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Full text of "Table-talk of John Selden"

Ex Libris 
C. K. OGDEN 



'RY OF OLD AUTHORS. 
mi. 

TTV CTRING- the last few years there has been an increasing demand 
"^ for the productions of our early literature, and the taste has 
been growing without a corresponding attempt to gratify it ; for 
the reprints of early popular writers still continue to be expensive 
and they are published with much diversity of plan, and in every 
variety of size. It is with the view of meeting this demand, under 
more desirable circumstances, that the present series of publica- 
tions has been undertaken. 

Among the mass of our early literature there are many books 
which particularly illustrate the character and sentiments or the 
history of the age in which they were written ; while others are 
in themselves monuments of literary history, possessing beauties 
which entitle them to revival. If they have fallen into oblivion, 
it is only from the antiquity of the language, the various allusions 
which are not now understood by general readers, or other causes 
for which it was imagined there would not be a sale sufficient to 
make their republication profitable,, while, in their original forms, 
they are too rare or too expensive to be generally accessible. 

In the series now offered to the public, a careful selection will 
be made of such works, whether from manuscripts or rare printed 
editions, as seem, from their interest as illustrations of manners, 
literature, or history, or as having had a once merited reputation, 
more especially to deserve republication at the present day ; and 
these will be carefully edited, with introductions and notes ; and 
when necessary, with glossaries and indexes. 

Although each work will form a distinct publication, the series 
will be issued uniformly, in foolscap octavo, and the price will be 
so moderate (from 3. to 6s. a volume) as to bring them within 
the reach of all who take any interest in the study of our older 
literature. 






LIBRARY OF OLD AUTHORS. 



The following works are already published, or in preparation ; 
several others are in contemplation, and the Publisher will gladly 
receive any further suggestions. 

The Dramatic andr Poetical Works of JOHN MABSTON. Now 
first collected, and edited by J. O. Halliwell. 3 vols. 

The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman. Edited by Thomas 
Wright ; a new edition, revised, with additions to the Notes 
and Glossary. 2 vols. 

INCBEASE MATHEE'S Remarkable Providences of the Earlier 
Days of American Colonization. With introductory Preface 
by George Offor. 

JOHX SELDEN'S Table Talk. A new and improved Edition, by 

S. W. Singer. 
The Poetical Works of WILLIAM DBUMMOND of Hawthornden. 

Edited by W. D. Turnbull. 

The Journal of a Barrister of the name of MANNINGS AM, /or 
tlie years 1600, 1601, and 1602 ; containing Anecdotes of 
Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Marston, Spenser, Sir W. 
Raleigh, Sir John Davys, fyc. Edited from the MS. in the 
British Museum, by Thomas Wright. 

The Rev. JOSEPH SPEXCE'S Anecdotes of Books and Men, about 
the time of Pope and Swift. A new Edition by S. W. Singer. 

The Prose Works of GEOFFREY CHAFCEB, including the Trans- 
lation of Boethius, the Testament of Love, and the Treatise 
on the Astrolabe. Edited by T. Wright. 

King James's Treatise on Demonology. With Notes. 
GEOBGKE WITHEE'S Hymns and Songs of the Church. 
The Poems, Letters, and Plays of Sir JOHN SUCKLING. 
THOMAS CAEEW'S Poems and Masque. 
The Miscellanies of JOHN AUBEET, F.E.S. 



Published by JOHN EUSSELL SMITH, 36, Soho Square. 



THE TABLE-TALK 



OF JOHN SELDEN. 



WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE AND NOTES 



BY S. W. SINGER, F.S.A. 



SECOND EDITION. 




LONDON: 

JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, 

SOHO SQUARE. 

1856. 



" THERE is more weighty bullion sense in this book, than I ever 
found in the same number of pages of any uninspired writer." 

COLERIDGE. 







ADVERTISEMENT. 

flattering reception and rapid sale of 
the former edition of this little book 
given by the late Mr. Pickering in 1847, 
has encouraged the present publisher to solicit me 
to superintend this re-impression; and I have 
spared no pains to make it at least equally worthy 
of public favour. The text has been again care- 
fully revised, and the notes, with some augmenta- 
tion, are now placed beneath it, instead of at the 
end of the volume. It has been a source of infinite 
satisfaction to me to be called upon in the evening 
of life to revise the text of the dramas of our great 
poet and that of this little golden manual, and to 
renew my intercourse with the minds of Shake- 
speare and Selden. 

s. w. s. 

Mickleham, 
November 19, 1855. 



2000272 





BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE. 

4* 
|OTHING can be more interesting than this 

little book, containing a lively picture of the 
opinions and conversation of one of the most 
eminent scholars and most distinguished 
patriots England has produced ; living at a period the 
most eventful of our history. There are few volumes of 
its size so pregnant with sense, combined with the most 
profound learning ; it is impossible to open it without 
finding some important fact or discussion, something 
practically useful and applicable to the business of life. 
It may be said of it, as of that exquisite little manual, 
Bacon's Essays, after the twentieth perusal one seldom 
fails to remark in it something overlooked before. 

Such were my feelings and expressions upwards of 
thirty years since, in giving to the world an edition of 
Selden's Table Talk, which has long been numbered in 
the list of scarce books, and that opinion time has fully 
confirmed. It was with infinite satisfaction therefore I 
found that one whose opinion may be safely taken as the 
highest authority, had as fully appreciated its worth, 
b 



ii BIOGRAPHICAL 

Coleridge thus emphatically expresses himself: " There is 
more weighty bullion sense in this book, than I ever found 
in the same number of pages of any uninspired writer." 
And in a note on the article Parliament, he writes : 
" Excellent I O ! to have been with Selden over his glass 
of wine, making every accident an outlet and a vehicle 
of wisdom."* 

Its merits had not escaped the notice of Johnson, 
though in politics opposed to much that it inculcates, for 
in reply to an observation of Boswell, in praise of the 
French Ana, he said : " A few of them are good, but we 
have one book of that kind better than any of them 
Selden's Table-talk."t 

The collector and recorder of these Aurea Dicta, the 
Reverend Richard Milward, was for many years Selden's 
Amanuensis ; he had graduated at Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, and subsequently became Rector of Little Braxted, 
in Essex, upon the presentation of its then patron, the 
Earl of Pembroke. He was also installed a Canon of 
Windsor, in 1666, and died in 1680. 

From the dedication to Selden's Executors, it will be 
obvious that Milward intended it for publication, but it 
did not issue from the press until nine years after his 
death. Among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum 
(1315, pi. 42. 6.) is a written copy of this work, on which 



* Coleridge's Literary Remains, vol. ii. pp. 361-2. 

t Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, p. 321. It 
appears that it was once intended to translate it into Trench, and 
publish it under the title of SELDENIANA. See Melanges de Litte- 
rature, par Vigneul Marville (i.e. Noel d'Argonne) tomei. p. 48- 



PREFACE. in 

is the following note by Lord Oxford : " This book was 
given in 168 by Charles Earl of Dorset to a Bookseller 
in Fleet Street, in order to have it printed, but the book- 
seller delaying to have it done, Mr. Thomas Rymer sold 
a copy he procured to Mr. Churchill,* who printed it." 

The authors of a literary journal gave at the timef an 
opinion against the authority of the book, on the ground 
that it contained many things unworthy of a man of 
Selden's erudition, and at variance with his principles and 
practice. Dr. Wilkins, the editor of his works, has adopted 
this opinion, but we may fairly suspect that his own 
political bias may have influenced this decision. The 
compilation has such a complete and unaffected air of 
genuineness, that we can have no hesitation in giving 
credit to the assertion of Milward, who says that " It was 
faithfully committed to writing, from time to time, during 
the long period of twenty years, in which he enjoyed the 
opportunity of daily hearing his (Selden's) discourse, and 
of recording the excellent things that fell from him." 
He appeals to the executors and friends of Selden, for the 
fact that such was the manner of his patron's conversa- 
tion, and says that they will quickly perceive them to be 
his by the familiar illustrations wherewith they are set off, 
and in which way they know he was so happy. This 
dedicatory appeal to the most intimate friends of Selden, 

* No edition that I have seen has the name of Churchill as 
publisher. That which has always been considered the first, is 
in small 4to. 60 pages, and professes to be " Printed for E. Smith, 
in the year MDCLXXXIX." 

f The Leipsic " Acts of the Learned." 



iv BIOGRAPHICAL 

is surely a sufficient testimonial to the veracity of his 
assertion, and to the genuine authority of the work. 

It was possibly thought that the familiar and sometimes 
homely manner in which many of the subjects discussed 
are illustrated, was not such as might have been expected 
from a profound scholar ; but Selden, with all his learning, 
was a man of the world, familiar with the ordinary scenes 
of common life, and knew how to bring abstruse subjects 
home to the business and bosoms of men of ordinary 
capacity, in a manner at once perspicuous and agreeable. 

" He was a person (says his friend Lord Clarendon) 
whom no character can flatter, or transmit in any expres- 
sions equal to his merit and virtue. He was of such 
stupendous learning in all kinds, and in all languages, 
that a man would have thought he had been entirely con- 
versant among books, and had never spent an hour but in 
reading and writing ; yet his humanity, courtesy, and 
affability were such, that he would have been thought to 
have been bred in the best courts, but that his good 
nature, charity, and delight in doing good, and in com- 
municating all he knew, exceeded that breeding. His 
style in all his writings seems harsh and sometimes ob- 
scure,* which is not wholly to be imputed to the abstruse 
subjects of which he commonly treated, but to a little 
undervaluing of style, and too much propensity to the 
language of antiquity ; but in his conversation he was 
the most clear discourser, and had the best faculty of 

* Aubrey says; " in his younger years he affected obscurity 
of style, which, after, he quite left off, and wrote perspicuously." 



PREFA CE. v 

making hard things easy, and of presenting them to the 
understanding, of any man that hath been known. Mr. 
Hyde was wont to say that he valued himself upon nothing 
more than upon having had Mr. Selden's acquaintance 
from the time he was very young. If he had some infirmi- 
ties with other men, they were weighed down with won- 
derful and prodigious excellencies in the other scale."* 
It has been justly observed that it affords testimony in 
favour of both, that after their separation in the public 
path of politics, their friendship remained unaltered, and 
that Hyde on every occasion stood forth in defence of 
Selden's conscientious conduct. 

Selden was born at Salvington, a hamlet in the parish 
of West Tarring, on the coast of Sussex, not far from 
Worthing. The cottage in which he first saw the light 
was then known as Lacies, and is attached to a farm of 
about 80 acres. When visited in the year 1834, no relic 
of Selden remained but an inscription on the inside of the 
lintel of the entrance doorway, consisting of the following 
Latin distich, said to have been composed by him when 
only 10 years old: 

GRATVS Honeste MIH* NO clavDaR INITO SEDEB' 

FVR ABEAS: NO SV FACTA SOLVTA TIBI.f 

Aubrey, who has left some gossiping materials for a 

* Lord Clarendon's Life by himself, fol. ed. p. 16. 
f i. e. Honest friend, welcome to me I will not be closed, enter 
and be seated. 

Thief ! begone, I am not open to thee. 

JOHNSON'S MEMOIRS OF SELDEN. 
This inscription reminds us of the story told by Pasquier in 



T! BIOGRAPHICAL 

life of Selden, says that his father was " a yeomanly man 
of about 40/. per annum," that he played well on the vio- 
lin, in which he took delight; and at Christmas time, to 
please himself and his neighbours, would play to them as 
they danced. In the parish register of West Tarring, is 
this entry: " 1584, John, the Sonne of John Selden, the 
Minstrell, was baptized the 20th day of December." So that 
there is some reason to conclude that his father occasion- 
ally exercised his musical talent professionally. Indeed 
Aubrey tells us that " My old Lady Cotton (wife to Sir 
Robert Cotton) was one time at Sir Thomas Alford's in 
Sussex, at dinner in Christmas time, and Mr. J. Selden 
(then a young student) sate at the lower end of the table, 
who was looked upon then to be of parts extraordinary, and 
somebody asking who he was, 'twas replied, his son that 
is playing on the violin in the hall." 

Wood says that it was his father's musical talent that 
gained him his wife, who was the daughter and heiress of 
Thomas Baker of Rushington, and descended from a 
knightly family of that name in Kent; her fortune was 
probably small. Selden's sister seems to have married 

his Re'cherches, upon the authority of Alciat. A priest named 
Martin, being made Abbot of Asello, found inscribed over the gate, 

PORTA PATENS ESTO NVLLI CLAVDAKIS HOKESTO. 

Being annoyed by the influx of visitors it occasioned, he re- 
moved the point from the end of the line and placed it after NVLLI, 
and in consequence of the joke was deprived of his Abbey : upon 
which some one wrote over the gate, 

PRO SOLO PVNCTO CARVIT HARTJNVS ASELLO. 

And as the word ASELLO presented an equivocal sense, it gave 
rise to the proverb, " Faute d'un point Martin perdit son ane." 



PREFA CE. vii 

humbly ; her husband appears to have exercised the pro- 
fession of a musician at Chichester, and being an invalid 
with a large family, had a pension of about 251. per an- 
num, Selden being one of the contributors to his necessi- 
ties. 

Selden received the first rudiments of Education at the 
free-school of Chichester, under Hugh Barker, afterwards 
a distinguished civilian ; and that he was an apt scholar 
appears from his early proficiency, for he was admitted a 
student of Hart Hall,* Oxford, when only fourteen years 
old. Wood tells us that he was indebted to Dr. Juxon for 
his exhibition ; and that he was a great favourite with Mr. 
Barker, who recommended him to his brother Anthony, 
a fellow of New College, who with John Young, another 
fellow of the same college, assisted him in his studies. 

He remained at Oxford about four years, and in 1602 
he repaired to London, and entered himself at Clifford's 
Inn : here he commenced his study of the law ; and in 
May, 1604, he removed to the Inner Temple ; his cham- 
ber was in an upper story, in Paper Buildings, having the 
advantage of a small gallery to walk in, and looking to- 
ward the garden. 

His early proficiency appears to have recommended him 
to the notice of Sir Robert Cotton, for whom he is said to 



* Hart Hall, afterwards Hertford College ; by the liberality of 
Dr. Newton, it was in 1740 converted into a College, receiving a 
charter of incorporation, but the funds proving insufficient for its 
maintenance, at the death of Dr. Hodgson the principal, in 1805, 
it became extinct, and the site is now occupied by Magdalene 
College. 



viii BIOGRAPHICAL 

have copied records, and to whom he became closely at- 
tached ; to this early intercourse most probably may be 
attributed his predilection for antiquarian pursuits. 

It was at this period of his life that, from being devoted 
to similar studies, he formed acquaintance, which after- 
wards ripened into friendship, with some of his eminent 
cotemporaries, among whom may be named Henry Rolle, 
afterwards Lord Chief Justice ; Sir Edward Littleton, 
afterwards Lord Keeper ; Sir Edward Herbert, subse- 
quently Attorney General ; and Sir Thomas Gardiner, 
who became Recorder of London. " It was the constant 
and almost daily course (says Wood) of those great traders 
in learning, to bring in their acquests as it were in a com- 
mon stock, by natural communication, whereby each of 
them, in a great measure, became the participant and com- 
mon possessor of each other's learning and knowledge." 
He also formed intimate friendships with two of the most 
distinguished men of his time, Camden, and Ben Jonson, 
and pursued his studies in conjunction with one less known, 
Mr. Edward Heyward, of Reepham in Norfolk. The 
virtue and learning of this his " beloved friend and cham- 
ber-fellow" he speaks of in high terms. 

He became so sedulous a student, and his proficiency was 
so well known that he was soon in extensive practice as a 
chamber council and conveyancer ; but he does not seem 
to have appeared frequently at the bar. His devotion to 
his profession did not prevent him from pursuing his 
literary occupations with assiduity, and at the early age of 
twenty-two he had completed his Dissertation on the Civil 
Government of Britain before the Norman Conquest, 



PREFA CE. ix 

which, imperfect as it may now be thought, was still an 
astonishing performance for the age at which it was com- 
posed.* 

In 16 10 we find him pursuing the same course of study, 
the fruits of which were given to the world under the titles 
of " Englands Epinomis," and " Jani An glorum fades 
altera,''-\ the first in English, the latter in Latin, illustra- 
tive of the state and progress of English law, from the 
earliest times to the end of the reign of Henry the Second. 

In the same year he published his Essay on " The 

* It was not however published until 1615, when it was printed 
at Frankfort under the title of Analecta Anglo-Britannicwn. The 
preface is dated 1607, and it is dedicated to Sir Robert Cotton. 

f The^'rsf edition of the Jani Angtorum, is a very small 12mo. 
apparently privately printed for the Author, and is very rarely 
met with. The Title : 

Jani Anglorum Facies altera Memoria nempe a primula Henrici 
II. adusque abitionem quod occurrit Prophanum Anglo-Britanniae 
Jus resipiens succureto foijyjj/iariicwe connexum filo. Inlustriss 
Comiti Sarisburise BEST. D. D. Opera Joannis SELDEN Saluintonji 
e Societate Inter Tempi. Londinensis. 




Londini. 
Impens. Auctor. Typis T. S. procur. I. Helme 

CIO. 13. C. X. 

A copy was sold in the sale of T. Rawlinson's Library for 7s. &d. 
Teste the celebrated collector. J. West. 



i BIOGRAPHICAL 

Duel, or Single Combat," in which he confines his atten- 
tion chiefly to the forms and ceremonies attending judicial 
combats since the Norman Conquest. 

In 1613 he furnished the English notes to the first 
eighteen songs of Drayton's Polyolbion : the prodigious 
number of the references in these notes manifest his 
learning and assiduity. His intimacy with Drayton and 
Browne, as well as Jonson, perhaps arose from those social 
meetings at the Mermaid* Tavern, in Friday Street, 

* Selden's intimacy with Jonson, Drayton, and Browne, might 
give us reason to suppose that in his earlier years poetry had 
some share of his attention, but he does not appear to have been 
a very successful votary of the Muses, and but few of his attempts 
in verse have been preserved : the reader may not be displeased to 
have a specimen, in his complimentary tributes to Donne and 
Browne. 

The following lines were addressed to Drayton, and prefixed 
to his poems in 1610 : 

Michael ! 

I must admire thee, (but to praise were vain 
What ev'ry tasting-palate so approves) 
Thy Martial Pyrrhic, and thy Epic strain 
Digesting Wars with heart-uniting Loves. 
The two first Authors of what is compos'd 
In this round system all ; its ancient lore 
All Arts in Discords and Concents are clos'd ; 
When souls unwing'd Adrasta's laws restore 
To th' Earth, for reparation of their nights, 
Scholars the first, Musicians, Lovers make, 
The next rank destinate to Mars his Knights, 
(The following rabble meaner titles take,) 
I see thy templ<;s crown'd with Phoebus' rites : 
Thy Bays to th' eye with Lilly mix'd and Rose, 
As to the care a Diapason close. 

JOHN SELDEX. 



PREFA CE. xi 

where, in 1603 a club had been established by Sir Walter 
Raleigh, at which those interesting " wit-combats" between 

These verses are followed by panegyrical lines by Edward 
Heyward " To his friend the Author." 

There are verses in Greek, Lathi, and English, by Selden, 
prefixed to Browne's Britannia's Pastorals (the first part in sm. 
folio was printed I believe in 1613, the second Edit, in sm. 4to. 
in 1625). 

It is remarkable that Selden's verses are also here followed by 
some by Edward Heyward, and indeed almost all the commen- 
datory verses prefixed are by Members of the Inner and Middle 
Temple. Browne was himself of the Inner Temple. 

In 

Bucolica G. Broun. Quod, per secessus Rustici otia, Licuit ad 
Amic. and Bon. Liter, amantiss. 

Anacreonticum 
KaXXoe ffov KvSiptia, &c. 16 lines. 

Ad Amoris Numina 
Quin vostrum Paphie, Anteros, Erosque, &c. 40 lines. 

By the Same. 

So much a Stranger my Severer Mute 
Is not to Love-strains, or a Sheepwards Reed, 
But that She knows some writes of Phoebus' dues, 
Of Pan, of Pallas, and her Sisters meed. 
Read and commend She durst these tun'd essaies 
Of Him that loves her (She hath ever found 
Her Studies as one circle) Next She prays 
His Readers be with Ease and Myrtle crown'd ! 
No Willow touch them ! As his Bates* are free 
From wrong of Bolts, so may their Chaplets be ! 

J. Selden, Juris C. 

* Bales (faire Readers) being the materials of Poets garlands, 
(as Myrtle and Roses are for enjoying Lovers, and the fruitless 
Willow for them which your unconstancie, too oft, makes most 
unhappy) are supposed not subject to any hurt of Jupiters 
Thunderbolts, as other trees are. 



Xll 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



Shakespeare and Jonson took place, thus alluded to by 
Beaumont in his letter to Jonson : 

What things have we seen 

Done at the Mermaid ! Heard words that have been 
So nimble, and so full of subtle flame, 
As if that every one from whom they came 
Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest. 

His intense application appears to have very materially 
injured his health, for in the dedication of his " Titles of 
Honor," published in 1614, to his friend Mr. Edward 
Heyward, he says, " Some years since it was finished, 
wanting only in some parts my last hand; which was 
then prevented by my dangerous and tedious sicknesse ;" 
from this attack he attributes his recovery to the skill and 
care of Dr. Robert Floyd (or Fludd), the celebrated 
Rosicrusian philosopher, who is said to have insured the 
efficacy of his nostrums by the mystical incantations he 
muttered over his patients. Returning to his studies with 
fresh zest and renewed vigour, he says, " Thus I employed 
the breathing times which from the so different studies of 
my profession, were allowed me. Nor hath the proverbial 
assertion that the Lady Common Law must lye alone, 
ever wrought with me." 

Selden prefixed to this book some Greek verses address- 
ed to " That singular Glory of our Nation and Light of 
Britaine, M. Camden Clarenceux," and the highly com- 
plimentary epistle by Ben Jonson which is subjoined to 
this preface.* In the year 1617 he contributed the mar- 

* In the preface to the first edition we have the following in- 
teresting notice of his intimacy with Ben Jonson : " When I was 



PREFA CE. xiii 

ginal notes to Purchas's Pilgrimage, and a short paper, 
" Of the Jews sometime living in England,'' and the same 
year produced his celebrated work, " De Diis Syris ;" the 
Prolegomena treats of the Geography of Syria, of the 
Hebrew Language, and the origin and progress of Poly- 
theism, and the two Syntagmata embrace the history of 
the Syrian deities. 

