained at an early age, which enabled 
him to speak and write it like a native. 

A.D. 1834. The memorandum made by him on the year of his 
' coming of age [1834] has been given above [see p. 19]. 

the obverse and reverse of an old " On Panathena'ic Vases, and on 

silver didrachm in Mr. Thomas the Holy Oil contained in them ; 

Burgon's collection, which Brond- with particular reference to some 

sted determined to be not Aeginetan Vases of that description now in 

(as he had at first thought) but London : Letter addressed to W. 

Athenian, and to have been struck R. Hamilton, Esq., by Chev r . P. 0. 

with some reference to the Pana- Brondsted. From the Transactions 

thena'ic festivals, the vase on the of the Royal Society of Literature, 

obverse of the coin being precisely Vol. II. Part I. London: A. J. 

similar in form and proportion Valpy, M. A., Printer to the Society, 

to all the Panathenaic amphorae 1832." Facing the Title Page is a 

hitherto discovered]. '''Paris, Li- fine engraving of Mr. Thomas 

brairie de Firmin Didot Freres, Burgon (in the fifty-first year of his 

Rue Jacob, No. 24, 1833." age) as the discoverer of the first 

The Title Page of the original Panathenaic Vase, 
work of Broudsted is : 



THE EARLY LIFE. 39 

In the early part of the year 1835 we find him ad- A - D - i35- 
dressing the following letter to the poet Southey, in 
view of a new edition by Southey of Cowper's works, 
which had been announced. It is to be regretted that 
Southey 's answer is not now to be found among Burgon's 
papers, though the envelope is forthcoming which con- 
tained it, and on which is written, " From the poet 
Southey in acknowledgement of an anecdote of Cowper, 
communicated to him by me. J. W. B., March 9, 1835." 

"11 Brunswick Square, London, 14 Feb., 1835. 

" Sir, In looking over the list of forthcoming publi- 
cations, I see with much satisfaction that a new edition 
is promised us of the works of that beautiful poet and 
excellent man, Cowper. What makes this intelligence 
yet more agreeable is the promise that the .present volume 
will be edited by yourself, and accompanied by a life of 
the poet, from your own gifted pen. 

" On this occasion, though a perfect stranger, I take the 
liberty (and I hope it is an excusable one) to communi- 
cate to you a little anecdote respecting Cowper, which 
is not perhaps so trivial as to be altogether undeserving 
of the notice of a Biographer. ... A friend of mine, who 
lives within a few miles of Weston, and whose father 
was well acquainted with Cowper, tells me that in the 
beginning of 1833, having occasion to visit Weston, he 
went over Cowper's house, to see it in statu quo for the 
last time, as a farmer, who had just taken possession of 
the place, was in the act of painting and whitewashing 
the rooms to render them habitable. In the course of 
his survey (and, you may imagine it was rather a curious 
one) my friend tells me that behind one of the shutters 
in an upper room, he found the following lines written 
in pencil, which he immediately recognised as being in 
the hand-writing of Cowper 

' Farewell, dear scenes for ever closed to me ! 
Oh! for what sorrow must I now exchange you. 

July 28, 1795.' 



4o LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

"What gives interest to these verses is the circum- 
stance of the date, which, I believe, is the very day that 
Cowper left Weston for Norfolk. ... I have preserved 
this anecdote ; for it seems to me characteristic of the 
man. He has been contemplating the accustomed pros- 
pect from the window, perhaps for the last time, and he 
unburthened his ever melancholy ill-boding heart by 
writing a verse behind the shutter ! I long to read your 
censure 7 of Cowper. In the meantime I am, Sir, with 
much respect and admiration, 

" Your obedient servant, 
"J. W. B." 

This year (1835) was marked by his becoming ac- 
quainted with Patrick Fraser Tytler, of whom he was 
to publish a Memoir at the end of 1858, nearly a quarter 
of a century later. In that memoir [p. 239, ed. 2] he 

says : 

" We " (Tytler and himself). " first met at Mr. Rogers', 
in St. James' Place ; but did not become acquainted 
until I met him (i9th December, 1835,) at the Chev. 
Brondsted's, a learned Danish antiquary, and accom- 
plished traveller, who was lodging at Palliano's in 
Leicester Square. The party at Brondsted's being small, 
and my own youthful pursuits being of a kindred nature 
to Mr. Ty tier's, I remember regarding him as a lawful 
prize, and making the most of the opportunity to discover 
from him something about the nature and extent of the 

7 The word certainly seems to be Laertes (Hamlet I. 3, 69) we find 

" censure," which is generally used " Take each man's censure, but 

of an ?wfavourable judgment. Oc- reserve thy judgment." 

casionally however (like its Latin And again in Richard III (ii. 2, 

original censura} it means merely 144) ; 

a judgment or opinion, whether "Madam, and you my mother, 

favourable or unfavourable. J. W. will you go 

B.'s mind was thoroughly imbued To give your censures in this 

with Shakspere's phraseology. And weighty business ? " 
in Polonius's often-quoted advice to 



THE EARLY LIFE. 41 

MS. stores in our great national repositories. Enthu- 
siastic he certainly found me, and observant, if not 
learned, in such matters. The first note I ever received 
from him, (February, 1836,) reminds me that I called 
his attention to the curious Common-place Book of Lord 
Burghley's among the Lansdowne MSS., which contained 
several entries of interest to himself. His affability, and 
the patience with which, though his years fully doubled 
mine, he surrendered himself for the whole evening to so 
unprofitable a conversationist, I well remember ; as well 
as the gratification I experienced at forming the ac- 
quaintance of one whose tastes and whose manners were 
so entirely congenial." 

It was not until three years later (1838) that the 
acquaintance thus formed with Tytler ripened into close 
friendship. 

" Circumstances " (doubtless, his researches for mate- 
rials for the ' Life and Times of Gresham ') " led me in 
the beginning of the year 1838 to apply for permission 
to inspect the Domestic and Flemish Correspond- 
ence of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, preserved in the 
State Paper Office. Mr. Tytler was then the only person 
reading there ; and it is needless to say that the bond of 
a common study, constantly pursued in the same room, 
drew us very much together. When the Office closed, 
we discussed as we walked home the questions on which 
we had been respectively engaged, and the papers which 
had passed under our eyes. Not unfrequently, at the 
Office, one stole across to the desk of the other, docu- 
ment in hand ; and many an interesting conversation 
ensued, by which it is needless to say that I was very 
much the gainer. Though but a novice in such studies, 
I was passionately fond of them ; and, I suppose, made 
up somewhat in enthusiasm and application for what I 
wanted in knowledge. . . . He treated me like a younger 
brother ; invited me often to his house, and admitted me 
freely to his confidence. I grew very fond of him indeed, 
and it made me happy to find that he was equally fond 



LIBRARY ST. MARY'S COLLEGE 



42 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON, 

of me" [Burgon's "Memoir of P. F. Tytler, London: 
1859, pp. 263,4]. 

There can be no doubt that Tytler exerted a consider- 
able influence upon Burgon, though it was one which 
Burgon was already thoroughly predisposed to receive. 
There was a wonderful homogeneousness both of intel- 
lectual and moral tastes between the two men. Tytler 
was a great adept at comic sketches, witness his sister's 
description of him, as given in Burgon's Memoir, 
p. 297, which description, word for word, might have 
been written for Burgon, although in point of fact it was 
written for Tytler. One of his favourite amusements 
was to draw comic sketches for young children, with 
which he illustrated his letters to them, and of which 
some specimens will be given at a later period of this 
work. And deep would be Burgon's sympathy with 
this beautiful eulogy upon children, which he has quoted 
from Tytler [Memoir, pp. 132, 133]: 

"In recalling the many days of happiness which I 
have enjoyed, I am not sure but that (next to my own 
domestic circle) the memory rests with the greatest 
pleasure on the hours I have spent amongst children. 
Amongst men and women, we are perpetually meeting 
with all that overcasts the original excellence of our 
nature ; with ambition, interest, pride, vanity ; with the 
jarring of contending interests and opinions, the false 
assumption of knowledge, the doublings of affectation, 
the tediousness of egotism, or the repinings of disappoint- 
ment. All these are perpetually elbowing us in our 
intercourse with men. With children, we see Nature 
in its real colours, and happiness unsullied as yet by an 
acquaintance with the world. Their little life is like 
the fountain which springs pure and sparkling into the 
light, and reflects for a while the sunshine and loveliness 
of Heaven on its bosom. Their absence of all affecta- 
tion, their ignorance of the arts of the world, their free 



THE EARLY LIFE. 43 

expression of opinion, their ingenuous confidence, the 
beautiful aptitude with which their minds instantly 
embrace the doctrine of an over-ruling Providence, and 
the exquisite simplicity and confidence of their addresses 
to the Father in Heaven ; that unforced cheerfulness, 
that ' sunshine of the breast,' which is only clouded by 
' the tear forgot as soon as shed ' ; all this is to be found 
in the character of children, and of children only." 

In introducing these sentiments of his friend's, Burgon 
tells us that he sympathizes with them entirely. Those 
who knew him would not need to be told so. Every 
word might have been written by himself. 

" J. W. B.'s tenderly kind feeling for us as children," 
writes his surviving sister, many years younger than him- 
self, " will always dwell in my heart. Many a time, when 
we were little, and ill in bed, he would, though pressed 
for time, before accompanying our father to the City, 
hastily draw several pictures for us to paint, and bring 
them up to us, with a plate of colours rubbed from his 
own paint-box, to afford us amusement through the day. 
Then, with many kisses and kind words, he would 
promise to come up and see us immediately he returned 
home, a promise he never failed to keep." 

The record of the year 1835 must not pass over with- 
out some notice of his visit to Shakspere's birth-place, 
which is thus briefly recorded in his diary : 



5' Oct. 27, Tuesday. Drew Shakspeare's House 
went over it made impressions of his tombstone, &c. . . . 
I slept in Shakspeare's House drew and rhymed. (Kit's " 
his youngest sister's " yth Birthday.") 

He was on a ten days' tour with one of his sisters, in the 
course of which they saw Woodstock, Blenheim, Charle- 
cote, Hampton Lucy, and Stratford-on-Avon. The night 
of the 27th was spent by him on an oaken settle in the 
room shown as the birth-place of Shakspere, with the 



44 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

expectation, as many years after he told the Rev. John 
Pickford, that the poetic afflatus would visit him ; but 
he added that he awoke in the grey dawn, cold and 
uncomfortable, and experienced no elevating sensation 
whatever. Mr. Pickford, who was present in the family 
circle at Turvey, whfen Dean Burgon (as he then was) 
narrated this disappointing experience, and who is well 
versed (if any man ever was) in old traditions and the 
habits of thought of bygone generations, writes in 
reference to this incident as follows : 

"Perhaps J. W. B., when he spent the night on the 
oak-settle at Stratford-on-Avon, might have been think- 
ing of what Persius says in his exordium : 

' Nee in bicipiti somniasse Parnasso 
Memini, ut repente sic poeta prodirem.' 

(Nor on Parnassus' two-peaked height 
Remember I t' have dreamed at night, 
And then woke up in twilight gray, 
A poet at the spring of day.) 

"I fancy this idea is very universal. The Welsh 
proverb says that 'the man who sleeps on Snowdon 
will awake a poet.' When Dean Burgon told me of 
it, I quoted (in reference to the rawness of the early 
October morning, which had disenchanted him) the lines 
of Hudibras : 

' When, like a lobster boiled, the morn 
From black to red begins to turn.' " 

It will be seen that in the following year (1836) he 
did experience " a rapture," in rather more favourable 
physical surroundings, over Milton's house. 

It is possible that some may regard the incident of 
passing the night on the oak-settle as a fantastic freak, 
a piece of levity inconsistent with seriousness of character. 
But the truth is that, from a very early age, the study to 



THE EARLY LIFE. 



45 



which he devoted more tinie and labour than any other 
always excepting that of the Holy Scriptures, which 
drew to themselves after his Ordination ever more and 
more his cares, his pains, his studies, was that of Shak- 
spere, the sonnets as well as the plays. The writer has 
now in his possession a manuscript book of Burgon's notes 
on Shakspere with the most copious memoranda on the 
Editions, the various readings, the antiquated expressions, 
and the loci classici of each play ; and from certain of 
these memoranda it is clear that he had in contemplation 
an edition of Shakspere, with a commentary and a life. 
The notes are unfinished (doubtless from the fact that in 
later life the pastoral labours and the sacred studies of 
the Christian Ministry absorbed too much of his time) ; 
but a page is left for each play with a heading, of which 
a specimen is here given : 



41 



KING LEAR 25. 



1605 (Malone). 



Allusions to 



I 

Q 


The Chase. 


Si 

,02 

55 


i 

1 


so 
d 

13 
is 


d 

il 

j a 


Heraldry. 


d 
D 

O 


S 


Painting. 


B 


Remarkable 
Words. 



























Only two or three of these pages, with their counter- 
pages on the left hand of the reader, are absolutely desti- 
tute of all annotation. The eleven earlier ones (Henry 
VI, Part I ; Part II ; Part III ; Gentlemen of Verona ; 
Comedy of Errors ; Richard II ; Richard III ; Midsummer 
Night's Dream ; Merchant of Venice ; Love's Labour's 
Lost ; Taming of the Shrew,) are copiously annotated on 



46 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

both page and counter-page. His scheme seems to have 
been to exhibit the plays in the chronological order in 
which Shakspere wrote them. 

A few excerpts from these Notes and Memoranda, 
which, it is thought, might interest the reader, are given 
in an Appendix. (Sfee Appendix A.) 

But before passing away from his studies in Shak- 
spere, in which, as well as other literary pursuits, he 
found a great relief from the always distasteful drudgery 
of his father's counting-house, it will be well to give one 
or two passages of his correspondence with the Rev. 
Joseph Hunter, of Sheffield (b. 1783 ; d. 1861), an 
eminent writer on British Antiquities, author of ' The 
Ilixton/ ami Topography of the Parish of Sheffield^ and 
4 The llixtr>/ and Topography of the Deanery of Doncaster^ 
whose intimate knowledge of ancient writings and 
minute points of history procured him in 1833 the 
appointment of Sub-Commissioner of the Public Records, 
and, on the re-construction of the Record Office in 1838, 
that of assistant-keeper of the first class. 

Here is the letter in which Burgon opened the cor- 
respondence : 

" Reverend Sir, The handwriting of this letter is un- 
known to you ; but when 1 recall to your memory the 
conversation you had with a stranger the other night, at 
the party given by our friend Mr. Fellows, you will easily 
recognise the writer. It is with reference to that conversa- 
tion that I am now taking the liberty of addressing you. 

" I believe I told you that I have, for some years past, 
devoted all the leisure I have had at my disposal to 
the illustration of Shakspeare's 8 life. Among other things 

8 In the correspondence of Mr. latter with an e in the first as well 

Burgon with Mr. Hunter the name as an a in the second. Shakspere 

of Shakspere is spelt as they re- himself spelt his name with neither 

spectively spell it, the former with one nor the other. Six genuine 

an a in the second syllable, the signatures of his are in existence, 



THE EARLY LIFE. 



47 



I discovered, unaided, the 
have pleased myself with 

" three attached to his will, and two 
affixed to deeds connected with the 
mortgage and sale of a property in 
Blackfriars," and the sixth in his 
copy of Montaigne's Essays, now in 
the British Museum. Moreover in 
the entries of his baptism and burial 
in the Register of Stratford Church, 
and in those of the baptisms of his 
three children, and of the burial of 
his son, the name is always spelt 
SHAKSPERE. [See the first note to 
the Preface to Knight's edition of 
Sbakspere, from which the above 
particulars are taken.] It is thus 
spelt therefore in this narrative. 

The author, however, is quite 
sensible that by adopting this mode 
of spelling a world-famous name, he 
would have incurred the (literary) 
wrath of the dear friend whose 
Biography he is writing. One of 
Burgon's articles in the 'Gentleman's 
Magazine' 1 [March, 1840, vol. xiii. 
p. 264] is " A Reply to Mr. John 
Bruce on the Orthography of 
Shakspeare's name." And in the 
following May [vol. xiii. p. 474] 
appeared in the same magazine " A 
Reply to Mr. Bruce's Reply to my 
former Letter," both articles signed 
with his name at full length. Mr. 
Bruce had contended that the name 
should be spelt Shakspere, because 
this was the continual and consis- 
tent usage of the poet himself. 
Burgon replies that there is no 
proof that the poet invariably spelt 
his name in one way, and some 
good reasons for thinking he did 
not, and that we do not necessarily 
spell names as their owners spelt 



clue to his sonnets ; and 
the idea, that an Essay 

them. Nobody ever spells Cecil's 
name with two Is, because he him- 
self so spelt it six hundred times. 
Moreover, many eminent persons 
have spelt their names in two or 
more ways, e.g. Dry den and Raleigh. 
The spelling of our great poet's name, 
which has been sanctioned for 250 
years by the majority of cultivated 
and well-educated persons is indis- 
putably SHAKSPEARE ; and to depart 
from this established mode of ortho- 
graphy is affected and pedantic. 
He points out, as regards Shak- 
spere's acknowledged signatures, that 
three of the six are attached to one 
document, his will, and " are there- 
fore only entitled to one vote." The 
three others he makes out to be 
dubious. " It is true," he says, 
" that the Parish Clerk of Stratford 
spelt the name Shakspere 27 times 
out of 30 in the Parish Register. 
But Shakspeare's daughter and her 
husband, Dr. Hall, who were his 
executors, and certainly raised a 
monument to him, spelt his name 
as I spell it, SHAKSPEARE. If her 
father had hinted any dislike to this 
spelling, she would not have adopted 
it for his monument." But the 
reader who desires to pursue the 
subject must refer for himself to the 
articles in the ' Gentleman's Maga- 
zine? They are extremely charac- 
teristic, the writer being assured 
that his conclusion was beyond all 
controversy the right one, and ex- 
pressing himself with the vehemence 
of an impulsive nature, as was 
always J. W. B.'s wont. 



48 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

on the subject, at some future period, would not be 
unattended with the approbation of men whom it is a 
merit to please. I have accumulated by degrees, obser- 
vations, having reference more or less directly to 
Shakspeare ; and with a little leisure should be prepared 
to publish an Essay on his life. 

" But it appears that you have been yourself for many 
years pursuing the same inquiries, and that on certain 
subjects we have come to the same conclusions. Further, 
I am inclined to believe from your conversation, that it 
is your intention, sooner or later, to publish something 
on the subject of Shakspeare. 

"Now Sir, the frank and liberal style in which you 
conversed with me the other night makes me desirous 
of acting in a manner as courteous towards yourself; 
and I wish to know, whether it would give you pain, or 
indeed any degree of displeasure, that I should proceed 
with my humble Essay? I cannot of course resolve 
this question for myself, because I am ignorant of what 
your own particular intentions may be on the subject ; 
though I must say, they appear to me likely to be on so 
much more extensive a scale than the extent of my 
leisure has ever permitted me to contemplate, that I 
can scarcely imagine that such few observations as I 
might be desirous of publishing, would interfere very 
materially with you. I trust that you will regard this 
letter in the light in which it is really written, and 
that you will not deem the spirit of it either as inquisi- 
tive or presumptuous. My only wish is, to avoid giving 
you hereafter any mortification or displeasure. 

" I am, Sir, with much respect, 

" Your most obed*- servant, 

" JOHN W. BURGON. 

"Tuesday night, Feb. n, 1835. 

" ii, Brunswick Square. 

"To the Rev. Joseph Hunter, No. 30, Torrington 
Square." 



THE EARLY LIFE. 49 

And here is Mr. Hunter's answer, written on the fol- 
lowing day, courteously informing his young friend that 
he was not the first who had discovered the clue to Shak- 
spere's Sonnets. When all allowance has been made for 
the complimentary vein of the letter (arising from the 
natural gratification felt by Hunter at young Burgon'a 
deference to him as an authority), it is still clear that 
the veteran antiquarian thought highly of the labours 
and abilities of the juvenile one. 

" 30, Torrington Square, February 12, 1835. 

" Dear Sir, I meet with so few persons who are 
engaged in curious investigations connected with our 
early literature, that it is quite a refreshment and a 
pleasure to find that such investigations are being pur- 
sued in quarters unsuspected. I heard of your enquiries, 
of the manner in which they were conducted, and of the 
results, with no other feelings than those of satisfaction ; 
and so far from wishing them to cease, or from wishing 
that the public should not, as speedily as to you may 
seem meet, enjoy the benefit of them, I most earnestly 
desire that they should be pursued, and I anticipate very 
high gratification, whenever the world shall be favoured 
with your work. 

" This will I think be a sufficient answer to the more 
material part of the truly obliging note which you have 
addressed to me, a courtesy demanding from me the most 
respectful acknowledgment. What I may do with my 
own collections of a similar nature, I can by no means 
tell ; I may go on collecting and planning to the end of 
life, or I may snatch a few days of leisure from pursuits 
deeply interesting to me indeed, but little congenial with 
these, and throw them before long upon the great heap 
of Shakespear-criticism. This however ought not to 
have, and cannot have, any effect on your operations, 
as enquiries so entirely independent of each other must 
needs lead to very different particular results, whatever 
the general conclusions may be ; but I should think it 
a very great misfortune, if my humble labours in this 

VOL. i. E 



50 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

department should deprive the public of the benefit of 
enquiries so tasteful and so judiciously conducted as 
yours, or yourself of the high honour which belongs to 
such successful investigators in our national literature. 

" The point itself, that the Earl of Pembroke was the 
person to whom mq^t part, or all, of the Sonnets were 
addressed, you will have perceived is no secret, as you 
have no doubt referred to the volume of the ' Gentleman s 
Magazine' to which I referred you. Mr. Boaden, you will 
perceive, there distinctly announces the fact, and details 
some part of the evidence by which the conclusion is 
supported. I had corresponded for many years before 
that time with the friend who is named in my letter, on 
this very point. It was indeed his discovery, not mine : 
and it may be some satisfaction to you to hear that no 
one will rejoice more than he in the appearance of your 
Essay. But though the fact itself cannot therefore be 
considered in the light of ' a secret,' there are inferences 
to be drawn from it of a most curious nature, which may 
equally entitle him who draws them to the merit of a 
discoverer, and a discoverer in a region unknown, but full 
of surprise and curiosity. 

" I remain, with the truest respect, 

" Dear Sir, 
" Your obliged and very faithful servant, 

"JOSEPH HUNTER. 
" John W. Burgon, Esq." 

The correspondence between Mr. Hunter and the 
young friend who had such a sympathy with him in 
his Shaksperian studies, and in antiquarian subjects 
generally, was carried on during the latter part of 1^35 
and the earlier part of 1836, and witnesses to an acquaint- 
ance of Burgon with general literature, which at his age, 
and gained as it was during the short intervals of leisure 
which his occupations at the counting-house allowed of, 
is truly surprising. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 51 

From this digression on the Shaksperian studies, which 
engrossed him so largely in the earlier part of his life, 
we return to our narrative. 

Some two or three years after the publication of the 
translation of Brondsted's monograph on the Panathenai'c 
Vases an announcement was made in the City that 
" a prize would be given by William Taylor Copeland, 
Esq., then Lord Mayor, to the author of the best Essay 
' on the Life and Character of Sir Thomas Gresham ; ' 
which was to be comprised within such limits, that the 
public recitation of it should not exceed half an hour." 
Young Burgon was connected with the City by his 
employment in his father's counting-house ; he had been 
born and bred in commercial circles ; and thus Gresham 
in the sixteenth century \b. 1519 ; ^.1579], ROn f a Lord 
Mayor, "the royal merchant" as he was called, who had 
furnished out of his own purse the funds for building 
the Royal Exchange 9 (the merchants had hitherto trans- 
acted their business in the open air), was likely, inde- 
pendently of any desire to win a prize, to be an attractive 
subject to him, falling in as it did with his immediate 
surroundings. We learn from a private letter, bearing A.D. 1836. 
date March 15, 1836, that Mr. Renouard, who as English ^' 23 ' 
Chaplain at Smyrna in 1813 had baptized him, an 
eminent Orientalist, an elegant scholar, and a man of 

9 It may be added that the house traffic of the Gresham family with 

of Gresham traded in the Levant, the Levant is supplied by the will 

and seems to have been one of the of Lady Isabella Gresham (Sir 

earliest English houses which did John's sister-in-law), where particu- 

so, and that Mr. Thomas Burgon lar mention is made of her ' Turkey 

also, the father of the subject of this carpets,' a great luxury for a 

Memoir, was, as has been already private individual, in an age when 

said, a Turkey merchant, and an as- rushes formed part of the furniture 

sociate in the Levant Company, and of the court." Burgon' s ' Life and 

had a house of business at Smyrna. Times of Gresham,' vol. i. p. 12. 
"Another illustration of the early 

E 2 



52 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

high general cultivation, had offered to look over the 
manuscript before it was sent in. Young Burgon 
availed himself gladly of so advantageous an offer. In 
a letter of not quite three weeks afterwards (April 2, 
1836) he acknowledged the receipt of Mr. Renouard's 
criticisms; where the suggested alterations have been 
verbal, " I have adopted them without hesitation ; where 
the sentiment is concerned, I have taken the liberty of 
weighing them a little, and, though I have invariably 
availed myself of the sagacious interlinear pencilling, 
there yet remain some few passages which I have noted, 
as passages about which I should like to say a few 
words to you." Further on in the same letter he gives 
an account of the method in which the Essay had been 
drawn up, which deserves to be quoted as illustrative 
both of his habit of postponing work to the last moment 
(a habit which clung to him in the composition of his 
sermons, in which he was occasionally so pressed for 
time that the manuscript was only finished just before 
the bell for the service at which he was to preach went 
down), and of the indefatigable industry and research 
characteristic of his every literary effort : 

" The truth is, that I acted very foolishly in the way 
I wrote it. I deferred, from want of leisure, turning my 
thoughts to the subject, till within a very few weeks of 
the day appointed for the compositions to be sent in to 
the worthies who were to pronounce on their merits. 
When at last the time drew near, I obtained permission 
from my father to pass a few days at the British 
Museum. Here, to my great astonishment, I discovered, 
that what I contemplated as a mere Essay, was capable 
of being amplified into something very like a Life. 
I found letters original, and written in the very 
crampest hands official documents, and, above all, an 
immense mass of really useful information concerning 
my hero ; scattered however of course, up and down, in 



THE EARLY LIFE. 53 

all manner of out of the way books. ... I assure you, 
Sir, for the week or so I passed in the Reading-room 
pursuing this inquiry, I worked as few of the readers 
there have done. The iron fist of time was pressing 
upon me ; and if I failed to bring my work to an end by 
the appointed time, there was but one alternative, to 
abandon the undertaking altogether, a thing not to be 
thought of with me. When the evening came, I used to 
sit up in my lodgings (it was during the repairs of our 
house) and I never rose from my papers till my hand 
was literally too weary to guide my pen, or my brain 
too tired to guide either. I used first to transcribe in 
a fair hand the scarcely legible note I had made at the 
Museum ; then, as collectedly as I was able, to weave 
them into a kind of story, and I was finally only able to 
finish transcribing my Essay into the book you have 
seen, by half past two in the afternoon of the day ap- 
pointed" for the Essays to be sent in ; so that I literally 
never once read over what I had written, till my MS. 
was returned to me from Crosby Square. . . . Pardon this 
long egotistical paragraph I did not know that it was 
going to extend over so much paper . . . but I could not 
suppress it altogether ; for it really seems scarcely proper 
to trouble a kind friend with a composition containing 
so many obvious inaccuracies. 

" I must still go over it once more with a microscopic 
eye ; for the pointing, and other such nugce, comparatively 
unimportant as they are in MS., look terribly distinct 
when they come to be printed. I have written to 
Hamburg, and to Antwerp, on the subject of Sir Thomas 
Gresham, and I have been assured from good authority, 
that many an archive that has slumbered for centuries, 
has been disturbed, and is undergoing examination, at both 
places, for my s-ake. Do you know Dr. Lappenburg l ? 

1 So J. W. B. spells the name. Chapter of the Church of Hamburg. 

Johann Martin Lappenberg was an He doubtless was one of the per- 

eminent German historian, born at sons to whom Burgon had written 

Hamburg in 1794, where he was to institute researches about Gres- 

appointed by the Senate of the City ham. When in London, Lappen- 

Master of the Rolls, and where he berg often joined the circle in 

discovered the Archives of the Brunswick Square. 



54 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" My paper warns rae to conclude but I will not do 
so till I have begged to be most kindly remembered to 
your amiable sisters (I wish the world contained more 
such ladies) and till I have offered you my share of 
thanks for all your kindnesses to Caroline and Tom. 

" Believe % me most respectfully, dear Sir, 
" Your obliged and affectionate 

"JOHN W. BURGOX." 

Shortly after the date of the above letter (April 2, 
1836), and before the public reading at the Mansion 
House of the abbreviated Gresham Essay (May 14 of the 
same year) the first great shadow fell upon his life, 
a shadow which contributed with later sorrows to give 
a tinge of melancholy to his character, contrasting 
strangely with, and throwing up into relief, the occa- 
sional hilariousness of his buoyant spirits. This was the 
death of his little sister Katharine Margaret (-'Kitty"), 
born Oct. 27, 1828, to whom he was tenderly attached, 
and of whose pretty childish ways and words he had 
long been observant, as appears from sundry memoranda 
in his Journal. 

The circumstances of this dear child's death and 
burial were deemed by him worthy of a special journal, 
which he calls, " The Journal of my sorrows " ; and 
justice would hardly be done to the extraordinary 
sensibility of John William Burgon, both as regards 
his love of young children, and his affection for kin- 
dred, unless the reader were presented with a slight 
sketch of the contents of this journal and one or two 
extracts from it. Kitty had been ailing since Thursday, 
April 14, but her sore throat was so much better on 
Saturday, the 23rd, that " she ran about the house and 
resumed all her dear old ways," and her brother went 
with a light heart to visit Mr. -Renouard at Swans- 



THE EARLY LIFE. 55 

combe, and to confer with him about the Gresham Essay, 
in which Renouard had detected " several inaccuracies." 

It was, however, but a momentary gleam of sunshine, 
upon which the clouds were soon to close in again thicker 
than ever. When he reached home on Monday, the 
25th, he found that the child's " throat gave evidence of 
a worse state " ; the complaint was pronounced to be an 
" ulcer creeping downwards, and making for the wind- 
pipe one of the gates of life " ; and the family were 
assured by the medical practitioners that the only chance 
of recovery was the opening of the wind-pipe. He darts 
off for the specialist who is recommended, and holds the 
child down during the operation, which, however, proves 
unsuccessful. 

. . . "Three or four times did she make signs that she 
wanted something ; for I told her, as often as she wanted 
something, to lift up her hand ; and what do you sup- 
pose the angel wanted? when I approached my face, 
I found all she desired was to embrace me ; she passed 
her thin poor hand round my neck, and in that un- 
comfortable posture, uncomfortable to herself. I mean 
held me for half a minute at a time ; once she even 
raised her parched lips to kiss me, and every time I 
approached her face, I kissed her and called her the 
names I knew she would like best." 

Frightened at first by the thought that she was going 
to die, 

"'Johnny,' she said, l pray ;' and while she of her own ac- 
cord folded her little hands, and looked up to Heaven, I 

prayed aloud Presently she said she was 'better now,' 

and folded her hands again. I then repeated the Lord's 
Prayer to her, and she nodded approbation. She subse- 
quently often looked up. and I reminded her of many con- 
soling things, and told her of the angels, and, I am sure, 
comforted her. She grew much calmer and happier, and 
seemed to have no more religious misgivings. . . . And here 
let me pause and reflect what awful moments must those 



56 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

have been to my angelic Kate, with which I am dealing so 
briefly. When she asked me if she was going to die, doubt- 
less the advancing shadows of death were falling upon her 
soul. It must be an awful sensation that of dying ; one, 
to which the external appearances are no real index ; 
paleness means nothing, tells nothing ; but in the * secret 
closure of the breast,'* in the inmost heart, there must be 
a deep and indefinable dread, a consciousness of some 
great change one cannot tell what the ground must 
seem sinking from beneath one, the scene must seem 
growing misty around one -, and on the ' prophetic soul,' 
already loosening its connexion with the clay, must begin 
to dawn the awful glories of an eternal morning. It 
must be terrible, all alone, to have to walk through the 
valley of the shadow of Death, to know that none of 
those around you can participate in the perils of the 
journey, that He, whom we have never yet known than 
as the object of prayer, is to be our Guide, and that an 
instant will bring us into His dread presence, which, 
though one knows it to be at all times near, one fancies at 
all times to be immeasurably distant. I say it must be an 
awful thing to die; and when afterwards I looked on 
Kitty's lifeless face, I surveyed it and her with a deep 

2 One is reminded of the opening And could fall back on nought to 

of Cardinal Newman's ' Dream of be my stay, 

GerontiKs" 1 written many years (Help, loving Lord! Thou my sole 

afterwards : Refuge, Thou,) 

" Pray for me, my friends ; a And turn no whither, but must 

visitant needs decay 

Is knocking his dire summons And drop from out the uni- 

at my door, versal frame 

The like of whom, to scare me Into that shapeless, scopeless, 

and to daunt, blank abyss, 

Has never, never come to me That utter nothingness, of 

before ; which I came : 

'Tis death, loving friends, This is it that hath come to pass 

your prayers ! 'tis he ! ... in me ; 

As though my very being had Oh, horror ! this it is, my 

given way, dearest, this ; 

As though I was no more a sub- So pray for me, my friends, who have 

stance now, not strength to pray." 



THE EARLY LIFE. 57 

respectful awe. Little, weak, helpless, dear child, thought 
I, whom, while you lived, I considered as a tender play- 
thing, and trembled lest the very winds should visit thee 
too roughly. I taught thee, and unfolded thy young 
mind as tenderly as sunshine unfolds the sweet blossom 
of the rose ; for thou wast young and more ignorant than 
I ; but now Death hath made thee the wiser of the twain. 
All that the wisest man on earth knows is foolishness 
compared with what thou knowest ; thou, in thy inno- 
cence, in thy helplessness, hast wrestled with the con- 
queror ; thy agony is over, thy race is run ; all that I 
dread, yet wish to know, thou knowest ; the mysteries of 
Heaven have been revealed to thy sense. My sister, I 
bow to thee now ! 

Oh sweet one, think sometimes, when thou art in Para- 
dise, of me think of thy old friend and brother, and be 
my ministering angel ! " 

Dr. Leemans, an attached friend of the family, had 
given the child a rose-tree a little time back. 

" I remember the delight that rose-tree gave her, when 
she first possessed it. It had then but one flower in 
bloom, and the rest were in buds. Alas ! the flower she 
loved was withering, but fresh blossoms were unfolding 
around it ! Kitty was dead ; but the rose was living 
blooming, fresh, and green, and strong ! ! Some of the 
flowers and leaves were subsequently scattered in her 
coffin, where they looked very lovely. The rose-tree 
itself I have taken out of its mould, and preserved, root 
and all, in paper. 

In the evening came the leaden coffin. I stood at the 
door trembling, while the men deposited within it the 
darling form of my sister. Terrible as it was to me, I 
was determined that her Jonah " (the child's way of pro- 
nouncing /o/m^>), "whom she loved so dearly, should see 
her gently handled, and stand by through every scene, 
even to the last." 



58 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

On Monday, May 2, the funeral took place, and Katie 
was interred in the Church of St. Stephen's, Wai- 
brook. With the other members of the family he goes 
into the vault, and sees her deposited there, and sketches 
from memory in " the Journal of my sorrows " the posi- 
tion of the coffins. *Kitty, however, was not to lie there 
for ever. The dear child will come before the reader 
again. Thirty-one years after she was to share, with 
several of the mediaeval saints, the honour of a " Trans- 
lation." She was enshrined in the heart of her brother ; 
and he longed to have her grave in the place of his 
residence, that he might pay it constant visits, and there 
indulge in all the tender recollections which the thought 
of her never failed to summon up in his mind. 

Most touching are some of these reminiscences, which 
he has committed to paper on August 14 of the same 
year, when he finds himself " oppressed with a profound 
melancholy," and " does not know what to do to console 
himself." We are told of the extraordinary affectionate- 
ness of the child, of her sensitive delicacy, of her fear of 
giving pain, of her anxiety to give pleasure even in mere 
trifles ; of all her little winning ways and frolicsome talk 
with him, when he used to come in from the Counting- 
house (" I used to praise her for the excellence of her 
tone, and say in the tone of La ci clarem la mano, ' I 
know who's a fine girl ; her name is Kitty ' ; to which 
her reply always was, with a slight variation, ' I know 
who's a fine boy; his name is Joner'"), and how "she 
used regularly every morning to trot into Mamma's 
room at seven o'clock to wake her. I believe the 
missing of that little creature's moving round the foot 
of the bed every morning has occasioned more grief to 
father and mother than the sight of her ever occasioned 

joy." 



THE EARLY LIFE. 59 

He says in the course of these reminiscences ; '-I 
shed tears while I write of such things." It is a little 
hard sometimes to keep the eyes dry while reading of 
them. 

But we must return from this long digression to his 
Life and Times of Gresfiam.' The work at the British 
Museum having opened out new sources of information, 
and brought to light a vast accumulation of materials, 
which he was not at all prepared for, when he first ad- 
dressed himself to his task, " the Essay, instead of forming 
a slight pamphlet, as was anticipated, soon assumed the 
size of a small volume." It won the prize, however, and 
the condition imposed by the Lord Mayor as to the limits 
which the public recitation was not to exceed, having 
been complied with by selecting " such portions of it as 
seemed best adapted for the purpose," these " were pub- 
licly read at the Mansion House, May T4th, 1 836, the office 
of reader having been undertaken with singular kindness 
by the Rev, George Cecil Renouard, B.D." (whom we 
have already seen revising and amending it) " Rector of 
Swanscombe, Kent ; of the value of whose long-standing 
friendship " (it was " a friendship a baptisterio" as 
Burgon called it, dating from the Baptismal Font) 
" the writer is deeply sensible, and whose good offices on 
this, and many other occasions, he gladly avails himself 
of the present opportunity to acknowledge 3 ." 

It appears that, notwithstanding his week's researches 
in the British Museum, Burgon found that there was still 
much to be discovered respecting Sir Thomas Gresham 
in other quarters, and that his Essay, notwithstanding 
his enlargement of it in bulk, beyond anything he had 

3 Preface to Burgon's ' Lift and Times of Sir Thomas Greshuiu,' 
pp. viii, ix. 



60 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

originally contemplated, would still want the fulness 
which might have been given to it, had the writer had 
access to other sources. For on May 30, 1836, we find 
him at Oxford 4 , bent upon prosecuting his subject still 
further in the Bodleian Library. Here his reception by 
Dr. Bandinel, then Librarian of the Bodleian, to whom 
he presented two letters of introduction, seems to have 
disappointed him ; and from the first day of his study 
in the great Library he reaped little or nothing. But 
having "heard a young fellow say something about 
nightingales in Bagley Wood," he consoles himself very 
characteristically by finding his way thither to hear 
them, seeing en route a boat-race (" pretty sight, so full 
of youth and lustihood"). The nightingales were not 
as disappointing as Dr. Bandinel ; for two of them sang 
to him " wonderfully loud and sweetly " (" moon up, and 
some stars thought of dear Kit " the little sister, whom 
he had lost in the preceding month). Next day (Tuesday, 
May 31), after a breakfast with Mr. Brancker at Wadham, 
Dr. Bliss the Registrar of the University, "a small, white- 
haired man, with an acute benevolent face/' joined the 
nightingales in soothing his ruffled spirit and making up 
for Dr. Bandinel ; " he received me with much kindness 
entered into my views, and appointed me to-morrow 
to come to him again: meantime he accompanied me 
to the Bodleian: and put Catalogue of MSS. into my 
hands read all day in the Bodleian." He prosecutes 
his researches for information about Gresham in "the 
Ashmole Library," and, under the auspices of his kind 

* The sister University he appears other objects of interest, makes a 

by his Journal to have visited in few sketches, and spends a day at 

1833 (the year, as already noted, of the Pepysian Library. He returned 

his earliest publication) on Sept. 23. to London, October 3, after an 

He records little of this visit. He absence often days. 
sees the Fitzwilliam Museum and 



THE EARLY LIFE. 61 

friend Dr. Bliss, in the Library of St. John's College. 
On the following day (Wednesday, June i) after he 
had dined at the Angel, where he had put up, follows 
the account (too characteristic to be omitted) of his 
making his way to Forest Hill, "where Milton's wife 
lived, and where Milton must have passed some of his 
time." 

" I unfortunately took the road to Skotover Hill, which 
threw me some miles out of my way. I scampered 
across the country, and approached Forest Hill as the 
night was coming on. or rather the twilight. The neigh- 
bourhood seemed picturesque and Allegro-like ; and 
something, I know not what, told me. when I reached 
the summit of a slight ascent, that I was standing on 
holy ground. I walked round a little church, and thro' 
a farmyard and stood before a cottage. I saw a young 
woman standing at the door. ' Pray, did not Milton live 
here once, or somewhere hereabouts ? ' ' Milton O ! 
that's a smart way from here.' ' I don't mean the place 
called Milton ; I mean a man who once Jived here, and 
bore that name, 5 &c., &c., &c. ' Well, but what was he ? 
Was he a farmer or a tradesman, or anythin' o' that ? ' 
8 Oh ! farmer ! ' thought I. I explained to the damsel 
as well as I could that the author of Paradise Lost was 
what men call a Poet, &c. It ended by the farmer 
coming out to our assistance. Milton's house has been 
pulled down forty years. Some old men in the neigh- 
bourhood, the farmer told me, could remember the place. 
It must, I should think, have been nearly contiguous 
with the house tenanted by my cicerone. On the site 
grow some apple trees. The steps (two or three) of 
Milton's house remain ; so does the garden-wall, and the 
gateway that led up to the door, though the gateway has 
been blocked up. There is a smaller gate hard by, which 
has been left open. On a neighbouring barn there is a 
barbarous Adam and Eve and the tree, &c., done in stucco 
bas-relief surprised me not a little. It is a touching 
thought that all that neighbourhood was familiar to 
Milton ! 



62 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" I leaned over the low garden- wall in the twilight, 
watching the evening star, and felt perhaps as much 
rapture as under the most favourable circumstances I 
could have hoped to derive from a visit to the place . . . 
I got back to Oxford at 1 1 o'clock very tired took tea 
wrote Tom and Emily " (his only brother, three years 
younger than himself, and his second sister, six years 
younger), "and went to roost." 

The next day he breakfasts and dines with Mr. Rogers 
(afterwards Sir Frederick, and eventually Lord Blachford) 
who shows him great kindness and asks him to meet at 
dinner three men who were to become celebrities, Arch- 
deacon Harrison, Dean Liddell, and Professor Mozley. 

But neither these hospitalities, nor Dr. Bliss, nor the 
evening star stealing out to shed its placid ray on 
Milton's garden-wall, nor all these together, had quite 
reconciled him to the reception he had met with at the 
Bodleian and other libraries. For after recording a break- 
fast with Dr. Buckland next day, and copying the inscrip- 
tion on Dr. Burton's tomb in Christ Church Cathedral 
(" very uncomfortably ; for Buckland would keep standing 
all the time "), he explodes in his Journal more siw, and the 
passage is worth quoting, because it contrasts so curiously 
with his sentiments respecting Oxford in later days, when 
he himself had become part and parcel of it, and shows 
how personal connexion with an institution wholly alters 
the point of view, from which it was regarded and criti- 
cized ab extra. 

" Oxford is certainly a most infernally ill-governed 
place. There being no acknowledged principal, and the 
scholastic habits of the people making them naturally 
indolent and lazy " (the difference between the adminis- 
tration of Oxford and that of the British Museum is 
working in his mind), "the supreme command by in- 
direct circumstances generally devolves (for it must 



THE EARLY LIFE. 63 

devolve somewhere) into the hands of" some one (it is 
better to omit his too strong language) "who enacts 
rigorous laws, or sanctions old abuses, till the whole 
place becomes like one vast cobweb ; so that, fly which 
way you will out of the direct line, you get entangled. 
In fact, the place seems designed for one sole purpose, 
viz. the accommodation of overgrown schoolboys. For 
this I confess the arrangements are admirable ; there 
are good masters, good lodgings, and there is quiet. But 
surely this is not a legitimate and sufficient use for 
Oxford the ancient the sacred the learned the 
venerable the storehouse of wit, and the repository of 
literary research ? The stranger (for whom such treasures 
are surely in part accumulated!) is baulked at every 
step. Does he want to see a library? He has to 
rummage out a nameless librarian, who knows nothing 
of what is placed under his charge, nor desires to know 
an old lot/, who has crammed enough Greek, Latin, 
and Logic, to enable him without shame to pass an ex- 
amination, and who now eats, and drinks, and does nothing 
on the strength of having sweated in his youth." 

It is probable that this disappointment at Oxford may 
have contributed towards, if it was not the sole cause of, 
the temporary abandonment of the design of publishing the 
Gresham Essay. At all events, in the Preface to the work 
[p. ix] he indicates that it had been laid aside for a time. 
The next year indeed we find him again in Oxford; but A.D. 1837. 
with no design apparently of prosecuting his researches 
into Gresham's Life and Times. He went there for a 
three days' holiday with his elder sister, and saw and 
did a great deal in that short space of time. To his 
great disappointment, he found the Bodleian closed, 
"this being the season of its visitation," but is com- 
pensated by becoming acquainted with Mr. Newman 
" who makes such a noise just now in Oxford," and hear- 
ing him read Prayers "in the Lady Chapel of St. Mary's, 
and deliver a short discourse." "He seemed austere 



64 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

and sickly ; there was something peculiar about his 
manner ; for instance, he read in rather a peculiar style, 
and observed sundry slight unusual forms, such as read- 
ing from the first step of the altar, and dropping on his 
knees on the next step, when he had occasion to kneel." 
Afterwards, at the rooms of Mr. Browell, of Pembroke 
College (who showed the strangers every kind of hospi- 
tality, and acted as cicerone to them), " I had the ad- 
vantage of five minutes' talk with Mr. Newman, who 
looked in for not much more than ten minutes. Browell 
had invited him to dine with us, but he was engaged 
elsewhere. I was much pleased with his early retreat, 
a custom of self-denial practised by him on all occasions, 
as a young clergyman told me. Mr. Newman, after he 
has retired to his apartments, occupies himself until a 
very late hour." Not only Mr. Browell, but other 
Academical celebrities Mr. Palmer of Magdalen College 
(who " talked of nothing but Ecclesiastical History for 
two hours, so that, listening to him, I scarcely could 
attend to the beauty of the walks, pictures, architecture, 
or any thing else "), Mr. Henry Burrows of St. John's, 
Dr. Buckland of Christ Church, and Mr. Clough of Jesus, 
showed the brother and sister much kindness and 
attention, the latter " giving us a splendid dinner ! I will 
only record the entree of a Welsh rabbit, eaten on toasted 
bread, sopped in a mess of ale, negus, sherry, &c. I did 
not like it; but it was genuine Welsh. The liquor did 
duty as a grace-cup after the cheese was ended." 
But pleasant as the visit was, there was one great dis- 
appointment in it, from his having made a previous 
engagement for one of the nights when " Dr. Pusey 
invited me to attend a theological meeting at his house, 
and hear Mr. Newman." After recording which he 
writes in his Journal : " And thus, I take it, ends this 



THE EARLY LIFE. 65 

visit to Oxford dear, delightful, theological, polemical, 
well-fed Oxford. Esto perpetua ! " (He has quite re- 
covered from the disgust occasioned at his visit of last 
year by his reception at the Bodleian.) 

Before we pass away from the year 1837, it may be 
mentioned that he gained a medal in that year for a song 
at the Melodists' Club, which was presented to him at 
a dinner given by the Club at the Freemasons' Tavern 
(Aug. 13). More than two years afterwards, he seems 
to have received ^15 15-?. from the publication and 
sale of this song, which, he says, was " the first money 
I ever earned in Literature." The verses, while they 
cannot be characterized as more than pretty, show the 
versatility of his powers, and the variety of his pursuits. 
They breathe his usual sensibility, and are probably an 
echo of his sorrows of the preceding year, when little 
Kitty had been removed from the family circle. 

Here are some of them : 

" The friends, whom in Life's early morning we cherish, 

Are fled ere the noon of existence is o'er ; 
And when night gathers darkest around us, we perish 
With few hearts to love us, and none to deplore. 

" Ah ! who when he sees by some rare chance united 

Around him the faces and forms he loves best, 
Each with hopes undeceived, young affections un- 

blighted, 
And joy the sole inmate of every pure breast 

<: Ah ! who has not wished that just then a deep slumber 
On him and his cherished companions might fall, 
That the summons, which else would steal one from 

their number, 
Might come like an Angel of peace to them all ! " 

At the beginning of the year 1838 occurred the burning A.D. 1838. 
of the Royal Exchange, which was the occasion of re- ^ i " 2 ^ 
VOL. i. F 



66 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

viving his project of publishing on the subject of 
Gresham's Life and Times, as he tells us in his Preface. 

" Two years had elapsed, when the destruction of the 
Royal Exchange by fire in the beginning of 1838 seems 
to have suggested the idea that a more auspicious 
moment had arrived for the appearance of the life of its 
founder ; and inquiries were made for the neglected MS." 
(He had " laid it aside," under the impression that, with 
the large mass of materials at command, justice could 
not be done to the subject in a small compass.) " But 
before it left his hands the writer determined to apply 
for permission to inspect the correspondence of Sir 
Thomas Gresham, which he was told existed in the 
State Paper Office ; and the necessary facilities having 
been very obligingly granted him by Lord John Rus- 
sell ... to the State Paper Office he repaired. Great 
indeed was his surprise and satisfaction at discovering 
such a mass of historic evidence as was then first dis- 
closed to him. Hundreds of letters now appeared in 
place of the scanty documents which he had hitherto 
known of; and these volumes are the result." 

The Gresham family being of Norfolk extraction, and 
deriving its name from a small village in Norfolk, the 
free school of Holt in Norfolk having been the manor- 
house of James Gresham, Sir Thomas's great-grandfather, 
and Intwood Hall, about three miles from Norwich, 
having been his country seat, inherited from his father, 
it was obvious for young Burgon to apply to his father's 
friend, Mr. Dawson Turner, of Great Yarmouth, for 
assistance in his ' Life of Gresham,' not only as the pos- 
sessor of a " valuable MS. library," but also as thoroughly 
versed in the antiquities of the eastern counties. This 
assistance he acknowledges in his Preface, pp. xv, xvi. 

Accordingly ' Gresliam ' was resumed, and, as was 
Burgon's wont, " whatsoever his hand found to do, he 
did it with his might." On the day of the Queen's 



THE EARLY LIFE. 67 

Coronation (Thursday, May 28, 1838) the brief entry in 
his Journal is as follows : " Coronation Tom and 
Helen" (his younger brother and youngest surviving 
sister) " went to see it I did ' Gresham ' all day." 
On Saturday, July 27 : " Said the last word to the 
last sheet of T. G. ! ! ! ! " ; and, finally, Aug. 26 (when 
he is in the midst of a Scotch tour with his friend 
Patrick Fraser Tytler) : " ' Gretham* came out." 

But his visit to Norfolk in 1838 ought not to be 
passed over without some detailed notice of it, because 
this seems to have been the commencement of an inti- 
macy, which he prized very highly, with the amiable 
and estimable family of the late Mr. Dawson Turner. 
The ostensible object of the visit was that he might 
see with his own eyes Holt and Intwood, and make en- 
quiries on the spot as to any particulars of the Gresham 
family, which might have been handed down by tradi- 
tion, and still linger among the peasantry. He accom- 
plished this before he left the county ; but it is clear 
from his Journal that his acquaintance with the Turner 
family rather diverted him for a time from his avowed 
object, by setting up another strong current of interest 
in his mind, and exercising upon him an influence not 
merely intellectual, but sentimental. Mr. Dawson Turner 
himself was just such a character as would naturally 
attract Burgon. He was highly cultivated, and was 
strong in several subjects, particularly in antiquities. 
Papers from his pen appear in the Transactions of 
various scientific Societies ; several of the most inter- 
esting monographs to be found in the Proceedings of 
the Norfolk and Norwich Archseological Society were 
contributed by him ; and it was he who wrote the letter- 
press for Cotman's splendid engravings of ' The Antiqui- 
ties of Normandy' He possessed valuable pictures and 

F 2 



68 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

antiques, and, being a great botanist, had got together a 
hortus siccus, which was one of the completest collections 
of that kind in the country. But Burgon himself shall 
give what he calls " a pen and ink sketch" of him. Thus 
he writes in his Journal of Monday, 16 April, 1838 : 

" D. T. is an extraordinary man ; he combines the 
banker with the man of letters. He is a classic and 
a botanist, a picture-fancier, an autograph collector, and 
general lover of virtu, a pleasant companion, a kind host, 
a zealous abettor in literary enquiries " (witness his 
hospitality to young Burgon, when bent on prosecuting 
his researches into Gresham's life), " the very tenderest 
of husbands, and the very kindest of fathers. But the 
business habit usque reciirrit ; he tells you how much 
this and that cost ; what he has been offered, and what 
he has refused ; what he would and what he would not 
give for other men's, and take for some of his own trea- 
sures . . . He reminds me of Scott " (Sir Walter), 
" is so fond of dogs." 

En route to Great Yarmouth, and again in returning 
to London, Burgon stops at Norwich, lionises the Ca- 
thedral, where " Dean Pellew is making immense im- 
provements, or rather restorations ; the roof, or rather 
ceiling, a noble coup d'ceuil few tombs," "attends the 
Cathedral service Apr. 15" (it was Easter Day), where 
" a lad sang the Anthem, But tfiou didst not leave His soul 
in hell, like an angel, small voice, but so sweet it was 
splendid, but there was not enough chaunting, and he 
who has been to Oxford and Cambridge misses the 
Amens, which were done in prose," (Take notice, all 
manner of people whom it may concern, that such is the 
case in Norwich Cathedral no longer) ; sees the pictures 
in St. Andrew's Hall, and the Guild Hall, and at the 
latter place " the sword Nelson took from the Spaniard 
at the battle of St. Vincent." On Easter-Monday he 



THE EARLY LIFE. 69 

gets to the Star at Yarmouth by 9 A. M. " A few doors 
distant is the Bank, and over the Bank lives Dawson 
Turner in a wonderfully contrived house, where there 
is every luxury, every convenience, and no more idea 
above stairs of what is passing below than there is in 
the blue empyrean of what takes place in this nether 
sphere. I found Mr. Turner admiring a newly acquired 
Titian, for which he has paid ^i8o." He meets at 
Mr. Turner's house Bernard Barton the Quaker Poet 5 , 
and a propos of some Cowperian relics, which a very old 
woman had recently been showing to Barton, and also 
of Cowper's autograph translation of the 'Iliad' which 
his host possessed and exhibited to his two literary 
guests, he has a long talk about Cowper, and about 
poets and poetry in general ; " we discussed the Lakers 
and the Saltwater worthies ; Barton likes both Words- 
worth and Pope, and is therefore all right but Lamb 
seemed his favourite food he wrote his name in my 
Album seemed a cheerful, grave, and (in a word) good 
kind of little fellow." He is in the element in which he 
luxuriates : " I cannot pretend to describe Mr. Turner's 
Library such an immense collection of Books, illus- 
trated, and in a thousand ways rendered valuable 
MSS. drawings. &c. &c. &c. &c. &c." As to the hospi- 
tality of his reception in this wonderful house, most 
congenial to him as being the repository of so much 
Literature, Art, and Antiquity, he writes " I am domi- 

5 Bernard Barton (&. 1784, d. himself to literature; but Charles 

1849), a member of the Society of Lamb dissuaded him from doing so in 

Friends, was employed in a bank at strong and incisive terms ; " Throw 

Woodbridge in Suffolk. His ' Me- yourself rather, my dear Sir, from 

trical Ejf unions' published in 1812, the steep Tarpeian rock slap-dash 

and a second volume of poems in headlong on iron spikes." He 

1820 having been favourably re- received a pension of 100 a year, 

ceived, he seems to have thought of in recognition of his poetical labours, 
abandoning the bank, and devoting 



70 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

ciled in a bedroom fit for the great Cham of Tartary." 
It is clear, however, from the Journal that (as already 
hinted) the chief attraction of those four days at Yar- 
mouth (April 1 6, 17, 18, 19 of the year 1838) was 
a sentimental one. Such topics are sacred and must be 
passed over in silence. But every one who knows how 
passionately susceptible to affection of all kinds his 
nature was, can imagine what would be the nature of 
his self-communings under such circumstances. Suffice 
it to say that colder and older men than John William 
Burgon (he was then only twenty-five) have found the days 
when love first lays hold of their whole being, and they 
are made to feel the force of Coleridge's description of it, 

" All thoughts, all passions, all delights, 
Whatever stirs this mortal frame, 
All are but ministers of Love, 

And feed his sacred flame," 

to be the golden days of this plodding, care-beset 
earthly life, days of continuous delight, if only the 
hope of ultimate union with the object upon which the 
affections are set, however remote, is not entirely pre- 
cluded. To him, than whom nobody ever knew better 
how to put an heroic restraint upon himself in the 
interests of the persons he loved, it seemed that, depen- 
dent as s^me of the members of his family were upon 
him, to have offered marriage to any one would have 
been wrong, as gratifying his own inclinations at the ex- 
pense of those who had a prior cLiim upon him. Those 
who knew him but superficially would not have believed 
it, he was at all times so gay and light-hearted ; but he 
was ever austere to himself, and almost an ascetic in his 
personal habits. Hence the strong attraction to the other 
sex, which in the majority of men seeks and finds its grati- 
fication in marriage, and soon sobers down in a single 



THE EARLY LIFE. 71 

tranquil channel, in him fastened more or less to the end 
of his Life on every agreeable woman whom he came across, 
and assumed occasionally, though always in transparent 
guilelessness and simplicity, an almost amatory expression. 

In order that the continuity of our narrative may 
not be broken, portions of his correspondence with 
Mr. Turner will be given at the end of this Chapter, 
from which it will appear that at that critical period 
of his life when his father's mercantile failure left 
Burgon free to indulge what had always been the 
fondest wish of his heart, and to prepare himself for 
Holy Orders in the regular way by going through 
the curriculum of Oxford, and taking his degree, 
Mr. Turner, who was generous and munificent in pro- 
portion to his means, which at that time were ample, 
if not excessively large, offered the assistance of his 
purse towards the expenses of his academical career, 
which, after some delicate and honourable demur on the 
part of Burgon, was gratefully accepted. Mr. Turner 
probably thought (and who will not be found to agree 
with him 'I) that a little help given at the outset of 
his career to one who bade fair to become (as he did 
eventually become) a great Doctor of the Church, and 
a power in the religious life of the country, could not by 
possibility be so well bestowed elsewhere, or bring in a 
more really remunerative and satisfactory return. 

Minor incidents of this or the ensuing year, which 
need only be cursorily adverted to, are his contributions 
to the ; Aetv General Biographical Dictionary ',' which his 
brother-in-law (Rev. Henry John Rose 6 ) was at that 
time editing, of the Articles on Bertrand Andrieu 
[1761-1822], the celebrated French engraver of medals; 

, 6 Mr. Eose was married to his eldest sister, Sarah Caroline, on May 24, 
of this year (1838). 



72 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

on Dr. Thomas Archer [1553-1630], a Fellow of Trinity 
College, Cambridge, who was in his day Rector of 
Houghton Conquest, and a great benefactor to that 
Parish; and on Dr. William Aubrey [1529-1595], a 
civilian, who was appointed one of the delegates for the 
trial of Mary, Queen bf Scots, and whose efforts on the 
Queen's behalf in that capacity were afterwards grate- 
fully remembered by James I. This Dictionary, which 
still maintains its reputation as an excellent book of 
reference, was projected and partly arranged by the 
Reverend Hugh James Rose ; and the earlier portion of 
it was edited by the Rev. Henry John Rose, his brother, 
who, however, finding the editorship too onerous for 
him, as living out of London, and as having upon his 
hands also the ' Encyclopedia Metropolitanaj was obliged 
to resign it. Burgon described his delight at the relief 
experienced by his brother-in-law in a letter to Mr. 
Dawson Turner, dated April 2, 1840. 

A.D. 1839. The year 1839 was marked by a visit to Chequers in 
Buckinghamshire, where the Bishop of Rochester, who 
had confirmed him, was then residing [See for an ac- 
count of this beautiful place ' The Life and Times of 
Gresham,' vol. ii. p. 392, et sequent^, and where, after 
his usual whimsical fashion, " I put on Cromwell's 
clothes 7 ," and also by the Highland tour in company 

7 Chequers had once belonged to name of Russell, had married Bishop 

Richard Cromwell, who succeeded Murray's sister; and hence the 

his father as Lord Protector. Its Bishop was much at Chequers. He 

connexion with Gresham was that had probably heard that J. W. B., as 

Lady Mary Grey, who was after- engaged in writing about the times 

wards given in charge to him, had of Gresham, would be glad of an 

previously been in the custody of opportunity of inspecting the place 

Mr. William Hawtrey the then pro- of Lady Mary Grey's captivity, and 

prietor of Chequers. Sir Robert goodnaturedly asked him to accom- 

Frankland, the owner of the place pany him thither, an invitation 

in 1839, wl10 afterwards took the which was thankfully accepted. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 73 

with his friend Tytler, in the course of which he was 
apprised of the appearance of the work, on which he had 
bestowed so much time and pains, ' The Life and Times 
of Sir Thomas GresJiam.' On Saturday the loth of August 
he leaves the Tower stairs with Tytler in " the Duke of 
Wellington steamer," bound for Aberdeen, "passed 
Yarmouth at about 2.30 A.M. on Sunday the nth," 
(which probably set his pulses fluttering), and encoun- 
ters a ground swell. 

" By a singular kind of sympathy " (Burgon was 
full of sympathy, and was always both detecting and 
exhibiting it ; but was it so very ' ; singular" under the 
circumstances ?) " Tytler and I both lay in bed all day 
without ever thinking of moving. It was very unlike a 
Sunday but what was to be done ? It was impossible 
to stand upright, and on deck there was nothing to be 
seen, if one could have mustered up pluck to dress one- 
self. The wind was contrary, the sea rough, and all the 
way to Aberdeen both continued so many conjectures 
as to when we were to get to our journey's end very 
disgusting to a man lying retching in his berth, unable 
to read and do any thing except doze, and wish his crib 
were two inches longer ' (those who were familiar with 
his personal appearance will quite understand and 
appreciate- the wish). 

. . . ' k Tuesday, 13. I was awoke at 3 in the morning 
by a cackling in the cabin. We were within sight of the 
Aberdeen light. I dressed immediately and got on deck 
it was very refreshing ' to scent the morning air ' 
after so much confinement and closeness. It was of 
course a greyish coldish morning sea quiet, but wind as 
little contrary, and we went pitching forward slowly, as 
if we were walking to Aberdeen. The shore looked thus " 
(a slight pencil sketch) ; ' low, grey, cliffy shore about a 
mile or so off when we came nearer the light, which 
was a double light, it looked thus"" (another pencil 
sketch) " ugly enough. ... A few boats shot by, and 
others were sallying forth, and upon the hills a few 



74 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

houses were visible the story was told completely a 
Scotch fishing village on a barren coast . . . such specu- 
lations amused me till we rounded the corner, and saw 
(for it was now 5 o'clock nearly) the town of Aberdeen 
looked pretty and quiet every thing was delightful 
in fact, and any thing would have seemed lovely after 
the steam-boat." 

So begins the Journal, with the aid of which was com- 
piled the sprightly and beautiful account of his Highland 
tour, which he himself gives in his ' Memoir of Patrick 
Fraser Tytler* [pp. 269-289, 2nd ed. London: 1859], 
to which account the reader is here referred. The 
special Journal book of the tour is illustrated through- 
out by rapid but expressive pencil sketches of the 
objects he describes, (Marischal College and the Cathe- 
dral of Aberdeen ; Coxton Tower, " a mere sentry-box 
of a house," yet the residence of knights " of the Innes 
family"; the "very extraordinary lime-tree" in the 
garden of Gordon Castle ; the Castle itself ; the bridge 
in Mr. Steuart's grounds at Auchlunkart ; the summit of 
Ben Muick Dhui ; Ben Nevis as he first saw it ; the glen 
of Rothiemurchus ; Patrick Fraser Tytler's portrait, and 
that of his brother ; a dog on board the steamer off Skye ; 
a barefooted girl in a shop at Keith, &c., &c.), and 
it adds several particulars to those which have already 
been given to the world in the Memoir of Tytler. Thus 
the Memoir introduces us to the " two gentlemen 
named Stewart, residing in the romantic Isle of Ai- 
gais," and styled " The Princes," as being " supposed 
descendants of Prince Charles Edward. 1 ' In the Jour- 
nal is an account of these gentlemen's dining at 
Moniack (James Baillie Fraser's place), a day or two 
after the Fraser family had taken Burgon to visit 
" the Princes." 



THE EARLY LIFE. 75 

" P. F. T. came in and told me that the Princes were 
arrived. Went in to seal my letter and found them, one 
on either side of old Mrs. Fraser. Strange fellows very 
courteous but so odd. 

" Dressed and so to dinner sate between Sir John 
MacNeill and Mrs. Wedderburn. Next her was Jan (the 
unmarried ' Prince '), and opposite me Charles. Jan is 
like Charles I extremely wears a wig, and has much 
fallen off, they say, of late years Charles is the hand- 
somer man, but I float, as the Scotch say, how either would 
look in a plain suit of black. Take their pedigree" 
(meaning, their alleged pedigree : Charles Edward, who 
in 1766 took the title of Count d' Albany, and laid aside 
that of Prince of Wales, had no children, and his title to 
the English Crown passed at his death in 1788 to his 
brother, Cardinal Henry Stuart, who died in 1807, the 
last heir male of the line of Stuart) : 

" The Prince =p Duchess of Albany 



Jan 
(cet. circa 55) 

a ^ 
(aft. 


Beresford-Charles 
(cet. circa 48; 
1 


on a girl a girl a y^irl 
14) (cet. 16) quy. 12? qu y . 9 ? 



" After dinner I got them to talk of the second sight. 
Sir John McN. was amusing. He told us a curious 
story of a servant of his family having to swim across 
a loch near the estate, a very expert swimmer ; but the 
current was strong, and he was drowned. The youth's 
death was announced before it was known that he had 
perished (as it is Jirmly believed and stated) by a girl he 
loved. But, be this as it may, nothing can be more cer- 
tain than that she described the part of the lake where 
his body would be found, which was not attended to on 
account of its improbability ; viz. it was five miles from 
the point he must have started, and on the same side 
of the loch. The men who had searched for the body 
(for the Highlanders always consider it to be a matter of 



76 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

great importance to recover a corpse under such circum- 
stances) in despair did look at last in the place indicated, 
and there sure enough they found the object of their 
search. I never heard a more extraordinary and authen- 
ticated story of second sight. The party explained to me 
the nature of the faculty; it is not voluntary, but is 
forced upon a person, and he can no more resist the 
impression so conveyed than voluntarily receive it. 

Fraser repeated his two admirable stories of the second 
sight, particularly the one which Gome's father (in 1 8 1 o) 
told him as having occurred to himself, viz. : Corrie 
praised to his steward (one Donald) a girl reaping. 
4 Ah ! she may reap well now, but it is the last time 
she'll ever reap.' The old man was pressed. He said 
that he saw the winding-sheet up to her neck, and that 
she would not live a week. Corrie asked for a token. 
Donald told him who her four bearers would be. She 
died in less than a week. Corrie offered to be a coffin 
bearer. The honour was great, and the proposal of 
course acceded to. At the instant the procession should 
have started, C. saw a favourite terrier of his getting into 
a quarrel with a large strange dog : he stepped forward 
to part them, and the man, to whom the 4th corner of 
the coffin was foretold, actually filled Corrie's place." 

But the brightest of seasons must come to an end, and 
the best of friends must part. Here is the account of 
his parting from Tytler at Moniack, characteristically 
effusive, and exhibiting the deep affectionateness of both 
men : 

" Breakfasted, and then the carriage was ordered for 
me. I packed in my room, and then had five minutes' 
parting chat with P. F. T. . . . We have been wonderfully 
drawn together all along by a strange and strong sym- 
pathy, which I cannot quite explain " (the grounds of this 
sympathy have been pointed out in an earlier part of 
the Chapter) ; " but I love him, and he loves me that is the 
plain history of the case. We had a most affectionate 



THE EARLY LIFE. 77 

parting thanks on niy side, put away on his, and 
acknowledgments of condescension which he would not 
allow. He told me that I was almost the only friend he 
had in London reminded me that in the course of nature 
I must survive him, and bade me with tears befriend his 
children. Then he kissed me on both cheeks once more 
shook me by the hand we both agreed to be cheerful, 
and not recur to these painful themes, and so^ half in 
tears, and half in smiles, we parted." 