He tells us that previously to the year 1618, pursuing an 

to use [a passage out of Euripides his Orestes] not having at hand 
the Scholiast, out of whom I hoped some aid, I went, for this pur- 
pose, to see it in the well furnished librarie of my beloved friend 
that singular Poet M. Ben Jonson, whose special worth in litera- 
ture, accurate judgement, and performance, known only to that 
Few which are truly able to know him, hath had from me, ever 
since I began to learn, an increasing admiration." The motto to 
this edition was from Lucilius : Persium non euro legere : L&lium 
Decimum volo. It is also furnished with a list of the Authors cited, 
and excellent Indexes, an advantage which the Second edition 
published in folio in 1631 does not possess. 

To this Second edition, which is so much enlarged as to consti- 
tute it almost a new work, another dedication is prefixed, but 
still to his " most beloved friend Edward Heyward," now styled 
" Of Cardeston in Norfolk, Esquire." The commendatory verses 
of Ben Jonson were also retained. In a copy in my possession, 
which appears to have belonged to Sir Thomas Cotton, the follow- 
ing manuscript verses are on a blank leaf facing the title, and are 
again repeated, in the same handwriting, after the verses of Ben 
Jonson. They will serve to show in what very high esteem Selden 
was held by his cotemporaries, though they have no other merit : 
Selden the greate ! there hardly is a name 
More loudely sounded by the trumpe of Fame. 
Th' annals of learning's Commonwealth doe tell 
Of no Prince there, whose worth doth more excell. 

W. M. 
The price of this folio appears to have been xvi. Sh. bound. 



xiv BIOGRAPHICAL 

uncontrolled habit of study, full of ambition and hope, he 
determined to write, among other works, a History of 
Tithes, a Diatribe on the Birthday of Christ, and upon 
the Dominion of the Sea. The History of Tithes was 
printed in 1618, being duly licensed for the press; but 
even previous to its publication, prejudice seems to have 
been raised against it, and it no sooner appeared than it 
excited the displeasure of the court, and the bench of 
Bishops, with the honourable exception of the excellent 
and pious Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester. 

" As soon as it was printed and public," says Selden, 
" divers were ready to publish that it was written to prove 
that Tithes were not Jure divino ; some that it was writ- 
ten to prove, nay, that it had proved, that no tithes at all 
were due ; others that I had concluded that, questionless, 
laymen might, with good conscience, detain impropriated 
churches ; others that it was expressly against the tithes 
of London." The work however was written with a far 
different intention. The fact is that it was a purely His- 
torical Inquiry, and he says, " I doubted not but that it 
would have been acceptable to every ingenuous Christian, 
and especially to the clergy, to whose disputations and 
determinations I resolved to leave the point of the divine 
right of tithes, and keep myself to the historical part." 
In this expectation he was bitterly deceived, it brought 
forth a host of answers and animadversions, the most 
marked of which were those of Dr. Tillesley, Archdeacon 
of Rochester, and Dr. Montague, afterwards Bishop of 
Norwich. It had been so misrepresented to the King, 
that Selden was summoned to appear before him with his 



PREFA CE. xv 

work ; he repaired to Theobalds, where the King then was, 
accompanied by his friends Ben Jonson and Edward Hey- 
ward, " being," as he says, " entirely a stranger to the 
court, and known personally there to a very few." The 
King admitted him to a conference, and descanted some- 
times learnedly, sometimes humorously, and at other times 
angrily upon various passages of his work ; but dwelt 
particularly on the apostolic appointment of the anniver- 
sary of Christ's Nativity, saying that he suspected Selden 
agreed with those contentious Scots, who refused to observe 
any particular day ; and upon Selden observing that this was 
so far from his opinion that he thought the 25th of Decem- 
ber might by calculation be proved to be the proper day, he 
was commanded to write an essay on the subject, which in- 
junction he afterwards complied with. He had another con- 
ference with the King at Whitehall, and thought from his 
reception that the matter would rest there, but he was soon 
after summoned before the Privy Council, and before the 
High Commission Court, and was obliged to sign a declar- 
ation that he was in error in offering any argument against 
the right of maintenance Jure divino of the ministers of 
the gospel. His work was suppressed, and the King said 
to him : " If you or your friends write any thing against 
Dr. Montague's confutation I will throw you into prison." 
He tells us that the declaration he signed was drawn up 
through the favour of some lords of the High Commission, 
that it was true he was sorry for having published it, be- 
cause it had given offence, but that there was not the less 
truth in it because he was sorry for publishing it.* 

* It will be seen by referring to the article Tithes in the fol- 






XVI 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



He had spoken in this work of the unlimited liberty and 
confident daring of those who had interpreted the passage 
of Revelation which assigns 666 as the number of the 
beast, and praised the judgment and modesty of Calvin, 
who had declared that he could not understand that obscure 
book ; and as it happened that the pedantic James had 
himself attempted to expound the mystic meaning, it is 
obvious that this tended to aggravate his anger. Selden 
was called upon to explain what he meant by this observ- 
ation, and in doing so he made some compliments to the 
King which have been considered as derogatory of his 
better judgment, and unworthy of him. 

In the struggle between James and the House of 
Commons, they had addressed to him a petition of griev- 
ances, in which their fear of the Papists and complaints 
of extravagance were the chief features ; when it was 

lowing volume at page 1 54, that forty years afterwards Selden had 
the satisfaction of knowing that the clergy sought and found their 
best defence in his persecuted volume. In 1653 the House of 
Commons in consequence of petitions presented to them instituted 
an inquiry about the abolition of Tithes ; the Kentish petition 
desiring that " that Jewish and Antichristian bondage and burden 
on the estates and consciences of the godly might cease." And 
Dr. Langbaine, in a letter to Selden, thus expresses himself: 
" Upon occasion of the business of Tithes now under consideration, 
some, whom it more nearly concerns have been pleased to enquire 
of me what might be said as to the civil rights to them, to whom 
I was not able to give any better direction than by sending them 
to your History. Haply it may seem strange to them, yet I am 
not out of hopes, but that work, (like Pelius' Hasta,) which was 
looked upon as apiece that struck deepest against the divine, will 
afford the strongest arguments for the civil right : and if that be 
made the issue, I do not despair of the cause." 



PREFACE, xvii 

sent, tog-ether with a remonstrance, by twelve members 
of the House, the King refused to receive the petition, 
and returned a harsh answer to the remonstrance. The 
House in consequence resolved not to grant him any 
supplies until their complaints were attended to, and the 
King adjourned and finally dissolved the parliament. 
Before the adjournment the House entered a protest on 
their Journals, previously consulting Selden, who, though 
not a member, was introduced and spoke with true patri- 
otic feeling on the subject ; and certainly advised, if he 
did not draw up, the protestation, which the enraged and 
baffled King afterwards tore with his own hand from the 
Journals of the House. 

In the same tyrannic spirit the impotent monarch 
wreaked his vengeance upon those who were considered 
to have been the chief movers, and, upon warrants issued 
by the Privy Council, Sir Edward Coke, and Sir Robert 
Philips were committed to the Tower ; and the Earl of 
Southampton, Sir Edward Sandys, Mr. Pym, Mr. Mai- 
lory, and Selden, to other places of confinement. The 
warrant for Selden's imprisonment directed his committal 
to the Tower, and prohibited his having communication 
with anybody but those who had the charge of his person ; 
but he was retained in the custody of the Sheriff (Robert 
Dueie), who lodged him in his own house, and treated 
him liberally and indulgently ; to the restraint from inter- 
course with his friends the prohibition of the free use of 
his books was added, but the Sheriff indulged him with 
the use of two works, one of them the MS. of Eadraer's 
History, which he afterwards published. 



XV111 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



His confinement was however of little more than a 
month's duration. Hackett has printed a letter of Lord 
Keeper Williams to Buckingham, in favour of the libera- 
tion of Lord Southampton and Selden, and this application 
prevailed, or the court, though willing, found that it had no 
power to punish ; and after an examination before the Privy 
Council, where Selden seems to have been again protected 
by Bishop Andrewes, he was liberated on the 18th of July. 

In 1621 the House of Peers honoured him with their 
request that he would compose a work on their Privileges, 
to which he appears sedulously to have applied himself; 
the result of his researches was probably communicated 
to the House long before, but the work itself " The 
Privileges of the Baronage of England" was not pub- 
lished until 1642. 

In 1623 he published his edition of Eadmer's Histories 
Novorum, sive sui Seculi, libri sex,* the notes to which 
contain much curious legal and historical matter. 

James had in vain endeavoured to replenish his ex- 
chequer by having recourse to what were then strangely 
miscalled Benevolences, but this species of extortion was 
not found effective, and he was, at the commencement 
of the year 1624, constrained again to summon a parlia- 

* Sir Henry Spelman is busie about the impression of his 
Glossary, and Mr. Selden of his Eadmerus, which will be finished 
within three or four days ; together with his notes, and the Laws 
of the Conqueror; the comparing whereof with the copy of 
Crowland, was the cause of this long stay ; for they could not get 
the book hither, though they had many promises, but were fain 
to send one to Crowland to compare things. 

Sir H. Bourgchier to Usher, April 1C, 1G22. 



PREFA CE. xix 

merit, in which Selden sat as one of the representatives 
for Lancaster. Dr. Aikin thinks it most probable that 
" he owed his election for this borough to his reputation 
as an able supporter of popular rights, when members 
were chosen rather for their public principles than for 
private connections.'' 

Selden, though he does not appear to have taken much 
part in the debates of this session, was an active and 
valuable member of the celebrated Election Committee, 
of which Sergeant Glanville published the Report, and 
among its other members were Sir Edward Coke, Noy, 
Pym, and Finch. The reader need not be reminded that 
to this committee the nation owes one of the strongest 
bulwarks of its liberties in the establishment of the inde- 
pendence of the House of Commons, in the right of juris- 
diction over the election of its members : it also established 
that the right of election is in those who possess property 
within the precincts of Boroughs, and not founded upon 
the royal grant. 

Selden's time was now so fully occupied, that he 
refused to take upon him the duties of Reader of Lyon's 
Inn, to which he had been nominated by the benchers of 
the Inner Temple, and was in consequence fined in the 
sum of twenty pounds, and disabled from being called to 
the bench or to be Reader of the Inner Temple, but the 
latter part of the order was rescinded in 1632 when he 
became a bencher of that Society.* 



* The following letter to Archbishop Usher will show how 
ardently he still pursued his literary researches : 



xx BIOGRAPHICAL 

In the first parliament that was called at the com- 
mencement of the reign of Charles the First, Selden sat 

To the Most Reverend James Usher, 

Archbishop of Armagh. 
My Lord, 

It was most glad news to me to hear of your so forward 
recovery, and I shall pray for the addition of strength to it, so 
that you may the easier go on still in the advancement of that 
commonwealth of learning wherein you so guide us. I humbly 
thank your Lordship for your instructions touching the Samaritan 
Bible, and the books. I have returned the Saxon Annals again, 
as you desired, with this suit, that if you have more of them (for 
these are very slight ones) and the old Book of Ely, Ilistoria 
Joruallensis, the Saxon Evangelist, the Book of Worcester, the 
Book of Mailross, or any of them, you will be pleased to send me 
them all, or as many as you have of them by you, and what else 
you have of the History of Scotland and Ireland, and they shall 
be returned at your pleasure. If you have a Saxon Bede, I 
beseech you let that be one also. If I have any thing here of the 
rest, or ought else that your Lordship requires for any present 
use, I shall most readily send them to you, and shall ever be 
Your Lordship's most affectionate Servant, 
J. SELDEN. 

Sept. 14, 1625, 
Wrest. 

There is a hope (as Sir Robert Cotton tells me) that a very 
ancient Greek MS. copy of the Council of Nice, the first of them 
of that name, is to be had somewhere in Huntingdonshire ; I 
thought it was a piece of news that would be acceptable to your 
Lordship ; he is in chace for it. 

The Archbishop had written on this letter : 
Sept. 19. Sent him upon this; Annales Latini Saxonici, the Book 
of Mailros, Forduni Scotichronic. Fragment. Scotic. Annal. ad 
finem Ivonis Carnot. Fragment. Annalium Abb. B. Marise Vir- 
ginis Dublin. Annales Hiberniae Thomae Case. The Book of 
Hoath. Fembrig's Annals MS. 



PREFA CE. xxi 

as one of the representatives of Great Bedwin, and in the 
second parliament which the King was constrained by his 
necessities to call, Selden took an active part in the pro- 
ceeding's for the impeachment of the favourite Bucking- 
ham, which the King defeated by dissolving the Parliament. 

In 1627 we find him pleading for the discharge from 
prison of Sir Edward Hampden, one of those patriotic 
men who had resisted the illegal mode to which the King 
had resorted for raising supplies. His argument was 
able and forcible, and though the judges then decided 
against it, later decisions have shown that it was equally 
correct. 

In the Parliament which assembled in March 1628 he 
appears to have been again returned for Lancaster, and 
various committees were appointed to enquire into the 
public grievances ; of one of these, whose business was to 
enquire into the proceedings adopted respecting the writs 
of Habeas Corpus moved for in the case of those who had 
resisted the unconstitutional measure of forced loans 
under the name of Benevolences, Selden made the report. 
He also took a distinguished part in the debates on the 
subject, and established incontrovertibly the illegality of 
committals without the cause of imprisonment being 
expressed ; the raising money by impositions without the 
consent of the Parliament ; and established indisputably 
the right of Habeas Corpus in every case of imprison- 
ment.* 

* The speech may be found in the Parliamentary History, vol. 
vii. p. 415. See also Kush worth's Collections, vol. i. p. 530, and 
Selden's Works, vol. iii. p. 1958. It has also been given by Mr. 



xxii BIOGRAPHICAL 

Four resolutions of the House were passed embodying 
these opinions ; a conference with the Lords was held, 
which terminated in the production of the memorable 
Petition of Right, in framing which Selden took an active 
part. 

His speech upon this occasion is a masterly and un- 
answerable effusion. He had consulted and copied with 
his own hand all the records which bore upon the question, 
with unexampled diligence, and with that confidence 
which can only be inspired by a consciousness of being in 
the right. He defied the Attorney General to controvert 
any one of his positions. He laid before the Lords the 
copies of the records he had made, and they ordered them 
to be compared with the originals ; in the course of this 
comparison some of them were found deficient or de- 
stroyed, and there was an imbecile attempt of the court 
party through the Earl of Suffolk to implicate Selden; 
but that Lord afterwards denied that he had used the 
criminatory expressions which several members had heard 
him utter : the committee, notwithstanding this denial, 
requested the Lords to visit the Earl with such punish- 
ment as he deserved for having brought a most unjust 
and scandalous charge against Selden. 

Two remonstrances were also prepared and presented, 
one of them against the Duke of Buckingham, as the prin- 
cipal cause of the evils complained of, with a request that 

Johnson in his " Memoirs of Selden, and notices of the political 
contest during his time," Lond. 1835, a work to which, together 
with Dr. Aikin's Life of Selden, I have frequently been indebted 
for the materials of this sketch. 






PREFA CE. xxiii 

he might be removed from authority, from attendance 
upon the King, and that judgment should be made against 
him upon his impeachment in the last parliament. The 
other declared that the impost of tonnage and poundage 
was no prerogative of the Crown, but was always granted 
to the King by Parliament. In the discussion and pre- 
paration of these, Selden took a prominent part. The 
King received them with marked impatience, and after 
the bill of Subsidies was passed he dissolved the Par- 
liament. Selden had been some time previously appointed 
solicitor and steward to the Earl of Kent, and he now re- 
tired to that nobleman's seat, Wrest, in Bedfordshire, 
where he quietly pursued his literary occupations, which 
appear to have been at all times to him more congenial 
than the strife of politics, in which he mixed rather out of 
a sense of his duty to his country, than from any predilec- 
tion for a public life. The fruits of his retirement were two 
treatises " Of the Original of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction 
of Testaments," and " Of the Disposition or Administra- 
tion of Intestates Goods," which may have been suggested 
to him by discussions in Parliament on the King's right 
to the property of bastards who die intestate. 

Upon the arrival of the Arundelian Marbles in this 
country, Selden's friend, Sir Robert Cotton, requested 
him to examine them, and he entered upon the task with 
all the enthusiasm of a consummate antiquary ; being in 
the course of his investigations assisted by two eminent 
scholars, Patrick Young, and Richard James.* He now 

* [Richard James.] Of this very learned and ingenious man, 
all that is known will be found appended to the publication of his 



xxiv BIOGRAPHICAL 

gave to the world the fruit of his labours under the title 
of " Marmora Arundeliana, sive Saxa Graeca Incisa." 
The work was dedicated to his companion in his enquiries, 
Patrick Young, and the preface makes grateful mention 
of the advantage he had enjoyed in compiling the work, 
in the quiet retirement of Wrest,* by the favour of the 



" Iter Lancastrense," a poem with notes, &c., by the Kev. T. Cor- 
ser, printed for the Chetham Society in 1845. He was a Fellow of 
Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and if, as I feel convinced, he was 
the writer of the noble verses, " On Worthy Master Shakespeare 
and his Poems," signed J. M. S. which were first printed in the 
second folio edition of 1632, he well deserves to be enshrined in 
our memories. He lived in habits of intimacy with Sir Kobert 
Cotton, Selden and Ben Jonson, and the following verses prefixed 
to a sermon on Psalm xxxvii. 25, may serve as a specimen of his 
poetical talent, and of his affectionate regard for Selden : 
The Author's Preface to his Book. 

Go little book and kindly say 

Peace and content of night and day 

Unto my noble Selden. Greet 

His gentle hands, his knees, his feet, 

In such fair manner, as not he 

Deem any feignedness in me. 

Say that thy master oft doth bless 

For his kind love God's holiness. 

And lest thou hindrance be to aught 

That busies his heroic thought ; 

Say not much more, nor wish reply ; 

But like the silly larke in sky, 

When ended is his cheerful lay, 

Warble Adieu ! and fall away. 

* Otia quibus hsec fere prsestitimus imprimis nobis fecit summa 
Faventia et Benignitas Amplissimi Herois Henrici Comitis Cantii 
et vere Nobilissimse Heroinae Elisubetha: conjugis ejus. Tranquil- 



PEE FA CE. xxv 

Earl and Countess of Kent. Though, as may well be 
supposed, not free from faults, rather attributable to the 
defective state of Epigraphic Science at that time, than to 
any want of skill in the enquirer, this work is another 
honourable testimonial of the comprehensive learning and 
active industry of this extraordinary man. 

The Parliament re-assembled on the 20th of January, 
1629, and the conduct of the Court since the dissolution 
had been such as to add to the dissatisfaction of the Com- 
mons. Laud, who had been accounted a schismatic and 
inclined to arbitrary measures, was made Bishop of Lon- 
don, and became the organ of the Court. Montague was 
made Bishop of Chichester, and Wentworth had been 
seduced to abandon the popular cause and raised to the 
Peerage. Added to these acts of irritation, the tonnage 
and poundage had been levied without the consent of the 
Parliament, and the goods of Mr. Rolls, one of the mem- 

lus enim secessus, quo Wrestce, quse eorum villa est in agro Bed- 
fordiensi, turn sestate superior! turn festo Christi natalitio fruebar 
(liberalissimo scilicet, pro insigni eorum erga me immerentem et 
perpetuae bonitate, ibi hospitio exceptus) opportimissime indulsit, 
ut urbanis interturbationibus liber, opus incseptum commodissime 
absolverem." 

Lady Kent, who was one of the three daughters and coheiresses 
of Gilbert Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, seems to have been an espe- 
cial favourer of learning and literature, for we are told that But- 
ler, the author of Hudibras, was among those to whom while 
living she extended her favours; and it was at her house, his 
biographer tells us, " he had not only the opportunity to consult all 
manner of books, but to converse also with that great living library 
of learning the great Mr. Selden." May we not conjecture that 
Butler owed this favour to Selden himself ? 



xxvi BIOGRAPHICAL 

bers, had been seized for resisting the payment of this 
illegal imposition. 

Selden took a very active part in the enquiries which 
were instituted ; he had hitherto expressed himself leniently 
about the court measures, but his patriotic spirit was now 
excited, and he indignantly exclaimed, when a plea of 
mistake in the case of Mr. Rolls was urged : " This is not. 
to be reckoned an error, but is questionless done pur- 
posely to affront us, and of this our own lenity is the 
cause." And when it was suggested that the advisers of 
the King were most in fault, he said : " If there be any 
near the King that misinterpret our actions, let the curse 
light on them, and not on us. I believe it is high time to 
right ourselves, and until we vindicate ourselves in this it 
will be in vain for us to sit here." 

The violation of the petition of right had shown that 
the King was not to be trusted, that he had now no regard 
to the observance of the laws, and the Commons continued 
to urge strongly their complaints of religious and political 
grievances ; during this session the court party were fre- 
quently the aggressors ; and at length an attempt was 
made to control the freedom of the House of Commons, 
by commanding the Speaker to adjourn it. Sir John 
Finch, the Speaker, was a mere tool of the court party, 
and his conduct on this occasion was at once erroneous 
and pusillanimous : the tumult in the House was extreme, 
the Speaker was forcibly detained in the chair until three 
protestations were read, declaring that whoever caused an 
innovation of religion, advised the imposition of tonnage 
and poundage without the assent of Parliament, or who- 



PREFA CE. xxvii 

ever voluntarily paid it, if levied without such sanction, 
would be a capital enemy of his country, and a betrayer 
of its liberty. The House then adjourned. The King 
hearing of these proceedings, sent a messenger to command 
the Sergeant to bring away the mace ; the House of course 
would not allow it. He then sent a summons to them by 
the Usher of the Black Rod, but he was denied admit- 
tance. At last he sent a guard to force the door, but 
the House had risen before it arrived. 

Eight days after, March 10th, 1629, he dissolved the 
Parliament, addressing only the Lords, and in alluding to 
the Commons, he said, among them were, " some vipers 
and evil affected persons, who must look for their reward." 

Nine of the members of the House, who had been most 
active on this occasion, were summoned to appear before 
the Privy Council ; Selden was among the number ; the 
seven who appeared were committed to the Tower. The 
studies of Sir John Eliot, of Denzil Hollis, and of Selden 
were sealed up ; and the other two members were soon 
after apprehended and committed to the King's Bench 
Prison. Nothing can exceed the folly and illegality of 
the whole of these proceedings, but the baffled despotism 
pursued its course with the utmost severity ; Selden and 
the other prisoners were not only restricted from inter- 
course with their friends, but even denied the use of books 
and writing materials, for nearly three months. At length 
Selden obtained permission to use such books as he could 
obtain from his friends or the booksellers, and he procured 
the Bible, the two Talmuds, some later Talmudists and 
Lucian. He says, " also I extorted by entreaty from the 



xxviii BIOGRAPHICAL 

Governor (Sir Allan Apsley) the use of pens, ink and 
paper ; but of paper only nineteen sheets which were at 
hand were allowed, each of which were to be signed with 
the initials of the Governor, that it might be ascertained 
easily how much and what I wrote : nor did I dare to use 
any other. On these, during my prison leisure, I copied 
many extracts from the above-named books, which ex- 
tracts I have now in my possession, thus signed and 
bound together." 

It is evident that the court party found that they were 
in the wrong, and not likely to obtain their object by 
such measures, and agents were employed to endeavour 
to prevail upon the prisoners to sue for acquittal ; without 
effect.* The judges had informed the King that as the 
offences charged against them were not capital, they 
ought to be admitted to bail on giving security for their 
good behaviour, and they gave their judgment accordingly 
on the first day of Michaelmas term. Selden, for himself 
and for his fellow prisoners, replied that they demanded 
to be bailed in point of right, and that they could not 
assent to the finding of sureties for good behaviour with- 
out compromising the privileges of Parliament. He 
subsequently observed that the judges were themselves 
conscious that the prisoners had done nothing that required 
them to enter into these recognizances, that it would have 
been conduct unworthy of themselves to have complied, 



* One of the agents sent to the prisoners in the Tower upon 
this occasion was Dr. Mosely. See 4 in the article Clergy in 
the Table-talk. 



PREFA CE. xxix 

and that they were determined that the just liberty of 
the English people should not be infringed by their ac- 
quiescence. 

They were consequently remanded to prison, and 
Selden, Hollis, Valentine, and Eliot were proceeded 
against by information in the Court of King's Bench ; 
they excepted to the jurisdiction of the Court, as the 
offences were alleged to have been committed in Parlia- 
ment. This plea was overruled, and judgment was finally 
given, " That they should be imprisoned, and not delivered 
until they had found security for their good behaviour, 
and made a submission and acknowledgment of their 
offences." 

The conduct of Selden and his fellow sufferer, Sir John 
Eliot,* on this occasion was that of heroic martyrs to the 
sacred cause of liberty ; a host of friends, among whom 
were Henry, afterwards Earl of Bath, Robert, Earl of 
Essex, Sir Robert Cotton and his son Thomas, were ready 
to be Selden's sureties, and urged him to comply, but 

* Sir John Eliot, not less distinguished for resplendent talents 
than patriotic ardour, had been previously imprisoned in the 
Tower for the part he took in the impeachment of the Duke of 
Buckingham in 1628. The condition of his liberation was now 
to be a fine of 2000/., and though " warned that the confinement 
was killing him, he suffered and died with magnanimity. He 
thought, and wrote, and wept with anxiety for the welfare of his 
orphan boys, but he resolved to leave them his example, as well 
as his precepts to excite them to live worthily." The noble house 
of St. Germains may well be proud of such an illustrious ancestor, 
and Gibbon (who was related to it) in his own figurative language , 
might have exhorted the Eliots to consider the conduct of Sir 
John as " the brightest jewel of their coronet." 



XXX 

these entreaties, and the threats of interminable imprison- 
ment, with which he was menaced even by the Chief 
Justice, were unavailing ; and, though four of the prisoners 
had compromised with the oppressors, he adhered firmly 
to his purpose. 

While he was yet in prison, a further persecution was 
contrived in the shape of an information in the Star 
Chamber, against him and his friend Sir Robert Cotton, 
and Gilbert Barrell, for intending to raise seditious 
rumours about the King and his Government, by framing, 
contriving and writing " a false, seditious and pestilent 
discourse.'' This discourse was a jeu d'esprit, written by 
Sir Robert Dudley (the well known author of the Arcano 
del Mare). The manuscript of which being in the library 
of Sir Robert Cotton, and copies being traced to the 
possession of Selden and Barrell, they, as well as the 
Earls of Bedford, Somerset, and Clare, were implicated, 
until it was clearly proved in court to have been written 
by Dudley. The title was " A proposition for his 
Majesty's Service, to bridle the impertinency of Parlia- 
ment," and it was evidently intended as a satire upon the 
spirit of the Stuart government by recommending the 
most absurd system of despotic misrule.* 

Notwithstanding the failure to prove the chief charge, 
instead of honestly acquitting the defendants, the Lord 

* There is a copy among the Harleian MSS. to which are 
appended some particulars of tbe prosecution, and a further 
account may be found in Sir Simon D'Ewes's Journal, and in the 
Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxxvii. p. 335. It is printed in the 
first volume of Hush worth. 



PREFACE. xxxi 

Keeper Coventry told the court that out of the King's 
grace, and his joy at the birth of a son, he would not 
proceed to demand sentence, but would pardon them. A 
base charge was however trumped up against Sir Robert 
Cotton, that he had records and evidences in his library 
belonging to the King, and Commissioners were appointed 
to search his library, and withdraw from it all such. 
This was a death blow to that excellent person ; he is said 
to have declined in health from that day, and to have 
frequently declared that they had broken his heart by 
locking up his library from him without rendering any 
reason. He died in 1631. 

The court probably weary of a fruitless contest with 
men who were determined not to surrender their rights, 
at length found it expedient to relax their angry severity : 
those who were confined in the Tower were released from 
close confinement, and allowed such liberty as could be 
enjoyed within the walls, and were permitted to have free 
communication with their friends ; they were however 
made to pay for this indulgence, their diet, which had been 
hitherto at the expense of the state, being stopped. 

Selden and Mr. Strode a short time afterward obtained 
their removal by habeas corpus to the Marshalsea, and 
though Selden was detained there until May, 1630, he 
was allowed to go without the walls as often as he wished ; 
and the plague soon after raging in the neighbourhood of 
that prison, Selden obtained permission to be removed to 
the Gatehouse at Westminster, and at length was allowed 
to visit the Earl of Kent, at Wrest, where he soon re- 
covered his health and spirits. 



xxxii BIOGRAPHICAL 

His retirement was not however long undisturbed ; at 
Michaelmas term the judges complained to the Lord 
Treasurer of his removal without their concurrence, and 
he was consequently remanded to his previous place of 
imprisonment ; but in May, 1631, his legal services being 
required in some law suits between the Earls of Arundel, 
Pembroke, Kent and Shrewsbury, the two first named, 
by their influence, obtained his liberation, when he was 
only required to give bail for his appearance, and finally 
in 1634, upon his petition, he was discharged. 

Besides the conduct of these suits which related to the 
succession to some estates and the baronies of Grey and 
Ruthyn, Selden was retained as counsel for Lord Reay in 
his charge of treason against David Ramsay, which after- 
ward gave rise to the curious proceedings in the Earl 
Marshal's Court for a trial by single combat ; but when 
the day was appointed the King forbade the encounter.* 

While confined in the Marshalsea Selden employed his 

* I have a curious cotemporary MS. account of these proceed- 
ings which bears the following inscription : 

" The manner of the proceeding betweene Donald L. Eeay & 
David Ramsay , Esqr. Their coming to & carriage at thei r Try all 
beginning upon Munday, Novemb. 28. 1631, Before Robt. Earle 
of Lindsay, L. Constable, & Thomas Earle of Arundell & Surrey, 
L. Marshall of England, Philip Earle of Pembroke & Montgomery 
L. Chamberlaine of His Majestie's Household, Edward E. of 
Dorset L. Chamberlaine of the Qu. James Earl of Carlisle E. of 
Montgrave, Earle of Morten, Viscount Wimbledon, Viscount 
Wentworth, Viscount Falkeland, and Sir Henry Martin Knight. 
In the painted chamber neere to the upper house of Parliamt." 
To which is appended an interesting account of " The waie of 
Duels before the Kincr." 



PREFACE. xxxiii 

time in composing his treatise " De Successionibus in 
Bona Defuncti ad Leges Ebraeorum,'' which was first 
printed in 1634, and an enlarged edition was published in 
1636, when an essay on the ecclesiastical polity of the 
Hebrews, entitled " De Successionibus in Pontificatum 
Ebraeorum," was added, which appears to have been 
written in his retirement at Wrest, in the summer of 1634. 
Both works were again printed, with additions, at Leyden, 
in 1638. Indeed almost all Selden's learned disquisitions 
were immediately reprinted on the Continent, the editions 
being sometimes superintended by himself, and sometimes 
by distinguished continental scholars. These works were 
dedicated to Archbishop Laud, as a token of gratitude for 
the assistance he had afforded Selden in obtaining ma- 
terials for their composition. 

The passion for those singular pageants termed 
Masques, which had distinguished the Court of James, and 
which had made Wilson describe it as " a continued Mas- 
karado," prevailed no less in that of Charles ; these the 
puritan party considered as " sinful and utterly unlawful 
to Christians,'' as Prynne expresses it in his Histriomas- 
tix, a large volume levelled against these courtly amuse- 
ments, in common with all theatrical exhibitions, and it was 
probably to disclaim any participation in these puritanic 
views that the four Inns of Court united in exhibiting a 
masque before the King and Queen, in 1633, the poetry 
of which was by Ben Jonson, the scenic decorations by 
Inigo Jones, and Selden assisted Lord Bacon in settling 
the dresses and devices. Whitelocke had the arrangement 
of the music, and in his memorials, he has left us an 
d 



xxxir BIOGRAPHICAL 

amusing- record of its conduct, in which he complacently 
observes, " It was so performed, that it excelled any pre- 
viously heard in England. The dances, figures, proper- 
ties, voices, instruments, songs, airs, composures and 
actions, passed without any failure ; the scenes were most 
curious and costly." But sic transit, " this earthly pomp 
and glory, if not vanity, was soon passed and gone as if 
it had never been." 

In the year 1609, Grotius published his " Mare Li- 
berum," maintaining that the sea is a territory open and 
free to the use of all nations, but obviously intended as a 
defence of the maritime rights of the Dutch. This incited 
Selden to the composition of an answer, which he entitled 
" Mare Clausum," the intention of which may be gathered 
from its enlarged title thus interpreted : " The Closed 
Sea ; or Two Books concerning the Dominion of the Sea. 
In the first it is demonstrated that the sea, by the law of 
nature and of nations, is not common to mankind, but is 
capable of private dominion, or property, equally with the 
land. In the second, it is maintained that the King of 
Great Britain is Lord of the circumfluent sea, as an inse- 
parable and perpetual appendage of the British Empire." 
In the summer of 1618, pursuant to the royal command, 
Selden prepared it for the press, and it was laid before the 
King, who referred it to Sir Henry Martin, Judge of the 
Admiralty Court, by whom it was approved. Bucking- 
ham sent for Selden, and was about to write the Imprima- 
tur, when suddenly laying down the pen, he said " The 
King shall do this with his own hand in honour of the 
work," and forthwith brought Selden to the royal presence ; 



PREFA CE. xxxv 

the Monarch was about to sign, but suddenly remarked : 
" I recollect something is said here concerning the North 
Sea which may displease my brother of Denmark, whom 
I would not now offend, because I owe him a large sum of 
money, and intend shortly to borrow a larger." Selden 
was accordingly ordered to alter this passage, but on re- 
turning with his manuscript, found it so difficult to obtain 
an audience that he withdrew. The work was laid aside 
until the year 1635, when the Dutch having monopolised 
the Northern Fishery, and their right to take herrings on 
our shores being' disputed, the work of Grotius and some 
other publications issued from the Elzevir press in defence 
of their claim. Selden's work was mentioned to King 
Charles, and he commanded its publication after a revisal 
by the author, and a pre\ ious examination by the King and 
some of his ministers. The following minute of Privy 
Council will show how satisfactory and important the work 
was considered : " His Majesty, this day in council, taking 
into consideration a book lately published by John Selden, 
Esq. entitled ' Mare Clausum, seu Dominio Maris,' writ- 
ten at the King's command, which he hath done with 
great industry, learning, and judgment, and hath asserted 
the right of the Crown of England to the dominion of the 
British Seas ; the King requires one of the said books to 
be kept in the Council chest, another in the Court of Ex- 
chequer, and a third in the Court of Admiralty, as faith- 
ful and strong evidence to the dominion of the British 
Seas." 

The Mare Clausum was translated into English by 
Marchmont Needham, and published in 1652, with an 



xxxvi BIOGRAPHICAL 

appendix of additional documents by President Bradshaw, 
and an improved version by J. H. was again printed in 
1663. 

We have but little recorded of Selden's occupations from 
1635 to 1640; these years were most probably occupied 
by literary and forensic employments, of which, researches 
into legal antiquities formed at least a part, for his trea- 
tise " De Jure Natural! et Gentium juxta disciplinam 
Ebraeorum" was published in the latter year. 

The series of arbitrary and oppressive acts of misgovern- 
ment which mark this period, may be found recorded in 
the pages of Clarendon, of Whitelocke, of Rushworth, and 
Franklyn, the facts being the same though viewed in dif- 
ferent lights according to the prejudices of the writer. 
The oppressions of the Council Board and of the Star 
Chamber; the iniquitous mock trials of Prynne, Burton, 
and Bastwick, and the still more iniquitous punishments 
with which they were visited : the persecution of Bishop 
Williams, who had been Lord Keeper, for daring to oppose 
the plans of Laud and Buckingham ; but above all, the 
active endeavours to subjugate the religious opinions of the 
people, and the illegal attempts at raising supplies, are 
some of the distinguishing features of these times, when 
arbitrary attempts were made to govern without a parlia- 
ment. 

Baffled in all his endeavours to replenish his exchequer, 
the King was at length constrained to summon a parlia- 
ment, which met in April, 1640 ; but of this Selden was 
not a member, and indeed it was dissolved at the end of 
three weeks, though represented by Clarendon as " ex- 



PREFA CE. xxxvii 

ceedingly disposed to please the King and do him service." 
And the same historian expresses his opinion of the evil 
consequences of these frequent and abrupt dissolutions, 
as measures unreasonable, unskilful, and precipitate. The 
King and his people parting at these seasons with no other 
respect and charity one towards the other, than persons 
who never meant to meet but in their own defence ; and 
he laments the traitorous councils that fomented this 
mutual mistrust. He tells us that within an hour after 
the dissolution, he met Oliver St. John, who though 
usually taciturn and melancholy, was now smiling and 
communicative, saying that " he foresaw that the progress 
of events was all well ; that affairs must be worse before 
they were better; that the parliament just terminated 
would never have done what was necessary." 

The same arbitrary and illegal course continued, ship- 
money was levied with severity, forced loans exacted, pro- 
posals were made to debase the currency, and the Govern- 
ment even had recourse to the swindling practice of 
purchasing goods on credit and selling them at a loss for 
ready money. The war which had been recommenced to 
coerce the Scottish people did not prosper, the King's 
army was more disposed to join the Scots than to draw 
their swords in his service, and defeat was the consequence. 

Thus circumstanced, the King was constrained to sum- 
mon another parliament, which met on the 3rd of Novem- 
ber; of which it has been said, " that many thought it 
would never have a beginning, and afterward that it would 
never have ended." The memorable acts of this Long 
parliament, many of which entitle it to the gratitude of 



xxxviii BIOGRAPHICAL 

the country, will be familiar to every reader of our 
history. 

Selden's high reputation at this period is evinced by 
his being unanimously chosen as representative for the 
University of Oxford, and no stronger proof can be given 
that he was regarded by the King's party as not unfriend- 
ly to the cause of Monarchy. Indeed the moderate course 
he pursued had been so far mistaken, that Laud had de- 
clared that he would bring him over : Noy and Wentworth 
had been successfully tampered with, and it was presumed 
that one who had been their companion was not made of 
sterner stuff. 

On the first day of the meeting of this Parliament, 
Selden was nominated one of the committee to attend to 
the petitions against the Earl Marshal's Court, which had 
been promoted by Hyde, and which terminated in its 
abolishment. 

He was also appointed one of the committee of twenty- 
four, appointed to draw up a declaration or remonstrance 
on the state of the nation, and this paper which contained 
a full and energetic exposure of grievances, gave occasion 
to Hyde to announce his desertion to the Court party, by 
publishing a reply to it ; and henceforth Selden was 
separated from his friend in the public path of politics, 
though to the credit of both, their friendship remained un- 
altered, and Hyde on all occasions stood forth in defence 
of Selden's conscientious conduct. 

It appears that Selden was included by the House in 
the list of those who were designed to be Strafford's 
accusers, and his name occurs in all the committees 



PREFACE. xxxix 

appointed to search for precedents, and other preliminary 
arrangements, but he was not one of those appointed to 
conduct the prosecution ; from which circumstance it has 
been presumed that, in his judgment, the evidence 
against this unfortunate nobleman was never satisfactory. 
Franklyn expressly says that Lord Digby and Selden 
were convinced by the Earl's defence, and left the pro- 
secution when the Bill of Attainder was introduced. They 
were in the minority of 59 who voted against it, and were 
honoured by the rabble with the epithets of Straffordians 
and betrayers of their country. 

Selden's name is found in the lists of various com- 
mittees at this time, and especially on those appointed to 
examine into the illegal proceedings in the exchequer 
respecting ship-money; and upon the treaty with the 
Scotch at Ripon ; and on the appointment of a Custos 
Regni during the King's absence in Scotland. 

But his most prominent position was the part he took 
when the state of the Established Church was brought 
before the House. In the declaration of grievances, 
those relating to religion and ecclesiastical affairs were 
chief features, and now met with earnest attention. The 
clergy, as Selden himself remarks, were never more 
learned ; no man taxed them with ignorance, but they had 
worse faults. They were too inattentive to their religious 
duties, and interfered too much with political affairs. 

During the suspension of parliaments, a convocation of 
the clergy had drawn up new canons and ordinances, and 
the House now appointed a committee, of which Selden 
was a member, to enquire into these matters. Clarendon 



xl BIOGRAPHICAL 

justly observes that " The convocation made canons, 
which it thought it might do ; and gave subsidies out of 
parliament, and enjoined oaths, which certainly it might 
not do : in a word did many things which in the best of 
times might have been questioned, and therefore were 
sure to be questioned in the worst, and drew the same 
prejudice upon the whole body of the clergy, to which 
before only some few clergymen were exposed." 

While some from political, and others from theological 
motives were bent upon overthrowing the Church Estab- 
lishment, Selden pursued that temperate course which 
shows that he was friendly to its doctrines and discipline, 
and only an enemy to the abuse of ecclesiastical power 
in whatever hands it may be placed. 

The members of the Convocation, and especially the 
prelates, were justly alarmed at the proposed enquiry, and 
a letter from Laud to Selden on this occasion, written in 
an humble and imploratory strain, evinces the terror 
excited from the consciousness of having exercised with 
little moderation the powers with which an arbitrary 
Government had invested them. 

Upon the presentation of a remonstrance to Parliament 
from certain sectarian ministers respecting church govern- 
ment, Itushworth has preserved to us a curious specimen 
of the kind of logomachy* which sometimes took place. 

* Upon one occasion an Alderman (probably Pennington) said, 
" Mr. Speaker, there are so many clamours against such and 
such of the Prelates, that we shall never be quiet till we have no 
more Bishops." Upon this Selden rose and desired the House to 
observe, ' what grievous complaints there were for high misde- 



PREFA CE. xli 

Selden had protested against the discussion of religious 
topics in the House, and the debate proceeded upon the 
right of bishops to suspend the inferior clergy from the 
performance of their ministerial duties. In opposition to 
this Sir Harbottle Grimstone employed the following 
logic : " That Bishops are Jure divino is a question ; 
that Archbishops are not Jure divino is out of question. 
Now, that Bishops who are questioned whether Jure 
divino, or Archbishops, who out of question are not Jure 
divino, should suspend Ministers that are Jure divino, I 
leave to be considered." 

To which Selden replied with great pleasantry and 
dialectic skill : " That the convocation is Jure divino is 
a question ; that parliaments are not Jure divino is out 
of question ; that religion is Jure divino there is no 
question. Now, Sir, that the convocation, which is 
questionable whether Jure divino, and parliaments, which 
out of question are not Jure divino, should meddle with 
religion, which, questionless is Jure divino, I leave to 
your consideration !" 

Sir Harbottle, pursuing his argument, observed, " that 
Archbishops are not Bishops." To which Selden rejoined, 
" that is no otherwise true than that judges are no 
lawyers, and aldermen no citizens." 

Dr. Aikin has observed, that " Selden well knew there 

meanors, against such and such of the Aldermen ; and therefore, 
by a parity of reason, it is my humble motion that we have no 
more Aldermen." 

L'Estrange's Keflections upon Poggius's Fable of a Priest and 
Epiphany, part i. 364. 



xlii BIOGRAPHICAL 

was a standing committee of religion in parliament, and 
that the ecclesiastical discipline and government, if not the 
doctrines of the Church, were regarded by a large party 
as proper subjects of parliamentary discussion, and that 
therefore this was mere dialectical fencing." 

A declaration against Episcopacy was read in the 
House on the 31st January, 1641, and though Selden 
used all his learning and reasoning to defeat it, his 
opposition was vain, for the Bishops were deprived of their 
seats in parliament, and the clergy proscribed from holding 
any civil office, early in the following month. The 
abolition of Episcopacy followed, which was finally voted 
in September, 1642, as Selden had foretold. 