Then comes a description of the parting from the 
rest of the Moniack family and their guests : 

" I like them all, and from the very first liked them 
loving Mrs. W. liking Lady M. and admiring and 
feeling myself strongly drawn towards Sir John but 
I was nervous spoke ill and I am not sure that one 
of them understood me." (Who has not felt the same, 
when overwhelmed with kindness and hospitality by 
strangers, and having on a sudden to make some acknow- 
ledgment "?) " Two or three days more might have turned 
the scale." 

He leaves Moniack for Inverness " in a pelting rain," 
and having deposited his luggage at the Royal Hotel, 
immediately takes a chaise to Antfield (William Fraser 
Ty tier's cottage), where he had been hospitably enter- 
tained in the previous month. "Reached Antfield at 
to 2 Dear little cottage ! I know not how or why ; 
but it seemed to me as if I had left my heart there, and 
was going to find it. All were glad to see me ; but I 
think 's quiet eyes said most, and 's soft, beau- 
tiful ones." (The fact is he had more or less lost his 
heart at Antfield, as he was always losing it everywhere, 
even to the end of his life ; he could not resist the attrac- 
tion of agreeable women.) " The drawings I brought, 
I allude to my two copies of the portrait of their departed 
sister threw a gloom over the day, which the weather 



78 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

added to ; and the holy hours it would have been im- 
proper to profane by reading," (it was Sunday ; his 
meaning is that, had it been a week-day, he would have 
felt at liberty to interest and amuse himself with the 
silent companions contained in the library of Antfield 
Cottage ; he was always very conscientious as to Sunday 
pursuits, and somewhat of a Sabbatarian). At 2 in the 
morning of Monday (Sept. 16) he leaves Inverness by 
the mail for Edinburgh, and recognises in his fellow 
travellers a lady and gentleman whom he had already 
fallen in with while he was staying at Moniack, and who 
tell him about the country they pass through. A " gleam 
of sunlight" breaks forth upon Craig Ellachie, as they 
come near it, which " I shall never forget." " Near the 
Aviemore Inn is Craig Ellachie. ' Stand fast, Craig 
Ellachie ! ' is the war-cry of the Grants. How spirit- 
stirring is the word, conjuring up that lovely scene, and 
inspiring high resolve not to budge before the foe, but to 
stand &s fast &s that everlasting rock! ! ! . . . Oh ! thoughts 
like this rushed upon me at every step." They pass 
Birnam Wood, Blair Athol, and Killiecrankie (the two last 
" charmed me less than 50 things I had already seen "), 
and had " a peep at Lochleven Castle " and reach 
Edinburgh after crossing the Firth in an open boat. 
In Edinburgh he is introduced to Thompson the Scotch 
artist, some of whose pictures were then fetching from 
^200 to ^300. 

" Thompson we found full of his craft. ... I never saw 
a greater enthusiast. He painted before me at Mr. 
Wright's request, and gave me a brush. His system 
of sketching in the fields is extraordinary splendid 
effect, but produced so strangely ... he told me that he 
began by pouring a bottle of boiling water over his 
colour box to clean the colours ! His brushes are of 
bristle." 



THE EARLY LIFE. 79 

During the days he spent at Edinburgh, he visited 
most of the places indicated to him in the "paper of 
instructions," which Tytler had given him, and dined 
with Mr. Hog at Newliston: "At dessert I was par- 
ticularly delighted with the crows which came to the 
wood in millions, quite darkening the air I never saw a 
more curious sight, or heard a more confused sound 
detachment after detachment came wheeling in, till 
night put an end to the gathering, or rather made 
it invisible." 

On Monday, Sept. 23, after an absence of just six weeks 
and two days, he returned to London, evidently much 
refreshed by the change of scene and all the genial 
hospitality he had met with amongst the Scottish gentry. 
The concluding paragraph of the Chapter in his Memoir 
of Tytler, in which he records this tour, may be given 
as exhibiting not only the poetry and sentiment which 
were in him, but his ecclesiastical tendencies when he 
was still a layman, and never expected to be anything 
else. He is visiting Abbotsford, and has with him " a 
truly intelligent fellow " who " had the border traditions 
at his fingers' ends/' and who had acted as cicerone to 
him: 

" We both sat down at last on a hill-side, I to draw ; 
Oh' ver, with two deer-hounds at his feet, to read me a 
border-ballad. The name of the spot I have forgotten : 
but the scene is printed deep into my memory. The 
yellow moon, round as a shield, rose grandly above the 
Cheviots ; and the glooming stole over the landscape 
slowly, silently, beautifully. One -by one the peaks of 
grey and purple faded from my sight. I enquired the 
name of some silvery hills in the far distance ; and 
learned that they were * in Northumberland! There was 
magic in the word. I had been attending the kirk for 
six weeks, and devoutly thirsted to hear the ' Te Deum ' 



8o LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

again. ' Among those hills/ I secretly said to myself, 
' it must be repeated every Sunday ! ' . . . John Oliver 
could no longer see to read, nor I to draw. It was 
growing quite late, when, with a swelling heart, I 
wrote in the corner of my sketch-book, Good-night to 
Scotland ! " [Memoir of P. F. Tytler, p. 289.] 

Nothing more need be recorded of the year 1839, 
except that the Counting-House and its drudgery are 
evidently becoming increasingly distasteful to him. 
" Tuesday, Oct. 22. Passed a disgusting day, bothering 
with - 's matters brought up the ledger in the 
evening, and went to bed quite sick." " Oct. 23. 
Another disgusting day ! How weary I am of this 
mode of life ! " His longing for Oxford and the Ministry 
is gaining a greater hold upon him. "Nov. i, 1839. 
Had a long talk with my father to-night relative to the 
Church." " Nov. 29. Before going to bed sent Tytler 
my Eeview of his book" (the History of Scotland) "for 
' The Times 'City all day Talked to dear and " (two 
of his sisters) " about my Oxon. wishes." 

A.D. 1840. On the first page of the Journal for 1840 stands this 
.Et. 27. 

Memorandum : 

" It is impossible to enter upon a new year without 
a pang of regret for the past, and a sentiment of un- 
easiness and anxiety " (caused probably by symptoms of 
his father's affairs being in an unsound state) " respect- 
ing the future. God grant that the year which we have 
this day commenced may be unmarked by calamity. 
Rather will I hope that ere 1841 appears, some bright 
star for which I have long been watching will rise 
above the gloom which hangs over the horizon of the 
future. J. W. B. Jan. i, 1840." 

The " calamity," however, was staved off, and the year 
1840 appears from the corresponding memorandum on 
Jan. i, 1841, to have been a comfortable one: "The 
past year has brought with it many blessings. May 



THE EARLY LIFE. 



81 



the year on which we have this day entered leave at 
least as sweet a fragrance behind it ! Laus Deo ! Jan. 
i, 1841." 

The most noticeable incident of his private history in 
the year 1 840 is what he calls his " summer ramble " in 
Yorkshire, taken in prosecution of his researches into the 
pedigree of his family, which he describes in the follow- 
ing lively letter to his friend Mr. Dawson Turner. He 
had been six years previously at York 8 (in the September 
of 1 834), as he tells Mr. Turner ; and it would seem as if 
the chief cause which took him there on the earlier 
occasion was the same as that which moved him on 



8 From a most amusing letter 
dated Sept. 18, 1834, written to 
one of his sisters from New Malton 
in Yorkshire, it would seem that 
the Minster, which he praises so 
highly to Mr. Turner, scarcely 
attracted his regard at all on the 
occasion of his first visit to York, 
all he says about it being, "On 
Sunday I went to the Minster as 
a matter of course." The chief 
feature of the letter is the account 
of his trip from York to Scarborough, 
where he gets into a difficulty by 
strolling too far along the shore, 
and is precluded by nightfall from 
crawling back again the way he 
had come, (" a slimy assortment of 
rocks," slippery with ooze and sea- 
weed), and obliged to climb the 
cliff, which was " very high, very 
steep, very crumbly, and very full 
of crevices "; where also he "buys 
a bladder, and tries to swim, but no 
go sunk " ; and where finally he 
kills with a stone a wounded curlew, 
which " went squeaking along the 
shore" (" I put it out of its misery ; 

VOL. I. 



so don't begin the Lamentations of 
Jeremiah over the ' poor thing ' "}, 
and afterwards laid it out, and 
measured it. and drew it. The 
following about his physique is 
amusing : " You can't think how 
much disagreeable notice I attract 
from my immense altitude. At 
Lincoln I heard the people saying, 
'There he comes,' as often as I 
clambered up or ambled down the 
interminable hill on which their 
Cathedral stands .... This very 
evening I heard a farmer's wife call 
her husband as I passed, and say 
the moment I was gone, ' Gad, he's 
a tall lad, an't un ? ' Is it not 
monstrous? These runty little 
thick- set Yorkshiremen seem to 
consider me as a wild beast escaped 
from some show, and I tremble lest 
some zealous being or other should 
take upon himself to 

'put me in the parish 
Stocks for a vagrant.'" 
The letter concludes, " Your loving, 
cramped, stiff and sleepy Brother, 
JOHN W. BURGON." 



82 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

the latter one ; for we find him on his former visit 
spending one whole day, and two halves of days, "at 
the Prerogative Office." He was wonderfully persistent 
in all that he put his hand to. The letter, though in- 
teresting throughout, is of such dimensions that space 
forbids the presentation of it in its entirety to the reader. 
And here it may be observed that for the most part 
the letters of his early life are of unusual length, and folded 
in a form which has become since the introduction of the 
Penny Postage altogether obsolete. Almost always they 
are written on the old-fashioned letter paper, the form of 
which was quarto, and the first sheet is twice folded long 
ways, before the final folding of the paper into the letter 
form, and the writing of the address on the outside of 
the second sheet. Not unfrequently, in the case of cor- 
respondence with intimate friends, his letter occupies 
two whole sheets and a half of this paper, and the 
address is on the back of the half-sheet, which is made 
to act as an envelope, the writer taking care, before he 
begins the half-sheet, to mark off' a little space for the 
seal or wafer, to be kept clear of writing. We shall 
never see such letters again as these of a former genera- 
tion. We shall never see letters as long, nor, it may be 
added, letters as much worth reading. Rowland Hill's 
penny postage has knocked letters, considered as a piece 
of literature, on the head ; although it is true, no doubt, 
that whenever there is a strong individuality in the letter 
writer, it is sure to come out, even if he writes only 
a dozen lines. The opening paragraph of the present 
letter, as also his reflexions about Silkstone, have been 
given at an earlier period of this Chapter, pp. i, 2, 3. 
He was accompanied by his brother. 

" Brunswick Square, December 2, 1 840. 
" My dear Sir, . . . Without troubling you with the 



THE EARLY LIFE. 83 

reasons wJiy, Lichfield was the first place we visited. I 
cannot say we travelled there, for we went by steam 
there are no coaches thither nor I believe anywhere 
else except to Yarmouth so we may be said to have 
runted from place to place, wherever we had occasion to 
go except when we walked, and then we seemed to 
crawl. With Lichfield we were of course delighted. It 
is clean and quiet, and the little Ecclesiastical aristocracy 
which encircles the Cathedral afforded us much entertain- 
ment. Then there are the literary associations Johnson, 
Miss Seward, Darwin, Day (who wrote Sandford and 
Merton) and many, many more of lesser celebrity. We 
had the good fortune, though we arrived there friendless, 
in an odd kind of way, which there is no accounting 
for, to experience a world of kindness from complete 
strangers : of which an example may suffice. We were 
walking after Church in the fields, wondering where 
Johnson's willow stood. A leisurely looking old buffer 
with drab unmentionables happening to come by. I 
asked him if he could show us the place. He seemed 
quite pleased at being asked such a question, marched 
us up to the spot immediately, informed us that he had 
lived 150 no, 50 years in Lichfield and knew every- 
thing and everybody. Here we bowed, and, as Kobinson 
Crusoe expresses it, * made as though ' we did not want 
to trouble him any further : but he did not seem at all 
inclined to go, and asked whether I admired Johnson. 
In consequence of my reply, nothing would satisfy him, 
but conducting us to Mrs. Porter's house, showing us the 
walk where Johnson ran the race with a little Scotch 
girl, then taking us to the Bishop's Palace, telling us 
a world of curious matters about Lichfield ; in short 
lionizing us. The oddest thing he mentioned was 
that the house shown as Johnson's birth-place is 
decidedly not the house where he was born and he 
narrated so many circumstances in corroboration of this 
statement, that I really almost believe him. . . . Another 
gentleman (Dr. Harwood, the author and antiquary) 
showed us all manner of Johnsonian relics beginning 
with books and autograph letters in abundance, and 



84 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

ending with tea cups, a tea board, punch bowl, and 
table linen. 

"From Lichtield we rushed to Sheffield. I have omitted 
to praise the exquisite beauty of the end of the chancel 
built by Bishop Langton ; but that we admired the 
master-piece of Lichneld, you will of course understand, 
not forgetting the exquisite sculpture of Chantrey. 
Well, we went to Sheffield ; thence to Ecclesfield ; 
thence we walked to Bradfield slept at the very least 
of little inns and on the morrow, after drawing and 
examining registers, walked over the Moors through Bol- 
sterstone to a place called Peniston. These places are 
almost out of the world, and the roads between them, 
being cross-roads (or rather no roads at all, for the 
moors are only recently enclosed), are out of the world. 
The scenery was picturesque enough at times, but the 
most expressive epithet I can think of is, wild. I never 
(except in the Highlands), walked over a wilder region 
very hilly very rocky very barren the villages of 
extreme rarity the hamlets very small and poor and 
f ew the language very uncouth. From Peniston we 
walked to Silkstone and here it is time to mention that 
Ecclestield, Peniston, and Silkstone are graced with 
most beautiful and remarkable Churches. Ebeiiezer 
Elliott, the blacksmith poet 9 , beautifully calls Ecclesfield 
Church, ' the minster of the Moors ' ; and it well 
deserves the name 

9 I. Ebenezer Elliott (b. 1781, c7. ing to the flowers, and birds, and 
1849) the son of an iron-founder at trees, "are my companions ; from 
Rotheram in Yorkshire, a man of them I derive consolation and hope ; 
extraordinary mark and mental for nature is all harmony and 
power. His best known piece, beauty, and man will one day be 
perhaps, is his ' Corn-Law Rhymes,' like her ; and the war of castes and 
which gave an impetus to the the war for bread will be no more." 
ultimately successful agitation a- The word " ironmonger," perhaps, 
gainst the Corn Laws. Though he would more accurately than "black- 
wrote on political subjects defiantly smith " denote the occupation by 
and bitterly, as considering the which he gained a moderate for- 
people to be down-trodden and tune. The above particulars are 
refused their rights, there was a taken from the 'Imperial Dictionary 
vein of true pathos in his poetry. of Universal Biography? s. r. 
" These," said he to a friend, point- ELLIOTT, EBENEZER. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 85 

" Although one needs not to travel beyond the precincts 
of one's hearth-rug to know and to feel the blessed 
privilege of our Church Establishment, never perhaps 
does one so practically and fully appreciate its value, as 
when one is taking a journey and finds oneself in the 
position described by a living poet ' The night is dark 
and I am far from home.' The kindness we experienced 
wherever we went, from the parochial clergy, was truly 
surprising, almost touching. 

" Do not fancy that I thrust myself upon any but it 
became my vocation, going to consult a register, to call 
upon its custorle. The preliminary conversation gener- 
ally terminated in a request that we would consider 
ourselves the guests of the family for the rest of the day 
and really, however grateful we felt, and however 
agreeable such an episode always must be, the kindness 
we experienced generally proved fatal to the accomplish- 
ment of the main object we had in paying the visit. 

" We have good reason to remember the kindness of the 
clergyman of the last-named place Silkstone ; and I 
believe it was thinking more especially of kirn, which 
occasioned this digression. His name is Watkins. If 
I were to begin to describe, I should fill my paper ; so 
pray walk on with us to Barnesley, the next town, 
and let us escape the fascination of all the bright eyes 
at Silkstone. 

" We entered Barnesley very early on Sunday morning 
having been compelled, owing to the lateness of the 
hour when we left the vicarage, to bivouac at Silkstone, 
in a horrid little inn (the best of half-a-dozen abominable 
ones), in a room which the night before had accommo- 
dated four-and-twenty ragamuffins, who called them- 
selves foresters-, and kept us awake all night with their 
drunken revelry in the apartment beneath. We had a 
most singular sermon at Barnesley from Wolff the mis- 
sionary and here having passed two days one to 
please ourselves, and one to please the clergyman, we 
made the best of our way across the country to Burgh 
Wallis and Kirk Bramwith the latter, an unapproach- 
able village in winter. It is indeed a singularly un- 



86 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

favoured spot. The Humber occasionally floods the 
adjacent country, and has been known to stand four 
inches deep in the rectory parlour and such a rectory ! 
like an unhappy farm house! The church is also 
uninteresting but ancient and highly picturesque. Our 
forefathers were influenced by a purer spirit than we. 

" We had seen sufficiently rough practice during the 
last few days to rejoice to find ourselves at Doncaster 
/// f err a 1 cognitd with half a score of letters awaiting our 
arrival, and a relay of that nameless commodity, which is 
after all the very mainspring of travelling. Here we 
also found that a lady had had the kindness to prepare 
a kind reception for us, and we passed a pleasant 
evening in consequence with her brother, a Mr. Henry 
Bower. His library would please you, being choice, 
and containing some curious books. On the whole, 
getting into a drawing-room, or a library, when one is 
far from home, must be allowed to constitute a most 
charming episode. Your stage-coach and railway ar- 
rangements are marvellously brutalizing. 

" Come along, sir ! I cannot allow you to stand fiddle- 
faddling in Doncaster. Mr. Bower, as you see, is old 
and weak, and it is a shame to keep him struggling 
with the quartos, which he is scarcely strong enough to 
lift down from his shelves, or to replace there. Here we 
are at Rotheram pray admire the beautiful Church. 
and do not forget Conigsburgh Castle, which we passed 
on the way. A quarter-of-an-hour conducts you from 
Rotheram to Sheffield at least it conducted its. Here 
we paused for half-a-day ; and then went by the rail- 
way to York. If you have ever seen, or if you have 
never seen, the Minster, it matters not. In the one case 
I need not in the other, it would be in vain for me to 
attempt to describe it. I had seen it before, but, strange 
to say, I had forgotten it whether since 1834 I have 
learned to appreciate more fully what I see, or whether 
my eyes have improved I cannot tell but this time, the 
Minster literally overcame me. I felt that I could have 
gazed upon it for ever. Its enormous size is not by any 
means its only charm, though I felt sensibly how 



THE EARLY LIFE. 87 

prolific a source of sublimity size is. Every thing 
conspires to make it one of the grandest of human 
creations. Its pale grey tint, its infinite multiplicity 
of detail, its variety yet harmony of parts and oh ! 
above all, the magnificent prodigality of invention which 
it displays. What an exquisite mind the man must 
have had which could harbour such a conception as 
York Minster ! how pure and graceful a fancy ! what 
inexhaustible copiousness of invention ! ... It literally 
takes away one's breath to examine such a structure. 
Why do we attempt nothing like it now-a-days 1 We 
can squander many millions sinfully ; Why do we 
never devote one million to raising a temple to Almighty 
God? 

;> We returned, as we came, and then proceeded to the 
Peak of Derbyshire crossing some very Scotch-looking 
moors, till we cast anchor at Castleton. Three days 
soon slipped away, while we were exploring the mines 
and caverns of this interesting district nor were the 
hours we passed with Dr. Orton, the vicar of a neigh- 
bouring village Hope the least agreeably or profitably 
spent. He was honest enough to declare he considered 
an intelligent being to converse with, as so great a prize, 
that if we wanted to give him pleasure, we must agree 
to pass our evenings with him and his family. The 
want of society in so remote a region must indeed be 
severely felt. Think of a parish 35 miles in extent 
containing 12 or 13 hamlets, unprovided with churches, 
and think of the consequent mental stagnation ! . . . 

"Our visits to two of the Derbyshire mines gave us 
quite a new idea on the subject of the famous Peak 
cavern. The truth seems to be that the entire district 
is perforated by a thousand natural passages, and that 
where these accidentally encounter the surface, there a 
cavern becomes celebrated. Exploring some of these 
holes was pleasant enough, but far pleasanter was it, to 
emerge from their recesses into the holy daylight, and 
look down the Vale of Hope one of the most peaceful 
and when seen as we saw it, steeped in the golden light 
of autumn one of the most beautiful in this Vale of Tears. 



88 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" Leaving Hope, we went to Bakewell, having taken 
Chatsworth and all its royal splendours in our way. 
Haddon Hall is far more to my taste. You have doubt- 
less visited that glorious old baronial residence, to walk 
through which, is to live in the reign of good Queen 
Bess, and to feel oneself brought into closer intimacy 
as it were with the great and gay of those days. Here 
we drew and raved our fill, and then followed a rather 
amusing episode. 

" Some thirty years ago, my father travelled in Greece 
with a son of the celebrated Dr. Darwin 1 . When they 
parted, (which was at Smyrna) Darwin was bound for 
Lichfield, and my father for London so, after the long 
interval, when Tom and I announced our wish to go to 
Lichfield, il Padrone proposed introducing us to his 
friend, and gave us a letter accordingly to Dr. Francis 
Sacheverell Darwin. With some palpitation as to the 
reception we were likely to receive on reaching Lich- 
field, to the old house of the Darwins we repaired a 
huge red-brick mansion house, such as one's grand-dad 
would have inhabited. We were laughed at for our pains. 
The Darwins had quitted Lichfield for tiventy years. 
Dr. was Sir Francis Darwin in short, we looked so like 
the descendants of Rip Van Winkle, that we looked quite 
foolish so the letter of introduction was thrust back 
into the portmanteau, and all hopes of talking over lang 
syne with Darwinides abandoned. 

" But when we were at Bakewell. to our surprise we 
discovered that we were within seven miles of the 
knight, who lived near Darley Dale, we were told, and 
in short, from the report we heard of him and his, we 

1 Dr. Erasmus Darwin [6. 1731, Burgon, appeared in 1781. It is 

d. 1802], a physician at Lichfield, divided into two parts, the first 

eminent as a physiologist and poet. being devoted to the phenomena of 

He and Dr. Johnson were the vegetation, and the second to the 

centres of two circles at Lichfield, ' Loves of the Plants? a poetical 

entirely distinct from one another version of the sexual system of 

in sympathies, politics, and creed. Linnaeus. See ' Imperial Dic- 

' The Botanic Garden? some lines tionary of Universal Biography? 

of which, in the old physician's s. v. DARWIN, ERASMUS. 
handwriting, his son gave to 



THE EARLY LIFE. 89 

determined to march to Sydnope (for so his house is 
called), and take his worship by the beard. It was a 
pleasant walk, but a queer country to go speering after 
a stranger in, and we were led a weary dance over the 
hills before we discovered his homestead. At last we 
reached a solitary place far off and alone on the 
shoulder of a hill, and commanding a wide and wild 
view and there we found the object of our search. He 
was not a little surprised, but I believe more pleased 
than surprised, to see us. I was older than my father 
was, when he parted from Darwin, and the sight of us 
set our host a-dreaming of old times, and seemed to 
make him feel that he was an oldish man. He intro- 
duced us to his wife and daughters (grown up women by 
the way), and we passed a very happy evening. 

" Next day he showed me some of his father's books, 
gave me four lines of ' The Botanic Garden ' in his 
father's autograph and lionized us over his singular 
dwelling ; after which we reluctantly bade him farewell ; 
and his son conducted us a round-about way across the 
hills to Matlock. . . . On the whole Sir F. D. is a very 
remarkable creature. I think there is something morbid 
in his temperament ; for he seemed to shrink from the 
idea of London, and wandering from his own fireside. 
He said he hoped to live quietly and to die there and 
never to stir till he went down to be buried with his 
fathers in the family resting-place, which is not far 
off. . . . Sydnope is all of his own contrivance ; and he 
glories in having created an oasis in that wilderness. 
When he came, there was no house no water no trees 
no notlring ! ' Now,' said he, ' I have built a village 
here is abundance of wood and water, yonder are three 
trout ponds ' in short, he seemed to think it a disgrace 
to live in a house made comfortable to your hand, and 
has let a fine old paternal mansion to strangers, accord- 
ingly. He procured a wild boar from the Pyrenees, and 
a sow from Canton, and peopled his woods with wild 
boars to the terror of all the country round ; but the 
breed is deteriorating now in other words the neigh- 
bours are no longer kept in terrorem. But enough of 



90 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

Sydnope and its kind owner. Six or seven hours on the 
railway brought us from Matlock to Brunswick Square." 

A.M. 1841. In the year 1841 the storm, which had been long 
impending, was to burst upon the head of his family. 
To himself it proved the means of bringing about what 
he had so long and earnestly desired, and thus broke 
with blessings on his head. In the latter end of March 
and at the beginning of August we find such entries as 
these in his journal; "Miserable day at the counting- 
house " ; " Passion week, and to me a day of suffering 
mental," " a day like some of the preceding, quite the 
shadow of death," " a day of rare excitement and 
anguish," &c., &c. But in the middle of it all he is still, 
with wonderful mental energy, pursuing more congenial 
occupations, getting " fragments of Roman pottery from 
the foundations of St. Bartholomew's Church," " draw- 
ing the Roman tesselated pavement in Threadneedle 
Street," " visiting his friend Renouard at Swancombe, 
and his brother-in-law Mr. Rose at Houghton/' ''read- 
ing No. 90 of the Oxford Tracts/' and " Newman's letter " 
thereon, going " to a court'wizione at Crosby Hall" " pro- 
ceeding with my Harmony," " finishing roughing out 
my Harmony," (the Harmony of the Gospels, a work 
which he had much at heart, which he began long before 
he went to Oxford, carried on at intervals during his 
whole life, but has left alas ! in an unfinished state, with 
an instruction that it is not sufficiently advanced for pub- 
lication). On the Ascension Day (Thursday, May 20), 
" They all went to Dodsworth's, and took the Sacra- 
ment ; I could not!' 

When we come to the month of August, we are con- 
fronted by this ominous memorandum at the top of the 
page, " fi^ Perhaps the most memorable page in this book." 
" Aug. 2. A day of cruel anxiety, occasioned by a letter 



THE EARLY LIFE. 91 

found at the City." "Aug. 5. The plot begins to thicken 
bitter state of anxiety," and so on, until we come to 
" Thurs. Aug. 19. Sacldish day Final winding up by 
T. B." (his father) "at the City his last day there. - 
Thank GOD, every thing went very well. ' The bolt 
had fallen ; his father's house of business had suspended 
payment, and his family had touched the lowest deep ; 
but the "cruel anxiety" was over, for the worst was 
known, and it now remained for John William Burgon 
to show the indomitable energy and sanguineness which 
were in him. by rising above misfortunes and lifting 
himself, and those who were in great measure dependent 
upon him, out of the wreck. The family removed to 
Houghton Conquest Rectory in Bedfordshire, the Rev. 
Henry John Rose's living, who had married his elder 
sister in j 838. Burgon himself was left in London for a 
few weeks, to pack furniture and books, to make up the 
accounts of the house for presentation in Bankruptcy, 
to make up also the household accounts, assort the 
tradesmen's bills, and clear out the counting-house. But 
the sable cloud had its silver lining which it turned forth 
on the night. He managed to escape for a day or two to 
Houghton Conquest, where he had "a joyous meeting" 
with the other members of his family ; and on " Sun. 
August 29. Professor Corrie and I stood Godfathers for 
Rose's little boy" (Hugh James Rose so named after his 
illustrious uncle, who had been born in the previous 
December, so that in all probability the Sacrament of 
Baptism had been privately administered to him, and 
this was only his Admission to the Church). On his 
return to London, the Harmony of the Gospels was 
carried on vigorously in September, and he speaks of 
himself as " in the evening busy with my Greek." The 
Greek would be wanted at Oxford, and the consent of 



92 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

his father to his going to Oxford was given on the 
of October. On the i6th he rejoined the family at 
Houghton preparatory to his going up, under the 
auspices of his brother-in-law, for matriculation, an 
account of which will be given in the next Chapter. 
It needs not to be said that with a family so generally 
esteemed, and so much beloved by those who had the 
privilege of intimacy with them, the sympathy was 
universal. " The creditors all behaved most kindly," he 
writes in his journal. " Tytler wept, when I told him." 
And on the 2oth of August, in the letter in which he 
announces the catastrophe to Mr. Dawson Turner, he 
says, " Your friendly spirit, I am sure I am not mistaken 
in supposing, will partake the gratification I feel in 
mentioning the universal sympathy, which hitherto my 
dear father has met with. I may truly say that it is 
quite touching and affecting." From a second letter to 
him, dated three days later (Aug. 23), it appears that 
Mr. Turner, when the announcement reached him, by no 
means contented himself with expressions of sympathy 
and kind feeling, but with his usual considerate munifi- 
cence offered his purse to his young friend, probably 
(out of delicacy) in the shape of a loan which Burgon 
might repay, when he had reached that position of 
independence to which Mr. Turner felt that his abilities 
and industry would soon raise him. In answer to this 
generous offer he writes (Aug. 23, 1841): 

" Sincerely thanking you for your prompt and busi- 
ness-like way of meeting the exigency of the case, I 
have the pleasure to say that /or the present at all events, 
I do not see the least occasion for troubling you. Do 
not think that I am shilly-shallying now. when I tell 
you that your letter found me with my Greek Grammar 
in my hand, you will guess which way my thoughts are 
tending, whither, believe me, they have been tending 



THE EARLY LIFE. 93 

long since, though never till now with any good chance 
of my body following them. The future, as far as I am 
concerned, seems to stand thus. For three months 
(about) I am indispensable here " [in London]. " At the 
end of that time. I intend (D. V.) to go to Houghton, 
where a quiet room, the run of a good classical library 
(better than I need, a furious deal) and dear Kose's 
help these three blessings have long since been promised 
me. My backwardness (in Greek especially) is what 
you would not believe ; and indeed my ignorance gener- 
ally is frightful. I can only hope by a few months' 
serious application to get into a condition to be fit to go 
to Oxford. 

" Then my necessities will begin. What they will be, 
I know not. If it depended on me, I should say little 
enough. ... I shall keep no society ; get into a garret, if 
I can, (for two reasons), my habits are quite the reverse 
of expensive,, and I have books. On the other hand, a 
good Tutor I will have, coute que coute. I cannot suppose 
that I shall want much more than a^ioo a year, at 
least I fix that sum in my mind as a kind of point to 
reason from. 

" Now my inclination would assuredly be not to tres- 
pass upon any resources my father might have, at all: but 
the propriety" [possibility?] " of gratifying this inclina- 
tion, I have yet to learn. Meantime I go to work with the 
soothing certainty that, in case of need, there are certain 
friends (I believe, if the truth were known, you occupy 
the van) on whom I may RELY for aid in the promotion 
of my scheme. I hope I am not premature in mention- 
ing an item in my intentions, in such case, on which I 
dwell with singular complacency. It is this. Since 
Death is the only barrier I can conceive to my ulti- 
mately disencumbering myself of the painful part of a 
pecuniary obligation (for of the obligation, I neither 
could nor would wish to rid myself), I should deposit 
a small life policy in your own or any other person's 
hands. Thus dying, I should close my eyes in peace, 
and living, I should have the satisfaction of having made 
a small provision (a beginning towards something con- 



94 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

siderable) for those who are far dearer to me than life 
itself." 

And then, after some further particulars of his plans 
and prospects for his family and himself, follows a para- 
graph which exhibits the wonderful elasticity of his mind 
under trouble, and the sanguineness of the energy, which 
could address itself to new literary exploits in so grave 
a crisis of his fortunes : 

" I thank you for your advice respecting any publica- 
tion on so difficult a matter as Early Christianity ; but 
I will tell you what I contemplated. 

" I perceive that men are mightily disposed to dislike 
the authority of the Fathers : so that when Mr. Newman 
writes on ' the Church of the Fathers/ it is replied, ' Oh, 
who cares for them ?' At least out of ten devout persons 
three or four or five would say so. Well ; it struck me 
that the right thing would be to write a little book (or a 
big one, if the matter allowed), and to call it the Church of 
tit a Ajiosftes, since no one objects to them. The design is 
simply this. To exhibit, from whatever source, but of 
course mainly from Holy Writ, what was the constitu- 
tion and actual state of the Church in the Apostles' 
days. Any one who has not thought much on the 
subject would never believe or dream of the astounding 
quantity of available matter there is in the Epistles of 
St. Paul, and indeed throughout the New Testament. 
It is perfectly astonishing how much may be elicited 
and inferred. A little aid may be drawn from ancient 
monuments ; and it was in reply to a hasty hint dropped 
on this part of the subject, that dear Rose, who is ever 
ready to help me in everything of the kind, took fire. 
You shall hear more of this scheme, D. V. some of t/tese day* 
. . . Remember your promise to read Bp. Beveridge." 

This contemplated work appears to have dropped 
through from the multiplicity of other calls upon his 
time, unless indeed we may say that much the same 
design was afterwards carried into effect by him in 



THE EARLY LIFE. 95 

another form, that of a Series of Lectures on the Acts 
of the Apostles, a work which he has left complete, and 
which only needs for its production careful editing, and 
such a number of subscribers as would guarantee his 
representatives against pecuniary loss, if they were to 
publish it. How deeply interesting these Lectures were 
found by those who were privileged to hear them, and 
how greatly these persons long for their publication, not 
only as recalling to themselves personally the happy and 
sacred hours spent in listening to them, but as a valuable 
contribution to the exegesis and spiritual teaching of 
that most important portion of the New Testament, it 
would be difficult to say. Let it be lawful to hope 
that some practical steps may ere long be taken in this 
direction. 

The last incident which has to be recorded of the year 
1841 is the commencement of the exquisite drawings of 
his father's valuable collection of Greek Antiquities, 
which it was arranged should be offered for sale to the 
British Museum. It wrung John William Burgon's 
heart (both as a connoisseur, and as having known every 
article in the collection for the greater part of his life, 
and having gloried in his family's possession of so great 
a treasure) to part with these antiquities. And he deter- 
mined that the collection should not leave his father's 
roof without his making a faithful drawing of all the 
principal articles in it, however much labour such an 
enterprise might entail upon himself. Here is the 
memorandum, which he makes in his Journal on a sub- 
ject which must have touched him to the quick. 

"I began to draw the collection of Greek antiquities 
7 December, 1841, and drew almost without intermission 
till 24 January, 1842. From that day to 2 March drew 
for about seven hours a day, when I completed the task. 



96 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

It was providentially decided that the Collection was 
to pass to the British Museum for j'6oo on Wednesday, 
23 March. 

" Conveyed to the Museum on Ascension Day, Thurs- 
day, 5 May, 1842. Sic fra ax-it " 

It was thought desirable that these drawings, now in 
the possession of the family, should be taken to the 
Museum, and there left awhile for the careful identifica- 
tion of each Article. The portfolio containing them has 
been returned with the following memorandum from 
Mr. Arthur H. Smith, of the Department of Greek and 
Roman Antiquities : 

" Mr. Burgon's drawings are all taken from objects in 
the Burgon collection, now in the British Museum. 

"Apart from the delicacy of the drawings, they are 
chiefly remarkable for the skill with which they repro- 
duce the various styles and characters of the objects. 
This power of reproducing a variety of styles with 
accuracy is seldom acquired except by draughtsmen 
specially trained to the work. 

"The principal objects in the collection have for the 
most part been satisfactorily published elsewhere. 

' If it is desired to publish specimens. I would suggest 
the urn numbered 282, 282 A. This urn has not been 
engraved, and its colouring has much deteriorated since 
Mr. Burgon's sketch was made. 

" The manuscript notes attached add, in some in- 
stances, information of value, not hitherto in the pos- 
session of the Museum, as to the origin of the objects. 
Compare a note sent by me to the ' Classical Review ' of 
November, 1889, respecting the bronze hare, numbered 
334. A. H. SMITH." 

It is much to be regretted that a copy of the drawing 
of the urn numbered 282, 282 A cannot be presented to 
the reader, but the tinting of these sketches constitutes 
perhaps their greatest beauty, and could not be satis- 
factorily reproduced. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 97 

Before concluding this Chapter, as it is proposed to do, 
by presenting to the reader a few further extracts from his 
letters of this early period to Mr. Fellows, to Mr. Dawson 
Turner, and to Mr. Renouard, all of them extremely char- 
acteristic of the writer (of his deep interest in those old 
archives, which are the sources of history, and in antiqui- 
ties generally, in discoveries and explorations ; of his love 
of fun ; of his love of and connoisseurship in Art ; of his 
conjectures in etymology), it seems desirable to say some- 
thing of the divines and clergy, under whose influence 
he was brought during the thirteen years which elapsed 
between his leaving school in 1829 and his going to 
Oxford in 1842, and whose teaching must have helped 
to form his religious character. The family had sittings 
at St. Pancras under the incumbency of Dr. Moore, and 
usually attended that Church ; but John William had 
conceived an ardent admiration for the preaching of Mr. 
Dale, then Vicar of St. Bride's, and, as he never cared 
to attend Church alone (the exuberant sympathy in his 
nature made this distasteful to him), used frequently 
to persuade his mother, whom he loved to have by his 
side at Church, and other members of his family, to 
accompany him to St. Bride's. Against the Sundays in 
his Journals (the S. denoting which is always written in 
red ink, to mark it to the eye) we find such entries as 
these: "Heard dear old Dale at St. Bride's preach a 
beautiful sermon " ; " M. C. and I went to hear Dale 
preach at St. Giles's capital divine sermon was 
delighted to hear his old voice again " ; " Mother's 
birthday. Gave her Dale's sermons pd. 10*. 6d" Some- 
times, for a spiritual treat, he takes them to hear Melvill, 
at that time the most eminent pulpit orator in the com- 
munion of the English Church ; " Went with M. and 
Lingham to hear Melvill Glorious ! " " Heard Melvill 

VOL. i. H 



98 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

preach in Fenchurch Street before the Lord Mayor he is 
a sensitj/c Irr'niy " (of Irving he could form some judgment, 
as he writes in his Journal that one Sunday he heard him 
" preaching sub dio ") ; " Heard Mr. Melvill preach a fine 
sermon, full of force and beauty, at Bedford Chapel." 
Sometimes, but very*rarely, he wanders out of the Angli- 
can fold for his spiritual pasture on Sunday ; " Heard 
Dr. Chalmers at the Scotch Church magnificent but I 
never was in such a crowd before." And the following 
entry will be read with interest, in reference to his own 
future sermons, which were so original and instruc- 
tive ; " Dec. 6, 1835 " \JStat. 22]. " Heard Dale' Come 
to me ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you 
rest' the text I have always thought I would make 
my first sermon on, if I were in the Church he made a 
powerful sermon, but did not handle the text as I think 
of handling it . . ." Later in point of time, and conse- 
quent chiefly on the family's moving from Brunswick 
Square to Osnaburgh Street, they had sittings in Christ 
Church, Albany Street, which then became their district 
Church ; but previously to the removal, John William 
had often been attracted to Mr. Dodsworth's ministry ; 
and then we have such entries as these : " P. T. and I to 
Dodsworth's (Laus Deo!) magnificent sermon." The 
following memoranda will have interest for those 
who remember the raging of a controversy, excited 
by a charge of Bishop Blomfield, once fierce enough, 
but now almost exploded like the crater of an extinct 
volcano ; for the surplice has all but driven the gown 
out of the field: "Jan. 24, 1841. Dodsworth, with M. 
and E. He preached first time in his surplice." " Jan. 
31, 1841. Heard Mr. Manning at Dodsworth's." " Feb. 
7, 1841. To Dodsworth, who preached in his gown!!" 
There can be little doubt that the influence brought to 



THE EARLY LIFE. 99 

bear upon him by the preaching of Mr. Dodsworth, and 
other clergymen of the same theological school, would tend 
to incline him towards the Tractarian movement then in 
progress at Oxford, and would predispose him to receive 
favourably in its earlier stages the teaching of Mr. New- 
man, for whom he conceived the deepest reverence, a 
sentiment which never forsook him, even when Mr. New- 
man seceded from the English Church. How little he 
sympathized with the extravagances and (as he regarded 
them) corruptions which developed themselves at a later 
stage of the movement, and were characterized chiefly by 
sensational services and an efflorescence of Ritualism, 
every one knows, who remembers the course taken by 
him in the controversies of later days, and which it will 
be the province of a subsequent Chapter to record. 

EXTEACTS FROM LETTERS TO MR. FELLOWS, TO MR. 

DAWSON TURNER, OF GREAT YARMOUTH, AND TO 
THE REVEREND GEORGE CECIL RENOUARD, B.D., 
RECTOR OF SWANSCOMBE IN KENT, IN THE YEARS 
1833, 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841. 

I. To MR. CHARLES FELLOWS. 

"June 21. Shortest Night, 1833. To-day is the 
longest day ... I am always unhappy on this day ; and 
at a moment like the present, when all is silent save the 
wind, which is low and gusty, and Time, whose quick 
footsteps I fancy I discern in the ticking of my watch, a 
feeling of sadness comes over me, which is as groundless 
as it is without remedy . . . After all, if it were not for 
the nights, what a stupid thing life would be ... When 
should we poor Merchant-men breathe, eh ? Eh, you 
freeman, you bachelor, you rogue? ... I fancy, nay, 
I'm sure, that nights were invented (among other good 
reasons) for the convenience and consolation of dis- 

H 2 



ioo LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

contented Merchant-men. Oh! F., what will become of 
me, if I don't grow wiser as I grow older ? am I destined 
to be a new edition, with illustrations, of the old story 
a garret and a half-penny loaf? I hope not, with all my 
soul ... I am not quite jockey enough to ride Pegasus 
without saddle or bridle ; but intend either to have a 
stall for the beast, or, if I can't afford it, to have him cut 
up for f/tf Itonnih . . . Both resources are attended how- 
ever with inconvenience ; and I have made up my mind 
that the happiest man after all is the matter-of-fact, cold 
devil, who knows how to mind his purse, and keep his 
temper, who has got no vulture passions to quiet, and 
who cannot discern joy and sorrow at a league's distance 
. . . For my own part, I feel I am irrevocably a poet, and 
therefore the opposite to the being I have sketched. 
Yet, strange to say, I envy not that man his sangfroid or 
his purse ; I think his happiness is bought at too dear a 
price. 

" Here I go, you see, on the old tack ; but I can't help 
it. If I were to tell you all (I could not tell you all. I 
only mean, if I could), you would stare, I mean, all the 
odd ways of thinking I have lately acquired . . . Do you 
know I feel as if I were two persons, or, rather, as if I 
had two brains ? the one sees things as they are, or as 
they appear to be, and that is my matter-of-fact brain ; 
the other sees things as, I suppose I must say, they are 
not. that is to say, fancifully and that is my imagin- 
ative brain. I religionise and philosophize with both 
these brains ; one presents me with a straightforward, 
tangible view of the subject, and the other with a 
strange, sceptical idea of it : and the sceptical, shadowy 
idea confuses the clear and substantial one ; and the 
clear and substantial one mars the elegance of the scep- 
tical and shadowy . . . When I was younger, I had more 
reason than imagination ; as I grow older I find the latter 
acquires strength and impairs the former. So much the 
better for my poetry, but so much the worse for my 
religion. I have come to the resolution therefore of 
thinking on religious matters only with my matter-of-fact 
brain, and keeping my sceptical one for profane matters. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 101 

... I am fully persuaded that Faith is nine-tenths of our 
duty ; and to see its full importance, consider it not so 
much as an end, as, as a means. To give you an idea of 
my two brains' mode of action, and to take a simple 
instance. I am alone, we will suppose, and I pluck a 
flower ; in a moment my fanciful brain invests it with 
feeling, and the flower reproaches me for plucking it ; 
but my sensible brain then thinks it high time to step 
in, and sneer at my credulity and my folly. Do you 
understand me 1 ? I hardly understand myself, but have 

fiven you a bad example of what I mean. Farewell 
owever for the present. I have made you my father 
confessor, you see. Good-night, dear F. If you have 
leisure and inclination, scribble a line to 

" Your ever affectionate friend, 

"JOHN W. BURGEON. 

" J to 2." 

II. To ME. DAWSON TURNER. 

" Brunswick Square, April 2, 1840. 

" My dear Sir, I remember being very much 

affected by a sermon I once read of Mr. Newman's. It 
was on t/te use of Impulses, and, as well as I can recollect, 
the writer urged the importance of acting, in spiritual 
matters, on the holy impulse of the moment, and sug- 
gested that the very transient nature of the motive 
constituted in fact the strongest reason why it should be 
instantly availed of. This beautiful precept, which is 
identical, in a measure, with your own invaluable rule, 
' to do everything the instant you think of it,' I have 
constantly endeavoured to apply to the daily practice of 
life ; and, to come to the subject before us, without 
further circumlocution, I have repeatedly had occasion 
to perceive how, in the case of letter- writing, every thing 
depends (if you would write a pleasant letter) on sitting 
down when the humour comes upon you, and the in- 
stant it conies upon you 2 , and quietly, but perse veringly, 

2 In precisely the same vein, and the Rev. G. C. Renouard in a 
with some badinage, he addresses letter dated "Brunswick Square, 



102 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

writing on till you come to the end of your letter. So 
have I not done on the present occasion. This letter is 
destined therefore to be a dull one the next, I faithfully 
promise, shall be as happily written as if it had pro- 
ceeded from a native of Arabia Felix. 

Let me see. Perhaps I had better begin by telling you 
what I know about the late scandalous proceedings with 
regard to the Exchequer Documents. The newspaper 
and l Gentleman * Magazine' accounts of the aforesaid 
iniquities you doubtless read, and so I need not repeat 
that part of the story ; but you may be interested (I can- 
not say ' pleased ') to hear the accounts of the importance 
of the documents in question fully corroborated. On 
Thursday, in consequence of a catalogue I received from 
Sotheby, I went to see a small portion of the paper 
documents which one of the persons, into whose hands 
these treasures have fallen, had entrusted him with the 
sale of. Very curious indeed they were ! and I am glad 
to be able to add that half-a-dozen of the most interesting 
lots are lying before me at the present moment, including 
Secretary Davison's account of expenses, connected with 
his mission to the Low Countries in 1577. 

" These autographs belonged, as I discovered, to a 
binder named Mackenzie, living in Westminster, who 
had bought them as waste paper. You will not be sur- 
prised to hear that in the evening I ran as far as that 
worthy's house, and asked him a few questions. The 
whole of his paper documents he said were at Sotheby's ; 
but his house was full of parchments, which he had 
bought at the rate of gd. per lb., and which he would sell 

29 Dec., 1839. Consider, my dear on which it was traced. The 

Sir, how profitable to wanderers in peasant, mounted on his ass, would 

strange lands might not the ex- bethink himself that he had asses' 

tempore practice here recommended skin at hand ; and the barks of 

prove ! The hunter mounted on his trees, if not for albums, would make 

elephant would avail himself of the capital nigrums for the world at 

tusk of the animal, and write a large. To descend from this folly, 

letter to his absent friend, as un- and end the sentence rationally," 

sophisticated as the ivory tablets &c., &c. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 103 

me for is. 6d. I offered him 20 or 30 or 40 times that 
sum, if he would allow me to pick out a few pounds, but 
no multiple of I*. 6d. would induce him to accede to the 
proposition. It was very tempting, there were the bags 
half-a-dozen of them two or three untouched worth 
from 6d. to i*. to the makers of papier mdclie, and what 
might they not contain ? The following considerations 
made me resolve to refuse the entire collection. It would 
have cost ,120; I examined one untouched bag to the 
depth of a foot or two. and it contained, LITERALLY, rub- 
bish : dusty, dirty fragments, about an inch or two square ; 
and lastly, however agreeable it may be to possess a few 
choice specimens of parchment documents, it is not 
pleasant to turn parchment dealer. Per contra, I must in- 
form you that the proprietor of these documents had 
selected, out of a single bag, as he said, a dozen or two of 
documents which he showed me, and they were curious- 
very. One was a list of Queen Elizabeth's gentleman- 
pensioners, with their salaries, and so on. I wonder 
what you would have done, if you had been there ! . , . . 
I mean still to watch over the documents in question. 
But how disgraceful is the entire proceeding ! Bulls of 
Popes, books of royal payments and receipts (including 
some extraordinary entries), expenses of our army and navy 
every thing in short appertaining to finance from the 
time of Henry VIII down to the middle of the eighteenth 
century ! The entire collection produced j^/o ! and ^400 
was disbursed in order to ensure the mutilation of the 
documents, which the nation is now anxious to recover 
at a vast expense, and to repair ! ! ! Rodd says he 
would cheerfully have given j J 6ooo or 7000 for what 
the fishmonger bought for ^70. Thinking about these 
things interferes with my sleep, and makes me quite 
unhappy. . . . 

" My dear Sir oh, by the by ! I was going to tell you 
that I have lately had a delightful letter from Lepsius, 
and I must not conclude till I have told you something 
more about it. Do you remember that Herodotus men- 
tions a figure of Sesostris cut on the live rock on the 
road between Sardis and Smyrna, with an inscription in 



104 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

hieroglyphics, &c. ? Well, Renouard told my father at 
Smyrna that he had seen such a figure, and my father 
told Renouard that Herodotus had described it "but 
there the matter ended. One day at table the matter 
was talked over (last year) in Lepsius's presence. What 
does Master Leppy do but get Baron Humboldt to write 
to the ambassador at Smyrna, to obtain, if possible, for 
love or money, a copy of the figure ? The inquiry, hope- 
less as it seemed, proved successful ! and the intelligent 
creature has written a learned paper on the subject, 
proving that Herodotus was perfectly accurate in his 
description, and points out sundry important infer- 
ences derivable from the examination of the monument ! 
.... He starts soon for Egypt, and will (if he lives) do 
wonders He says that he found great scepticism on the 
subject of hieroglyphic literature among the literati of 
Germany, but that he had an opportunity of lecturing 
before the Academy of Berlin in pteno, and adds trium- 
phantly, ' J'espere d'avoir de'chire' le grand voile d'incre- 
dulite' mystique, ou de scepticisme ignorant, de maniere 
que le trou ne saurait plus etre raccommode par ces 
Messieurs ! ' . . . Leemans also writes me a long and 
agreeable letter. He is going to be married in June, 
and of course is half distracted in consequence." 

To MR. DAWSON TURNER. 

"Brunswick Square, June 29, 1840. 

" My dear Sir, 

" Charles Fellows is on his way home from Asia 
Minor, and in about a month more may be expected in 
London. He has completely failed in his endeavours to 
bring away marbles, c., from Lycia, but that was the 
fault of this blundering, bungling Government of ours. 
Some new towns, however, he has discovered, and his 
portfolio is full of sketches, copies of inscriptions, and 
antiquarian novelties. Another ' Journal ' will be upon 
the stocks in the course of the Autumn. John Murray 
already pricks up his ears quite vertically in anticipa- 
tion. . 



THE EARLY LIFE. 105 

" Talking of such matters, I will repeat to you a Royal 
Ijon mot. A gentleman on whom I called the other day 
told me that, in the course of an interview he had had 
with the Duke of Sussex, Allen the quaker waited upon 
his Royal Highness, in order to remind him of his pro- 
mise to present a petition against capital punishment. 
The Duke did not seem quite to like the job, and 
observed that Scripture has declared, ' Whoso sheddeth 
man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.' ' Please 
your Royal Highness,' replied the quaker, ' when Cain 
killed Abel, he was not hung for it.' ' That 's true,' 
rejoined the Duke, ' but remember, Allen, there were not 
twelve men in the world then, to make a jury.' 'This 
was not bad for a Royal Duke,' said my friend ; but I 
think it good to come from anybody. 

" To-day I saw such a charming Hogarth ! Painted 
on a bit of deal. It was a pannel in a house, which a 
person I was calling upon, lately bought of a nephew (I 
think) of the painter. When you are next in town, I 
must show it you. It belongs to a neighbour of ours. 
How delightful such rencontres are in the dull journey of 
life ! I have been thinking all day of that picture, and 
all day has the remembrance of it filled me with plea- 
sure. It is a scene from Hudibras, and is done with 
black and yellow paint alone 

" Your obliged and affectionate, 

' JOHN W. BURGOX." 



To MR. DAWSON TURNER. 

" Brunswick Square, 10 Aug., 1840. 

" My dear Sir, 

" Talking of pictures, I passed two or three hours at 
Hampton Court last Saturday very delightfully. With 
the gallery you are doubtless well acquainted, if it is 
possible ever to become well acquainted with so multi- 
tudinous a collection. The trash is immense ; but a 



io6 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

man must be a perfect brute, who could carry away with 
him such & predominant impression. Surely there never 
was a gallery better calculated to charm a student, 
whether History, Biography, or Manners be his favourite 
pursuit. The portraits of our ambassadors and other 
worthies in Elizabeth's reign, and for the previous and 
succeeding half-centuries, are well worth a pilgrimage to 
Hampton. Holbein is altogether charming, and so is 
Kneller or Lely, I forget which. I will dismiss this 
subject by telling you a charming little circumstance, 
Do you remember Sir Henry Wotton's will? If you 
do not, pray reach down Walton's Lives and read it. 
He leaves to his beloved master (Charles I) four portraits 
of Doges of Venice who were Doges in his time, their 
names being inscribed behind each : also a Table (as he 
calls it) of the Senate House of Venice, in which he is 
represented having an audience with Carlo Donato, the 
Doge. All these pictures, he says, are by Fiuletto, and 
he begs the king to accommodate them in some corner 
of one of his houses. Well, sure enough, there these 
pictures all are ! . . . Yon can't think how delighted 
I was to see them, and to think of dear old Wotton's 
eyes having so often reposed on these identical por- 
traits. Now don't you think this a charming circum- 
stance? It is the pleasantest event I have known for 
some weeks 

" This evening, while I was at dinner, I recognised a 
voice in the Hall, and sure enough it was he Charles 
Fellows ! He had been only three hours in London. 
So the very dust of Asia Minor was yet hanging about 
him. He has discovered ten ancient cities in Lycia ! ! ! 
An artist who accompanied him has made heaps of 
drawings, while he busied himself with copying Inscrip- 
tions ; so we are in a fair way of another big book. 
Murray has already blown a flourish of trumpets in the 
' Athenaum* Fellows is looking sunburnt and lean, but 
he is extremely hearty; nor has he had half-an-hour's 
illness from the day he left England. He has been 
absent ten months." 



THE EARLY LIFE. 107 

To MR. DAWSON TURNER. 

" Br. Square, 12 Aug., 1840. 

" My dear Sir, 

" That Mrs. - " [a member of Mr. Turner's family] 
" has been in trouble, I am very sorry. . . . She is one of 
the best and sweetest persons I ever saw. . . . What 
excellent creatures women are ! and from the hour we 
come into the world, until the end of the chapter, how 
much trouble we give them ! " 

To MR. DAWSOX TURNER. 

"Brunswick Square, Jan. 19, 1841. 

" My dear Sir, 

" As regards ' the Granger Society 3 ', I altogether disap- 
prove of its design. We don't want prints of the Earl of 
Stratford, Oliver Cromwell, Charles I, &c., &c. I could 
fill a page on this subject; but the upshot of it all 
would be my humble opinion, that the only desideratum 
is as follows, namely, spirited outlines of all the un- 
known curious family portraits which are stowed away 
in the galleries yea the attics of our noble- and gentle- 
men. Four of these or more, issued every month, would 
at last constitute indeed a curious work. E.g. the 
father and mother of Sir T. More at Weston Hall in 
Suffolk unknown portraits, both of them; the Lucy 
family at Charlecote ; in short the innumerable portraits 
of the great great and the little great men of former days, 
with which England teems." 



3 So called (probably) from the ' Biographical History of England, 

Rev. James Granger, Vicar of from Egbert the Great to the 

IShiplake in Oxfordshire, [6. 1716, d. Revolution* is illustrated by en- 

1776], an eminent biographical graved portraits of the persons 

writer and portrait collector. His whose lives he narrates. 



io8 LJFE OF DEAN Bummx. 



III. To THE REV. G. C. EENOUABD. 

"n, Brunswick Square, 12 March, 1838. 
" My dear Reverend Friend, 

' ; My time is so* exceedingly engrossed that I must 
write but a short letter, and the object of it is, to enquire 
whether you can tell me, or can put me in the way of 
being told, when orauf/es were first introduced into Eng- 
land, the longum and the brenun (-svc in the sermon of a 
dissenter, teste H. J. Rose], the longum and the brcvtn,/ 
of the matter is, I am having a splendid portrait of 
Gresham by Sir Antonio More 4 , engraved for a frontis- 
piece, and I want to know why he is represented (like 
one of the Miss Flamboroughs) with an orange in his 
hand. Here are a few facts, but 1 need not say they 
must not influence you. 

" I think the picture may have been painted about the 
year 1556 that is to say, the middle of Mary's reign. 
In the middle of Mary's reign Gresham went into Spain ; 
in the State Paper Office I find one of his letters dated 
from Seville. 

" Sir A. More was a friend of Gresham's, painted him 
three times, and lived at Antwerp, where Gresham's 
commercial celebrity was rife." 

Before the publication of his work, Burgon had probed 
to the depth the question, on which he here seeks light 
from Mr. Renouard. Sir Francis Palgrave (whom prob- 
ably Mr. Dawson Turner had succeeded in interesting 
in the subject) had informed him that the supposed 
orange in Gresham's hand was really & pomander, that is, 
only an orange externally, the skin of an orange " stuffed 

4 Sir Antonio More (Moro) was Mary her painter, and after her 

born at Utrecht in 1525 and died at death in 1558, passed into the 

Antwerp in 1581. When in Eng- service of her husband Philip II 

land he was appointed by Queen of Spain, who took him to Madrid. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 109 

with cloves and other spices," and carried about like a 
vinaigrette " as a fashionable preservative against in- 
fection." In Note xix of the Appendix to Gresham's 
Life, Wolsey is described (from a passage in Cavendish's 
Life of him) as carrying one of these pomanders, "a 
very fair orange, whereof the meat or substance within 
was taken out, and filled up again with the part of a 
sponge, wherein was vinegar, and other confections 
against the pestilent airs ; the which he most commonly 
smelt unto, passing among the press, or else when he was 
pestered with many suitors." The passage of ' The Vicar 
of WakefieUl at which Burgon glances in the above letter 
to Mr. Renouard, is worth quoting from the delicacy of 
its satire : " My wife and daughters happening to return 
a visit at neighbour Flamborough's, found that family 
had lately got their pictures drawn by a limner ; who 
travelled the country and took likenesses for fifteen 
shillings a head .... there were seven of them, and 
they were drawn with seven oranges., <&c., &c" Farmer 
Flamborough's daughters affected gentility and refine- 
ment ; and although the pomander had gone out of use 
in the Vicar of Wakefield's time, and, when met with in 
portraits, it was mistaken for an orange, its associa- 
tions with persons of the higher class clung to it still ; 
Mrs. Flamborough meant it to indicate that her 
daughters were ladies, and moved in good society. The 
pomander, or perfume ball, was one of the articles com- 
posing the stock in trade of a huckster, or travelling 
salesman, in Shakspere's time. "I have sold all my 
trumpery," says the rogue Autolycus in ' Winter s Tale ; ' 
" not a counterfeit stone, not a riband, glass, pomander, 
brooch, table-book, ballad, knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, 
bracelet, horn-ring, to keep my pack from fasting " [Act 
IV. Scene ill.]. Burgon's note referred to above is 



no LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

thoroughly exhaustive of the subject, and is one of many 
incidental indications of the thoroughness with which he 
executed Gresham's Biography (as indeed everything 
else which he set his hands to), and the deep research 
which he brought to bear even on the minutest points. 

To THE % REV. G. C. RENOUARD. 

"ii Brunswick Square, July 7, 1839. 

" My dear Friend, 

" Truly rejoiced am I to say that the penultimate sheet 
of eit/n-r of my volumes [* The Life and Times of Gresham '] 
is now in my hands, . . . and when I tell you that the 
first figure upon each is a 5, you will not be surprised 
to hear me add that I begin to be heartily tired of the 
responsibilities of great and small pica ; and would not 
on any consideration that mine hero should have lived 
ten years longer. . . . No he is dead, his funeral 
oration has been recited ; and I have parted with him 
for ever. . . . Two volumes of 500 pages each with 
copper plates, woodcuts, and other illustrations to 
say nothing of appendix, table of contents, and index 
is, take it altogether, a kind of thing which I shall 
not be easily induced to undertake de novo for any 
knight, baronet, lord, viscount, earl, marquis, or duke, 
in the peerage. . . . Gresham may think himself lucky 
to have been the subject of a young author's opus mag- 
num. ... I take it that an older cock would have known 
better, than to do such lusty battle on such slight provo- 
cation. Let me see I should hope by the middle of the 
month to have done all that I can do towards shoving 
the old knight off the stocks ; say a week or ten days 
binding, &c., and getting in order for the discerning 
public and so perhaps by the first week in August, 
some evening, when you shall be at tea here (or, better 
still, at dinner), I shall have the pleasure of presenting 
you with the first copy I give away. Do you remember 
your kindness to me ' lang syne ' in this matter ? / 
shall never forget it, and mean to perpetuate the memory 
of the same in my preface." 



THE EARLY LIFE. 1 1 1 

To THE REV. G. C. RENOUARD. 

" Brunswick Square, April 20, 1 840. 

" My dear Mr. Renouard, 

" Here followeth the etymology of riff-raff, 

ereev-rav 

the Hebrew for ' a mixed multitude,' the word used in 
the Exodus, teste Dr. McCaul 5 ." 

To THE REV. G. C. RENOUARD. 

"City, 10 June, 1840. 

" My dear Mr. Renouard, If a man were to come and 
ask me what was written round the Emperor of China's 
breakfast room, I should immediately address myself to 
you in order to obtain the information. I am sure you 
would be able to tell me, if you chose. There is nothing 
in the whole range of philology, from the unknown 
tongue downwards, which is not as familiarly known to 
you as your own vernacular. Mr. Thorpe has just this 
instant put a question at my father, which we must refer 
to you, ere we can answer. Pray tell us in what book 
an engraving and account is to be found of the inscrip- 
tions on the obelisk at Constantinople. Have they ever 
been engraved, or otherwise published, and how, and 
when, and where and by whom? 

" I should think it necessary to apologize to any one but 
yourself, dear Mr. Renouard, for coming with such a 
categorical category of questions ; but I know you will 
dismiss the inquiry with the same readiness as I should 
dismiss a troublesome fly who should settle on my nose 
on a hot summer's day. 

" Ever, my dear friend, 

" Yours affectionately, 

" JOHN W. BURGON." 

5 This derivation of riff-raff from Old French words ' rif etraf,' mean- 

the Hebrew :n in?? ('ay-rev rav) is ing " every bit," " II ne lui lairra 

highly ingenious, and if Dr. McCaul rif ny raf" "He will not leave him 

were, as very probably he was, a single morsel, however trifling," 

skilled in etymology, is worthy of to use Abram's phrase (Gen. xiv. 23), 

consideration. Skeat, however, in " from a thread to a shoe-latchet." 

Ms ' Etymological Dictionary of the And he pronounces both rif and 

English Language ' [x. f.], cites the raf to be of Teutonic origin. 



1 12 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

To THE REV. G. C. RENOUARD. 

"Brunswick Square, 14 August, 1841. 

" My kind Mr. Renouard, Yesterday evening, while I 
was at dinner, a parcel was put into mv hands inscribed 
' J. W. B., Esq., from Rev. G. C. Renouard.' My first 
impulse was to excjaim. ' This is a mistake,' but when I 
had turned the pages over, and came at last to a Har- 
monia brevis, my ' prophetic soul ' made me sensible that 
it was no mistake at all, but just one proof more of 
that watchful, friendly care, which from the earliest 
time I can remember, you have unceasingly displayed 
towards me. 

<; You will not require to be assured, my dear Mr. 
Renouard, that I feel much touched by this mark of 
your friendship, not only as a mark of friendship, but 
indeed as a most salutary help, which has appeared pre- 
cisely at the time when it was needed most. Till I have 
completed my own task, I do not propose to consult the 
oracle ; but the moment I have brought my own crude 
imaginings to the sticking place (i. e. before I begin to use 
the paste pot 6 ) I shall diligently examine the Harmony 
with which you have supplied me, and so obtain a solu- 
tion of all my difficulties. I feel as if it were you who 
helped me. Although so distant, it seems as if you had 
made a long arm, as the phrase is or rather as if you 
were at your pupil's side. Once more accept my best 
thanks. The excellent binding, and the extreme merit of 
the copy, does not escape me. I am very grateful for 
everything. 

" Your obliged and affectionate, 

" and most faithful servant, 
" JOHN W. BURGON. 

6 His Harmony was made by Gospels in the order in which he 

cutting to pieces a printed copy of thought they ought to stand. 

the Authorised Version of the Abundant room is left for annota- 

Goepels, and pasting in to a large tions in the margin of the paper, or 

manuscript book of scribbling paper on the leaf opposite to the Harmony, 

the various excerpts from the different which is generally left blank. 



THE EARLY LIFE. 



1 1 



" I suppose you know that mass is no corruption of 
missa est, but a good Teutonic word, represented in our 
language by ' Mess ' 7 ; also that I. H. S. does not mean 
Jesus hominum Salvador, nor ever did mean, but that it is 
the monogram of 'I^o-ofo, and nothing else. 

" Pardon this little P. S. If I am ever troublesome with 
my etymological ana, remember, dear Mr. Kenouard, that 
it is all your fault for giving me such a taste that way, 
or at all events, for fostering it." 



7 This etymology also is very 
doubtful ; and it would be safer to 
adopt the usual one, that the word 
" Mass" is derived from the words 
*' Ite missa est " said by the Priest 
in dismissing the Catechumens or 
Non-Communicants, when the Mass 
(or Communion Service proper) was 
about to commence. At all events, 
even if J. W. B.'s connexion of mass 
with " mess " be accepted, " mess " 
is not a Teutonic but a Latin Word, 
coming from the verb mitto, which 
has among its meanings "to place 



upon the table," " serve up." Hence 
a "mess " means a dish, something 
served up in a dish. The Italian word 
" niesso " means " a course at table." 
Mr. Renouard was strong in 
philology and etymology ; and 
Burgon amused himself with throw- 
ing out etymologies for him to rise 
at, like a fish at a fly. One would 
be interested to know what he said 
to these etymologies suggested by 
his young friend ; but the letters 
containing his observations on them 
have not been preserved. 



VOL. [. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 

From his Matriculation [Oct. 21, 1841] to Ms Admission 
into the Order of Deacons [Dec. 24, 1848]. 

A.D. 1841. THE middle of October, 1841, found John William 
'-* Burgon at the place where he was destined to spend so 
large a portion of his time, and where his brother-in-law, 
the Rev. Henry John Rose, always acted towards him so 
brotherly a part the "moated parsonage" house of 
Houghton Conquest in Bedfordshire, the charms of 
which and of the surrounding country he has himself 
described so picturesquely in his ' Lives of Twelve Good 
Men' " The scenery round about his" [Mr. Rose's] " se- 
cluded Rectory was of that sweet domestic character 
which, without ever aspiring to the praise of being 
actually beautiful, yet in effect always pleases, never 
tires 8 ." He went there Oct. 16, 1841, and on Tuesday, 
Oct. 19, we find this entry in his Journal: "Having 
asked a blessing on our errand, Rose and I started per 
Fletcher's coach for Oxford. Reached there in the even- 
ing." What followed shall be given in the language of 
four very interesting letters written to his sisters 9 (then 

8 ' Lives of Twelve Good Men ; ' (2) To Miss H. E. BURGON .... 
HENRY JOHN KOSE. Vol. i. p. Oct. 28, 1841. 

288. (3) To Miss BURGON .... Oct. 

9 (i) To Miss BURGON. Rev. H. 29,1841. 

J. Rose, Houghton Conquest, Oct. (4) To Miss H. E. BURGON .... 

37, 1841. Oct. 30, 1841. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 115 

staying at Houghton) after his return to London on 
Friday, Oct. 22. 

"We passed Hartwell, and through Aylesbury, and 
Thame (whence the Thames takes its name, a curious 
town full of ancient-looking houses) and so on to Oxford 
over Forest Hill, where the first Mrs. Milton lived : 
and here Fletcher the coachman treated us to a charming 
Malaprop ; for he declared that there was a tree still 
existing under which Milton wrote ' Pilgrims Progress! 
What struck him most, however, was the difficulty 
Milton must have found in travelling from Cambridge 
to Oxford before the Oxford and Cambridge coach was 
started." 