Though now so actively engaged in the great political 
struggle, Selden seems to have still found time for his 
favourite literary pursuits, and one of his most elaborate 
works was published in 1640. This was the treatise, 
" De Jure Natural! et Gentium juxta disciplinam Kbrae- 
orum." The design is supposed to have been suggested 
by the celebrated work of Grotius, " De Jure Belli et 
Pacis," but its subject and method are totally different, 
and its motto, from Lucretius : " Loca nullius ante trita 
solo, fyc" claims for its subject the merit, of entire novelty. 
It is without a dedication, a circumstance which indicates 
the dubious complexion of the time of its appearance, but 
the preface presents an analysis of the work, which the 
variety of its matter, and intricacy of its arrangement 
rendered highly necessary. " It was Selden's professed 
object to exhibit Jewish law as laid down by the Jewish 
writers themselves, he was therefore constrained in some 



PREFA CE. xliii 

measure to follow their method, and it cannot be denied 
that he has made his work a valuable repertory of all that 
history or tradition has preserved concerning the Hebrew 
institutions, before and after the Mosaic dispensation. 
In that view it has been much commended, both at home 
and abroad, and it made a large addition to the reputation 
he already possessed for indefatigable industry and pro- 
found erudition. An abridgment was published by Bud- 
deus, at Halle, in 1695."* 

Milton has incidentally given his opinion of this work 
and its author, in his " Areopagitica," addressed to the 
Parliament, which it may not be uninteresting to annex. 
" Bad meals will scarce breed good nourishment in the 
healthiest concoction : but herein the difference is of bad 
books, that they to a discreet and judicious reader serve 
in many respects to discover, to confute, to forewarn, to 
illustrate, whereof what better witness can ye expect I 
should produce than one of your own now sitting in 
parliament, the chief of learned men reputed in this land, 
Mr. Selden, whose volume of natural and national laws 
proves, not only by great authorities brought together, 
but by exquisite reasons, and theorems almost mathema- 
tically demonstrative, that all opinions, yea errors, known, 
read, and collated are of main service and assistance 
toward the speedy attainment of what is truest." The 
allusion is to the first chapter of Selden's work, where he 
has thought it necessary to accumulate a mass of authority 
in justification of publishing to the world a variety of 

Aikin's Life of Selden, p. 111. 



xliv BIOGRAPHICAL 

different and contradictory opinions. Milton has also 
mentioned Selden's work with high eulogy in his " Doc- 
trine and Discipline of Divorce," chap. 22. 

Selden's name appears among those members of the 
House of Commons, who signed a protestation in May, 
1641, that they would maintain the protestant religion 
according to the doctrine of the Church of England, and 
would defend the person and authority of the King, the 
privileges of parliament and the rights of the subject. 
In this protestation almost the whole House concurred, 
and it was probably only intended to obviate any charge 
of unconstitutional intentions * 

The reader need not now be told that Selden was in 
politics ever inclined to moderation, and that leagued with 
a few true lovers of their country, not less deserving of, 
though less known to fame than those who figure promi- 
nently in its annals, he pursued a temperate and thought- 
ful course, as a legislator and a patriot. It was at the 
lodgings of Pym and of Selden that the leaders of the 
moderate party met to arrange the course to be pursued 
in Parliament, as the more violent opposers of the 
Government met in a similar manner at the houses of 
Cromwell, Haselrigge, and Oliver St. John. 

With these moderate views, Selden was enabled some- 
times to restrain the violence occasionally offered to the 
legal course of justice, and when it was once proposed 
that the pay of some officers suspected of plotting against 

* Aikin,p. 113. 



PREFACE. xlv 

the Parliament should cease,* he reminded the House 
that as there was no judgment or charge passed against 
them, they could not have incurred a forfeiture. 

The advantage which the King's affairs would have 
gained from the influence of the party to which Selden 
belonged, was defeated by the ill-advised impeachments 
of the five members, for alleged offences committed by 
them in their places as members of Parliament, and by 
the subsequent attempt to seize them, which must be 
familiar to the reader of our annals. By this flagrant 
breach of the privilege of Parliament, and the violent and 
illegal procedure which marked it, a spirit was roused 
which gave an ascendancy to the more violent opposition- 
ists. A committee was appointed to sit within the 
precincts of London protected by a guard of citizens, to 
decide upon the remonstrances and reports of sub-com- 
mittees ; to one of which Selden was nominated, to whom 
was deputed the examination of the violation of the 
privileges and the framing a petition to the King. 

A proclamation directing the apprehension of the five 
members was drawn up by order of Charles, which the 
Lord Keeper Lyttleton refused to seal ; it was however 
placed upon Whitehall Gate, but was suppressed by order 
of Parliament in a few days. 

Charles had now removed to York, and from thence, 



* An account of this transaction may be found in a letter of 
Secretary Nicholas to Charles I. printed in Evelyn's Memoirs, 
vol. v. pp. 11-12, and in the Parl. Hist. ix. 531. Johnson's 
Mem. of Selden, p. 268. 



xlvi BIOGRAPHICAL 

Lord Clarendon relates, " sent an order to the Lord 
Falkland, to require the seal from the Lord Keeper, 
though he was not resolved to what hand to commit it." 
The Lord Chief Justice Banks and Selden were mentioned 
by him to Culpepper and Hyde, whose opinion he re- 
quired. Banks was not thought equal to the charge in 
times of such turbulence, and " they did not doubt Mr. 
Selden's affection to the King, but they knew him so well 
that they concluded he would absolutely refuse the place 
if it was offered to him. He was in years, and of tender 
constitution ; he had long enjoyed his ease, which he 
loved; was rich, and would not have made a journey to 
York, or have lain out of his own bed for any preferment, 
which he had never affected."* 



* The following letter given from the Harding MSS. in the 
Biogr. Brittan. fully confirms Lord Clarendon's opinion. Selden 
was always opposed to the King's friends being absent from 
Parliament, v. Table Talk, The King, 8 : 

Mr. Selden to the Marquis of Hertford. 
My Lord, 

I received from his most excellent Majesty a command for my 
waiting on him at York, and he is most graciously pleased to say 
that I should make as much haste as my health will permit. I 
have been for many weeks, my Lord, very ill, and am still so 
infirm that I have not so much as any hope of being able to travel, 
much less such a journey. Yet, if that were all, I would willingly 
venture any loss of myself rather than not perform my duty to 
his Majesty. But if I were able to come, I call God to witness, 
I have no apprehension of any possibility of doing his Majesty 
service there. On the other side, it is most probable, or rather 
apparent that a member of the House of Commons, and of my 
condition, by coming thither, might thereby soon be a cause of 



PREFA CE. xlvii 

The Parliament seem to have obtained information of 
this overture, for on the 4th of February, a peremptory 
order was issued for Mr. Selden and others to attend 
within three days at farthest, and to continue their service 
at the House.* Dr. Aikin has justly observed " that if 
principle can be inferred from actions, it could scarcely be 
expected that Selden was prepared to quit the parliamen- 
tary party, in whose measures he had for the most part 
concurred, and join the royalists, whom he had opposed." 
And in the struggle which ensued between the King and 
the Parliament respecting the Militia, and the Commis- 
sion of Array, the part he took makes it evident that his 
principles were far from wavering. 

Lord Clarendon's account of his conduct on this occa- 
sion will make this evident ; he says, " Mr. Selden had in 
the debate upon the Commission of Array in the House 
of Commons, declared himself very positively and with 
much sharpness against it, as a thing expressly without 
any authority of law, the statute upon which it was 

some very sensible disturbance ; by this name I call whatsoever 
will at this time (as this would) doubtless occasion some further 
or other difference betwixt his Majesty and that House. My 
legal and humble affections to his Majesty and his service are, 
and shall be, as great and as hearty as any man's, and therefore, 
when I am able I shall really express them. But I beseech your 
Lordship be pleased, upon what I have represented, to preserve 
me from his Majesty's displeasure, which I hope too from his 
most excellent goodness towards me. Your Lordship's great and 
continued favours to me embolden me to make this suit, which 
granted will be a singular happiness to 

Your Lordship's, &c. 
* Journal of the H. of C. ii. 955. 



xlviii BIOGRAPHICAL 

grounded being, as he said, repealed ; and discoursed very 
much on the ill consequences which might result from 
submitting to it. He answered the arguments which had 
been used to support it ; and easily prevailed with the 
House not to like a proceeding which they knew was in- 
tended to do them hurt, and to lessen their authority. 
But his authority and reputation prevailed much farther 
than the House, and begat a prejudice against it in many 
well affected men without doors. When the King was 
informed of it, he was much troubled, having looked upon 
Mr. Selden as well disposed to his service : and the Lord 
Falkland, with his Majesty's leave, writ a friendly letter 
to Mr. Selden, to know the reason why in such a conjunc- 
ture he would oppose the submission to the Commission 
of Array, which nobody could deny to have its original 
from law,' and which many learned men still believed to 
be very legal, to make way for the establishment of an 
ordinance which had no manner of pretence to right ? 
He answered this letter very frankly, as a man who be- 
lieved himself in the right upon the Commission of Array, 
and that the arguments he had used against it could not 
be answered ; summing up those arguments in as few 
words as they could be comprehended in. But there he 
did as frankly inveigh against the Ordinance for the Mili- 
tia, which he said ' was without a shadow of law or pre- 
tence of precedent, and most destructive to the govern- 
ment of the kingdom :' and he did acknowledge, ' that he 
had been the more inclined to make that discourse in the 
House against the Commission, that he might with the 
more freedom argue against the Ordinance : and was 



PREFA CE. xlix 

most confident that he should likewise overthrow the 
Ordinance, which he confessed, could be less supported ; 
and he did believe it would be much better if both were 
rejected, than if either of them should stand and remain 
uncontrouled.' But his confidence deceived him ; and he 
quickly found that they who suffered themselves to be en- 
tirely governed by his reason, when those conclusions 
resulted from it which contributed to their own designs, 
would not be at all guided by it, or submit to it, when it 
persuaded that which contradicted and would disappoint 
those designs. And so, upon the day appointed for the 
debate of their ordinance, when he applied all his faculties 
to the convincing them of the illegality and monstrousness 
of it, by arguments at least as clear and demonstrable 
as his former had been, they made no impression upon 
them, but were easily answered by those who with most 
passion insisted upon their own sense."" 

Whitelocke says " that Selden and divers other gentle- 
men of great parts and interest, accepted commissions of 
lieutenancy, and continued their service in Parliament." 
If Selden did accept a deputy lieutenancy, he was certainly 
not personally active in the office, for other occupations 
detained him in London. He was one of a committee 
formed on the 23rd of May, for raising volunteers for an 
expedition to Ireland, and on June 2nd, in a committee to 
frame an ordinance for augmenting the navy. He had 
strenuously opposed an appeal to arms, and all measures 
which tended to it, but when from the conduct of the 

* Clarendon's Hist. v. i. p. 517, fol. ed. 
e 



1 BIOGRAPHICAL 

King it became inevitable, there was no inconsistency in 
aiding the exertions of the party he had conscientiously 
espoused. 

The controversy which had arisen about the compara- 
tive merits and claims of episcopal and presbyterian 
government in the Church, and which had been agitated 
by Petau and Saumaise and other learned continental 
writers, in England interested all, where episcopalian and 
presbyterian were almost other names for royalists and par- 
liamentarian, and in his researches into antiquity Selden 
had been naturally led to this subject of dispute. A cele- 
brated passage in Jerome mentions that in the Church of 
Alexandria, from its first foundation to nearly the close 
of the second century, the presbyters always elected a 
bishop among themselves by their own authority. Of this 
fact a remarkable confirmation exists in the account of the 
antiquities of the Alexandrian Church, contained in the 
Annals of the patriarch Eutychius, or Said Ibn Batrick, 
who flourished in the earlier part of the xth century. Of 
these Annals which were written in the Arabic language 
and had not been translated, Selden procured two MS. 
copies from which he now published an extract.* The part 
relating to the controversy is a statement that the evan- 

* The title runs thus : Eutychii ./Egyptii, Patriarchs ortho- 
doxorum Alexandrini, Scriptoris, ut in Oriente admodum vetusti 
et illtistris, ita in Occidente turn paucissimis visi, turn perraro 
auditi, Ecclesise suse origenes. Ex ejusdem Arabico mine primum 
Typis edidit ac Versione et commentario auxit Joannes Seldenus. 

The whole Annals of Eutychius were subsequently translated 
by Dr. Pococke, at Selden's instance : and he provided funds for 
the publication ; but they did not appear until after his death in 
1C53. 



PREFA CE. li 

gelist Mark, having converted and baptized one Hannanius, 
a shoemaker of Alexandria, constituted him patriarch of 
that city, and appointed eleven other persons to be pres- 
byters, with the injunction that when the patriarchate should 
become vacant, they should choose one of their number, and 
consecrate him patriarch by the imposition of their hands, 
at the same time electing a person to fill his place in the 
presbytery : so that there should always be 12 presbyters, 
the patriarch being reckoned as one ; and that this mode 
continued in practice to the time of the Patriarch Alexan- 
der, who directed that thenceforth on the decease of a patri- 
arch, a new one should be ordained by an assembly of 
bishops.* 

The publication of this piece involved Selden in hostilities 
with the zealous advocates of Episcopacy, both Protestant 
and Roman Catholic ; but the English episcopalian party 
do not then appear to have entered into the controversy, 
they had too much already upon their hands in contending 
with their more formidable adversary the parliament.f 

The calm and dispassionate moderation of Selden and 

* Aikin's Life of Selden, p. 123, et seq. 

t It was the cause of truth rather than of presbyterianism 
which incited Selden to this publication, for in many parts of his 
other works he expressly favours episcopacy. And it is remark- 
able enough that Pococke did not much affect the task of transla- 
tion, being an Episcopalian. The authority of Eutychius has 
been since much invalidated by Morinus, Renaudot, Hammond, 
Walton, and Pearson. See Twell's Life of Pococke, p. 216-17. 
Ed. 1816. Selden probably caused it to be published, because it 
favoured his own opinion that the government of the Church, as 
much as the government of the rest of the state, is subject to the 



Hi BIOGRAPHICAL 

the resistance he occasionally offered to violent measures, 
caused some of the popular leaders to hold him in 
suspicion. When the plot for introducing the royal 
forces into London, and disarming the Militia was dis- 
covered, and Waller, the poet, (a principal conspirator,) 
was examined before the House, he was asked whether 
Selden, W'hitelocke and others named were acquainted 
with the design. To which he replied, " that they were 
not, but that he did come one evening to Selden's study, 
where Whitelocke and Pierpoint then were with Selden, 
on purpose to impart it to them all ; and speaking of such 
a thing in general terms, these gentlemen did so inveigh 
against any such thing as treachery and baseness, and 
that which might be the occasion of shedding much blood, 
that he durst not for the respect he had for Selden and 
the rest, communicate any of the particulars to them, 
but was almost disheartened himself to proceed in it."* 
In June, 1643, an ordinance was made for assembling 

will of the legislature. See the article " Bishops out of Parlia- 
ment" in the Table Talk. Provost Baillie and Baxter represent 
Selden as the head of the Erastiam, i. e. of those who consider the 
Church to be part of the civil polity of a state : they were so named 
after Thomas Erastus, a Swiss physician, who was for restrain- 
ing the ecclesiastical power from all temporal jurisdiction. The 
title of his work, which is exceedingly rare, is " Explicatio Gra- 
vissimse Qusestionis utrum Excommunicatio, quatenus lieligionem 
intelligentes et amplexantes, a Sacramentorum usu, propter ad- 
missum facinus arcet ; mandate nitatur Divino, an excogitata sit 
ab hominibus." 4to. Pesclavii, 1589. Selden has manifested 
in several places of the Table Talk, and elsewhere, his acquaint- 
ance with this volume. 

* Whitelock's Mem. p. 66. 



PREFA CE. liii 

a synod of divines* and laymen at Henry VII. chapel in 
Westminster " to settle the government and liturgy of 
the Church of England." Among the lay members were 
Selden and Whitelocke, and we are told by the latter that 
" Selden spoke admirably and confuted them in their own 
learning, and sometimes when they had cited a text of 
scripture to prove their assertion, he would tell them 
' perhaps in your little pocket bibles with gilt leaves, 
(which they would often pull out and read) the transla- 
tion may be thus, but the Greek or Hebrew signifies 
thus and thus,' and so would silence them." 

Baillie. Principal of the University of Glasgow, one of 
the Scotch deputies to this assembly, has graphically 
described it, and tells us that " those who speak harangue 
long and learnedly. I do marvel at the very accurate 
replies that many of them usually make."f Sermons, 



* The Assembly of Divines consisted of 10 peers, 20 members 
of the House of Commons, about 20 episcopal divines, and 100 
other persons, most of which were presby terians, a few independ- 
ents, and some to represent the Kirk of Scotland. Few of the 
episcopal divines ever attended, and those who did soon left them. 
Clarendon says, " Except these few episcopal divines the rest 
were all declared enemies to the Church of England ; some of 
them infamous in their lives and conversation ; most of them of 
very mean parts in learning, if not of scandalous ignorance, and of 
no other reputation than of malice to the Church of England." 
Baxter, on the contrary, says, They were men of eminent learn- 
ing, godliness, ministerial abilities, and fidelity, and that as far 
as he was able to judge, the Christian world since the days of the 
Apostles, had never a synod of more excellent divines, than this 
synod and the synod of Dort. 

f Baillie's Letters and Journals, L 369. 



liv BIOGRAPHICAL 

prayer and fasting were part of their ordinary discipline, 
and the same writer gives us the account of a day which 
he designates { ' spending from nine to five very gra- 
ciously." " After Dr. Tvvisse, (the prolocutor) had be- 
gun with a short prayer, Mr. Marshall prayed large two 
hours. After, Mr. Arrowsmith preached an hour, then a 
psalm ; thereafter Mr. Vines prayed nearly two hours, 
and Mr. Palmer preached an hour, and Mr. Seaman 
prayed near two hours, then a psalm ; after, Mr. Hender- 
son preached, and Dr. Twisse closed with a short prayer 
and blessing." 

But their patient perseverance in devotion did not 
unfit them for convivial enjoyment when it offered. At 
an entertainment given by the Corporation of London, to 
the two Houses of Parliament and the assembly, at 
Taylor's Hall, in January, 1644, Baillie informs us " the 
feast was very great, valued at 40001. sterling, yet we had 
no desert, nor music, but drums and trumpets. All was 
concluded with a psalm, whereof Dr. Burgess read the 
line ! There was no excess in any we heard of. The 
Speaker of the House of Commons drank to the Lords 
in the name of all the Commons of England. The Lords 
stood up every one with his glass, for they represent 
none but themselves, and drank to the Commons." 

In such fantastic forms did the prevalent religious 
enthusiasm manifest itself, and some it rendered insane ; 
many were doubtless sincere well-meaning men, but the 
garb of fanaticism was assumed by many profligate 
worthless wretches. The title of puritan is said to have 
been sarcastically given in allusion to the superlative 



PREFA CE. lv 

innocency and spirituality which the chief of them pro- 
fessed, but it was first applied about the year 1559 to 
those who sought to purify the worship and discipline of 
the Church from what they conceived to be relics of 
Papistry. It was the fashion of the time to wear the hair in 
flowing locks, but the puritans " cut their hair so close 
that it would scarce cover their ears ; many cut it, quite 
close round their heads with so many little peaks that it was 
something ridiculous to behold," and this acquired them 
the name of Roundheads. Mrs. Hutchinson says " that 
though her husband acted with the Puritan party, they 
would not allow him to be religious, because his hair was 
not in their cut."* Selden is reported to have said " he 
trusted he was not either mad enough or foolish enough 
to deserve the name of Puritan." He was certainly no 
friend to the synod.-)- The Jure divino question lasted 



* Memoirs of Col. Hutchinson, p. 100. 

t Sir John Birkenhead in his " Assembly man " says, " What 
opinion the learned Mr. Selden had of them, appears from the 
following account : The House of Parliament once made a ques- 
tion, whether they had best admit Archbishop Usher to the 
Assembly of divines ? He said they had as good enquire, whether 
they had best admit Inigo Jones, the King's Architect, to the 
company of mouse-trap makers : " and again, " Mr. Selden visits 
the Assembly, as Persians used, to see wild asses fight : when 
the Commons have tired him with their new law, these brethren 
refresh him with their mad gospel : They lately were gravelled 
betwixt Jerusalem and Jericho, they knew not the distance 
between those two places ; one cried 20 miles, another ten. It 
was concluded seven for this reason, that fish was brought from 
Jericho to Jerusalem-market : Mr. Selden smiled and said, per- 
haps the fish was salt fish, and so stopped their mouths." 



hi BIOGRAPHICAL 

30 days, the Erastians did not except against a presby- 
terial government as a political institution proper to be 
established by the civil magistrate, but they were decidedly 
against the claim of a divine right. Selden with the rest 
was of this mind, apprehending that presbytery would 
prove as arbitrary and tyrannical as prelacy if it came in 
with a divine claim. 

Among the few episcopalians nominated members of 
the assembly was Selden's early friend the learned and 
liberal Archbishop Usher; their intimacy commenced in 
the year 1609, when Usher, then Professor of Divinity 
at Trinity College, Dublin, was in London purchasing 
books for its library. Usher not only declined to take 
part in the proceedings of the assembly, as it was con- 
stituted, but maintained by all means in his power the 
reasonableness of the established form of Church Govern- 
ment. Having preached against the authority and pur- 
pose of the synod, he drew down upon himself the dis- 
pleasure of the Parliament, an ordinance was made for 
the confiscation of his library, then in Chelsea College, 
and it would have been sold and dispersed had not 
Selden obtained permission for Dr. Featly, a member of 
the synod, to purchase it as if for his own use for a trifling 

Cleveland in a poem entitled " The rnixt Assembly," thus 
alludes to Selden's superiority over those with whom he had to 
contend in this synod : 

Thus every Ghibelline has got his Guelf : 
But Selden he's a Galliard by himself; 
And well may be; there's more Divines in him, 
Than in all this their Jewish Sanhedrim. 



PREFACE. Ivii 

sum. In June, 1646, he performed another act of kind- 
ness to his venerable friend, who was called before a 
board of examiners at Westminster, and required to take 
the negative oath which was imposed upon all who had 
been adherents of the King. Usher desired time to con- 
sider of it, and being dismissed for that time, he was 
spared the necessity of a second appearance, by the exer- 
tions of Selden and his other parliamentary friends, who 
obtained permission for him to retire into the country. 