They put up at " the Angel," where they are located 
in two bed-rooms, called respectively 'Jubilee" and 
" Hertford " ; and there in the evening, " Dear Rose 
wrote a letter to Dr. Pusey, announcing the arrival of 
the bear and his keeper" (the jocose names, which the 
family had given to himself and Mr. Rose), " and we 
then went to bed." The next day they attend service at 
St. Peter's Church (then under the incumbency of the 
Rev. Walter Kerr Hamilton, afterwards Bishop of Salis- 
bury), the architectural beauties of which, its parvis, its 
preaching-book (ruled with orderly columns for all sorts 
of statistics), and its crypt, " in consequence of the recent 
rains about one foot under water/' are described in his 
usual lively manner. Then he goes into ecstasies to his 
sisters about the Bodleian Library : 

" Such extraordinary pictures ! " [in the Bodleian 
Gallery] " a dozen or two of the old founders 
with their wives coats of arms and inscriptions in 
gilt letters such old loves ! There is Lord Burghley 
on his little mmle 1 , Columbus all the old Bishops 

1 In the portrait in question, on the white mule, on which he 
Lord Burleigh is represented sitting used to ride down to Westminster. 

13 



n6 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

in short such a collection as one would not know 
where to match out of Oxford ; nor are works of art 
altogether wanting. There is a most speaking likeness 
of Garrick, some fine Gainsboroughs, a superlative Sir 
Joshua. In short there is much to study and admire, as 
well as to smile at and feel interested in." 

After a visit to Parker's shop, c; a kind of lounge for 
the young men who love books," and " the stores of 
which make one's very heart flutter/' they returned to 
their Hotel, to await the great man, under whose auspices 
John William Burgon was to matriculate at Oxford as a 
Commoner of Worcester College. 

" Dr. Pusey had announced himself for one o'clock ; 
and soon after one the waiter came into the room where 
we were sitting, looking like a dog with his tail between 
his legs, and announced Dr. Pusey. 

" I believe you have seen him : however he is much 
improved in appearance, since we saw him last at Dods- 
worth's. He has grown plumper (rather}, and looks a 
little more cheerful. He immediately entered on the 
subject of our visit with Rose, and very kindly proposed 
to conduct him (and me) to Worcester College, where he 
said he would introduce us to the Provost of the College, 
having first distinctly declared it to be his opinion that 
Worcester College was the best I could go to. 

" We went towards the place with him, and he talked 
to us as we went along, or rather he talked to Rose. I 
cannot pretend to write all he said, first because it was 
very slight, next because I heard him imperfectly, and 
lastly because what he did say, and I heard, requires the 
modifying influence of tongue, eye, and face to give it its 
due meaning, and no more. The general upshot of what 
he said was that it was distressing to be so misunderstood 
and misrepresented. 

J. W. B. spells the word " muile," it with which his sister would 
and marks it under, probably to be familiar, 
indicate some mode of pronouncing 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 117 

" On arriving at Worcester College, I remained in the 
Quadrangle, while my two conductors knocked at the 
Provost's door. I was extremely anxious to see Worcester 
College, as you may easily suppose, a place that is to 
become my Home ! and I was not disappointed. It is a 
newish-looking College, but pretty ; and within the 
quadrangle are some very ancient buildings. It is in 
fact the most recent collegiate foundation in Oxford., 
having been endowed by a Sir something Cook, in the 
year 1 700, or thereabouts ; but it is to me a delightful 
circumstance that it occupies the site of the most ancient 
establishment for religious instruction in Oxford, St. 
Frideswide's Abbey (founded A.D. 700) always excepted, 
of which hereafter. What follows is a slight sketch of 
the front of the College, from memory " [here follows a 
very rapidly executed pencil sketch]. " This is the 
front. When you have got through the door, you 
see somewhat thus" [another hasty sketch]. "I had 
scarcely lost sight of Mr. Rose and Dr. Pusey, when 
they re-appeared, and they told me that the Provost had 
gone out for a ride. It was accordingly settled that 
the visit must be deferred till to-morrow. Dr. Pusey 
walked homewards, and we insensibly followed in the 
direction of Christ Church (of which he is a Canon) ; and 
in about a quarter of an hour we stood at his door, the 
right hand corner of a magnificent quadrangle, the largest 
in Oxford, built by Cardinal Wolsey with truly royal 
magnificence. He desired us to walk in, which we gladly 
did ; and he led the way into a cheerful library, in sad 
but sacred confusion. The legs of the wooden chair on 
which he was sitting were altogether blocked up by the 
works of Irenseus and St. Basil. Over his mantel-piece 
were three German prints, thus ; " [rough pencil sketches 
of two of them] " St. John the Baptist ; our Saviour's 
Passion ; and the third was an interesting representation 
of St. John's preaching, I suppose. Before him were the 
portraits of his two poor sickly children, and I think 
elsewhere in his room (or else it was at Mr. Newman's), 
Vandyke's treble portrait of Charles I. His books were 
mostly on Divinity, all learned. He said with a smile 



1 1 8 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

that his Fathers were in the next room, mostly. Eose 
talked to him about Neander 2 , of whom Dr. P. gave us 
a very interesting account ; but I leave dear Rose to tell 
you what he said about Bickersteth, &c. 5 &c., &c. We 
took leave of Dr. Pusey in the course of about half an 
hour. In the meantime he had kindly repeated his offer 
of supplying me with half a sitting-room in his house 
till accommodation can be provided for me in College 
(which is extremely kind and condescending, though I 
fear it will not suit); and he said he would write to 
Dr. Cotton, his brother-in-law, to make an appointment 
for us for the morrow. And so we took our leave of 
him." 

After their dinner at the Hotel that evening (" tough 
beefsteaks, and potatoes like bullets, whereof the horrible 
memory haunts me yet"), 

ic there came a note from the Provost of Worcester 
College, bidding us call upon him at nine next morn- 
ing Next morning accordingly we got up like 

good boys, brake our fast betimes, and then got under 
way for Worcester College. Dr. Cotton in his note 
had recommended that I should be examined at once, 
and Dr. Pusey seconded the motion, much to my 
alarm and disgust. However, we resolved, if Dr. Cotton 
should repeat the invitation to be examined, that I 
should immediately do the needful ; and accordingly, I 
had scarcely lost sight of Mr. Rose (who went into the 

2 Mr. Rose, who was an accom- man came in and purchased the new 

plished German scholar, had trans- volume, just as the brothers-in-law 

lated 'Neander's History of the were leaving the shop ; whereupon 

Christian Religion and Church Mr. Newman indicated a desire to 

daring the first three centuries.' know Mr. Rose, which led to the 

The second volume of this transla- visit to his rooms described in the 

tion had just appeared, the first sequel. Neander, a Jew by birth, 

having made its appearance in 1831, but a Christian by deep conviction 

ten years earlier. The second and by Baptism, was born at Gdttin- 

vohune was lying upon Parker's gen, Jan. 17, 1789, and died of the 

counter, when Burgon and Mr. cholera, July 14, 1850. 
Rose were in the shop. Mr. New- 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 119 

Doctor's, while I waited in the Quadrangle) before he re- 
appeared, and introduced me to Dr. Cotton. He is a 
small man, looking like an old little boy very kind and 
gentle 3 ; and he assured me it was a very small matter ; 
told me that the Tutor who should examine me, knew 
that I must be handled gently, and in short said enough 
to make me instantly run oft* in quest of what I had five 
minutes before been so nervous about. I found the 
Tutor (a Mr. Muckleston 4 , I think) in his studious little 
room, and told him what I had come for. He seemed a 
little astonished to hear that I had read no Greek for ten 
years, and that I knew so little of Latin. However, he 
bade me name the books I would be examined in. Tibby " 
(the supposed name of " the Bear," as he called himself,) 
' : happened the night before to have had a little talk 
with his keeper over a proof-sheet of Herodotus, in which 
some books had come wrapped up from Parker's. So, 
being at a loss to know what to say, he now said he 
should like to be examined in Herodotus and Cicero, 
which was rather saucy ; but you know Tibby is a saucy 
fellow. 

" Well, my executioner was very kind about it ; chose 
half-a-dozen easy lines of each, and told me to turn a 
little of ' tJie Spectator' into Latin. So he gave me a pen 
and ink and paper, and said I must make haste, for in 

3 " Our Provost, might I paint Ever the first in Chapel : at his 

him, was a man prayers 

Of wondrous grave aspect : of A hornily to inattentive hearts : 

stature small, The college loved, revered him, to 

Yet full of Christian dignity ; so a man/' 

full " Worcester College " [Poems by 

Of human kindness, that a child John William Burgon, B.D., Dean 

could pick of Chichester]. 

The lock upon his heart. 'Twas * " Then, would you know our 

sport to watch, Tutors, each was great, 

When chased by beggars near the But in his several way. What 

College wall, excellent gifts 

(Some mother of a fabulous brood Were Muckleston's ! (my Tutor 

of bairns,) he ; well skilled 

How soon he'd strike his colours to In dialectic ; grand in all the moods 

the foe. From Barbara ' on)." JIM. 



120 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

half-an-hour we should be wanted in the Convocation 
Room (where the young men are matriculated). Of 
course I made sad hash of it ; but he said it would do 
very well, and took me into another room, where my 
name was taken down ; and I was told I must imme- 
diately provide myself with a cap and gown and a 
white tie. 

" A little juicy tailor was in attendance with plenty of 
caps and gowns ; and he lent me one which, though it 
did not fit, did very well for the purpose. The white 
tie was a sad home thrust ; but my friend who had been 
examining me undertook to supply that, which he kindly 
did immediately, and out I walked, looking, or at least 
feeling, wonderfully awkward and foolish. I scarcely 
knew whether I stood on my head or my heels when I 
entered the Convocation Room, and found myself in a 
little mob of persons with caps and gowns, maces, and 
red inner garments. 

" Here, however, to my surprise and pleasure, I met 
some friends. Brancker was the first to find me out, 
and very surprised he was to see me, as you may sup- 
pose. He welcomed me very cordially, and had scarcely 
done so, when Mr. Jacobson espied me. He was ex- 
tremely friendly. Next, who should I see but Mr. 
Hensley ! He had just come to enter his brother, also at 
Worcester College ; so he introduced me to him 

" Well ; there was a great deal of delay, while some 
twenty young B.A.'s were being metamorphosed into 
M.A.'s, after which * we youth ' were called up, one by 
one, and in the presence of the Vice-Chancellor were re- 
quested to sign the Thirty-Nine Articles ; that is to say, 
we signed our names in a great book. My own interest- 
ing autograph ran as follows (I leave Mr. Rose to 
explain). 

'"John W. Burgon, Gen. Fil. Coll. Vigorn.' I think 
that was all ; but I felt nervous and scarcely knew what 
I wrote. 

" Well ; we were then presented each with a copy of 
the Statutes (I should rather say, extracts from the 
Statutes) of the University, and desired to stand round 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 121 

in a circle : when the first young man, in behalf of us all, 
read aloud an oath which we took, and in ratification of 
which we all kissed the Bible. This oath is such 'a love 
of an Oath, that I cannot resist the inclination I feel 
to set it down for you, though I rather begrudge the 
trouble : 

" ' I, J. W. B., do swear that I do from my heart abhor, 
detest, and abjure as impious and heretical, that dam- 
nable position and doctrine " That Princes excommunicated 
or deprived by the Pope, or any authority of the See of 'Rome ', 
may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or any other 



" * And I do declare, that no foreign Prince, Person, 
Prelate, State, or Potentate hath, or ought to have, any 
jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or au- 
thority, ecclesiastical, or spiritual, within this realm. 
" ' So help me God, &c.' " 

The Mr. Hensley 5 , whom he mentions above, became 
during their undergraduate career, and remained ever 
afterwards, despite material differences in their theo- 
logical views, Burgon's fastest and fondest friend. He 
has given most valuable assistance to the writer in 
drawing up the narrative of the early Oxford days of 
his old friend ; and excerpts from Burgon's letters to 
him will be presented to the reader in the sequel. He 
it is to whom Burgon paid, ten years afterwards, the 
visit which he describes so beautifully in the touching 
little poem, "Worcester College" ['Poem*,' p. 86], in 
the course of which the two old College friends " count 
o'er the names" of their academical contemporaries, 
many of them departed, 

" many more 

Grown husbands, fathers, widowers ; while of some 
We had no news, and wondered how they fared." 

5 Now the Reverend Alfred Hensley, Rector of Cotgrave, near Not- 
tingham. 



ITBRARY ST. MARY'S COLLEGE 



122 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

In the last extract from his letters to his sisters, he 
has been describing the ceremony of his admission to 
the University in a spirit of badinage, and in a tone of 
mock solemnity ; but he is aware that, underlying the 
Ixnlinage^ there is a proud consciousness in his mind of 
having attained at length to membership of a world- 
famous corporation. After he has restored his Academi- 
cals to the "juicy little tailor," and his white tie to the 
tutor who had lent it, and was, in point of costume, him- 
self again, 

" I then went in search of the porter of the College. 
I already felt six inches taller since breakfast. I felt as 
if a part of the burthen of Oxford had fallen on my 
shoulders. I was part and parcel of the grass plot and 
the College. The College was my college ; the quad- 
rangle, my quadrangle ; the porter, my porter ; the 
porter's son, rny porter's son. I accordingly sent him 
in quest of his dad : for I wanted to examine my Library, 
my Hall, and my Chapel. 

" The Library is spacious, and well-furnished, al- 
together a very superior one. The Hall is clean and neat 
and cheerful ; but not at all (or very little) Collegiate, I 
mean, it is Greek, not Gothic. Ditto of the Chapel. 
However, all three pleased me much. The Prayers are 
read in Latin every morning at \ past 7 in winter, and 
seven in summer ; so Tibby must turn out a little 
earlier than he has been accustomed/' 

Mr. Newman having given Mr. Rose some encourage- 
ment to think that he would be glad to receive a visit from 
him and his protege^ they determine to pay their respects 
in that quarter, find the great man "at dinner in the 
Common Room," but were told that they might perhaps 
see him later, " for that he usually sate up and wrote 
rather late." After spending the evening with Mr. and 
Mrs. Jacobson, and chatting till nearly ten o'clock, they 
again repair to Oriel College. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 123 

" We found Mr. Newman sitting by his fireside in a 
comfortable library-looking sitting-room. He had been 
writing ; and, as I should think, something which he felt 
anxious about ; for at every few words there occurred 
an erasure. He apologized for the confusion in which 
we found him ; but it was quite superfluous, for every- 
thing was in very tolerable order. I did not remark in 
his furniture anything remarkable. He had a print or 
two; by the by it was lie who had the portrait of 
Charles I ; I noticed nothing else particularly 

" Mr. Newman was kind enough to say he 

should hope to see me when I go up to Oxford. I hope 
he will. I am sure I shall covet his friendship ; but it 
is equally certain that I will not pester him, or run after 
him, or after any one else. Ask Rose to tell you the 
story of the New Zealander's breakfast, if he has not 
told it to you already^ which I would lay a small wager he 
has done. You can't think how well Mr. Newman told 
that story ! He talked to us about several matters, 
railroads, monumental inscriptions, New Zealand, Dr. 

Pusey, &c., &c. In his voice, he is more like than 

any one else we know ; both in voice and manner, but 
very unlike him in 'face. On such occasions, however, 
paying a first visit, at an uncouth hour, without any 
particular object, the conversation, as you know, is 
always rather tire par Us cheveux. We did not quite hide 
our faces behind one another and say, 'No, Sir' 'Don't, 
Tom ' " [here a rough grotesque sketch of the attitude 
indicated] ; " but something very like it." 

Next morning, he sees Mr. Rose off to Houghton 
Conquest, and is late for the commencement of the Daily 
Service at St. Mary's, but in time for the Lessons, 
" which Mr. Newman read beautifully ; " after which, 

" I had still an hour or two to pass in Oxford ; so 
I went to see Brancker. He received me with much 
kindness. He is Divinity Lecturer at his College (Wad- 
ham), and gave me much useful practical advice. He 
assured me that, if I could number Dr. Pusey, Mr. New- 



124 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

man, and Mr. Jacobson, among my friends, I should 
come up to Oxford under the best auspices. He begged 
me to write to him, if I wanted any further information, 
&c., &c. So we parted ; and I took a stroll round the 
garden of Wadham College, one of my favourite 

haunts 

" After a farewell visit to Parker's, I glanced once 
more at all the beloved buildings, and said in my heart 
to the towers, spires, and walls around me, ' Good-bye 
for the present, my dears.' I then went to the inn, 
wrote a hasty line to Dawson Turner, and came home" 
[to Brunswick Square] " by the Great Western Railway, 

as fast as steam would carry me My best love 

to all around you, and many kisses to the beardless of 
the beloved circle." 

In what remains of this Period we shall leave John 

William Burgon, through the medium of his letters, to 

speak for himself. Certain facts, however, need to be 

stated, by way of explaining those letters. On March 

A.D. 1842. 10, A.D. 1842, his work being now at an end in London, 

'J he bade adieu to Brunswick Square, after drawing the 

rooms in which he and his family had lived so long 

and happily. 

"At i2t left home!!!!!," says the Journal; "Rose 
and I reached Houghton at 7. I this day entered on a 
new life. May God bless it ! It was a sad parting." 

(His mother and sisters did not leave the old home till 
June 2, more than two and a half months afterwards.) 
Thenceforth his time was divided between Oxford during 
the terms, and Houghton Conquest during the vacations, 
where he devoted himself unintermittingly under Mr. 
Rose's guidance to his classical studies. Rarely did he 
allow himself a week or ten days at home under the 
roof of his parents, who still continued to reside in 
London after quitting Brunswick Square. Those who 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 125 

remember the consuming passion for poetry, which he 
had exhibited in his early life, will not be surprised to 
find that, on going to Oxford, the first object of his 
ambition, perhaps it should be said of his strenuous 
determination, was to win Sir Roger Newdigate's prize 
for the best composition in English Verse. For this prize 
he competed in 1842, his first year of residence at Oxford 
(the subject being Charles XII), in 1843 (the subject 
being Cromwell), and again in 1844 (the subject being 
the Battle of the Nile), all three times unsuccessfully. 
But his energy and elasticity of mind were proof against all 
discouragement; and in 1845 came a brilliant success, all 
the more gratifying because so long delayed, * Petra' 

"May 23, 1845. At i\ o'clock, Greswell announced A.D. 184 
to me that I had won the Newdigate ! ! Laws Deo" 

And on a separate page at the end of the Diary: 
"June 5, 1845. Yesterday I recited ' Petra ' in the 
Theatre. I have great reason to feel most thankful for 
the joyful manner in which all went off. How good to 
us our Heavenly Friend is ! I felt all manner of com- 
forts, and have since been only able to call to mind more. 
May I live to consecrate rny prose and verse to His 
honour and praise ! J. W. B." 

Later in that year he took his degree of B.A., Nov. 
20 6 , after being under examination in the Schools from 
Nov. 12 to Nov. 19 (both inclusive). 

6 Tn a letter to Mr. Hensley pure villainy." It is rather touching 

(who, as we have seen, had been to read in his Journal of the next 

matriculated on the same day), month (May 25, 1848); "Hensley 

dated April 28, 1848, he looks for- took his degree. I could not (not 

ward to taking his M.A. degree money enough)." In the following 

with his old friend : " We must month, however, the money seems 

put on our M.A. gowns (D.V.) to have been found. "Wed. June 

the same day next term, and strut 14, 1848, put on my M.A. gown. 

all round Oxford in them, running Laus DEO." 
over the Proctor, if possible, for 



126 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

On a separate page at the end of the Diary occurs this 
note, written at the close of his Examination, and before 
it was known what Class he had gained : 

"57 St. John's Street, igth Nov., 1845. Wednesday 
Evening. With inexpressible gratitude to the Giver of 
all good, do I here % set down the record that my troubles 
ended this day. My anxious reading, my many thought- 
ful, wistful hours, have all tended to Mis point ; and it 
is past ! God be thanked and praised ! Let me now 
look forward to something higher, nobler, more abiding ! 
J. W. B." 

On Nov. 26, "The Class List came out at 3. Thank 
GOD, I am no lower." This is the only notice taken by 
him in his Journal of what must have been a sore dis- 
appointment to him, his failure to take a First Class. 
One of the reasons of this failure probably was that, 
while enjoying and appreciating the Classics in a way 
which they who obtain the highest honours very rarely 
are found to do, he was, from want of early grounding, 
deficient in the technicalities of Grammar, and the nicer 
refinements of Scholarship. But let us listen in this 
matter to his contemporary and intimate College friend, 
Rev. Alfred Hensley, who thus writes to the author as 
to Burgon's attendance at Lectures, and his eagerness to 
avail himself of all the opportunities held out to him. 

" Never did a more devoted, humble, loyal, dutiful 
alumnus pass the threshold of Alma Mater \ never did any 
student strive more vigorously to avail himself of all 
advantages within his reach. Day and night were well 
alike to him ; and I have ever marvelled how his con- 
stitution bore the excessive strain, continuous as it was, 
and how in the intervals of meals, and slight restricted 
recreation, he invariably maintained a buoyant, exube- 
rant cheerfulness and fun, which made happy all who 
had the good fortune to be associated with him. 

" Burgon took no more than a Second Class. How was 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 127 

this ? You are doubtless aware of his disadvantageous 
start. I do not. attribute his failure (shall I so call it ?) 
to this ; but as in a march, & forced march through a 
territory, the man who now and again steps aside in 
botanical or geological research, is retarded in his pro- 
gress, so Burgon was never satisfied without a nice 
exact ferretting out of every difficulty, sometimes amus- 
ingly apparent in the Lecture Koom, where the tutor 
always indulged and appreciated his integrity and zeal. 
He never rested until he had acquired all that could be 
known respecting the matter before him. His inter- 
ruptions of the Lecture were to be seen as well as heard ; 
and his humble, plaintive manner of enquiry was a strik- 
ing contrast to the dry, solemn mode of the tutor's 
reply, who nevertheless, I believe, always appreciated 
Burgon's earnest thirst for information. I believe his 
notes on the Classics would wonderfully testify to the 
fact of his probing every question to the depth, and 
would thus tell of hours lost, I mean by lost, that 
a much more superficial acquaintance would have an- 
swered his purpose in the Schools Nothing, I 

feel sure, would have induced Burgon to undergo the 
process of cramming ; he would have regarded it as a 
moral degradation." 

His own view of the reasons of his failure to obtain 
a First Class will be seen in the Letter of Nov. 22, 
1845, to Mr. Dawson Turner. 

The names of the Masters of the Schools who con- 
ducted the Examination in Michaelmas Term, 1845, were 
Henry George Liddell (now Dean of Christ Church), 
Charles Daman, John Matthias Wilson, and Arthur 
West Haddan. 

Early in the year succeeding that in which he took A - D - 
his degree there appeared his " Kemarks on Art with 
reference to the Studies of the University. In a letter 
addressed to the Rev. Richard Greswell, B.D., Tutor 
(late Fellow) of Worcester College." His soul must 



128 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

have been in its pleasant places, while writing that 
pamphlet ; for it would take him back to the old 
familiar pursuits and associations of his early life, 
which had been broken off for three full years by the 
stern necessity of classical studies. It is pleasant to 
see, while reading it, how much at home he is in his old 
element, and how discursive he accordingly becomes, 
expatiating freely on either side of him, as tempting 
themes seduce him from the straight path of his argu- 
ment. The ostensible purpose of the Letter is to urge 
upon Mr. Ores well, his most kind friend, and recently his 
College Tutor, and through him upon the authorities of 
the University generally, the providing of some means, 
more than Oxford then afforded, of studying Ancient and 
Modern Art. Ancient Literature, he argues, to the study 
of which the University directs her ali<>nni, as the prin- 
cipal instrument of Education, is more or less closely 
connected with Ancient Art, so that " to understand either 
one must study both" and " that to understand the one 
thoroughly, without studying the other at all, is utterly 
impossible " [p. 46]. He suggests therefore that a series 
of casts be provided from the yEginetan marbles, from 
the Parthenon marbles, and from the celebrated sculp- 
tures of the epoch after Alexander the Great (the Laocoon, 
Farnese Hercules, &c.) and placed in the Taylor Gallery 
in a position accessible to students. But he also takes 
occasion to enlarge on ancient Coins, as illustrative of 
ancient history, and furnishing many portraits of the 
great . personages of antiquity. And although he holds 
painting, as distinct from colouring, to be an Art 
of Christian growth, he would fain ' ; see the walls of 
some building in Oxford adorned with faithful copies of 
the grandest pictures in the world " ; for " no one can 
study the works of Kaphael without improvement : no 






THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 129 

one can understand them without study" [pp. 68, 69]. 
' Two of the affections of bodies," he says [p. 13], 
Number and Quantity are deemed sufficiently im- 
portant to constitute the principal feature in the education 
of the sister University : a high place too they enjoy in 
our own system. Is it not somewhat extraordinary that 
two other, equally inseparable, affections of bodies, 
Form and Colour should constitute, in neither place, 
any part of education at all? " It must be admitted that 
in this Pamphlet he calls attention, in a manner at once 
useful and interesting, to a weak point in the then sys- 
tem of education at the University, that point being 
the very jejune provision made for the cultivation of 
artistic tastes in her students. He maintains that those 
students are not without the rudiment of such tastes, as 
is shown by the pictures with which they adorn the walls 
of their rooms. " We have but to look around us to be 
convinced that there exists in this place a. strong yearning 
for Art : which only wants direction, in order that it may 
be made available for a high purpose." It may be added 
that several of the suggestions made in this pamphlet in 
regard to the Taylor Gallery, have so commended them- 
selves as reasonable to the authorities of the University, 
that they have been carried into effect. 

It may be mentioned in this connexion as another 
instance which goes to shew that artistic occupations 
had not lost for Burgon the attractiveness, which from 
his earliest years they had, that the Frontispiece of Mr. 
Linwood's 'Antliologia Oxoniensis' in which are represented 
the coins of some of those cities of Asia Minor, which 
contended for the honour of having been the birthplace 
of Homer 7 , was executed by him. He was one of the 

7 This Anthology contains many pieces of Latin and Greek Verses, 
exquisite translations, and original Perhaps the gem of the Collection is 
VOL. I. K 



130 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

earliest members of the Oxford " Art Society," of which 
Dr. Wellesley and Mr. Greswell, Burgon's old College 
Tutor and most kind friend, were the leaders and heads ; 
and the work of designing the Frontispiece for Mr. Lin- 
wood's book would be in every way a congenial one, not 
only because Art was one of his fortes, but as summoning 
back to him the associations of his past. The publica- 
tion is dated 1846, the year in which he put forth his 
' Remarks on Art! 

On the 1 3th of April, 1846, began the Examination for 
the Oriel Fellowship. From the brief notes in his Diary 
he seems to. have regarded his success as hopeless. 
"Monday, Ap. 13. English Essay and Latin writing 
Felt sure it was hopeless trying further." " Tues. Ap 
14. Latin Essay. Physical Paper. It is quite hopeless." 
On a separate page at the end of the Diary is this 
longer note. 

"April 14, 1846, Tuesday night (2 o'clock). Yes- 
Mr. Osborne Gordon's Greek Elegiacs to right, Chios. No. 7 and 8, the 
on Chantrey's monument to the Two obverse and reverse of the coin bt- 
Children in Lichfield Cathedral. low, both of Mytilene. The seated 
ParsSecunda. xx. Here is a descrip- figure (at head of title-page) recalls 
tion of Burgon's Frontispiece, with a class of Greek sepulchral reliefs, 
which Mr. Arthur Evans, keeper of in which departed ladies for in- 
the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, stance are represented with articles 
has kindly furnished the author: of the toilet, such as the unguent- 
"The Medallions, as you rightly vase and mirror, suspended above 
suppose, represent coins referring to the person here represented. Bur- 
some of the cities that contended gon, who was no doubt familiarised 
for Homer's birthplace. No. I, with with this kind of reliefs at Smyrna, 
Legend of OMHPO2, answers to the has here apparently adapted one to 
head of Homer on coins of los ; this the character of a Muse (the pensive 
is on the left of the title-page. No. attitude suggesting perhaps Poly- 
2, (on the right) with Homer seated, hymnia) and added the lyre. Eros 
is from a coin of Smyrna. No. 3, as a racer is introduced below, per- 
left, Colophon. No. 4, to right, haps to indicate the lighter subjects 
Mytilene. No. 5, left, Teos. No. 6, of the volume." 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 131 

terday and to-day I have been at Oriel, trying for one of 
the three vacant Fellowships. I had bright hopes till I 
went in, and then all left me ! It is indeed hopeless. I 
will add a word on Friday, when all is over. 

" It is my comfort to think that all such things are in 
higher keeping. GOD be praised for rny disappointments, 
as well as for my gratifications ! Amen, Amen ! " 

But on Friday, the 1 7th, an agreeable surprise was in 
store for him. 

" Ap. 17. Friday Night. I was this day elected a 
Fellow oi Oriel College. Hensley and Acres outstripped 
the Provost's servant by half a minute in bringing me 
the news. How full of blessings has my life been till 
now ! This, the last, not least ! How wondrous it seems 
that I should be vice Newman ! . . . . May GOD give me 
grace and help to live as if I loved HIM, and was sen- 
sible of HLS exceeding favour and mercy ! " 

His degree taken, and his Fellowship secured, his next 
principal object was to prepare himself for Holy Orders. 
With this view, he attended, while residing in Oxford, 
the Lectures of Professors Hussey and Jacobson. And 
when at Houghton Conquest, he devoted himself to un- 
remitting Theological study : and we meet with such 
notices in his Diary as the following, written across the 
register of several days ; " I was all this time fagging at 
Pearson and some of the Fathers often for twelve hours 
a day." 

Under the date June 4, 1847, we come across this A.D. 1847 
notice in the Diary : Gained the Ellerton (Laus Deo !)." ^ m ' 34>] 
The subject of the Ellerton Theological Essay Prize in 
that year was, " The importance of Translation of the 
Holy Scriptures 8 ." In the year 1846 he had competed 



on 



8 On the title-page of his MS. in Passion Week, 1847 Written 
copy of this Essay, he has written ; the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thurs- 
" Begun on the evening of Monday day and Saturday transcribed on 

K 2 



132 



LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 



unsuccessfully for the same prize, the subject then being, 
' That a Divine Revelation contains mysteries is no valid 
argument against its truth." 

It should be mentioned, if only by way of shewing the 
immense amount of work of various descriptions under- 
taken by him, that after his degree he took private 
pupils, not however apparently to read for Honours 
(which he seems to have considered that his Second 
Class hardly justified him in doing) but simply to 
prepare them for taking an ordinary degree. Thus 
writes one of them to the author under date March 29, 
1890 : 



Easter Monday and Tuesday, and 
>n \\fdnesday, when it was given 
in." He had no high esteem for his 
production; for on one of the fly- 
leaves is written in pencil ; " I never 
glance over this very jejune Essay, 
or think of it, without shame. The 
rapidity with which it was written 
is its sole apology. The success 
which attended it, its sole merit. 
J. W. B." Nevertheless, his Essay 
shews a perfect mastery of the main 
points in which the Authorised Ver- 
sion needs amendment, and sums up 
very effectively all the learning on 
the subject of the Septuagint. It is 
interesting to observe that, while he 
indicates passages of the New Tes- 
tament, in which the Translation 
might be improved, he does not ad- 
vocate E<-ri*i<m. ' ; It i.s the part of 
a shallow wisdom that would seek 
to tamper on slight grounds with 
such a monument of collective learn- 
ing and sound judgment [as the 
Authorised Version], And when it 
is discovered (as every one will dis- 
cover who makes the experiment) 



that an approximation to excellence 
is after all the utmost that is .attain- 
able ; that inconsistencies will be 
discoverable after the greatest pains 
have been bestowed, and that 
scarcely a word can be disturbed in 
the existing text without affecting 
the harmony of remote and ap- 
parently unconnected passages ; that 
an attempt to remedy a mistransla- 
tion in one place will probably in- 
troduce an inconsistency in another ; 
and that almost every thing, as it 
stands, seems to have an assignable 
reason ; when these considerations 
have been duly entertained, it may 
well be expected that the boldest 
and most sanguine will be deterred 
from the attempt to re-model." This 
expectation was disappointed, as we 
know. Remodelling, of the most 
thorough and drastic character, both 
as regards the text and the transla- 
tion, was attempted some years 
afterwards, and called down severe 
castigation on its perpetrators from 
the pen of the Denyer Prize Essayist 
of 1847. 






THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 133 

' ; I read Greek Plays with Mr. Burgon at Oriel. There 
was a tradition then that his elegant and felicitous trans- 
lations got him his Fellowship at Oriel. Anyhow, it was 
very charming to read with him. He was, as you know, 
among his many other accomplishments, a poet. I, too, 
loved poetry ; so we were quite en rapport. When we 
finished the Plays, he said, ' Now, B *****, if you in- 
tend to go in for Honours, and read Ethics, you had 
better go to a First Class man.' So I went to -- , 
then an enthusiast and a scholar. But I returned, after 
taking my degree (a Pass, from broken health), to read 
Theology with Mr. Burgon, following him over to 
Houghton Conquest, where lived dear Mrs. Rose his 
sister, and where I became very intimate with all the 
family. Of his Theology I need say nothing: he was 
a Master in it. He certainly, to my mind, interested his 
pupils in their work ..... When we finished our Plays, 
and I was about to return to my College in the evening, 
he would kiss me on the cheek, amusing, if it had not 
been so sweet and loving. .... Dear Dean Burgon ! 
although of late years we corresponded only at Christ- 
mas, I owe to him very much ..... His last kind act 
was to give me an introduction to Eishop John Words- 
worth, our Diocesan." 

And thus another (under date March 12, 1890), who 
was a private pupil of J. W. B.'s some eight or nine 
years after the time of which we are now speaking 



" Burgon was very kind to me when I was at Oxford ; 
and I often went to his rooms ..... I only went in for 
a Pass, and I got it ; so I am bound to say that he was so 
far a success. I was very fond of him ; and he was most 
quaint. To see him, as he talked of Mediaeval Art, pose 
as a Saint in an old stained glass window was a sight to 
be remembered ..... But no stories of him that I know of 
seem much good wlien written down. It was the man and 
the manner that made them ..... When one thinks 
of him, it is as the true, fearless, loving friend, with a 



134 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

heart that was not ashamed to shew its tears or its 
love." 

Finally, it will be desirable to say something in refer- 
ence to Burgon's connexion with the Oxford Movement, 
and to the influence which, as one or more of the an- 
nexed letters shew, % Mr. (afterwards Cardinal) Newman at 
tirst exercised over him. The Movement was at its close 
when he matriculated at Oxford in the October of 1841. 
Early in that year the celebrated Tract XC had made 
its appearance. This famous paper resembled, in the 
sensation which it created in the Church, one of those 
closing displays in pyrotechnics, the detonations of which 
are repeated again and again, even when we think every 
explosion to be the last. Bishop after Bishop charged 
against the Tract. Four Tutors of important Colleges 
" remonstrated," in the name of religion and morality, 
against a method of interpretation, by which the Thirty- 
Nine Articles might be made to mean anything or 
nothing 9 . The Hebdomadal Board pronounced its mode 
of interpreting the Articles to be " inconsistent with the 
Statutes of the University." Shoals of Pamphlets and 
Sermons threatened to overwhelm and extinguish the 
offending paper, as an avalanche buries underneath it an 
Alpine village ; bound up with all the censures it elicited, 
Tract XC became the centre of a literature of its own. 
Last, but not least, it exploded the series of ' Tracts for the 
Times ! which were thenceforth discontinued by Mr. New- 
man in deference to the unfavourable judgment which 
his own Bishop, in common with every other Bishop on 
the bench, pronounced upon this ill-starred publication. 

9 The "Remonstrance" was ad- of Brasennse, Mr. Wilson of St. 

dressed to the Hebdomadal Board, John's, Mr. Griffiths of Wadham, 

or Body of Heads of Houses, and and Mr. Tait of Balliol. 
was signed by Mr. Churton, Tutor 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 135 

John William Burgon, though at that time only a 
theologian and controversialist in posse, had lived in the 
midst of the ferment which the publication had created, 
and must have been perfectly well aware of the many 
grave censures which had been launched against it by 
men of all schools in the Established Church. We can 
only suppose that, being more or less prepossessed in 
favour of the Oxford Movement by his attendance upon 
Mr. Dodsworth's ministry in London, he had elected to 
take sides with Mr. Newman, and to support him, as 
long as he found it practicable to do so, with all the 
chivalrous generosity of his ardent and enthusiastic 
nature. Alas! that this generous confidence of his 
was destined to receive a rude shock, amounting to 
a death-blow, when in October, 1845, Mr. Newman 
" asked of Father Dominic, the Passionist, then his 
guest at Littlemore, admission into the one Fold of 
Christ V 

In that secession " there were great searchings of 
heart," which revealed, in other cases besides that of 
John W T ilJiam Burgon, who were, and who were not, 
true at the core of their moral being to the principles of 
the English Reformation. Yet his deep personal vene- 
ration for Mr. Newman subsisted still. In his letter to 
Mr. Lawson of June 17, 1845 ( a portion of which will be 
submitted to the reader presently), he gives a glimpse of 
his feelings of vexation and dismay, should Newman's 
secession, which was then only apprehended as possible, 
occur. W T hat his emotions were, when it did occur, and 
having been sceptical at first as to the truth of the 
rumour, he received confirmation of it from Dr. Pusey, 
we learn from the interesting Address delivered by 

1 The words in which Mr. New- tism, in his ' Apologia ' [London, 
man himself expresses his Re-Bap- 1864], p. 367. 



136 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Prebendary Powles at the dedication of the Dean Burgon 
Memorial Window in the Lady Chapel of Chichester 
Cathedral (April 12, 1890)2. When Dr. Pusey told him 
it was but too true, " he was completely overcome, 
and burst into a passion of weeping so violent and so 
long as to greatly .perplex his companion. Speaking 
of it to me many years afterwards, Burgon said, i I 
shed so many tears then that I have had none to shed 



since.' ' 



A.D. 1848. It appears from his letters to Mrs. Hugh James Rose, 
'' **'* and other friends, that early in the autumn of 1 848 he 
had had thoughts of postponing his Ordination for six 
months, and accompanying a pupil to Egypt and Syria. 
But the scheme was frustrated. " I was within an ace 
of starting for Egypt and Syria in a week or two," he 
writes Sept. 14, 1848, in his usual punning vein, to the 
Rev. R. Lawson (an intimate College friend, who had 
now taken Holy Orders), " but cholera and war have 
knocked the scheme on the head ; so it will be Sam, 
Oxon instead of Jo/in Crocodile after all." 

His views and feelings in prospect of his Ordination, 
as well as the account of this solemn crisis in his life, 
so pregnant with happy consequences to himself and 
others, will be best given in the words of the two 
letters to Mrs. Hugh James Rose, with which this 
Section closes. 

What has been said will, it is hoped, serve to explain 
the following excerpts from his Letters, where they may 
need explanation. The Letters are given in the order of 
their dates. 

2 Praited for Private Circulation by Wilmshurst, Chichester. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 137 

To MR. DAWSON TURNER. 

" Worcester Coll., 16 Feb., 1843. 

My dear Friend, 

" The Christmas Vacation has intervened since I ad- 
dressed you last. I passed it altogether at Houghton, 
eiru)(w? /oteV, aAA.' o'/^uos Ta r&v TCKOVTUV o^jua0' rjbiaTov 
j3\evLv 3 ! So said Sophocles, and so felt /. To be 
invited home, and at Christmas too, Christmas, which, 
in the words of the old song, 'comes but once a year/ 
to be invited by one's Mother, and to have to decline ! I 
never did such a thing in my life. But I felt clearly 
that the alternative lay between pleasure and duty 
Had I gone home, I should have done nothing ; by stay- 
ing at Houghton I mastered the Agamemnon. I think 
it is by far the most difficult Greek I ever encountered, 
harder by far than the speeches in Thucydides (through 
which I am ploughing very cheerfully). These last are 
hard, excessively, I admit ; so hard that I frequently 
screw up my lamp about midnight, in order to throw 
light on the subject, and rub my eyes (in vain) in order 
to see through the condensed mass : but ./Eschylus offers 
difficulties of quite another kind. A grammarian might 
see through the one ; but it requires a poet to see through 
the other. 

" He reminds me very much of Shakspeare. They 
were kindred spirits. I could almost point out passages 
where one feels sure that if Shakspeare had written 
Greek, he would have hit on the same turns of expression, 
the same bold imagery and strong language. This is the 
kind of speculation which particularly endears my 
studies to me. I am told that it will avail me nothing 
in the Schools, that it will not pay. But I care not ; 

3 " Tho' it turned out for good, B.'s letters has been to accentuate 

most sweet it is, his Greek quotations. Usually 

Nathless, to see one's parents face to these are unaccentuated. From 

face" want of practice probably, he did 

[CEdipus, speaking of his long not feel confident enough to accen- 

exile from Corinth]. (Ed. Tyr. 998, 9. tuate any but the more ordinary 

The only liberty taken with J. W. words. 



138 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

it will make me happy ; and we shall see, three or 
four years hence, whether something new is not to be 

said in illustration of the old Tragedians I studied 

the Agamemnon with the aid of Peile's Edition, which 
you perhaps have seen. After I had finished my task, I 
nattered myself that I understood the play pretty well, 
and took the liberty of writing Mr. Peile a long letter of 
three pages on the subject, chiefly critical. He has sent 
me a very kind reply. 

" I never passed eight weeks more uneventfully than 
those of Christmas. I studied all day ; and the gloomy 
season protected me from many invitations, and intrusions 
of visitors. The contrast the country presented to the 
bonny garb of green in which I had left it, was very 
painful. The comfort was to consider that when I visit 
Houghton again, all the beauty will be restored. Oh ! 
how glorious it will be. I long to grapple with Aristo- 
phanes, and renew my acquaintance with ^Eschylus, 
things impossible here, where quantify is so insisted on, 
and, I fear, as a necessary consequence, quality over- 
looked. But I am not going to find fault with mine 
University, where I am as happy as the days are long, 
I mean as the days are short. 

" I wish very much you could have heard a very 
remarkable sermon Mr. Newman preached before the 
University on the Feast of the Purification, the most 
remarkable production of its class I ever heard 4 . So ex- 

4 Here is another description of to hear what Newman had to say, 

this famous sermon by another and St. Mary's was crowded to the 

auditor, equally appreciative with door. The subject he spoke of was 

Burgon, and equally endowed with ' The Theory of Development in 

the poetical gift, the late Principal Christian Doctrine,' a subject which 

Shairp. since then has become common 

"There was one occasion of a property, but which at that time 

different kind, when he spoke from was new even to the ablest men in 

St. Mary's pulpit for the last time, Oxford. For an hour and a half he 

not as parish minister, but as drew out the argument, and perhaps 

University preacher. It was the the acutest there did not quite 

crisis of the movement. On the 2nd follow the entire line of thought, 

of February, 1843, the Feast of the or felt wearied by the length of it, 

Purification, all Oxford assembled lightened though it was by some 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 139 

tremely universal in its scope, that it was impossible, 
from hearing it once, to grasp its meaning as a whole, 
and so exceedingly subtle and often metaphysical, that it 
was no less difficult to understand its several parts. Still 
the general impression was clear enough, and such as I 
shall not easily forget. Often when I am at my Greek, 
a passage or a sentiment comes swelling across me, and 
I cannot but stop to admire, even in memory, the un- 
atfected eloquence of the preacher. I thought him sin- 
gularly effective, yet could not but feel how completely 
his very weakness (so to speak) was his strength. His 
silence was eloquent, and his pauses worth a torrent of 
rhetoric. He spoke of the connexion between Faith and 
Reason, and enlarged on the memorable peculiarity of 
the pages of Inspiration that, containing as they do the 
principle of life within them, they are capable of infinite 
existence, and are eternally spreading and developing 



startling illustrations. Such was 
the famous ' Protestantism has at 
various times developed into 
Polygamy,' or the still more famous 
' Scripture says the sun moves round 
the earth, Science that the earth 
moves, and the sun is comparatively 
at rest. How can we determine 
which of these opposite statements 
is true, till we know what motion 
is ' Few probably who heard it 
have forgot the tone of voice with 
which he uttered the beautiful pas- 
sage about music as the audible 
embodiment of some unknown reality 
behind, itself sweeping like a strain 
of splendid music out of the heart of 
a subtle argument : 

' Take another instance of an 
outward and earthly form, or 
economy, under which great wonders 
unknown seem to be typified ; I 
mean musical sounds, as they are 
exhibited most perfectly in instru- 



mental harmony. There are seven 
notes in the scale ; make them four- 
teen ; yet what a slender outfit for 
so vast an enterprise ! What science 
brings so much out of so little ? 
Out of what poor elements does 
some great master create his new 
world ! Shall we say that all this 
exuberant inventiveness is a mere 
ingenuity or trick of art, like some 
game or fashion of the day, without 
reality, without meaning ? We 
may do so ; and then, perhaps, we 
shall also account the science of 
theology to be a matter of words ; 
yet, as there is a divinity in the 
theology of the Church, which those 
who feel cannot communicate, so 
there is also in the wonderful crea- 
tion of sublimity and beauty of 
which I am speaking/ &c., &c." 
[Principal Shairp's 'Studies in 
Poetry and Philosophy,'' pp. 249-51. 
Edinburgh : 1886.] 



140 



LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 



themselves in fresh forms of being 5 . I cannot how- 
ever hope to give you an idea even of Newman's sermon. 
I only alluded to the subject, because I gather from your 
recent letters that you feel interested concerning him. 
One of his friencfs who called on me yesterday, told me 
that the sermon (with twelve others, all preached before 

the University) will be published on Saturday 

And now, my good Triend, I wish you farewell. I fear I 
write a sad, dull letter, but if you will fancy to yourself 
a poor monk, the lonely tenant of a lonely cell in the 
lonely corner of a lonely quadrangle in a lonely college, 
will you wonder at his having no Paradise of Dainty 
Devices ? In truth, I have nothing but my affectionate 
good wishes to send to you all, and I beg you will ac- 
cept them. 

" Ever most faithfully yours, 



5 J. W. B. has in his mind such 
passages of the great Sermon as 
these : " Such sentences as ' The 
Word was God/ or 'the Only- 
begotten Son who is in the bosom of 
the Father/ or * the Word was 
made flesh/ or 'the Holy Ghost 
which proceedeth from the Father/ 
are not a mere letter which we may 
handle by the rules of art at our 
own will, but august tokens of 
most simple, ineffable, adorable 
facts, embraced, enshrined accord- 
ing to its measure in the believing 
mind. For though the develop- 
ment of an idea is a deduction of 
proposition from proposition, these 
propositions are ever formed in and 
round the idea itself (so to speak), 
and are in fact one and all only 
aspects of it," p. 334. " Revela- 
tion itself has provided in Scripture 
the main outlines and also large 



"JOHN W. BURGOX." 

details of the dogmatic system. 
Inspiration has superseded the 
exercise of human Reason in great 
measure, and left it but the com- 
paratively easy task of finishing the 
sacred work. The question, indeed, 
at first sight occurs, why such 
inspired statements are not enough 
without further developments ; but 
in truth, when Reason has once 
been put on the investigation, it 
cannot stop till it has finished it; 
one dogma creates another, by the 
same right by which it was itself 
created ; the Scripture statements 
are sanctions as well as informants 
in the inquiry ; they begin and they 
do not exhaust," p. 335. [Fifteen 
Sermons preached before the Univer- 
sity of Oxford, between A.D. 1826 and 
1 843, by John Henry Newman,some- 
time Fellow of Oriel College. New 
Edition. London, MDCCCLXXXVIL] 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 141 
To MR. DAWSOX TURNER. 

"Houghton Conquest, July 17, 1843. 

" My dear Friend, .... I called on Mr. Rogers, 
who certainly shows marks of his age, I mean men- 
tally. Though he had been at home a few days before, 
and expressed a particular wish to see me when I came 
from Oxford , he seemed to have a very vague idea of the 
categories of iroflczjandTrou'' (whence and where), ' : as far as 
/ was concerned. He was extremely kind however, 
wanted me to breakfast with him, and gave me a Lec- 
ture in the art of writing Poetry, &c., quite in the old 
style, declaring that he had never in his life written 
more than a couplet per diem ; that the young men wrote 
all too fast, and so far repeated himself as to ask me 
whether I should like to see the same thought expressed 
by Wordsworth, Milnes, Southey and himself. Of course 
I was game for everything he pleased, and had and 
cajrifaftul, as if it had been new to me. It was very 
droll to hear him, in the same chair of the same room, 
among the same pictures, and in the same voice, making 
the very same remarks I have heard him make, at least 
twice before, at intervals of a year or two. 

" I write these few lines from a little room which looks 
down on an avenue of limes, which limes being in full 
blossom, attract swarms of bees (whose hives are in the 
garden beneath) and a perpetual low hum is the result 
from morning till night. I love bees they always seem 
so industrious and one always thinks (at least / do) of 
the delicate fare they are providing for me. At \ past 
4, when I opened my window this morning, they were all 
hard at work, humming away in their brown aprons, like 
a set of little Manchester mechanics. 

" My daily work has been hitherto twenty chapters of 
Herodotus, and as many as I can master of Livy. I wish 
to get it up to ten a day. I read besides with care two 
chapters in the Old Testament, learn a piece of Latin by 
heart, do a Latin exercise, and read a chapter of Greek 
history. If I can go on as well as I have begun, or 



142 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

rather letter, I shall satisfy my*elf,v?ho, though I know I am 
working as hard as ever I can, never feel satisfied, scarcely. 
The thought of what I have to do has prevented me from 
knowing what it is to have my mind at rest, ever since I 
went up to Oxford. I am quite in love with my books, 
and enjoy my occupations amazingly." 

To MR. DAWSOX TURNER. 
" Houghton Conquest, St Thomas' Day, j 843. 

" My dear Friend, 

" You will see by the date of this letter where I am. I 
prolonged my stay rather late in Oxford, because I was but 
ill prepared for the little examination at the end of the 
Term, and a few days all to one's self are sucfi a luxury after 
the incessant occupation of eight weeks, occupation 
which, however salutary 1 know and feel it to be, is a great 
trial to one of my roving propensities, who hate wearing 
Winker* ; but when I come across some curious subject, 
love to follow up the hint (which commonly leads me 
a most will-o'-the-wisp dance 'over brook, over briar'), 
luxuriating, as I go, in all the odd pieces of information 
I pick up on my way. To return, however, the result 
of the few days I staid up was very satisfactory ; and I 
had the pleasure of seeing ' exemplary ' written against 
my name in the Provost's black book. If he does not give 
me a book when I go back, I shall call him a very un- 
gentlemanly person. 

" I think the pleasantest party I was at during the 
Term was at Mr. Newman's, who kindly invited me to 
dinner at Oriel. It was very agreeable, you may be 
sure, to be so near so good and so great a man for so many 
hours. He joined in all the light talk which floated 
round the table, and seemed to encourage it (I say light > 
only as the reverse of serious or solemn) but at moments 
he sank his head, as if deep in thought, and there came 
over his very remarkable features such a painful expres- 
sion of severe abstraction that it was almost startling to 
witness. He is a wonderful man in every point of view : 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 143 

and the only one I ever discoursed with, whom, entirely 
loving I felt I could not at all approach I scarcely know 
how to. explain myself ; but if you knew him you would 
nod assent, and require no explanation. He certainly 
cannot but feel that the habitual abiding place of his 
thoughts is where no common mind could follow. Wish- 
ing to know his mind well, would be like wishing to keep 
company with an eagle, whose joy is to soar up the 
sunbeam, and whose dwelling place is the pathless rock. 
.... He was so kind, at my request, as to write some 
words for me at the end of a beautiful Greek Testament 
I use. Perhaps you will like to know the words he 
chose; they are from Habakkuk iii. 17, 18. 

" Your kind partiality encourages me to hope you will 
not think me playing the egotist too much, if I give you 
an account of the studies of last Term. 

" Old Aristotle I like better as I understand him more ; 
but he requires a very peculiar and careful study. I 
mean to give him both in due time ; at present I wish 
to go over my work, and I have still Plato and Juvenal, 
and "V 7 irgil, and Tacitus unbroken ground ! . . . . But 
the studies I give my heart to, are those which directly 
or indirectly bear on the sacred profession ; nor do I 
really value any thing else, except so far forth as it bears 
on this, and what classic reading does not in some degree 
bear upon it ? " 

To MR. DAWSOX TURNER. 

" Houghton Conquest, Dec. 2t, 1844. 

" You will be glad to hear that I have been appointed 
to the office of sub-Librarian of our College Library. It 
is always held by an undergraduate for the actual 
Librarian, who is a non-resident Fellow. I mean to 
begin my Mayoralty by having cases made for three or 
four of our crack books. One is Inigo Jones's copy of 
Palladio, the margin of which he has filed with his MS. 
notes. Another is a curious volume bound with pearls ; 
and another is a MS. Life of the Black Prince in Norman - 
French, written by his Esquire. I hope some day I may 



144 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

have the pleasure of showing you such of our Books as 
you may care to see. It is one of the best Libraries in 
Oxford." 

To ME. DAWSON TURNER. 

"Wore. Coll., April, 1845. 

" Then we called on Mr. Rogers, who is just as usual 

in appearance He saluted us with a speech you 

will recognise as characteristic. ' Thank you for coming 
to see me. I knew you were coming ; so I had some 
crocuses laid down for you ! Come and look at them. 
There they are, four and sixpenny worth, three pence 
a piece ! But the misfortune is, the sparrows come and 
eat them, as fast as the gardener lays them down.' It 
often strikes me as such an odd thing that rich men talk 
so much about money, persons of very high rank espe- 
cially. I always think it bad taste ; and, however con- 
venient a commodity, and important to be talked very 
gravely about at certain times and in certain places, it is, 
generally speaking, a very uninteresting and disagreeable 
topic. I hope I am not wrong." 

To MR. DAAVSON TURNER. 

"Worcester College, May 23, 1845. 

" My dear Friend, I am sure you will sympathize 
with my joy in having gained the Newdigate. Mr. Ores- 
well brought me the joyful intelligence this afternoon (as 
I was hard at work on that most unpoetical of subjects 
Logic), and Garbett confirmed the story immediately 
after. Since which I have had a levy of friends in my 
room ; but I steal a few moments to waft the news in a 
quarter whence I have received so much kindness 
whither so many affectionate thoughts so often tend 
where I am sure the news will impart some portion of 
the pleasure it has imparted to myself. 

" I feel very grateful for this blessing, and that on every 
account. It is my last chance it is a sacred subject it 
is the first poem the college has gained, and I know how 
much pleasure my dearest ones will feel at my success. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 145 

I shall also now see the foundation of a little library 

laid Bull and Bingham and Hooker, and a few more, 

all in smart jackets, flaming some with the University, 
some with the College arms See how I look for- 
ward ! But the truth is, I am just emptying my heart to 
you. However, we have come to the bottom of it, and 
the end of my story, and the few minutes of leisure which 
remain, I will dedicate to some less egotistical theme." 

To ROBERT LAWSON, ESQ. (an intimate College friend). 

" Houghton Conquest, June 17, 1845. 

" My dearest Robert, You are so kind as to allude 
to ' Pefra,' and to tell me of a few things which the hurry 
of the last moment rendered it quite impossible for me to 
consult you about, but which I wished much to ask you. 
I should not be such an ass as to allude to such a trifle 
as those verses still, except that I know (or am willing 
to believe) that your partiality for the writer will reconcile 
you to the egotism ; or to recur to the text as it stands, 
except that I have strong reasons for believing that the 
poem will pass through a second edition in which case, 
one must, of course, desire to remedy as many blemishes 
as possible. In truth, I had the satisfaction of learning 
that nearly all the 500 which were first struck off, were 
sold in one afternoon, so that next morning 500 more 
were printed, and then the type was kept no longer 
standing; so that Macpherson told me he should look 
for reprinting the thing. 

" Now I must recur to the passages you mention. 
What sounded like ' public ' (you rascal for alluding to 
Trafalgar Square !) I meant for ' bubbling,' and am glad 
to find your taste accords with mine. If the line ever is 
reprinted, it shall be 'bubbling 6 ,' which I altered to 
' babbling ' at Shairp's suggestion. So of ' sail'd ' for 

6 "Who many a time art well And small birds sing, and 

content to stray bubbling fountains play." 

"SVhere garden-alleys quench 'Pdra,' lines 7, 8, 9 

the blaze of day, 
VOL. I. L 



146 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

1 swam 7 ,' and ' Saints ' for 'Angels 8 ' all of which I shall 
put back as they were originally. There is more euphony 
in ' Saints impatient ' than ' Angels eager,' especially as 
in the next line ' gates ' is meant to balance ' Saints ' still, 
for the sacred text's sake, and because we both rather 
prefer it, I alter that also. 

" And now, I bid goodbye to a subject I am growing 
heartily sick of. I have received such an immense num- 
ber of letters, and many such silly ones, all about that 
one short silly poem, that it will be quite pleasant to 
hear of something new. To say nothing of a letter I got 
from a mad lady, one informed me that Oxford ought to be 
proud of me ! ! ! a class of remark which is really enough 
to bring tears of laughter into the eyes of a dead cat. 
.... And yet, on the other hand, the kindness and 
chastened assurances of kind remembrance which my 
success has brought me from many cherished quarters 
was worth writing a hundred * Petras ' for ; and I am 
willing to hope that it is having the effect of watering 
and keeping green my name in other places besides, 
where I should be very sorry for it ever to be forgotten. 

I hope in three weeks to finish Herodotus, and then to 
give Thucydides a month. Then Livy, and after him 
I suppose I must race over my plays : but (to speak 
gravely) I hardly feel quite strong and great as I know 
the responsibility, and keen as I feel the incentive to be, 
I tire sadly over my work, and am shocked to perceive 
how much more graces of style, pathetic pieces of narra- 
tive, and touches of nature strike me, than the names of 
people and places, and such things as get men first and 
second classes in the schools. 

" Since we have nothing better to write about, and I 
am determined to write you a good long letter, I will beg 
you to notice, as an example of the nature and pathos of 

7 " For ships of Petra swam on eager to unfurl 

every tide." The twelve broad gates, and 

' Pefra,' line 226. ev'ry gate a pearl." 

8 "The twelve bright Angels, 'Petra,' lines 357, 358. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 147 



Herodotus, one or two trifles. I suppose the Book in 
your hands I. 112: observe how the mother keeps back 
the alternative of exposing even the dead child, till she 
finds her husband inexorable, and then solacing herself 
with the thought of the jSao-tAryiSj ra0i} ! " [royal burial 9 ] 
" .... I. 1 1 9 : observe the touching incident, /cat az/a/Va/3a>r 
ra AoiTra T&V Kpt&v, ' gathering up the relics of what had 

been his child l ! ' and the words which follow L 1 22 : 

the natural love of the child for his mother, or rather, 
her who had supplied a mother's place to him ' He was 
always going on about her, and could talk of nothing but 
Cyno 2 ' .... and to give only one example more, I. 136 ; 
after which 137 begins, ' Now I like this custom 3 !'.... But 
enough of my Books, which now occupy all my thoughts. 
" About Mr. Newman I have indeed felt most deeply. I 
believe the story you have heard is not quite the true one ; 
but of course no one can pretend to know anything with 



9 Cyrus, when an infant, was 
ordered by Astyages his grandfather, 
who had been made apprehensive 
by a dream that Cyrus would one 
day reign in his stead, to be exposed 
upon a mountain infested by wild 
beasts, and a herdsman was com- 
manded to execute the royal orders. 
He would have done so, had it not 
been for the entreaties of his wife, 
who had just been delivered of a 
still-born child, and suggested, that 
the still-born child might be ex- 
posed, and the little Cyrus brought 
up by her husband and herself, as if 
he had been their own. " In this 
way," she said, " we shall not be 
taking bad counsel for ourselves ; 
for the dead child will receive a 
royal burinJ, and the living one will 
not lose his life." 

1 Astyages, infuriated with Har- 
pagus, one of his courtiers, for not 
having made sure that the infant 
Cyrus was put to death, punished 



him by serving up to him at a Royal 
Banquet the flesh of his own son, 
and after he had eaten it, shewing 
him the child's head, hands, and 
feet. Harpagus did not at the 
moment remonstrate, but contented 
himself with gathering up what 
remained of his son's body for 
honourable burial. 

2 This is said of Cyrus, when he 
first joined his own parents, Cam- 
byses and Mandane, but still could 
not forget the affection shewn him 
by his foster-mother * Cyno,' the 
herdsman's wife. 

3 The Persian custom, which 
Herodotus says he likes, i?, that 
" before a child is five years old, he 
never comes in .sight of his father ; 
but passes his time with the women ; 
which is done for this purpose, that 
should he die while yet an infant, 
he may not cause any grief to his 
father." 



L 2 



148 LIFE OF DEAN BURGOX. 



certainty about his intentions. It is my belief that 
he will entirely quit us. My belief is equally strong that 
Pusey will not. A keen blow indeed either would be (I 
say, ; iroitM be/ for why should one not hope against 
hope ?). Still, if one may use profane words concerning 
holy things, one may surely say of our holy branch of 
the Church Catholic, as the spirit of Pytho said of his 
treasure of old tiine?'AYTO2 ixapos eu/ai T&V kuvrov irpoKu- 
Tijordai. " [he himself was sufficient to guard his own pro- 
perty 4 ] : " nor need we be too unhappy at anything that 
may befall it from without. What I grieve for is, to 
think how such a defection would undo all, or much, of 
the good (not all of course) which has been done. Who, 
for example, could appeal to Jeremy Taylor's writings, 
or Laud's, or Hooker's, if they had died in the Romish 
Communion 1 . . . . On the other hand, it must be ad- 
mitted that N. has met with cruel treatment enough to 
demoralize a saint, if that were possible. Persecuted, 
hunted down, silenced, and abused in his silence ; mis- 
represented when he has spoken, and reviled when he 
has refused to speak. In short, one can wonder at nothing. 
Still, it would have been a more glorious thing to have 
subsided into the quiet curate, or remained the rector, 
who would read, but never preach, or even to have 
remained silent at Littlemore, except by the occasional 
production of some work of vast learning, research, and 
labour, instead of turning in disgust from his Mother ! 
.... One is, however, perhaps chalking out a course ov 
K<IT av6pa>-ov ..... Anyhow, our course is clear. Through 
good and ill report to stick to our colours, praying for 

4 This lias reference to the answer wan sufficient to guard his oicn pro- 

given by the Oracle at Delphi, when perty. The answer would be given 

Xerxes sent a division of his army by the Pvthoness or Priestess of 

to sack the temple, and bring to the Temple. Burgon represents her 

him all the accumulated treasures as speaking under the influence of 

found there. In answer to the the same " spirit of divination " 

Delphians, who consulted thoOracle, (literally, spirit of Python) which 

as to whether they should bury the possessed the damsel in the Acts of 

treasures or transport them else- the Apostles. See Acts xvi. 1 6 (and 

where, the Deity forbad them to marg.}. The story is told by Hero- 

be moved, saying that he himself dotus, Urania, Lib. viii. Cap. 36. 






THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 149 

sweet tempers and strong hearts (if need be) : advancing 
nothing one does not feel sure of; and when once ad- 
vanced, dying rather than recalling. I am inclined to 
think with you, that a fiery trial is at hand. When it 
comes, I am inclined to believe o/<r fchrifj/. our monstrous, 
culpable laxity, will prove almost our ruin. Why will 
our clergy, aye, or our laity either, dine out on Fridays ? 
Why do we keep no Lent? W T hy do we neglect, so reck- 
lessly, many of the rubrics in the Communion Service ? 
Why do the clergy ape the laity, instead of showing 
themselves, w T hat they really are, above them ? Why is 
there not daily Service in every considerable town in the 
land, more frequent Communions, larger alms given, and 
the Church made the almoner ? Till we all every one 
of us, you and I strain every nerve to change the exist- 
ing state of things, we cannot call ourselves safe. I will 
add one final question. How can the clergy go up to 
their beds, or allow their temples to rest (I forget the 
exact words), while a large section of every village in the 
kingdom lies practically excommunicate ? My very heart 
boils within me when I think of the supineness of our 
people ; and with all this to have the coolness to regard 
ourselves as perfect and immaculate. Perfect ! 

" Many thanks for telling me about dear Temple 5 . who 
is very dear to me. I quite understand your allusions to 
his character, and believe more and more every day that 
we know (I mean that men know) very little of one 
another. It is curious to think this. That men should 
be living side by side, and speaking freely, and able to 
speak all they choose, and yet that there should be a wall 
built up between them (so to speak), so that they never 
really get at one another ! He is a very delightful cha- 
racter. It has long been at my heart, and many a time 
given me a strange pang to remember, on leaving him, 
that something I have said may give him annoyance or 

The present Bishop of London. Bishop, if it were only for the pur- 

The writer thinks it well to print pose of shewing the compatibility of 

one out of the numerous testimonies such personal affection with contro- 

borne by Burgon's letters to his versial antagonism to some of the 

warm personal affection for the views entertained by the object of it. 



150 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

pain. I can only say I would never breathe a word to 
hurt him, or any one I love. 

" Your affectionate Friend, 

"JOHN W. BURGOX." 

To ROBERT LAWSON, ESQ. 

{Mr. Lawson had consulted him, it appears, on the best 
method of instructing a backward pupil in Divinity.) 

"Houghton Conquest, Sept. 18, 1845. 
" i o'clock in the morning. 

' You will need no assurance, I trust, my dearest 
Robert, that I read and reread your affectionate and 
interesting long letter with much satisfaction. I am the 
more sorry to perceive, on recurring to it now. that 
I have omitted by my long silence responding to the 
wish you expressed for a few hints as to drilling Divinity 
into a heterodox bear ! I never yet kept a menagerie of 
in v own ; and should therefore look for hints to you 
still, since you ask it, and there are three or four weeks 
more of the Vacation, I will devote half a page, late in 
the day as it is, to so precious a theme. My plan, then, 
would be, I suppose, much such as you must have fol- 
lowed yourself. Genesis must be read with ^articular 
rare, and can easily be remembered as a story. The ten 
generations from Adam to Noah, and ten again from 
Shem to Abraham, are obvious land marks. With the 
last named, the History more decidedly begins, and the 
pedigree from Terah to the twelve Patriarchs must ab- 
solutely be ()(>t fy/ heart. Then let the places of Moses 
and Aaron be ascertained in the pedigree ; and condense 
the four ensuing books into a view of the several offences 
of the people, and their consequent punishments; for 
instance : 

1. Murmuring at Taberah, punished by fire. 

2. Kibroth Hattaavah plague. 

3. Hazeroth leprosy, 
and so on. You will be helped to this by Psalms Ixxviii. 
and cvi., and see i Cor. x. 

You must also, of course, lay stress on the delivery of the 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 151 

Law, and the institution of the Levitical priesthood, 
and pick out such parts of the 

Moral law . Deut. iv. to xi. j &g . 

Ceremonial. xii. to xvi. ' / U w F ith its 

Civil ... xvn. to xxvi. ) J 

character so singularly tempered with mercy, that the 
very nest of young birds is made an object of the Divine 
solicitude [Deut. xxii. 6, 7]. Then determine in your 
own mind the principal typical persons and typical 
things : e. g. Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Isaac, Joseph, 
Moses, Joshua, &c.. the Ark, the Deluge, the Jewish 
feasts, the Exode, &c. Next, the great prophecies (which 
should be learnt by heart), I mean that to Adam, to 
Noah, to Abraham, Balaam's, and the like. 

" The places occupied by the twelve tribes on settling 
under Joshua, their six servitudes and thirteen Judges 
(especially those six that delivered them from the six ser- 
vitudes respectively). this brings you to the time of 
Samuel. whose personal history is easily taught. In- 
deed, with him prophecy and royalty begin, and a new 
epoch, as it were, opens. Saul's character may be nicely 
gathered from Newman's Sermon, David's whole history 
should form the subject of a brief analysis by your pupil, 
making him pick out the pedigree from St. Luke . 
or the B. of Chronicles (for the sake of Rahab and 
Ruth, &c.). Solomon's sin, and the rending of the king- 
dom, with the date of Israel's and Judah's captivity, are 
the skeleton of all that remains. For Jeroboam s character 
make him read Newman's Sermon : and let him off with 
the histories of the most memorable of the kings, only 
as Ahab, Hezekiah, and the like. But why all this Trpos 
clboras " [to persons who know it] "?.... I should per- 
haps rather say at once pick out m strings, the main 
dates, the main types, the main prophecies, the chief 
persons however briefly : insist on his remembering 
the great divisions of the subject, and coax him to in- 

6 Though Burgon has written " St. whose genealogy, and not in St. 
Luke/' one is disposed to think he Luke's, Rahab and Ruth are men- 
must have meant St. Matthew, in tioned, ch. i. u. 5. 