By a vote of the House, November 8, 1643, Selden 
was appointed Keeper of the Records in the Tower ; an 
office for which he was peculiarly fitted, and which pro- 
bably furnished him with an excuse for gradually with- 
drawing from the political vortex, where he found himself 
almost alone in his position as a moderator. Yet upon 
important occasions he was still to be found at his post as 
long as he thought he could be useful. We are not 
informed how long he retained the office of Keeper of the 
Records, but it was probably resigned on the passing of 
the Self-denying Ordinance in 1645. 

In February, 1645-6, he subscribed the solemn league 
and covenant ; he had used his best endeavours to pre- 
serve the monarchial form of government, and a moderate 
episcopacy, but it was now evident that the cause of both 
was lost, and the train of events which had precipitated 
the fall of both, had probably shown him that further 
resistance was vain. 

The attainder and trial of Archbishop Laud now took 
place, and Selden appears to have taken no part in that 
transaction ; yet, when the parliamentary Commissioners 



Iviii BIOGRAPHICAL 

had seized upon the Archbishop's Endowment of the 
Arabick Professorship at Oxford, he exerted himself to 
obtain its restitution, which he ultimately effected about 
the middle of 1647. 

In 1644 he printed his chronological work, " De Anno 
Civili Veteris Ecclesiae, seu Republics Judaicae, Dis- 
sertatio," in which are discussed all the points relative to 
the Jewish Calendar, derived from the Talmudists or 
traditional writers of the Jewish Church, and displaying 
the author's usual profundity of erudition. The preface 
points out the importance of the enquiry to the right 
understanding of the scriptures and the necessity of 
resorting to these sources of elucidation. 

In April, 1645, a committee of six Lords and twelve 
Commoners being appointed to conduct the business of 
the Admiralty, Selden was nominated one of the commis- 
sioners : but before they entered upon the duties of their 
office, the plan was altered, probably in consequence of 
the passing of the Self-denying Ordinance, and three 
commissioners selected from the whole number were 
invested with the power. Selden was not one of the 
three named. 

In May of this year, the House of Commons entered 
an order on their jonrnals " for Mr. Selden to bring in 
an Ordinance for regulating the Herald's office, and the 
Heraldry of the Kingdom," and upon a debate on an 
ordinance for discharging the wardship of the heirs of 
Sir Christopher Wray, who had died in the service of 
the Parliament, the abuses and oppressions incident to 
wardships were so forcibly pointed out by Selden, May- 



PREFACE. lix 

nard, St. John, Whitelocke, and other lawyers, that it 
gave rise to an order for the abolition of the Court of 
Wards and its feudal appendages. The vote was passed 
by the Commons, sanctioned by the Lords, and ordered 
to be printed in the course of one day. 

Upon the death of Dr. Eden, master of Trinity Hall, 
in Cambridge, in August, 1645, Selden was unanimously 
chosen to succeed him, with such universal approbation 
as added much to the honour conferred by the choice. 
Selden declined the charge as he had all other honourable 
charges that sought his acceptance. He was now in years, 
was rich, he loved his literary leisure, and he was con- 
nected with the sister university ; these may be conceived 
sufficient motives for the refusal of an honour which few 
men would have declined. But though he declined this 
intimate connection with the University of Cambridge, 
he was ever ready to do it similar services to those he had 
rendered to Oxford. Dr. Bancroft had left his library 
to his successors in the See of Canterbury on condition 
that his successor should give security that he would leave 
it entire and without diminution to the next Archbishop 
in succession ; but in case of refusal to give such security, 
he bequeathed it to Chelsea College, then building, if 
that building should be finished within six years after his 
decease. If this did not occur, his library was to go to 
the University of Cambridge. The order of Bishops 
being abolished, and Chelsea College abandoned, Selden 
suggested to the University that their right to the books 
had arisen on the contingent remainder. It consequently 
petitioned the Upper House, and Selden pleaded for them 



Ix BIOGRAPHICAL 

so successfully that the University obtained an order not 
only for Dr. Bancroft's books, but for those of his suc- 
cessor, Archbishop Abbot. They were however re-claimed 
for Lambeth by Archbishop Juxon, after the restoration, 
still Selden's interference had prevented their dispersion, 
and preserved them for their original destination. 

D'Israeli has remarked that the republicans of England 
like those of France in the next century, were infected 
with a hatred of literature and the arts ; he asserts that 
the burning of the Records in the Tower was certainly 
proposed ; and that a speech of Selden's put a stop to these 
incendiaries.* 

The same fanatic spirit placed the Universities in dan- 
ger of abolition, or at any rate of spoliation and restric- 
tion. Bradshaw proposed an immediate visitation for 
this purpose, and Selden successfully objected to the in- 
justice of such a proceeding, before the University had 
provided itself with legal assistance ; and in order to be 
of more effectual use, he obtained in 1647 the appointment 
of one of the Parliamentary Visitors of the University of 
Oxford. 

A letter from Dr. Gerard Langbaine, provost of Queen's 
College, expresses the warmest gratitude of the University 
for this interposition in its favour. " We are all abund- 
antly satisfied in your unwearied care and passionate en- 
deavours for our preservation. We know and confess, 
Si Pergama dextra 



Defendi poterant, etiam hac defensa fuissent. 



* Curiosities of Literature, 2nd series, iii. 446. 



PREFA CE. hi 

Of this we are confident, that (next under God's) it must 
be imputed to your extraordinary providence that we have 
stood thus long : you have been the only belli mora, and 

Quicquid apud nostrse cessatum est moenia Trojae, 
Hectoris. 

I cannot add ^neaeque, for you had no second, 
manu victoria Graium 



Hsesit- 



By your good acts, and prudent manage, our six-months 
hath been spun unto two years, and it hath been thus far 
verified upon us, by your means, nee captipotuere capi"* 

In 1646, Selden gave to the world one of the most 
curious and interesting of his works, entitled, " Uxor 
Ebraica ; seu de Nuptiis et Divortiis ex Jure Civili, id est, 
Divino et Talmudico, veterum Ebraeorum, Libri tres." 

Having in his former work on Jewish natural and in- 
ternational law, treated of every thing relating to the 
Hebrew matrimonial regulations that came under those 
two heads, in this work he completed his subject, adding 
all that relates to it from what he terms their civil law, 
that is, the matrimonial rites and ceremonies, customs and 
institutions proper to their nation, and derived from the 
Levitical law, or from the ancient ordinances of their 
rulers. He adds what he calls the stupendous doctrines 
of the Karaites respecting incest ; and incidental notices 



* Leland's Collectanea, by Hearne, v. 282. Three other let- 
ters, written in Latin to him in the name of his Alma mater, are pre- 
served by Dr. Wilkins, and also two letters from the University 
of Cambridge, thanking him for his services. 



Ixii BIOGRAPHICAL 

of the modes of contracting and dissolving marriages 
among Pagans, Mahomedans, and Christians in the East 
and West, which have been either derived from Jewish 
customs or appear to resemble them.* 

In ] 647, he published from a MS. in the Cotton library, 
the valuable old law treatise entitled " Fleta," so named 
from being compiled by its anonymous author while con- 
fined in the Fleet prison, most probably in the reign of 
Edward I. It is divided into six books ; the first treating 
of pleas of the crown ; the second gives a full and curious 
account of the royal household, &c. illustrative of the 
history of those times, and the remaining books contain 
the practice of the courts of judicature, the forms of writs, 
explanations of law-terms and the like. 

Selden's preface contains many curious particulars re- 
lating to the early writers on the laws of England, Brae- 
ton, Britton, Fleta, and Thornton, and of the use which was 
made of the Imperial and Justinian Codes in England. 

A vote passed the House of Commons in 1646-7, 
awarding to Selden, and several others of his political 
associates during the reign of arbitrary power, the sum of 
five thousand pounds each " for their sufferings for oppos- 
ing the illegalities of that time." Wood reports that 
some say Selden refused this grant, and said that he could 
not out of conscience take it ; but Walker in his History 
of Independency, says that Selden received half the money 
voted to him; and on the Journals of the House there 
are two entries ordering payment of the moieties on the 
llth of May, and llth of November, 1647. Selden, in 

* Allan's Life of Selden, 138. 



PEE FA CE. Ixiii 

a pecuniary point of view, certainly did not want this re- 
compense, and probably did not receive the second pay- 
ment, for as Wood's authority observes, " his mind was 
as great as his learning, full of generosity, and harbour- 
ing nothing that seemed base." 

One of the last acts of Selden's political life was con- 
nected with the last effort to eifect a reconciliation between 
the King and the Parliament, in which he had doubtless 
taken an active and earnest part. On the 1 1th of Decem- 
ber, Selden went up with a message to the Lords from the 
Commons, desiring their consent to four bills ; concerning 
the management of the army and navy ; for justifying the 
proceedings of parliament in the late war ; concerning the 
peerage; and the adjournment of both houses; which 
were to be presented to his majesty for his assent. And 
when the Scotch Commissioners desired that these bills 
might be communicated to them, Selden again appeared 
at the bar of the House of Lords with two resolutions, 
vindicating, from such interference, the independence of 
Parliament. 

But now perceiving that all was hopeless, that a military 
despotism and the King's ruin were inevitable, he how- 
ever unwilling, withdrew to those studies which had ever 
occupied all the leisure he could command; yet in 1649, 
still solicitous for the interests of learning, a vote being 
passed for the preservation of the books and medals in 
the palace of St. James's, he persuaded his friend White- 
locke to accept the office, in order to prevent their being 
pillaged or dispersed. 

It is said that when the Eikon Basilike appeared, its 



kiv BIOGRAPHICAL 

influence in winning favour to the royal cause was so much 
feared, that an answer to it was deemed highly essential, 
and that Cromwell, more than once, instigated him both 
personally, and by his friends, to undertake the task, 
which he unhesitatingly declined ; and it was eventually 
replied to by Milton in his " Iconoclastes," his republican 
principles making him not averse to it. 

In 1650, he sent to the press the first part of a work 
which he had written above twelve years before, but kept 
by him to correct and enlarge. This was his ample trea- 
tise " De Synedriis et Prefecturis Juridicis Veterum 
Ebraeorum." It was intended to comprise every thing 
recorded relating to the Sanhedrim or Juridical Courts of 
the Jews both before and after the promulgation of the 
Mosaic law, with collateral notices of similar institutions 
in modern times and countries. In this first part he con- 
siders largely the subject of excommunication, or the 
penal interdiction by ecclesiastical authority of participa- 
tion in sacred rites, a power to the assumption of which he 
had already shown himself a decided adversary. 

His preface almost entirely relates to this subject ; a 
peculiarly interesting one at the time, and the following 
passage is remarkable. Speaking of the divine right of 
excommunication claimed by different churches, he says, 
" This claim has not a few assertors, as well Romanists as 
Nonromanist Episcopalians, and Presbyterians, which 
latter insist upon it much more positively, and carry it 
much farther in their own favour ; for after having, in 
their manner, inveighed against this power in papal and 
episcopal hands, they have, as it were, cut it into shreds, 



PREFA CE. Ixv 

and portioned it out among themselves, with a vast acces- 
sion from that authority, which they so confidently attri- 
bute to their own order." 

The first book brings the subject down to the giving of 
the law at Mount Sinai. It was followed three years 
afterward by a second book, comprising the judicial his- 
tory of the Jews to the destruction of the Temple. A 
third which proposed to treat of the great Sanhedrim was 
left incomplete, and was not printed till after his death.* 

In 1652, he contributed a preface to the collection of 
ten monkish historians known as the Scriptores post 
Bedam ; he was not the editor, but communicated some 
collations of MSS. from the Cotton library, and occasion- 
ally looked over the proof sheets. In his preface he en- 
deavours to prove that the history of Simeon Dunelmensis 
was really composed by Turgot, Prior of the Monastery 
of Durham, and Bishop of St. Andrews ; Simeon's claim 
has been however reasserted by Thomas Rudd, Keeper of 
the Durham library. Selden incidentally gives some ac- 
count of the Keledie or Culdees of Scotland, who long af- 
forded an example of presbyterial ordination, without the 
intervention of a bishop. 

The last of his writings was a defence of himself, re- 
specting the composition of the " Mare Clausum," against 
Theodore Graswinckel, a Dutch Jurist, who in an answer 
to Burgus on the Dominion of the Genoese Sea, had 
mentioned Selden and his motives for composing the 
Mare Clausum in terms highly offensive to our illustrious 

* Aikin's Life of Selden, pp. 146-7-8. 
f 



Ixvi BIOGRAPHICAL 

countryman. It is dated from his house in Whitefriars, May 
1, 1653, and is chiefly valuable for the particulars it affords 
of some of the events of his life, especially relating to his 
different imprisonments. The motto indicates the keen 
feelings from which it sprang : 

" Contumeliam nee fortis potest, nee ingenuus pati." 

The infirmities of age now began to gain ground upon 
him, and he became sensible that his end was approaching ; 
on the 10th of November, 1654, he addressed the follow- 
ing short note to his friend Whitelocke, then Keeper of 
the Great Seal : 

My Lord, 

I am a most humble suitor to your Lordship that you 
would be pleased that I might have your presence for a 
little time to-morrow, or next day. Thus much wearies 
the most weak hand and body of 

Your Lordship's most humble servant, 

J. SELDEN. 
Nov. 10, 1654, Whitefryars. 

These were probably the last lines he wrote. White- 
locke " went to him and was advised with about settling 
his estate and altering his will, and to be one of his exe- 
cutors ; but his weakness so increased, that his intentions 
were prevented." He died on the last day of November, 
1654; within 16 days of the completion of his 70th year. 
According to Aubrey the disease which terminated his 
existence was dropsy. Death seems to have approached 



PREFACE. Ixvii 

him without its terrors,* for his life had been well spent, 
and he had virtuously and conscientiously aimed at the 
welfare of his country, and the promulgation of truth. 

A short time before his death, it is related, he sent one 
afternoon for his friends Archbishop Usher, and Dr. 
Langbaine, and upon that occasion uttered these memora- 
ble words : " That he had surveyed most parts of the 
learning that was among the sons of men ; that he had 
his study full of books and papers of most subjects in the 
world ; yet at that time he could not recollect any passage 
out of those infinite books and manuscripts he was master 
of, wherein he could rest his soul, save out of the Holy 
Scriptures ; wherein the most remarkable passage that lay 
most upon his spirit was Titus ii. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15." f 

* Aubrey tells us that he had his funeral scutcheons prepared 
some months before he died. 

j- I have quoted this anecdote from Bishop Lloyd's " Fair 
Warnings to a Careless World," 1682, p. 140. It is repeated in 
a work attributed to George, Earl of Berkley, entitled " Historical 
Applications, and occasional meditations upon several subjects ;" 
the first edition of which was printed in 1670. But we learn from 
the preface to Lloyd's book, that part of it was printed in 1655, 
both at London and York, and that the edition of 1 682 was en- 
larged and published at a pious person's (Dr. T's.) earnest request. 
In the margin of " Fair Warnings" we have the following note : 
" From Doctor Usher's mouth, whom he desired to preach at his 
funeral, and to give him the sacraments ; at the celebration 
whereof a great scholar, as it is commonly reported, coming in, 
stared, saying, ' I thought Selden had more learning, judgment 
and spirit, than to stoop to obsolete forms. ' " It is prefaced too, 
thus : " Master Selden who had comprehended all the learning 
and knowledge that is either among the Jews, Heathens, or Chris- 
tians ; and suspected by many of too little regard for religion, one 



Ixviii BIOGRAPHICAL 

The import of these verses is obedience to the commands 
of God, and faith in the redeeming sacrifice of our Saviour. 
Truths which Selden therefore regarded as the essence of 
the Christian revelation ; these had probably been the rule 
and guide of his life ; content with the religion of the Bible, 
and disgusted with the fanatic spirit of sectarian bigotry, 
contentious about unessential points of doctrine, and hurl- 
ing damnation upon those who differed from them in the 
most immaterial particulars. 

He had himself prepared an epitaph in Latin, which is 
interesting as it records his estimate of his own character ; 
Dr. Aikin has given us the following version of it : after 
mentioning his admission to the Society of the Inner 
Temple, it proceeds thus : "He applied himself to the 
studies of the place neither remissly nor unsuccessfully ; 
but indulging his natural disposition, and little fitted for 

afternoon before he died, &c." Later editions of the " Fair 
Warnings" were given, probably by a bookseller's fraud, under 
the name of Dr. Woodward. A gossiping story is told by Au- 
brey, that " when Selden was near death ; the Minister (Mr. 
Johnson) was coming to assoile him : Mr. Hobbes happened to 
be there ; say'd he, ' What, will you that have wrote like a man, 
now die like a woman ? ' So the minister was not let in." This 
silly story has probably the same vague origin as that of Lloyd, 
in which the great scholar is perhaps meant to designate Hobbes. 
That Selden was a believer in Christianity cannot be doubted ; 
Baxter, his cotemporary, whose veracity cannot be doubted, says, 
" The Hobbians and other infidels would have persuaded the world 
that Selden was of their mind, but Sir Matthew Hale, his intimate 
friend and executor, assured me that Selden was an earnest pro- 
fessor of the Christian faith, and so angry an adversary to Hobbes, 
that he hath rated him out of the room." Baxter's Diary, by Sil- 
vester, pt. 3, p. 48. 



PREFA CE. Ixix 

the bustle of courts, he betook himself to other studies as 
an enquirer. He was happy in friendships with some of 
the best, most learned, and illustrious of each order ; but 
not without the heavy enmity of some intemperate adver- 
saries of truth and genuine liberty ; under which he 
severely but manfully suffered. He served as burgess in 
several parliaments, both in those which had a King, and 
which had none."* 

Aubrey thus records the last honours paid to his 
mortal remains : " On Thursday the 14th day of Deer, 
he was magnificently buryed in the Temple Church. 
His Executors invited all the parliament men, all the 
benchers, and great officers. All the Judges had mourn- 
ing, as also an abundance of persons of quality. His 
grave was about 10 foot deepe or better; walled up a 
good way with bricks, of which also the bottome was 
paved, but the sides at the bottome for about two foot 
high were of black polished marble, wherein his coffin 
(covered with black bayes) lyeth, and upon that wall of 
marble was presently let downe a huge black marble 
stone of great thicknesse, with this inscription : 

Hie jacet Corpus Johannis Seldeni qui obiit 
30 die Novembris, 1654. 

Over this was turned an arch of brick, (for the house 
would not lose their ground,) and upon that was throwne 



* Marchmont Needham, making mention of this epitaph in his 
Mercurius Politicus, says, " it was well he did it, for no man 
else could do it for him." 



Ixx BIOGRAPHICAL 

the earth, &c. and on the surface lieth another faire grave 
stone of black marble with this inscription : 
I. SELDENVS I. C. heic situs est. 

There is a coate of arms on the flat marble, but it is 
indeed that of his mother, for he had none of his owne, 
though he so well deserved it. 'Tis strange (me thinke) 
that he would not have one.'' 

A mural monument to his memory was subsequently 
placed in the circular part of the Church. 

His friend Archbishop Usher, at the request of his 
executors, preached his funeral sermon, and among the 
eulogies which according to custom it contained, he said, 
" that he looked upon the deceased as so great a scholar, 
that himselfe was scarce worthy to carry his books after 
him." 

The Master of the Temple (Richard Johnson) read the 
burial service according to the form of the New Directory, 
and added at the close, " if learning could have kept a 
man alive, this our brother had not died.*' 

In person Selden was tall, being in height about six 
feet, his face was thin and oval, and the whole head not 
very large. His nose was long, and inclining to one side. 
His eyes were grey, and full and prominent. 

He kept a plentiful table, which was never without the 
society of learned guests. Though himself temperate in 
eating and drinking, he was accustomed to say jocularly, 
" I will keep myself warm and moist as long as I live, for 
I shall be cold and dry when I am dead."* His intimate 

* Aubrey. 



PEE FA CE. Ixxi 

friend Whitelocke says, " his mind was as great as his 
learning : he was as hospitable and generous as any man, 
and as good company to those whom he liked." Dr. 
Wilkins tells us that he could occasionally assume an 
ungracious austerity of countenance and manners, and 
this, as Dr. Aikin justly observes, " is not extraordinary 
and may be easily pardoned, for the persecutions he had 
undergone, and the weighty concerns in which he was 
engaged, joined to a naturally serious disposition, would 
be likely to produce that effect. In a period of civil 
discord, levity ought to give more offence to a thinking 
man than severity ; and it is a mark rather of an unfeeling 
than of a kind disposition, to appear easy and cheerful 
while friends and country are exposed to the most 
lamentable distress."* 

His generosity was not confined to his convivial hours. 
Meric Casaubon was relieved by him with a considerable 
sum in time of need. He subscribed largely to the 
publication of Walton's Polyglot. He was the patron of 
Kelly when pursuing his antiquarian travels, and of Ash- 
mole and Farington the antiquarians. He had detected 
the merits of Hale while yet a stripling, and continued, 
though much his senior, his unwavering friend.f 

It could not be expected that, immersed as he was in 
business and serious studies, he should always be ready 
to receive visitors. When called upon by strangers, 
Aubrey says, " he had a slight stuff or silk kind of false 



* Aikin's Life of Selden, p. 161. 

f Johnson's Memoirs of Selden, p. 353. 



Ixxii BIOGRAPHICAL 

carpet to cast over the table where he read and his papers 
lay, so that he needed not to displace his books or papers." 
And we are told by Colomies, that when Isaac Vossius 
was sometime ascending his staircase to pay him a visit, 
when he was engaged in some deep research, Selden 
would call out to him from the top that he was not at 
leisure for conversation. 

After the death of the Earl of Kent in 1639, Selden 
appears to have been domesticated with his widow both 
at Wrest in Bedfordshire, and White Friars in London. 
Elizabeth, Countess dowager of Kent, was daughter and 
coheir of Gilbert Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and was 
eminent for her piety and virtue. Aubrey tells us that 
Selden " was married to the Countess, but never owned 
the marriage till after her death, upon some law account. 
He never kept any servant peculiar, but my lady's were 
all at his command ; he lived with her in ^Edibus Carmeli- 
ticis (White Friars), which was, before the conflagration, 
a noble dwelling." 

The same gossiping authority tells us, " he would write 
sometimes, when notions came into his head, to preserve 
them, under his barber's hands. When he died his barber 
said, he had a great mind to know his will, for, said he, 
' I never knew a wise man make a wise will.'" 

When Lady Kent died, in 1651, she appointed Selden 
her executor, bequeathed to him the Friary House in 
White Friars, and it is thought that he derived from her 
the chief part of the considerable property he possessed, 
which at his death was estimated at 40,000/. 

He told his intimate friend, Sir Bennet Hoskyns, that 



PREFACE. kxiii 

he had no body to make his heir, except it were a milk- 
maid, and that such people did not know what to do with 
a great estate."* 

We consequently find that he bequeathed to each of 
his nieces and nephews one hundred pounds, and to 
various other persons small legacies as tokens of his 
regard, and the remainder of his fortune to his four 
executors. These were Lord Chief Justice Hale, Chief 
Justice Vaughan, Rowland Jukes, and Edward Heywood, 
.Esquires. He left the plate and a diamond hat-band, 
which had belonged to the Earls of Kent, to Mr. Grey 
Longueville, as a heir loom, he being nephew to the last 
Earl. 

It had been his original intention to leave his library 
to the University of Oxford, but having taken umbrage 
at being required to give security for the safe return of a 
manuscript in the Bodleian Library, of which he desired 
the loan, he expunged the bequest,f and left the whole, 
with the exception of some Arabic works on medicine 
given to the College of Physicians, to the disposal of his 
executors. He desired them " rather to part the books 

* Aubrey ; who adds as a memorandum : " Bishop Grostest 
of Lincoln told his brother, who asked him to make him a great 
man ; ' Brother,' said he, ' if your plough is broken, I'll pay the 
mending of it ; or if an ox is dead, I'll pay for another ; but a 
ploughman I found you, and a ploughman I'll leave you." 

f It must be confessed that he seems to have taken offence 
unreasonably, for it appears that the University had made a 
special regulation in his favour, that he might have any three 
books from the library at a time, upon giving a bond that they 
should be returned within a year. 



Ixxiv BIOGRAPHICAL 

among themselves, or otherwise dispose of them, for some 
public use, than put them to any common sale," and 
suggested " some convenient library, public, or of some 
college in one of the Universities." 

His executors considering themselves " as the execu- 
tors not of his anger but his will," after selecting some of 
the books, and offering them to the benchers of the Inner 
Temple, as the foundation of a law library, presented the 
remainder together with his museum to the University of 
Oxford, according to their original destination. And as 
the benchers of the Inner Temple delayed to provide a 
place of deposit for the books, the whole collection, com- 
prising more than 8000 volumes were conveyed to Oxford, 
one of the terms of the gift being that they should be for 
ever kept together, and in a distinct body, with the title of, 
Mr. Selden's Library. The Books arrived in September, 
1659, and are preserved in a separate apartment of the 
Bodleian Library. In opening some of them, several 
pairs of spectacles were found, which Selden must have 
put in and forgotten where he had placed them. 

The marbles had arrived in the previous June, and 
were finally arranged in one of the schools. An inscrip- 
tion in front of the Divinity school, testified the gratitude 
of the academical body for these donations. 

One of his biographers has very truly said, " There 
can scarcely be a less disputable mark of integrity and 
worthiness in an individual than his succeeding in securing 
the ' golden opinions' of parties opposed to each other in 
contending for the same object, and concerning which ob- 
ject that individual is known by them to differ from them 



PREFA CE. Ixxv 

both. Now of all contentions, history affords uniform 
testimony that none are so jealous and implacable as 
those in which are involved the religious opinions and the 
temporal pre-eminence of the disputants. Mingling in 
such contentions, Selden passed his life a prominent actor 
in them all, and yet so moderate, consistent, and talented 
was his course, that although occasionally supporting and 
opposing each, the extremes of the conflicting parties 
looked up to him and sought the aid of his abilities."* 

His literary merit was liberally acknowledged by those 
continental scholars best able to appreciate it ; Grotius, 
Salmasius Bochart, G. Vossius, Gronovius and Daniel 
Heinsius are a few among the distinguished list of his 
encomiasts, and though his works are probably little read 
at the present day, because the additions he made to the 
stock of learning have been made available by more 
modern writers and compilers, he must ever be accounted 
one of the chief literary ornaments of this country, nor 
has perhaps Europe produced a scholar of more profound 
and varied erudition.f 

His parliamentary character has been thus ably sketched 
by an anonymous writer, t " Selden was a member of 
the long parliament, and took an active and useful part 



* Johnson's Memoirs of Selden, p. 342. 

t " John Selden wrote the History of Friar Bacon in Latin, 
and communicating it to Sir Kenelm Digby to have it printed at 
Paris, he embezzled or lost it. 1 ' So Mr. Joyner, Antony a Wood 
additions to his Athen. Oxon. MS. 

% It appeared in some periodical to which I have lost the re- 
ference. 



Ixxvi BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE. 

in many important discussions and transactions. He 
appears to have been regarded somewhat in the light of 
a valuable piece of national property, like a museum, or 
great public library, resorted to, as a matter of course, 
and a matter of right, in all the numerous cases in which 
assistance was wanted from any part of the whole compass 
of legal and historical learning. He appeared in the 
national council not so much the representative of the 
contemporary inhabitants of a particular city, as of all the 
people of all past ages ; concerning whom, and whose 
institutions, he was deemed to know whatever was to be 
known, and to be able to furnish whatever, within so vast 
a retrospect, was of a nature to give light and authority 
in the decision of questions arising in a doubtful and 
hazardous state of the national affairs." 

But as Mr. Seward says, " after all, the most endearing 
part of Selden's character is elegantly touched by himself 
in the choice of his motto :" 

Tltpl TravTOf rffv tXevStpiav 

LIBERTY ABOVE ALL THINGS. 






The following Commendatory Verses are subjoined, not so 
much for their merit as to afford confirmatory evidence of 
the high Esteem in which Selden was held by his Cotem- 
poraries. 

BEN JONSON 

To ins HONOR'D FKIEND MR. JOHN SELDEN, 
Health. 

KNOW to whom I write : Here I am sure, 
Though I be short, I cannot be obscure. 
Less shall I for the art or dressing care 
Since, naked, best Truth and the Graces are. 
Your Booke, my Selden, I have read, and much 
Was trusted, that you thought my judgment such 
To ask it : though, in most of works, it be 
A penance, where a man may not be free, 
Rather than Office. When it doth, or may 
Chance, that the Friend's affection proves allay 
Unto the censure. Yours all need doth fly 
Of this so vicious humanity : 
Than which, there is not unto Slndie' a more 
Pernicious Enemy. We see, before 
A many' of Books, even good judgments wound 
Themselves, through favouring that, is there not found ; 
But I to yours, far from this fault, shall do ; 
Not fly the crime, but the suspicion too : 




Ixxviii COMMENDA TORY 

Though I confess (as every muse hath err'd, 

And mine not least) I have too oft preferr'd 

Men past their terms ; and prais'd some names too much, 

But 'twas with purpose to have made them such. 

Since, being deceiv'd, I turn a sharper eye 

Upon myself, and ask to whom, and why, 

And what I write ? and vex it many days 

Before men get a verse, much less a praise ; 

So that my reader is assured, I now 

Mean what I speak, and still will keep that vow. 

Stand forth my object, then. You that have been 

Ever at home, yet have all countries seen ; 

And like a compass, keeping one foot still 

Upon your centre, do your circle fill 

Of general knowledge ; watch'd men, manners too, 

Heard what times past have said, seen what ours do ! 

Which grace shall I make love to first ? your skill 

Or faith in things ? or is't your wealth and will 

T' inform and teach ? or your unwearied pain 

Of gathering ? bounty in pouring out again ? 

What fables have you vex'd, what truth redeem'd, 

Antiquities search'd, opinions disesteem'd, 

Impostures branded, and authorities urg'd ! 

What blots and errors have you watched and purg'd 

Eecords and Authors of! how rectified 

Times, manners, customs ! innovations spied ! 

Sought out the fountains, sources, creeks, paths, ways, 

And noted the beginnings and decays ! 

Where is that nominal mark, or real rite, 

Form, act, or ensign, that hath 'scaped your sight ? 

How are traditions there examin'd ! how 

Conjectures retriev'd ! and a story now 

And then of times (besides the bare conduct 

Of what it tells us) weav'd in to instruct ! 

I wonder'd at the richness, but am lost, 

To see the workmanship so exceed the cost ! 

To mark the excellent seasoning of your style 

And manly elocution ! not one while 



VERSES. Ixxix 

With horror rough, then rioting with wit; 

But to the subject stil] the colours fit, 

In sharpness of all search, wisdom choice, 

Newness of sense, antiquity of voice ! 

I yield, I yield. The matter of your praise 

Flows in upon me, and I cannot raise 

A bank against it ; nothing but the round 

Large clasp of Nature such a wit can bound. 

Monarch in letters ! 'mongst the Titles shown 

Of others honors, thus enjoy thy own. 

I first salute thee so ; and gratulate 

With that thy style, thy keeping of thy state ; 

In offering this thy work to no great name, 

That would perhaps, have prais'd and thank'd the same, 

But nought beyond. He, thou hast given it to, 

Thy learned chamber-fellow, knows to do 

It true respects : he will not only love, 

Embrace, and cherish ; but he can approve 

And estimate thy pains, as having wrought 

In the same mines of knowledge, and thence? bought 

Humanity enough to be a friend, 

And strength to be a champion, and defend 

Thy gift 'gainst envy. O how I do count 

Among my comings in, and see it mount, 

The gain of two such friendships ! Heyward and 

Selden ! two names that so much understand ! 

On whom I could take up, and ne'er abuse 

The credit, that would furnish a tenth muse ! 

But here's no time nor place my wealth to tell, 

You both are modest. So am I. Farewell. 




Ixxx COMMENDATORY 



ON THE DEATH OF THE LEARNED 
MR. JOHN SELDEN. 

fell the sacred Sybill, when of old 
Inspir'd with more than mortal breast could hold. 
The gazing multitude stood doubtful by 
Whether to call it Death or Extasie : 

She silent lies, and now the Nations find 

No Oracles but the Leaves she left behind. 

Monarch of Time and Arts, who travell'dst o'er 
New worlds of knowledge, undescried before, 
And hast on everlasting columns writ, 
The utmost bounds of Learning and of Wit. 
Had'st thou been more like us, or we like thee, 
We might add something to thy memory. 
Now thy own Tongues must speak thee, and thy praise 
Be from those Monuments thyself did'st raise ; 
And all those Titles* thou did'st once display, 
Must yield thee Titles greater far than they. 

Time which had wings till now, and was not known 
To have a Being but by being gone, 
You did arrest his motion, and have lent 
A way to make him fixt and permanent ; 
Whilst by your labours Ages past appear, 
And all at once we view a Plato's year. 

Actions and Fables were retriev'd by you, 
All that was done, and what was not done too. 
Which in your breast did comprehended lye 
As in the bosom of Eternity ; 

* Titles of Honor. 



VERSES. Ixxxi 

You purg'd Records and Authors* from their rust, 
And sifted Pearls out of Rabbinick dust. 
By you the Syrian Godsf do live and grow 
To be Immortal, since you made them so. 
Inscriptions, Medals, Statues \ look fresh still, 
Taking new brass and marble from your quill ; 
Which so unravels time, that now we do 
Live our own Age, and our Forefathers' too, 
And thus enlarg'd, by your discoveries, can 
Hake that an ell, which Nature made a span. 

If then we judge, that to preserve the State 
Of things, is every moment to create, 
The World's thus half your creature, whilst it stands 
Rescued to memory by your learned Hands. 
And unto you, now fearless of decay, 
Times past owe more than Times to come can pay. 

How might you claim your Country's just applause, 
When you stood square and upright as your cause 
In doubtful times, nor ever would forego 
Fair Truth and Right, whose bounds you best did know. 

You in the Tower did stand another Tower, 
Firm to yourself and us, whilst jealous power 
Your very soul imprison'd, that no thought 
By books might enter, nor by pen get out ; 
And stripp'd of all besides, left you confined 
To the one volume of your own vast Mind ; 
There Virtue and strict Honor past the guard, 
Your only friends that could not be debarr'd ; 
And dwelt in your retirement ; arm'd with these 
You stood forth more than Admiral of our Seas ; 
Your Hands enclosed the Wat'ry Plains, and thus 
Was no less Fence to them, than they to us ; 

* Eadmerus. Fleta. f De Diis Syris. 

J Marmora Arundeliana. Mare Clausum. 

g 



Ixxxii COMMENDA TOR Y 

Teaching our Ships to conquer, while each fight 
Is but a Comment on those books you write. 

No foul disgraces, nor the worst of things 
Made you like him (whose Anger Homer sings) 
Slack in your Country's Quarrel, who adore, 
Their Champion now, their Martyr heretofore : 
Still with yourself contending, whether you 
Could bravelier suffer, or could bravelier do. 
We ask not now for Ancestors, nor care 
Tho' Selden do no kindred boast, nor Heir, 
Such worth best stands alone, and joys to be 
To th' self at once both Founder and Posterity. 
As when old Nilus who with bounteous flows 
Waters an hundred Nations as he goes, 
Scattering rich Harvests keep his Sacred Head 
Amongst the Clouds still undiscovered. 

Be it now thy Oxford's Pride, that having gone 
Through East and West, no Art, nor Tongue unknown; 
Laden with Spoils thou hang'st thy Arms up here, 
But set'st thy great Example every where. 

Thus when thy Monument shall itself lie dead, 
And thy own Epitaph * no more be read, 
When all thy Statues shall be worn out so, 
That even Selden should not Selden know ; 
Ages to come shall in thy Virtue share : 
He that dies well makes all the world his Heir. 

R. Bathurst, T. Co. Oxoit. 
Decembr. 19, 54. Dryden's Miscellanies, Part iii. 44. 

* His Epitaph, made by himself, in the Temple Church. 




VERSES. Ixxxiii 



TO THE PROFOUNDLY LEARNED AND UNPARALLEI/D 
ANTIQUARY, 

JOHN SELDEN, ESQUIRE. 

f=^ HOU living Library, the admiration 

Of this our Borenn Clime, who know'st each Nation 

Their Customs trivial, or authenticall, 

All which thou hast narrated with such skill, 

That more than Camden's all admire thy Quill, 

Scaliger's but a Pupil unto thee, 

(The very Basis of Antiquitie) 

Sufficient characters to expresse all things 

Thou hast, nor need'st thou Metaphorick wings : 

For all the Earth is thine, a Caspian sea 
Thou art, and all Brookes sally into thee, 

But like the Ocean, thou giv'st back far more 

To those clear springs, than thou receiv'st before. 

From thee true living Wisdome doth proceed, 

Thou hast the art of Eloquence indeed. 

What bold presumption it is then in me 

To dedicate my Epigrams to thee, 

Yet so I dare to do, that all may know 

I wish the censure of the rigid'st brow. 

Epigrams, Theological, Philosophical, and Romantick, &c. by 
S. Shepard, Lond. Pr. by G. D. for Thomas Bucknell at the 
Signe of the Golden Lion in Duck Lane. P. 170. 



The following verses by Dr. Gerard Langbaine are placed under 
Selden's portrait. 

Talem se ore tulit, quern gens non barbara qusevis 

Quantovis pretio mallet habere suum. 
Qualis ab ingenio, vel quantus ab arte, loquentur 

Dique ipsi et lapides, si taceant homines. 









Table-Talk : 




BEING THE 






DISCOURSES 






OF 






John Selden, Efq. 






Being His Senfe of various Matters of 
Weight and high Confequence ; . 
relating efpecially to 






RELIGION and STATE. 




Diftingue Tempora. 


LONDON: 




Printed for E. SMITH, in the Year 
M DC LXXXIX. 







TO THE HONOURABLE 

MR. JUSTICE HALES, 

ONE OF THE JUDGES OF THE 
COMMON PLEAS. 

AND TO THE MCTCH HONOURED 

EDWARD HEYWOOD, JOHN VAUGHAN, AND 
ROWLAND JEWKS, ESQS.* 

Most worthy Gentlemen, 

r 

'ERE you not Executors to that Person, who 
(while he liv'd) was the Glory of the Nation, 
yet I am Confident any thing of his would 
find Acceptance with you; and truly the Sense and 




* Milward, or the transcriber, has made strange work with the 
names prefixed to this Dedication. " Mr. Justice Hales" is, of 
course, Sir Matthew Hale ; and as he ceased to be one of the judges 
of the Common Pleas on the death of Cromwell in 1658, the 
Table Talk must, therefore, have been prepared for publication 
soon after Selden's death, although it remained in MS. until 1699, 
nine years after that of the compiler. " Heywood," should be 
Heyward, Selden's early friend. " Vaughan" was afterwards 
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. 



Ixxxviii EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 

Notion here is wholly his, and most of the Words. I 
had the opportunity to hear his Discourse twenty Years 
together ; and lest all those Excellent things that usually 
fell from him might be lost, some of them from time to 
time I faithfully committed to Writing, which here di- 
gested into this Method, I humbly present to your Hands. 
You will quickly perceive them to be his by the familiar 
Illustrations wherewith they are set off, and in which 
way you know he was so happy, that, with a marvellous 
delight to those that heard liim, he would presently con- 
vey the highest Points of Religion, and the most important 
Affairs of State, to an ordinary apprehension. 

In reading be pleased to distinguish Times, and in your 
Fancy carry along with you, the When and the Why 
many of these things were spoken ; this will give them 
the more Life, and the smarter Relish. 'Tis possible the 
Entertainment you find in them, may render you the more 
inclinable to pardon the Presumption of 

Your most Obliged and 

most Humble Servant 

Rl. MlLWARD. 




TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

Page 

I BBEYS, Priories 1 

Articles 3 

Baptism 3 

Bastard 4 

Bible, Scripture 5 

Bishops before the Parliament 9 

Bishops in the Parliament 11 

Bishops out of the Parliament 17 

Books, Authors 22 

Canon Law 24 

Ceremony 24 

Chancellor 25 

Changing Sides 25 

Charity . , 27 

Christmas 27 

Christians 28 

Church -29 

Church of Rome 30 

Churches 31 

City 32 

Clergy . . 33 

Commission, High .35 

Commons, House of 35 

Confession ......... 36 

Competency 37 

Conjunction, Great 37 

Conscience 38 



xc CONTENTS. 

Page 

Consecrated Places 39 

Contracts ...... .'.40 

Council 42 

Convocation 42 

Creed . . . .43 

Damnation .43 

Devils 44 

Denial, Self 46 

Duel 47 

Epitaph 49 

Equity 49 

Evil Speaking 50 

Excommunication 52 

Faith and Works 56 

Fasting Days ..... . 56 

Fathers and Sons 57 

Fines 57 

Free-will 58 

Friars 58 

Friends 58 

Genealogy of Christ 59 

Gentlemen 60 

Gold 61 

Hall 62 

Hell 63 

Holy Days 64 

Humility . 64 

Idolatry 65 

Jews . . . . . . . . . .65 

Invincible Ignorance 66 

Images 66 

Imperial Constitutions 67 

Imprisonment . 68 

Incendiaries ......... 68 

Independency ......... 69 

Indifferent Things 70 

Interest, Public 70 

Invention, Human 70 



CONTENTS. xci 

Page 
Judgments . . . . . . . .71 

Judge 72 

Juggling 73 

Jurisdiction . . 73 

Jus Divinum ......... 74 

King 74 

King of England 76 

King, The 77 

Knights Service 79 

Land 80 

Language . . . . . . . . .81 

Law 82 

Law of Nature 84 

Learning . ........ 85 

Lecturers ......... 86 

Libels .......... 86 

Liturgy .......... 87 

Lords in the Parliament 87 

Lords before the Parliament 88 

Marriage .90 

Marriage of Cousin-Germans 90 

Measure of Things 92 

Men, Difference of 92 

Minister Divine . . 93 

Money 98 

Moral Honesty 99 

Mortgage ......... 100 

Number . .100 

Oaths . . ... . . . . .101 

Oracles . . . ; 104 

Opinion . . . . . . . . . .104 

Parity 106 

Parliament .- . . 107 

Parson 110 

Patience 110 

Peace Ill 

Penance . . . . . . . . . .111 

People . . . .... . . .112 



xcii CONTENTS. 

Page 

Pleasure 113 

Philosophy 114 

Poetry 115 

Pope 117 

Popery 119 

Power, State 120 

Prayer 122 

Preaching 124 

Predestination 130 

Preferment . . . . . . . . . 131 

Prsemunire 133 

Prerogative 134 

Presbytery 134 

Priests of Rome ........ 136 

Prophecies 137 

Proverbs 138 

Question 138 

Reason 138 

Retaliation 139 

Reverence 140 

Residency, Non . . . . . . . .140 

Religion 141 

Sabbath 146 

Sacrament 146 

Salvation 147 

State 147 

Superstition 148 

Subsidies 148 

Simony . . . 149 

Ship-Money . . . . . . . . . 149 

Synod Assembly 150 

Thanksgiving 152 

Tithes 153 

Trade 154 

Tradition 155 

Transubstantiation 155 

Traitor 156 

Trinity 156 



CONTENTS. xciii 

Page 

Truth .156 

Trial 157 

University . . 158 

Vows . . .159 

Usury . . . ,' 159 

Uses, Pious 160 

War 161 

Witches 164 

Wife 165 

Wisdom ... 165 

Wit 166 

Women 167 

Year 168 

Zealots . 169 




TABLE-TALK. 




THE DISCOURSES OF 

JOHN SELPEN, ESQ. 

Abbeys, Priories, c. 
prv&HE unwillingness of the Monks to part with 




their Land, will fall out to be just nothing, be- 
cause they are yielded up to the King by a 
Supreme Hand, (viz.} a Parliament. If a King conquer 
another Country, the People are loath to lose their Lands ; 
yet no Divine will deny but the King may give them to 
whom he please. If a Parliament make a Law concern- 
ing Leather, or any other Commodity, you and I, for 
Example are Parliament-Men ; perhaps in respect to our 
own private Interests, we are against it ; yet the major 
part conclude it; we are then involved, and the Law is 
good. 