152 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

sert into each the most salient events and picturesque 
passages. Alas, this is impossible, I know, with a block- 
head ; but what more delightful when there is the best 
(/ex ire on the learner's part 1 . . . With suck a pupil I 
should insist on his recollecting for me off-hand the 
Jirst /i/t'/i/ i<>// of angels, money, monuments, writing, altars, 
&c., &c. ; the history of every place (ab ovo\ as Bethel, 
Shechem, Jericho : *the great men of each tribe (for who 
recollects off-hand that with regard to Benjamin, for 
instance, Gen. xlix. 27 was probably fulfilled in the per- 
sons of Saul and St. Paul ? Who recollects that the 
prophet Samuel was descended from Korah ? or that 
Samuel's grandson wrote so many of the Psalms e. g. 
Ps. Ixxxviii? 7 ). 

To Mil. DAWSOX TURNER. 

"Oxford, Nov. 22, 1843. 

" My dear Friend, 

" I cannot tell you with what glee I saw the days of 
Jhtilo in the Schools glide away, and the list of subjects 
for examination growing ' fine by degrees and beautifully 
less ' ; till nothing remained but the day of viva voce. 
Yet, how capricious the heart is ! . ... I seem to care 
no more about it, now I am through, than if I were still 
an undergraduate. This is partly owing to the feelings 
which naturally arise on such an occasion. I only gave 
in eleven books for examination, because I felt I knew 
them. I had read enough Plato for a book, and was 
urged to take up Virgil at a venture ; but the conscious- 
ness that I had not read the latter since I was at school, 
and that I had not a sufficient accuracy of acquaintance 
with the former to stand an examination in it. made me 
reject both from my list. Accordingly, feeling that I had, 

7 This Psalm is attributed in the two names, Joel and Vashni. See 

title to " Hernan the Ezrahite." In I Chron. vi. 28, with i Sain. viii. 2. 

i Chron. vi. 33 we read " Of the That Samuel was a Korahite, or 

sons of the Kohathites : Heman a descended from the Korah branch 

singer, the son of Joel, the son of of the Levitical family, is shown by 

Sheniuel." Shemuel is merely the comparing i Chron. vi. 33 with r. 

Hebrew form of the name Samuel ; 37 of the same Chapter, 
and Samuel's eldest son went by 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 153 

as it were, earned my degree, I seem to have only got my 
due arid scarcely that ; for Herodotus was scarce of 
any service to me and two of the books I had mastered 
most completely, Aristophanes and ^Eschylus, I was 
merely tried in, to the extent of some ten or twenty 
lines; so that, instead of rejoicing, I now rather wish I 
might go in again. The whole examination went against 
me. I had got up a great deal of formal Logic and 
Science ; and the questions set were almost all such as 
a man might answer who had read the Ethics in a trans- 
lation, and drunk deeply of modern Metaphysics. Then, 
per contra, there were some capital things for translation ; 
and I was required on the public day to translate on 
paper the first Chorus in the (Edipus Coloneus, which 
was of course the thing I should have chosen. The Essay 
too was on a capital subject, the history of Greek 

Poetry In short there was nothing that I regret 

but the unfairness of the induction that is sure to be 

made concerning me If they estimate me by what 

I did best, I know where they would put me ; if they 
look at the shadows, the worst things done, I also 
know where I ought to be, and as I think of one or the 
other, I feel unhappy, or at ease ; so that, as I began by 
saying, my Bachelor's gown is by no means a panacea 
for all the past. 

"I cannot, however, fully realise the notion that the 
heavy labour I was going through till Ash Wednesday is 
all ended. It seems impossible that I may go to bed at 
twelve, if I like ; that I may breakfast without Butler's 
sermons before, or take tea without reading so many 
hundred lines of a Greek play ; nay, that I may break- 
fast or dine when I please. Even Magazines and Reviews 
are open to me now, which they have not been for the 
last three years .... How my health has stood it, I can- 
not understand. I did not let any one know how I was 
going on; but fear I was, at last, acting as it would 
have been impossible for me to have gone on acting. 
For many weeks past I have not had five hours sleep 
and in order to read without molestation, abridged myself 
in food and exercise to the minimum point (consistent 



154 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

with comfort). The very eve of going in for vira roce, I 
read for nineteen hours without stirring except to chapel: 
and yet, though I only slept from four till seven, I was 
as fresh, and as full of spirits, as if some strange joy 
animated " (awaited ?) " me, instead of a serious trial. In 
truth I have been in a most unnatural state for a long 
time, and suppose I must not be surprised if I feel the 
effects of it by-ancT-by. 

" My public examination will. I fear, tell heavily 
against me. As long as Mr. Liddell tried me in Divinity 
and Science, all went well. When he resigned me to the 
tender mercies of his colleague, Mr. Daman, the spell was 
broken. The evening was drawing in ; I felt giddy and 
tired ; and with scarce enough light to read by, I was 
requested to start with the last three lines of a chapter 
in the third Book of the Annals of Tacitus 8 . I could 
scarce see the sentence (as he was civil enough to per- 
ceive), and he bade me close the book. ' Who was 
Silanus r t ' I could not remember. ' Well, never mind. 
Who was ' somebody else ? I could have almost jumped 
over the table with vexation. He made a stand at the 
history of the gen* JEiirilla, and the history of Tegea during 
the Peloponnesian War. I must have appeared to him a 
complete idiot ..... Against this I set (in my mind) my 
paper work. What kind of average THEY mean to strike, 
I cannot divine. If it is disgraceful, you will not hear it 
from me." 

To MR. DAWSON TURNER. 

"Oxford, 26 Nov., 184.5. 

" My dear Friend, I am very sorry I have not better 
news to send you. If the Examiners had been in me, 
they would have given me a First Class. To judge from 
, I had perhaps no right to hope for more than a 



8 Probably the Chapter was xxiv, was allowed by Tiberius to return 

in the last sentence of which Decius from exile, and to live in Eome as 

Silanus is mentioned, who, at the a private citizen. 
intercession of his brother Marcus, 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 155 

second. But the report had got abroad that I was to 
have been at the top of the tree ; and I am conscious that 
the pmrer is not lacking. and so I cannot but feel a 
little crest-fallen. 

k< When you consider, however, that it is exactly the 
fifteenth Term since I opened my books, that during the 
interval, I have devoted three months to writing for as 
many prize poems, and that everything in the Schools 
has gone against me, it will not appear strange." 

To MRS. HU.IH JAMES KOSE. 

"Oriel, Dec. 18, 1848. 

" My dear Mrs. Rose, 

" I have been reading attentively for Examination, 
as you will scarcely require to be told: and am now 
at the very close of my reading, which is still far, very 
far from what I had intended. How unfortunate it 
is that one should be compelled to pass the season 
immediately previous to Ordination in what feels so 
secular a process the cramming in, namely, of facts ; 
and taking hasty surveys of pleasant fields of inquiry, 
which might well occupy one for weeks or months ! those 
surveys too not being, unfortunately, devotional or even 
practical, but simply speculative, and with a constant 
view to display. I heartily wish the Examination over. 
Without fearing it exactly, I can " (cannot ?) " but feel 
painfully conscious of my weak points, and look for- 
ward with anything but satisfaction to those days to be 
passed athletically, grappling with questions which 
have shaken Christendom, and of which I know but one 
aspect, or writing sermons addressed to nobody, and 

therefore all about nothing It will be soon over, 

however, and a period of peace will succeed. 

" You will, I am very sure, remember me as I would 
wish to be remembered at this solemn season ! How 
solemn it is to me, I need hardly tell you. When I think 
that much of my prosperity in Holy Orders may perhaps 
depend on the spirit, and temper in which I present 
myself to receive the Gift, I quite sink into myself. 
Then the review of my past life, though not terrible to 



156 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

me (thanks to God's mercy, which has always kept HU 
back), is yet so full of painful recollections ; I am con- 
scious to myself of so many wrongnesses thought, or 
done, so many duties left undone, that I could half per- 
suade myself that it is not for me to counsel others : that 
I had better first be what I wish to wake the flock of 
Christ ; and so shrink away from the thing I have all my 
life so longed fof ; and which, even while I am so con- 
scious of my own unworthiness, I do, nevertheless, so 
earnestly desire to obtain ... You will, I am sure, bear 
with my egotism, and kindly understand what I would 
say, and what I cannot but feel. The many years I have 
waited, the unexpected delays, and now at last the 
certainty that the whole thing is drawing has drawn 
into sight, is all but here, and in another week will be 
numbered with the things which are past ; thinking of 
all this fills me with conflicting thoughts. Hope and 
fear, joy and regret a bright anticipation overwhelmed 
with a hundred misgivings, such (as well as my weary 
hand and aching head can between them paint it) such 
is a true picture of what I have been experiencing for 
the last few weeks ; and which neither Heresies nor 
Councils, Creeds nor Articles, Patriarchates nor Anti- 
pcedo-baptism, avail to banish from my thoughts for 
many minutes together. 

Smile, if you will ; but I must tell you of another scheme 
which, after floating in and out of my head for years, at 
last takes shape ; and I propose to carry it out imme- 
diately after Christmas : a series of cheap religious 
prints for the poor. I mean to start it in Rose's and my 
joint names (Oxford and Cambridge), to get guinea 
subscribers (clergy mostly, of course), and promise so 
many shilling numbers .... Tell me wJa-UnT you approve 
of t/iis. It will be thoroughly Anglican, without being 
absurdly Protestant e.g. I shall have the Blessed Virgin 
and Child more than once: on the other hand, I shall 
ignore all Saints save the Twelve Apostles . . . The point 
wherein I trust for success is the cheapness and small m'^ 
of the pictures. I associate dear Rose with myself as a 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 157 

joint guarantee to the public, as a compliment to him. 
dear fellow, and as a good adviser. But as I have not 
hinted the thing to him yet, nor have I talked of it to 
any save Parker (and one or two private friends), you 
will, of course, keep the little scheme at present to your 
own good self .... I prefer talking to Rose about this, 
instead of writing, since I shall be with him so soon." 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

" 34, Osnaburgh Street, 5 Jan., 1 849. 

- My dear Bishop 9 , I take to myself no small blame 
for having kept you so long in the dark as to my 
movements. You knew that I was going to be 
ordained on Xmas Eve from myself, and should not 
have been indebted to the public prints for the in- 
formation that I duly received the Gift which I had so 
long wished for. 

" But you will. I know, have made excuses for me. 
You will easily guess that I must have fallen into the 
midst of a busy cheerful circle, and that there was no 
time for letter writing. You may even have shrewdly 
divined that I was asked immediately to preach a 
sermon, and accordingly had to write one. Tivo ser- 
mons, if you please for my second bantling is lying 
before me. This in truth has been the history of my 
silence. 

" But now I must tell you a little about Cuddesdon 
and my Ordination the most memorable event in my 
very uneventful life. I take it for granted that I tell 
my selfish tale to the same indulgent ear which has so 
often encouraged me to be garrulous in my own behalf. 

" We went to Cuddesdon then, on Thursday and 
attended Divine Service in the Parish Church which 
adjoins the Bishop's garden. Trench preached (S. 
Thomas' Day). . . . We then returned to examination, 
which commenced with some translation from Hooker 
into the most judicious Latin we could muster. Next 

9 He calls Mrs. Hugh James Rose "Bishop," and sometimes "your 
Lordship," after his wont, jocosely. 



158 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

came a paper of New Testament questions. Then 
some luncheon or a walk according to our notions of 
Ember week. Then a paper of Old Testament ques- 
tions and lastly a Sermon. We were very tired when 
we went to dress at six. It was a great relief to attend 
the peaceful and soothing service in the palace Chapel 
-where we thenceforward met, morning and even- 
ing, till our departure. It is a very exquisite little 
edifice, adjoining the palace, in most perfect taste. 
The windows are the gift of the Queen, Prince Albert, 
and other great folks. ... At the Bishop's side was 
his pastoral staff. I assure you nothing could have 
been more Episcopal or if I may use the word, more 
Apostolic, than his bearing and the same impress was 
recognisable in every arrangement, down to the minutest 
appointments of the household. 

"Next. day, Friday, we had (as on Thursday night) 
an extempore Charge, and resumed our examination. 
We had papers on Doctrine, Liturgical and Historical 
matters, and next day a paper of very well chosen 
parochial questions. 

" It was impossible not to admire the Bishop's tact. 
On Thursday after dinner (which followed Chapel 
immediately) and on Friday after the less substan- 
tial repast at which we all (about fifty in number) 
were assembled, as soon as the servants had with- 
drawn, the Bishop raised his voice and his head, and 
in the cleverest manner possible made the conversa- 
tion general. He addressed a remark to one of his 
chaplains, and speedily, in reply to the question of 
some one present, made some remarks on run-decanal 
associations, education of the poor, prayers for the 
lower orders, and all those topics which were sure to 
be most interesting to those present. This was excel- 
lently well done, for all were entertained, all edijicil, 
and it was optional to any one present to ask what- 
ever questions he chose. 

" I must also tell you that about forty had beds pro- 
vided for them in the palace, his plan being to have 
all the candidates for his guests. . . . He also contrived 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 159 



to see every one twice some even three times and 
not only remarked on the papers (which it was clear 
he had rea<l\ but discoursed leisurely and kindly on 
one's prospects, hopes, wishes, &c., &c. It really was 
most admirable. . . . On the Saturday morning we all 
partook of the Eucharist ; and in the evening he gave 
a very powerful and eloquent charge, one of a series, 
which when collected will form a Commentary on the 
Ordination Service. 

" But how did you fare ? asks my Bishop. Why, 
my dear Lord, to say the truth, your Lordship's brother 
found some fault with my doctrine. I believe I have 
imbibed Bp. Bull's theory of Justification and Sancti- 
fication 1 , and I am assured it is not the Anglican 



1 It may be convenient to the 
reader to have this theory exhibited 
in Bishop Bull's own words : 

" St. Paul rejects from justifica- 
tion the following descriptions of 
works : 1st. Ritual works pre- 
scribed by the ceremonial law. 
2nd. Moral works performed by 
the natural powers of man, in a 
state either of the law, or mere 
nature, before and without the grace 
of the Gospel. 3rd. Jewish works, 
or that trifling righteousness incul- 
cated by the Jewish masters. 4th 
and lastly. All works separate from 
Christ the Mediator, which would 
obtain eternal salvation by their 
own power, or without reference to 
the covenant of grace established 
by the blood of Christ. ... On the 
other hand, that moral works aris- 
ing from the grace of the Gospel do, 
by the power of the Gospel covenant, 
efficaciously conduce to the justifica- 
tion of man and his eternal salvation, 
and so are absolutely necessary, St. 
Paul not only does not deny, but is 
employed almost entirely in estab- 
lishing." [' Harmonici Apostolica,' 



Dissertation II, Chap, xviii. 2.] 

" I constantly affirm that justifi- 
cation by Divine appointment pre- 
supposes sanctification, at least the 
primary and less perfect sanctifica- 
tion. For God, though He justify the 
ungodly through Christ (Rom. 4. 5), 
i. e. him, who having been such, yet 
through faith and true repentance 
has ceased to be such, nevertheless 
will not justify the ungodly, Exod. 
34. 7, i. e. him who still remains in 
his wickedness. Briefly : it is in- 
consistent with the righteousness of 
God (as we have said elsewhere) to 
forgive any man his sins, and withal 
to give him a right to a heavenly 
life, who is not cleansed from his 
sins, nay, who is not also in a man- 
ner made partaker of 'the Divine 
nature.'" [^ Ex amen Censures' 
Answer to Stricture xx. 3.] 

Bishop AYilberforce was always 
very clear and strong in maintain- 
ing the priority of Justification to 
Sanctification, and that the latter 
process could not commence until 
the sinner had been justified freely 
through faith in Christ. 



i6o 



LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 



Theory. I asked what I had better read. The Bishop 
recommended me three books the third being Luther's 
Commentary on the Galatians ! 2 . . . However, I feel a 



2 He is writing to Mrs. Hugh 
James Rose in his usual gay, light- 
hearted style. It must not be 
supposed that Bishop "VTilberforce 
recommended to him no other Book 
than ' Luther" 1 * Commentary on the 
Galottianty or that he recommended 
even this without qualifications. 
For this is Burgon's notice in his 
private Diary of his interview with 
the Bishop. 

" The Bishop had had a short 
interview with me on Friday, ap- 
proving of my papers, and asking 
me general questions of a personal 
and private kind. To-day he sent 
for me, and very distinctly, but 
kindly, showed me the incorrectness 
of my views on Justification, Sancti- 
fication, and Absolution. I re- 
garded Sanctification to precede 
Justification. The contrary, he 
si vs. is true. I supposed (and still 
believe) that Grace is given in 
Baptism. He says, 'No, but the 
dead bud is grafted into the living 
stock, man's fallen nature into the 
Body of Christ.' All Absolution is 
moreover simply declaratory. ' Thy 
sins are forgiven thee ' spoken by 
Christ Himself revealed a fact, 
not made it. (Here I think there 
is a fallacy.) I am to read Jackson 
Hooker's Sermon Luther on 
Galatians (exceptis excipiendis'). 
He bade me also read his Charge of 
1845." 

The work of Dean Jackson's 
prescribed by the Bishop for Burgon 



to read was no doubt " his most 
excellent Exposition of the Creed," 
(so called by Izaak Walton in his 
* Life of Mr. Richard Hooker'}. 
The full title of this work is " The 
Eternal Truth of Scriptures, and 
Christian Belief thereon wholly de- 
pending, manifested by its own light. 
Delivered in two Books of Com- 
mentaries upon the Apostles' Creed. 
The former con/'ihiint/ th? positive 
ground* of Christian Religion i,i 
l, cleared from all t-.i-re/itioii* 
or hifideh. The later, 
Manifesting th.e grounds of Re- 
formed Religion f.o be so firm and 
N/'/V , that tin' JftiiiKtiiixts can nut 
Oj>j)//ne ikon, Im.l iriih the niter 
overthrow of the Romish ('htirch, 
lltliyion and Faith. By Thomas 
Jackson, D.D., London, 1653." 
There was added afterwards ' The 
Third Book of Comments upon the 
Creed, 1 which deals with " the blas- 
phemous positions of Jesuifces, and 
other later Romanists, concerning the 
authority of their Church." Jack- 
son was Master of Corpus Christi 
College, Oxford, Dean of Peter- 
borough, and a Chaplain of King 
Charles I. The Sermon of Hooker's 
prescribed by the Bishop was the 
celebrated " Learned Discourse of 
Justification, Works, and how the 
Foundation of Faith is overthrown " 
[Serm. II. Vol. iii. p. 601 et se- 
quent. Ed. Keble] one of the 
standard works of Anglican Theology 
on the subject of Justification. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FIRST PERIOD. 161 

very dutiful deacon, and mean to read very faithfully 
what my Bishop has prescribed. 

'All this distressed me, you may be sure. I felt 
quite crest-fallen. In the midst of my chagrin, I was 
happy to discover that the Bishop had given me the 
post of honour among the deacons appointing me to 
read the Gospel in the Cathedral. This was really a 
consolation, and quite restored my equanimity. 

" The History of Sunday you can fancy very well. 
All was most solemn and reverently managed. Not 
like the Archbp. of York who, I am shocked to hear, 
walks round the Communion rails putting a single 
hand on the heads of the kneeling Candidates for Orders 
our Bishop sits in the best throne the Dean of Ch. Ch. 
will provide, and conveys the Gift clasping each head 
in his hands. Nothing could be better done. ... I really 
must say the Bp. of Oxford's entire deportment is truly 
Apostolical, and I shall henceforth be his defender, as 
in duty bound 

" And now I have finished my story and will be brief 
in concluding : for I have caught a severe cold, and am 
weary and indisposed. But I must tell you that I have 
thought very much of you, dear Mrs. Rose, all through 
this sad season sad to you, though joyous to many. . . . 
I long very much to hear something of you. I do 
earnestly hope that this last trial is not heavier than 
you can find strength to bear. . . . Pray remember that 
that dear child 3 is certainly with him: and who shall 
say that she may not be a great comfort to him too ? . . . 
Then take heart. It is but for a few short years. God 
grant that we may all meet there at last. 

" All here join me in love to you. I always ask your 
blessing, and beg to be remembered as your obliged 
and affectionate Friend, 

" J. W. B." 

3 He alludes to Josephine Mair, she had adopted, and whose death 
the orphan daughter of a brother of (on Sept. 17, 1848) was a great 
Mrs. Hugh James Rose's, whom grief to her. 

VOL. I. M 



1 62 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 



CHAPTER II. 

TEE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 
WEST ILSLEY, WORT ON, AND FIN MERE. 

[Dec. 24, 1848 June 6, 1853.] 

JOHN WILLIAM BURGON was admitted, as we have 
seen, into the Sacred Order of Deacons on the 24th of 
A.D. 1848. December, 1848. The day following was Christmas 
Day ; and his loving heart, so susceptible at all times 
to the domestic affections, urged him to spend it, as 
usual with him, in the family circle, with father, mother, 
brother, and sisters. He would present himself to them 
moreover in his new character as a minister of CHRIST ; 
a circumstance which would give the re-union the 
deepest interest, both to them and to himself. Although, 
as he tells Mr. Kenouard in a letter dated December 27, 
1848, he was "not free from the Ordination" that is, 
the Service lasted "till half-past three in the after- 
noon," and the excitement of the occasion must have 
added greatly to the fatigue, he left Oxford by the 
mail train at 2 A.M. the next morning, and, having 
" slept near the Station," reached Osnaburgh Street, 
the then residence of his parents, at 9 A.M. At n he 
went with them to the Church they then attended, 
Christ Church, Albany Street, and " assisted Dodsworth 
in distributing the Sacrament" (the first act this of 
his ministry), and " read the lessons." On the following 
Sunday (Dec. 31) he preached his first Sermon at 
the same Church in the evening ; not on the Great 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 163 

Invitation, "Come unto me, all ye that labour," &c. 

the text, upon which he says in one of his early journals 

that he had always thought he would make his first 

Sermon [See above, Chap. I, p. 98], but on an equally 

great word of the glorified Saviour, " Behold, I stand 

at the door and knock," &c. Rev. iii. 20. On the inside 

of the cover of the manuscript is this characteristic 

memorandum, showing that he was conscious of 

having fallen into the snare, which besets all young 

preachers, of pouring out all their stores at once ; " The 

chief fault of this sermon is that it is too full, as 

Dods worth very justly remarked. I perceive I have 

lugged in all the following topics," &c., &c. He 

returned to Oxford on January 27, after spending A.D. 1840. 

a fortnight at Houghton, where also he preached on 

both the Sundays of his stay there ; and then, as soon 

as possible, he plunged into that direct Pastoral work, 

to which he had already felt so powerfully drawn, in 

which he spent, not his money only, but his strength, 

his time, his loving endeavours, in a word fiimsetf, for 

the people committed to his charge, and which seems to 

have always yielded to him a higher satisfaction and 

a purer enjoyment, even than that which he derived 

from study. His first Curacy was West Ilsley, " a parish 

on the Berkshire downs," which he held for rather more 

than a year, beginning on the 25th of February, 1849, 

and retiring finally 4 on the 2oth of March in the following 

year. During his tenure of this Curacy he was admitted 

to the Priesthood, December 23, 1849; and of this his 

4 His ministry at West Ilsley, as and ending with Palm Sunday, 
will be seen by the letters, was not April I, 1849. On Sun. June 17 
continuous. His first engagement he seems to have revisited Ilsley 
lasted only for the six weeks of Lent, ^merely for the day), and preached 
beginning with Sun. 25 Feb. 1848, two Sermons. On Sun. Oct. 21 

M 2 



164 LIFE OF DEAN BURGOX. 

second Ordination his mother, to his great comfort and 
satisfaction, was a witness. The people of West Ilsley 
seem to have wound themse]ves specially around his 
heart, as indeed did all the people of whom at any time 
he took the Pastoral Charge ; attachment to his flock 
was always one of his characteristics ; but probably in 
the case of West Ilsley the feeling may have been in- 
tensified by the freshness and novelty of the interest 
which this new relationship excited in his mind. His 
journals and letters, excerpts from which last will be 
given, according to our plan, at the end of this Chapter, 
sufficiently evince his interest in his flock, and the lively 
pleasure which he took in ministering to them. But an 
anecdote, with which his friend Bishop Hobhouse has 
favoured the author, will put his sentiments before the 
reader in a more vivid way than any amount of descrip- 
tion. In a letter to the author, dated July 4, 1889, in 
the course of which the Bishop shows the most correct 
appreciation of the secret of Burgon's character, he 
writes thus : 

" I will here record a proof of his clinging affection 
for places and persons, the more remarkable, because 
this affection was drawn out by objects which to most 
people would have offered no attraction. Soon after his 

commenced his second engagement also appear from the letters, hearing 

at Ilsley, which lasted till Dec. 16, (in the course of his engagement at 

1849, the Sunday before he was Worton) of a Confirmation which 
ordained Priest. On Sunday, Jan. 20, was announced for West Ilsley, 

1850, commenced a third engage- he made an arrangement with the 
ment at Ilsley (he notes that " I Rector to prepare the Candidates, 
administered my first Sacrament in which he did at various visits during 
Church," he not having been pre- the latter part of March, and the 
viously qualified to celebrate the earlier part of April, 1851, and 
Holy Communion on Sunday, Feb. afterwards on Easter Day (April 
10, 1850) which terminated on 20, 1851) administered to the con- 
Wednesday, March 20. But, as will firmed their first Communion. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 165 

Ordination he took an engagement to minister in a 
small village Church on the Berkshire downs, which 
he could reach on Saturdays after his week's work was 
done in Oxford. He used to talk of this place with 
delight. Some years after I took the duties there. 
Amongst those I had to visit there was one aged and 
lone woman, whose disposition, naturally sour, resisted 
the usual persuasions to contentment. She remembered 
Mr. Burgon's visits, but not his advice, which I begged 
her to recall. The one thing she could recount was 
his extraordinary love for the West Ilsley people. 
She told her story in this droll way : ' One day I 
looked up at yonder hill, and I saw Mr. B. at the top 
on't with his hands over his head, a-waving his hat. 
He then spread out arms, as if he were clasping su-mnm.i 
to his breast. He ran down the hill, and began visiting 
from door to door. When he came to my house, I 
asked him For whatever did you do that (imitating his 
gestures) on the hill ? Oh ! because I love the Ilsley 
people, and I was embracing you all, glad to find my- 
self among you. Love the Ilsley people ? says I ; 
Why, if you had lived among them so many years 
as I have, you'd know that Ilsley folk are no better 
than other folk. I'd clap my hands, if I could get away 
from them.' 

" The poor old dame did in fact bring out my dear 
friend's loving spirit in the strongest contrast to her 
own soured one. There was the fact so unintelligible to 
her that, because he had ministered for a few weeks 
to Christ's flock in that village, that flock, even in the 
person of one of its least attractive members, had 
become very dear to him ; the place was clothed with 
an affectionate interest, drawing him at the cost of 
valued time to demonstrate his love in his own peculiar 
manner. 

"It was the same at Fimnere ; it was the same 
wherever he ministered, or was kindly treated ; the heart 
was kindled with an irrepressible and durable affection. 
The spot and its interests became sacred to him, once 
and for ever." 



1 66 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Nor was this interest in his people merely sentimental. 
There was no amount of time and trouble which he 
grudged, no toil which he would not take for them. 
Here is an anecdote sent to the author by one who had 
a full knowledge of all the circumstances. 

" On one occasion^, when going to Ilsley in those days, 
.wr/'// miles from the nearest railway station (Steventon), 
he took back with him a little lad, who had for some 
weeks been in the Oxford Infirmary. The day was a 
bright one (in the Autumn), and the white roads of that 
district reflected the sunshine, and with their chalky 
dust made walking along them a great toil. Mr. Burgon 
usually walked rapidly ; and, although no doubt he 
moderated his pace as much as possible to accommodate 
his fellow-traveller, still the hills and dusty road, com- 
bined with his long strides, in the course of a mile or 
two so exhausted the youngster, who no doubt was 
weakly through his recent illness, that at Rowstock he 
fairly gave in, and sat down by the road-side and cried. 
Mr. Burgon sat down too. and consoled the lad with 
sugar-plums from his pocket; and after a little while 
again essayed to finish the remaining five miles of the 
journey. But the little fellow was too exhausted to 
proceed ; and so his kind companion lifted him up, and 
carried him pick-a-back along the dusty road and over 
the steep downs, till he reached his home, where he set 
him down in his mother's arms." 

Before we pass away from Ilsley, we may notice that 
in his Journal of Sunday October 28, 1849 (before he 
was ordained Priest therefore) is found this Memorandum. 
"As before. So happy! first extempore Sermon." He 
was not an extempore preacher, and probably before an 
educated congregation very rarely indeed omitted to 
take a manuscript into the pulpit. However, the late 
Warden of All Souls, Dr. Leighton, assured the author 
that on Sunday afternoon he had once heard Burgon 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 167 

preach extempore at St. Mary the Virgin's Church "in 
a most instructive and edifying manner " (perhaps this 
may have been in connexion with the afternoon Cate- 
chizing of the Choristers). On the author's mentioning 
this to Burgon, he said he might have done it once, 
but it was never his rule. " Considering that Heads of 
Houses, Tutors of Colleges, and men of the highest 
Academical distinction were often members of my Con- 
gregation at St. Mary's, I should have thought myself 
exceedingly presumptuous, had I ventured to address 
to them my crude thoughts on the spur of the moment." 
But among the rustics of Ilsley and Finmere, on the 
other hand, one cannot fancy his never unburdening 
his mind (as the Scotch Ministers say) "without the 
paper." The above Memorandum is a proof that he did 
so, at least occasionally. 

When his engagement at West Ilsley came to an end, A.D. 1850. 
as it did on March 20, 1850, he sought and found *- '* 37 '-" 
another temporary engagement at Worton in Oxford- 
shire, where there were two Churches to serve (that 
of Nether Worton and that of Over Worton), and 
where he speaks of himself as receiving great kindness 
from the family of Mr. Wilson the Rector, notwith- 
standing some discrepancy between them in regard 
of theological views. But the population of Worton 
was very small ; and he seems to have been engaged 
on the understanding that the Sunday duty was to 
be his province, and so he did not make that personal 
acquaintance with the members of the flock so essential, 
according to his own view, to the realisation of the 
Pastoral relationship. The reader will be amused 
to read in his letter to Mrs. Hugh James Rose of 
April 30, 1851, how happy it made him to be released 
from Worton one Sunday sooner than had been origi- 



1 68 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

nally arranged, because it set him free to revisit the 
flock to which he was so much attached at Ilsley, an 
opening for which just then presented itself, and after 
preparing the Candidates for an impending Confirmation, 
to give them their first Communion on Easter Day, 
which was his final and happy farewell to his first 
Curacy. 

Later in the same year he undertook a third Curacy, 
that of Finmere in Oxfordshire, then united with 
Mixbury under the Pastoral care of a clergyman 
every way remarkable, and for whom he conceived, it 
will be seen, the greatest veneration, The Reverend 
William Jocelyn Palmer. Mr. Palmer himself resided 
at Mixbury, and hence Finmere, which was two miles 
off, became more or less Burgon's sole charge. He 
received, however, every possible assistance from the 
Rector's sister, a maiden lady who occupied the parson- 
age of Finmere, and did the work of a clergyman's wife 
in that parish. And here the writer has the good fortune 
to be able to present the reader with an account of 
Burgon's ministry at Finmere from the most trust- 
worthy of sources, the pen of the Venerable Edwin 
Palmer, Archdeacon of Oxford, one of Mr. Palmer's sons, 
who was often present at Finmere during the Sundays 
which Burgon spent there. Thus the Archdeacon 
writes : 

" Mr. Burgon was never licensed to the Curacy; indeed, 
he was actually residing at Oriel during the three years 
into which his Finmere engagement fell. All that he 
undertook was to come to Finmere every Saturday, and 
stay there till Monday and not even this in the Long 
Vacation. That Vacation it was his habit to spend 
with his brother-in-law, the Rev. Henry John (after- 
wards Archdeacon) Rose, at Houghton Conquest, in 
Bedfordshire. He used to say that he needed the Long 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 169 

Vacation ' for the education of his biggest pupil ' mean- 
ing himself. He very rarely stayed at Fininere for more 
than two nights at a time, except at Christmas and at 
Easter. That he should have grown deeply attached to 
the Finmere people, and should have attached them 
deeply to himself, in so short a period and with such 
intermittent ministrations, may seem wonderful ; but 
the unique character of his ministrations serves to ex- 
plain it. He came to Finmere regularly on the Saturday 
afternoon. That same evening he went round, as a rule, 
to every house in the village, and sometimes visited out- 
lying cottages or farms also. On the Sunday, besides his 
work in the church and the school, he made a practice of 
visiting all the sick in the parish. In one case of great 
urgency he is remembered to have gone five times in one 
Sunday to a single house. He was liberal with his 
money to a fault. During the first few weeks of his 
connexion with Finmere he would bring with him joints 
of meat from Oxford, and carry them himself to cottages, 
the inmates of which had struck him as specially 
needy. Against this particular method of charity the 
Rector thought it necessary to protest. Mr. Burgon 
abandoned it, somewhat unwillingly, in deference to his 
Rector's long experience. But his bounty found for it- 
self other channels ; it was irrepressible. On the Mon- 
day morning he not unfrequently entertained at break- 
fast in his lodging ten or a dozen of the school-children. 
The provision was as abundant as at an Oxford 
tutor's breakfast party ; the host at least equally 
acceptable to his guests. Indeed, his kindness to the 
school-children was unbounded ; for the little ones he 
showed great fondness. He played with them, and en- 
couraged them to hang about him, as men who love 
children will caress the young children of a friend. 
They returned his affection heartily. It was common to 
see them crowding round him in the village street, or 
running along by his side. The old Rector applied to 
him the words of Goldsmith ' They plucked his gown 
to share the good man's smile.' But if his kindness to 
the children was overflowing, their elders had a full 



170 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

share of it also. Two illustrations may suffice. A poor 
woman who was very ill, and was thought to be near 
death, expressed one Sunday a strong wish to see again 
her son, who had been sent to the Radcliffe Infirmary at 
Oxford for an affection of the eyes. ' You shall see 
him ! ' said Mr. Burgon. After Evensong, which was at 
three o'clock, he walked over to Bicester (eight miles), 
went into Oxford,* got the lad out of the Infirmary, 
brought him over to Finmere that night, and showed 
him to his mother, and took him back to the Infirmary 
on the Monday morning. The mother recovered. On 
another occasion, in winter, a boy belonging to a large 
and very poor family was out of work. He had asked 
all the farmers for employment in vain. Mr. Burgon 
took up his case. Before his own breakfast on the 
Monday morning, he went round himself to every farm- 
house in the parish. It was not until he had completed 
the round that he met with success. The last farmer 
whom he visited gave way. When incidents like these 
are related, it seems right to add that his care for the 
souls of the people was as active as his care for their 
bodies. 

' His remarkable diligence in visiting the sick and the 
whole has been already mentioned. It may be worth 
while to say a word about his dealings with those who 
were confirmed during his employment at Finmere. On 
the 2ist of March, 1852, Bishop Wilberforce held a Con- 
firmation at Mixbury for the two parishes of Mixbury 
and Finmere. At that Confirmation Mr. Burgon pre- 
sented thirty-nine candidates from the parish of Fin- 
mere fifteen men and twenty-four women of whom 
the eldest was forty-seven, the youngest fifteen. He 
had prepared them with the greatest care. Five of them 
were not actually living in the parish at the time ; but 
two of these five, and all the thirty-four who were living 
in the parish, received the Holy Communion from him 
on Easter Day. To fix these memories more deeply, he 
wrote, printed, and distributed, five stanzas of eight 
lines each with this heading : ' Finmere Verses : to re- 
mind us of our Confirmation, at Mixbury, on the 2ist of 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 171 

March : and of our First Communion, at Finmere, on 
Easter Day, A. D. 1852.' Nor did he stop here. At 
Christmas in that same year he wrote, printed, and dis- 
tributed, ' A Letter to the Parishioners of Finmere,' not 
unlike, in its general choice of topics, the Pastoral Letters 
which parish clergymen sometimes introduce into parish 
magazines, but characteristic of the writer in its tender- 
ness and particularity. In this letter he recited the 
names of all those who had been confirmed that year, 
mentioned the number (not of course the names) of 
those who had communicated at Easter, and asked 'But 
what of those other three ' who did not communicate ? 
' And out of the thirty-six who came to the Lord's Table at 
Finmere on Easter Day, how many have presented them- 
selves for the second time 1 ?' Other words were added of 
affectionate warning and entreaty. A letter to him, dated 
twenty-one years later, from one of those whom he pre- 
pared for that Confirmation, was found after his death, 
which showed that his fatherly care and kindness was 
not easily forgotten. 

" It may be added that he distributed at Finmere a 
simple Manual of Private Prayer, prepared by himself, 
and submitted to the judgment of the Rector, which he is 
believed to have printed expressly for that parish. It 
was printed inside a sheet of letter paper. He certainly 
dedicated to the parishioners of Finmere a funeral ser- 
mon, which he preached at Mixbury on the death of the 
Rector, in the autumn of 1 853, after his own connexion 
with Finmere was terminated. 

"Mr.Burgon's first Sunday at Finmere was the twenty- 
second Sunday after Trinity, 1851 ; his last was Trinity 
Sunday, 1853. The whole time between those dates is 
only eighteen months ; but he bore the people of that 
parish always in his heart. He came back to preach to 
them on the I5th of November, 1858, when their church 
had been restored by the exertions of a new Rector, and 
he seems to have composed two hymns for that occasion. 
He maintained a correspondence with many of them for 
many years, and continued to help those who needed it, 
as he found occasion. Every person from Finmere who 



172 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

came to the Oxford Infirmary, while he remained at 
Oriel, was regarded by him as his special charge. Others 
who visited Oxford for other reasons, he encouraged to 
come and see him in his college rooms : those who came 
he showed about and entertained as if they had been 
friends of equal rank with himself. He kept always 
near him, both at Oxford and at Chichester, a little book 
of Finmere memoranda. The news of his death caused 
no less sorrow in that village than it caused in Oxford 
itself." 

While he was thus immersed in pastoral occupations 
during the Saturdays, Sundays, and often also during 
the Mondays, of the Oxford Term time, he was carrying 
on many other pursuits and studies at his College on the 
other days of the week, and throwing himself with the 
keenest possible interest into the academical movements 
of the day, and into the political and theological ques- 
tions, which the course of events, or the progress of 
thought, threw up to the surface. In the first place, his 
private pupils, the engagement with whom was neces- 
sitated by his desire, not only to make himself entirely 
independent of his father, but also to lay by something as 
a provision for the members of his family, occupied a 
great deal of his time, and not of his time only, but of 
his care and thought ; for his character was such that he 
could do nothing without throwing his whole mind into 
it, and warming with the interest of his work. Then he 
had during this period (as almost always) literary, or 
quasi-literary work in hand. His pen and his pencil 
were never idle. We shall see that the Notes and 
Dissertations of his ' Harmony! which then " promised to 
be his opus magnum" grew during this period to a con- 
siderable bulk ; and it is some consolation to those who 
cannot but regret that this work (which more or less 
occupied him all his life) was never finished, to observe 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 173 

a statement in one of his letters to Mrs. H. J. Rose, 
that his ' Commentary of the Gospels ' had grown out of the 
'Harmony' The Scripture Cottage Prints a scheme 
which had been conceived at the time of his first Ordina- 
tion, and about which he had then consulted Mrs. Hugh 
James Rose appeared in 1851 ; and on the eve of his A.D. 1851. 
thirty-eighth birthday (Aug. 20 of that year) he writes '- 
one of his sprightly little notes 5 to Mr. Renouard, to ask 
the favour of being allowed to dedicate to him the com- 
pleted work, of which the twelfth and last Part, " now on 
the stocks, is to be accompanied with a peck of letter- 
press." That a work of this sort is most desirable, as 
providing artistically good prints, in substitution for the 
miserable daubs too often found on cottage walls ; that 
the dissemination of such prints amongst our peasantry 
might contribute to their mental, and (under God's 
blessing) to their spiritual elevation ; and that Burgon 
was eminently qualified to conduct such an enterprise, 
from his inborn genius for art, and from the culture 
which in early days he had bestowed upon that genius, 
will be universally allowed. 

The fifty smaller Cottage Prints (the series which 
was dedicated to Mr. Renouard) were not coloured. They 
are well-executed tinted engravings from the Sacred 
Pictures of the great Masters, which are more or less 
familiar to every one. But late in 1852, and early in A.D. 185-2. 
1853, " Lar g e Coloured Sacred Prints for the School and -** 39- ] 
the Cottage " of a much less artistic character, were put 
forth in three Parts by the same Editors. 

"'The School' has been first named," they say in 

It is dated " Eve of 'laviKidiov's it was doubtless by this name that 

Birthday. Anno ^Erse Dionysiacae, Mr. Renouard, who baptized him, 

1851." 'lavuciStov is the modern was in the habit of calling him in 

Greek for "Little Johnnie"; and his childhood and youth. 



1 74 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

their Prefatory Address, "as the primary object of 
Parochial solicitude the source and centre of Ministerial 
hope. But the adornment of the Cottage was the object 
of the present undertaking, as well as of the smaller 
Series of ' Cottage Prints,' which we published last year. 
. . . Concerning the merit of the present Series of Prints, 
as works of Art, we dare not speak very confidently. . . . 
We heartily wish that these Engravings were of a higher 
order ; but at the same time we feel that they have 
sufficient merit more than sufficient we shall perhaps be 
told to please the class for which they are chiefly in- 
tended. The Texts in the ornamental border do not of 
course conduce to the pictorial effect of the engraving. . . . 
But they make the picture a vast deal more instructive, 
and help to produce that kind of gaudy magnificence, 
which uneducated eyes delight to contemplate." 

The Reverend F. E. Paget addressed some remarks 
to the Publishers of these Sacred Prints as to the service 
done to Cottagers by the publication, and as to the in- 
dispensability of some such pictures to their instruction 
and edification. 

" No one who does not live among Cottagers," he wrote, 
"can have the faintest conception how indispensable 
pictures are for the purpose of conveying instruction 
(and, I may add, comfort) to their minds ; nor how 
intense is their ignorance with respect to matters with 
which it is assumed that they are familiar, but which 
have not been brought before them through the medium 
of pictures. I can, of my own knowledge, confirm a 
statement which I have lately seen in print, that there 
are grown persons, who had no idea of the manner of 
our Blessed LORD'S death until a print of the Crucifixion 
was, of late years, brought before them." 

It should be noticed, in speaking of the studies carried 
on during this period contemporaneously with his 
pastoral work in rural districts, that his first Sermon 
before the University, which naturally demanded much 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 175 

and careful preparation, was preached on April 2(5, 1851. 
Its subject was The Interpretation of Holy Scripture, 
and it developed itself into and was followed by, a series 
of six Lectures on the same subject delivered in Oriel 
College Chapel ; and both may be regarded as the 
nucleus of his Volume on " Inspiration and Interpreta- 
tion," in which he answers seriatim the Seven Essays of 
the notorious Essays and Reviews. 

It remains to say a word of the Academical, Political, 
and Ecclesiastical movements to which references are 
made in the Letters subjoined to this and the following 
Period. The New Statute, which established a fourth 
School of Law and Modern History, and for which he ex- 
presses to Mr. Renouard so strong an antipathy, was 
passed by Convocation April 23, 1850. But this, besides 
being the spontaneous act of Oxford herself, was a very 
meagre instalment of those fundamental and revolution- 
ary changes in the constitution and administration of the 
University, into the acceptance of which Oxford was to 
be coerced by the action of a (so-called) Liberal Govern- 
ment, which had but little sympathy either with the 
Academy or the Church. Probably some of those, who 
most strongly urged the establishment of the Law and 
History School, may have regarded that measure as a 
sort of lightning conductor, which might either avert 
altogether the Academical revolution threatened in high 
quarters, and evidently impending, or, if it was to come, 
might at least mitigate its severity. If so, they strangely 
miscalculated its effect. In the very next month, Lord 
John Russell gave notice of the intention of the Govern- 
ment to issue a Royal Commission " to inquire into the 
State, Discipline, Studies, and Revenues of the University 
and Colleges of Oxford," and in August the Commission 
was actually issued. In vain did the Duke of Wellington, 



1 76 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

as Chancellor of the University, offer vigorous opposition 
to the measure. In vain did even the Liberal Lord 
Brougham deprecate "a rash and inconsiderate inter- 
ference with the Universities." In vain did the Heb- 
domadal Board, the then ruling body of the University, 
remonstrate. In vain (on May 21, 1851) was a petition 
to Her Majesty in* Council against the Commission of 
Inquiry carried in a full house of Convocation (the 
legislative body of the University) by a majority of 144. 
Asked in the House of Commons whether the proceed- 
ings of the Commission were to be suspended, until the 
petition had been presented and decided upon, Lord 
John Russell emphatically answered, " Certainly not." 
The Commission sat to brew its revolutionary measure 
during 1851 ; and in the May of 1852 appeared the 
bulky Blue Book of 800 pages containing its Report, 
with an Appendix of "forty-seven Recommendations, 
some of them affecting the University, and others 
particular Colleges 6 ." It was not, however, till 1 854 
that the Oxford University Bill, which was founded on 
this Report was introduced and carried in Parliament. 
Burgon's estimate of the serious evils likely to accrue 
from it will be submitted to the reader in the next 
Chapter. 

Two Parliamentary Elections for the University took 
place during this period (December 24, 1848 to June 6, 
1853). That which took place in July 1852 was 
necessitated by the Dissolution which the late Lord 
Derby, then Prime Minister, had advised. On this 
occasion a vain attempt was made to oust Mr. Glad- 

'"' The above particulars respect- Mr. G. V. Cox's Eecollections of 

ing the Royal Commission, and the Oxford' [London: 1870]. Mr. 

resistance which it encountered in Cox's own phraseology has been in 

the University, are all taken from some cases retained. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 177 

stone from the seat which (with Sir Robert Inglis as his 
colleague) he had held since July 1847, Dr. Marsham, 
the Warden of Merton, who was put up against him, 
obtaining only 758 votes to Mr. Gladstone's 1108. And 
shortly afterwards another Election for Oxford University 
became inevitable. Lord Derby's Government, having 
been defeated in December upon the financial projects of 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Disraeli), at once 
resigned, and Lords Aberdeen and Lansdowne undertook 
to form a Government on the basis of an union between 
the Whigs and the followers of Sir Robert Peel. Mr. 
Gladstone, consenting to become Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer under this Administration, had to be re-elected 
by the University at the opening of the year 1853. He 
had given great offence by his joining in the vote which 
led to the resignation of the Government of Lord Derby, 
and accordingly it was resolved that his election should 
be opposed. He was again victorious over his opponent 
(Mr. Perceval), but by a majority greatly reduced from 
that by which he had beaten Dr. Marsham (124 votes 
as against 350). The fact that between the two elections 
Lord Derby had succeeded the Duke of Wellington as 
Chancellor of the University (the Duke having died 
September 14, 1852) contributed to embitter the feeling 
of the constituency against Mr. Gladstone, as one who 
had put himself in opposition to its head. It will be 
seen that Burgon, like so many other members of the 
constituency, while offended by many parts of Mr. Glad- 
stone's political conduct, and grievously disappointed in 
the expectations he had formed of him as a champion 
of the Church, nevertheless supported him to the end by 
his vote, more on the ground of the inadequate mental 
calibre of his opponents than of any sympathy with the 

VOL. I. N 



1 78 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

(so-called) liberal views, which he had then begun to 
develop 7 . 

In the years 1849, 1850 two questions, which still 
continue to divide members of the Church, were in 
consequence of current events warmly agitated. These 
were the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, and the 
power of a lay Tribunal to adjudicate in matters of 
doctrine. In 1849 Bishop Philpotts of Exeter had re- 
fused to institute Mr. Gorham to Brampford Speke, 
on the ground of his denying the teaching of the Cate- 
chism, that Regeneration accompanies Infant Baptism 
necessarily and universally. Mr. Gorham, having been 
condemned by the Ecclesiastical Court, appealed in 
1850 to the Queen in Council, who reversed the 
sentence, eliciting thereby from Archdeacon Denison a 
protest against the right of the Queen in Council to ad- 
judicate in a matter of doctrine. Then followed the 
Bishop of Exeter's letter to the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury (Sumner), charging his Grace with having changed 
the ground which he had taken up in his earlier writings 
on the subject of Baptismal Regeneration, one of the 
most lucid, vigorous, and crushing pamphlets which has 
ever appeared on a controversial subject. In two days 



7 In saying this, the author must was demanded in order to justify 
earnestly deprecate being under- opposition to him. It was Goliath 
stood to disparage either Mr. Round, in full panoply advancing against a 
Dr. Marsham, or Mr. Perceval, all stripling with sling and stone. Per- 
of whom were high-minded, high- haps the voters on the unsuccessful 
principled, and honourable men, and side in those contests may have 
each of whom successively he him- occasionally consoled themselves 
self cordially supported as against under their crushing defeats with 
Mr. Gladstone. But the unusual the thought of that ancient en- 
brilliancy of Mr. Gladstone's powers counter, and its lesson that the 
and attainments not unnaturally strong side, as this world accounts 
made very many feel that a candi- strength, is not necessarily the right 
date of more than ordinary lustre side. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 179 

it reached a fourth edition, and the copy of it now before 
the author is stated to be the sixteenth edition. But 
the Archbishop held on his course unmoved, as indeed 
he could not well avoid doing, and on August 20, 1 850, 
Mr. Gorham was inducted into the living of Brampford 
Speke by mandate of the Primate, overruling the refusal 
of the Diocesan. It will be seen in the ensuing corres- 
pondence with what vehemence and ardour Burgon threw 
himself into the controversy, and maintained the doctrine 
which Mr. Gorham had impugned. On the other hand it 
will be seen with equal clearness that he was throughout, 
and from the very earliest days, a most loyal and attached 
member of the Reformed Church. After a grave consulta- 
tion with Mrs. Hugh James Rose, upon whom he seems 
to have thought that her revered husband's mantle had 
fallen, he withdrew his name (by a letter which bears 
date July 23, 1849), from the English Church Union, on 
which it had been placed, as he tells her, without his 
consent being asked. His remonstrances with Mr. Dods- 
worth, when he found what Homewards tendencies he 
was developing, and his determination " never again to 
wear a surplice in that Church " will be read with 
interest. In fact, what was said of him, when he un- 
folded his ecclesiastical views at some party of Oxford 
men, "Why I declare, Burgon, that you are quite a 
primitive Tractarian" represented very accurately his 
whereabouts in Religious Opinion. He had strong 
sympathy with the Tractarian movement at its outset, 
in its revival of discipline, in its recognition of the value 
and blessing of the Apostolical Succession, and above all 
in its reinstatement of the Daily Office, and its teaching 
on the subject of the Sacraments ; but further than this 
he could never be induced to go ; Ritualism had always 
a repellent effect upon him ; and he consistently main- 

N 2, 



180 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

tainecl that it was a corruption and running to seed of 
the High Church movement, not a sound and healthy 
development of it. In times like the present, when 
nothing commends itself to popular acceptance but that 
which is extravagant and in extremes, it cannot be 
supposed that his % views on religious subjects will 
find favour with the many ; but by those who read in 
his letters the expression of his interest in, and his love 
and care for his rural flocks, it will be universally agreed 
that, whatever else he may have been (and he was very 
much besides), he at least was singularly qualified to be 
a Christian Pastor, singularly endowed with the sym- 
pathy and self-sacrifice whereby souls are won, one, 
on whose heart those texts were graven as the animating 
principles of his ministry ; " God is my record, how 
greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus 
Christ ; " " And I will very gladly spend and be spent 
for your souls 8 ." 

The letters to Mr. Hensley subjoined to this Chapter 
exhibit the clinging affection to his old College friend, 
which he maintained inviolate and intense amidst 
certain differences of political and religious opinion, 
while those to Mr. Renouard show the distastefulness to 
him of the (so-called) Academical Reforms which had set 
in, and at the same time the interest in etymology and 
other departments of study, which his many-sided mind 
found room for, even while he was taking private pupils, 
and keenly interesting himself in the work and responsi- 
bilities of a zealous Parish Priest. And the author has 
found himself unable to withhold from the reader the 
letter in which Mr. Palmer, his venerated and much 

8 The marginal rending of the the reading in the text. The origi- 
Authorised Version of 2 Cor. xii. nal ha?, vntp TUV \f/v\lav vpuv. 
15, is here adopted, as preferable to 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 181 

loved Rector, while not obscurely indicating his cordial 
sympathy, tempers his enthusiasm, and suggests to him 
improvements both in his writings and his method of 
working. The second letter of Mr. Palmer, suggesting 
to him a new subject for a Cottage Print, has an inde- 
pendent value from the striking Fable that accompanies 
it, and which came to Mr. Palmer himself from the cele- 
brated Jones of IS ayland. 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"Oriel, 23 Feb., 1849. 

" My dear Bishop, I am sure you will be interested to 
hear that to-morrow I am literally going to turn Country 
Curate ! My parish is West Ilsley, a village in Berk- 
shire amid the Downs. My Rector, the Honble. and 
Rev. Edw. Moore, is absent for six weeks more at 
Windsor (where he is Canon), and I am to have sole care 
of the Parish during his absence. I feel as nervous, as 
you may suppose, and as curious as if I was going to 
see my wife. It is eighteen miles off, and I am full of 
work with pupils, lectures I attend, &c., &c., &c., so that 
I fear I shall only be able to go over on Saturdays, and 
half hesitate at undertaking such a responsibility ; but 
some one must, and I feel so like a sword rusting in its 

sheath, that I am really every way pleased to go 

You will of course hear from me ere long, with some 
particulars of my doings. 

" Ever most affectionately yours, 

" J. W. B." 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"Oriel, 27 Feb., 1849. 

" Well, my dear Bishop, every thing went off charm- 
ingly in my rural parish. Every thing is as pleasant as 
you can suppose. The railway takes me ten miles to- 
wards Ilsley ; a crazy little horse and gig trundles me the 
remaining eight at a pace by which the horse designs (I 



1 82 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

see clearly) to facilitate thought or reading. The village 
(which I reach at five) contains about 400 people, who, 
with the exception of the Squire and his sister, and four 
farmers, are ail day-labourers. The Church is small and 
unattractive. The Parsonage house new and large. 
There is little to charm one in the place ; but it is my 
portion, and it is charming therefore to me. 

" On my arrival I proceeded full trot to the extremity 
of the village, and began to make acquaintance with the 
people. This lasted till between eight and nine. Next 
day, at the intervals between services, I did the like, 
and on Monday morning visited some more. So that, on 

the whole, I do not think they can feel neglected 

I never had two entire services all to myself schools. 

&c., before. I like it immensely I meditate a 

few reforms however. There is not a soul in Church 

scarcely who kneels ; and very few in Church at all 

I find also that Baptisms are celebrated after service, and 
I gave in to the practice so far as to baptize my first child 

accordingly in presence of an empty Church May 

I venture, my Lord, to plead your authority and express 
orders, and baptize the next candidates for Baptism during 
Service 1 I must try to bring this about before I leave 
Ilsley. You will wish to hear the name of my first 
Babe. Noah Newman! .... The absurdity of helping 
Noah into the Ark struck me so forcibly that it almost 

destroyed my gravity 

I can add no more just now, but that I am your affec- 
tionate Deacon, 

" J. W. B." 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

" Oriel, Easter Monday [April 9], 1849. 
" My dear Bishop, 

" My career at West Ilsley my very happy career 
terminated, very happily, on Saturday ; the first day on 
which I had felt anything like dulness there. My en- 
gagement with Mr. Moore only lasted for the six Sundays 
in Lent but I wished very much indeed to talk to them 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD.' 183 

on Good Friday, so I staid. Easter Day was too great a 
privilege, it seems. The Provost appointed me to preach 
in Chapel; so my body was at Oriel, and my heart 
only at Ilsley. I achieved my purpose, or rather pur- 
poses, and thank God with all my heart ; for each 
success was an unspeakable comfort to me. I had my little 
church very full. I hammered (often in extempore para- 
graphs) Sunday after Sunday at their knees, till all 
knelt. or pretended to do so ; and I christened my four 
children before a full congregation. It was the happiest 
afternoon of all ; for I addressed my sermon to the children 
(having announced beforehand that I should do so), so 
that the incident of the Baptism came in most oppor- 
tunely, and all went off well ; though one of the little 
Christians did keep bawling at the top of her lungs, ' Give 
me my bonnet, I say, and let me go ho-o-oo-me! . . . Un- 
luckily, I had left my sugar-plums at the Rectory ; so 
there was no help for it. 

" As my Bishop also, I am bound (as well as inclined) 
to tell ypu that I made my first essay at catechizing 
during service, on Good Friday afternoon, instead of 
a Sermon, and had a little row of weeping Naiads to 
catechize : to my immense annoyance at the time (for I 
thought they were frightened, which after the rehearsal 
in the schoolroom was a great deal too bad), but of 
course to my pleasure afterwards, for the little dears 
proved sorry to think I was going away on the morrow ! ! ! 
.... I had indeed taken great pains with them, for 
which they seemed very grateful. In short, we all 
parted with mutual regret. Many and many and 
many a time did I think of you and wished for you 
too. , 



To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"Oriel, May i, 1849. 

" Tell rne whether you approve of my legacy to 

my people. These prayers (the result of no small delibera- 
tion) I had mounted on thin pasteboard, secured with a 
strip of cloth behind, so as to open and shut like a little 



184 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Portfolio. I hope too you will like the May-day verses 
which I wrote for Magdalen College 9 . 

" And now farewell. 

" Ever your affectionate 

J. W. B." 

To ME&. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

" Houghton Conquest, July 9, 1 849. 
"My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

" Now I will not throw into the shape of a grumble 
a visit I paid to Ilsley on the last Sunday of Term, and 
the two sermons I was requested to write (for the Church 
Building Society), and Carry l with me. I will simply 
record my visit to my Curacy, the return as I felt it to 
be, as a fact in my recent life. I had felt so much in 
earnest with that little parish, that I am half ashamed to 
confess how considerable a place in my thoughts the con- 
templated return to Ilsley occupied. When I got there, 
everything seemed so changed ! Instead of crossing bare 
and bleak downs, with a stupid boy flogging at a whitey- 
brown pony for a couple of hours, my Rector came to 
conduct me through basking sunshine. On reaching the 
brow of the hill which commands the village, it was, and 
was not, the same. The trees all out in bottle-green liveries, 
and every field, which I had left black, fragrant with 
bean-blossom, or waving with the promise of harvest. 
But the greatest change was still to come. It seemed 
incredible to me that there could be more than two rooms 
in the house. A Drawing and a Dining room, flowers, 
and a piano, with two or three men servants, and eight 
or ten women servants, I wondered where they had all 

9 These verses will be found in his some neighbouring hill 

little Volume of Poems (1840 to Blown such a blast of her en- 

1878)' [Macmillan, 1885], "May chanted horn 

Morning on Magdalen Tower." That youth forgets his slumber?" 

" What do we, up so early, this &c., &c. 

May morn ? ' His sister Caroline, Mrs. Henry 

Hath Health, the huntress, from John Rose. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 185 

come from ! ... In short I secretly pined for ' the Sacra- 
mental quarter 2 ,' and preferred my active Lenten life to 
the new sphere of light and sunshine, into which I had 
so unaccountably been introduced. 

" I would rather talk to you, than write, about Mr. and 
Mrs. Moore, their two Sons and two Daughters. I shall 
only write that they were kind and hospitable, and that 
I was sorry to run away so soon. I left there on Mon- 
day, packed up my things on Tuesday, and on Wednesday 
morning hurried to London. I saw little of my people ; 
but all I saw, showed that they had not forgotten me. . . . My 
first Curacy / shall assuredly never forget. I may add 
that I believe I am to resume the care of the little flock 
from i January to 31 March (Easter Day, thank God!) 
1850. But this also is to anticipate. A blissful anticipa- 
tion it is though ! 

" I preached twice for Dodsworth " [in London, at 
Christ Church, Albany Street]. " The second time before 
a large congregation, and spoke my mind on a subject which 
I suppose had never been spoken of before in that church. 
I mean the sin of talking loosely in society, as if you ap- 
proved of Romanism, and so perhaps really unsettling, 
if not actually sending over, the weak and wavering. 
I rather trembled at my own boldness, and thought it 
sounded very extraordinary, amid the extreme quiet of 
the Church, to be saying what I knew was hitting right 
and left so many, without phrase and circumlocu- 
tion, and for the space of two pages. But I had counted 
the cost. I took a week to think over what I had 
written, and was prepared to stand or fall by it. Dods- 
worth took it very well, though I am sure I surprised 
him. ... I am sure it is much needed in that parish. 
I can write to you (and to scarcely any one else) freely ; 

2 He means Lent, Easter, Ascen- Death and Burial," followed by 

sion-tide, and Whitsun-tide, when " the glorious Resurrection and As- 

the chief Mysteries (Sacramento) of cension," and by " the coming of the 

our Redemption are commemorated, Holy Ghost." This period may be 

"The Baptism, Fasting, and Temp- called the Sacramental quarter of 

tation, the Agony and Bloody Sweat, the year, 
the Cross and Passion, the precious 



1 86 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

and I assure you if you could hear the way that the 
Margaret Street Chapel people, and some of Dodsworth's 
talk, you would really think that it was a settled point 
in that quarter that our own Holy Communion is good 
only as a jjh alter ; that Romanism is tJie thing. after 
all. They almost swear by Allies '$ look ! I could tell 
you of many things said and done, which would quite 
amaze you. They* are just as wild one way, as certain 
good people are another. One shares the usual and 
obvious fate of being kicked by both parties. However, 
being as saucy as most people, I kick in return. Were 
I permanently to live among them, I feel I should very 
soon be obliged to take up an antagonistic position. As 
it is, visiting London only at long intervals, and for a 
very short time, I feel that I shall do my part if I merely 
fire off a single gun every time in a certain direction. 
Meantime I see clearly that London is the place, however 
distressing it would be to become a London Rector. 1 
see further that if I had a parish in London, I should 
stand almost alone. Romanism I abhor. Your dry (I 
beg your Lordship's pardon ! their dry) Protestantism I 
hate. I allow no unction, no nothing in the Romish 
system, which ours may not surpass. I allow no simpli- 
city, jealousy, variety in Protestantism, which is not com- 
patible with something far higher, and more soul-stirring. . 
.... But, I tell you honestly, if I had a large parish to 
look after, I must rush up to Broad Street 3 once a week, 
or you must come and pitch your tent somewhere near 
me, during all responsible times; for the sense of my 

insufficiency very often almost unmans me 

" There are two or three things in your letter to answer. 
My Prayers (thank you for your criticism) I know are 
a touch too high ; but I think I could bring a parish up 
to them (if I might) in a few weeks. Surely, if only 
twenty copies in a hundred are used, one is doing huge 
good. And can one not make sure in a school that all 
use them ? . . . Out of delicacy, I left the hundred copies 
behind, and find only four or five had been distributed ! . . . 
However, your advice so weighs with me, that if you 

3 Broad Street, Brighton, where Mrs. Hugh James Rose was then living. 






THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 187 

will tell me of your notion of a iftaximum for a school- 
child, I will see what can be done. . . . Depend upon it, we 
neglect the lambs of the flock. They grow up godless ; 
then come the cares of life ; then sickness ; and the 
Clergyman stars his fingers, and wonders at the ignor- 
ance of the person he is addressing, who can neither 
understand him, nor pray for himself. ' 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"Royal Hotel, Ramsgate, Oct. 12, 1849. 
" My dear Mrs. Rose, 

"I rejoice to tell you that I return on the 2ist to my 
old curacy ! ! ! It is offered me till the 2nd December, 
and again for three months in 1850, beginning with the 
middle of January. I feel so glad. I can think of nothing 

else But when your Lordship pleases to bestow 

a London living upon me (which once, with some naivete, 
you asked me why I did not take !), I will resign my 
splendid property on the Berkshire Downs, and migrate 
to the Metropolis " 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"Oriel, Monday, 10 Dec. 1849. 
" My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

" A poor wretch who has been working himself all this 
term into fiddle-strings who has had pupils (perforce) 
all the morning of every day and the anxieties of a 
little parish, besides the actual amount of work required 
for the same little parish to fill up all that remained of 
every day ; who has consequently never known the 
peace of a quiet walk, or a thorough night's rest for 
eight weeks exactly ; and who now that he ought to be 
making his peace with God in the miserable ten days, 
which remain before the Examination at Cuddesdon 4 , finds 
he must cram up heresies, and councils, and dates ; this 
is the poor animal, whom you are good enough to call 

4 For Priests' Orders. 



i88 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

your friend, and prove that you regard him as such, by so 
writing to him as you now write to me. I WILL find 
time for THAT, but I cannot for any thing else. 

" I enclose what speaks for itself. They were distri- 
buted mounted on cards (I have a few for you). It 
will show you the kind of anxiety I have had. I believe 
now EVERY ONE in the place has prayers ; and oh! the 
joy I have felt at discovering FOR CERTAIN that scores of 
children use them daily I mean the maturer prayers I 
sent you. I have also visited EVERYBODY in the place, 

and know all about them But this is not done 

without some wear and tear 

" I left Oxford before it was light on Saturday, and 
on reaching Ilsley, after breakfasting, visited 36 families. 
I returned to my fireside about 8, dined, and at 10 o'clock 
fell asleep, woke at 3 in the dark, and began my Sermon, 
suggested by the news picked up in my parish peram- 
bulation This followed by incessant talking, from 

10 o'clock in the morning of Sunday till 5 in the even- 
ing, is really enough to tire a nobler creature than my- 
self. I quite long for rest. 

" Yours most affectionately, 

" J. W. B." 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

" Oriel, Good Friday night [April 29], 1850. 
" My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

"But I really must tell you how I have been 'going 
on,' as I call it. I have been trying to do the work of 
two men, and have found it, to say the least, hard work. 
My Oxford week I have tried to discharge in four days 
and a half: a week at Ilsley is the remaining fraction. 

The impression left upon me by nine weeks 

labour in this way is that of profound weariness 

I have commonly had to write one sermon between 10 
[p. m. on Saturday] and 3 on Sunday morning. My Mon- 
day I have given to my parish, which I have left with the 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 189 

bleak dawn of Tuesday, so as to be in Oxford (nineteen 
miles oft') by 9 in the morning. Of late, great anxiety re- 
specting a woman with a fever, carried me over once or 
twice in the week. From Didcot (the nearest station) I 
have walked always over the hills, and this, added to the 
work which I found, or made, when I got there, quite 

knocked me up It was my first case of listening 

to an agonized conscience in the near prospect of death. 

I shall not easily forget it ! I could go on about 

my parish for a week ; I could tell you how tenderly we 
parted, and what kind, cheering news I get from them. 
But I should only be tedious. I could tell you, too, of 
all I tried to achieve, but it would serve no purpose, 
except to foster that self -consciousness > which I am sure 
mars one's usefulness sadly, and prevents, many a time, 

the descent of the Divine blessing on one's labours 

I feel rather more disposed to be penitential, and tell you 
of all my slips, and sad experiences ; but you would be 
very, very weary, and wish I had never broken silence. 

I will therefore turn my thoughts away from 

that handful of sheep in the wilderness and look onwards. 

" What a crisis we seem to have come to in Church 

matters ! . . . . Something must follow, I think 

You have seen the Bishop of E.'s Letter of course 5 . 

" I have as yet signed nothing, nor taken any step. I 
have in truth seen no protest which I could sign. All 
express too many opinions, I think. Why not stick to the 

one point. the washing away of original sin ? 

After Easter I hope something may be done here ; but all 
is still at present. Hussey is trying to get the Heads to 
act. It is like asking elephants to dance. 

"I rejoice in only one feature of the matter namely, 
the dignity of the question at issue. It is not a doctrine 6 . 

5 'A Letter to the Archbishop 6 He is speaking of Baptism alRe- 

of Canterbury ' [Sunmer] 'from generation, which is the subject on 

the Bishop of Exeter' [Philpotts]. which the Bishop of Exeter joined 

John Murray, Albeuiarle Street, issue with the Archbishop of Can ter- 

1850. bury. 



1 90 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

It is almost Religion itself. It is an article in the Creed. 
It is a thing to die for. On the other hand, no distress- 
ing course of coming events, scarcely, can be fatal to us 
as a Church ; and I hope the few waverers one hears of 
will feel that it is indeed so. The excitement produced 
keeps men generally quiet, but I need hardly tell you 
that this is a question which is stirring men to the very 
foundation, trying % them all. 

" Ever your affectionate, 

J. W. B." 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

" 34, Osnaburgh Street, June 26, 1 850. 
" My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

; ' Your approbation of my sermons is the highest praise 
1 ever desire, except of course the practical praise of see- 
ing them influence any the humblest of my fellow- 
servants for good I must have many a talk 

with you before I presume to work a parish. Full of 
hopes I am, overflowing with a confident belief that an 
immense deal may be done by well directed zeal and 
sound teaching. Yet, when I am to be put to the proof, 
remains all a mystery ; and strange as it may sound, with 
all my desire for parochial work, it is a mystery which I 
do not at all feel disposed to pry into. I am not at all 
impatient ' one step enough for me.' 

" What I do desire is not to die till I have had the 
shepherding of a flock 7 . In that task I am content to 
wear myself out, and if the prophecies of friends are to 
go for aught, I should soon do so. ' I do hope you will 
never have a parish,' was the farewell of a kind soul at 
Ilsley ; and I have since been informed that I should kill 
myself, if I had only FIVE PERSONS in my parish. The 
picture will I hope make you laugh to read, as it does 

7 He means as Incumbent, with had only shepherded the flock of 
a flock of his own. As Curate, he another. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 191 

Me to write No, no. I have learned many lessons in 

Ilsley, and one is, to know that one cannot do every 
thing for everybody. 

" 5, 1 had such a pleasant visit there on Whit Monday ! 

The poor were very glad to see me, and their 

humble welcome was unmistakeable. 

" Since my arrival in London, I have been too unwell 
to go to church. 1 do hope for your approval in my 
resolve never to wear a surplice any more at Dodswortk'* 
Church. It must certainly show sympathy of a certain 
kind to officiate with him, and I do NOT sympathize at 
all. Do pray notice this first in your reply. 

" You have heard of course that Newman is lecturing 
in town. The lectures are said to be most entertaining. 
Last week I met a man who had been to them (a lawyer). 
We were dining together. * For shame ! ' I cried ; ' and 
pray what did you learn ? ' 'To despise Popery more than 
ever,' he replied ; ' but at the same time to feel that the 
Church of England is no Church at all' ' So that you 
came away disbelieving everything 1 ' c Why, yes, rather.' 

And who can doubt that this was a type of a 

class ? The Clergy go also. I begged to be told 

a name or two. M ... of W ... ., a person I particu- 
larly distrust was the only one he named. Is not this 
also distressing ? 0, we live in bad times yet not worse 
than many which have gone before not so bad (if 
Scripture speaks true) as some which will come after. 
But the remedy is plain study of the Word of God, and 
possessing one's soul in patience, and persevering in well- 
doing to the end I feel as happy as need be, 

though I neither am blind to the danger (which is coming 
very close), nor, I humbly trust, indifferent to it. 

" Ever your most affectionate and obliged, 

" JOHN W. BURGON. 
" ' O for him 8 back again ! ' I say many a time to my- 

8 He means Mr. Hugh James Rose, his correspondent's late husband. 



1 92 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

self. We are a poor set, the best of us. I get snubbed for 
condemning some people's views as unsound, and really 
the belief seems spreading that no one ought to presume 
to talk so, -just as if every thing were not either right or 
WRONG! and if wrong, to be branded as such, that all 
may see. Adieu, my dear Bishop." 

To IVfRs. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"H. Conquest, Jan. 15, 1851. 
" My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

< ; I called on Pusey, on Christmas Eve, and he read me 
a letter just received from D[odsworthJ. It began that 
he was broken-hearted, and asked P. to pray for him, &c. 
&c. ; and you may imagine that the day after I reached 
London I called on D. I found him in his study, and 
when I alluded to the questions of the day, he repeated 
the words he had written to P., and expressed utter 
despair of the Ch. of E., or rather implied utter dis- 
belief in it. In reply to my remonstrances, he insisted 
that the Church had surrendered to the Crown the alle- 
giance which it owed to Christ. This I denied. He 
opened a drawer, and drawing forth a MS., read me 
several passages. I was still firm, and showed him on 
every ground that his data were insufficient ; that his 
precedents from history had been before the world for 
hundreds of years, and escaped, as valid arguments, all 
the learned ; that granting them real, they would amount 
to nothing but the errors of individual men, such as the 
Bishop of Rome had committed by the dozen, as all 
History attests, and then I pressed him with the essen- 
tials of a Church, which even /ie must allow we retained 
abundantly. Of course when I alluded to his congrega- 
tion, he winced, and turned away in tears. But it was 
far too late to influence him. He had given in his 
resignation three weeks before, and had evidently made 
up his mind. In truth, I make little doubt but what 
these men first lose their hearts, and then cast about for 
arguments wherewith to fortify their reason. All I could 
say he met doggedly. I argued as a Dissenter might 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 193 

argue, he said. About Home he fired up, and protested 
that men mistook the question as concerns that Church. 
So, with many warnings to him to be humble and dis- 
trust himself, at the end of two hours we parted. Judge 
of my amazement to learn that four or five days later he 
had turned Romanist ! His wife continues constant to 
Christ Church with some of the girls, and a bitter posi- 
tion must her's be indeed. 

" My last visit in London was to her. I ventured to 
remind her that she owed a higher duty to One above, 
even than to her husband. She begged I would come 
and see her when I came to London. 

" Alas, in the meantime what a deadly blow do these 
men aim at our Holy Church ! How do they retard any 
upward movement! How do they bind our arms and 
cripple us ! Who have spoken more strongly against 
Romanism than Newman, Allies, Dodsworth, and the 
rest 1 ? What pretence have we then for requiring cre- 
dence, while we maintain the Church's authority, and yet 
disclaim Romanizing tendencies "? But I am sick of the 
subject. 

" I do begin to distrust amazingly some of those who 
yet remain to us. You will easily guess the kind of 
chaps I mean. They form an amazingly small crew, 
the -ultras, I speak of, of course. You will be glad to hear 
that Tritton takes an opposite line ; but how sad the 
case of B****! 

" And now for something else though one cannot 
help yet once more reverting to it, to exclaim, How odd 
it does seem that no one is found willing to conduct the 
services of a large London Church in so unshowy a way 
as to disarm censure and baffle Puritanism, y -et from the 
pulpit teach all that an honest English heart can desire ! 
It would be a rare triumph, indeed, in London. In the 
country, I do believe the case is common. 

"Ilsley is to enjoy its lawful Vicar till June : on dis- 
covering which, I cast about, and was anxious to hear of 
some one wanting Sunday help. The first offer which 

VOL. i. o 



194 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

came to me, I gratefully accepted. I am apprentice to 
the Rev. W. Wilson, of Worton House, near Woodstock, 
or rather near Banbury, in Oxfordshire. Two little vil- 
lage Churches (Upper and Lower Worton) claim me, one 
in the morning, the other in the afternoon. My master 
is cousin to Daniel Calcutta, and he has a host of rela- 
tions who are dissenters still, individually, he satisfies 
me, and would, I am bold to say, satisfy you. He would 
not accept the living of Islington, because of his dissent- 
ing kinsmen in the vicinity. I took an early opportunity 
to flare up on the Sacraments, and resolved, if they 
could stand that sermon, to go on letting the truth come 
out in its several aspects in my sermons, as occasion 
might serve, without ever going out of my way to bring 
it forward ; we get on capitally. 

" This Cure forms a singular contrast to Ilsley. There, 
I arrived in an empty house, and at once set off, full trot, 
after the villagers. Sunday was all fag ; everything 
was on my (happy) shoulders. Here I am one of a large 
cheerful family ; the organ and piano fill up leisure 
moments and I ignore the handful (they are but a hand- 
fu]) of villagers. I do as I am wished, of course." 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES HOSE. 

"5 Burton Crescent, April 30, 1851. 
" My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

"Ever since Christmas, you know, I have been offi- 
ciating on Sundays at Worton, in Oxfordshire, a village 
belonging to the Wilsons, with whom I lived and from 
whom I experienced a world of kindness. They used to 
rail at Tractarianism, but they were good enough to 
agree with me, so I never defended what I did not under- 
stand and the result was sixteen very happy Sundays. 
Of course I brought away a heap of regrets. I remember 
many opportunities very imperfectly availed of a hun- 
dred things said and done which require forgiveness. 
Still, they are kind enough to speak approvingly of 
every thing, so I must be content to turn the past into a 
warning to myself. What I desired there was more 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 195 

work. My duties began on Sunday morning, and ended 
on Sunday evening consisting, generally, of two full 
services, and a kind of family service in the hall. This 
last seemed to give great satisfaction. Some neighbours 
and the servants formed the congregation, which gene- 
rally numbered about thirty. There is an organ in the 
hall, and one of the ladies played. Some of us had ears, 
and all had voices. The Hymn ended, we read some 
Psalms. Then I read and expounded the Gospel for the 
day which lasted half an hour after which we had a 
selection of Prayers from the Prayer Book, and another 
Hymn. This was all nice enough, but I like more work. 
I knew no one in the parish, and the carriage which had 
conducted me to the scene of my duties on Saturday 
night, conveyed me thence on Monday morning. 

" You will not be surprised to hear that my heart 
leaped to my mouth with joy, when I heard of a Con- 
firmation coming on at Ilsley my first Curacy ! and 
conceived the plan of preparing the young people, all of 
whom I knew and loved, for the blessed rite. The Rector 
was away all the week, so I petitioned for leave to have 
the use of the Schoolroom on Thursday evenings. This 
was freely granted. I received carte blanche to act for the 
best, and was promised a bed at the Rectory to lay my 
bones on at night. Oh, I cannot tell you how bless6;d a 
period that was to me ! . . . Out of my thirty-one young 
folk, twenty-eight were confirmed on the 24th of March. 
I gave them rendezvous for the following Thursday, and 
explained that I should proceed from the Confirmation 
to the Communion Service. They were all most atten- 
tive, and regular, and delightful poor creatures ! I used 
to talk to them from seven o'clock till nine, and then see 
some of them, one by one, at the Rectory, in private, 
Nothing could have worked better. I will also tell you 
some day what I said to them. I am sure you will 
agree with me that I exactly went between the two ex- 
tremes of asking an improper question, and asking none. 
I thought of a formula, which should leave the conscience 
ALL ALONE with GOD, and yet should render it quite im- 
possible that the conscience should leave me, as it per- 

o 2 



196 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

haps came to me, unawakened. All this was done, you 
must know, in the certainty that Mr. Moore, not I, was 
to have the joy on Easter Day of giving them their first 
Communion. Judge of my delight on being told, at 
Worton, ten days before Easter: ' My dear Mr. Burgon, 
Frank is coming back ; and will be with us on Easter Day, 
so that our pleasant Sunday meetings are now at an 
end !...'! saw the* dawn of the joy I had so longed for, 
at once. I had already offered Mr. Moore (at Ilsley) to 
take his Good Friday services for him. It was my lot, 
on the Monday, to have to take young Tytler whose 
guardian I am, to Windsor. So I called on Mr. Moore, 
and with a beating heart told him that I was free from 
my duties at Worton. ' Then perhaps you would stay 
over the Sunday ? ' was his immediate reply. I could ill 
suppress my delight, as you may suppose . . . How I did 
seem repaid in that instant for all my anxieties, and the 
long walks on Friday mornings over the bleak Berkshire 
Downs, at \ past 6 o'clock in all weathers, when 
sometimes I was haunted with strange misgivings as to 
whether I was not meddling with another man's parish 
unduly, doing no good and much, much besides ! 
Well, Good Friday came, and in two long sermons, I 
humbly hope, besides buoying up and encouraging my 
twenty-eight, I demolished all the excuses I had ever 
heard against coming to the Holy Table (especially the 
popular one at Ilsley ; * There are some that come, who 
ought not,' &c.). I announced a double Sacrament (one 
at eight, the other after the morning service), and ex- 
plained that all who wished to come would now be 
without excuse . . . Well, thank God ! ! ! I found twenty- 
eight happy country faces awaiting me when I made my 
appearance, fifteen of whom were of the number of those 
who had been confirmed. I ranged these fifteen before 
the rails, and bade them watch all that was done, taking 
care that they should stand, kneel, and respond properly. 
In fact, I was Bishop, Ordinary, Rector, and all, and 
literally shed tears for joy ... 

" At 1 1 , twenty-three more came . . . Do you think 
that twenty-two out of twenty-eight newly-confirmed 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 197 

persons was a sufficient proportion for the first Com- 
munion ? I mean to have all before I have done. One 
poor woman, aged 20, was confined this kept her away. 
A child of 14 cried to come ; but a naughty grandmother 
kept her away at the last moment, so that four was really 
the sum of those who absented themselves. I longed for 
them all, and they all knew it ; but I forced none to come, 
of course. In the afternoon, I felt- that I was preaching 
my farewell sermon : so without any personalities I gave 
all the poor creatures a charge against falling away from 
grace given ; by preaching about the ejected Demoniac 9 : 
and I really was very weary by that time, for I had had 
four christenings, a burial, and so on. Next morning, I 
wound all up by a breakfast to ninety- seven children, 
visited for three or four hours, and returned to Oxford 
. . . . I cannot tell you how much joy mingled with my 
regret at leaving the village ! Not least of all was I 
pleased, I think, with the cheerful promise they almost 
all gave me to use a form of family evening prayer after 
supper. I enclose you a specimen. But you cannot 
think how nice it looks pasted down on cardboard .... 
Tell me also if you do not approve of my other enclosure, 
which I got Mr. Moore to sign, and had pasted inside 
the cover of twenty-two Bibles. 

" And now my story is nearly done. When I add that 
I wrote seven- sermons in Passion Week, besides the phy- 
sical occupation I have described, you will not wonder 
that I felt weary as well as busy. On my return from 
Ilsley, I felt the pressure of my University Sermon very 
keenly ; but there was our Oriel Fellowship coming on, 
as well. These two things, in short and such effects of 
past fatigue, that I fell asleep on my chair every evening, 
and slept till one or two in the morning entirely filled 
up all my time ; and that is why you never heard from 
me .... I literally COULD not write. 

' ; The University Sermon I speak of was my first. It 
was on 'Inspiration of Scripture The Doctrine of 



9 Probably he means the ejected text having been St. Matt. xii. 33. 
demon (or "unclean spirit"), his 34, 35. 



198 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Accommodation considered 1 .' I mean to continue the 
subject as I took the liberty of announcing if ever I 
have an opportunity afforded me, by discussing the 
discrepancies of the four Gospels, types, and allegories. 
Enough, however, of all this selfish talk. Though, by 
the way, I must still tell you many things about myself. 
I hope you are not yet tired ? 

" Well, and now you ask me many questions, to which 
I am bound to send you a full and free answer. But 
pray suffer me, after I have turned my private story in- 
side out before you, as freely as I would my coat, 
suffer me to add a brief, but most honest prayer that you 
will not suffer your friendship ever to beguile you into 
such a miserable thing as asking a favour for one who 
will never ask a favour for himself. Your questions 
point so clearly one way, that it would be mere hypocrisy 
to pretend not to see their drift. I will answer them, 
however, without hesitation ; for you deserve it at my 
hands. You will not believe me the less sincere in the 
hearty assurance that I am perfectly content with the 
bounties God has already heaped upon me. You will 
believe me when I say that I envy no person, office, or 
thing ; and desire nothing but liberty to serve God, as a 
humble member of t/iix branch of the Church Catholic, all 
the rest of my life, in the way He pleases. And now to 
answer your question. 

" If I were an isolated being, I should have long 
since invested all my little worldly resources in a 
library, and transferred it and its owner to the most 
demoralized spot I could find, where, with a common 
Curate's stipend, I might simply have tried what I 
could make of the despaired-of side of human nature. 
My mornings I will give all my days to study, my 
afternoons to parish work, if parish work is ever al- 
lowed me. But I am not the isolated thing I spoke of; 

1 This Sermon was probably the Essayists. The Sixth Sermon in 

nucleus of his whole Volume on that Volume is entitled, " The 

' Inspiration and Interpretation' Doctrine of Arbitrary Scriptural 

in which he answers the Seven Accommodation considered." 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 199 

and thus all my views are other than they would have 
been. 

" Whether I could do most good in town or country, I 
cannot tell. I believe I could be happy and useful in 
either sphere. The only place where I could not be happy 
would be where there was nothing to do. You will 
laugh at me, perhaps pity me ; but I would rather have 
70,000 than 70 to look after. (The other day, one who 
knows me said he thought the care of ' all the parishes in 
England' would 'just suit '(!!!) my taste.) How many 
years I should live, and be able to endure the anxiety of 
such shepherding, I know not. Neither, however, do I care : 
for I mean to remain single. I do not think I should, or 
ought to, refuse a London parish, if it were offered me. 

" I suppose one cannot WISH for the post of those, who 
go to fill the place of one who has been beloved and re- 
gretted : whose business it is to unteach, whose duty it 
is to pull down and re-construct. To be exposed to con- 
stant odious contrast ; to be for ever taunted with 
' what Mr. Bennett used to do ' ; and in self-defence, to 
be obliged to say, ' But, my friend, I think Mr. B. was a 
very injudicious person, one who showed a shameful 
disregard of Episcopal authority, and one with whom I 
do by no means agree,' all this, I say, must be a heavy 
portion. One cannot wish for it ! can one ? 

" But show me a church, in a crowded district, an un- 
licked, shapeless mass of people, an income which would 
secure me against debt (for I never have laid by nor do 
I desire to lay by a penny), above all, let me be called to 
this by the voice of the Chief Shepherd ; and then, if you 
ever saw me figuring in the papers with a cock and bull 
quarrel about candlesticks or crosses, or any such tom- 
foolery, tell me that I have taken leave of my senses. 
For really, I should feel that I had no right to decline 
such a charge. I am a sword in a sheath. I will not 
draw myself. But any one who likes to draw me may ; 
and he will find that I can cut, and keep my temper. 
At least, I hope for God's help to be all my fancy paints, 
but alas ! my experience so rarely sees ! 



2oo LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

To MKS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"Burton Crescent, Dec. 23, 1851. 

"My dearest Mrs. Rose, Since I wrote to you last, 
I have been leading the same quiet student's life as 
ever, considerably tasked by my friends, in divers 
ways ; and therefore I am willing to hope that I have 
been living usefully. My Saturdays, Sundays, Mon- 
days are engrossed by the care of a little parish Fin- 
mere on the borders of Oxfordshire, four miles from 
Buckingham. My Rector, the Rev. W. J. Palmer, has 
two adjoining churches Finmere and Mixbury at the 
latter of which he resides. 

"Mr. Palmer is a clergyman of the George Herbert 
class. He is absolute monarch of his parishes, and exer- 
cises the functions of Lawyer and Physician, as well as 
Parson. He is the father and friend of all. His 
daughters work the schools, and indeed the parishes, 
like Curates. Everything is very primitive. We preach 
in the morning, wearing our surplice, and catechize in 
the afternoon for twenty minutes. The children stand 
ten or twenty yards off, so that all present hear, and, it 
is hoped, are edified. The boys in school all wear white 
smocks : the greatest girls pinafores. They are all kept 
in such complete subjection that till sixteen, seventeen or 
eighteen they remain in school and at that age the boys 
literally come to be examined (as to their heads) by a 
wise woman of the village, weekly ! . . . I am learning, 
as much as I am teaching, at Finmere. 

" When I enter, the bell stops, and all the congregation 
rise. Friday, the clerk, robes me, and when I kneel, 
they all resume their seats. The responses are literally 
deafening, and the people for once really do say their 
prayers on their knees. 

" Not that things are perfect, even at Finmere. The 
farmers do not come to church ! The Duke of Bucking- 
ham's 'failure' (as the people phrase it) is also severely 
felt by the poor. Stowe is about a mile or two off 
now a deserted wreck: but once the source of much 
charity, and the cause of employment to a large part of 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 201 

the parish. ... I believe I shall remain at Finmere till 

June I am working away steadily at my 

Harmony, but slowly. However, I must not omit to tell 
you that there has grown out of it another work a 
Plain Commentary on the Gospels. As it appears, you 
will receive it from me, a few Chapters at a time. It 
will cost me immense trouble. I humbly hope that it 
will also be of immense use . . . Seriously, it has long 
grieved me to think that our farmers, small tradesmen, 
and better class of poor, should be without a guide in the 
reading of the Book of Life. It has seemed to me a 
downright disgrace to the Church that this class of 
persons should be driven to Dr. Isaac Watts, Scott, and 
those sad blind guides, who show truth through a dis- 
torting medium. This is a humble endeavour, as far 
as the Gospels are concerned, to supply a wholesome 
diet. The Chapters will at first form single tracts. Mr. 
Armstrong, to whom I sent down a specimen, intends for 
the sake of them to continue the Parochial Tracts. In 
this way one will be able to give a poor soul a Chapter 
to read, instead of anything else: and I scarcely can 
conceive a more useful form of Tractarianism. Here 
also I am sure of your approbation. The entire work 
may of course be reprinted afterwards 

" Ever, dearest Mrs. Rose, 

" Your affectionate Friend and Servant, 

"J. W. B." 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"5 Bui-ton Crescent, July 8, 1852. 

;; My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

" I have been, as I said, very busy for ages past : and 
my parish (little Finmere, nigh Buckingham) has been 
the chief occasion of my busyness. The work of a parish 
priest that is, his week's work compressed into four 
days, or three is always a severe trial: particularly 
when an Oxford life is going on side by side with it, 

" The event in my stewardship (which ended last 



202 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Sunday), most agreeable and striking in remembrance, 
is the Confirmation which was holden at Mixbury, Mr. 
Palmer's other village, about two miles from Finmere, 
in the spring. I had thirty-nine persons to prepare, of 
which thirty- six were villagers ; and I cannot tell you 
the comfort and the pleasure of those Lenten days of 
preparation. I went to live at Finmere, in order to 
work the problem* the better, and had four classes, and 
explained, urged, exhorted, and rebuked till many a 
time I was quite worn out. However, the labour was 
blessed by Him ('without whom nothing is strong, 
nothing holy') abundantly. All my thirty-six came 
to the LORD'S Table on Easter Day, and a thrice happy 
Easter it was ; for I scarcely dared hope to see some of 
those stubborn knees bended -of their own free will. 

" How I wish you could have seen us muster under 
the 'Cross Tree' one fine morning in March, and pro- 
ceed two and two along the whole length of the village. 
I gathered a few of the eldest men about me (to save 
any sense of shame by the presence of so many juniors) ; 
and a little behind us followed the women and girls. 
Not a word was spoken ; and it was impossible not to 
feel the reality of the impression made both on ourselves 
and on others, as every household came out of their 
homes, and stood at the cottage doors to see us pass. 
I made as many parents and sponsors accompany us as 
was possible ; and on the whole nothing could have 
been more delightfully managed, or more successful. 
The Bishop praised us, and spoke kindly to me ; and all 
were pleased. My Rector's pat on the back went to my 
heart. He was ill in bed ; but the Bishop went to see 
him, and he sent me a message. 

" I must tell you a plan I adopted, for I think it was 
a good one. I numbered the tickets and the names, and 
against every name worthy of such notice, I set a 
character, in three words or less. The Bishop was 
pleased, for he was able to know what to say : and he 
told me afterwards that he knew the people, almost before 
he verified their numbers. 

"Next came the preparation of my Candidates for 






THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 203 

Holy Communion. During Passion-week I had three 
Services daily and two sermons : but the delight ex- 
ceeded the weariness. And really the amount of inno- 
cence and goodness, to which my assiduity introduced 
me, has increased to an immense extent my regard for 
that human nature which we hear so much reviled ; has 
made me revere the holy estate of poverty; has taught 
me a hundred lessons. 

Enclosed. I send you a copy of verses which I pre- 
sented first, to all my Confirmees, and next, to all the 
village. The broadside was meant to be pasted against 
the cottage wall. 

" On Sunday last I officiated at Finmere for the last 
time, and took leave on the Monday morning. It was 
sufficiently affecting. The poor little dears all came out 
from the village school to see me drive off, and formed 
(to my surprise and pleasure, when the gates were 
unfolded) a long line, reaching far into the road. The 
sight quite unmanned me, and haunts me still. They 
are certainly a most affectionate, amiable race ; and pre- 
sent specimens of virtue and goodness common enough, 
I dare say ; but which / have never been so happy as to 
meet with elsewhere. It must, in part at least, be the 
result of fifty years of careful shepherding on the part 
of the venerable Rector, a man of primitive piety, and 
surprising goodness. To tell you all the village polity 
of Finmere would take a long letter, or rather a long 
pamphlet : and without the details, the story would be 
worth little. Some day, I hope I may have the comfort 
of talking to you about it. Better still would it be (if 
it should ever so please GOD), that I might hereafter show 
you my own copy of Finmere in a parish of my own : for 
I am not blind > though I am so fond of the place and 
people ; and see clearly how all might be abundantly 
improved. Yet it would be hard to find its like ; and 
indeed, I doubt whether there be another village so 
managed in England. And thus much for Finmere ; or 
rather, thus little 

" Finmere ' What Finmere again ? ' No, I was 



2O4 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

only going to say that my village claimed me, in con- 
sequence of the very alarming illness of a poor woman, 
all Commemoration week : so that I saw nothing of the 
Bishops American, English, or Scotch, who mustered 
so thick in the haunts where I generally abide. The 
Bishop of Oxford kindly invited me to Cuddesdon to 
meet them all, the Bishop of London included ; but I 
was so distressed at what was going on cltez woi, that I 
could not find it in my heart to go, after I had promised : 
which I was sorry for afterwards. By the way, I must 
tell you a bon mot of the Bishop of Exeter. A friend of 
mine was keeping the Ladies' gate at the Theatre ; when 
Harry of E. comes up, foxy and humble, and says : ' I 
suppose, as an old woman, I may be permitted ? ' . . . Rather 
rich eh ? 

"And talking of Oxford, I must tell you that I run 
down on Saturday, to vote for Gladstone and return. 
His election is certain ; but we want a large majority." 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"Houghton Conquest, Sept. 15, 1852, Midnight. 

"My dearest Mrs. Rose, It will be the iyth by the 
time this reaches your hands ; and I would not have so 
mournful an anniversary to pass without sending you a 
few lines. They will but assure you of what you know 
already; namely, that I think of you very faithfully 
every day. Still, even such things are worth telling ! 

" How the years roll on ! She is seventeen years and 
nine months old ! Or does not the dear child 2 rather 
reckon the years of her life from the anniversary of her 
Death ? . . . . Either way, depend upon it, dear Friend, 
these anniversaries are by her most solemnly observed, 
most faithfully remembered. Your love and kindness 
must be her constant theme. Your loneliness her con- 
stant thought. You the subject of her constant prayer. 

" Pray, when you read the Epistles (indeed the Gospels 
themselves ; for they also are full of it), pray notice how 

2 The " dear child " is Josephine adopted child, and her brother's 
Mair, Mrs. Hugh James Rose's orphan daughter. 






THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 205 

much is said of Patience and Hope. Few persons, I think, 
would believe, until their attention happened to be called 
that way, how large a place these two graces hold. I 
was struck only last night, in the second Lesson (Rom. 
xv.), at the mention in verse .5 of GOD, as the God of 
Patience, and in verse 13, as the God of Rope. What 
wonder that such an One should, in verse 33, be styled 
the God of PEACE likewise "? 

" This is only to send you my love, and to request that 
I may be ever remembered as my dearest Mrs. Rose's 
" Obliged and affectionate friend, 

"J. W. B." 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"Houghton Conquest, Ampthill, Oct. 4, 1852. 
" My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

"Ask not for my history ; for the Knife-Grinder was 
a hero compared to your friend. If you were a bird of 
the air, having access to my window, you would begin by 
this time to cherish a theory that birdlime had secured 
me to my chair ; and that there was the same chance of 
the parish Church taking a walk as of my making an 
excursion. Most assiduously, indeed, have I kept my 
seat, or been at my place in the House (as an M.P. 
would say). But a busy M.P. would think as con- 
temptuously of me as the feathered biped itself could do, 
if he had detected that a few familiar pages had supplied 
me with work these many days. In truth all I have 
done has been to write about as much Commentary as 
would, I suppose, fill a small volume of 400 or 500 
pages. My dear Mrs. Rose, being neither a bird of the 
air, nor an M.P., will neither wonder at me, I know, nor 
despise : but she will admit that the man who can plead 
guilty to a Long Vacation so spent, is a man without a 
history. 

" The more I study the Gospels, the more their depth 
amazes me. A curious illustration of this occurred the 
other day. On Saturday evenings I begin my Sermon : 



2o6 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

an over-refinement of taste, I fear it is, which prevents 
me from pouring my heart and mind out on paper in 
anything like a decent space of time, unless I feel Ike 
spur actually pricking. The certainty, at 6 o'clock, that 
unless I begin in an hour, it will be midnight before I 
finish, secures a beginning by 8 o'clock. Accordingly, 
when it was near upon that hour, I transcribed the 
Parable of the Hid Treasure. (I had come down to it, 
in regular order, in my last four or five Sermons.) For 
a few moments I hesitated as to the desirableness of 
adding the Parable of the Pearl, and contrasting the two 
Parables together. But I wisely abstained. Tell it not 
in Gath : but the clock struck 2 when I laid down my 
pen ; and I had not yet finished. The last four pages of 
the Sermon opened upon me quite a new thought, for the 
first time, as I wrote ; at least it struck me as a kind of 
novelty. The fulness of that short Parable so marvel- 
lously presented itself to my mind, as I went on, that I 
crept to bed literally with a feeling of amazement. 

" And if the microscope applied to GOD'S Works reveals 
more and more of wonder, shall it be thought strange that 
a higher power of attention directed to His Word shall 
also elicit more and more things to marvel at ? 

" Another undertaking which, as you may suppose, has 
occupied no small share of my attention and time (and 
of Rose's also), has been our Large Prints, of which Part I 
will be published in about ten days, and a copy, of course, 
will wait on yourself. It may seem strange, but (as the 
publisher himself admitted the other day), volumes of let- 
ters have been written by me on this subject. Every print 
has been the subject of correspondence with publisher, 
artist, engraver, printer. It has really seemed entile**. 
However, twelve prints are now ready ; and the remain- 
ing twenty-four will be issued before Xmas. We have 
then two new schemes two more devices in the same 
line, ready to set afloat. I am determined to follow up 
a thing I am so fond of a thing which I know to be so 
useful, and so much wanted ; a thing, too, where I see a 
mighty field open, and ourselves without a rival ! 

" A Roman Catholic publisher offered to take 300 copies, 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 207 



if Hering would leave out the texts ! (I suppose to slip 
iu the Douay Version instead of our own.) You may 
easily guess the answer he got. Masters the other day 
proposed to * go snacks ' (if you know the meaning of the 
phrase). He also got repulsed, and with considerable 
slaughter. 

" The association of thought is obvious 3 . How great 
an event has happened within these few days ! The 
Duke ! I hardly know whether to be glad or sorry that 
I am away from Oxford. I rejoice in Lord Derby as a 
man who cannot be fond of the Blue Book 4 ; but I feel no 
enthusiasm on his behalf. I am content to see him 
appointed, and to be spared the labour of taking a side. 

" I must tell you since I tell you all my little secrets 
that I have been invited to stand next year (when it will 



3 The mention of " repulsing with 
great slaughter " gives rise to the 
thought of the great Captain and 
Warrior of the Age, the Day of 
whose Funeral Burgon celebrates in 
his little Volume of Poems. 

* " Sep. 14, 1852. Oxford lost 
her noble Chancellor, England her 
noblest son, Arthur Duke of Wel- 
lington. As soon as the shock 
occasioned by his loss was past, 
Alma Mater, as in duty bound, 
began to look round for an ' Almus 
Pater,' in his place. Lord Harrow- 
by and Lord Ellesmere (good men, 
and highly respected, but ' not 
quite equal to the place') were only 
named to be put aside. That the 
Bishop of Exeter should have been 
for a moment thought of was only a 
proof of (not hero-worship, but) 
Bishop-worship in a few ultra- 
Tractarians. Lord Derby, once 
named, was at once our future 
Chancellor : every one retiring be- 
fore him as ' the right man in the 
right place.' On the I2th of Octo- 



ber he was unanimously elected 
Chancellor, in the usual form of 
elections in Convocation." [G. V. 
Cox's 'Recollections of Oxford/ 
p. 386, 2nd Ed.] 

"The Blue Book," of which 
Burgon thinks that Lord Derby 
" cannot be fond," is " the Report 
of Her Majesty's Commissioners, 
appointed to inquire into the State, 
Discipline, Studies, and Revenues 
of the University and Colleges of 
Oxford," which had appeared in the 
previous May. It was a piece tie 
n*ii?tance for any one, that " bulky 
Blue Book of 800 pages." Mr. Cox 
tells a touching story (on the au- 
thority of the Duke's housekeeper) 
of his being engaged on it the night 
before his death. " He was then. 
I think, going to bed, and it was 
late. He had with him the Oxford 
Blue Book, with a pencil in it ; and 
he said to Lord Charles Wellesley, 
who was with him, ' I shall never 
get through it, Charles, but I must 
work on.'" [Footnote on p. 386.] 



2o8 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

perhaps become vacant) for the Gresham Readership in 
Divinity. It would be a nice thing to get. I have been 
filing myself for some years now. It is time I think to 
come out with something. 

" Dear me ! and how that word ' out ' reminds me of 
one omission ! for it reminds me of my Harmony, and 
of your request to be informed of one which you might 
use! 

" I recommend to your use a little thing, price 6/7. I 
think, printed by Parker of Oxford. It occurs at the 
end of a little half-crown book, called 'Daily steps toward* 
Heaven' but may be bought separately. (The Book itself 
is not bad to give to a humble friend, or even to read 
oneself, if one were a little more ' poor in spirit ' than 
(alas !) I am.) .... It will give you all you will want in 
a small space, and is of such a compass that you can 
supply others with it, in case of need. 

" But no Harmony extant is worth much ; and none can 
be fhfu'inJcd on. Still, worthing is better than nothing ; 
and if you are ever in doubt, write to me, and I will give 
you the best answer I know how to give, by return of 
post. 

" Remember that the Sermon in St. Matthew v., vi.,, vii., 
and that in St. Luke vi. are the same. The events in 
St. Matthew iv. 18, St. Mark i. 16, and St. Luke v. i-n 
are identical. This is certain 5 . How the little Harmony 
I recommend represents the matter, I know not. 

" Ever my dearest Mrs. Rose, 
" Your obliged and affectionate faithful friend, 

"J. W. B." 

5 The reader will recognise here mind, but on which others, equally 

one of J. W. B.'s foibles, connected qualified to speak, differed from him, 

with the in tensity of his character, as absolutely indubitable and in- 

the habit of speaking of points on controvertible. 
which he himself had made up his 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 209 

To MRS. HUGH JAMES ROSE. 

"Oriel, April 21. 1853. 

" My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

" Finmere still takes up a great deal of my time, and 
has, till lately, occupied a huge share of my thoughts ; 
for my Rector has been reported as dying, and I have 
been looking for an immediate termination of my duties. 
.... Only this day, he is thought to be actually mend- 
ing ! So bad was he that his sons withdrew from Oxford 

to be with him and the family This looked serious, 

and was serious. Thank GOD he is better ! for verily the 
welfare of many hundreds widows, and sick persons, 

and young children depends on his frail life I 

know they prayed for it. I know too that it was against 
his will. He asked me not to pray for anything but that 
his faith should not fail in the hour of Death. Who shall 
say that this amendment is not in answer to a strong 
prayer ?...... 

" Believe me ever, my dearest Mrs. Rose, with many 
thanks for your kind note, 

" Ever your affectionate, 

"J.W.B." 

To THE REVEREND ALFRED HENSLEY. 

"Osnaburgh Street. Jan. 8, 1849. 

"My dear Hensley, dear affectionate old Hensley, 
I was very happily ordained on the 24th the 
solemnest thing I ever experienced. I felt the blessing 
of many prayers in my inmost spirit ; and many I know 
were poured out for me before the day and upon it. The 
examination at Cuddesdon was most apostolically con- 
ducted. Every thing was quite perfect. The Bishop 
kindly made me read the Gospel in the Cathedral. 

" We are both too fond of the Gospel to differ much, 
but we differ a little and you must come round three- 
fourths of that little while I, on my side, will cheerfully 

VOL. i. p 



210 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

budge the remaining one-fourth You know my dis- 
like to Romanism : but we must be very careful how we 
teach our people the principles of dissent', while we think 
of nothing less, but desire simply to acquaint them with 
the freedom of the Gospel. 

" Nothing is more certain than that we are born in 
Sin ; nothing more certain than that Baptism is a new 
Birth ; nothing mose certain than that Conversion is still 
often needed. We have no life except through CHRIST, 
and in Him. We get this life by the Sacraments. The 
one grafts us into His Body ; the other makes us actual 
partakers of it. By thus becoming par fakers of iltc ]\Fa/i- 
hood of CHRIST, we hope for resurrection. ' The Church, 
which is His Body,' is the dispenser, the channel, of His 
graces. . . . He who fails to teach the people committed 
to his charge this doctrine, keeps back the truth from 

them, and has no consistent scheme of Salvation 

The talking to a set of poor wondering people about 
' CHRIST, and Him crucified,' is all well : but it is not 

enough They must be told how they are to become 

partakers of Him, and must be urged to partake. They 
want to be shown their interest in this precious SAVIOUR, 
which does not consist in talking about His Cross, but in 
ircarnif/ it in their hearts. 

" Now, dear Alfred, don't be angry with all this ; but 
let me know where you stick, and I will help you over the 
stile, if I can. 

" Do not think me growing polemic. I like it ]ess and 

less daily. Yon, I like more and more My kind 

regards to Mrs. Hensley. 

" Affectionately yours, 

"J. W. B." 



To THE REVEREND ALFRED HENSLEY. 

''34, Osnaburgh Street, April 6, 1850. 
" My very dear Hensley. 

" I hope your blood has been boiling about the Gorham 
Case. Be sure and read the Bishop of Exeter's letter. 
Take care and hold fast the Doctrine of the Catechism 






THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 211 

and Prayer Book generally. It is the very foundation of 
true religion. How strange it is to see men mystifying 
themselves about the meaning of the word regenerate. 
Just as if it meant made indefectiUy holy \ \ \ 

; ' Ever, dear Hensley, your affectionate friend, 

" J. W. B." 

To THE REVEREND ALFRED HENSLEY. 

"Fimnere, June 24, 1852. 

"Dear affectionate Heart, Many thanks for your 
letter, which contains the assurance of your kind remem- 
brance, and therefore contains the most precious thing 
you can send me. You are very kind to write me a 
few lines so often, and to persevere in loving one who 
sends you so few tokens of his regard. 

" However, if I write seldom, remember that it is be- 
cause I am very busy, not because I am very changed. 
I think often of your kindness, and I like to think of it. 
and of you. We had many happy days together at dear 
old Worcester : and the memory of them cannot happily 
be ever taken away from either of us. 

" I who have no wife, nor am likely to rather cling 
to the past, than reach out to the future. You are 
blessed in a life for which you are very fit ; and may 
well have forward-looking thoughts. 

" I am sorry to see that we shall be on opposite sides 
at the Election. I am not for Maynooth, Jews, or Romish 
Ecclesiastical Titles, but I am for Gladstone. 

" Affectionately yours, dear old man, 

"J. W. B/' 

To THE REVEREND G. C. RENOUARD. 

"Oriel, Dec. 7, 1849. 

" My dear Friend, 

" This day has been an eventful one for Oxford. Whe- 
ther I am right in adopting that saying of the old Greek, 
"HSe r/ i]fjitpa rots "EAArjo-i fxeyciAcoz; KCLK&V apfa, or not, re- 
mains to be seen. I can but fear the worst. A majority 
of fourteen in Convocation voted in favour of the estab- 

P 2 



212 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

lishment of a fourth school namely, Modern History. 
We did indeed by a large majority reject the details of 
this novelty: but the principle has been admitted 6 , 
yielded to the pressure from without, and I can but 
think it a most dangerous step. Denison spoke well ; 
and his ' nolumus Germanizari ' elicited a very hearty 
cheer : we all flatter ourselves also that we are in most 
Conservative trim^ but, rightly or wrongly, we have 
fallen into the weakness of yielding to the spirit of the 
age. . . 

" Ever your obliged and most affectionate, 

" JOHNNY." 

To THE REVEREND G. C. RENOUAKD. 

" Oriel, Feb. 8, 1851. 

" My clearest Friend, 

" I have sometimes thought I would make a collection 
of curious Epitaphs. It should be a election rather. At 
times one meets with things that extremely charm one, 
and surely such ' composures ' (as our forefathers would 
say) fall under a very affecting category ! The tuneful 
sigh over the dead ! Even if the thought be false, and 
the diction incorrect, it is always an interesting matter 
that it should be what the living have written over the 
dead ! Even if the epitaph begin, as one I often see 

' Near this monument of human Insb' ability.' 

there is a peculiar interest in the human fact that some- 
one was so foolish as to write such nonsense, when his 
heart was full of grief Tell me some day if you 

6 Mr. C. V. Cox, in his ' Eecollec- School ivas affirmed, Imt the details 
tionsof Oxford" 1 [Macmillan, 1870], were left for reconsideration." The 
says of the occasion referred to [p. speeches in Convocation were al- 
367] : " Dec. 7, The new Examina- ways at that time in Latin ; and 
tion Statute was again put to the the celebrated dictum of Arch- 
vote. Its main features were ap- deacon Denison which Burgon here 
proved and carried, but, as four or refers to was, " Nolumus Universi- 
five of the clauses were rejected, it tates Anglise Germanizari" "We 
again came out of Convocation in a will not that the Universities of 
maDgled and damaged state. The England should be Germanized." 
institution of a Modern History 



THE OXFORD LIFE : SECOND PERIOD. 2 1 3 

ever kept any register of the kind An absurd 

line occurs to me, the last, I think, in the Epitaph on a 
Lady Mary Saltonstall (or some such name) in Ivor 
Church, Bucks, 

' She broke the bank of virtue when she died.' 

But to come back a little from this digression. My 
Oxford life is an unvaried round of quiet study, broken 
by pupils considerably, I confess ; but the taking of them, 
I hold to be a duty under the circumstances. All the 
leisure I can command, however,^and in Vacations my 
leisure is considerable, I devote to my ' Harmony of the 
Gospels] which promises to be my Opus Magnum ...... 

The Harmony it&elf has been long since achieved, but 
the Notes and Dissertations have grown under my hand 
till I almost tremble. It is an alarming fact to have 
convinced oneself of, that the majority of writers on the 
Gospels have left many omissions to be supplied, many 
mistakes to be rectified, by me. That some little Rose 
will hereafter wonder at the omissions and mistakes of 
' Uncle John,' is more than likely ; but tliat matters not. 
It is something to have advanced the study of the most 
precious thing in the whole world (which I take the 
Gospels to be) ; and that I humbly hope I may be the un- 
worthy instrument of doing. One inquiry leads to 
another ; and there is scarcely a section of importance 
in the Gospels which does not involve the necessity of 
traversing new fields of knowledge. Thus to instance 
the question of the Passover only, I have been led to in- 
vestigate more topics than most persons would believe. 
Some knowledge of the Talmud ; some familiarity with 
different texts ; some appreciation of the respective merits 
of Translations ; some knowledge of Jewish Antiquities ; 
some acquaintance with the opinions of the Fathers ; some 
kind of review of the controversy ; some slight astronomi- 
cal information, these and the like of these inquiries I 
am continually obliged to undertake. It is marvellous 
what a thorough knowledge and how much incidental 
information is got, when one has to study in this way 
for oneself, unaided. To be brief, I trust I shall be ready 
by Xmas, 1851. 



214 



LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 



" I have also compiled a little Glossary of the County 
of Beds 7 . Poor Tritton, Earle (Anglo-Saxon Professor), 
and I used to meet weekly to discuss it. Since his 
derangement, another of our fellows supplies his place ; 
and we three form a kind of Philological Club 8 , meeting 



7 Some excerpts from this Glossary 
will be presented in Appendix B. 

8 The following verses, found 
among J. "W. B.'s papers, but not in 
his handwriting, must, it is thought, 
refer to this Club at a subsequent 
period of its existence, four mem- 
bers not three being mentioned 
in the verses. 

" Many-sided are their feasts, 
Poets, critics, linguists, priests, 
Fish, and flesh, and fatted bird, 
Relished by some piquant word. 
Eatin', talkin', talkin', eatin', 
Burgon, Earle, and Jones, and 

Chretien 

For one prey the country scour, 
While another they devour ; 
Though the bush be yet un- 

scanned, 

Sprinkle salt on bird in hand ; 
Or, when satiate and replete 
With tea, and toast, and eggs, 

and meat, 

Plunge into the brakes of eld 
Full cry, where the leader smelled. 
Jones, and Earle, and Chretien 

urge on 

Bounds of Asiatic Burgon ; 
Burgon, Jones, and Chretien curl 
In and out round Saxon Earle ; 
Chretien, Burgon, Earle give 

tones 

Discrepant from Celtic Jones ; 
Jones, and Earle, and Burgon 

meetin' 

Snuff the track of Frankish Chre- 
tien; 



1 View him twig him bite him 

seize him 
At him catch him hold him 

tease him ! ' 

By sharp encounter of their wits 
Quarry caught is torn to bits, 
Minced, mauled, dissected, an- 
alysed, 

And catawampously concised ; 
Or, if their effort fails to nab it, 
(As when, to earth sly Reynard 

running, 

The pack canine pursues a rabbit,) 
Glossarial hunt subsides to pun- 
ning." 

In Burgon's Journal of Nov. 
1852, we find this entry: "24 
Wed. Glossarial Breakfast at 
Jones's." And in the Journal of 
the following month ; " Dec i , 
Wed. Glossarial Breakfast with 
C. P. C." The above verses (on 
which is written in pencil, Stowe, 
Dec. 1852 ?) doubtless refer to these 
breakfasts. The description of the 
Club, which he gives to Mr. Re- 
nouard early in the preceding year, 
was probably shortly after its forma- 
tion. The original members had 
been three, but in course of time 
became four. 

Professor Earle writes thus of the 
Philological Club in question; "It 
was the most informal thing in the 
world ; but it went on for a long 
time, I think several years. Perhaps 
from 1849 or 1850 to 1855 or -6. 
It always consisted of four members, 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 215 



at breakfast in one another's rooms to discuss etymologies 
and the like. How I wish you were one of us ! It is 
really very amusing. I think I have been a benefactor 
to the Club, by enacting that each of us must always come 
furnished with a fact (for the Glossary has long since 
been discussed all through). The result is that we really 
do something (besides eating a mutton chop) as often as 
we meet You shall have our three last ; and per- 
haps it may induce you to supply me with a fact, which 
shall duly be attributed to its author, next Thursday, 
when the breakfast is in my rooms. 

" i (Earle). That ' bridal ' is a corruption of ' bride-ale ' 

(i. e. a wedding feast). 
Also, that ' near ' is the comparative of nigh ( = 

nigher ) : that ' nearer ' is a solecism ; at least, is a 

double comparative 9 . 



and the original four were Burgon, 
Chretien, myself, and I think Poste. 
It must have been when Poste went 
off to London that Basil Jones took 
his place. It was the duty of every 
member to bring one Philological 
Fact with him, and to entertain 
(i. e. give breakfast) in his turn. 
The four facts supplied material of 
conversation, which seldom fell short, 
but certainly did sometimes fall, 
as the satirist says, into punning. 
Burgon was very ready to seize the 
chance of a pun. . . . Burgon's philo- 
logical skill was not great ; but, 
what was of vastly more import to 
the hilarity of our most delightful 
meetings, he had a relish for the 
subject such as I never saw exceeded 
in any man. Once, my fact was the 
history of bridal (a fact at that time 
by no means generally known) ; and 
the point was that the second 
syllable is not a Latin adjectival 
ending, as it is in nuptial, but the 
vulgar English word ale. This he 



refused to credit ; and, whenever it 
was recurred to, it was ever the 
same, 'No, no! a joke's a joke; but 
we must draw the line somewhere.' " 

Burgon's strong tendency to ety- 
mology, and the unsoundness of 
some of the etymologies which he 
himself proposed, have already come 
before the reader in some of his 
earlier letters to Mr. Renouard. 
The author's cordial thanks are 
due not only to Professor Earle for 
the letter just given, but also to 
the present Bishop of St. David's 
(the "Celtic Jones" of the verses) 
for having furnished him with his 
own reminiscences of the Club, and 
with suggestions as to how to obtain 
further information on the subject. 
The Bishop thinks that Mr. Poste 
was in all probability the author of 
the verses above. 

9 Both these etymologies, pro- 
posed by Professor Earle, may be 
accepted without hesitation, if 
Skeat's 'Etymological Dictionary' 



216 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

'' 2 (Chretien). An attempt to show that ' bath ' in 
English, and ' bain ' in French, both come from a 
common root. However, it was deemed not 
proven. 

" 3 (J. W. B.) A very humble contribution, viz. That 
the village opposite Dorchester Church, just over 
the river, which flows past its east end, is called 
' Overy,' and that there was once a little bridge 
connecting the banks. (Compare St. Mary Overy, 
in Southwark, and London Bridge.) 
Also, that 'shrew' was used in the I4th or i^th 
century to denote one of the male sex. 

u I beg my dear Mr. Renouard to believe me ever to 
be his much obliged and 

" Most affectionate Friend and Servant, 

"JOHN W. BURGON." 

FROM THE REV. W. J. PALMER TO THE REV. J. W. BURGON. 

Mixbury, June 8, 1852. 

" My dear Sir, 

;i I have been engaged of late, and still am, in looking 
over and reconsidering my Sermons which have been 
often delivered, but probably never will again. If I meet 
with any I may think you would like to see, I will put 
them aside. I will freely impart to you whatever my 
experience in the fifty years service of a small country 
parish may suggest, which, however, is not much more 
than a sense of my own deficiency, I assure you. But I 
know now what you are looking forward to, and would 
very gladly serve your purpose. You must again forgive 
me for saying that you must check that ardour of spirit, 
which prompts you to fancy what you desire to find, and 
leads you to exertion and expenditure, which must ex- 
haust your strength and means. ' Our Minister,' say the 
poor people now, ' must be the richest man in the world ' ; 
in that / know they are mistaken. But they say also, 

is to be considered, as it may safely etymologies sanctioned by it beyond 
be, as an authority which puts the the reach of controversy. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: SECOND PERIOD. 217 

perhaps, ' He must be the best ' ; that they find it so I do 
not wonder. But I know there you feel they are mis- 
taken. There are none at Finmere, I do assure you, who 
have not the most ample cause for saying, 'We have 
done those things we ought not to have done, and have 
left undone those things we ought to have done,' and still 
is there ' no health in us.' You will be able to keep 
going longer, if you go not quite so fast. I hope you will 
not be hurt. I hope you will not be displeased, I hope you 
will not be angry, when I tell you that the very maid- 
servant says of you, and she herself is not a slow one. 
' his feet are on the other side the gate and his head in 
the study.' 

" I am, my very dear Sir, 

" Yours most truly and faithfully, 

11 W. J. PALMER.'' 

FROM THE REV. W. J. PALMER TO THE REV. J. W. 
BURGON. 

" Finmere, July 23^ 1853. 

" My dear Mr. Burgon, I have just laid my hand upon 
a Fable or Allegory of ' The two Caterpillars/ the author 
of which I don't know, but which I remember to have 
had from my Tutor, Mr. Jones of Nayland, about sixty 
years ago. I send you in this a copy of it l , and request 
(if you think fit) that it may be made the subject of a 
Cottage Print, if any set is likely to be on hand which 
would admit of such an ingredient. I think some such 
clever designer as yourself or your brother-in-law. Rose, 
might easily adorn the margin of the letterpress with a 

1 The Fable is the Story of a worth preserving, as, besides giving 

Caterpillar, which was warned by a glimpse into the devoutness of 

another insect of the same species the writer's mind, it shows his 

not to attempt to crawl to a neigh- appreciation of one of Burgon's 

bouring and more attractive leaf, strong points, his readiness with 

but, in defiance of the warning, his pencil, and powers of pictorial 

making the attempt, fell to the representation. Mr. Palmer was a 

ground and was killed, and thus model Rector, and Burgon always 

lost the chance of becoming a regarded him as such, 
butterfly. Mr. Palmer's letter is 



218 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

few vignettes of Caterpillars and Butterflies, in a way 
likely to catch the eye and please the fancies, and so 
perhaps indelibly fix upon the minds of some a realiza- 
tion as it were of the change we are taught to believe 
that we also shall undergo, and the care which is neces- 
sary on our part now, to preserve the hope of that blessed 
end alive upon the table of our minds. 

" I am, 

" Yours ever faithfully and truly, 
" W. J. PALMER/' 






CHAPTER II. 

THE OXFORD LIFE : THIRD PERIOD. 

From his leaving Finmere (June 6, 1853) to the commence- 
ment of his lour in Egypt, the Arabian Desert, and Palestine 
(Sept. 10, 1861). 

BURGOX experienced a keen pang in parting from Fin- 
mere, though his labours there, added to the work of 
having to prepare six Lectures on the Interpretation of 
Holy Scripture for delivery in Oriel Coll. Chapel [see 
above p. 175], "brought on" (as he tells Mrs. Hugh 
James Rose in a letter dated June 21, 1853) "erysipelas A.D. 1853. 
in the foot, swelled glands, headache, and a pack of 
horrors." " It was very sad parting from my Finmere 
folks," he writes ; " very touching also are the letters the 
dear little children continue to send me thence. But it 
is wholesome to be rooted up ; I know it and feel it ; 
and I have left them in good hands, so that I have no 
regrets but selfish ones to ponder over." Earlier in the 
same letter he announces to his correspondent an impend- 
ing event of the deepest domestic interest to him and his ; 
" Dear Helen " (his youngest sister) c; is going to be mar- 
ried to her and to our very old friend, C. L. Higgins, of 
Turvey Abbey, Beds. It is a source of real satisfaction 
to us all, as you may imagine .... and it seems to be 
like a special blessing bestowed by Providence I mean 
Almighty God on myself." The nuptial knot was knit 
by his own ministry in the Church of St. Mary Mag- 
dalen, Munster Square, Regent's Park, on the 26th of 
July, 1853. 



220 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

His last letter to Mrs. Hugh James Rose (or more 
probably only the last which has been preserved ; for this 
lady did not die till the spring of 1 855)15 dated " Houghton 
Conquest, Sep. 16, 1853," the eve of the anniversary of 
Josephine Mair's death, when it seems to have been his 
custom to write Mrs. Rose a letter of consolation, under 
the painful associations which the season would naturally 
awaken in her. The substance of it will be found at the 
end of this section. 

It will be seen from this letter that he was at this time 
busily engaged upon his ' Plain Commentary on the Holy 
Gospeh, ml end I'd c/iieflyfor Devotional Reading! to a certain 
Chapter of which (St. Matthew xxv) he calls Mrs. Rose's 
attention. The Advertisement at the beginning of this 
work is dated November 24, 1853 ; but it was not pub- 
lished till 1854. It was in the first instance put forth 
anonymously, Mr. Parker, the publisher, it appears, 
having recommended the suppression of his name ; but 
in the second edition, put forth ten years afterwards (in 
1864), he claims the authorship. "It is thought,''' he 
says in the Advertisement, " that besides its use in the 
closet, such a Commentary as the present, especially if it 
be studied for a few minutes beforehand, might be made 

available for reading aloud in the family while in 

order to facilitate its distribution among a large and 
most important class of readers, but whose wants seem 
to have been hitherto very little considered, it has been 
so contrived that any single chapter may be procured in 
the shape of a separate Tract." The line taken in this 
most interesting Commentary, the principle which rules 
all its expositions, cannot be more fully and more tersely 
expressed than by the two mottoes on its title-page, the 
one from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah (vi. 16), 
" Ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 221 

therein ; and ye shall find rest for your souls " ; the other 
from a prayer of Bishop Wilson's, " Grant, O LORD, that 
in reading Thy Word, I may never prefer my own senti- 
ments before those of the Church in the purely ancient 
times of Christianity." Hence the interpretation of any 
particular passage always travels in the old traditional 
track, nor will a trace be found of novel and ingenious 
methods of solving Scriptural difficulties. It would be 
useless, for example, to expect to find in it any vestige of 
that modern exposition of St. Matthew xxv, which re- 
gards the first two Parables (those of the Virgins and the 
Talents) as indicating the judgment of the Church, and 
the last (that of the Sheep and Goats) the judgment of 
the Gentiles or unevangelized " nations," who, never 
having had the Gospel proposed to their faith, are tried 
not by its requirements, but by their compliance or non- 
compliance with that law of love, which was written 
upon man's heart in the beginning, Burgon finds in the 
last parable, as he says to Mrs. Rose, nothing more than 
c; the solemn Commentary of the SPIRIT on the two 
parables which precede." And again, one might be sure 
beforehand that not a vestige of the notion that " he that 
is least in the kingdom of heaven " in St. Matt. xi. 1 1 , 
means "he that seems least, is accounted by the men of his 
flay least'' and that Christ is really speaking of Himself 
as "greater than the Baptist," would be found in the 
; Plain Commentary! Yet, on the other hand, it can- 
not be said that a modern view as to the meaning of a 
difficult passage finds itself denied a hearing, if only 
there is any reason in it. Thus, while the writer holds 
it to be " even monstrous " to think that St. John the 
Baptist's motive in sending two disciples to enquire, 
;i Art thou he that should come," &c., was " a personal 
sense of doubt," and that "at the end of more than a 



222 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

year's imprisonment he had become perplexed and stag- 
gered," he at the same time admits it to be probable 
enough that, though the conviction of the Baptist's dis- 
ciples was the principal object of the question which they 
were instructed to ask, he may also have desired for 
himself " the comfortable corroboration from the lips of 
CHKIST, of his own deep-rooted and well-grounded con- 
victions respecting Messiah." It should be added that 
while the expositions of the ' Plain Commentary ' are 
chiefly drawn, either from the old Fathers, or from the 
work of standard Divines of the English Church, num- 
berless little gems are introduced from writers of the 
day. Take the following upon St. Matt. x. 29, 30, " Are 
not two sparrows sold for a farthing ? and not one of 
them shall fall to the ground without your Father," 
&c., &c. " It has been truly observed by a living writer, 
that ' not till belief in these declarations, in their most 
literal sense, becomes the calm and settled habit of the 
soul, is life ever redeemed from drudgery and dreary 
emptiness, and made full of interest, meaning, and Divine 
significance.' " The works of Mr. Isaac Williams more 
especially were to Burgon a mine of edification in which 
he loved to quarry. 

From the Chapter to which he refers Mrs. Hugh James 
Rose, a single extract may be here presented to the reader 
as characteristic of Burgon's general style of exposition, 
and indicative of his profound conviction that the 
minutest particulars in Holy Scripture have their signi- 
ficance, that in the lively Oracles nothing is thrown out 
at random no word, for which another might with 
equal propriety be substituted. The text commented on 
is, " And five of them were wise, and five were foolish." 

" Take notice that three out of four suffer loss in the par- 
able of ' the Sower ' : while here, half are rejected : in the 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 223 

parable of ' the Talents,' it is one in three : in the parable 
of * the Pounds/ it is one in ten : while, in the parable of 
' the Marriage of the King's Son,' it is one out of an infinite 
number. The intention of this seems to have been to re- 
press the inquiry, ' LOKD, are there few that be saved ? ' ' 

This observation sounds like one of Mr. Isaac Williams's. 
But even supposing it to have been his originally, it is a 
remark which Burgon would cordially adopt, altogether 
in keeping with his own line of exposition. 

Before we quit the subject of this valuable Commentary, 
by which, whatever shortcomings may be found in it, it 
will hardly be denied that a considerable service was 
done to English exegetical Theology 2 (for the Commentary 
has throughout a characteristic idea and a guiding prin- 
ciple of its own, and makes accessible to English readers 
the leading expositions given by the early Fathers), 
it will be interesting to hear the criticisms of the Rector 
of Finmere upon the separated Chapters of it, which 
were submitted to him at an earlier date, before the 
whole work was published in its entirety. Thus he 
writes about it in a letter of June 8, 1852, from which 
excerpts on another subject have been already made : 

2 The 'Plain Commentary' is and his son, Mr. F. P. Nash, came 
widely circulated in America, and specially from America to repre- 
has received many testimonies from sent his father at the Funeral." 
American, as well as from English, This incident (a somewhat extra- 
readers. One of not the least ordinary one, if the time demanded 
striking is the following, which was for a voyage from New York to 
mentioned in ' The Record ' news- Oxford is taken into account) is 
paper of August 17, 1888, when given on the authority of ' The 
describing the Funeral of the late Record,' the writer having had no 
Dean of Chichester : opportunity of enquiring into the 

" One of the greatest admirers accuracy of the report. Possibly 

in America of the late Dean was Mr. Nash may have left New York 

Professor Nash, of Hobart College, on the arrival by telegram of the 

Geneva, West New York, particu- report of Dean Burgon's serious 

larly because of his 'Plain Ex- illness, and previously to his death, 
position of the Four Gospels;' 



224 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" The observations on the 5th of St. Matt, and the 
i~)th of St. Luke seem to me very judicious; but you 
will allow me to say your undertaking is a bold one, 
and, I should fear, one with the execution of which you 
yourself are not likely to be satisfied in the end. Others 
have done the same thing ; I think Sumner's (the pre- 
sent Abp.) is the last. There are doubtless many things 
in all parts of the Oospels, of which we obtain the under- 
standing but by degrees. They are as it were the prin- 
ciples of our spiritual life ; and he that comments on a 
book of principles should feel sure that he understands 
them thoroughly. I do not understand the Notes to 
which you frequently refer, or where to find them. Some 
seem to mean the observations passed by yourself on 
other verses of the Chapter in hand, that seem to have a 
similar meaning, or look the same way. The title-page 
infers that much authority is attached to primitive notes 
and commentaries of the Fathers ; and I do not doubt that 
some perhaps most of your observations on difficult 
and doubtful or allusive passages, are borrowed from 
that source. You frequently refer the reader to parallel 
places of Scripture, illustrative of those before you, or 
authorising the interpretation put upon them. This is 
quite right. But if you have anywhere borrowed from 
the Fathers, might it not be right to refer to that 
authority also in a footnote ? " 

A very just and judicious criticism by an older 
divine upon the production of a younger. There was no 
doubt a venturesorneness about the whole undertaking, 
and a conception of its originality, which needed a 
wholesome check from an older and wiser head ; and 
in the Commentary itself there certainly is a deficiency 
of specific acknowledgment of Patristic sources, where 
it is clear that such sources have been resorted to. 
Bishop Christopher Wordsworth, in his ' Notes on the 
Greek Testament* always makes the acknowledgment of 
the Patristic author whom he cites, if he does not always 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 225 

refer to the part of his writings, in which the exposition 
is to be found 3 . 

The beginning of the year 1854 found literary occupa- A - D - 18 54- 
tion for Burgon of a class entirely different from the 
' Plain Commentary on the Holy Gospels] an occupation 
which removed him for a short time from theological 
research into the much less congenial atmosphere of 
Academical controversy. A short Paper had been sent 
round to all the Oxford Common Rooms, entitled 
' Common-Room Common-Places' professing to be a corre- 
spondence between a resident (Endemus) and a non- 
resident Fellow of a College (Ecdernus) 4 , which at once 



3 In a letter to Burgon from Dr. 
Pusey, signed "Yours affectionately, 
E. B. P.," but bearing no date, the 
writer alludes to the exposition 
given by Burgon of the passage, 
" Upon this rock I will build my 
Church" (St. Matt. xvi. 18). Bur- 
gon (in Zoc.) though he does not 
altogether exclude other meanings, 
thinks the Rock to be St. Peter 
himself. Not so Dr. Pusey. He 
says ; " Mr. wrote to attack 
me for your Commentary" [probably 
portions of the Commentary had 
been submitted to Dr. Pusey by 
Burgon]. " I said that I had, in 
a long note to Tertullian, expressed 
my own belief that the Rock was 
the Faith (objective, not subjective) 
in our Lord as God and Man, which 
St. Peter had just confessed ; or, 
which is in fact the same, our Lord 
as God and Man, as then believed 
in and confessed by St. Peter. 
This reconciles the different in- 
terpretations of the Fathers, and 
makes them one, instead of con- 
flicting. Those who understand 
VOL. I. 



the Rock of Christ are rather more 
than those who understand it of 
St. Peter. The same Father ex- 
presses himself in different ways. 
It is a long note, to which, if you 
thought it worth while, you would 
find a reference in the Contents." 

* On the title-page of Burgon's 
own copy of this Paper it is stated 
that " Endemus " was the nom de 
plume of Mr. Grant, a Fellow of 
Oriel, and "Ecdeinus" of Mr. 
Palgrave, a Fellow of Exeter. It 
seems to have been thought at first 
that "the Two Oxford Fellows," 
who claimed the authorship of 
' Common-Room Common-Places? 
were Fellows of the same College ; 
and, the letter of " Endemus" being 
dated from " Oriel," and speaking 
to " Ecdeinus " of " our separate 
existence as a corporate body " and 
of " the retrospect of our Oriel 
years," it was naturally supposed 
that "Ecdemus" must be a Fellow 
of Oriel too ; and on these grounds 
the letter of "Ecdemus" was 
wrongly attribute.! to Mr. Poste. 



226 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

drew from its sheath his controversial pen, a weapon 
he was at all times apt to use somewhat too freely. 
University Reform of a very trenchant and thorough- 
going character was impending. The "Royal Com- 
mission of Inquiry into the State, Discipline, Studies, 
and Revenues of the University and Colleges of Oxford " 
had reported as far* back as the 27th of April, 1852 ; and 
the " Oxford University Bill," remodelling the Constitu- 
tion of the University, and entrusting seven Com- 
missioners with power to make Ordinances and Regula- 
tions for the Colleges, was to be introduced into the 
House of Commons on March 17 of this year (1854), and 
to become Law, by receiving the Queen's Assent, on the 
7th of August. " Endemus " and " Ecdemus," evidently 
playing into one another's hands, had urged that the 
principal and primary duty of both Colleges and Uni- 
versity was Education, and that, in any arrangement 
which might be in prospect, everything should be en- 
tirely subordinated to this end, the intention of Founders 
being set aside as inapplicable to modern social wants, 
and Fellowships being made to furnish stipends for 
Tutors or Professors, or rewards of Academical merit, 
which might give their holders an advantageous start in 
such professions as they might choose. Burgon in his 
' Oxford Reformers : a Letter to Endemus and Ecd emus', after 
lecturing them on the undutiful and ungenerous tone 
and spirit of their letters, insists that the great motive 
of the intention of the Founders of Colleges was the 

Burgon however discovered the true thus : 

authorship of this letter (more ' l It requires to be made known 

objectionable, in his view, than that that Hor;ice was under a wrong 

of Endemus\ and would not have impression, when he suggested that 

two such letters credited to the ' POST effert animi motus interprete 

account of his own College, Oriel. lingua.' " 

And he announces his discovery 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 227 

desire to provide for the education of the Clergy, and to 
promote the study of Theology, and appends to his pam- 
phlet a most valuable letter to the same effect from 
Professor Earle. which, as it goes into the question his- 
torically, and is written with perfect calmness, might 
well have been considered to be by itself a sufficient 
answer to the many crude schemes of Academical Reform 
which the occasion was giving rise to. Burgon's pam- 
phlet was sent by him to Mr. Gladstone, then Chancellor 
of the Exchequer and Member for the University, from 
whom it received a prompt and courteous acknow- 
ledgment, whereupon Burgon took occasion to address to 
Mr. Gladstone a letter expressive of the apprehensions, 
entertained by him in common with many of the leading- 
Academics of that day, as to the results of the course 
which the proposed Reforms were likely to take, and 
imploring Mr. Gladstone not to yield to the revolutionary 
impulse which was abroad among persons avowedly hos- 
tile to Oxford as it then was, as also among professing 
but treacherous friends. This letter will be found at the 
end of the Section. Mr. Gladstone sent a long and care- 
ful reply to it, which (like his former letter acknow- 
ledging " Endemus ") the author regrets that he is not 
permitted to publish. He has however permission to 
quote the concluding sentence of a letter to himself, in 
which Mr. Gladstone says that, " while I do not recede 
from the sentiments which my letters to Mr. Burgon 
contain, I am in certain respects concerned, even grieved, 
at the turn which Oxford Reform has taken." Well 
may he be so ; considering that whatever improvements 
may have come in the train of Academical Reform, the 
general effect of it at both Universities has undoubtedly 
been to effect a divorce between the Church and the 
higher Education of the country. In writing to Mr. 