2. When the Founders of Abbeys laid a Curse upon 
those that should take away those Lands, I would fain 
know what Power they had to curse me. 'Tis not the 
Curses that come from the Poor, or from any Body, that 
hurt me, because they come from them, but because I do 

3 



2 DISCOURSES, OR 

something ill against them that deserves God should curse 
me for it. On the other side, 'tis not a Man's blessing 
me that makes me blessed ; he only declares me to be so ; 
and if I do well I shall be blessed, whether any bless me 
or not. 

3. At the time of Dissolution, they were tender in 
taking from the Abbots and Priors their Lands and their 
Houses, till they surrounded them (as most of them did). 
Indeed the Prior of St. John's,* Sir Richard Weston, 
being a stout Man, got into France, and stood out a whole 
Year, at last submitted, and the King took in that Priory 
also, to which the Temple belonged, and many other 
Houses in England. They did not then cry no Abbots, 
no Priors, as we do now, No Bishops, no Bishops. 

4. Henry the Fifth put away the Friars, Aliens, and 
seized to himself 100,000. a Year ; and therefore they 
were not the Protestants only that took away Church 
Lands. 

5. In Queen Elizabeth's time, when all the Abbies 
were pulled down, all good Works defaced, then the 
Preachers must cry up Justification by Faith, not by good 
Works. 

* St. John's of Jerusalem at Clerkemcell, founded 1100, endowed 
with the revenues of the English Knights Templars, 1323. The 
Prior ranked as first Baron of England. The last Prior, Sir R. 
Weston, retired on a pension of 1000/. a year, but died of a broken 
heart on Ascension day, 1540 ; the day the Priory was suppressed. 
The Church and the House remained entire during Henry the 
Eighth's reign; he kept his hunting tents and toils in them. 
But in Edward the Sixth's time the Church was blown up with 
gunpowder, by order of Somerset, and the stones carried to build 
his house in the Strand. 



TABLE-TALK. 



Articles. 

nine and thirty Articles are much another 
thing in Latin, (in which tongue they were 
made) than they are translated into English. 
They were made at three several Convocations, and con- 
firmed by Act of Parliament six or seven times after. 
There is a Secret concerning them : Of late Ministers 
have subscribed to all of them ; but by Act of Parliament 
that confirmed them, they ought only to subscribe to those 
Articles which contain matter of Faith, and the Doctrine of 
the Sacraments, as appears by the first Subscriptions.* 
But Bishop Bancroft (in the Convocation held in King 
James s days) he began it, that Ministers should subscribe 
to three things, to the King's Supremacy, to the Com- 
mon Prayer, and to the Thirty -nine Articles. Many of 
them do not contain matter of Faith. Is it matter of 
Faith how the Church should be governed ? Whether 
Infants should be baptized ? Whether we have any Pro- 
perty in our Goods ? fyc. 

Baptism. 

i 

i WAS a good way to persuade Men to be chris- 
tened, to tell them that they had a Foulness 
about them, viz. Original Sin, that could not 
be washed away but by Baptism. 

* See Blackburne's Confessional, page 5, and 368, and Lamb's 
Historical Account of the Thirty-nine Articles. Cambr. 1829, 
4 to. page 32. 




4 DISCOURSES, OR 

2. The Baptising of Children with us, does only pre- 
pare a Child against he comes to be a Man, to understand 
what Christianity means. In the Church of Rome, it has 
this Effect, it frees Children from Hell. They say they 
go into Limbus Infantum. It succeeds Circumcision, 
and we are sure the Child understood nothing of that at 
eight Days old ; why then may not we as reasonably bap- 
tise a Child at that Age ? In England of late years I 
ever thought the Parson baptized his own Fingers rather 
than the Child. 

3. In the Primitive Times they had God-fathers to see 
the Children brought up in the Christian Religion, be- 
cause many times, when the Father was a Christian, the 
Mother was not, and sometimes, when the Mother was a 
Christian, the Father was not ; and therefore they made 
choice of two or more that were Christians to see their 
Children brought up in that Faith. 

Bastard. 

IS said the xxiir. of Deuteron. 2. \_A Bas- 
tard shall not enter into the Congregation 
of the Lord, even to the tenth Generation."] 
Non ingredietur in Ecclesiam Domini, he shall not 
enter into the Church. The meaning of the Phrase is, 
he shall not marry a Jewish Woman. But upon this 
grossly mistaken, a Bastard at this Day in the Church 
of Rome, without a Dispensation, cannot take Orders : 
the thing haply well enough where 'tis so settled ; but 
that 'tis upon a Mistake, (the Place having no reference to 





TABLE-TALK. 5 

the Church,) appears plainly by what follows at the third 
Verse : [An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into 
the Congregation ^of the Lord, even to the tenth Gene- 
ration.^ Now you know with the Jews an Ammonite 
or a Moabite could never be a Priest, because their Priests 
were born so, not made. 



Bible, Scripture. 

S a great Question how we know Scripture to 
be Scripture, whether by the Church, or by 
Man's private Spirit. Let me ask you how 
I know any thing ? how I know this Carpet to be green ? 
First, because somebody told me it was green ; that you 
call the Church in your Way. Then after I have been 
told it is green, when I see that Colour again, I know it 
to be green ; my own eyes tell me it is green ; that you 
call the private Spirit. 

2. The English Translation of the Bible is the best 
Translation in the World, and renders the Sense of the 
Original best, taking in for the English Translation, the 
Bishop's Bible* as well as King James's. The Transla- 

* 1. The Bishops' Bible, begun soon after Elizabeth's accession 
to the throne, by Archbishop Parker and eight Bishops, besides 
others. It was published in 1568 with a preface by Parker. 

2. King James's. Begun in 1607, published in 1611 : 47 of 
the most learned men in the nation employed on it. There is no 
book so translated, i. e. so peculiarly translated, considering the 
purpose it was meant for General reading. 

Many impressions of English Bibles printed at Amsterdam, and 
more at Edinburgh, in Scotland, were daily brought over hither 



6 DISCOURSES, OR 

tion in King James's time took an excellent way. That 
Part of the Bible was given to him who was most excel- 
lent in such a Tongue, (as the Apocrypha to Andrew 
Downs) ; and then they met together, and one read the 
Translation, the rest holding in their Hands some Bible, 
either of the learned Tongues, or French, Spanish, Ita- 
lian, etc. if they found any Fault, they spoke, if not he 
read on. 

3. There is no Book so translated as the Bible for the 
purpose. If I translate a French Book into English, I 
turn it into English Phrase, not into French English. 
\_ll fait froid~\ I say 'tis cold, not, it makes cold ; but the 
Bible is rather translated into English Words than into 
English Phrase. The Hebraisms are kept, and the Phrase 
of that Language is kept : As for Example, [He uncovered 
her Shame] which is well enough, so long as Scholars have 
to do with it; but when it comes among the Common Peo- 
ple, Lord, what Gear do they make of it ! 

4. Scrutamini Scripturas. These two Words have 
undone the World. Because Christ spake it to his Dis- 
ciples, therefore we must all, Men, Women and Children, 
read and interpret the Scripture. 

5. Henry the Eighth made a Law, that all Men might 
read the Scripture, except Servants ; but no Woman, ex- 

and sold here. Little their volumes, and low their prices, as being 
of bad paper, worse print, littlo margin, yet greater than the care 
of the corrector many abominable errata being passed therein. 
Take one instance for all. Jerem. iv. 17 : speaking of the whole 
commonwealth of Judah, instead of " Because she hath been re- 
bellious against me, saith the Lord," it is printed (Edinb. 1637.) 
" Because she hath been religious against me." 



TABLE-TALK. 7 

cept Ladies and Gentlewomen, who had Leisure and might 
ask somebody the Meaning. The Law was repealed in 
Edward the Sixth's Days. 

6. Lay-men have best interpreted the hard places in 
the Bible, such as Johannes Picus, Scaliger, Grotius, 
Salmasius, ffeinsius, &c. 

7. If you ask which of Erasmus, Beza, or Grotius 
did best upon the New Testament, 'tis an idle Question : 
For they all did well in their Way. Erasmus broke down 
the first Brick, Beza added many things, and Grotius 
added much to him ; in whom we have either something 
new, or something heightened that was said before, and 
so 'twas necessary to have them all three. 

8. The Text serves only to guess by ; we must satisfy 
ourselves fully out of the Authors that lived about those 
times. 

9. In interpreting the Scripture, many do as if a Man 
should see one have ten Pounds, which he reckoned by 1, 
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 : meaning four was but four 
Units, and five five Units, fyc. and that he had in all but 
ten Pounds : the other that sees him, takes not the Figures 
together as he doth, but picks here and there, and there- 
upon reports, that he hath five Pounds in one Bag, and 
six Pounds in another Bag, and nine Pounds in another 
Bag, <?rc., when as in truth he hath but ten Pounds in all. 
So we pick out a Text, here and there, to make it serve 
our turn ; whereas if we take it altogether, and considered 
what went before and what followed after, we should find 
it meant no such thing. 

10. Make no more Allegories in Scripture than needs 



8 DISCOURSES, OR 

must. The Fathers were too frequent in them ; they, 
indeed, before they fully understood the literal Sense, 
looked out for an Allegory. The Folly whereof you may 
conceive thus : Here at the first sight appears to me in 
my Window a Glass and a Book ; I take it for granted 
'tis a Glass and a Book ; thereupon, I go about to tell you 
what they signify : afterwards upon nearer view, they 
prove no such thing ; one is a Box made like a Book, the 
other is a Picture made like a Glass : where's now my 
Allegory ? 

11. When Men meddle with the literal Text, the Ques- 
tion is, where they should stop. In this Case, a Man 
must venture his Discretion, and do his best to satisfy 
himself and others in those Places where he doubts ; for 
although we call the Scripture the- Word of God (as it 
is), yet it was writ by a Man, a mercenary Man, whose 
Copy, either might be false, or he might make it false. 
For Example, here were a thousand Bibles printed in 
England with the Text thus, [ Thou shall commit Adul- 
tery'} the Word [not] left out : * might not this Text be 
mended ? 

12. The Scripture may have more Senses besides the 
Literal, because God understands all things at once ; but 

* Archbishop Usher on his way to preach at St. Paul's Cross, 
entered a bookseller's shop and purchased a London edition of 
the Bible, in which, to his astonishment and dismay, he found 
the text he had selected was omitted. This was the occasion of 
the first complaint on the subject, and inducing further attention, 
the King's printers, in 1632, were justly fined 3000/. for omitting 
the word " not " in the seventh commandment. During the reign 
of the Parliament a large impression of the Bible was suppressed 



TABLE. TALK. 9 

a Man's Writing has but one true Sense, which is that 
which the Author meant when he writ it. 

13. When you meet with several Readings of the Text, 
take heed you admit nothing against the Tenets of your 
Church ; but do as if you were going over a Bridge ; be 
sure you hold fast by the Rail, and then you may dance 
here and there as you please ; be sure you keep to what 
is settled, and then you may flourish upon your various 
Lections. 

14. The Apocrypha is bound with the Bibles of all 
Churches that have been hitherto. Why should we leave 
it out ? The Church of Rome has her Apocrypha (viz.) 
Susanna and Bell and the Dragon, which she does not 
esteem equally with the rest of those Books that we call 
Apocrypha.* * 

Bishops before the Parliament. 

BISHOP as a Bishop, had never any Eccle- 
siastical Jurisdiction ; for as soon as he was 
Electus Confir mains, that is, after the three 
Proclamations in Bow- Church, he might exercise Juris- 

on account of its errors and corruptions, many of which were the 
results of design as well as of negligence. The errors in two of 
the editions actually amounted respectively to 3600 and 6000. 

Johnson's Memoirs of Selden. 

* Apocrypha which is extant in Greek only, except the 4th 
book of Esdras in Latin : 

The Apocrypha was one great stumbling block to the Pres- 
byterians. They looked upon its introduction into the Liturgy 
to be papistical. 




10 DISCOURSES, OR 

diction before he was consecrated; yet* till then he was 
no Bishop, neither could he give Orders. Besides, Suf- 
fragans were Bishops, and they never claimed any Juris- 
diction. 

2. Anciently the Noblemen lay within the City for 
Safety and Security. The Bishops' Houses were by the 
Water side, because they were held sacred Persons which 
nobody would hurt. 

3. There was some Sense for Commendams at first: 
when there was a Living void, and never a Clerk to serve 
it, the Bishops were to keep it till they found a fit Man ; 
but now 'tis a Trick for the Bishop to keep it for himself. 

4. For a Bishop to preach, 'tis to do other Folks' Office, 
as if the Steward of the House should execute the Porter's 
or the Cook's Place. 'Tis his Business to see that they 
and all other about the House perform their Duties. 

5. That which is thought to have done the Bishops 
hurt, is their going about to bring Men to a blind Obe- 
dience, imposing things upon them [though perhaps small 
and well enough], without preparing them, and insinuating 
into their Reasons and Fancies. Every Man loves to 
know his Commander. I wear those Gloves; but per- 
haps if an Alderman should command me, I should think 
much to do it : What has he to do with me ? Or if he 
has, peradventure I do not know it. This jumping upon 
things at first Dash will destroy all. To keep up Friend- 
ship, there must be little Addresses and Applications; 
whereas Bluntness spoils it quickly: To keep up the 

* Original Edition, not. 



TABLE-TALK. 11 

Hierarchy, there must be little Applications made to 
Men, they must be brought on by little and little. So in 
the Primitive Times the Power was gained, and so it 
must be continued. Scaliger said of Erasmus; Si 
minor esse voluerit,* major fuisset. So we may say of 
the Bishops, Si minores esse voluerint, majoresfuissent. 

6. The Bishops were too hasty, else with a discreet 
slowness they might have had what they aimed at. The 
old Story of the Fellow, that told the Gentleman, he 
might get to such a Place if he did not ride too fast, 
would have fitted their turn. 

7. For a Bishop to cite an old Canon to strengthen 
his new Articles, is as if a Lawyer should plead an old 
Statute that has been repealed God knows how long. 

Bishops in the Parliament. 

BISHOPS have the same Right to sit in Par- 
liament as the best Earls and Barons ; f that 
is, those that were made by Writ. If you 
ask one of them \_Arundel, Oxford, Northumberland'] 
why they sit in the House, they can only say, their 

* Original Edition, Voluit. 

f A resolution had passed the House of Commons in 1640, and 
a Bill was founded upon it, declaring that no Bishop or other 
Clergyman ought to be a privy counsellor, in the commission of 
the peace, or to have any judicial power hi a civil court, it being 
a hindrance to his spiritual functions and injurious to the Com- 
monwealth. This was probably in imitation of the resolution of 
the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, who, in their Act 
of Sessions, 17th August, 1639, had propounded that " The civil 




12 DISCOURSES, OR 

Father sate there before them, and their Grandfather 
before him, fyc. And so say the Bishops ; he that was a 
Bishop of this Place before me sate in the House, and he 
that was a Bishop before him, fyc. Indeed your later 
Earls and Barons have it expressed in their Patents, that 
they shall be called to the Parliament. Objection, but 
the Lords sit there by Blood, the Bishops not. Answer, 
'Tis true, they sit not there both the same way, yet that 
takes not away the Bishops' Right. If I am a Parson of 
a Parish, I have as much Right to my Glebe and Tithe, 
as you have to your Land which your Ancestors have 
had in that Parish Eight Hundred Years. 

2. The Bishops were not Barons, because they had 

power and places of Kirkmen, their Sitting in Session, Councell, 
and Exchecquer, their Riding, Sitting, and voting in Parliament, 
and their sitting in the Bench as Justices of Peace, are incom- 
patible with their Spiritual Sanction, lifting them up above their 
Brethren in worldly pomp, and do tend to the hinderance of the 
Ministrie." 

The King insisted upon their right from custom, which he was 
bound to maintain as one of the fundamental institutions of the 
kingdom, and we see that with this opinion Selden concurred. 

Mr. Bagshaw, who was reader of the Middle Temple, lecturing 
during the Lent vacation of 1640 upon the statute of the 25th, 
Edward III. inferred from its enactments, that Bishops, as spiri- 
tual lords, have no right to sit in Parliament. It is true he was 
silenced by the Government 5 but the support which he met with, 
and the very fact of his lecturing on the topic before such an 
audience, is testimony of that opinion not being unpalatable or 
unfavoured. Johnson's Memoirs of Selden. 

Six Bishoprics were created by King Henry VIII. ; Bristol, 
Gloucester, Peterborough, Chester, Oxford and Westminster ; but 
the last had only one Bishop, after whom it was again annexed to 
the see of London. 



TABLE-TALK. 13 

Baronies annexed to their Bishoprics ; for few of them 
had so, unless the old ones, Canterbury, Winchester, 
Durham, etc.; the new erected we are sure had none, as 
Gloucester, Peterborough, etc.; besides few of the Tern* 
poral Lords had any Baronies. But they are Barons, 
because they are called by Writ to the Parliament, and 
Bishops were in the Parliament ever since there was any 
mention, or sign of a Parliament in England, 

3. Bishops may be judged by the Peers, though in 
time of Popery it never happened, because they pretended 
they were not obnoxious to a Secular Court ; but their 
way was to cry, Ego sum Frater Domini Papas, I am 
Brother to my Lord the Pope, and therefore take not 
myself to be judged by you : in this Case they impanelled 
a Middlesex Jury, and dispatched the Business. 

4. Whether may Bishops be present in Cases of Blood ? 
Ansiv. That they had a Right to give Votes appears by 
this, always when they did go out, they left a Proxy ; and 
in the time of the Abbots, one Man had 10, 20 or 30 
Voices. In Richard the Second's time, there was a 
Protestation against the Canons, by which they were 
forbidden to be present in case of Blood.* The Statute 



* In Richard the Second's time there was a protestation 
against the Canons. They were forbidden by Canon Law only, 
and unless the King's most royal assent might be had unto them, 
&c. 

Canons far Blood, i. e. forbidding the Bishops to vote in cases of 
blood. 

Canons ofirregul. of blood, i. e. against their voting in cases of 
blood, &c. 



14 DISCOURSES, OR 

of 25th of Henry the Eighth may go a great way in this 
Business. The Clergy were forbidden to use or cite any 
Canon, fyc.; but in the latter end of the Statute, there 
was a Clause, that such Canons that were in usage in this 
Kingdom, should be in force till the thirty-two Commis- 
sioners appointed should make others, provided they were 
not contrary to the King's Supremacy. Now the Ques- 
tion will be, whether these Canons for Blood were in use 
in this Kingdom or no ? The contrary whereof may appear 
by many Precedents in Richard III. and Henry VII. and 
the beginning of Henry VIII. in which time there were 
more attainted than since, or scarce before. The Canons 
of Irregularity of Blood were never receiv'd in England, 
but upon pleasure. If a Lay-Lord was attainted, the 
Bishops assented to his Condemning, and were always 
present at the passing of the Bill of Attainder : But if a 
Spiritual Lord, they went out, as if they car'd not whose 
Head was cut off, so none of their own. In those Days, 
the Bishops being of great Houses, were often entangled 
with the Lords in Matters of Treason. But when d'ye 
hear of a Bishop a Traitor now ? 

5. You would not have Bishops meddle with Temporal 
Affairs. Think who you are that say it. If a Papist, they 
do in your Church ; if an English Protestant, they do 
among you; if a Presbyterian, where you have no Bishops, 
you mean your Presbyterian Lay- Elders should meddle 
with Temporal Affairs as well as Spiritual. Besides, all 
Jurisdiction is Temporal ; and in no Church but they 
have some Jurisdiction or other. The Question then will 
be reduced to Magis and Minus ; They meddle more in 
one Church than in another. 



TABLE-TALK. 15 

6. Objection. Bishops give not their Votes by Blood 
in Parliament, but by an Office annexed to them, which 
being taken away they cease to vote ; therefore there is 
not the same reason for them as for Temporal Lords. 
Answ. We do not pretend they have that Power the 
same way ; but they have a Right : He that has an Office 
in Westminster -Hall for his Life, the Office is as much 
his as his Land is his that hath Land by Inheritance. 

7. Whether had the inferior Clergy ever any thing to 
do in the Parliament? Answ. No; no otherwise than 
thus : There were certain of the Clergy that used to 
assemble near the Parliament, with whom the Bishops, 
upon occasion might consult (but there were none of the 
Convocation, as 'twas afterwards settled,) vis. the Dean, 
the Arch-Deacon, one for the Chapter, and two for the 
Diocese, but it happened by continuance of time (to save 
Charges and Trouble) their Voices, and the Consent of 
the whole Clergy, were involved in the Bishops; and at 
this Day, the Bishops' Writs run, to bring all these to the 
Parliament ; but the Bishops themselves stand for all. 

8. Bishops were formerly one of these two Conditions; 
either Men bred Canonists and Civilians, sent up and 
down Ambassadors to Rome and other Parts, and so by 
their Merit came to that Greatness ; or else great Noble- 
men's Sons, Brothers, and Nephews, and so born to govern 
the State : Now they are of a low Condition, their Educa- 
tion nothing of that way : he gets a Living, and then a 
greater Living, and then a greater than that, and so comes 
to govern. 

9. Bishops are now unfit to Govern, because of their 



16 DISCOURSES, OR 

Learning : they are bred up in another Law ; they run to 
the Text for something done amongst the Jews that 
nothing concerns England; 'tis just as if a Man would 
have a Kettle, and he would not go to our Brazier to 
have it made, as they make Kettles, but he would have it 
made as Hiram made his Brass-work, who wrought in 
Solomon 's Temple. 

10. To take away Bishops' Votes, is but the beginning 
to take them away ; for then they can be no longer useful 
to the King or State. 'Tis but like the little Wimble, to 
let in the greater Auger. Objection. But they are but 
for their Life, and that makes them always go for the King 
as he will have them. Answer. This is against a double 
Charity; for you must always suppose a bad King and 
bad Bishops. Then again, whether will a Man be sooner 
content himself should be made a Slave, or his Son after 
him? When we talk of our Children we mean ourselves. 
Besides, they that have Posterity are more obliged to the 
King than they that are only for themselves, in all the 
reason in the World. 

11. How shall the Clergy be in the Parliament, if the 
Bishops are taken away ? Answer. By the Laity ; be- 
cause the Bishops, in whom the rest of the Clergy are 
included, assent* to the taking away their own Votes, by 
being involv'd in the major Part of the House. This 
follows naturally. 