Q 2 



228 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

Gladstone on the subject, Burgon of course felt his pen 
to be under a certain restraint ; but, in pouring himself 
out to his old College friend, Mr. Hensley, he could un- 
bosom himself without reserve as to his dislike of the 
changes which had already been effected, and his still 
more serious apprejiension of those which would ulti- 
mately result from the working of the Oxford University 
Act, and while many will think that he paints these 
results in colours unduly gloomy, it cannot be denied 
that all that he there predicts has come to pass. The 
letter will be found at the end of the Section. 

We now come to the saddest period of Burgon's life, 
the period which threw a shadow over his susceptible 
soul never entirely to be dissipated, though he, no doubt, 
like other men, was accessible to the healing and restor- 
ative influences of lapse of Time. In the letter to Mr. 
Hensley just referred to, the date of which is July 19, 
1 854, he had told his old friend ; il I am sorry to say 
that my dearest mother both has been, and continues to 
be, very poorly indeed. I feel very heavy on the sub- 
ject." Not two months after these words were written 
(September 7, 1854) he lost his mother. Four days after 
her death (Sept. u), sitting in the room in which she 
had died, " and near her leaden coffin," he wrote " a 
brief record of her latter days and illness, together with 
some account of the manner of her departing ; for in 
after years such records are unspeakably precious, and 
no memoranda of this nature are worth much, if they 
are not made immediately." The record fills about 
eighty closely written pages of a small memorandum- 
book, which of course (if it were only out of respect 
to the sacredness of such sorrow) can only be rapidly 
summarised here. He tells of the proximate occasion of 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 229 

the fatal malady, a cold caught in the autumn of the 
preceding year, of its origin in heart-complaint "at 
a far remoter period," of its distressing symptoms, 
swollen feet, "fighting for breath," inability to sleep 
otherwise than in a sitting posture ; of his mother's 
inability to " inlay " his commentary on St. Luke, a 
work which she had already done for the earlier part of 
the work, and of the gradual failure of her powers, as 
manifested in her altered mode of welcoming him back 
home. 

"In old times the driving up of my cab to the door 
was the signal for her I loved hastily to descend the 
stairs. She used to meet me almost at the door in the 
hall, exclaiming ' Welcome ! Welcome ! ' and, with her 
dear kind arms extended, embracing me and kissing me 
heartily on the cheek three or four times. Presently, it 
used to be on the stairs that I saw her outstretched 
arms, and received her warm embrace. By degrees, it 
seemed to me as if she descended a fewer and fewer 
number of stairs. Latterly it was at the drawing-room 
door that I felt her hearty and repeated kiss, and 
[heard] her emphatic ' Welcome, welcome, my boy ! my 
poor boy,' and so on. What a warm embrace it used to 
be! She used to open her dear arms quite wide, and 
enfold me. But she could not quite do this at last, or, 
at least, not in quite the same way. I believe the last 
time but one I came home, she only rose from her chair. 
The last time of all, I embraced her, on arriving home, 
as she sat in Jier chair ! ... This was on Tuesday the 
5th Sept. O what a painful bewildering kind of day 
that was! . . . She rejoiced to see me, but regretted to 
have disturbed me, and taken me from my studies. She 
alluded to my Commentary, a work which was ever 
very dear and interesting to her. ' While you are 
trying to do good to the souls of so many,' she said, ' to 
take you away ! ' ' 

He records her end with great minuteness as to each 



230 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

slight particular. He tells how for the last time he 
(who had lain so often in her arms) took her in his, and 
lifted her on to her bed ; how, as soon as it was clear 
that she had passed away, he, his brother and three 
sisters, 

" laid her out on the bed where she had died. A heavy 
task it was for uS all. Still we were wonderfully 
supported ; and we preferred doing this, a thousand 
times, than that profane hands should intermeddle with 
our grief. . . . The wedding ring which I drew off the 
fourth finger of her left hand, the kind ones present 
urged on me to wear myself. ' And this ? ' I said, draw- 
ing it off. * O wear it, wear it,' they all exclaimed. 
Accordingly, I placed it on my little finger ; and there, 
if it please GOD, I will wear it till I die 5 . . . . We knelt 
all together and prayed by the bedside. ... I slept on 
the sofa in my beloved mother's room that night, 
Thursday. It was awful, but pleasant. I prayed near 
her, very happily." 

On Saturday, Sept. 9, he and his youngest sister went 
to Oxford (returning the same day), and arranged that 
the interment should take place in a strip of ground in 
the Holy well cemetery, belonging to St. John the Baptist's 
Parish, in which Parish his rooms at Oriel stood. "I 
chose the place, a dry gravelly rock near a boundary 
wall. Will not that spot become the most familiar to 
me, as well as the most dear,, of any in Oxford ? " On 
Wednesday night, Sept. 13, he brought the body of his 
mother to Oxford, where it was met at the station by 
the College servants, and deposited in his rooms at 

5 The circumstance of his always life, as has been shown already, to 

wearing this wedding-ring may the charms of agreeable women, 

perhaps have given colour to the that people who had no knowledge 

wholly groundless on dit that he of his antecedents thought he must 

was once married, and had lost his have been married ; and what they 

wife in the course of a few months. wished to believe they did believe. 
He was so susceptible throughout 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 231 

Oriel. He "passed the night in a chair by the side of 
it," occasionally getting snatches of sleep, but often 
waking. At 7 A.M. next morning he and his brother- 
in-law (Rev. Henry John Rose), who had now joined 
him, after communicating and attending Matins at 
St. Mary the Virgin's Church, visited the cemetery and 
"saw the men digging the grave." Then, in the room 
where the body lay, " they read, wrote, thought, and 
kept silence till i P.M.," when his father, brother, and 
Mr. Higgins arrived from London. At 2.30 P.M. the 
funeral left Oriel for the Chapel of the Cemetery, pre- 
ceded by the Marshal and Bellman of the University. 
The mourners were six, his father, brother, two brothers- 
in-law, and the Rev. Charles Marriott, an intimate 
friend and Fellow of the same College with himself. 

"Hobhouse, assisted by Sargent and Walton, with a 
quire of boys (twelve or fourteen), met the corpse, 
singing the sentences to the music suggested in Cran- 
mer's P.B. I prefer for yoyr feeling the solemn sound of 
a single voice reading those grand words ; but the 
effect of the music was soothing and impressive most 
kindly meant and, as a mark of respect and honour 
to the dear departed one, most acceptable to me. For 
the same reason, I was not sorry to see some strangers 
present in the Chapel, and I liked to see the Marshal 
and the other at head and foot of the coffin, all the 
time it stood in the Chapel, while the Psalms were 
being chanted, and Hobhouse read." 

The interment concluded, his father and brother and 
Mr. Higgins having left Oxford by an evening train, he 
and Mr. Rose revisited the grave, and repeated their 
visit several times in the forenoon of the next day. 
Having " bought tiles to edge the ground," and given 
instructions for laying them (" My wish is to have a 
border, nine inches wide, of rich garden mould ; enclosing 



232 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

a square of fine turf; the whole to be enclosed by a 
rough species of tile "), he himself returned to London 
in the early afternoon of Friday, 15 Sep. 

The loss of Parents is, in the ordinary course of Nature, 
the common lot of mankind, and while such bereave- 
ments cannot fail to be bitter to dutiful and affectionate 
children, they are soon acquiesced in as the inevitable 
experience of all who reach mature age. But it is 
thought that a very small minority of men, actively 
engaged in the business and cares of life, would, fourteen 
years after tlie removal of a mother, feel and write as 
follows : 

"H. C." [Houghton Conquest], "Monday, 7 Sep. 1868, 
between 6 and 7 P. M. This is the day and the hour 
which always seems to bring me nearest to my beloved, 
a day of sweet and solemn recollection, as well as of 
awful meditation. For I ask myself, where is she 
abiding ? And I tell myself that it must be in the 
place of perfect peace. And so I seem to stand in 
adoration near the half-opened gates of Paradise, and 
something tells me that the Beatific Vision is the bliss of 
those who dwell within. Does she think of me ? Yes. 
And she has prayed for me, and for us all, often ; and her 
prayers have been heard. O the many blessings which 
have befallen me ! On her last birthday, I was fairly 
startled by the token that reached me that so it was. 

" The years circle round, and I miss her sadly. I note 
in myself the tokens of advancing age. It is hard to 
believe that I am fifty-five, and that she would have 
been seventy-eight were she here. For I seem to fancy 
myself always a boy ; and her O I can never think of 
her as an old woman ! 

" J. W. B." 

Nor let the above be thought of as a mere transient 
gush of emotion, called forth by associations which a 
particular season had awakened up. Thus writes Bishop 
Hobhouse to the author, one of Burgon's intimate Oxford 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 233 

friends, who, as we have just seen, had read the words 
of Christian hope over Mrs. Burgon's grave. 

" From the moment that my dear friend laid his 
mother's remains in the retired corner assigned to the 
Parish of St. John the Baptist, he cherished that spot as 
the most sacred in the world to his feelings. He visited 
it daily, standing over it bareheaded. He decorated the 
whole adjoining wall with sculpture and with creeping 
plants. He was anxious to extend this care in a measure 
to the whole enclosure. He readily lent his artist-mind 
and his skilled pencil to any who were seeking to decor- 
ate the graves of their kinsfolk ; and such ready aid was 
readily sought. We both cherished the spot greatly, 
believing that care for the resting-place of the Departed 
is a direct outcome of faith in the communion of Saints, 
and helps to deepen that faith. We were in frequent 
communication about the care of the ground. Our 
deeper feelings about it we expressed by meeting in the 
Cemetery Chapel on Easter Even and All Saints' Day, 
and reciting a short service selected from the Prayer 
Book." 

Troubles are said never to come alone (a maxim of 
human experience the truth of which may possibly be 
insinuated in those words of Eliphaz to the Patriarch 
Job, " He shall deliver thee in six troubles : yea, in 
seven there shall no evil touch thee " ) ; and within seven 
months of the death of his mother two more bereave- 
ments wrung Burgon's heart, one, the death of Dr. 
Routh, the President of Magdalen, at the ripe age of 
ninety-nine, whose memory he has embalmed both in 
poetry and prose, the other that of Mrs. Hugh James 
Rose, whom he regarded, as his letters to her show, with 
mingled affection and veneration, and to whom he pro- 
bably unbosomed himself with greater freedom than to 
any other correspondent out of the precinct of his own 
family. Dr. Routh passed away on the 22nd of Decem- 



234 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

ber, 1854; Mrs. Hugh James Rose on the 5th of April, 
1855. He alludes very touchingly to the proximity of 
these deaths with that of his mother in the opening of 
his " Century of Verses in Memory of the President of 
Magdalen College" [' Poems,' p. 119] : 

" Grief upon grief ! it seems as if each day 
Came laden with a freight of heavy news 
From East or West. My letters, fringed with black, 
Bring me but sighs: and when the heart is full 
One drop will make the bitter cup o'erflow." 

During the time of his sorrows, and while the more 
arduous and solid work of his Plain Commentary was 
progressing, he was preparing and passing through the 
press his ' Ninety Short Sermons for Family Heading, follow- 
ing the course of the Christian Season*' The impress of 
this sorrowful time is stamped upon them by their in- 
scription, " To the blessed memory of my mother, 
Houghton Conquest, Sept. 7, 1855." In the Preface, 
A.D. 1855. which is dated Oxford, October 15, 1855, he tells us 
[ * 42 *J the demand which he designs by these Sermons to 
meet : <: Many who observe the practice of occasionally 
reading a Sermon aloud to their household, are heard to 
declare that they can scarcely find anything quite suit- 
able for that purpose. The length of most Sermons is 
a fatal objection. Some are thought too abstruse ; and 
some, too polemical." Of these Sermons it is sufficient 
to say that his style and favourite phrases characterize 
them throughout ; that, though he tells us that he is 
" not conscious of having gone out of his way, in order 
to be original," they contain (as could hardly fail to be 
the case with a mind so fresh and unconventional as his) 
many striking and edifying original thoughts, and that 
Dr. Hawkins, the Provost of Oriel, read and found edifi- 
cation in them in his latter days during his retirement 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 235 

at Rochester. Thus Burgon writes in his 'Lives of Ti':ch:>' 
Good Men' ["Edward Hawkins: The Great Provost," 
vol. i. p. 458] : 

" His widow informed me, ' Your own Short Sermons. 
of which I read many to him on Sunday evenings in the 
garden, pleased him much. " The teaching of the Harvest " 
he greatly liked. I could name many others, if I searched 
the volumes. They were not new to him, of course : but 
you would have liked to see the expression of his face, 
as he thus renewed his acquaintance with them, in our 
pleasant shady garden.' This is touching enough, 
especially as the author of the Sermons in question has 
experienced from those honoured lips many and many 
a salutary snub." 

A single passage from these Sermons must suffice, as a 
specimen of the striking observations which they contain 
throughout. The text is, " He saw also a certain poor 
widow" (St. Luke xxi. 2), and the title, " NOTHING 

LITTLE IN GOD'S SIGHT/' 

" Now, the one circumstance in all this wondrous and 
varied narrative to which we wish to call attention, is, 
that amid all these mighty discourses and amazing pro- 
phecies, amid all the weariness of His Human Body, and 
the anguish of His Human Soul ; amid griefs unrevealed 
and bitterness of spirit unutterable ; the LORD of Heaven 
and Earth was at leisure to sit down and watch the ways 
of one of the very humblest of His creatures. ' He saw also 
a certain poor widow.' . . . After His eight withering 
woes denounced upon the Scribes and Pharisees, which 
must have goaded them to madness, (for they were at once 
the proudest and the most powerful of the people) after 
tin*, and just before He entered upon that far-sighted 
prophecy which glanced onward, from the coming de- 
struction of the City to the very end of the World 
blending the near, and the far future, so wondrously ; and 
showing that the Blessed Speaker's eye was filled with 
images of magnificence and grandeur unspeakable, the 



236 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

destinies of the whole Human Race, and the consumma- 
tion of all things : (the moment is well worth observing ; 
for it was the brief moment which separated the SAVIOUR'S 
discourse concerning the things of Time and of Eternity, 
the little halting-place between His leave-taking of 
His enemies, and His anticipation of the ruin which was 
to be brought upon them ; first, by His avenging armies ; 
next, by His legions of angels) it was at that particu- 
lar instant, we repeat, and therefore while His heart 
must have been occupied in the way we have been 
describing, that our LORD, seating Himself over against 
the Treasur}r,(that is, the alms-chests which were destined 
to receive the offerings of the people) looked up, and 
beheld how they cast money into the Treasury. And 
many that were rich cast in much. And there came a 
poor woman ; and (as St. Luke remarks) ' He saw her ! ' 
. . . He saw before Him the destruction of the Temple, 
and the Fall of Jerusalem, and the wreck of Nature, and 
the crash of Worlds, and the setting up of the great 
white Throne, and the gathering together of all the 
Tribes of the Earth : all this He saw. But ' He saw also 
a certain poor widow.' And she threw in two mites, 
which make a farthing. . . . He had the leisure, had the 
inclination, had the sovereign will, to scrutinize the act, 
and to weigh it in a heavenly balance, and to pronounce 
upon it, calmly, and at length. as if Life and Death 
hung upon the issue. He called unto Him His Disciples, 
and saith unto them, ' Verily, I say unto you that this 
poor widow hath cast in more than they all. For all i/uy 
did cast in of their abundance : but she, of her want, did 
cast in all she had, even all her living.' These gracious 
words on the lips of our SAVIOUR awaken in us a deep 
sense of wonder and admiration. . . . We desire to fill our 
minds with the single thought of God's watchful and 
observing eye, which nothing is so little as to escape ; 
nothing is so trifling as not to interest and engage. The 
Psalmist has expressed this in a single verse of the 1 1 3th 
Psalm, ' Who is like unto the LORD our God, that hath 
His dwelling so high ; and yet humbleth Himself to 
behold the things that are in Heaven and Earth 1 ' ' 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 237 

The Sermons are all adapted to the Ecclesiastical 
Seasons, at which they are designed to be read ; and, as 
with the poems of l The Christian Year,' those which turn 
upon the Lessons have lost their point in connexion with 
the Ecclesiastical Seasons, by the substitution of the New 
for the Old Lectionary. 

A letter to Mr. Hensley, of Dec. 21, 1855, which will 
be found at the end of this Section, contains an interest- 
ing notice of his literary work at that date, past and 
prospective. His "Commentary" and his "Sermons" 
are " finished," and he is then engaged on ' Brief Memoirs 
of the Colleges of Oxford', of which " eight I have written, 
and/owr have been published ; the rest will appear before 
June." His anticipations as to the date at which he 
should get this work off his hands, appear to be prema- 
ture ; for in a later letter to Mr. Hensley (of March 17, 
1 857,) he announces that he is "finishing off his Memoirs of 
the Colleges, Wadham, Pembroke, and Worcester remain- 
ing still to be done." The notice of this work therefore 
had better be postponed for the present. Meanwhile, 
' The History of our Lord Jesus Christ : Exhibited in a Series 
of Seventy-two Coloured Engravings' edited by his brother- 
in-law (Rev. Henry John Rose) and himself, of which he 
says in his letter of Dec. 21, to Mr. Hensley ; " My prints 
are published this day by Hering ; and I hope he will 
make them answer," demands a few lines of notice. 
The Prefatory Address (dated Houghton Conquest, Oct. 
1 2th, 1855) contains an illustration of the missionary value 
of Sacred Prints from the letter of a lady connected with 
the Natal Mission. Mr. Rose had given some of his 
pictures to Bishop Colenso for use among the natives. 

" Your heart would have ached," the lady writes, "at 
the scene I have just witnessed. Three old wrinkled Kafir 
women from the country, who had never heard of their 



238 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

GOD and SAVIOUR, came to see the pictures, which some 
others had told them of. I was so engaged in writing to 
you, that I gave them to ' Boy/ " [a Kafir youth so 
named], " and told him to show them. They had been 
with him a long time, when they begged to come and 
thank me. They were weeping, and came and took my 
hand and said, ' They had never known about it.' It was 
heartrending to see their careworn faces, which spoke of 
life's trials and troubles borne all alone. 

" One evening four Kafir women came, and it was 
touching to see how they appreciated the picture of the 
' little children coming to JESUS.' With their infants in 
their arms, they told each other that they might come to 
Him." 

The Prefatory Address deprecates the idea that the 
circulation of these Sacred Prints in the cottages of the 
poor would be the thin end of the wedge for the intro- 
duction of Popery. 

" If we thought that result possible, we would cut off 
our right hands rather than be the promoters of such 
a taste. But it is not possible. Still less cause is there 
to dread that encouragement is thereby given to irrever- 
ence; that any undue familiarity with holy things is 
thereby fostered in the humbler class. No ; let the 
representations be but Scriptural and healthy, and they 
will not be found to have any Romanising tendency : 
let them be but dignified and devout, and they will 
not promote irreverence." 

The whole of the Address savours strongly of the 
characteristic style of the junior partner in the work. 
It is inscribed to the well-known American Poet and 
Divine, the Reverend Arthur Cleveland Coxe, M.A., 
afterwards Bishop of New York, but then Rector of 
Grace Church, Baltimore, a friend of both the Editors, 
and one of Burgon's many Transatlantic correspondents 
and admirers. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 239 

A letter to Mr. Hensley of Nov. 8, 1856, gives an A.D. 1856. 
account of his health, and of the multiplication of his *- 
literary plans, notwithstanding the slow progress which 
he makes with the work then in hand, and concludes 
with one of those beautiful and edifying thoughts which 
are thrown out occasionally in the course of his corre- 
spondence. Excerpts will be found at the end of the 
Section. 

The next letter, dated Oriel, March 17, 1857, in which 
he proposes another visit to Mr. Hensley, and offers him 
Christian consolation under a bereavement which had 
desolated his home, shews also his penetration in matters 
of Art, and the confidence which his friends reposed in 
his judgment on such matters. He takes stock, as 
before, of his literary work, and mentions the Lenten 
Sermons by eminent Preachers at St. Mary-the- Virgin's 
and other Churches in Oxford, which were inaugurated on 
the Ash Wednesday of this year by Bishop Wilberforce. 
He also tells his friend that he has recently commenced 
"reading Genesis with a class of the citizens at the Town 
Hall." 

' T/ie Historical Notices of the Oxford Colleges,' which 
he says in this last letter that he is (i finishing off," 
must have been a piece of work which his antiquarian 
proclivities, and his strong love of Oxford, must have 
contributed equally to make congenial to him. The 
title of this work is " The Arms of the Colleges. By 
Henry Shaw, F.S.A., Author of Dresses and Decorations 
of the Middle Ages, &c., &c.,with Historical Notices of the 
Colleges by the Rev. John W. Burgon,M. A., Fellow of Oriel 
College." The magnificent blazonry of the Arms of the 
University and the Colleges is due entirely to Mr. Shaw, 
Burgon being responsible only for the letter-press which 
accompanies each plate of Arms. He requested Mr. 



240 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Shaw to state in the Advertisement prefixed to the 
Second Number that, although the writer of the * His- 
torical Notices ' " has not followed servilely in the track 
of previous writers, it must not create surprise if he has 
repeatedly availed himself of their labours, and some- 
times even quoted their words. He has endeavoured 
however, in every instance, to add something to what has 
hitherto appeared in print : to obtain corroboration, 
where it was feasible, of the statements he has repro- 
duced ; and to impart an air of novelty to an old and 
often-attempted subject, by invoking aid from less 
obvious sources of information than are generally ap- 
pealed to." His ' Historical Notices ' he inscribes to 
Dr. Cotton, Provost of "Worcester College (where his 
undergraduate life had been passed), and at that time 
(1855) Vice-Chancellor of the University. He directs 
the binder of the completed work to place the Colleges 
in the order of the date of their Foundation, Merton 
standing first and Worcester last, Oriel (the College 
which had adopted him), fifth. In his " Notice " of the 
earliest of these he studiously points out how " the idea 
of a College, as elaborated in Walter de Merton's mind, 
was that of an endowed corporation of Scholars, free from 

-cows connected with the University, in the 

matter of study ; and with the Church, in doctrine and 
discipline. His idea was therefore distinct from the 
Monastic idea, by the absence of vows, and by the 
distinct emplo} 7 ment provided for the inmates." In 
the Notice of Oriel College he shews how Edward II 
and Adam de Brom, his Almoner, adopted in their 
foundation the idea of Walter de Merton, declaring that 
they had in view 

" ' the honour of the Church ; whose ministrations 
should be committed to faithful men, who may shine 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 241 

like stars in their watches, and instruct the people 
not only with their lips, but in their lives.' Quite 
a vulgar error is it in fact to confound the Col- 
legiate institutions of Oxford and Cambridge with 
the monastic system. These Societies were intended, 
in the first instance, to supply the great and grow- 
ing need which the Monasteries overlooked. They 
were designed for the education of parochial clergy ; and 
were set on foot by earnest-minded men, in advance of 
their age, who, sincerely desiring the Church's welfare 
perceived that the truest way to promote it was to im- 
prove the condition, and increase the efficiency of the 
stationary and secular clergy." 

Of Worcester, to the Historical Notice of which he 
appends his verses on " Worcester College/'' he says, as if 
to counterbalance the lateness of its collegiate origin : 

"Although it is true that this is the last-founded of 
the nineteen colleges of Oxford, yet it is just as un- 
deniable that if a stranger, visiting the University, were 
to require to be shown the oldest extant specimen of 
collegiate residences of which the place can boast, we 
should conduct him to Worcester College," 

" a terraced height 

Crowned by tall structures of a classic mould 
On this side; and on that, a row of small 
Irregular antique tenements with quaint shields 
Bossing each doorway. Wide between the twain, 
Guiltless of daisies, spread an emerald lawn, 
Severing as 'twere the old world from the new, 
The present from the past : and there were flowers 
(So bright and young beside those old grey walls !) 
Which humanized the scene, as children do, 
With touch of fresher nature," &c., &c. 

But the series of ' Historical Xotices ' is interesting and 
attractive throughout. Perhaps that of Jesus College, 
with its deeply interesting account of Dr. Francis Man- 
sell, the royalist President, ejected during the Comnion- 

VOL. I. B 



242 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

wealth and reinstated at the Restoration, and also of the 
discipline of the College during the early part of the 
seventeenth century, when "conversation was to be 
conducted in Latin, Greek, or Hebrew (!)," and " the col- 
lege porter was also the college barber 6 ," will instruct 
and entertain the reader as much as any. While the 
account of Bishop* Fox's Statutes for Corpus Christi 
(A. D. 1527) and of the opening of the Bishop's tomb in 
Winchester Cathedral in 1820, when "the figure was 
found lying undisturbed, as it had been laid three cen- 
turies before," the robes, mitre, gloves, and boots, all 
faded, but entire, and " the fragments of the broken wands 
of the officials who attended his obsequies discernible on 
either side of his coffin," will draw attention to the notice 
of a College illustrious in many ways, but in none more 
than from the circumstance of having had among its 
scholars Mr. Richard Hooker, whose rooms can be with 
certainty identified at the present day, " the circum- 
stance " (of his having inhabited those particular rooms) 
"having been made the subject of contemporary record. ' 
The notes which he would draw up preparatory to 
the " reading Genesis with a class of the citizens at the 
Town Hall" (see the letter to Mr. Hensley of March 

6 " These, and many other regula- from Wales to Oxford (which is 
tions, though evidently copied from just a hundred years since), stage- 
older statutes, show the permanency coaches being as yet unknown, he 
of a state of things which it is hard made the journey, in company with 
to realize in connexion with the three other friends, in six days ; the 
reign of the first James" (its statutes party having provided themselves 
were given in the year 1622 by four with Welsh ponies for the occasion, 
commissioners appointed by the which they used to dispose of on 
king). "And yet, it is not necessary reaching the University. Only 
to refer to written evidence in illus- punch and ale were then drunk in 
tration of vicissitudes at least as Oxford: or if sherry appeared at 
striking. I am informed by the dinner, it was handed round to the 
venerable Principal of Jesus College, guests as liqueur" 
that when his father first came up 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 243 

17, 1857), no doubt served as the nucleus of Ten Ex- A.D. 185 
pository Lectures on Genesis, which he has left behind, 
and which he contemplated one day continuing, until he 
should have made a complete Commentary on the First 
Book of the Pentateuch, as he has done on the Acts of 
the Apostles. He had always a particular attraction to 
the Book of Genesis, partly from the great freshness and 
simplicity of the picture which it presents of Patriarchal 
manners, and partly from the feeling that the attitude 
which a man takes up as regards the first Chapter 
(which is a specimen of pure Revelation, and where 
human testimony could not have been, as in so many 
other parts of Holy Scripture it was, the vehicle of the 
Divine communication) is decisive of the soundness or 
unsoundness of his views as regards the question of 
Scriptural Inspiration generally. His ' Homiletics on 
Genesis ' (as Dr. Samuel Seabury calls them in a letter 
in which he speaks of them in high terms) will be 
noticed in another Section, when we reach the year 
(1865) in which that letter was written. 

In the year 1858, when such movements were corn- A.D. is^ 
parative novelties in our Church, as they are now no ^- 45- 
longer, Bishop Wilberforce inaugurated Missions at 
Henley, Reading, and other places in his Diocese, he 
himself personally taking the chief part in the Mission 
Services at the town fixed upon as the centre, and 
sending selected missioners to hold evening Services at 
the neighbouring villages. Burgon was opposed to 
Home Missions in their later developments, as we 
shall see hereafter; but, ever loyal in his allegiance to 
his Bishop, he would not hold aloof from a movement 
which that Bishop had set on foot, with high expecta- 
tions of what was to come of it. 

He was invited to preach at Henley ; and he complied. 



244 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" Mr. Burgon," says one of his hearers in a letter to the 
author, 

"preached a remarkable Sermon at Henley, taking as 
his text, ' There is a lad here,' and that was all. Of 
course the eyes of all the lads in the Church were 
fastened upon him ! The moral he pointed was to the 
effect that nothing* was too insignificant for the Master's 
use. Even this poor lad with his slender provision was 
destined to feed five thousand." 

The reader will be struck with the similarity of this 
line of thought to that which is taken in the passage 
cited above from his ' Short Sermons for Family Reading ' ; 
as also by the similarity of the text upon which the 
lesson is founded a lesson drawn in both cases from a 
single humble, nameless individual " He saw also a 
poor widow." Both discourses were evidently coined 
in the same mint. 

It was Bishop Wilberforce's way to spare neither him- 
self nor his subordinates. In a letter to Mr. Hensley 
dated Easter Tuesday, 1858, Burgon tells his friend in 
connexion with this Mission ; " I think I must send you 
a paper of the Sermons, &c. Seven fell to me : twenty-two 
to the Bishop's share ! I also preached the Ordination 
Sermon." And an excerpt from a letter of the same year 
to the same friend (June 3, 1858), recalling the circum- 
stances of a visit paid by him to Mr. Hensley in 1856, 
will, it is thought, interest the reader, as one of those 
gleams of playful, frolicsome affectionateness and domes- 
ticity, which lighted up Burgon' s character throughout 
life, and constituted one of its greatest charms. It will 
be found at the end of this Period. 

In the August of this year (1858), nearly four years after 
the death of his mother, Burgon lost his father, and then 
experienced that sense of desolateness and being left 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 245 

alone in the world, which no bereavement brings with 
it so keenly as that of parents. It was possibly when 
David heard of the death of his father and mother in 
the land of Moab (see i Sam. xxii. 3), that, smarting 
under this experience, and with a reference to the office 
of the "gathering host" in the march through the 
wilderness, whose duty it was, coming in the rear of 
the other tribes, to take up and carry forward any sick 
or infirm folks who might have dropped from mules 
and caravans without being noticed, he sang those sweet 
words of consolation, put into his mouth by the Holy 
Spirit ; " When my father and my mother forsake me, 
then the LORD will gather me" (Ps. xxvii. 10 marg.}. 
Here are Burgon's reflexions on the same experience, a 
year after he had been called upon to go through it. 

" Houghton Conquest. Sunday Evening, Aug. 28, 
1859, about 20 min. to TO p.m. It is a year exactly, 
within a few minutes, since I lost my dearest Father. 

and I cannot help reverting to my great, my 

irreparable loss. 

" For though my dear Father had been too much of 
an invalid, oppressed with too many infirmities to be 
as it were much of a companion for some years, yet his 
great tenderness and affection was something on which I 
have since discovered that I used to lean ; and the want 
of it I every day feel more and more. I have no one 
now, no one, to whom I can turn for unmingled 
sympathy in joy or sorrow; no one, who can and will 
rejoice in my joy, and sorrow for my sorrow, as some- 
thing which belongs to himself. A parent's love is so 
singular a sentiment that it almost requires to be called 
by a different name. Sweeter and softer it is even than 
the love of married life ; for it dates from remote in- 
fancy and the dawn of remembrance ; and it is not 
co-ordinate with another love, bub it loves itself in its 
object, and is a shadow of the Divine Love, even the 
love of our Father in Heaven ! 



246 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

" How much do I feel the want of my dearest Parents ! 
How solemn is the thought that I shall never behold 
either of them any more ! that I must gather up, and 
garner away the images which memory presents ; for 
that the originals are departed for ever ! . . . . I shall go 
to them ; but they shall not return to me. 

" Strange indeed it seems to be writing such words ; 
for I can scarce believe the reality of what I write. I 
was 41, and I was 45, when I lost them. And so from 
infancy, through boyhood, on to early manhood, and at 
least until I had passed the middle term of life, we were 
together. Two days arrived 7 Sep. 1854 and 28 Aug. 
1858 and O the difference! At first, a bereaved and 
broken heart, and next a desolate, or rather a destroyed, 
home. All seems quite changed ! The generation of my 
early manhood seems quite passed from me ; and I find 
myself taking up a position of my own, drifting down 
a distinct current, associated with new friends, and as 
completely severed from the past as if an ocean rolled 
between ! " 



From a later memorandum made on the same anni- 
versary in the year 1860, it appears that all Mr. Thomas 
Burgon's children, as well as John William, were " sitting 
about" him, as " he lay upon his death-bed." His body 
was brought to Oxford by his son, and buried in the 
Holywell Cemetery, by the side of that of his wife. 

A.D. 1859. In the Lent of 1859, another effort was made by Bishop 
Wilberforce to organize a series of Special Services in 
North Bucks, similar to that which in the preceding 
year had been made at Henley-on-Thames, and Burgon 
was again called in (with sixteen other preachers) to give 
his help, which he did with promptness and efficiency. 
The occasion has a special interest in connexion with 
his views on the subject of Home Missions, because he 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 247 

printed and published (at the request of the Bishop and 
Clergy) the Ordination Sermon which he preached at 
Buckingham, March 20, 1859, the day on which the 
Mission terminated, prefixing to it " Some account of 
the Special Services for the Working Classes in North 
Bucks during the Lenten Ember Week of 1859." In 
this Preface he not only records the proceedings of the 
Mission on each day of the Week, as well as those of 
the Conference of the Clergy and Laity which was held 
on the Saturday, but also at some length vindicates the 
movement from certain objections to which he thinks it 
might be open. His summing up of the objections and 
of the answers to them is that, while "no remedy of 
Man's invention for any evil under the sun is an un- 
mixed good," there is " a considerable balance of good to 
be clearly foreseen, or at least to be confidently hoped 
for." from efforts like the present. 

"The object," he says, "was to quicken the spiritual 
life of an agricultural district : to stir up, and if possible 
to awaken, the slumbering vitality of a certain portion 
of a large, and once neglected Diocese. The machinery 
employed was simply that which the Church herself has 
provided for such purposes : but the efforts were of an 
unusually cumulative character ; and the novelty of the 
endeavour, such as it is, consisted in the systematic 
concentration of efforts within a certain district ; the 
extraneous help invocated on a somewhat large scale ; 
and the presence, example, and powerful co-operation of 
the Diocesan, throughout. It is only necessary to refer 
to the list of Preachers to see how utterly devoid of a 
party character the whole endeavour has been." 

To a student of Burgon's mind and character the 
difference between the tone of this Preface and his entire 
disapprobation of the Home Mission movement at a 
later period, when it had more or less identified itself . 



2 4 8 



LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 



with a particular School of Theology, and had shaken 
itself altogether free from the control and superintendence 
of the Diocesan, is of great interest and curiosity. Yet 
it cannot be fairly alleged that he had altered his views 
on the subject of an important Church movement. The 
movement in its maturity had acquired certain features 
which did not belong to its original design. The Sermon 
itself, to which the account of the Special Services is pre- 
fixed, is on the text, " One soweth, and another reapeth." 
Beyond the opening of it, in which he points out the 
prophetic associations connected with "the parcel of 
ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph," and in 
which the allegorizing of " the sixth hour," of the meeting 
with the Samaritan woman at the well, and of the 
y a well," is quite in his own vein 7 , 






" fruitful bough 



7 "Look more closely at the 
picture, and you discover many of 
those fainter lines which go to com- 
plete the image, and conspire to 
produce the general effect. It was 
harvest-time, as the language of the 
great Husbandman shews. Behold, 
the fields of that fertile region were 
white already to harvest. Again, 
it was the sixth hour : which, as 
you are aware, in St. John's Gospel 
denotes the evening of the day, our 
six o'clock. It was the Evening of 
the World therefore, shewn in a 
figure : and lo, the harvest of the 
Earth was, in a figure, ripe. How 
fitting therefore was it that at that 
hour of the day, and at that season 
of the year, and at that spot of the 
Holy Land, our SAVIOUR CHRIST 
should have begun to gather in the 
first-fruits of His spiritual Harvest ! 
. . . As Isaac's servant meets Re- 
bekah, as Jacob himself meets 



Rachel, as Moses encounters Zip- 
porah, at a well ; what more 
fitting than that He, of whom all 
these were shadows, the Bridegroom 
as He loved to call Himself, should 
meet Sis alien Spouse, the Samari- 
tan Church, at a well of water 
likewise? . . . Verily, here was 
Jacob's remote descendant at last 
fulfilling the dying Patriarch'* 
prophecy, after the most exact and 
literal fashion. It was beside Jacob's 
well that He sat ; and in ' the 
parcel of ground that Jacob gave to 
his son Joseph ' that He discoursed 
with the woman of Samaria : and 
lo, Joseph becomes at once a 
'fruitful bough,' even that 'fruitful 
bough ~by a well,' of which the 
dying Patriarch made prophetic 
mention, ' whose branches run 
over the wall ' which heretofore 
had severed Jew and Gentile !" [pp. 
18, 19]. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 249 

there is little in it that lifts it above the ordinary run 
of good sermons appropriate to their occasion. 

In the early part of the year 1859 appeared the work, 
which it appears from his letters he had been for some 
time preparing for, " The Portrait of a Christian Gentle- 
man. A Memoir of Patrick Fraser Tytler, author of 
The History of Scotland.' By his friend, the Kev. John 
W. Burgon, M.A. Fellow of Oriel College." Mr. Tytler 
had passed away more than nine years previously, on 
the Christmas Eve which followed the day of Burgon's 
Ordination to the Priesthood, Dec. 24, 1849. 

" Love's own hands decked the room, and the couch 
whereon Mr. Tytler lay, with holly ; and it seemed to 
those who, sorrowing for themselves, looked upon him 
in his last sleep, that to him alone had come the real 
joy of Christmas." [Memoir, 2nd Ed. p. 353.] 

It might seem strange that Burgon. loving Tytler as 
he did, allowed several years to elapse before he " sought 
to embalm" his friend's " memory in the only way which 
was permitted to him." But a moment's reflexion solves 
any difficulty which might be felt on this head. Only 
admitted to full Orders at the moment of Tytler's death, 
the first duty incumbent upon him was evidently to 
"make full proof of his ministry," which he did by 
throwing himself with all the fervour of his ardent 
nature into the Pastoral Work of his Curacies at West 
Ilsley and Finniere. But he was not at liberty to give 
himself to that work exclusively. At that period of his 
life, it will be remembered, he was compelled by the 
narrow stipend of his Fellowship and the necessity of 
assisting, as much as he could, the members of his family, 
to take private pupils. He had on his hands at the 
same time his 'Plain Commentary on the Gospels^ as 



250 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

well as his ' Short Sermons for Family Reading ' : it was 
evidently his intention to make his mark in Divinity 
before he ventured upon a work of purely secular Lite- 
rature. Add to this that not only did the Church 
movements and the Academic movements going on in 
his immediate neighbourhood absorb an unusual amount 
of his attention, and draw ever and anon contemporary 
strictures and observations from his facile pen; but that 
his mother's death in 1854 created in him a mental dis- 
turbance of a peculiar character, much more than men of 
ordinary mould experience under similar bereavements. 
Tytler had been especially dear to him; but he had 
literally no time to do justice to Tytler's memory and to 
the materials which Tytler's friends put into his hands, 
until he had thoroughly initiated himself into the Sacred 
Ministry, had consecrated his earliest literary labours to 
the cause of Religion, and had leisure to breathe again 
after what he would feel to. be an overwhelming domestic 
calamity. Then he put his hand to the work, and 
produced (the reader will remember that this was not 
his earliest attempt at Biography, Gresham preceded it 
by more than twenty years) what was certainly one of 
the most successful and popular biographies of the day. 
The work has long been before the public ; and we shall 
not stay to present the reader with any specimens of it, 
one or two having been already given in the Chapter 
which recorded the origin and growth of his friendship 
with Mr. Tytler. Suffice it to say that the writing of 
Tytler's Memoir must have been a most congenial task 
to him, from the thoroughly kindred spirit of the 
biographer and his subject. Tytler's piety, playful- 
ness, vivacity, excessive love of children and delight 
in playing with them, as well as his extraordinary in- 
dustry and incessant application to study, even to the 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 251 

prejudice of his health, were all exactly reproduced in 
his younger friend ; to which it may be added that 
the lofty chivalrous feeling which is such an essential 
element in high breeding, and contributes to make Tytler's 
Memoir the "Portrait of a Christian Gentleman" charac- 
terized Burgon in a high degree, and was occasionally 
in him carried to the verge of the Quixotic. The 
beautiful little Poem "L'Envoy, addressed to P. Fraser 
Tytler," and " intended for the conclusion of a long un- 
finished poem, is a touching testimony to the community 
of sentiment which Burgon felt to exist between him 
and Tytler ; 

And bold I am to vaunt these joys to thee " 
(the joys of common sights and common sounds), 

" Friend of my heart ! for unto thee I know 
The simplest joys the dearest still to be," &c., &c. 

The general appreciation of Tytler's Memoir by literary 
men may be judged of by the accompanying letter from 
the Reverend Edward Churton (afterwards Archdeacon 
of Cleveland), whose general cultivation and competence 
as a literary critic are still remembered. A very nattering 
notice of the Book appeared also in the ' Quarterly Review? 
and in other periodicals of a high class ; and a second 
Edition, to which the author added a few new pages,was 
" called for within two months of the date of publication." 

FROM THE REVEREND EDWARD CHURTON, RECTOR 
OF CRAYKE. 

"Bournemouth, May n, 1859. 

" My dear Mr. Burgon, How can I thank you in any 
due measure for your Memoir of P. F. Tytler ? There is 
only one epithet, which we could find to apply to it, 
and that one we have repeated from beginning to end, 



252 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

as we read one Chapter after another, or rather inter- 
rupted our reading to repeat it after every second page 
or paragraph. It is charming, a charming piece of 
Biography, and surely of one of the most charming 
characters that has ever been shown upon this transient 
scene. We respond to every syllable of the last para- 
graph of your Postscript; we feel assured from the 
beautiful specimens of his conversation and rare social 
virtues, which you have given us, that all must have 
been as pure and lovely as you say. 

" What a beauty there is in his language itself, what 
pure enjoyment of Nature, what power of appreciation 
of character ! The Letter given in pp. 248-9, is worthy to 
be engraved in letters of gold. But how many little moral 
lessons of the same character are scattered up and down ! 

" Your own personal narrative of the excursion to Ben 
Muik Dhui is as delightful a bit of reading as I ever came 
across. It is truly redolent of the Highlands. But who 
can forbear envying your good fortune in having enjoyed 
such an excursion with such company ? 

"I left the neighbourhood of London in 1835, when 
it seems that Tytier's ' Hist, of Scotland ' first began to 
be much noticed. After settling in the N. Riding, 
opportunities of meeting friends, who were literary 
men, or who read the literature of the day, were much 
diminished ; and I fear, except for some casual mention 
of some of his historical discoveries in Letters from some 
of my friends, I have made no acquaintance with them. 
But truly your account of the man is enough to make 
others beside me wish to know more of his writings. 
He was one, if ever there was one, who had such a high 
sense of the duties of an historian : and his power must 
have been great. 

" The judgment of poor Mary Q. of Scots, p. 228, is 
very interesting. I have W. Tytler (the Grandfather's) 
Book at Crayke : and I thought at least that he proved 
the accusers to be so worthless, that he had destroyed 
the old evidence, on which Robertson and Hume built. 
But I have seen a volume or two of Prince Labanoff s 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 253 

Collection ; and one cannot, I think, go far with Mary's 
own Letters without a moral impression that she was 
not quite the person one would like to take a brief to 
defend. I suppose these later discoveries are those which 
turned the balance against her in Tytler's honest mind. 

" Do not trouble yourself to answer this, but consider 
it as an irrepressible testimony of thanks to you for your 
admirable Book. It must surely go through more 
editions ; and then should we not have a Portrait in the 
front of it ? 

" Most sincerely yours, 

" EDW. CHURTON." 

The earlier part of the year 1860 was marked for A.D. 1860. 
Burgon by his three months' sojourn at Rome (Feb. 19 I 4 ''^ 
May 20). The Rev. R. E. R. Watts (now Vicar of Wisbech), 
at that time Chaplain of the English Congregation at 
Rome, had occasion to be absent from his post for six 
months. Burgon, whose duties at Oxford did not allow 
him to be absent for so long a time, was only able to 
relieve Mr. Watts for half of the period ; and it was 
arranged that for the other three months of Mr. Watts' 
absence Archdeacon Thomas should undertake the duties 
of the Chaplaincy. Once embarked on the Pastoral work 
at Rome, we find him, true to his character and methods 
of action at West Ilsley and Fimnere. throwing the whole 
of his heart into his Ministry, and expressing an almost 
extravagant delight in it, just as on those earlier 
occasions. For this is the Dedication of his 'Letters 
from Rome] originally published in the ' Guardian ' 
at intervals between Aug. 15, 1860 and Jan. 2, 1861, 
and afterwards collected, and published, with the 
insertion of several additional Letters, in a single 
volume [Murray: 1862]; 



254 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

To THE ENGLISH CONGKEGATION AT ROME. 

(" February May, 1860;) 
" The most ' beautiful flock ' I ever shepherded ; 

In grateful remembrance of the days 
Which their kindness made passing sweet to me ; 

And with a humble prayer 

That, to some* members of that flock at least, 

The imperfect Ministrations of those days 

May not have been unblessed. 
"Oriel, 1 86 1." 

It must be remembered that, just as at Ilsley and 
Finmere there had been many other calls, in connexion 
with his College, his University, his pupils, his literary 
works to distract him from his pastoral labours, so at 
Rome there were a thousand new objects, offering all of 
them points of the deepest interest to a mind like his, 
which, in a man less many-sided, and less capable of 
doing many things at once, might have been held to 
excuse some amount of lukewarmness and slackness 
in Pastoral duty. We find, however, from the "Letters" 
that his ears and eyes are wide open to every object of 
attraction offered by the Eternal City; his note-book, 
sketch-book, and pencil are, as usual, in his hand all 
day long. He attends observantly all Roman services 
and forms of Devotion, and compares them with the 
Anglican, not unfairly 8 , though always of course with 

8 In proof of this, see his account certainly the least dull of teachers 
of a Jesuit's excellent sermon at a and preachers) ; and the following : 
"Missione" on Ascension Day "He must have a very cold hard 
[Letter ix. p. 82], his admission heart who should be able to pass 
respecting the " Dialogo," that it the solemn season of Lent in Rome, 
"combines almost all the advantages untouched by the number and 
of public chatechizing, and entirely variety of the methods he sees em- 
escapes all its evils," [p. 87] (the ployed for stimulating the piety of 
vivacity of the "Dialogo" would the people. ... I would defy any 
doubtless commend it to one who was clergyman, let his views be what 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 255 

a decided preference for the latter ; he listens to and 
reports Sermons and dialogos (showing that he must have 
possessed a fair working knowledge of Italian, probably 
he obtained the rudiments of it in childhood from his 
mother); he witnesses processions, missions, and the 
grotesque absurdities of relic-worship ; he has inter- 
views with the superiors of Convents, and elicits from 
them the truth as to the exact observance in their 
establishments of the Seven Hours of Prayer ; he visits 
and minutely describes the Catacombs, copying and 
commenting upon many of the Inscriptions, and showing 
therefrom the " unequivocal sympathy of the Primitive 
Age with the English rather than with the Romish 
branch of the Catholic Church " ; he gets access to 
several of the more rarely visited objects of interest, as 
well as to those which all the world makes a point of 
seeing ; and before leaving Italy, he visits Naples and 
Pompeii, and makes the ascent of Vesuvius, an incident 
which he records in his usual vivid and picturesque 
strain. The Book is concluded by three very useful 
Letters addressed to a nameless correspondent, who had 
apostatized to Rome, and had thought fit to remonstrate 
with him on his "position" as a member of the Church 
of England They are " intended to embody a popular 
reply to the popular objections made by Romanists or 
Romanizers against our own branch of the Catholic 

they might, to survey, in some out- standing on a palco (or little low 

of-the-way church, the large circle scaffold), just above their heads, 

of seated persons, commonly of the without experiencing the liveliest 

humblest class, listening with rapt emotions of pleasure ; and, (if the 

attention to some very familiar ex- truth must be spoken), a secret 

position of Christian duty, which ejaculation, ' I only wish J could 

was being delivered to them with make people attend half as well to 

infinite unction and gesticulation me ! ' " [Letter vi. p. 64.] 
by an impetuous, earnest speaker, 



256 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Church." In his Preface to the Work he explains that 
the Letters were not, in strictness, written from Rome, 
where indeed he could find no time to write them, but 
were drafted and thrown into shape after his return to 
England, from copious notes and sketches which he 
had made upon the spot. It is no doubt of a popular 
character, and addressed throughout (as he tells us in the 
Preface) "to intelligent rather than learned readers" ; but 
taking into consideration his pastoral work at Rome, 
and his Replies to the Seven Essays in ' Essays and 
/iV //<-/'*,' to which he found it necessary to address him- 
self immediately after his return, while this lighter 
work, descriptive of his experiences at Rome, was yet 
upon the stocks, it is really a most extraordinary 
performance. 

Letters II and III, addressed to the Principal of St. 
Edmund's Hall (Dr. Barrow), though such as the general 
public might esteem " dry " (as indeed a lady hinted to 
the writer that she thought them) are in one point of 
view the most valuable and interesting of all. The 
first of them gives a useful popular account, such as any 
one who applies his mind cannot fail to understand, of 
Codex B, the celebrated Vatican Manuscript of the New 
Testament, and of the labours of Cardinal Mai and Ver- 
cellone in connexion with it. In the second he discusses 
the relative value of the quarto and octavo editions of 
the Codex put forth by Mai and Vercellone, and the 
probable amount of accuracy with which each of them 
represents the original Codex, now lost. He sums up 
by fully admitting the antiquity of Codex B, of which 



9 "A lady did the writer the stantly improve his style : for that 

honour to send him word that if he ' ('odes tons eery dry' " [Footno 

expected these Letters to be read by to p. 64.] 
any of her own sex, he must in- 



- 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 257 

he says, " I see not how it can be thought more modern 
than the beginning of the fourth century"; while, as 
regards the authenticity of its text, " a very different 
thing from the antiquity of a Codex," his judgment is 
that " the text of Codex B is one of the most vicious 
extant/' In this manner he preludes his drastic ob- 
servations on the shortcomings of Codex B (as also of 
Codex N the Sinaitic Manuscript) in Chapters VI and 
VII of his ' Last Twelve Verses of St. Mark' and, at a later 
period, in his ' Revision Revised! In the judgment of 
Dr. Scrivener, the greatest living English authority on 
the Greek Text of the New Testament, Burgon ascribed 
to Codex B a value considerably below that to which it 
is injustice entitled. This will appear from a letter of 
Dr. Scrivener to the author, which will be more suitably 
introduced in connexion with Burgon's later labours on 
the text. 

He was indebted, he tells us, for the high privilege of 
examining the Vatican Manuscript (of which he must 
have availed himself on several occasions) to the Cava- 
liere G. B. de Rossi, author of ' The Christian Inscriptions 
in the Catacombs of the First Six Centuries after Christ' 
But that he was accompanied in his visits of inspection 
to the Vatican by other persons versed in the MS. 
treasures of the great Library, may be gathered from 
the following memorandum forwarded to the author by 
the Keverend Henry Symonds, Rector of Tivetshall : 

"In the summer of 1860 I was at Rome at the time 
when Mr. Burgon was acting as Chaplain to the English 
residents there. I was wandering one day about the 
Vatican Library, admiring Raffaelle's beautiful decora- 
tions of the book-cases, when I saw collected round 
a table in the window Mr. Burgon and two others. He 
was examining a rather large MS. It occurred to me 

VOL. i. s 



258 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

at once that this might be the renowned ' Codex Vaticanus ' ; 
for I knew that he was a man likely to be interested in 
seeing it. I therefore accosted him, telling him that 
I was accustomed to MSS., having been for seven years 
one of the Librarians at the Bodleian. He received me 
most kindly, saying ' Oh ! then you are quite the right 
person to see this MS., which is the ' Codex Vaticanus' 
So I had the satisfaction of seeing this famous Manu- 
script, which falls to the lot of very few. We talked 
about Coxe " [Henry Octavius Coxe, one of the " Twelve 
Good Men " of whom Burgon wrote Memoirs], " and the 
many quaint things that he would say. This interview 
gave me the chance of seeing several other MSS., among the 
very rarest of the Vatican Collection. Mr. Burgon had 
with him an Englishman, who seemed to be perfectly at 
home in the Vatican. He asked if there were any 
others I should like to see. I mentioned six or seven of 
the very oldest. He said he knew the numbers of them, 
and called for them at once. While I was examining 
these, Mr. Burgon pulled out and opened a pen-knife, 
for the purpose of cutting his pencil. The Gust ode im- 
mediately seized the ' Codex Vaticanus ' in his arms, 
evidently thinking that Burgon was going to cut out 
a leaf or leaves. But he soon allayed the Custodes 
fears by saying that the MS. was as dear to him as 
to the keeper of it. When I met Mr. Burgon at the 
Deanery at Norwich, I recalled the incident to him." 



Burgon returned from Rome in the May of 1860 to 
find himself appointed Select Preacher, and was called 
upon to make his first appearance before the University 
in that capacity at the commencement of the October 
term. His appointment was surely one of the instances, 
in which the hand of God's " never- failing Providence," 
which, whether we can trace it or not, "ordereth all 
things," great and small, "both in heaven and earth," may 
be traced in visible operation. It was the year in which 
that most censurable volume of crude, rationalistic. 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 259 

and dangerous speculations called ' Essays and Revieivsj 
a volume which we might congratulate ourselves 
was long since dead and buried, if it were not that 
the recent springing up of the dragon's teeth indicates 
that " the mystery of iniquity doth " still " work,"- 
was put forth by six of the higher Clergy and one lay 
member of the Church of England, to the unsettlement 
of many minds not well grounded in the truth, and to 
the dismay of all who had learned to consider their 
Bible, and the old faith which it enshrines, the most 
precious of all treasures. What may be called the first 
note of this ill-starred movement was struck by the 
Sermon preached in Oxford during the visit of the 
British Association 1 , of which Mr. G. V. Cox in his 
'Recollections of Oxford ' [2nd Ed. p. 461] gives the follow- 
ing notice : 

" Dr. Temple was not contented with preaching a 
sermon of a somewhat rationalistic tendency to what 
was, in a great measure, an ultra-Liberal audience, but, 
having dressed it up afresh, he presented it as an Essay 
' On the Education of the World,' in the forefront of 
that unhappy volume ' Essays and Reviews! " 

The ground no doubt had long been preparing in the 
minds of the alumni of Oxford. Doubts had been sown 
among them even by their authorised teachers. 

" Divinity Lectures " (writes the Kev. Henry Deane, 
reviewing the history of religious thought among the 
undergraduates in Oxford between 1846 and 1856) 
" were as a rule very poor during this period. ' Suspend 
your judgment on the Mosaic miracles,' one Tutor is 
reported to have said. ' Do you see any difficulty in this 
Article'?' asked another Tutor, while lecturing on the 
Thirty-Nine Articles. Of course the class saw no more 

1 The visit commenced June 25. 

S 2 



260 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON, 

difficulty in an Article than they did in Aristotle. So 
after a few words he said ; * Do you all see the difficulty 
now ? ' Of course they all saw it. ' Very well,' said the 
Tutor, ' let us go on to the next Article.' " 

Of course the influences brought to bear upon the 
unhappy undergraduates were by no means all of this 
sort. Many of the older men were deeply interested in 
them, and doing a noble work among them, specially Dr. 
Heurtley (Margaret Professor of Divinity), Mr. Linton, 
Mr. Litton, nay, Burgon himself, who, some time before 
the period at which we have now arrived, had set up 
Sunday Evening Bible Classes for the young men of his 
own College, which were extended, after he became 
Vicar of St. Mary's, to embrace a larger circle. 

" The appearance of ' Essays and Reviews,' " continues 
Mr. Deane, " was hailed with delight by many of the 
undergraduates. It was not so much the cleverness of 
the Essays that they admired as the independence of 
thought displayed by the Essayists. . . . The volume was 
the first thing that made us believe that seven English 
men of note had made up their minds to tell us the 
truth. The ' Essays and Reviews ' were shortly followed 
by Part I of Colenso ' On the Pentateuch ; ' and I believe 
that these two works, and the effect produced upon us 
undergraduates and neo-graduates by them, led Burgon 
to preach his famous Sermons on ' Inspiration and Inter- 
pretation.' ' : 

It was so undoubtedly. Burgon himself says as much 
in his Preface to the Volume, which is dated " Oriel, June 
2 4 th, 1861." 

" ' Essays and Reviews] " he says, " with the turn of the 
year experienced a vast increase of notoriety. The 
entire Bench of Bishops condemned the Book ; and both 
Houses of Convocation endorsed the Episcopal censure. 
... A clamour also arose for a Reply to these seven 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 261 

champions, not exactly of Christendom. * You condemn, 
but why do you not reply V became quite a popular form 
of reproach. ... It struck me that I should be employing 
myself not unprofitably at such a juncture, if (laying 
aside all other work for a month or two ;" we have 
seen that he had on his hand the drafting, and throwing 
into the shape of ' Letters from Rome to Friends in Eng- 
land' the various notes and memoranda which he had 
made during his Roman Chaplaincy ;) " I were to attempt 
a short reply to the volume in question, myself ; and to 
combine with it the publication of the Sermons I had 
already preached " (in his capacity of Select Preacher) ; 
" and which I had the comfort of learning had not only 
been favourably received by some of those who heard 
them, but had attracted some slight notice outside the 
University also. Accordingly, with not a little reluc- 
tance, in the month of February I began." 

The work is in two parts, Destructive and Construc- 
tive, to use his own phraseology. In the earlier part, 
which is ' ; addressed to the undergraduate members of 
Oriel College," he demolishes seriatim the arguments of 
the Essayists. His affectionate solicitude for them it 
is, he says at the close of this part, which has moved 
him to write. 

" I trace these concluding lines (of a work which, 
but for you, would never have been undertaken,) in a 
quite empty College, and in the room where we have so 
often and so happily met on Sunday evenings. Can you 
wonder if, at the conclusion of what has proved rather a 
heavy task, (so hateful to me is controversy), my thoughts 
revert with affectionate solicitude to yourselves, already 
scattered in all directions ; and to those evenings which 
more, I think, than any other thing, have gilded my 
College life? In thus sending you a written farewell, 
and praying from my soul that GOD may bless and keep 
you all, I cannot suppress the earnest entreaty . . . that 
you would persevere in the daily study of the pure Book 



262 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

of Life ; and that you would read it, not as feeling your- 
selves called upon to sit in judgment on its adorable 
contents ; but rather, as men who are permitted to draw 
near, and invited to listen, and to learn, and to live. And 
so farewell!" 

It is not necessary or desirable to notice in any detail 
this first and controversial portion of a work, which, 
admitting certain flaws and extravagances of expression 
in it, cannot be otherwise regarded than as a powerful 
blow struck for God's Truth, at a time when that Truth 
was being gradually undermined by the corrosions of a 
plausible Rationalism, and a magnificent vindication of 
the primary axiom of Revelation that God's word is to 
be received, by those who hear it from Prophets and 
Apostles, " not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, 
the word of God." [See i Thess. ii. 13.] Burgon is 
never seen at his best in controversy ; even granting 
that there is something in the error which he opposes, 
which may well rouse and exasperate a righteous zeal, 
he seems to lose all self-command in inflicting the 
censure, and when his conscience reminds him that even 
the worst errorists are to be remonstrated with before 
they are condemned, his remonstrance is too apt to take 
the form of a lecture and a scolding. Suffice it to say 
that he holds the Seven Essays to be knit together (as 
there is no doubt they are) by a common underlying 
idea, presented by the different writers in different 
aspects of it (" the germ of the last essay is contained 
in the first "), and that upon his Reply to the last Essay, 
(" On the Interpretation of Scripture ") he has bestowed 
especial pains and attention, giving an analysis of it 
in his Table of Contents, as he has done to none of 
the others. The writer of that Essay had maintained 
that Scripture is to be interpreted like any other 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 263 

book. Burgon shows that, if the Bible were like 
any other book in its origin and authority, the prin- 
ciple of interpreting it in a similar method might 
be freely accepted ; but that, since it is of a different 
character from every other book in the world, being not 
the word of man, but, though given through the vehicle 
of human minds and human language, the word of God, 
this difference of character justifies, or rather necessi- 
tates, a different style of interpretation. He would have 
done well to have added at full length what he has only 
quoted the concluding words of the following illustrious 
testimony to the soundness of his view, and to the shallow- 
ness and radical unsoundness of the view of his opponent, 
from Bacon's 'Advancement of Learning^ a testimony 
which, coming as it does from the Father of Inductive 
Science, and probably the greatest thinker and philo- 
sopher that our country has ever produced, deserves to 
be written in letters of gold : 

"But the two latter points, known to God, and un- 
known to man, touching the secrets of the heart, and the 
successions of time, do make a just and sound difference 
between the manner of the exposition of the Scriptures, 
and all other books. For it is an excellent observation 
which hath been made upon the answers of our Saviour 
Christ to many of the questions which were propounded 
to him, how that they are impertinent to the state of the 
question demanded ; the reason whereof is, because not 
being like man, which knows man's thoughts by his 
words, but knowing man's thoughts immediately, he 
never answered their words, but their thoughts : much 
in the like manner it is with the Scriptures, which being 
written to the thoughts of men and to the succession of 
all ages, with a foresight of all heresies, contradictions, 
differing estates of the church, yea and particularly of 
the elect, are not to be interpreted only according to the 
latitude of the proper sense of the place, and respectively 



264 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

towards that present occasion, whereupon the words were 
uttered, or in precise congruity or contexture with the 
words before or after, or in contemplation of the principal 
scope of the place; but have in themselves, not only 
totally or collectively, but distributively in clauses and 
words, infinite springs and streams of doctrine to water 
the church in every part : and therefore as the literal 
sense is, as it were* the main stream or river, so the 
moral sense chiefly, and sometimes the allegorical or 
typical, are they whereof the church hath most use : not 
that I wish men to be bold in allegories or indulgent or 
light in allusions ; but that I do much condemn that 
interpretation of the Scripture, which is only after the 
manner as men use to interpret a profane book."- 
" Philosophical Works. Of the Proficience and Advance- 
ment of Learning, divine and human." By Francis 
Bacon. Vol. I. Book ii. p. 128. 

The second and constructive part of ' Inspiration and 
Interpretation? equally necessary with the first, and far more 
interesting, is a gift of permanent and lasting value to 
the Church. The first Sermon recommending the study 
of the Bible, and giving instruction in the right method of 
studying it. was "intended," he tells us in the Preface, " to 
embody the advice which he had already orally given to 
every undergraduate who had sought counsel at his hands 
for many years past in Oxford." The points are, that 
the Bible is to be read through without any commentary 
or extraneous help, beginning at the beginning, and never 
skipping anything, " the best and freshest and quietest 
half-hour in the whole day" being " deliberately appor- 
tioned to this solemn duty," which "jealously-guarded 
half-hour will be found to be the one green spot in the 
day, like Gideon's fleece, fresh with the dew of the 
early morning, when it is 'dry upon all the earth 
beside.' " It should be added that Burgon guards care- 
fully against the false inference, which some might be 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 265 

disposed to draw from this admonition to " read the Bible 
through patiently, and humbly, and laboriously," without 
note or comment, the inference " that a man is either 
at liberty or able to gather his own religion for himself 
out of the Bible. The Book of Common Prayer is your 
sufficient safeguard. The framework of the Faith is there 
prescribed for you ; and within those limits you cannot 
well go wrong." 

The second Sermon is addressed to answer the objec- 
tion, " But this Book, for which you claim entire perfec- 
tion and absolute supremacy, is inevitably destined to 
be demolished by Natural Science." It is with the 
supposed conflict between the first chapter of Genesis 
and the discoveries of geological science that the Sermon 
deals. The teaching of a masterly Sermon preached 
before the University by Dr. Buckland (a great scientific 
authority) was warmly espoused by Burgon, as suffi- 
ciently solving all difficulties of this kind. After the 
first verse of Genesis, which simply records the creation 
by Almighty Power of all things out of nothing, a lapse 
of as many ages as the geologist may require may be 
supposed, in entire consistency with the sacred narrative, 
to take place. At the close of this long period of ages, 
some great catastrophe took place which submerged the 
earth, and wrapped it about with vapour, causing " a 
dire eclipse." A pipe had recently broken in St. Mary's 
Church which submerged all the seats, and necessitated 
the removal of the University Sermons to the Cathedral, 
where Burgon was then preaching. " Shall I think it a 
matter of course that one little flaw in a pipe shall, in a 
second of time, transform the orderly well-compacted 
seats of a goodly church to one unsightly mass of shape- 
less and disordered ruin ; and shall I pretend to stand 
aghast at the strangeness of a similar overthrow of this 



266 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Earth's furniture at the mere fiat of the Most High ? " 
In what follows of Genesis I. after verse i, the account 
of the reconstitution of the ruined earth out of the chaos, 
and its furniture for the abode of man, the days are to 
be taken as literal days, as the reason assigned for the 
sabbatical rest requires, an hypothesis to which Burgon 
tenaciously clung to the latest years of his life, when he 
had occasion to put it forth afresh. Without at all 
entering into the discussion, which is not the province of 
the Biographer, it may just be said that it is very 
doubtful whether the theory of regarding the days as 
long periods of time does not introduce greater difficul- 
ties than it removes. 

In Sermons III. and IV. he develops his Theory of 
Inspiration, explaining and vindicating in the latter 
the Plenary Inspiration of every part of the Bible, and 
pointing out that the possible corruption of the text in 
some passages constitutes no valid objection against the 
Inspiration of the original and true autograph of the 
Prophets and Apostles. From a note to Sermon III. 
[p. 83 k.] it appears that the teaching of Sermon II. as 
to the method of reconciling Genesis and Geology had 
been, on the Sunday after its delivery, " directly con- 
travened (it does not appear by whom) from the 
University Pulpit." From his rejoinder it would seem 
as if the preacher, who had contravened his teaching, 
had indicated that Moral Science is, no less than 
Physical Science, opposed to some parts of the plain 
teaching of the Bible. In reply he points out that 
the Moral Sense of man has, in virtue of the Fall become 
depraved, as the first Chapter to the Romans shows, and 
that a depraved Moral Sense must not presume to sit in 
judgment upon the consistency of God's moral attributes 
with certain Scriptural precepts to certain persons. This, 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 267 

however, is only an incident in the Discourse. It is 
chiefly occupied with apparent discrepancies in the 
Gospels, very many of which only seem to require for 
their solution the knowledge of some slight circumstance 
which would bring all into harmony. Spite of "the 
dignity of the pulpit " (" I hate the very phrase, it has 
been made too often the cloak of dulness"), this is 
illustrated by the supposition of a trial at the Antipodes, 
where three witnesses depose severally on oath to having 
seen A. B. " standing before Carfax Church, while the 
clock was striking one " ; " passing by St. Mary's, when 
the clock of that Church was also striking one " ; and 
on the steps of the Cathedral, when the Cathedral clock 
was striking one, the apparently discrepant testimonies 
of the three being brought into harmony by the fact, 
not known to every one, that "the three clocks in 
question were, till lately, kept five minutes apart." In 
the fourth Sermon the doctrine of Verbal Inspiration is 
affirmed with all that uncompromising strenuousness of 
assertion which was part of his character And surely 
every one, on calm reflexion, must think with Burgon 
that, if Inspiration is to avail for the instruction of 
mankind, the phraseology in which the sense is con- 
veyed, no less than the sense itself, must be subject to 
its control. 

"As for thoughts being inspired, apart from the words 
which give them expression, you might as well talk of a 
tune without notes, or a sum without figures. No such 
dream can abide the daylight for a moment." 

This Sermon is followed by a Supplement, in which he 
deals with the theory that, " the office of the Bible being 
merely to make men wise unto salvation," it does not 
follow that the Inspiration under which it was written 
must have secured the writers " against slips of memory, 



268 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

inaccuracies of statement, inconclusive reasonings, incor- 
rect quotations, mistaken inferences, scientific errors,"- 
a view which he admits " recommends itself occasionally 
to candid, and even to reverential minds." He requests 
any favourer of this theory to test it " by running his 
pen through the places which he suspects of being 
external to the influence of Inspiration," and ventures 
" to predict that such an one will speedily admit that 
his erasures are either so very few, or so very many, 
as to be fatal to the theory 'of which they are the 
expression." 

In Sermon V. he passes from the Inspiration of Holy 
Scripture to its Interpretation. The great point here is 
the Holy Ghost's method of Interpretation, as applied 
to His own foregone utterances, in other words, the 
principles which govern the citations made in the New 
Testament from the Old. In these passages GOD has 
been pleased to give us a clue to the interpretation of 
His own Word. This method of the Holy Ghost, 
when we study it, " altogether establishes the fact that 
the Bible is not to be interpreted like any other Book" the 
thesis this which the last of the Essayists and Reviewers 
had laboured to establish. It is in this Sermon that the 
writer, while carefully guarding himself against impeach- 
ing the historical character of the narratives of Holy 
Scripture, opens the way for those typical and allegorical 
interpretations in which he so much delighted. Our Lord 
Himself says that " Moses wrote of me." " Shew me the 
places in the Pentateuch," says Burgon, "which prove 
that CHRIST was f to suffer these things,' and then to 
' enter into glory.' You cannot do it ; unless indeed 
you admit Isaac's sacrifice, the indignities done to 
Joseph, and his exaltation, the Paschal Lamb, the wave- 
sheaf, &c., &c., to be figures of Christ, and recorded, as 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 269 

being so, 'for our admonition, upon whom the ends of 
the world are come.' " But the above are only hints as 
to the line which the interpretation of Scripture is to 
take ; there are many other types, not generally recog- 
nised as such, which we shall see if we look under the 
surface. Thus, in the narrative of Joseph's temptation, 

" Potiphar's wife may, (as the best and wisest of ancient 
and modern Divines have thought), symbolize the Power 
of Darkness ; and Joseph our Divine LORD. The garment 
Joseph left in the woman's hand, may represent that 
fleshly garment of which the true Joseph divested Him- 
self, (aKKbv<Td(jLvo$, as St. Paul speaks in a very 
remarkable place, which certainly means, 'having 
stripped off from Himself,') the mortal body 2 which 
Satan apprehended (his sole triumph !), and by which he 
was ensnared, when a greater than Joseph gat him out 
from an adulterous world." 

There is a grand passage, which we cannot find space 
for, but which the reader should certainly consult 
[Serm. V. p. 176] on the mystery of the interview be- 
tween Melchizedek and Abram, bursting into view in 
Psalm ex. just midway between the time of Abraham 
and the time of Christ. 

Sermon VI., " The Doctrine of Arbitrary Scriptural 
Accommodation considered," was not one of the course 
which he was called upon to deliver as Select Preacher, 
but was in fact his first University Sermon, preached ten 
years previously, with the added lights which the ex- 
perience of those years had thrown upon it. The notion 
combated in it is, that any passage of foregone Scripture 

2 It would seem from this that the clause which is given in the 

Burgon (in Col. ii. 15) accepted the margin of the Revised Version: 

reading rty Gap/to, for ras dpxds. having put off from himself his 

Or perhaps he took the words " his body, he made a show of the princi- 

body " to be understood after dirtK- palities, &c. 
s, a way of understanding 



270 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

has been by any New Testament writer " wrenched away 
from its natural bearing and intention ; and made to 
accommodate itself, and, on the part of the writer, 
quite arbitrarily, to a purpose, with which it has, in 
reality, no manner of connexion." The passage instanced 
in is Rom. x. 5 to 10, the contrasted utterances of " the 
righteousness whiclr is of the law " and " the righteous- 
ness which is of faith," in which St. Paul quotes with 
some notable alteration, and with what may be called a 
running commentary, Deut. xxx. 1 1 to 15 ; <{ as fair an 
example as could be desired of what is sometimes called 
'Accommodation'. . . I know not an instance of what, 
in any uninspired writing, I should have been myself more 
inclined to stigmatize as such." The variation of St. 
Paul from Moses, " Who shall go down into the deep" 
instead of " Who shall go over the sea" in order to point 
the application to the descent of Christ into Hades, is 
made under the immediate prompting of Inspiration, 
it is God " calling in the wealth of His ancient treasury, 
in order to recoin it, that He may more enrich us there- 
by," ^God, "taking His ancient speeches back into His 
mouth, in order that He may syllable them anew, making 
them sweeter than honey to our lips, yea, sweeter than 
honey and the honeycomb." And that the Christian 
application, which St. Paul makes of the passage, was 
intended by the Holy Spirit, when He put it into the 
pen of Moses, he gives good reasons for thinking, one 
of them being that in the first verse of the twenty -ninth 
chapter of Deuteronomy the covenant, among "the 
words" of which the passage is found, is said to be a 
distinct covenant, at the end of the pilgrimage of Israel, 
" beside the covenant which he made with them in 
Horeb" at the beginning of it, forty years ago. This 
new covenant Bishop Bull takes to be the covenant of 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 271 

Grace, which is implicitly and darkly preached in the 
passage in question ; and Burgon gives other reasons for 
thinking that what St. Paul finds in the passage of 
Moses was really designed by the Spirit who inspired 
Moses to write it, is anything but an arbitrary 
accommodation. The author cannot but think that, 
apart from interpretations of particular passages, the 
true and only clue of sound interpretation has been 
laid hold of, by the direction to look to the quotations 
made from the Old Testament in the New, and to con- 
sider what guidance and light may be discovered in 
them. The difficulties here, as in the Bible itself, begin 
with the beginning ; for the prophecies, of which St. 
Matthew finds a fulfilment in our Lord's infancy (St. 
Matt. ii. 15, 17, 23), are surrounded with difficulties, and 
offer doubtless to him, who studies them with devout 
docility, numerous bright glimpses into the Spirit's 
method of interpretation. 

The last Sermon deals with the subject which had 
been discussed by the third Essayist, the actual title of 
whose essay was " On the Study of the Evidences of 
Christianity" ; but, as Burgon truly says, the Essay should 
rather have been called, " The Validity of THE EVIDENCE 
FKOM MIRACLES considered, or rather denied." The 
Sermon considers both the Moral Marvels of Scripture 
(meaning, the perplexing problems which certain parts 
of it throw out to the moral sense), and its Physical 
Marvels, that is, its recorded miracles. Jael's act is 
selected as presenting a difficulty of the former class, 
and is elaborately vindicated. We must start with the 
assumption that her act was moral, because " God pro- 
nounced her blessed, and distinctly commended her for 
her deed, and no action can be immoral which GOD 
praises." He then shows how under the peculiar circum- 



272 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

stances, and from Jael's point of view, the act was jus- 
tifiable, nay, something more. " It is quite evident 
that each fresh oppressor of Israel was regarded, in the 
strictest sense, as the enemy of God-, and that, as the 
enemy of the LORD God of Israel, Sisera was summarily 
slain by the Kenite's wife." As regards miracles the 
" physical marvels " of Holy Scripture, while cordially 
admitting that "general laws of inscrutable Wisdom 
determined each case of miraculous interposition," he 
repudiates with something like scorn Mr. Babbage's 
suggestion that a miracle, is not " an exception to those 
laws which we know, but really the fulfilment of a 
wider law which we did not know before " ; shows that 
the paring down and extenuating the supernatural 
element in a miracle is, in view of all the circumstances, 
an untenable explanation ; and protests with his usual 
warmth (yet not too warmly) against the Ideology, which 
recognises in the miraculous narratives of Scripture 
nothing of matter of fact, but only the allegorizing of 
truths of weightiest import. The Sermons are followed 
by Appendices, chiefly confirmatory of his own view, 
from the works of Bishop Horsley, Bishop Butler, Bishop 
Bull, Bishop Pearson, and from the sermons of his great 
friend and predecessor in the Vicarage of St. Mary's, the 
Rev. C. P. Eden, a memoir of whom appears in ' The Lives 
of Twelve Good Men' 

And what was the immediate effect upon the audience, 
the reader will be disposed to ask, of the above Ser- 
mons ? Very much what the effect was of inspired 
preaching of old, and what will always be the effect 
of faithful preaching, framed on the model of the inspired. 
" The multitude of the city was divided " ; " some be- 
lieved the things which were spoken, and some believed 
not." " We did not think much of them at the time," 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 273 

writes one who was then an undergraduate, and attended 
the Sermons, "many of the passages in them being 
grotesque. It was said that an undergraduate of Oriel 
who had great influence with Burgon begged him to 
change his tone. The last sermon or sermons were very 
different from the first." No doubt, as in all Burgon's 
sermons and addresses, so in these also, there is a certain 
style foreign to the ordinary and conventional usage of 
the English pulpit, which was inseparable from the 
strong and marked individuality of the man ; but as for 
any grotesquenesses which could present a serious stum- 
bling-block except to minds of a most frivolous order, if 
there were such in the delivery, they have been ex- 
punged previously to publication. But the writer has 
been credibly informed, on authority which he cannot 
doubt, that the theory of Scriptural Inspiration pro- 
pounded in the Fourth Sermon presented a grave difficulty 
to the minds of some thoughtful and religiously-minded 
hearers among the undergraduates, who were not pre- 
pared for the alternative which seemed to be incisively 
presented to them ; Either the whole Bible is inspired, 
" the words as well as the sentences, the syllables as 
well as the words, the letters as well as the syllables, 
every ' jot ' and every ' tittle ' of it ; " or the whole of it 
must be abandoned, since no part of it can be certainly 
depended upon as an infallible guide. To this the 
present writer can only say that, supposing the doctrine 
inculcated to be a true one, the offence given thereby, 
however much it is to be regretted, could not have been 
avoided. And if the way of stating the truth was not 
(as perhaps it may not have been) altogether judicious, 
can the meaning which it was intended to convey be 
seriously questioned by devout and thoughtful men ? 
We know that GOD has not been pleased absolutely 
VOL. i. T 



274 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

to secure the text of His Holy Scriptures from cor- 
ruption (by carelessness of transcribers, interpolations 
of words designed only as marginal explanations, and 
so forth) ; he has left a certain amount of uncertainty 
here and there on the ipsissinia verba of Prophets and 
Apostles, to exercise the discrimination of those of 
His servants who * have leisure and skill for such 
studies, as also for the trial of the faith of His child- 
ren in general ; but supposing us to be in undoubted 
possession of the original autographs of Moses, Isaiah, 
the Evangelists, St. Peter, St. Paul, should we be 
willing to admit that a single verse or word of the text 
could be uninspired, and to dispense with it freely, as 
being immaterial, in our vain conceptions, to the just 
expression of the Holy Spirit's meaning? Without 
being at all prepared to assert that all parts of Holy 
Scripture are equally precious, equally vital, or have an 
equally deep spiritual import, an assertion surely which 
would carry its own refutation on the face of it, must 
we not maintain, if we hold Inspiration at all, that 
as, in the natural body of man, the breath of life is 
diffused through the whole frame (resides in the ex- 
tremities in the hair and the nails as well as in the 
head and the heart) so there is not a single jot or tittle of 
inspired Scripture which has not God's breath in it, and 
which, as having God's breath in it, has not some function 
or other to fulfil in the design of His inscrutable wisdom, 
though we may not always know or be able to discern 
what that design is ? If this image conveys a real truth, 
no part of the Bible, however apparently insignificant 
to us, not even the catalogue of the Dukes of Edom, 
or the long string of names of persons, of whom it is 
given us to know nothing but the names, as in Rom. 
xvi, could be dispensed with without a real loss. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 275 

But there were other hearers of Burgon's famous 
Seven Sermons, who were neither moved to levity by 
his "grotesque passages," nor offended and scandalized 
by his making the Inspiration of the Inspired Writers 
cover (as they considered) too wide a field. Here is 
the testimony of one of them, taken from a communiquee 
to the Record newspaper of August 17, 1888. The 
initials appended at the end of the paper are C. H. W. 
The author thinks it best to let it stand alone, without a 
word of comment except this, that it is in the highest 
degree unlikely that C. H. W. stood alone in the im- 
pressions which he carried away from Burgon's ministry. 
Indeed if the reader will refer to the interesting paper 
by the Rev. R. G. Livingstone given in a later Section, 
in the early part of which he gives an account of 
Burgon's Bible Readings with the undergraduates in 
his rooms at Oriel, he will see that Mr. Livingstone 
had imbibed from the Bible Readings very similar im- 
pressions to those which " C. H. W." derived from the 
Seven Sermons ; " It was nothing short of a revelation 
to me to discover that the study of the Bible could be 
made so full of interest and brightness so attractive, as 
he made it." 

PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF THE LATE 
DEAN BUEGON. 

[From the Record newspaper of August 17, 1888.] 

" From first to last, all my reminiscences of Dean 
Burgon are bound up with the Bible, treated as few 
teachers of divinity now appear to regard it, as God's 
word written ; ' absolute, faultless, unerring, supreme.' 
Some report of his being an interesting preacher drew 
me to the Cathedral at Oxford, one Sunday afternoon in 
the October Term of (I think) 1860, but I have no 

T 3 



276 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

means at hand of verifying the exact date. I went to 
hear the University Sermon, which he was appointed 
to preach. It turned out to be the first of ' Seven 
Sermons on the Inspiration and Interpretation of Holy 
Scripture/ delivered in answer to Essays and Reru't''*. 
There was but a small congregation to listen to this 
first sermon. The hearers increased as the series con- 
tinued. But those *who went from the beginning were 
well repaid. I can never forget what I heard that 
afternoon. It all comes back to me whenever I come 
across the text, ' Lord, to whom shall we go ? Thou hast 
the words of eternal life.' 'The study of the Bible 
recommended, and a method of studying it prescribed,' 
is the title of the sermon, which was specially addressed 
to undergraduates. The title gives a very fair account 
of the contents ; but no words that I can put together 
will describe what I myself gained that afternoon. 
In regard to Scripture, I acquired the rudiments of a 
fresh sense. I knew much of the text of the Bible 
already, I read it as a habit, loved it, admired it, and 
had learned much of it by heart. But I had never 
learned to look at the Bible as the preacher that day 
did. I went away with the feeling that I had just been 
presented with a new book, and must set to work to 
study it from the beginning, as though I had never seen 
it before. I began to do so, in the kind of way that 
was then suggested, and I have gone on ever since. 
The Bible has never ceased to be what it then became, 
a mine of hid treasure. And there is just as much to be 
learned still as there was at first. In fact, there seems 
to be much more. I cannot describe what happened 
that day in any better words than those which I first 
employed to describe it : ' Thy words were found, and 
I did eat them ; and Thy word was unto me the joy and 
rejoicing of my heart.' 

" From that time I began to take opportunities of 
attending St. Mary's when Burgon was there. Of course 
I heard the rest of the seven Sermons. Some of the texts 
made scarcely less impression upon me than the first 
had done. ' Do ye not therefore err because ye know 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 277 

not the Scriptures, neither the power of God ? ' was one 
of them. How often have I verified the fact that ignor- 
ance or disregard of Scripture is at the root of erroneous 
teaching ! And what a source of strength the discovery 
of this fact has been ! Again, ' Through faith we under- 
stand that the worlds were made by the word of God/ 
handled as Burgon handled it, was the beginning of 
another lesson of almost equal worth. I learned that 
for the understanding of the early chapters of Genesis 
it is not science or literary criticism that is demanded, 
but implicit faith in the record of creation to begin with, 
and then careful observation of what is written. I see now 
that not only is there no contradiction between Genesis 
and geology, but that the two do not even cross each 

other's paths Few men ever search the Scriptures 

as Burgon did, or can tell others how to search them. 
Hardly any one believes the Bible in the same way. A 
very little work done in his style carries one quite out- 
side the common horizon of criticism and exegesis. But 
it almost demands Burgon's talent for homely exposition 
and vivid illustration, to bring the knowledge obtained 
by his method before the ordinary sight. I would rather 
have heard him read the two lessons in the Sunday 
service than listen to any preacher I have ever heard, 
except (perhaps) himself. From his sermon on some 
Scripture scene or character I should learn more than 
from any other source of information upon earth. With- 
out wishing to say anything disparaging of others, there 
is to my mind the same sort of di3erence between 
Burgon's treatment of sacred history in matters of detail 
and what one commonly hears, as there is between 
a street boy's chalk scribble on a door or paling and 
a drawing of some sacred subject by Mr. Frederick 
Thrupp. It is not so much that what one commonly 
hears is inaccurate and wrong though too often it is 
both as that hardly any one seems to see that strict 
taste and perfect accuracy are required for the treatment 
of Scripture scenes and characters. The saints of the 
Old and New Testaments never complain. If living 
men are caricatured or misrepresented, they can remon- 



278 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

strate, and perhaps write to the newspapers ; but Moses 
and Elias, Samson and David, St. Peter and St. John 
keep silence, and let men take what liberties they will. 

" Dean Burgon never took liberties. He was as careful 
of the honour and reputation of a character in Holy 
Scripture as of his dearest living friends. I once heard 
him read the description of Rizpah's care for her dead 
children, from the Sunday lesson in the Second Book of 
Samuel. It was a thing never to be forgotten. As one 
said who was present, ' he read it as though she had 
been his own sister ! ' and so it was throughout. But 
his choicest theme was the Gospels. These were his 
favourite study. Here he was accustomed, as he said 
himself, to ' weigh every word in hair scales.' And what 
unsuspected beauties did he bring to light ! How many 
passages there recall him to memory ! The story of our 
Lord's temptation in St. Matthew, the harmonizing of 
what is told us of the healing of the centurion's servant, 
or of the blind men at Jericho ; the record of Pilate's 
indecision, and the title on the Cross ; the incidents of 
Easter morning, and of that third appearance of our 
Saviour at the sea of Tiberias ; not to mention the text 
containing that solemn question, ' What shall it profit 
a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own 
soul ? ' all these are inseparably associated with his 
memory in my own mind ; some of them, I doubt not. in 
the minds of many. We were to have had the text 
of the Gospels, and their harmony, from his pen before 
this. It was all but finished, and was promised years 
ago. But who is there to finish it, and who can gather 
up the thousand threads of loving reverential knowledge, 
that have fallen from his grasp ?..... 

" Dean Burgon was above all things else a Bible 
student and a man of God. He never failed to impress 
upon us St. Paul's lesson, that to 'speak with the 
tongues of men and angels,' to ' understand all mysteries 
in Scripture,' was nothing without life and love. His 
personal appeals to the conscience were always most 
heart-searching and solemn. He believed what he 









THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 279 

taught. From his intense belief in Holy Scripture 1 
have often rekindled my own. I never left him without 
feeling stimulated and reproved. To his teaching, under 
God, I owe all I know of divinity. Outside of Holy 
Scripture I know nothing. But for him, I should never 
have known the Bible apart from commentaries. Since 
he entered into rest, my thoughts have constantly tried 
to follow him into the Paradise of which he spoke with 
such reverential and humble insight. And my desires 
have been chiefly set upon two things. I cannot but 
believe that all the best and noblest souls among the 
saints of old must have risen up to greet him, and to 
take part in the welcome given him by ' the Lord of the 
dead and living.' I wish I could have heard what they 
said to him, and seen how they received him there. 
I doubt whether there has been such a reception for 
many a day. And next I have wished that I could ask 
him one question : * What do you think now of all you 
taught us about Holy Scripture ? Do you still see it in 
the same light, or are the men of this generation at all 
light in supposing that there is in the Bible a certain 
admixture of dross and error, from which we must by 
our critical faculties eliminate and sift out the truth ? ' 
To this question I have received an answer. I have no 
doubt of it at all, and it is this : ' I have given unto 
them the words which Thou gavest me (p?jjuara, words 
spoken before they were given), and they have received 
them, and have known surely that 1 came out from 
Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send me. 
I pray for them.' It is enough. There is nothing to 
alter in this view of Holy Scripture, which the man of 
God taught us. It is the very same message that I first 
heard from his lips : ' Lord, to whom shall we go ? Thou 
hast the words (prj/^ara) of eternal life/ It may be that 
men will count us fools for thinking so ; but let me be 
a fool with Burgon, if it be so, and let the wise men 
of this generation say what they please. It will all 
come right hereafter, and we have not long to wait. As 
he said himself, 'Be patient, O my soul, until the day 
break, and the shadows flee away.' " 



280 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 



To MRS. HUGH JAMES KOSE. 

" H. Conquest, Sept. 16, 1853. 

"My dearest Mrs. Rose, I cannot forget what to- 
morrow is 3 ; and if I could suppose that you could 
yourself forget, I would not write to convey to you 
one of the melancholy thoughts which the anniversary 
ever brings to me. But your faithful heart will have 
felt the shadow, which day by day deepens for you at 
this sad time : and if I cannot (as I know I cannot) even 
help to dispel it, I can at least convince you that my 
thoughts are with you. And this may be a small 
comfort in its way. Indeed all here remember the anni- 
versary ; and have already feelingly alluded to it. 

" The blow seemed full of wrath ; but you have been 
spared to see that there was mercy in it. Or if you 
have not seen much, your faith may at least suggest 
some very bright and comfortable reflexions. 1 will not, 
for I need not, particularly explain what I mean. I will 
content myself instead with inviting you to read atten- 
tively a portion of Scripture, on which I have been com- 
menting for the last few days, namely, St. Matthew xxv. 
You may also, if you please, read in connexion with it, 
St. Luke xix. i to 27. I gave twelve hours yesterday to 
the Commentary, and still feel very full of the thoughts, 
which the chapter of St. Matthew especially suggested, 
and which seem to me not inapplicable to yourself. 
Pray observe the concluding verses of it, from verse 31 
to the end. It seems to me like the solemn commentary 
of the Spirit on the two parables which precede 4 . . . . 
And with this remark I shall dismiss the subject. 

" Let me earnestly request that you will not, by any 
undue abstinence, distress yourself, and impair the spring 

3 Sept. 17 was the anniversary of xxv. 30. The " passage which ends 
Josephine Mair's death, which he the chapter " (what is usually called 
had already adverted to in an earlier the Parable of the Sheep and Goats ) 
letter to Mrs. Hugh James Rose. " may be considered, in some sort, as 
See above, p. 161, and footnote. the solemn Commentary of the Spirit 

4 These very words occur in his on the two parables which precede." 
' Plain Commentary ' on St. Matt. 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 281 

of your mind, when these sad days come round. Nor 
yet feel regardless of things present, and suffer yourself 
to grow weary of the sun. Rather let me affectionately 
implore you to catch eagerly at every little blessing, 
which Almighty Love throws in your way ; and be 
happy knowing that God wills nothing less than the 
happiness of His creatures, in time and in eternity. 
. . . See how, this year, a Sunday follows your day of 
heaviness. Is it not a blessed earnest that, though 
' heaviness may endure for a night, yet joy cometh in 
the morning ? ' 

" My dearest Mrs. Rose, 

" Your affectionate, 

"J. W. B." 

FROM THE REVEREND J. W. BURGON TO THE RIGHT 
HON. W. E. GLADSTONE, M.P. 

"Oriel, Feb. 27 [1854]. 

" My dear Mr. Gladstone, I am much struck with 
your kindness overwhelmed with work as you must 
be in rinding time to write me so long a letter. My 
first impulse was, not to trouble you with any reply : 
but besides wishing to thank you for your kindness, I 
desire to say what occurs to me as often as I advert to 
the letter I received from you on Friday. The few 
words which follow are not committed to paper, believe 
me, with the remotest desire of provoking rejoinder. 
You will have read them, and I shall be content. 

" You speak of tie University, as if [it] had an existence 
apart from the Colleges. Not only however is this not the 
case actually, but even historically I find no traces of the 
circumstance either. At all events, why the separate 
existence and distinct operation of the University is now 
to be fostered and developed I must (very humbly) 
profess myself unable to perceive. Neither can I 
acquiesce in the supposition that the religious character 
which every founder stamped on every College in Oxford 
is an indication that the University (supposing it to have 



282 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

had a distinct, independent existence) bore a different 
impress. 

" Let it be supposed however that this is a matter of 
opinion. And let it be granted that you are a far better 
judge of the matter than myself. What appears to be 
the simple fact, Government is about to take steps with 
regard to this ancient seat of piety and learning which 
will amount to nothing less than a revolution. Respon- 
sible, the Government is not to any earthly power. The 
country at large is indifferent as to what they do in this 
regard. Fathers who have smarted for their sons' ex- 
travagance at College will applaud anything which looks 
like a measure of retaliation; while the sons (who are 
sure to impute to the University the faults which were 
all their own), they also will look on and rejoice. Was 
there ever a measure proposed, having a manifest ten- 
dency to weaken the Church, to cripple one of her 
healthiest limbs, to divert into other channels the 
revenues which are directly or indirectly hers, and to 
promote secular at the expense of sacred learning ; was 
ever such a measure proposed without winning support 
and favour from the world at large, whether within or 
without the House of Commons ? 

"No less as a Christian statesman, therefore, than as a 
faithful son of Oxford, I will but implore Mr. Gladstone 
to keep himself (if possible) unbiassed as well by the 
animosity of those who hate us, as by the conflicting 
views and wishes of our almost as dangerous professing 
friends. I will make bold to remind him that the truth 
is not of necessity on the side of those who are most 
clamorous for change: that these Institutions have worked 
well hitherto are working well now will work better 
and better every year, if let alone : that the world grows 
stronger daily, and that this is no time for dismantling 
those fortresses where the Church has ever nursed her 
warriors, and whither she has never turned in vain for a 
champion in her hour of need. 

" This visible framework of things is indeed passing 
fast away ; and it is no figure of speech which you 
employ, but a sober reality, when you speak of hereafter 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 283 

looking Founders in the face. TJiey did their work nobly, 
and have long since gone to their reward. Do not you 
suffer others to mar their holy work ! Let me cling to 
the hope that while you assist, and in some degree direct 
the counsels of Government, so great an injury as I 
apprehend will never befall these ancient institutions. 
Do not you, dear Sir, I beseech you, consent to a measure, 
the tendency of which may directly or indirectly be, 
to promote the encroachments of the world upon the 
Church, and to weaken the cause of Christ in the world. 
Forgive my great boldness : but this matter lies far 
nearer to my heart than you would suppose. I am 
ever, with sincere regard and admiration, my dear Mr. 
Gladstone, 

" Your obliged and most faithful servant, 

" J. W. B." 

To THE REVEREND ALFRED HEXSLEY. 

;< 5, Burton Crescent, July 19, 1854. 

" My dear affectionate Old Man, . . . 

" I am sorry to say that my dearest mother both has 
been, and continues to be, very poorly indeed. I feel 
very heavy on the subject. The rest of my beloved 
circle are tolerably w T ell remember you with affection 
and send you a very kind message indeed. 

" Oxford, I fear, has seen her best days. Her sun has 
set and for ever. She never more can be what she has 
been, the great nursery of the Church. She will be- 
come a cage of unclean beasts at last. Of course we 
shall not live to see it; but our great grandchildren -will : 
and the Church, (and Oxford itself) will rue the day 
when its liberties and its birthright were lost by a 
licentious vote of a no longer Christian House of Com- 
mons. 

" The mischief will quickly show itself in some small 
respects. The Dissenters, who now talk like injured 
men for being excluded from the walls of the University 
(which is no injury at all), will soon be heard to com- 
plain that they have not equal rights with ourselves. 



284 LIFE OF DEAN BUBGON. 

They will discover that they have a conscience, and 
cannot attend chapel or divinity lectures. . . . They will 
claim (and obtain) the right of proceeding to M.A. and 
holding fellowships. THE END will be the driving out 
the Church from what has hitherto been her fortress 5 : 
and she will have to build herself little strongholds else- 
where. ... It is one of our many national steps in a 
downward direction ; one of our many abandonments of 
a great principle ; one of the many preliminary measures 
to the severance of Church and State ; one of the many 
approaches to a state of national irreligion ; one of the 
many beginnings of the end, which mark the slow but sure 
advent of the latter days. 

" You have asked for my opinion, my dear friend ; and 
I give it you freely and fully : very grieved to have to 
give such an opinion ; very sorry to have to draw so 
gloomy a picture concerning the future destiny of the 
place we both love so well. 

" In the meantime, it is our joy to think that while 
the nation sins thus heavily or, to say the least, errs so 
grievously, every individual may advance in holiness 
and virtue, and serve GOD acceptably, however humbly, 
in his generation, and stand erect in his place in the 
latter days. 

" May we be found, we and all we love best where 
the good and great of all ages will be, for CHKIST'S sake ! 

" Remember me most kindly to your dear wife, and 
believe me, 

" Ever, my dearest Old Man, 

" Your affectionate friend, 

" J. W. B." 



To THE REVEREND ALFRED HENSLEY. 

" 5, Burton Crescent, London, Dec. ai, 1855. 
" My dearest Hensley. I cannot explain to myself, 
and therefore shall scarcely be able to explain to you, 

5 All these prognostications were Universities Tests Act seventeen 
fully realised at the passing of the years later in 1871. 






THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 285 

how it should happen that letters, which give me such 
lively pleasure as yours always do, should accumulate 
upon me unanswered. Had you me under you, however, 
a rapier in your right hand, and a bludgeon in your left ; 
a pistol in each pocket, spurs at your heels and a crow- 
bar between your teeth, Mrs. Hensley beside you with 
needles, a bodkin, and a toasting fork I say, did I be- 
hold punishment in so many shapes awaiting me, I 
should falter out that the only cause has been because I 
have felt that any day I could write ; and because I have 
always determined that the day should be to-morrow, a 
day which, as you are aware, never comes. 

" The penny post has many advantages doubtless ; but 
I am sure its counterbalancing evils are of a very serious 
nature. Among the chiefest I reckon //<?, that one 
seldom or never writes letters as the men of the century 
beginning 1725 and ending 1825 wrote them, letters of 
private friendship, written for friendship's sake; note* 
one writes true : but letters seldom, if ever. Every 
post brings in its half-dozen sundry appeals, which will 
have the best end of an hour in the reading, replying, 
and rending. Thus one's time for correspondence gets 
flittered away, and the full tide of ink becomes dispersed 
in a hundred imperceptible channels. It seems to me as 
if I never wrote a pleasant letter to a friend. 

" Thank you, dearest fellow, for your many affectionate 
little letters, which give me so many agreeable peeps at 
a domestic fireside, a gentle wife, and (I like to think) a 
well cared for parish. All your little doings interest me, 
will always interest me. as much as you can desire or 
design : and I ever cherish the hope of spending some 
few days with you, where I may learn by heart the 
lesson I already know by rote ; namely, the name and 
nature of your whereabouts. Whenever my sisters see 
me looking a little fagged or thin, I am commonly asked 
why I do not pack up my traps, and go down to see 
Alfred Hensley ' who always invites you so affec- 
tionately, ' &c. My own history, dear friend, has been 



286 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

a most monotonous one since you saw me. My Com- 
mentary and Sermons finished, before turning to any- 
thing biographical, I have been engaged on an antiquarian 
matter, a brief memoir of the Colleges of Oxford. E'njlit 
1 have written, and four have been published. The rest 
will appear before June. But it is an expensive work 
(only one copy given we\] and you must not buy it. 
The last number wall be Worcester. That you may get, 
if you like, and make Spiers happy. (Think of Spiers 
turning publisher !) But I long to get this off my hands, 
and turn to the life of my dear friend Tytler. From 
that I go on to Eouth, and then, if I live, to my Har- 
mony. In the meantime, my prints are published this 
day by Hering, and I hope he will make them answer. 
(I need hardly say that these things are all the Pub- 
lisher's, not wine.) Thus have I rattled on, and covered 
two sheets, and you would scarcely believe that I write 
with an aching heart, full of affecting recollections, which 
this festive (not joyous) season brings thick upon me. 

" But I will not write sadly to the man I love at such 
a time. He will wish to know that I am with my father, 
sister, and brother ; that I go hence (on New Year's Day) 
to Turvey Abbey ; and thence to Houghton ; returning 
to Oriel by the 1 9th January : but if he desires to picture 
me truly, he must picture one whose heart seems buried, 
and who tries to live in the future in vain. The year 
1 8/54 carried away with it what gave life its sweetness 
and its charm 6 , charm and sweetness unknown or at 
least unappreciated until they were removed. 

" God bless and keep you and your dear wife, dearest 
Hensley. Remember me affectionately to her, I beg. Be 
sure and spend a night at Oxford going or coming. 
When I give you a cold welcome, then forget 
" Your loving friend, 

"J. W. BURGOX." 



He means his mother, who, it will be remembered, died Sept. 7, 1854. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 287 

To THE REVEREND ALFRED HENSLEY. 

"Oriel, Nov. 8, 1856. 
" My dearest Old Man, 

" I am very well thank you, dearest fellow : that is to 
say, I have nothing in particular in the way of health to 
complain of. Strong I cannot say I do feel ; but I do 
not ail in any way except, alas, SPIRITUALLY. 

" What vexes me most is the utter inability I ex- 
perience TO DO anything. I am seldom, if ever, inactive: 
yet the impertinences of daily life fill up the day ; 
and the residuum is a sleepy head and weary limbs. 
And yet, by a strange perversity, my plans thicken 
and multiply with my inability to carry them into 
execution. 

" Thus though I have smarted considerably under 
the mortification of not being able to open my box of 
T-ytler papers since the Long, I have actually begun 
collecting materials (traditional, of course, chiefly) of 
Dr. Routh ! . . . that will form an amusing memoir, I do 
believe 



" Now I take it for granted that Lad da never thinks 
of going into the nursery, even of a rainy day; that 
week after week passes, and he is quite content with 
a report from the nuss, &c., &c., &c. . . . Or does the 
old man pass whole hours with the little duck in his 
arms ? 

" The weather with us is cold and cheerless. Penarran 
itself must be looking queer and the roads must have 
regained their wintry character. Well, every season has 
its charm : and intus si Itene as the inscription runs 
on the monument in Houghton Church it matters little 
what weather is without. The sense of God's love and 
support is the intus, remember, not the image of the 
passing cloud now, all the changes and chances of this 
mortal life are passing things ! . . . My kindest regards at 



288 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

the Moat : love to your sister : kiss to baby : and all 
that is affectionate to yourself, from 

" Dearest Old Man, 

" Your loving 

"J. B." 



To THE REVEREND ALFRED HENSLEY. 

"Oriel, March 17, 1857. 
" My dearest Friend, 

" Pray give 7 a special kiss for me, and tell her 

that Jier mark is the first cross thing I ever saw her do 
and that I am persuaded, when I think of her dear 
parents, that it will be the last ! 

" I daresay you will like the chair 8 on the whole 

Everything of that kind looks rubbishy in a dirty shop. 
When the chair gets worn, and is in the good company 
of your fireside, it will improve, I am persuaded. 

" Nothing shall prevent me (D.V.) from reposing in it 
this summer, as you so affectionately propose. I quite 
long to see the Brithyn again (how it seems but 
yesterday since I looked on them last) and to hear the 
Mule prattling along, and to pace, with you, the short 
walk between the yew trees 9 ! 

7 A grotesque name for Mr. Hens- And roved the mountain- valley near 
ley's young child, who, being unable thy home, 

to write, had put a cross against Dear Hensley ? 

that clause o f the letter in which she Meanwhile the Mule went sparkling 

sent her love to Burgon. on its way 

8 Burgon had been commissioned Beside us, babbling, bubbling. And 
by his friend to purchase a chair you said, 

for him in Oxford, which, in send- ' The Mule comes trickling down 

ing it off to him, he describes at from yonder hill ; 

length. Finds the Mahelly; the Mahelly 

9 " Did we not hold such converse, finds 

when, last June, The Severn ; and the Severn finds 

We paced thy garden-walk between the sea. 

the yews, 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 289 

" And now, about the portrait ; I saw at Reading the 
other day, something in a style which I think on the 
whole will please you better than Richmond. It is in 
coloured chalk, marvellous life-like, and the artist is avail- 
able (which I am sure Richmond is not), and it will be 
rather cheaper . . . may I obtain for you the artist's name 
and address (I asked both, but forgot the reply !), and 
either communicate with him, or put you in communi- 
cation with him yourself? 

" I am confident that the result would delight you MORE 
than Richmond. You will perhaps say, ' But wliy ? if R. 
be the best draughtsman of the human head living ? ' 
I answer, ' Because this is NOT to be a portrait^ but a 
copy of two imperfect representations, and I doubt 
whether the marvellous reality of Richmond's pencil would 
not rather realise those two representations than the sainted 
original . . . Do you see what I mean ? A less piercing 
and precise, a more submissive pencil, would be more 
likely to please you than Richmond's vigorous handling 
of a subject which, alas ! he never saw. 

"As regards my books you will need no assurance 
that I have as yet found time for nothing ! No, I am 
indeed finishing off my memoirs of the Colleges (Wadham, 
Pembroke and Worcester alone remain to be done) ; but 
this is all I shall be able to achieve on this side of 
Easter, I am sorry to say. After Easter, however (D.V.) 
I shall apply myself vi et armis to old Routh, and trust 
I may have done something considerable by the Long 
Vacation. 



All find the sea at last! Alittle while pp. 86, 87]. 

Parted asunder, but a little " The Brithyn," writes Mr. Hens- 
while ley, " are two hills springing up 

And then all find the sea.' .... abruptly in the vale of the Severn, 

Whereon we took and almost overhanging the river. 

Our journey home in silence, and They are about seventeen miles 

sat down from Kerry, and form a very pretty 

To watch the slumbers of thy feature in the landscape, when 

motherless babe." looking down the Vale of Severn 

" Worcester College " [' Poems,' from Kerry heights. ' 

VOL. I. U 



290 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" Think of me at five o'clock on Sunday evening (till 
six) reading Genesis with a class of the citizens, at the 
Town Hall. Last Sunday was my second lecture ; 
I have about fifty, and enjoy it much. So, I think, do 
they ... I cannot bear the sense of inactivity ! 

" As regards local news, the chief is that Neate (who 
lives above me) is ttfe candidate for Oxford borough l . . . 

" On Wednesday and Friday evenings we have Lenten 
Sermons at St. Mary's. The Bishops of Oxford and 
London, Dr. Hook, Moberly, Trench, Wordsworth, 
Pusey, are among the preachers. I wish you could 
see how full St. Mary's is on those evenings. 

" I think much of you, dearest fellow, knowing how 
full of grief all this season cannot fail to be. Let me 
entreat you, however, to look with gratitude on that 
little bud of promise which is yet left you, and to 
remember that every bursting leaf and opening flower 
is a precious pledge, as well as a most living type, 
of the great reality which is in store for her, for you, 
and (for the merits of Him who died for all!) I trust 
for me also. 

" Ever my dearest Alfred, 

" Your most loving friend, 
J. B." 



1 Mr. Neate, eminent for his to this squib, which has been pre- 

abilities even among Fellows of served by Mr. G. V. Cox (' llecol- 

Oriel, who were all in those days lections of Oxford" 2nd edition, 

men of mark, was elected for the p. 427) : 

City, but unseated for bribery in " Poor Mr. Neate soon lost his seat, 

the following July on the ground Upset by his agents for bribery ! 

that his Committee (to whose pro- So the neat's tongue tvas dried, 

ceedings he was not privy) had en- With many jokes beside, 

gaged a very large number of the Quae nunc esset longum per- 

constituents as paid messengers; scribere." 
the circumstance which gives point 



THE OXFORD LIFE: THIRD PERIOD. 291 



To THE REVEREND ALFRED HENSLEY. 

"Oriel, June 3, 1858. 

" My dearest Hensley, 

" I rejoice to hear so nice an account of you and yours. 
I trust it will last for ever ! How the summer seems to 
have burst upon us ! I fancy I see your house and gar- 
den, and the green dell beyond, and I hear the Mule 
babbling, and I see you coming towards my window with 
a smile upon your face. It is breakfast time, and we 
have tea, bacon, and a large crusty loaf. It is tea time, 
and we have the same kind of loaf and tea, and some 

little cutlets Now it is prayer time, and Hyacinthe 

comes in. ' so fond of Papa ! ' you cry, ' and so good.' 
.... Whereupon the hope of the house pulls to pieces a 
nosegay of flowers, kicks, yelps, and goes through mani- 
fold exhibitions of a meek and chastened spirit. Lo, she 
is conveyed upstairs, and ' so good/ exclaims ' dear 
Papa.' 

" A kiss to the chick,, my love to the Moather 2 , a 
heart} 7 , more than hearty, greeting to your dear self ! 
" Ever your affectionate, 

" J. W. B." 



2 By the Moather Burgon means 
Mr. Hensley 's father and mother- 
in-law, who resided near him at 
" the Moat," a place so called 
from an ancient earthwork and dyke 
in the grounds. " The Moather " 
means the good people at the Moat. 
Mr. Hensley was at the time re- 
ferred to (as at the date of this 



letter) Curate of Kerry (St. Michael), 
Newtown, Montgomeryshire. Hya- 
cinthe, the then " motherless babe/' 
of whose " slumbers " mention is 
made in " Worcester College " 
['Poem*,' p. 87], was Btirgon's god- 
child, and he always manifested a 
loving interest in her. 



U 2 



CHAPTER II. 

THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 
Tour in Egypt, the Sinaitic Peninsula, and Palestine. 

[Sep. 10, 1861 July 18, 1862.] 

IT was John William Burgon's ministry at Rome 
which gave occasion to his tour in the East. " Behind 
A.D. 1860, the pulpit of our little Church," he writes in his Journal 
'**'* under date Oriel, Sunday Evening, Oct. 14, j86o, "sat a 
lady whose face I never saw. The two ladies next to 
her I always noticed, and was always interested with 
the younger." The "little Church" was the English 
Chapel at Rome ; and the lady turned out to be Miss 
Webb, who when he met her at the house of a mutual 
friend (Mrs. Macbean), " spoke of the East and her in- 
tention to travel there," and subsequently, in an expedition 
which he made with her and her two friends to Sette 
Bagni, definitively proposed to him to accompany 
them to the East ; " but I rejected the proposal grate- 
fully but firmly. . . It was not till we made the circuit 
of the Lake Albano together she and I that I ever 
seriously contemplated accompanying her to the East." 
Subsequently, " a fortnight (0 that never-to-be-forgotten 
fortnight !) at Naples cemented our friendship, and 
acquainted us not a little with one another. I can 
see the finger of God in it all. How dexterous in its 
operation ! And will He not work for me in the days to 
come ? I think it ; and in that humble confidence shall 
go on my way rejoicing." 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 293 

Further particulars of this meeting with Miss Webb, 
and of their plans, will be found in his letter from Naples 
to his sister (Mrs. Henry John Rose), excerpts from which 
will be given at the end of this Period. 

It appears from his Journal of a fortnight later 
(Oct. 27, 1860), that (for that year) he underwent a 
keen disappointment as regards the Eastern tour, Miss 
Webb writing to him " to announce that she had aban- 
doned her Eastern journey, and to explain the grounds 
of this entire change in her plans." The change 
caused him, it appears, not disappointment only, but 
pecuniary loss (connected with some arrangements as to 
the change of College Officers, a change affecting the 
income of such Fellows as held office). But both dis- 
appointment and loss he bore, as the Journal attests, in 
the most exemplary manner, reckoning up his gains by the 
postponement of the tour (for it turned out to be only 
postponed, not abandoned) in the following fashion : 

"i.I shall have the comfort of seeing dearest Hugh " 
(his nephew, recently come up to Oriel) " through thejirst 
year of his University course. 

" 2. I shall be able to keep on at the Workhouse, and 
my other useful and quasi-pastoral occupations. 

" 3. I shall gratify the Reays " (great friends of his 
from the very commencement of his Academical life), 
" and many others by stopping in England. 

" 4. I shall have time to prepare myself fully by 
reading and otherwise for my Eastern tour. 

" 5. I shall be able to publish (D.V.) at least two works 
before I go, besides finishing my Roman Letters. 

" 6. I shall enjoy twice as pleasant a tour (D.V.) ; for 
I shall start with her, and earlier in the year. 

"7.1 shall enjoy the benefit of a year's interval of rest ; 
and truly that is requisite after a journey to Rome. 

" 8. The East will probably be more settled by that 
time, so that we shall see much more 



294 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" On the whole I desire to bless God for all that lias 
happened, and to express my unfeigned submission to 
His Divine decree." 

A.D. 1861. O n J une 2 5> 1 86 1. the Journal notes ; 
\&t. 48.] To-day, at a little after 2 p.m., I wrote the last words 
of ' copy' for * Inspiration and Interpretation* (the Table of 
Contents). Very thankful I feel to have completed the 
task, and very, very weary too. The weather is sultry ; 
the College empty ; my rooms littered and dusty ; on 
every side some trace is discernible of something which 
has been neglected in order to enable me to give the 
more time to this task." 

On the icth of September, 1861, the much wished for, 
but deferred tour began, the party consisting of Miss 
Webb, Miss Frances Guise (a cousin of Miss Webb's), Cap- 
tain and Mrs. Bayley, and himself. Two ladies' maids 
accompanied Miss Webb, the elder of whom insisted on 
taking her bullfinch with her, which bird will figure in 
the story further on. The various stages of the tour, as 
well as (for him personally) its ill-starred and disastrous 
close, are thus described rapidly in a most affectionate 
and interesting letter addressed to one who had been in 
early days his Tutor at Mr. Greenlaw's School in Black- 
heath, the Rev. Dr. John Forbes, Emeritus Professor of 
Oriental Languages in the University of Aberdeen. The 
letter is dated Jan. 12, 1863, and was written in the 
course of his somewhat tedious convalescence. 

" In the autumn of 1861 , 1, who till 1860 (when I went 
for three weeks as English Chaplain to Rome) had never 
allowed myself holiday or recreation since 1841, left 
England on rather a distant tour. A lady whom I had 
known at Rome invited me to accompany her party as 
her Chaplain. We went from Constance across the Alps 
to Milan, Venice, Trieste, whence we proceeded to Alex- 
andria and Cairo. W"e went up the Nile to the Second 
Cataract, and back to Cairo. Thence to Sinai, Petra, 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 296 

Hebron, and Jerusalem. There, at the end of a fortnight, 
I fell ill ; and the dream of my life (Samaria and Galilee) 
I could not visit. A fever caught at Jerusalem, but in- 
judiciously treated, fastened upon a constitution naturally 
strong, but enfeebled by over-study. I was conveyed to 
Jaffa ; lingered some weeks at Beyrout ; and finally 
reached England last July, where I have been ill ever 
since ! The rest of my party saw all I so much desired 
to see, the Holy Land, Smyrna, Constantinople, the 

Danube, Munich, and so on Need I tell you that I 

endeavour to bow my heart to the Divine decree, sure 
and certain that perfect Love and unerring Wisdom have 
been at work on my behalf." 

For the rest, Burgon shall speak for himself, in his 
own lively and affectionate style, both as to the original 
proposal of the tour, and as to his own experiences of 
foreign travel, and the movements of his party. 



To MRS. HENRY JOHN ROSE. 

"Naples, June 3, 1860. 

" My dearest Carry, 

" This is only to communicate to you what I cannot 
keep from you at Houghton and Turvey any longer 
though I must entreat that for the present it may be 
kept strictly to yourselves. 

" As I was riding round the Lake of Albano, side by 
side with Miss Webb, she told me in a kinder manner 
than I like to write down, that she wished to try to 
persuade me to accompany her to the Holy Land as her 
Chaplain. Her party consists of a naval officer and his 
wife, a Miss Wynne, and of course Servants, &c. I 
hesitated, but she is so much in earnest, and this visit 
to Naples has so clenched the matter that I think it may 
now be regarded as a thing to come off if God wills. 

"The brief outline is: I am to join her at Thebes, 
shortly after Christmas we are to see part of the Nile ; 



296 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

then to take Petra if we can ; if not, to go at all events 
all aljout the Holy Land. She says laughing that she 
leaves the mapping out of that part of the tour to me ! ! ! 
Then we are to come through Smyrna, Constantinople, 
Athens, and Greece generally, to Venice, and to part 
either there or at Florence. The tour will last some six 
or seven months. 

" I have tried to* persuade her that my society as 
Chaplain is not worth the having : but she is quite firm, 
and in short the thing is settled. 

" You will ask who is she ? She is a lady of consider- 
able fortune I find a niece of Sir John Guise I 

did not meet her in Rome until a few days before she 
left : but then we became friends. My poor ministry 
seems to have been very acceptable to her. 

" Of course I could not be with her now, except that 
her cousin and her kinsman are travelling with her : so 
we four form a pleasant party very pleasant to me 
certainly. The retinue consists of her two maids and 
courier. We go about delightfully ; and she is never 
tired of seeing us happy. 

" Many, many more particulars when we meet. Her 
wish was that I should have started down the Nile with 
her in October : but I cannot get away from College so 
soon, and I must and will start my loy 3 nicely before I go. 
After Christmas, I see no reason however why I should 
not allow myself this great gratification the realisation 
of all my wildest dreams. She tells me very often that 
we shall see everything, and is for ever making me talk to 

her about the Holy Land, and about the Gospels 

She has never heard of my Commentary, or Sermons. 
It is a friendship which has grown out of a slender 
beginning indeed. Her manners are very charming, and 

3 He means his nephew, Hugh back to my happiness " (in the ar- 

James Rose (Mrs. Henry John rangement with Miss Webb) "is 

Rose's eldest son, named after his the necessity of leaving my dearest 

illustrious uncle, the Rev. Hugh Hugh behind me at Oriel. God 

James Rose), who had recently come grant that I may make the most 

up to Oriel. He says in his Journal of the present term to start him 

(of Oct. 14, 1860) : " The only draw- fairly in his new career." 






THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 297 

her independence and pleasant good sense are truly 
delightful. 

" With a hearty kiss to all (whom I long to embrace) 
" Ever, my dearest Carry, 

" Your loving Brother, 

" J. W. B." 

To MRS. HENRY JOHN ROSE. 

" Hotel du Brochet, Constance, 
" Sunday, Sept. 22, 1861. 

" My dearest Carry. I seem to have been marvellously 
silent towards you all : but the days fly wondrous fast, 
and every moment of them is filled wondrous full. Let 
me at least tell you something about ourselves. 

" That we came hither all safe and sound, I think you 
know. Our route lay through Paris, Basle, Zurich ; but 
we travelled so fast that we saw nothing except the 
beautiful Swiss panorama from the railway-carriage 
window, coming from Basle to the Lake of Constance. 
On arriving here all that hospitality could provide has 
made the place delightful to me. We have delightful 
quarters (eight or nine rooms at the best hotel), a carriage 
daily ; and unbounded kindness. 

" Our Hotel is within 100 yards of the Lake, beyond 
which is a belt of blue mountains. The quaint old man- 
sion in which the famous Council of Constance was held 
is on our right, very picturesque it is. (I have drawn 
it of course.) The scenery is far from grand (except that 
snow mountains come to view the moment the air is 
clear), but it is very beautiful indeed, and the drives are 
delightful. The people quite charm me. They are so 
quiet, honest, sober, civil, kind to their animals, and in- 
offensive, that you cannot return from a walk without 
liking them better than before you started. The place is 
Roman Catholic, and the contrast between this form of 
Romanism and the Romanism of Rome interests me 
immensely. Miss Fanny" [Miss Guise] "and I get an 
early walk, and poke into every hole and corner, and come 



298 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

back two or three times a day with a host of new notions 
and odd discoveries. Tell dearest Rose that my van/ 
circumscribed knowledge of German is the greatest barrier. 
But we contrive after a fashion. Miss Fanny knows about 
a hundred words, and I have learnt about twenty. 

" It would not interest you much, or indeed at all, to 
have the names of the places we have driven to and 
drawn. I reserve it 'all for some happy future day. The 
chief thing I wish to explain is that we are here'so long 
simply because, Constance being the residence of Miss 
Webb's courier (who has a charming house by the Lake 
about two miles off), she makes her head-quarters, and 
keeps her carriages and luggage here. All the planning 
and packing takes place here, and it is only within the last 
day or two that the plan of our future march has been 
fixed. We have been joined by Mrs. Bayley only to-day, 
and she is not quite well. On Tuwlay n'c sfart. Our 
route lies through Milan and Verona to Venice. There 
we are to halt for six days, and so on to Trieste, whence 
at the end of two days we proceed to Alexandria. 

" This is a charming old place a decayed city, but full 
of interest. I have made several drawings, chiefly in 
order to get my hand in, and hope that I shall be able 
to achieve something of interest before I return. 

" You will be glad to hear that I feel wonderfully im- 
proved in health, and I am told look much better than 
when I came out ... I read and write next to nothing ; 
but eat, drink, sleep, draw, and walk or drive. Miss 
Webb's kindness is unbounded. All is as luxurious 
and comfortable as can be. I was so gratified to hear her 
say after I had been vaunting of Tina 4 to her, that she 
hoped to have her as her guest some day in Chesham 
Place. 

" I find my sketching umbrella very useful ; but the 
weather has been rainy and even cold. In the East it 
will be invaluable. All my equipage does well as far as 
I have had occasion hitherto to prove it. 

4 His niece Emily, the eldest daughter of Mrs. Henry John Rose. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 299 

" I will write in a day or two again. But I am anxious 
to send you all my love, and to ask after you all. Re- 
member me with fondest love to every one. Tell the 
beloved children that I miss them sadly. 

" Ever dearest Carry, 

" Your loving brother, 
" J. W. B." 

To THE REVEREND HENRY JOHN ROSE. 

"Hotel de la Ville, Milan, Oct. 2, 1861. 

"My dearest Rose, It is midnight, and this is the 
second of two fatiguing days ; but I perceive that the 
next and the next will be even more fatiguing ; so I 
must send you a few lines before going to bed. 

" We left the Tyrol and entered Lombardy on Monday, 
coming across the Stelvio Pass, which is perhaps the 
grandest. I can scarcely give you any idea of it with 
my pen, but I have made plenty of sketches (indeed my 
pencil never rests) and kept a full journal. The Stelvio 
Pass is the highest carriage road in Europe, being 9176 
feet above the sea, and half a mile (perpendicular) above 
the Simplon, 1000 feet above the great St. Bernard. The 
day was splendid, not a cloud in the sky, and the view 
unspeakably grand. The Ortler Spitze (' the giant of the 
Rhaetian Alps ') was before us ; and we looked down on 
its many glaciers streaming from its sides, every wrinkle 
in the ice visible. I wished much for you all ... We 
were far above the line of perpetual snow of course. 
Then we descended (the road quite wonderful, eternal 
zigzags) to Borrnio, where we slept. Yesterday we came 
on from Bormio (the first town in Lombardy) to Morbegno 
(starting at six, and getting in at eight, fourteen hours 
drive), a small town in the Valtelline (or Val of Tellina), 
passing through a perfect garden for beauty of scenery 
and fertility of country. The vintage was going on, and 
the sights were lovely. Peasants carrying huge baskets 
of grapes, carts with full vats, and all sorts of rustic 
occupations, such as Virgil may have seen. The costume 
most picturesque, and all most pleasing. To Miss Webb, 



3OO LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

who knows every inch of the road by heart, and who is 
disgusted because she cannot post with four horses, it 
was stupid enough ; but to me it was a rare treat. 

" This morning we came on from Morbegno to Colico 
(on the banks of the Lake of Como) and went down the 
lovely lake in the afternoon from end to end. At eight 
we left Como, and reached Milan at ten. We are in 
splendid quarters. .*.... 

" To-morrow I must be up early. A ralet fie place is to 
wait upon me ; and I flatter myself I shall tire him out. 
We have but one day here ! On the next day we go on 
to Venice and stay there for five days. I long to receive 
news of you all there D.V. Till Oct. 12, letters will find 
me at Hotel de la Ville, Trieste. 

" I think of you all hourly. Tell my Tan 5 that as we 
drove past the Rosanne river, Miss Fanny asked me if I was 
not thinking of Anna Rose. Kiss all for me. Remember 
your Article on Bishop Home for the Quarterly 

" With much love, ever, my dearest Rose, 
" Your loving Brother, 
"J. W. B." 



To THE REVEKEND HENRY JOHN ROSE. 

" Between the Island of Philse 

"and the ist Cataract, Jan. 16, 1862. 

" My dearest Rose, This is my first letter to any of 
you since I was nearly in this locality about one month 
ago. And it must be to you, because your birthday fell 
out about midway. I did not fail to think of you, my 
dearest fellow, very affectionately on the 3rd, and to 
wish you from my soul (and to myself and to so many 
more) many happy returns of that day. May GOD 
preserve and bless you, bless you in your beloved ones, 
and in your Parish, for CHRIST'S sake. 

" You are doubtless sufficiently familiar with the 

5 His niece, Miss Anna Kose, daughter of his correspondent. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 301 

geography of the Nile to understand from my date 
where we are, and what we are about. We have happily 
achieved our journey as far as the second Cataract (which 
we saw and shot), and from that spot (Wady Halfeh) 
have been coming down the Nile ever since, arriving at 
this village (Mehatte) last night after spending a long 
day at Philse. We reached the second Cataract on the 
3 ist of December (singularly enough), and have been 
since coming back, stopping to see every Temple in the 
way. There are fifteen of them ; and I have made draw- 
ings of all but two, which we saw on a Sunday. I have 
been very happy, and have copied several inscriptions 
(especially the curious one, which the soldiers of Psammi- 
tichus engraved on the left leg of the colossal figure of 
Rameses the Great, close to the door-way of the rock 
Temple of Abou-Simbel). Indeed I have not been idle 
(except sometimes between sunset and seven o'clock) for 
a single hour, I believe. We have all enjoyed perfect 
health and been very happy. As for Miss Webb's kind- 
ness, I cannot describe it. She says she will repeat the 
journey next year, if I will, or rather can, come with her ; 
for we all wished sadly to have gone up as high as 
Abyssinia. She stops the boat till I have done drawing, 
and is bent only on making us all happy, in which she 
certainly succeeds. I long for you to know her. Mr. 
Bayley will have made far more than a hundred photo- 
graphs, some exquisite ones. Miss F. is the helper of all 
the party, and my companion in all my scrambles and 
drawings the gentlest, cheerfullest spirit imaginable. 
Mrs. Bayley has looked after my eyes as kindly as any 
sister could, touching them with nitrate of silver every 
morning, and giving me a lotion every evening for half- 
an-hour. I perceive that my hard reading has weakened 
them very considerably. Thank GOD however, since the 
three dark days at Cairo, I have not been hindered a 
single day from drawing, though I have winked and 
blinked like an owl. 

" We have seen some wonderful sights certainly ; but 
two are preeminent, viz. the Rock Temple of Abou- 
Sirnbel and the Island of Philse, which is the loveliest 



LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 



object imaginable, and quite a romance 6 . I had no idea 
of the beauty and interest of the Nile, and we are all 
agreed that travellers must be blind to have said so little 
about it. What a vividness will what I have been seeing 
and doing for the last two months give to all my sub- 
sequent reading in relation to Egypt ! and how I should 
rejoice if you could be here you all to share the delight 
with me ! 

" Since I wrote the preceding we have shot the rapids 
of the Cataract and are safely moored to the Island of 
Elephantine. As we came in between it and Syena 
(Assouan). I read aloud and laughed heartily over the 
account of the place given by Herodotus (Crophi and 
Mophi) 7 . That feat of shooting the Cataract is really 

6 " A calm and noble reach of the markable for the magnificence of 

the panorama which they afford, or 
the historical associations which 
they evoke ; but the view of Philse 
is nothing but one of pure beauty 
.... The temple of Karnac is the 
embodiment of the majesty of Egyp- 
tian art ; Philse is the point at 
which we see that majesty blending 
with the pure beauty of Greece. 
The scene of ruin almost heightens 



majestic river, shut in like a lake 
with its mountain border, soon 
opened on us through a portal of 
the last of those scattered piles of 
sombre rocks through which we had 
forced our noisy way ; and in its 
midst an island slept, as it were, in 
enchantment the sacred Philte ; 
its temples of mysterious sanctity 
half hidden by sheltering groves of 
palm, and reflected far down into 
the broad, silent, and glassy river. 
Gliding across this tranquil basin, 
we furled our sails and laid the boat 
under the deep cool shadow of a 
high bank overhung with foliage ; 
certainly the most beautiful spot in 
Egypt. A graceful columnar build- 
ing, of the later style of Egyp- 
tian art on a bold and massive 
foundation, looked down from amidst 
clusters of palms upon the water 
one of those combinations rather 
like the creation of a painter's fancy 
than an actual scene." Bartlett's 
The Nile Boat' [London: H. G. 
Bonn, 1 862], p. 209. 

" Other views in Egypt are re- 



the effect of Karnac ; it jars with 
the beauty of Philse. We look away 
from the black rocks ; we hear the 
distant roar of the cataracts, speak- 
ing of rage and strife ; and we re- 
cognise in the lovely island the 
abode of Peace." Bell's From 
Pharaoh to Fellah ' [London : Wells 
Gardner, 1888], p. 142. 

7 The passage of Herodotus re- 
ferred to will be found in Book II. 
Euterpe. Cap. 28. A translation of 
it is subjoined : 

" With regard to the sources of 
the Nile, not one of the Egyptians, 
or Libyans, or Greeks, with whom 
I have conversed, ever professed to 
know anything, except the Kegistrar 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 303 

a perilous operation. We took on board thirty-two 
fresh sailors, and in our boat alone we were sixty souls. 
An accident would be certain destruction ; but an 
accident has not happened for twenty-five years, when 
the boat was lost, and all the fourteen people on board 
perished. The tide boils through a channel ten yards 
wide and about fifty long, and along you rush with 
three men to each of the ten oars, two pilots and two 
captains being all the time objurgating and urging the 
men and one another. The instant the peril was over, 
out came the drum and tambourine, and some of the 
sailors sitting in a circle began to chant a merry tune, 
while an old buffoon danced with a stick. O we have 
certainly seen some of the strangest scenes imaginable 
of late ! I long to describe it all to you. 

" I heartily trust I shall have good accounts of you all. 
It makes me anxious after so prolonged an absence from 
England. 

" This evening I believe we leave Assouan and begin 
to drop down the Nile to Cairo, where we expect to be 

of the sacred treasure of Minerva bottomless/ he said, ' was the con- 

at Sais, a city of Egypt. But this elusion at which Psammitichus the 

individual, in my opinion at least, king of Egypt arrived by experi- 

was only joking when he asserted men t ; for having caused a cable to 

that he had a thorough knowledge be twisted many thousand fathoms 

of the subject. He however gave f n length, he let it down into the 

the following account : < That there aperture, and yet never reached the 

are two mountains, whose crests rise bottom.' " 

into sharp peaks, situate between The historian adds, as his own view 

the city of Syene in the Thebaid o f the subject, that, supposing the 

and Elephantine; and that the story. about Psammitichus's experi- 

names of these mountains are, of me nt to be true, what really pre- 

the one Krophi, and of the other vented the plumb-line from going to 

Mophi ; that the sources of the the bottom was, not that there was 

Nile, then, which are bottomless, no bottom, but that the strong eddies 

flow from between these two moun- and whirlpools which the Kegistrar 

tains; and that one half of the admitted to exist at the source of 

water flows into Egypt, and towards the river (and which still are found 

the north, while the other half at the Cataracts), would not allow 

flows into Ethiopia, and towards the lead to sink, 
the south. That the sources are 



304 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

by the middle of February, and to stop at Cairo till the 
end of the month. Thence Sinai and Petra, if GOD will. 

About sixteen Temples remain to be inspected 

and drawn between this and Cairo, at which place I 
mean to send home all my journals and sketches and 
purchases, which are very numerous, all three of them. 
No pyramids as yet, and Thebes only cursorily, have we 
seen. In short, tnree months is not enough (nor six 
months either) for Egypt. 

" I shall be curious to hear the fate of my book " [' In- 
spiration and Interpretation '], " in which afjreat deal remained 
to be clone by yourself. I hear from England that 750 
copies were sold at Murray's book-sale. . . . You seem to 
have had cold weather. With us it is very hot ; far too 
hot to draw in the sun, but the nights in Nubia (which 
is a lovely country with a delicious climate) were cold 

enough We are absurd enough to feel as if it were 

quite commonplace to be in the vicinity of Thebes, quite 
cockney. Every thing in Nubia is so agreeable ; the people 
so harmless and kind ; the face of Nature so interesting ! 
In short, I cannot express the easy luxury of such travel- 
ling as this. 

" But it is time to conclude. Adieu, dearest Rose. GOD 
bless you all. We talked and thought of you so much 
on Christmas Day, when we decked our cabin with 
evergreens, and had turkey and plum pudding. We 
have daily prayers, and spend some of every day with 
our Bible, which gives quite a home flavour to our 
furtherest wanderings. 

" Ever, my dearest Rose, 

" Your loving brother, 

J. W. B." 

The above letter contains, in its earlier part, a reference 
to his having " copied the inscription which the soldiers 
of Psammitichus engraved on one of the legs of the colossal 
figure of Rameses the Great, close to the door-way of 
the rock Temple of Abou-Simbel" [Ipsarnboul]. On the 






THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 305 

night of the 4th Jan., 1862 (twelve days previously to 
the date of the letter) he had spent an hour in the rock 
Temple, which he afterwards described in print, by 
extracts from his Journal. This he did in compliance 
with the request of Miss Finn, the daughter of the 
English Consul at Jerusalem, who showed him the 
greatest possible kindness when under his roof, and 
brought very low by the Jerusalem fever. Some ex- 
tracts from this paper (now not easily obtainable) are 
here presented to the reader, partly in order to illustrate 
the preceding letter, partly by way of exhibiting the 
poetry that was in him, and that intense susceptibility 
to the sublime and the grotesque (they lie proverbially 
close together), which characterized him from his earliest 
youth. 

" While we were at breakfast, a swing of our boat 
brought us within a stone's throw of Abou-Simbel. We 
were soon moored to the bank. Up a hill of golden 
sand the mighty sand-drift which half hides the front 
of the Temple, we climbed impatiently ; and every 
sentiment of awe and admiration, even of surprise, 
which the first sight of the four amazing colossal figures 
which guard the entrance had inspired, was reproduced 
in an instant. There is a calm dignity in those faces, 
an air of imperturbable gravity prevailing over what 
might once have turned into, but what you feel never 
can become, a smile, which awes and yet wins you at 
the same instant." 

lie then describes the interior of the Temple, with its 
vestibule and thirteen chambers, and its adytum (or 
inmost shrine), behind the altar of which, "a mere 
square block of stone, four grim gods sit, facing you as 
you enter." 

" My next object was to obtain a sight of the famous 
Greek inscription left by the soldiers of Psammitichus 
VOL. i. x 



306 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

(B.C. 600). on the base of one of the colossal figures of 
Rameses the Great at the left of the entrance. Nothing 
was to be seen, the sand being more than half way up 
the calf of the figure in question. There had accumu- 
lated round us a strange number of men and boys. They 
live, I suspect, on the top and in the rear of the rock in 
which the Temple has been excavated. Like birds of 
prey at the sight of % carrion, down they had come at the 
news of our two boats. AH was instructed to offer 
twenty of them five piastres apiece if they would remove 
the sand, with a promise of extra pay (so as to make up 
a pound) if the inscription were discovered. Twenty or 
thirty men and boys were busily at work in an instant, 
scooping away the sand with right good will, and chant- 
ing lustily all the while. One to whom I owed the 
pleasure of that journey, and who always took the 
liveliest interest in operations of this nature, on hearing 
of my agreement with the natives, kindly insisted on 
defraying the expense herself. The shrewdness of those 
fellows amused us all. Without understanding a word 
of English, they divined the upshot of what she was say- 
ing, and instantly changed their chant and its burthen ; 
admitting her, so to speak, into the concern. (Before, I 
had figured alone.) Any thing more unscientific than 
their method I never witnessed. The sand streamed 
back as fast as they removed it ; and still they were for 
going on, without resource or remedy of any kind. Their 
stupidity astonished me. The ladies of our party took 
their seats on a little fragment of rock, and watched 
the operation with great delight. It was really a very 
animated scene." 

The inscription having at length been disinterred, 
Burgon copies it with great care, and, standing on the 
backs of "two most good-natured and accommodating 
Nubian boatmen, takes accurate measurements of the 
face of one of the four colossal figures at the entrance." 

The Paper concludes thus : 

"Strange, that after transcribing so much of my 
Journal, 1 have not yet written the few words, for the 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 307 

sake of writing which I took up my pen ! After what 
precedes they will at least be fully intelligible ; which 
else, they certainly would never have been. 

" At about ten o'clock in the evening of this most in- 
teresting day, a strong wish came over me to go back, 
and pay one more visit to Rameses the Great. Two of 
our party expressed their willingness to bear me com- 
pany. We furnished ourselves with a slender pole, to 
the extremity of which we secured a candle : left our 
shoes behind us, (the sand was so warm and soft to the 
feet, and walking with shoes was so very inconvenient) 
and after the most noiseless fashion imaginable, took 
our starlight way towards the Temple. We were soon 
there. 

"Having entered, we made a complete survey over 
again of every part ; leisurely exploring the walls in 
every direction with our solitary candle, so as to obtain 
a notion of what was anywhere incised upon them. 
The silence was intense : the whirring of the wings of a 
nervous little bat, who made the circuit of the Temple 
with us, the only thing audible. We found our way into 
the remotest chamber of all, the shrine ; where (as I 
have said before) four gloomy gods face you, in a sitting 
posture. Quite awful was it to find them still sitting 
there in the dark, as, twelve hours before, we had left 
them, motionless, in grim majesty. 'And there they 
will sit ' (we said to ourselves) ' unconscious of change, 
until the ages shall have run out, and the end shall 
be!' 

" The last thing I did on leaving the great hall of the 
Temple was the first thing I had done on entering it, 
namely, to obtain a careful survey of the features of the 
first colossus on the right, by lifting up the candle above 
the head of the figure. I cannot express how striking 
was the result. In that vast, mysterious, cavern-like 
chamber the only object in bright relief was the coun- 
tenance of the monarch who, 3,200 years ago, had caused 
this mighty fabric to be wrought out of the solid rock. 
The serene majesty of the expression of those features 
was even affecting. It was the deep repose, the profound 

X 2 



308 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

calm, of death. Making the boatman who waited on us 
hold the light for me, I drew for a few minutes, minutes 
which seemed like hours ; so many solemn thoughts 
crowded themselves in, unbidden. None of us spoke. 
The silence was so intense that one might have heard 
the ticking of one's watch. What is strange, at last, 
on looking up from my paper, I thought I saw the 
beginning of a smile on the lips of Rameses. Intently 
I gazed, and of course recognised the sufficiently obvious 
fact that the supposed smile was merely the effect of my 
own imagination. But it is just as certain that I gazed 
on until. I am half ashamed to write it. but it is true, 
until the features seemed to me to smile again. Then 
they grew graver than ever : but at last I felt sure that 
they relaxed just a little bit again. One's nerves 
were getting over- strung. I invented a sentiment for 
the lips to utter, and felt sure that I was interpreting 
their most expressive outline rightly. I daresay, if I 
had been alone, and had stopped long enough, I should 
have heard Rameses speak. It would have been some- 
what to this effect : ' You seem astonished, Sir, at what 
ou are beholding in this remote corner of my dominions, 
wonder ; for with all your boasted civilisation and 
progress, you could not match this edifice in the far-away 
land to which (as I gather from your uncouth dress and 
manners) you and your friends belong. I have been re- 
posing here in effigy for upwards of 3,000 years. I have 
seen generation after generation of ancient Greeks, and 
then generation after generation of ancient Romans, enter 
this ha]l ; peep and pry, as you have done this evening ; 
and then vanish at yonder portal,, as you will your- 
selves do a few moments hence. If I smiled for an in- 
stant just now (it is not my wont to smile), it was only 
because you really looked alarmed as well as awed at 
my presence. But I shall not smile again. So now, go 
home, Sir, go, and write a book, like the rest, about the 
little you have seen in Egypt ; but let it humble you 
to remember that Rameses will be standing here, un- 
changeable, long after you, and your book, and all that 
belongs to you is utterly forgotten. You may go, Sir. 






THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 309 

It is getting late for you. You had better go, Sir. 
Good night ! ' 

" We lingered : retiring a few steps, and then turning 
again to look ; profoundly conscious that we were 
looking our last ; that we should never fasten our eyes 
on those glorious forms again. I fancy too that we 
were, all three, impressed with an uneasy suspicion that 
it was not mere lifeless stone that we had been visiting, 
and were now leaving to profoundest silence and utter 
gloom. ... It was a relief to emerge into the fresh 
evening air ; to survey the starry heavens overhead, 
Orion, and the rest ; and to recognise our two boats, 
bright with lights, beneath us, moored to the bank of the 
broad shining river." 



To MRS. HIGGINS. 

"Cairo, Feb. 21, 1862. 

" The contents of box No. i were very acceptable. 
The reviews " [of his Book on ' Inspiration and Inter- 
pretation^ "interested me of course. I think they are 
not by any means unfair, from the point of view of 
almost any one but a Divine and he a very earnest 
one. Laymen will naturally think me unduly harsh. 
I cannot say, after the two opposite currents of praise 
and blame, whether I am right or wrong. I suspect I 
must be rather in the wrong, and have been too personal, 
though I am by no means sure. Dr. Jebb, Mr. Darby, 
and MANY others, back me up unconditionally. Anyhow 
I think the ' Literary Churchman,' unreasonably brief con- 
cerning so very large and thoughtful a work, and ' T/ic 
Guardian ' somewhat harsh ; for the Reviewer barely 

admits, however, it matters not. I did what I thought 

my duty 

" Your loving Brother, 

J. W. B." 



310 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

To MRS. HENRY JOHN ROSE. 

"Cairo, Feb. 26, 1862. 

" How much I wished for you and the beloved children 
in Nubia ! Travelling there is so very delightful, and 
so very amusing ! I drew incessantly, and shall have 
a great deal to show* you when I return. 

" But when that will be I do not exactly know ; for 
Chase holds on S. Mary's (entre nous) till October ; and 
there is a great, great deal in our programme ! Meantime 
I accumulate keepsakes for you all; and keep ample 
journals of every day's occupations. The interest of 
these countries to one who dips a little below the surface 
is indeed great. When you consider that Memphis (close 
by) was illustrious certainly a few centuries after the 
Flood, it is needless to say how stirring and how striking 
are all indications of the missing links in the long chain 
of the history from that day to this. You would be 
amazed at the interest and the wonder of the ground 
I drive over daily. 

" To-morrow, for example, we hope to pass at Helio- 
polis the On of Genesis. The solitary Obelisk which 
stands in the middle of it was there in Joseph** ft we, and 
it was there probably that Moses received his education 8 . 
It is a most complete wilderness now, but one which 
seems to teem with mysterious life ! 

"Your loving Brother, 

"J. W. B. 

" The carriage is at the door and the donkeys are 
waiting." 

8 Dean Stanley enters with even seen standing in its proper place, 
more enthusiasm than Burgon on and there it has stood for nearly 
the associations clinging to this fa- four thousand years. It is the 
mo us obelisk. " The other vestige oldest known in Egypt, and there- 
of the great Temple of the Sun (the fore in the world, the father of all 
high-priest of which was father-in- that have arisen since. It was 
law of Joseph) is the solitary obe- raised about a century before the 
lisk which stood in front of the tern- coming of Joseph; it has looked 
pie. This is the first obelisk I have down on his marriage with Ase- 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 311 

To THE REVEKEND HENRY JOHN ROSE. 

"Cairo, Feb. 26, 1862. 

f My clearest Rose, 

"That I am well, and so on, you will learn from my 
letters already written, and which will reach England 
along with this. I do not suffer in any respect eyes or 
hand ; but I have thought it right to consult a great 
oculist who is here for his health, and whose advice 
amounts almost to this ' Wear spectacles, attend to 
your bodily health, and do not use your eyes at night.' 
More easily said than done! However, I really mean 
to be careful. 

"All is now settled for our journey. We shall be off 
by the close of next week (D.V.), with upwards of thirty 
camels. Our exact equipage you shall hear more of 
by and by. The sheik who carries us to Akaba came 
to see us yesterday quite a dark son of Ishmael. Alij 
our dragoman, is deemed the best dragoman in the 
place, and he says our sheik is the best to Akaba. 
A great deal depends on the man we have with us, for 
we have so many ladies ; and we want to see Petra. 

" The nature of this last difficulty I never understood 
before. There are three tribes of Arabs between this 
and Hebron, and they must be severally conciliated by 
a payment of money each taking us over his own 
territory. Unless they are actually at war, Ali (who 
knows them all) says there will be no difficulty in pass- 
ing three days at Petra. The only expense of that feat 
(extra) is about .^2 a head for leave to pitch our tents 
there. I should like to see that stronghold of Edom, 
dearly, I confess. 

nath ; it has seen the growth of Lateran, of the Vatican, and of the 

Moses; it is mentioned by Herodo- Porta del Popolo ; and this vener- 

tus ; Plato sate under its shadow : able pillar (for so it looks from a 

of all the obelisks which sprang up distance) is now almost the only 

around it, it alone has kept its first landmark of the great seat of the 

position. One by one it has seen wisdom of Egypt." Stanley's ' Sinai 

its sons and brothers depart to great and Palestine in connexion with 

destinies elsewhere. From these their History,'' [London, 1856], Ix- 

gardens came the obelisks of the TRODUCTIOX, pp. xxxi, xxxii. 



3i2 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" Miss Webb is resolved not to hurry in the Holy 
Land, and really considers me to an extent, which makes 
me quite ashamed to think how much I am and shall be 
indebted to her. She insists on my going to the East 
of the Jordan, drawing everything, and even prescribing 
the line of march .... I trust my health will be spared 
to me! 

" Our going up \\~\Q Nile and back was delightful 
indeed, and by no means uneventful. We had a kind 
of shipwreck at the First Cataract, having a hole knocked 
in the bottom of one of the boats, which filled and partly 
sunk, damaging stores, &c., and compelling those on 
board to come off in the jolly boat. Of course this 
occasioned delay. In truth, going up the Cataract in 
a large boat is really a dangerous operation. No one at 
last remained on board but Mr. Bayley and myself, 
besides the crew. Hope after rope cracked ; and if the 
main rope of all had given way, we should have been 
lost. Literally, twenty-five years ago the Pasha's boat 
was lost, and all lands perished. 

" In fact nothing can well be conceived more pic- 
turesque and amusing, or at the same time worse 
managed. You are compelled to put your boat into the 
hands of the Cataract pilots, who bring their men ; all 
behaved so badly the first day, that Ali was forced to 
have rV/> of the dak* haxiuiadoed. This was done by order 
of the Governor of Assouan (Syene). Next day, in con- 
sequence of the manifest difficulty, as many as 400 
or 500 men assembled on the banks to haul us through. 
O the jabber and the row of that little army of naked 
Nubians ! To complete the scene, they quart-died and at 
la*i came fo fjhncs ! A blood feud among those quaint 
boulders would have been a scene indeed. To pacify 
them was impossible ; but Ali got us out of the scrape 
in a manner worthy of a great man. 

" With perfect calmness he called for pen and ink. 
went on board, and wrote a letter to the Governor of 
Assouan requesting an immediate supply of soldiers, for 
that the Cataract sheiks were just going to blows. The 
certain ^ruspect of their villages rased to the ground, and 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 313 

themselves bastinadoed or worse, wrought like magic. . . 
As soon as it was discovered what he was doing, the 
ringleaders rushed on board, and wanted to prevail on 
Ali not to write. He wrote though as calmly as possible: 
then gave the letter to one of his own men ; posted him 
on a rock, a quarter of a mile on the way to Assouan, 
and instructed him to rush off without stopping the 
instant he saw another blow struck. The storm lulled 
at once ; and the remarkable scene followed of the two 
boats hauled up by that large multitude. I shall never 
forget the sight. . . . The return too, when we shot the 
Cataract (as ifc is called), was very striking. You come 
tumbling headlong, as it seems, down a roaring current 
about thirty feet wide and a few hundred yards long. 
One touch against a rock would consign you all to ruin. 
The joy of all the men when you are through (going up 
as well as coming down) is laughable. 

" And what shall I say of Karnac, with its mighty 
ruins, the Tombs of the Kings at ancient Thebes, the 
vocal Memnon, and so on ! ... I must describe these 
sights piecemeal, as I write to one or the other of you. 
I often thought of you all during my visits to these 
places, especially, I think, at Thebes, where I used to 
go on shore at sunrise with Mr. Bayley, and ride or walk 
from Luxor (where our boats were moored) over the 
vast plain where Thebes stood, making once the Colossi, 
at another time, the Memnonium, at another, the 
Tombs of the Kings, my object. I drew or examined 
these wonders all day ; and we all returned at sunset 
over that same wondrous plain. These rambles I never 
shall forget while I live. And O the interest of tran- 
scribing the inscriptions! On the legs of the Colossus 
(the vocal Memnon as he is called) I saw the Emperor 
Hadrian's name. 

" But I must not go on further, or there will be no 
room for anything else 

" With kindest love to all, ever, my dearest Rose, 

" Your loving Brother, 

J. W. B." 



314 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

To CHARLES LONGUET HIGGINS, ESQ. 

"Cairo, March 6, 1862. 
" My dearest Charles, 

" I never advert to the scenes I have been of late sur- 
veying without seeing first one, then another, stand out 
in magnificent prominence. Philse ever wins me by its 
romantic beauty the only bit of Romance in Egypt : 
Aboo Simbel, by its solemn grandeur, (a rock temple 
in Nubia, in front of which are four stupendous colossal 
statues of Rameses the great): Karnak, by its archi- 
tectural magnificence a very forest of gigantic columns, 
many of which belong to Temples anterior to the Exode : 
the Tombs of the Kings, by their historical interest, 
vast halls full of sculpture and hieroglyphics : but the 
Pyramids are after all the greatest wonder of all. You 
have seen them, so I need not describe. Did you ascend 
the greatest, and go inside 1 ? I performed both feats, 
and came away more wonderstruck than when I stood 
at the foot. But who can stand at the foot of the great 
pyramid of Ghizeh and not be wonderstruck? In that 
huge triangle, St. Peter's at Rome might hide itself: 
while from its apex the spire of Strasburgh Cathedral 
might swing securely ! 

' But Cairo itself is enough to interest any intelligent 
being is it not ? We have been in all about five weeks 
here, and I think we have seen all the principal sights. 
I hope you visited the mosks. With a Government 
order, and a Janissary at one's heels, one is now allowed 
to inspect any, and we have inspected all the best. They 
are really superb, not as slioicy objects, but as grand 
specimens of Oriental architecture. The prevailing 
feature in them all is a square pillared court, with a 
fountain in the middle (where the court is open). The 
pillars are invariably the spoils of ancient Temples of 
* * * -x- o time : but the rest of the rnosk is purely Eastern. 
The walls are inlaid with black and white marble and 
porphyry. Tiles and fresco ornaments cover the upper 

9 A word which cannot with certainty be deciphered. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 315 

part. The floors are carpeted, or covered with mats. 
The windows delight me much. They are painted: the 
odd feature being that the pattern (generally geometrical, 
or looking like Arabesque work on an Indian shawl) 
is circumscribed not by lead, as with us, but with white 
pierced stone, which gives a peculiar lace-like effect to 
those small elevated windows, which is very pleasing. . . . 
The Bazaars of Cairo are also very interesting : but in- 
comparably the most curious thing here is the Roman 
fortress. It is about two miles off, and was the central 
point of Egyptian Babylon the Babylon of St. Peter's 
2nd Ep. I do believe. The Christian Church there 
stands at the top of the ancient Roman staircase, and 
adjoining to what is still a Temple of Diana ! And over 
the door is a Greek inscription of the time of Diocletian 
which I have copied and very curious it is .... (I have 
copied so many inscriptions !) 

" To Heliopolis we have been twice, and each time 
with rare pleasure. It stands in the land of Goshen, 
unmistakeably. What a wondrous spot ! It scarcely 
yields in interest to a scene we visited on Monday, 
namely the gathering place of the Israelites previous to 
their starting for Canaan. The locality is quite un- 
mistakeable, I think : and I am little disposed to believe 
a lame story. You will recognise the spot on the map, 
if I remind you that Cairo would be its northerly point, 
the Nile its western boundary, and the hills of Mokattum 
its eastern. The southern line being drawn at the open- 
ing of the Wady el Tyh, or of the Wandering. 

" Your loving Brother, 

"J. W, B." 



To MRS. HENRY JOHN ROSE. 

"Suez, March 15, 1862. 

" My dearest Carry, I think I rather owe a letter to 
yourself than to any other member of the family ; so I 
will avail myself of a halt at this delightful Hotel to tell 
you how we have fared hitherto. 



316 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" We left Cairo with AH on Saturday the Qth at mid- 
day, some of us (I for one) mounting our camels at the 
door of Shepheard's Hotel, and proceeding through Old 
Cairo towards the Desert. I suspect this is the Kameses 
of Exodus, from which the Israelites journeyed. At 
Besatin, at the edge of the Desert, we met the ladies and 
our Arabs, and set forth as follows: Miss Webb on a 
pony ; the other seven on camels : seventeen Arabs of 
the tribes of Towara and Haiatat with their sheik (1m- 
Ijiu-rak) ; a cook, two men servants, and a groom, some 
on foot, some on camels, and a heap of luggage. In fact, 
we are thirty-one souls, and our caravan consists of 
thirty-five camels, a foal, a horse, and a donkey 

" We are woke at 4 ; at 6 we breakfast, and at 7.30 we 
are all on our way. At 1 2 we halt for J of an hour for 
luncheon, and at 3 we halt for the night. The six tents 
are pitched in less than \ an hour, and by 5.30 our 
dinner is ready. Then the servants dine. At 8 we 
have tea, and then the servants have theirs. We then 
have prayers and go to bed. 

" Miss Webb and one of her maids have one tent : 
Miss Fanny and another maid, another ; Mr. and Mrs. 
Bayley one ; I have another ; Ali and the courier sleep in 
the saloon tent, and some in the kitchen. We have each 
of us a portmanteau and bag, a bundle of wraps, and 
well-crammed saddle-bags. Each has an iron bedstead, 

and the dragoman provides bedding Everything I 

have brought is most useful ; and the bag the dear chil- 
dren gave I carry so regularly everywhere that Miss 
Fanny calls it my harness. It is invaluable. 

" I like camel riding immensely, and could go on 
camel-back to the world's end. It is a hundred times 
pleasanter and less fatiguing than a horse or donkey.- 
As for getting off, I can do it without waiting for the 
animal to come down; and when weary I sit side- 
saddle. I can write and read, and do all but draw on 
the creature's back. It is unfortunately only too easy 
to deep as well which I must avoid. I am, thank GOD, 
yttitv well : and we are all most prosperous. 

" But we have had our adventures already. A blood 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 317 

feud exists between the tribe we are with, and another 
which it was feared we should encounter on the third 
day. By consequence we took a drtoitr, and came 
through a wild rocky valley of exceeding grandeur and 
sublimity a branch of the Wady Ramlieh, which has 
not been taken by any traveller for six years. Blood 
would have flowed had we met ; so we had spies posted 
on every crag ; and when it was over we were told of 
our danger. But the strangest accident happened to us 
on Thursday night. We were encamped at C (reference 
to a rough tracing of the route). At our rear were the 
Gebel Attaka 1 , or Towarak, a noble chain of purple 
mountains, and the Red Sea was within twenty yards of 
our tents. Doubtless the Israelites saw that locality, 

wherever their crossing place may be fixed Well, 

there was a little wind at sunset, and at 10 it blew con- 
siderably. Still I was so weary that I slept like a top 
till \ past i, when a shrill cry from Miss Webb woke 
me roused us all. Her tent had been llown flat down. 
It was in fact blowing great guns, and I expected every 
minute to see all our six tents scattered. You may 
imagine the consternation in the dark. However, with 
about twenty men we soon righted the tent, and knocked 
in the pegs afresh of ail: but to stand the storm was 
hopeless : so we dressed as well as we could, and packed 
in double quick time, and divided ourselves into two 
companies. Ali and I, with some Arabs, conducted the 
ladies and servants to Suez ; the rest staid behind to 
look after the property and follow when it was day. So 
at 3 we set off I on foot, carrying at Miss Webb's 
request the Iv.llfinch (!!), she on her donkey, and the rest 
on camels. It was a very solemn walk, the Gebel 

1 " I have at last, as far as mor- sage" [of the Red Sea] "combines in 

tal eyes can see it, seen the passage representing this as the impediment 

of the Red Sea. . . . High above which prevented the return of the 

the whole scene towered the Gebel Israelites into Egypt when Pharaoh 

'Attaka, the ' Mountain of Deliver- appeared on their rear. It was this 

ance,' a truly magnificent range, which ' shut them in.' " Stanley's 

which, after all, is the one feature 'Sinai and Palestine' [London: 

of the scene unchanged and unmis- 1856], pp. 65, 66. 
takeable. Every theory of the pas- 



318 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Towarak or Attaka showing like a grey shadow on our 
left, and before us the level horizon. The ground was 
seamed with countless camel tracks, in which I was 
careful to tread to avoid a fall. The sun was invisible, 
and the grey morning melted very slowly into daylight. 
At 74 we reached Suez, and really I was glad to rest on 
a sofa, where sleep overtook me before I was aware. 

" Our future intended route you know, I think, in 
outline. We sleep to-night (Sat.) in our tents, about 
J- of an hour's walk from Suez ; and next day (alas that 
it should be Sunday !) halt at Ayn Mousa (Moses' Wells). 
In ten days we hope to reach Sinai and thence make our 
way to Akaba (Ezion Geber). There we hope to find 
the sheik of Petra to give us camels and escort for Petra 
else, we go straight to Hebron. But as soon as I reach 
Jerusalem (D.V.) some of you will hear from me again. 
.... Are my darlings all well ? I think of them daily. 
Embrace them for me and tell Lady Dundee 2 that 
I would give the world to hug her just now. 

" Ever, dearest Carry, your loving Brother, 

"J. W. B." 



To THE REVEREND HENRY JOHN ROSE. 

" Akaba (the Elath of Scripture), Ap. 9, 1862. 

"My dearest Rose, I have been sending to dearest 
Helen a general sketch of my movements since we 
reached Suez, Friday, I4th March. Let me fill up some 
of the details in a letter to your dear self. 

" Everything has been hitherto most prosperous, and I 
am agreeably surprised to find that desert travelling is 
even delightful. Of course the tent is but a makeshift ; 
and rising at 4 is a tiresome trick ; and there is little 
fun in passing eight hours consecutively on consecutive 
days, on the back of a camel. But it is to me a great 
point to be introduced to marvellous scenes such as 
those we have gone through, and to be for ever treading 

2 A jocose name for his niece Gertrude, Mrs. Henry John Rose's 
youngest daughter. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 319 

in the footsteps of the Israelites, and to see the scenes 
they certainly looked on. Even now, we are on their 
track, for they came to Ezlon Geber and Elatk (which is 
Akaba) on their final way to the Promised Land. 

"The points considered as almost identified, after leav- 
ing Suez, are Ayn Moussa, Marah, Elim, the encampment 
by 5 the Red Sea (Num. xxxiii. 10), which is a fixed 
locality beyond all doubt, and a glorious point to fix 
also : then Sinai, and the way thither (which we certainly 
came), and lastly the spot which we are at now. But 
since the people of GOD wandered about the peninsula 
for thirty-eight years, one cannot doubt that they were 
acquainted with almost every Wady 3 , and had encamped 
beneath almost every mountain. Thus all the ground 
seems invested with a kind of sacred interest. From 
this place forward one especially feels the influence of 
association. With Hebron begins the Promised Land 
itself. 

" We are likely to have a superfluity of protectors. Two 
of the Petra Sheiks are arrived, and the Sheik of the 
Allowin tribe and his brother (who own the territory 
from Akaba to Hebron) are all in our camp. We crack 
our humble jokes together daily, and are on very friendly 
terms. I was writing in a grove of palms when the 
Petra Sheik entered, lay down on the ground, and began 
to smoke. I bungled out a sentence, on which he began 
enumerating all the things he^could show us, the sik (or 
ravine which leads to Petra), Aroons tomb, Wddy Moussa, 
and so on. All being now settled about our going to 
Petra, last night (loth April) Imbarrak (the Tawarah 
Sheik, who brought us from Cairo to Akaba) took leave 
of us in the moonlight with his thirty camels, and re- 
traced his steps to Sinai. 

3 " It is necessary to use this the mountain torrents or winter 

Arabic name (wady), because there rains for a few months or weeks in 

is no English word which exactly the year such is the general idea 

corresponds to the idea expressed of an Arabian ' wady,' whether in 

by it. A hollow, a valley, a de- the Desert or in Syria." Stanley's 

pression more or less deep, or < Sinai and Palestine' [1856], p. 15. 
wide, or long worn or washed by 



320 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

"April 29. We arrived in Jerusalem J an hour ago, 
and until Mr. Finn comes in, I am writing these 
few lines in his office. We achieved Petra with great 
effort, passing four and a-half days there, including Good 
Friday and Easter Day. We ascended Mount Hor also. 
The interest the wild wonder of those localities, sur- 
passes my powers of description. Unhappily, I was 
far from well the ilay I reached Petra, so that I lost an 
afternoon lying on the grass among the wild Arabs, 
dozing away the time. But I made a great effort, 
walked about from morning till night, and drew a great 
deal every day we were there. The view from Mount 
Hor is affectingly grand, and the very shape of the 
mountain-top reduces it to a certainly that we were in 
the very spot where Aaron surrendered his soul to GoD 4 . 
It was deeply affecting, and gave a reality to Scripture 
such as I have never experienced before. 

" As for Petra, it is too much to describe. It passes all 
expectation. Please GOD, I will some day sitting by 
your dear fireside tell you and Carry and the beloved 
chicks all about it. But it seemed to me passing strange 
to be wandering alone with a single attendant, among 
wild ravines, where one was at every instant falling in 
with lawless men, each armed with a sword and a gun, 
who yet sat down by my side, watched me draw, and 
were as peaceable as English labourers. However, I 
must be candid with you. I attribute our safety, under 
GOD, to our excellent dragoman (who is Miss Webb's 
lete noire]. ... To explain what 1 mean, Sir Capel Moly- 
neux, who was there with a large party two weeks 
before us, was so impressed with the danger of visiting 
Petra (from the constant feuds they witnessed, &c.), that 

4 " Mount Hor is one of the very 'the mountain' (Hor). Num. xx. 

few spots connected with the wan- 23. (2) The statement of Josephus 

derings of the Israelites, which ad- (Ant. IV. iv. 7), that Aaron's death 

mits of no reasonable doubt occurred on a high mountain enclos- 

The proofs of the identity of ' Gebel ing Petra. (3) The modern name 

Haroun,' as it is now called, with and traditional sanctity of the 

Mount Hor, are (i) The situa- mountain as connected with Aaron's 

tion * by the coast of the land of tomb." Stanley's 'Sinai and Palr*- 

Edom,' where it is emphatically tine' [1856], p. 87, footnote i. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 321 

he literally sent a dromedary across the Desert to stop 
us and deter us from our projected visit 

"I have written some account of Hebron to our 
beloved Racks 5 . The journey between Petra and Heb- 
ron is of exceeding interest and struck my fancy much, 
as it would have struck yours. At first, one is in the 
Arabah, or great valley, plain rather, which forms a 
high road between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea ; and 
on first leaving it, one is in a dreary wilderness (that of 
Sin or Zin, if I remember right). But from the instant 
one sees the pass of Sufdh (ZepkatJi) before one, all is 
delightful. That is beyond a doubt the 'way of the 
spies,' the way by which Israel tried to force their 
passage and were repulsed. Palestine begins to dawn 
on you from that spot, and a more instructive sight can 
hardly be imagined. 

" Ever, dearest Rose, your most loving Brother, 

" J. W. B." 
To MRS. HIGGINS. 
"Akaba (the ancient Ezion Geber), April 10, 1862. 

" It seems to me a good long time since I wrote 

to you, and I am sure it has not been because I have 
not thought of you, for I think of you daily. Let me 
devote a few moments of leisure to you now ; for I have 
an immense deal to tell you. 

" I am writing under the shade of some Palm trees in a 
delicious little grove at Akaba, at the end of the gulf 
of that name the N.E. extremity of the Red Sea only 
Miss Webb is writing on a mat at my side. Among the 
trees a party of Bedawin Arabs are in loud altercation, 
and presided over by their chief Mohammed, who (now 
that old Husseyn is dead) is the sheik of the whole 
tribe of the Allouins. It is too hot to go and draw, and 
a letter to you all is just the thing for me to do. Let 
me explain all that has occurred since I wrote last, 
which was at Suez. We pursued the usual route, 
certainly treading close in the steps of the Israelites, 

5 A comical name given in the family to his niece, Mr. Eose's eldest 
daughter. 

VOL. I. y 



322 



LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 



witnessing with admiration I cannot express the very 
view of the sea alluded to in Numbers xxxiii. 10 6 and 
then pursuing our way to Mount Sinai where we 
passed four days. O ! what a wondrous place, and how 
I wished for you all ! 

" We encamped at the mouth of the valley in which the 
Convent stands, anjd with some of the monks, and some 
Arabs paced all over the mountain. A little plan will 
make it familiar to you. We were 
encamped at C ; at E is the Con- 
vent, A is Jebel Moussa, the tradi- 
tional (but not the real) scene of 
the delivery of the Law. is Jebel 
Sufsafeh, where the Law certainly 
was delivered 7 , and D is the Wddfi 
Raltah, where the Children of Israel 
were all encamped. F, the Wady 
Liza, and G the Jebel Katharine. I 
ascended B three times, and drew the 
view, which will I know delight 
dearest Charles. I also drew the 




6 Numbers xxxiii. 9, 10. "And 
they removed from Marah, and 
came unto Elim : and in Elim were 
twelve fountains of water, and 
threescore and ten palm trees ; and 
they pitched there. 10. And they 
removed from Elim, and encamped 
by the Red sea." 

7 Dean Stanley seems to be upon 
the whole of the same opinion, that 
Ras Sasafeh (so he spells it) was 
the scene of the delivery of the 
Law. " No one who has approached 
the Ras Sasafeh through that noble 
plain, or who has looked down upon 
the plain from that majestic height, 
will willingly part with the belief 
that these are the two essential 
features of the view of the Israelite 
camp. That such a plain should 



exist at all in front of such a cliff 
is so remarkable a coincidence with 
the sacred narrative, as to furnish 
a strong internal argument, not 
merely of its identity with the 
scene, but of the scene itself having 
been described by an eye-witness. 
The awful and lengthened approach, 
as to some natural sanctuary, would 
have been the fittest preparation for 

the coming scene The cliff, 

rising like a huge altar, in front of 
the whole congregation, and visible 
against the sky in lonely grandeur 
from the end to end of the whole 
plain, is the very image of ' the 
mount that might be touched,' and 
from which the voice of God might 
be heard far and wide over the 
stillness of the plain below, widened 






THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 323 

mountain itself from If, which strange to say is called 
Jehel Senek 8 to this day. Down the romantic or rather 
sublimely savage Warty Liza, I also got two walks, and I 
climbed the lofty Jebel Katharine. I really feel quite at 
home at Sinai, which is a proud and a strange feeling. 

" From the awful scene we came away to this place, 
taking the Wddy MokaUeb (or written valley) in our way. 
I have copied many of the inscriptions, and am confident 
that I have the clue to their real history. They are the 
writing of ancient pilgrims 9 coming over these famous 
scenes. Here we fell in with a Major Macdonald, who 
knew our dear father, and had spent an evening at 
Osnaburgh Street ! He asked after you ! Most hospitably 
also did he entertain us, with Capricorn and gazelle. 
He is mining for turquoises where (as the inscriptions 
shew) the ancient Egyptian kings had their turquoise 
mines ; and he shewed us many of the dwellings of those 
ancient men. It was altogether a most picturesque 
incident in our travels. 

" We came out on the sea at last the sea of the Gulf of 
Akaba passed the Hadiar Allouin 1 , or heap which indi- 

at that point to its utmost extent they may be explained, I can 

by the confluence of all the conti- hardly imagine a doubt that they 

guous valleys." 'Sinai and Pales- are the work, for the most part, of 

tine' [1856], pp. 42, 43. Christians, whether travellers or 

8 " The most probable origin of pilgrims " The levity of travellers 
the ancient" [name] "' Sinai 'is the might make them grotesque, as he 
seneh or acacia, with which, as we describes many of the figures to be. 
know, it then abounded." Simi- x " When, on their return " [the 
larly, " Ras Sasafeh " means the return of the tribes of Reuben and 
willow-head, "from the group of Gad to their allotted possessions on 
two or three willows which grow the east of Jordan, after the corn- 
in the Wady Sas&feh, in its re- pletion of the conquest], " they 
cesses." 'Sinai and Palestine' reached the Jordan the boundary 
[1856], p. 1 8. between themselves and their more 

9 Dean Stanley discusses the in- settled brethren they erected, like 
scriptions in the Wady Mokatteb the true Children of the Desert, the 
on pp. 61, 62 of the 1856 ed. of his huge stone of division to mark the 
'Sinai and Palestine.' His is on frontier, which their more civilised 
the whole a disparaging estimate of kinsmen mistook for an altar; just 
them, both as to their numbers and as Jacob and Laban had in earlier 
their significance. "However else times raised a similar cairn on the 

Y '2 



324 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

cates the boundary of the territory of the Tawarah and 
Alouin tribes ; and finally on Saturday reached Akaba, 
a poor place, but a beautiful locality to my eye 2 . Here 

1 have made several drawings. 

" We are much disappointed to find that all chance of 
reaching Jerusalem by Easter is at an end; but it is 
something to find, (as this day we have done), that we 
shall certainly see Petra. The day before yesterday, on 
returning from a walk, I heard to my joy that Sheik 
Mohammed was in my tent. I entered and found a 
most picturesque group assembled. On my rug lay the 
great man in a scarlet pelisse with gold lace and light 
blue trowsers, encumbered with pistols, sabres, and so 
on. He was smoking and resting his elbow on my roll 
of wraps. Ali is on one side (the Dragoman), and on the 
other Imbarrak (a sheik of the Tawarah who has ac- 
companied our caravan from Cairo). In front, the guard 
of Akaba. How he was wrapped up ! But so are all 
the Allouins, with cloth veils over their heads, and two 
cords to keep it in its place. I told him through Ali 
that if we were in England I would entertain him 
hospitably, but that my property among the Allouins 
was so exceedingly inconsiderable, that I really could not 
pretend to do anything of the kind. He laughed at the 

heights of Gilead ; just as the tra- lated by Martin : Edinburgh, 1857) 

veller now sees the ' Hadjar Alouin' p. 464. 

the pile of stones that denotes the 2 " 'Akaba is a wretched village, 

boundary of the Alouin and of the shrouded in a palm-grove, at the 

Towara tribes at the head of the north end of the Gulf. ... It stands 

Gulf of Akaba." ' Sinai and Pales- on the site of the ancient Elath, 

////(',' p. 319. There was, however, 'The Palm Trees,' so called from 

no " mistaking " in the matter. It the grove. Its situation, however, 

was expressly called "an altar" by is very striking, looking down the 

the persons who built it (Josh. xxii. beautiful gulf, with its jagged ranges 

2 3), and, although not built for actual on each side." ( Sinai and Pales- 
sacrificial purposes, it was designed tine,' p. 84. Of Ezion-geber, which 
" to serve as a witness in after Burgon, as we see from the date of 
times that the tribes on the East of his letter, identified with Akaba, 
Jordan had a part in Jehovah, and Stanley says; "There is nothing 
in His altar which was at His taber- to fix the site of Ezion-geber, ' the 
nacle in Canaan." See vv. 24, 26, Giant's Backbone.' " 

27, and ' Keil on Joshua' (trans- 






THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 325 

joke. Then I gave him dear Charles's message to his 
father, and said how sorry he would be to hear that 
Sheik Husseyn is dead. He shrugged up his shoulders, 
and said that ' no one could help it.' ... I should have 
dearly enjoyed joining in the conversation which fol- 
lowed, and which was very animated. Ali explained to 
me that the wretched man was laying a plan for stop- 
ping and robbing all who come by this way, as a 
punishment to the Sultan for sending the Hadj (or 
pilgrim caravan) by steam direct to Mecca, instead of 
sending them round this way. 

" There is not much to be done here but I have done 
and drawn all I could. One of the two Sheiks of Petra 
is arrived, and we take Mohammed and his brother all 
the way to Hebron (and to Petra of course), as an ad- 
ditional escort and protection. No party ever travelled, 
surely, with more comforts and conveniences than we do. 

" I cannot tell you how much kindness I experience, 
nor how happy I have been. My health is perfect. We 
do but travel eight hours a day. The rest shall be added 
D.V. at Jerusalem. 

"Jerusalem, 30 Ap. Well, dearest, we achieved Petra 
gloriously, and I drew considerably, though alas ! I felt 
far from, well there. It was strange, passing Good Friday 
and Easter Day in that wild region. On Easter Monday 
we left, and encamped at the foot of Mount Hor (which 
however we had ascended, on our way to Petra), and so 
made our way across the Araba, until we reached the 
pass of Sufdk (Zephath) which is the ancient road the 
road by which Solomon's caravans brought the wealth of 
India (the ' apes ' and the ' peacocks ') into Palestine, and 
where had been also certainly ''the way of the spies 3 .' 
From this spot forward all is delight and wonder, the 
frontier-land of Palestine, exactly the scenery of English 
Downs ; and as you advance, it is the scenery of Devon- 
shire. David at Ziph, Maon, and Carmel, (we saw them 
all, and they are called b-y the same names to the present 
day !) would not have known the difference, had he 
been simply transported into some of the Devonshire 

3 See Num. xxi. i. 



326 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

valleys. Trees there are NONE ; but shrubs and flowers 
abound ; and the whole soil is gray stone cropping out 
among faded grass, the effect of which is lovely, especi- 
ally if, here and there, a little patch of cultivated land 
comes to view. 

" From Hebron (where we spent two days Hoiv it did 
rain!) we came on yesterday hither, one of the most 
beautiful rides I ever took in my life. We had been on 
camel back for fifty days, having come some 800 miles, 
which made a horse a pleasant change. At 5 in the 
evening, when (after the delicious view of Bethlehem, 
and after inspecting Rachel's tomb) we got to the 
convent of Mar Elias, I saw Jerusalem before me. I 
thought I should have fallen off my horse. But it is 
at first a sadly disappointing place. More of this in 
my next. Please address to me 'Post Office, Beyrout,' 
immediately on receiving this. 

" Your most loving Brother, 

" J. W. B." 

To MRS. HENRY JOHN EOSE. 

"Petra, Easter Day [April 20], 1862. 

" My dearest Carry. You will I daresay have kindly 
speculated ' where John is passing Easter Day ' ; or 
rather you will have connected him with Jerusalem for 
some days past. But we were delayed at Akaba (Ezion 
Geber, or rather Elath) for a week, and, other hindrances 
conspiring, we found ourselves slowly pacing into this 
wondrous city, on our descent from Mount Hor, on 
Wednesday last. We have been here ever since; and 
expect to-morrow morning at 4 o'clock to be up, and at 
7 off for Jerusalem, or rather for Hebron. 

" I hardly know how to give you any idea of all I 
have been seeing for many days past, and above all of 
Petra, which is the most astonishing and interesting 
place I ever visited, and may well stand alone. Nature 
has done wonders for it, but Man has availed himself of 
every hint, and turned it into a triumph. The approach, 
between steep cliffs which almost beetle overhead, at 






THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 327 



the end of a mile turns you out upon a rock-temple of 
exquisite beauty. The Wady Moussa (or torrent-bed of 
Moses 4 ), which gives its name to the entire locality, 
then guides you through the town past the theatres and 
countless tombs, and not a few Roman temples, escaping 
through a gorge in the cliffs on the west. Sandstone 
cliffs enclose the site of this wondrous City, lofty, 
picturesque, and in colour unrivalled. But there is 
nothing rosy 5 in Petra by any means. 

" We have spent four delightful days here, wandering 
about and drawing as much as one pleased. We came 
from Akaba with both the Skeiks of Petra, the brother 



* " Before you opens a deep cleft 
bet ween rocks of red sands tone rising 
perpendicularly to the height of 
one, two, or three hundred feet. 
This is the Slk, or < cleft'; through 
this flows if one may use the ex- 
pression the dry torrent, which, 
rising in the mountains half an hour 
hence, gives the name by which alone 
Petra is now known among the Arabs 
Wady Moussa. ' For,' so Skeyh 
Mohammed tells us ' as surely as 
Gebel Harun (the Mountain of 
Aaron) is so called from the burial- 
place of Aaron, is Wady Mousa 
(the Valley of Moses) so called from 
the cleft being made by the rod of 
Moses when he brought the stream 
through into the valley beyond.' " 
Stanley's ' Sinai and Palestine ' 
[1856], pp. 89, 90. 

5 He alludes, no doubt, to his own 
description of the cliffs of Petra in his 
Prize Poem (line 125 to 135) "not 
virgin white . . . not saintly grey," 
&c., &c. 
"But rosy-red, as if the blush of 

dawn 
Which first beheld them were not 

yet withdrawn : 
The hues of youth upon a brow of woe, 



Which men call'd old two thousand 

years ago ! 
Match me such marvel, save in 

Eastern clime, 
A rose-red city half as old as 

Time ! " 

Travellers do not seem to agree 
entirely as to the colour of the rocks 
at Petra. Robinson, as quoted by 
Burgon in a foot-note to his Poem, 
says that they present " not a dead 
mass of dull monotonous red; but 
an endless variety of bright and 
living hues, from the deepest crim- 
son to the softest pink." Dean 
Stanley on the other hand says : 
" All the describers have spoken of 
bright hues scarlet, sky-blue, or- 
ange, &c. Had they taken courage 
to say instead, ' dull crimson, indigo, 
yellow, and purple,' their account 
would have lost something in effect, 

but gained much in truth A 

gorgeous, though dull crimson, 
streaked and suffused with purple, 
these are the two predominant col' 
ours, 'ferruginous,' perhaps, they 
might best be called, and on the 
face of the rocks the only colours." 
'Sinai and Palestine ' [1856], p. 88. 



IIBRARY ST AJlARY\ rnnrat 



328 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

of the Sheik of the Allouins, and indeed a lot of semi- 
official fellows: but the chief Sheik of Petra is my 
friend Harb (i.e. war) Ben Gazeh. A more thorough 
gentleman I never saw in my life. He went with us to 
the top of Mount Hor, where a singular scene occurred. 
He was forced to pay a kind of blackmail himself! He 
paid it with great dignity (3 f.), seeing guns levelled, 
&c., &c., but reminded the miscreants that he has the 
power to sweep them all from the mountain. 

" O my dearest Carry, that view from Mount Hor, 
what a magnificent and affecting spectacle it is ! We 
read aloud the account of Aaron's death, and surveyed 
the sight which he must have contemplated with his 
dying eyes ; turning ours, you may be sure, in the 
direction of Palestine. . . . 

" Ever, dearest Carry, your loving Brother, 

" J. W. B." 

To Miss GEKTRUDE KOSE. 

"Jerusalem, May 4, 1862. 

" My dear beloved little Sister 6 , I will not go to bed 
until I have written you a letter, as a proof that I 
remember you on your precious Birthday. How I 
should rejoice in giving you a tremendous kiss! and 
I would not promise to keep myself to one by any 
means. 

" We have been very busy, since we arrived, in seeing 
the sights of Jerusalem and as a first step we ex- 
changed our tents for a house not a very smart one : 
but still infinitely pleasanter than being under canvas. 
... I think I have enjoyed most the walk to Bethany 
over the Mount of Olives. You would be astonished at 
the exquisite beauty of the landscape on the other side 
of the Mount. The Dead Sea is seen, with the glorious 
mountains of Moab soaring up behind it, while all the 
foreground is decked with exquisite colours, and at your 
feet lies the quiet little village of Bethany. We were 
shewn the grave of Lazarus, the house of Simon, of 

6 His niece, Mrs. Henry John Rose's youngest daughter. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 329 

Martha, and so on ; but it is the view of the landscape 
which so delighted me: for that, at least, is genuine, and 
must be the very same which so often cheered the eyes 
of the Son of Man. 

"The Garden of Gethsemane is a disappointing, dis- 
enchanting place 7 : being merely a few of the oldest 
trees walled in, the ground being planted with roses and 
potherbs. This, as you know, is just beyond the brook 
Cedron. 

" Yesterday we visited the fort of Gihon, the valley of 
Hinnom, the potter's field, the fort and village of 
Siloam, and many old tombs, the Armenian Convent, 
the Syrian Church, the House of Caiaphas, the scene of 
the Last Supper, and so on. This will give you a 
notion of the things you are taken to see. Of course, 
one cannot believe scarcely anything, not even the 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre itself. Still it is deeply 
interesting to be shewn spots which are so famous 
everywhere. But it is refreshing to turn from many 
of these sights to the realities of the place. Thus the 
ancient Temple wall, as Solomon left it, is wondrous 
perfect in many places : and the sight of this quite 
transports one back to sacred times. In one place 
(called the Jews' place of wailing} there are five courses 
of these huge stones, twenty or thirty feet long ; and 
very strange is it to witness the lamentation of those 
modern Israelites, shedding real tears and sobbing, 

7 "A few words, and perhaps the when they stood free and unpro- 

fewer the better, must be devoted tected on the rough hill side ; but 

to the Garden of Gethsemane. . . . they will remain, so long as their 

In spite of all the doubts already protracted life is spared, the 

that can be raised against their most venerable of their race on the 
antiquity or the genuineness of their surface of the earth ; regarded as the 
site, the eight aged olive trees, if most affecting of the sacred memo- 
only by their manifest difference rials in or about Jerusalem ; the 
from all others on the mountain, most nearly approaching to the ever- 
have always struck even the most lasting hills themselves in the force 
indifferent observers. They are now with which they carry us back to 
indeed less striking in the modern the events of Gospel History." 
garden enclosure built round them Stanley's ' Sinai and Palestine ' 
by the Franciscan Monks, than [1856], p. 450. 



330 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

while they repeat the Psalter, and pause to kiss the 
walls of their ancient Temple. 

" Jerusalem itself is a most picturesque town, though 
dirty and inconvenient. It is built on a hill, or rather 
two or three hills ; and the curious mixture of Saracenic, 
Gothic (brought by the Crusaders), ancient, and purely 
modern masonry, produces quite a perplexing effect on 
the mind. The people in the streets sustain the im- 
pression ; for they seem to be of every nation under 
heaven, Jews, Turks, Spanish, Russians, Germans, Ar- 
menians, Arabs. It seems to me as if they could talk 
every language in the world except English, French, or 
Italian. 

"To-day we have been twice to our little English 
Church, Miss Fanny and I between the services going 
out by St. Stephen's Gate in order to have a good long 
gaze (of one hour and a half) on the Mount of Olives. 
. . . Well, darling, I have to thank you with all my 
heart for your dear letter, which awaited my arrival 
here. Pray write to me a little oflener. Your next 
must be to Beyrout after receiving this. 

" And so I send you a hearty kiss, and all the most 
loving wishes heart can form for the darling little girl's 
prosperity. The keepsake I hope to bring. With fondest 
love and a kiss to all, 

" Ever, my little darling, your loving Uncle, 

"J.W. B." 

Between the date of his last letter (May 4), and May 
19, when he wrote to Mrs. Higgins to announce what 
had befallen him, he became so seriously ill that all 
thought of prosecuting his tour had to be abandoned, 
and the only thing to be done was to make the best of 
his way home. The proximate cause of this illness was 
a damp underground room, which unfortunately fell to 
his lot in the house occupied by Miss Webb's party, the 
better apartments being naturally assigned to the ladies. 
But that there were other remoter causes, arising from 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 331 

his own imprudence, he seems from his Journal to have 
at all events suspected. Writing at Houghton Conquest 
at the end of January in the ensuing year (1863), he 
says of bis illness : 

" I had been not quite well for many days. I suspect 
I may have caught cold from frequent early bathing in 
the Keel Sea at Akaba. On reaching Petra I felt ill. 
However, I entirely got over the sense of indisposition. 
But at Jerusalem I gradually found myself falling a prey 
to disease. Lassitude, which nothing but mental activity 
enabled me to shake off, headache, and a sense of cold in 
my limbs, all this came on, induced as I firmly believe, 
by the damp room allotted to me as a bed-room. I still 
remember very keenly the sense of illness, with which 

on the afternoon of " (he has forgotten the exact 

date of the day) " I sank. A very skilful man, Mr. 
Chaplin, could only attend to me for two days ; and I 
fell into the hands of a Greek named Masaraki. . . . 
The Finns removed me to their house, and treated me 
like a brother (surely it was something to have fallen ill 
on Mount Moriah, and to have been nursed on Mount 
Zion !), but all was in vain. Humanly speaking, I feel 
sure I should have got well within a reasonable time, if 
I had but been skilfully treated at first. But it was 
not to be." 

The connexion between bis illness and the room which 
had fallen to his lot becoming apparent to his fellow- 
travellers, it was arranged by Miss Webb that another 
and proper bedroom should be provided for him on the 
return of the party from an excursion to Jericho. This 
excursion he was enabled to make ; and he writes to Mrs. 
Higgins : " The journey to Jericho did me good ; but the 
mischief had sunk into my constitution, and I felt 
wondrous ill." His " new quarters " (on the return from 
Jericho, May 10) were, he says, " delightful, though in a 
low part of the town." As his travelling companions 
were obliged to leave him, to make the tour of the Holy 



332 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Land, it was arranged that he should be removed to the 
house of the English Consul, Mr. Finn, where, " on the 
highest summit of Mount Zion " he became " the guest of 
a most amiable and delightful household. Really the 
kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Finn is what I shall never 
be able to forget." 

" Monday, May 20. I have received a kind note from 
Miss Webb, from which I learn that their plan of start- 
ing holds, and that she proposes to leave behind a capital 
lacquai de place, to see me safe as far as on board the 
steamer at Jaffa. This is kind and considerate, and 
relieves me of all anxiety/' 

In Mr. Finn's house, 

" all that love could do for me was done. Can you fancy, 
while I was eating an orange for very despair, at 12 
o'clock at night the door opening, and Mrs. Finn com- 
X ing in (so like a sister !) with an entreaty that she might 
with an etna make me some sago ? '* [this was on the 
night before he left Jerusalem, May 23]. " Having once 
discovered that I want so much support, simple hot ,s//rv.v 
<>f mutton were at all times ready for me ; at starting" [at 
8.30, on the morning of the 24th] " I ate a plateful. With 
her own hands, she sent off for the furniture of my 
litter the pillows and mattress off my bed. Else the 
journey would simply have been tinmauageahle. Finally, 
after a few croaky words of prayer and friendship, the 
Consul in person mounted his horse, preceded by his 
cawasses (official attendants), and with his son accom- 
panied me (mounted on a donkey) outside the Jaffa Gate. 
Here I found my litter, which I can only describe as 
a crazy covered little wagon, pulled along by two mules, 
one behind, one before." [In the margin of his letter he 
gives a sketch of the litter.] " I had not gone a quarter 
of a mile when the w r hole thing came to the ground with 
a crash. It would have been ungrateful indeed to grum- 
ble. At 9 I was off. ... The sight of Mizpah (where 
Saul was made king) revived me, and I kept casting an 
eye of interest on the scenery for hours. But I was 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 333 

very ill ; and the jolting, as we went over the scarcely 
passable road (for a Syrian road is often a mere pile of 
rocks) took a great deal out of me." 

At Ramleh he was domiciled for the night (" a night 
of rare suffering ") in an Arabian house, and next morn- 
ing, as he is wondering ' ; how he should possibly get 
through the day on Arab diet," is visited by a German 
Missionary, who had married an English lady, and is 
suitably fed, as well as most kindly nursed and tended 
in their house. After " a second night of unspeakable 
trouble and unrest " he is in his litter again at 7.30 the 
next morning (May 26), and at 11.15 reached the Pales- 
tine Hotel, Jaffa 8 . 

The next day (May 27), "the Russian packet having 
arrived," he totters down to the shore, leaning on the 
arm of the consul of Jaffa, Assaad a Khayat, and there 
is caught up by the sailors, and laid in the boat which 
Captain Mansell, who was surveying the coast, had 
kindly lent him for the purpose of his embarkation, 
"It was delightful to find myself in Jack's arms, who 
treated me like a plaything." On board the packet, Mr. 
Meredith, the Civil Engineer (" the same who laid down 
the Smyrna Railway, and who of course knew many of 
our own Smyrna connexions "), placed his dragoman at 
Burgon's disposal, and " promised not to forsake me till 
he saw me safe on shore. I am sure you" [Mrs. Higgins] 
" and dearest Charles will not require the assurance that 
so many marks of Mercy and Providence and Love many 
a time overcame me. I murmured to myself many a 
time ; ' I see, I see Thine Almighty Fingers moving.' ' 
Stretched on a mattress and pillows which were placed 
for him on the highest deck, he drank in the sea-breeze 

s Letter to Mrs. Higgins, "Palestine Hotel, Jaffa, Monday, May 26, 
1862." 



334 LIFE OF DEAN BUROON. 

for five hours of daylight ; and at night the steamer was 
moored off Mount Carmel, " a sad night of suffering to 
me" The next day he was laid upon the deck again ; 
and in the afternoon " we neared Beyrout and Lebanon 
grand and beautiful all but I felt too ill to enjoy any- 
thing." Mr. Meredith, with the utmost kindness, ful- 
filled his promise, got the patient through the Customs 
(which, had he been alone, " would have been a simple 
impossibility in that hot sun and with those noisy 
clamorous men"), and delivered him safe at the Belle 
Vue Hotel, Beyrout 9 . 

At Beyrout, he found the regular practitioner (Dr. 
Berkeley) absent, he having been sent for to attend the 
celebrated Henry Buckle, who was then lying sick with 
fever at Damascus, and who died there while Burgon 
was at Beyrout. In Dr. Berkeley's absence he at first, 
by the advice of the Consul-General, Mr. Niven Moore, 
consulted a Milanese doctor, under whom for a time he 
seemed to progress favourably, but who at last gave him 
a quack medicine, which brought on alarming symptoms. 
This led him to send for Dr. Berkeley, who had by that 
time returned, and who took his case in hand. Still he 
found himself very low and weak. " Utter prostration 
is all I can say for myself," he writes to Mr. Rose on the 
6th of June ; " How can a man be taking 6 gr. of quinine 
per day, and three wine glasses of tonic, with wine, pale 
ale, and solid food at 9, i, and 5, without being strength- 
ened ? But there is an indescribable languor and faint- 
ness, a desire to fling myself on the sofa, which is 
distressing. Still I hope and believe, as the Doctor says, 
that I am decidedly better." 

At Beyrout he remained, invalided, for the whole 
month of June. Miss Webb, it appears from a letter 

9 Letter to Mrs. Higgins, " Beyrout, Ascension Day, May 29, 1862." 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD, nz 



to one of his nieces dated June 14, rejoined him here in 
the early part of the month. "Her arrival," he says, 
" has already worked a great change in my health for 
the better." In a letter to another niece, written six 
days after, he says ; 

" Only one great mistake have I made since I have 
been here. Dear Miss Webb most kindly proposed car- 
riage exercise ; and the Doctor was strenuous in second- 
ing the move. No one told us that the carriage could 
not come within i miles of the Hotel ! That walk, and 
the drive that followed, almost made me ill. I returned 
in a boat, but O ! it was pain and grief to me. This is 
some days ago ; but I recollect it still with horror, like 
some dreadful nightmare ! " 

The extraordinary affect ionateness of these two letters 
to his nieces (one of them written on the young lady's 
birthday), makes them unsuitable, except in the short 
passages already cited, for publication (one of them 
begins, for example, " My own most tender and sweetest 
of little sisters "). It would seem as if the strong love of 
kindred and of young people, which characterized him 
throughout his life, was rendered more intense, and even 
extravagant in its expressions, by his then state of 
physical prostration and imbecility. But the piety 
of his mind as well as its tenderness comes out in his 
effusions during this illness. Witness the following 
verses, which were written as he was lying on the deck 
of the French steamer, which conveyed him from Bey- 
rout to Marseilles. 

" LINES WKITTEN IN ILLNESS." 

" When sorrow's tide runs all too high, 
And on my bed I sleepless lie 
With throbbing pulse and tearful eye, 



00' 



LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

Jesus my Saviour, mighty Lord, 
By Angels and by Saints adored, 
Help me to lean upon Thy Word. 

To lean on that. to lean on Thee, 
What difference? There, Thy form I see, 
Thy voice it is that speaks to me. 

And there in all my deep distress, 
And in my spirit's loneliness, 
I find Thee waiting but to bless. 

Hold Thou me up from day to day, 
And lest these footsteps go astray, 
Still keep them in the narrow way. 

Nor do I ask that when I die 
An angel may be hovering nigh ; 
I pray for THEE to stand close by. 

Be with me in that darksome hour 
When Satan struggles most for power 
Lest spirit, soul, or flesh should cower. 

And for the rest, O Father, Son, 
And Holy Ghost, Thy Will be done! 



I know 'twill be a righteous one. 



"J. W. B. 



"Written July 3, 1862, lying on the deck of the 
steamer, before it left Bey rout." 

His Journal (already quoted) written on the 3ist of 
January, in the ensuing year, gives this rapid summary 
of his voyage from Beyrout to England : 

" On July 3, I was conveyed on board the Jour dam 
which reached Marseilles July 16. We 1 hurried on to 
Paris, and after a halt hurried home, reaching Chesham 
Place on the evening of Friday, July 18." 

1 Captain and Mrs. Bayley accom- took charge of him during the 
panied him home, and most kindly voyage. 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 337 

In Chesham Place was the Town residence of Miss Webb. 
His sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Higgins, met 
him there, and conveyed him the next day to Turvey 
Abbey, their place in Bedfordshire. 

" It was an unspeakable comfort," he says, "that 
meeting with dearest Helen and Charles. Their kind- 
ness is not to be told. But Oh ! in what need I was of 
kindness and help. I was reduced to an extraordinary 
degree. At Turvey I could scarcely sit upright. My 
nights were sleepless and painful ; my days I used to 
pass on the sofa. To walk for twenty minutes in the 
garden was a supreme object of dread with me, an 
effort to which I was wholly unequal. I could neither 
write nor read. I could neither dress nor undress 
myself at all. Thus in many respects I was worse than 
at Beyrout ; but in one respect I was better, viz. that 
a little conversation was not so oppressive, or rather so 
overwhelming, exhausting. ... A visit of five weeks to 
Dover (24 Sept. to 30 Oct. 1862) did much for me ; but I 
went back sadly by spending two days in London. At 
last (Tuesday, 1 8 Nov.) I came on hither " [Houghton 
Conquest]. " I have had ample leisure, since I first fell ill. 
to think over the whole of what I have felt to be a most 
mysterious dispensation. Nearest to me, and most in- 
disputable, have been the marks of God's watchful provi- 
dence and love." 

He then speaks with deep gratitude of all the persons 
who have shown him kindness in his illness, Mr. and 
Mrs. Finn at Jerusalem, Captain Mansell and Assaad a 
Khayat at Jaffa, and Mr. Meredith on board the steamer 
to Beyrout. 

" All these were instruments in God's hands ; I 
could never lose sight of Him. But that which has 
most struck me with wonder is the astonishing way 
in which I have been denied a sight of the sacred ob- 
jects I left England expressly in order to see. It was 
VOL. I. z 



338 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

passing strange. A few weeks would have shewn me 
what I most wished to see, Bethel, Shechem, Nain, 
Nazareth, Carmel, and oh ! far, far, above all, the Sea 
of Galilee, but no ! Deo aliffr rixiun. est ! In pain, and 
in weakness, and in sorrow, and in loneliness, I went by 
sea to a point far north of the Holy Land. Damascus 
was within reach. But even Damascus 1 could not 
visit. ... I came home in broken health, and quite a 
wreck." 

The secret of his disappointment he finds in the 
imagined sinfulness of his going abroad, when St. Mary's 
was waiting for him as its Pastor. 

" How can I review this solemn dispensation without 
a deep suspicion that I can understand it also ? I do 
believe that I ought never to have gone, and oh ! that I 
had stayed in England, and undertaken the duties of St. 
Mary's ! Oh ! how gladly would I undo the past if that 
were possible ! 

" Most solemn of all has been the prolonged duration 
of my illness. Here is not only the denial of my desires, 
but their chastisement as well. At the end of a full 
year from the day I first fell ill, I was in great suffering 
and a prisoner to the sofa. The weeks still roll by, and 
I still do not recover. How long is this to last ? I am 
miserably weak.'"' 

It will be seen that this conviction of his having acted 
wrongly in going abroad recurred to him again and dis- 
quieted him in the month preceding his death, when, as 
during the illness which arose from the Jerusalem fever, 
his bodily powers were prostrated. The reader will be 
inclined to think that on both occasions his physical 
weakness had affected the mind, and rendered it morbid ; 
and that the sounder view of the subject is that which 
he tells us, strange to say, in the same page of his 
Journal had sometimes presented itself to him, when 
pondering the subject of his illness : 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 



OJ' 






" I have even thought sometimes that had I commenced 
work again at Oxford, in Oct. 1861, a severer break-down 
might have been the consequence, so reduced was I, 
and overworked, when I went abroad. The religious 
troubles, which have since occurred there, might also 
have been too much for me. I try to find comfort 
where I can/' 

But it is a long lane which has no turning, says the 
old proverb, and. seriously ill as Burgon had been so ill 
that on his first arrival at Turvey, Mr. Higgins had said 
to his wife, "we must do all we can for the dear one, 
but I fear he will not leave our house alive," so ill that 
he himself was continually saying to his sister and 
brother-in-law, " My work is done, I shall never be able 
to do anything more," he began to rally after his visit 
to Dover, and found himself able to dispense with the 
two sticks, by the help of which he had hitherto walked. 
The following letter seems to show that his mind also 
had recovered its tone, and that in affection for his 
friends, love of little ones, and tenderness towards past 
associations, he was the same as ever. 



To THE REV. ALFRED HENSLEY. 

" Turvey Abbey, Bedford, Nov. n, 1862. 

" Dearest Old Buck, I have been long wishing to 
write to you. I have to thank you for many kind en- 
quiries, and am now able to tell you, under my own 
fist, that I am a great deal better than I was, though 
still a lame dog, and very far from well. 

" I have been over wonderful scenes, and often thought 
of you, when I was most happy in them. But the 
interest of entering the Holy Land (alas ! I did but 
enter it !) surpassed everything. I made many sketches, 
some of which I shall much like to shew you one bright 
day. 

Z 2 



340 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

" And on your side, what have you been doing ? 
spoiling our little Fanny eh ? come, be honest, and tell 
me exactly what kind of little maiden she is. Re- 
in ember me kindly to your dear wife also, and be sure 
you do not forget me yourself. 

" Time steals on apace. Do } T OU remember how we 
two walked up Beaumont Street together, some twenty 
years ago, to be matriculated ? It seems like y-ti-nlay. 
And yet. when my younger nephew took the same walk 
the other day (he al*o is at Worcester), I was forcibly 
reminded that full many a yesterday, to-day, and 
to-morrow have gone to make up the sum of the years. 

" One word more and I have done. Some one told me 
the other day that f/ot/ had helped to spread a report, 
that I am going to be married. Nothing in the world is 
more untrue. I have not had, for some years past, any 
intention whatever of the kind. Do me the favour then, 
if it be ever in your power, to contradict, in the roundest 
manner, a report which cannot but be injurious to some- 
body, and against which, when it is unfounded, every 
instinct of chivalry revolts. Believe me ever, my dearest 
old man, Your affectionate friend, 

" JOHX W. Bl'RGOX. 

" I fear I shall not be able to return to Oxford on this 
side of Xmas. I hope you are well ? Adieu ! " 

One quite sees in the fact of his having travelled in 
the company of two or three ladies, whose society he 
much enjoyed, and who greatly admired him, the genesis 
of the false report about his marriage. 

When Christmas came, his return to Oxford had still 

A.D. 1863. to be postponed; for on the i2th of January, 1863, we 

\J<.f. 5?.] fl nc i h^ t nus writing to Professor Forbes, his old Tutor 

at Mr. Greenlaw's School, Blackheath. He writes from 

his elder sister's house at Houghton Conquest, to which, 

Mr. and Mrs. Higgins had brought him on Nov. 18 of 

the preceding year. In the earlier part of the letter, 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 341 

after referring to the after life of several of his school- 
fellows at Blackheath, he gives Professor Forbes a rapid 
sketch of what had befallen him since he left school, 
bringing down the narrative to the time of his illness, 
and concluding thus : " I am convalescent, nay, really 
getting well ; but I am advised not to think of returning 
to Oxford, until after Easter." From another paragraph 
of this letter we find that the interest always hitherto felt 
by him in the structure of Holy Scripture is still the 
same as ever. Professor Forbes in his letter to him, had 
referred to the subject of Parallelism, the great principle 
of Hebrew poetry, and seems to have asked his opinion 
on Bishop Jebb's well-known application of the principle 
to the Lord's Prayer, and other passages of Holy Scripture 
not usually considered poetical. Burgon replies : 

" One word about Parallelism. I am not an un- 
believer ; still less an unwilling listener; but / cannot 
see the proof. I see enough to feel convinced that there 
is something in it, but I cannot take the leap sometimes 
required of me ; or I hesitate to admit something which 
seems to me purely arbitrary ; or an analogy seems to 
me fanciful ; or a correspondence which clearly main- 
tains in three instances, breaks down (me judice) in the 
fourth. Thus (to speak somewhat at random) the Lord's 
Prayer I have always thought consists of three petitions 
which have God, and four which have men, for their 
object. But you bid me isolate the fourth, and regard 
it as a central petition, on either side of which others 
balance. The Beatitudes I reckon at eight, not seven. 
But be they in a manner seven, their partial correspon- 
dence with the Lord's Prayer I have long since noticed 
(and Augustine before me) ; but it is not (as far as I can 
see) complete and systematic. To be brief, I wish to be 
persuaded, but cannot persuade myself of more than this, 
that there is something in it. Jebb has brought me thus 
far, but no further. In the meantime I should rejoice 
unspeakably if by this, or by any other unsuspected 



342 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

method, men could be convinced of the Divine structure 
of the material of Holy Scripture. The hostility of the 
world against God's Word is the most fearful sign of 
the times." 

His convalescence under God's blessing proceeded 
favourably, and on the 9th of Feb. 1863, a letter was 
addressed to him by Canon (afterwards Bishop) Christo- 
pher Wordsworth, who had recently put forth his ' Tour 
in Italy*' which was evidently designed to amuse him in 
his retirement. The Canon had tried, he tells him, when 
at Rome, to conciliate Padre Vercellone by showing him 
Burgon's courteous words about him in his ' Letter* 
from Home V 

" But, au contraire, your strictures on the errors in the 
Roman edition 4 , and still more your strictures on the 
errors of the Church of Rome (which he felt I believe to 
be too well merited), were too much for him ; and he 
almost foamed at the mouth. ... I had some reason to 
fear that he would take me, and put an end to me by 
letting me quietly down into the well of his Convent/' 

We find from his Journal that on the 5th of August 
he was able to leave Houghton for Margate, where he 

2 The first Edition of the ' Tour ' and admirable edition of the Vul- 
appeared early in 1863, and was no gate, which he has now in hand, 
doubt sent by the Canon to his and of which part has already ap- 
invalid friend shortly after its pub- peared. It ought to have a place 
lication. A second Edition was in all our college libraries." 'Letters 
published six months after, the from Home to Friends in England,' 
Preface to which is dated July p. 34. 

29, 1863. The tour itself com- 4 The Canon means Cardinal Mai's 

menced May 13, 1862, and may Edition of the Codex Vaticanus, 

be said to have ended when the completed, after the Cardinal's 

Canon and his party reached Paris death in 1854, by Padre Vercel- 

on the return journey, July 4, 1862. lone. The "strictures" will be 

3 "I cannot name this learned found in Letters II and III of 
gentleman without recommending Burgon's ' Letters from Rome. 1 

to your notice the very laborious 



THE OXFORD LIFE: FOURTH PERIOD. 343 

staid till the 1 1 th of September to complete his recovery, 
then returning to Houghton. On the previous day, 
i oth September, which he notes as being the anniversary 
of the day of his departure from England in 1861, he 
received a letter from Mr. Chase, intimating his intention 
of resigning the Vicarage of St. Mary the Virgin's, and five 
days after, September 15, came another letter announc- 
ing that he himself would be appointed to succeed Mr. 
Chase, on Michaelmas Day, that is a fortnight afterwards. 
By some dear friends and admirers in Oxford he was 
strongly urged to accept the position. Hereupon he 
moralises thus in his Journal : 

" How is it that I am so faithless, as to be full of mis- 

fivings about my health, strength, ability, and the like ? 
urely I am the most faithless thing alive ! 

" My heart sinks too (but that is surely not inexcus- 
able) at the consciousness that this is the last of my many 
vacations here" (at Houghton) ; "the thought is heavy ; 
and I watch the sands running out of the glass with a 
pang unspeakable. Those many quiet studious days 
and nights, at Christmas, at Easter, and in the summer, 
sweetened by unceasing kindness, and by the society 
of those seven who are so dear to me/' [his sister and 
brother-in-law and their five children], ' are almost at 
an end. This pleasant vicissitude with Oxford life, 
a prolonged vicissitude, which I have found salutary for 
mind and body will be no more. For short periods 
it may be resumed ; but alas ! it must henceforth be 
reckoned with the treasures of the past. This dear place 
can never more be my /tome ! 

" Such sorrow is good for us. It is good to face it, and 
to feel it too. All things must come to an end. An 
adopted like a real home, cannot (alas) be for ever. All 
things here below have an end ; and I must now brace 
up my heart to go forth when God calls me, and not 
seek my own selfish enjoyment, as I did this time two 
years ago. 

" my God, be with me ! leave me not, neither 



344 LIFE OF DEAN BURGON. 

forsake me ! let the Angel of thy Presence comfort me. 
and shew me my way in this wilderness of life, for the 
sake of JESUS CHRIST, the Saviour of us all. J. W. B." 

On Friday, the 9th of October, 1863, he left this happy 
home for Oxford, to be inducted to the Vicarage of 
St. Mary's. 



END OF VOL. I. 



LIBRARY ST. MARY'S COLLEGE 



283.092 116329 

B9l5g 

Gcrulburn, Edward 



283. 092 116329 

B9l5g 

Goulburn, Edward 

John William Buugon