12. The Bishops being put out of the House, whom 
will they lay the fault upon now ? When the Dog is beat 
out of the Room, where will they lay the stink? 

* Original Edition, tire sent. 




TABLE- TALK. 17 



Bishops out of the Parliament. 

N the beginning Bishops and Presbyters were 
alike, like the Gentlemen in the Country, 
whereof one is made Deputy-Lieutenant, and 
another Justice of Peace ; so one is made a Bishop, another 
a Dean ; and that kind of Government by Archbishops 
and Bishops no doubt came in, in imitation of the Tem- 
poral Government, not Jure Divino. In time of the 
Roman Empire, where they had a Legatus, there they 
placed an Archbishop ; where they had a Rector, there a 
Bishop, that every one might be instructed in Christianity, 
which now they had received into the Empire. 

2. They that speak ingenuously of Bishops and Pres- 
byters, say, that a Bishop is a great Presbyter, and, during 
the time of his being Bishop, above a Presbyter ; as your 
President of the College of Physicians, is above the rest, 
yet he himself is no more than a Doctor of Physic. 

3. The Words [Bishop and Presbyter] are promis- 
cuously used ; that is confessed by all ; * and though the 
Word [Bishop] be in Timothy and Titus, yet that will 
not prove the Bishops ought to have a Jurisdiction over 
the Presbyter, though Timothy or Titus had by the 



* Wyckliffe in his Trialogus says : " I boldly affirm, that in 
the time of Paul presbyter and bishop were names of the same 
office. This appears from the first chapter of the Epistle to 
Titus, and confirmed by that profound theologian Jerome." See 
Dr. Vaughan's Life of Wyckliffe, vol. ii. p. 275. 
C 



18 DISCOURSES, OR 

Order that was given them. Somebody must take care 
of the rest ; and that Jurisdiction was but to Excommuni- 
cate, and that was but to tell them they should come no 
more into their Company. Or grant they did make Ca- 
nons one for another, before they came to be in the State, 
does it follow they must do so when the State has receiv'd 
them into it ? What if Timothy had power in Ephesus, 
and Titus in Crete, over the Presbyters ? Does it follow 
therefore the Bishops must have the same in England ? 
Must we be govern'd like Ephesus and Crete ? 

4. However some of the Bishops pretend to be Jure 
Divino, yet the Practice of the Kingdom had ever been 
otherwise ; for whatever Bishops do otherwise than the 
Law permits, Westminster Hall can control, or send 
them to absolve, fyc. 

5. He that goes about to prove Bishops Jure Divino ; * 
does as a Man that having a Sword, shall strike it against 
an Anvil : if he strike it awhile there, he may peradven- 
ture loosen it, tho' it be never so well riveted, 'twill serve 
to strike another Sword, or cut Flesh, but not against 
an Anvil. 

6. If you should say you hold your Land by Moses' or 



* Who would not have laughed to hear a Presbyterian ob- 
serve, from the first chapter of Genesis, first verse, that whilst 
Moses relates what God made, he speaks nothing of Bishops ; by 
which it was evident that Bishops were not of divine institution. 
A conceit as ridiculous as that of a Priest, who finding Maria 
spoken of, signifying Seas, did brag that he had found the Virgin 
Mary named in the Old Testament. 

Beligio Stoicl, 12, Edinb. 1663, p. 77. 



TABLE-TALK, 19 

God's Law, and would try it by that, you may perhaps 
lose, but by the L&w of the Kingdom you are sure of it. 
So may the Bishops by this Plea of Jure Divino lose all. 
The Pope had as good a Title by the Law of England as 
could be had, had he not left that, and claimed by Power 
from God. 

7. There is no Government enjoin'd* by Example, but 
by Precept ; it does not follow we must have Bishops still, 
because we have had them so long. They are equally 
mad who say Bishops are so Jure Divino that they must 
be continued, and they who say they are so Antichristian 
that they must be put away. All is as the State pleases. 

8. To have no Ministers, but Presbyters, 'tis as if in 
the Temporal State they should have no Officers but 
Constables. Bishops do best stand with Monarchy ; that 
as amongst the Laity, you have Dukes, Lords, Lieuten- 
ants, Judges, $-c., to send down the King's Pleasure to his 
Subjects, so you have Bishops to govern the inferior 
Clergy. These upon occasion may address themselves to 
the King, otherwise every Parsonf of the Parish must 
come, and run up to the Court. 

9. The Protestants have no Bishops in France, because 
they live in a Catholic Country, and they will not have 
Catholic Bishops ; therefore they must govern themselves 
as well as they may. 

10. What is that to the purpose, to what End were 

* There is no Government enjoineil, &c. i. e. by example of 
other Governments but by that which is judged best for our 
own. 

j- Orig. Edit. Person, the old orthography of Parson. 



20 DISCOURSES, OR 

Bishops' Lands given to them at first ?* You must look 
to the Law and Custom of the Place. What is that to any 
Temporal Lord's Estate, how Lands were first divided, 
or how in William the Conqueror's Days ? And if Men 
at first were juggled out of their Estates, yet they are 
rightly their Successors. If my Father cheat a Man, and 
he consent to it, the Inheritance is rightly mine. 

11. If there be no Bishops, there must be something 
else which has the Power of Bishops, though it be in 
many ; and then had you not as good keep them ?f If you 
will have no Half-Crowns, but only single Pence, yet 
Thirty single Pence are half a Crown ; and then had you 
not as good keep both ? But the Bishops have done ill. 
'Twas the Men, not the Function : As if you should say, 
you would have no more Half-Crowns, because they were 
stolen, when the Truth is, they were not stolen because 
they were Half-Crowns, but because they were Money, 
and light in a Thief's hand. 

12. They that would pull down the Bishops and erect 
a new way of Government, do as he that pulls down an 
old House, and builds another in another Fashion. There's 
a great deal of do, and a great deal of trouble : the old rub- 

* Bishops' Lands. Ordered by the Parliament to be sold for the 
use of the Commonwealth, Nov. 16, 1646. 

t Dr. Aikin has observed that Selden steered a middle course, 
as one who was an enemy to the usurpations of Ecclesiastical 
power, yet was friendly to the discipline of the Church of England. 
He certainly strove in the House of Commons to prevent the 
abolition of Episcopacy. It is evident that he disliked the Presby- 
terians, but it would be difficult to say what church would have 
had his entire approbation. ., 



TABLE-TALK. 21 

bish must be carried away, and new materials must be 
brought : Workmen must be provided, and perhaps the 
old one would have serv'd as well. 

13. If the Parliament and Presbyterian Party should 
dispute, who should be Judge ? Indeed in the beginning 
of Queen Elizabeth, there was such a difference, between 
the Protestants and Papists, and Sir Nicholas Bacon, 
Lord Chancellor,* was appointed to be Judge; but the 
Conclusion was, the stronger Party carried it : For so 
Religion was brought into thesef Kingdoms, so it has 
been continued, and so it may be cast out, when the State 
pleases. 

14. 'Twill be great Discouragement to Scholars, that 
Bishops should be put down : for now the Father can say 
to his Son, and the Tutor to his Pupil, Study hard, and 
you shall have Vocem et Sedem in Parliamento ; then 
it must be, Study hard, and you shall have a hundred 
a year, if you please your Parish. Objection. But they 
that enter into the Ministry for Preferment, are like 
Judas that look'd after the Bag. Answer. It may be so, 
if they turn Scholars at Judas 's Age; but what Argu- 
ments will they use to persuade them to follow their Books 
while they are young ? 



* Sir Nicholas Bacon was never Chancellor. He was Keeper 
of the Great Seal. 

t The word these is omitted in Orig. Ed. 




22 DISCOURSES, OR 



Books, Authors. 

iving a Bookseller his Price for his Books 
has this Advantage ; he that will do so, shall 
have the refusal of whatsoever comes to his 
hand, and so by that means get many things, which other- 
wise he never should have seen. So 'tis in giving a Bawd 
her Price. 

2. In buying Books or other Commodities, 'tis not 
always the best way to bid half so much as the seller asks : 
witness the Country fellow that went to buy two [shove-] 
groat Shillings,* they ask'd him three Shillings, and he 
bade them Eighteen pence. 

3. They counted the Price of the Books (Acts xix. 19.) 
and found Fifty Thousand Pieces of Silver ; that is so 
many Sestertii, or so many Thrce-half-pence of our Money, 
about Three Hundred pound Sterling. 

4. Popish Books teach and inform ; what we know we 

* The word shove is wanting in the Original Edition, but one 
MS. copy has it shore, an evident mistake. 

The broad, flat, thin shillings of Edward VI. were anciently 
much in request for the game of shoce-groat or shuffle board. They 
were placed on the edge of the table or board projecting over it, 
and struck with the palm of the hand to certain chalk marks pro- 
gressively numbered. The game was originally played with sil- 
ver groats, then nearly as large as modern shillings. The reader 
will recollect Falstaff's "Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shove- 
groat Shilling." Master Slender's Edward shovel boards cost him 
" two shillings and twopence a piece. 5 ' See Douce's Illustrations 
of Shakespeare, vol. ii.p. 454, and Nares's Glossary in v. " Shove- 
groat." 



TABLE-TALK. 23 

know much out of them. The Fathers, Church Story, 
School-men, all may pass for Popish Books ; and if you 
take away them, what Learning will you leave ? Besides 
who must be Judge ? The Customer or the Waiter ? 
If he disallows a Book, it must not be brought into the 
Kingdom ;* then Lord have mercy upon all Scholars. 
These Puritan Preachers, if they have any things good, 
they have it out of Popish Books, tho' they will not ac- 
knowledge it, for fear of displeasing the People. He is a 
poor Divine that cannot sever the good from the bad. 

5. 'Tis good to have Translations, because they serve 
as a Comment, so far as the Judgement of the Man goes. 

6. In answering a Book, 'tis best to be short ; other- 
wise he that I write against will suspect I intend to weary 
him, not to satisfy him. Besides in being long I shall 
give my Adversary a huge advantage ; somewhere or other 
he will pick a hole. 

7. In quoting of Books, quote such Authors as are 
usually read ; others you may read for your own Satisfac- 
tion, but not name them.f 



* Customer, i. e. The officer of the Customs. The importa- 
tion of Popish Books was contraband ; it was one of the charges 
against Laud that he had suffered the customs to let pass many 
Popish Books. 

t We are told in the Walpoliana that Bentley would not even 
allow that a book was worthy to be read that could not be quoted. 
" Having found his son reading a novel, he said, Why read a 
book that you cannot quote ?" Selden's own conduct was at vari- 
ance with his dictum, for in his own works he freely quotes from 
all sources, many of them the most recondite, and certainly not 
such as '' are usually read." 



24 DISCOURSES, OR 

8. Quoting of Authors is most for matter of Fact, and 
then I cite* them as I would produce a Witness ; some- 
times for a free Expression ; and then I give the Author 
his due, and gain myself praise by reading him. 

9. To quote a Modern Dutchman, where I may use a 
Classic Author, is as if I were to justify my Reputation, 
and I neglect all Persons of Note and Quality that know 
me, and bring the Testimonial of the Scullion in the 
Kitchen. 

Canon Law. 

I would study the Canon Law as it is used in 
England, I must study the Heads here in 
use, then go to the Practisers in those Courts 

where that Law is practised, and know their Customs. 

So for all the Study in the World. 

Ceremony. 





keeps up all things : 'Tislike a 
Penny-Glass to a rich Spirit, or some excel- 
lent Water; without it the Water were spilt, 
the Spirit lost. 

2. Of all people Ladies have no reason to cry down 
Ceremony, for they take themselves slighted without it. 
And were they not used with Ceremony, with Compli- 
ments and Addresses, with Legs and Kissing of Hands, 
they were the pitifullest Creatures in the World. But 

* The first and second editions have write. Evidently an error. 




TABLE-TALK. 25 

yet methinks to kiss their Hands after their Lips, as some 
do, is like little Boys, that after they eat the Apple, fall 
to the Paring out of a Love they have to the Apple. 

Chancellor. 

Bishop is not to sit with a Chancellor in 
his Court, (as being a thing either beneath 
him or beside him,) no more than the King is 
to sit in the King 's-BencTi when he has made a Lord- 
Chief-Justice. 

2. The Chancellor govern'd in the Church, who was a 
Lay-man : * and therefore 'tis false which they charge the 
Bishops with, that they challenge sole Jurisdiction ; for 
the Bishop can no more put out the Chancellor than the 
Chancellor the Bishop. They were many of them made 
Chancellors for their Lives ; and he is the fittest Man to 
govern, because Divinity so overwhelms the rest. 



Changing Sides. 

the Trial of a Man to see if he will change 
his side ; and if he be so weak as to change 
once, he will change again. Your Country 
Fellows have a way to try if a Man be weak in the Hams, 



* The Chancellors of Dioceses are still several of them laymen, 
generally civilians. It is probable that, as Dr. Irving suggests, 
we should read they " were many of them made chancellors for 
their knowledge of the laws." 




26 DISCOURSES, OR 

by coming behind him and giving him a Blow unawares ; 
if he bend once, he will bend again. 

2. The Lords that fall from the King after they have 
got Estates by base Flattery at Court, and now pretend 
Conscience, do as a Vintner, that when he first sets up, 
you may bring your Wench to his House, and do your 
things there; but when he grows Rich, he turns con- 
scientious, and will sell no Wine upon the Sabbath-day. 

3. Colonel Goring* serving first the one side and then 
the other, did like a good Miller that knows how to grind 
which way soever the Wind sits. 

4. After Luther had made a Combustion in Germany 
about Religion, he was sent to by the Pope, to be taken 
off, and offer'd any Preferment in the Church, that he 
would make choice of: Luther answered, if he had offer'd 
half as much at first, he would have accepted it ; but now 
he had gone so far, he could not come back. In Truth he 
had made himself a greater thing than they could make 
him ; the German Princes courted him, he was become 
the Author of a Sect ever after to be called Lutherans. 
So have our Preachers done that are against the Bishops; 
they have made themselves greater with the people than 
they can be made the other way ; and therefore there is 
the less probability f in bringing them off. 



* Col. Goring. He was first sworn to the King's secret 
orders ; confessed to the House ; was entrusted by them with 
Portsmouth, which he surrendered to Charles in 1642, &c. " He 
would (says Clarendon) without hesitation have broken any trust 
or done any act of treachery, to have satisfied any ordinary pas- 
sion or appetite." 

j- The Original Edition misprints this, " charity probably." 




TABLE-TALK. 27 



Charity.* 

HARITY to Strangers is enjoin'd in the Text. 
By Strangers is there understood those that are 
not of our own Kin, Strangers to your Blood ; 
not those you cannot tell whence they come ; that is, be 
charitable to your Neighbours whom you know to be 
honest poor People. 

Christmas. 

CHRISTMAS succeeds the Saturnalia, the 
same time, the same number of Holy-days; 
then the Master waited upon the Servant like 
the Lord of Misrule. 

2. Our Meats and our Sports, much of them, have Re- 
lation to Church-works. The Coffin of our Christmas- 
Pies, in shape long, is in Imitation of the Cratch ; our 
choosing Kings and Queens on JW (/if A- Night, hath 
reference to the three Kings. So likewise our eating of 
Fritters, whipping of Tops, roasting of Herrings, Jack of 
Lents,f <Sfc., they were all in Imitation of Church-works, 
Emblems of Martyrdom. Our Tansies at Easter have 



* The word Charity, placed as above noted in the text of the 
Original Edition, should have been the head title of this Article, 
which is erroneously blended with the preceding, to which it has 
no relation. 

f Jack o' Lents, i. e. Puppets to be pelted at like shrove-cocks 
in Lent. 





28 DISCOURSES, OR 

reference to the bitter Herbs ; though, at the same time 
'twas always the Fashion for a Man to have a Gammon of 
Bacon to show himself to be no Jew. 



Christians. 

N the High-Church of Jerusalem, the Christ- 
tians were but another Sect of Jews, that did 
believe the Messias was come. To be called, 
was nothing else, but to become a Christian, to have the 
Name of a Christian, it being their own Language-; for 
amongst the Jews, when they made a Doctor of Law, 'twas 
said he was called. 

2. The Turks tell their People of a Heaven where 
there is sensible Pleasure, but of a Hell where they shall 
suffer they don't know what. The Christians quite invert 
this Order ; they tell us of a Hell where we shall feel 
sensible Pain, but of a Heaven where we shall enjoy we 
can't tell what. 

3. Why did the Heathens object to the Christians, 
that they worship an Ass's Head ? * You must know, that 
to a Heathen, a Jew and a Christian were all one ; -j- that 

* V. Minucius Felix in Octavio, cap. 28, (ubi hsec Csecilii 
verba laudatur : Audire te dicis caput asini rem nobis esse di- 
vinam ? Quis tarn stultus, ut hac colat ? quis stultior, ut hoc 
credat. Conf. Martialis II. 95 ; Tacitus, Hist. lib. v. 4.), and 
Ruperti's Commentary, where the subject is discussed and refer- 
ences given to everything bearing on the subject. 

t This opinion is founded on the passage in Suetonius. Claudius, 
25. But see Van Dale de Oraculis Veterum Ethnicorum, p. 604. 
Gibbon, vol. ii. p. 401. Watson's Apology, p. 88. 



TABLE-TALK. 29 

they regarded him not, so he was not one of them. Now 
that of the Ass's JFIead might proceed from such a Mis- 
take as this; by the Jews Law, all the Firstlings of 
Cattle were to be offered to God, except a young Ass, 
which was to be redeemed. A Heathen being present, 
and seeing young Calves and young Lambs kill'd at their 
Sacrifices, only young Asses redeem'd, might very well 
think they had that silly Beast in some high Estimation, 
and thence might imagine they worshipped it as a God. 

Church. 

JERETOFORE the Kingdom let the Church 
| alone, let them do what they would, because 
p they had something else to think of, {viz.) 
Wars ; but now in time of Peace, we begin to examine 
all things, will have nothing but what we like, grow 
dainty and wanton; just as in a Family when the Heir 
uses to go a hunting ; he never considers how his Meal 
is drest, takes a bit, and away ; but when he stays within, 
then he grows curious ; he does not like this, nor he does 
not like that ; he will have his Meat drest his own way, or 
peradventure he will dress it himself. 

2. It hath ever been the game* of the Church when the 
King will let the Church have no Power to cry down the 
King and cry up the Church : But when the Church can 
make use of the King's Power, then to bring all under 
the King's Prerogative. The Catholics of England go 
one way, and the Court-Clergy another. 

* Original Edition, gain. 




30 DISCOURSES, OR 

3. A glorious Church is like a magnificent Feast ; there 
is all the Variety that may be, but every one chooses out 
a Dish or two that he likes, and lets the rest alone : how 
glorious soever the Church is, every one chooses out of it 
his own Religion, by which he governs himself, and lets 
the rest alone. 

4. The Laws of the Church are most favourable to the 
Church, because they were the Church's own making; 
as the Heralds are the best Gentlemen, because they make 
their own Pedigree. 

5. There is a Question about that Article, concerning 
the Power of the Church, whether these Words [of hav- 
ing Power in Controversies of Faith] * were not stolen 
in ; but 'tis most certain they were in the Book of A rticles 
that was confirm'd, though in some Editions they have 
been left out: But the Article before tells you, who the 
Church is, not the Clergy, but Ccetus Jidelium. 

Church of Rome. 

[EFORE a Juggler's Tricks are discover'd we 
admire him, and give him Money, but after- 
wards we care not for them ; so 'twas before 
the Discovery of the Juggling of the Church of Rome. 

2. Catholics say, we out of our Charity believe they 
of the Church of Rome may be saved, but they do not 

* " Of having power in controversies." Article 20th. Inserted, 
says Fuller, in the original edition, 1562-3, 1593, 1605, 1612, 
omitted edition 1571, when first ratified by act of Parliament. 




TABLE-TALK. 31 

believe so of us ; therefore their Church is better ac- 
cording to ourselves. First, some of them no doubt, 
believe as well of us, as we do of them, but they must 
not say so. Besides, is that an Argument their Church 
is better than ours because it has less Charity ? 

3. One of the Church of Rome will not come to our 
Prayers ; does that argue he doth not like them ? I would 
fain see a Catholic leave his Dinner, because a Noble- 
man's Chaplain says Grace. Nor haply would he leave 
the Prayers of the Church, if going to Church were not 
made a Mark of Distinction between a Protestant and a 
Papist. 

Churches. 

Way coming into our great Churches, was 
anciently at the West-Door, that Men might 
see the Altar, and all the Church before them ; 
the other Doors were but Posterns.* 

* I received letters lately out of France touching this point 
Whether we find that any Churches in the elder times of Chris- 
tianity were with the doors, or fronts eastward or no ? because 
of that in Sidonius : Arce Frontis ortum spectat sequinoctialem, 
lib. 2. Ep. 10. and other like. I beseech your Lordship to let me 
know what you think hereof. 

My Titles of Honour are in the press, and new written, but I 
hear it shall be staid ; if not I shall salute you with one as soon 
as it is done. 

Selden to Usher, March 24, 1621. 

Usher to Selden. 

Touching that which you move concerning the situation of 
Churches in the elder times of Christianity, Walafridus Strabo 





32 DISCOURSES, OR 



City. 

'HAT makes a City; whether a Bishopric or 
any of that nature ? 

Answer. 'Tis according to the first Charter 
which made them a Corporation. If they are incorporated 
by Name of Civitas, they are a City; if by the name of 
JBurgum, then they are a Borough. 

2. The Lord Mayor of London by their first Charter, 
was to be presented to the King ; in his absence, to the 
Lord Chief Justiciary of England, afterwards to the 
Lord Chancellor, now to the Barons of the Exchequer ; 

(De Reb. Ecclesiast. c. 4.) telleth us : Non magnopere curabunt 
illius temporis justi, quam in partem orationis loca converterent. 
Yet his conclusion is, Sed tamen usus frequentior, et rationi vici- 
nior habet, in Orientem orantes convert!, et pluralitatem maximam 
Ecclesiarum eo tenore constitui. Which does further also appear 
by the testimony of Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, in his 12th epistle 
to Severus : Prospectus vero Basilicse non, ut usitatior mos, 
Orientem spectat. And particularly with us here in Ireland, 
Josceline, in the Life of St. Patrick, observeth, that a Church 
was built by him in Sabul, hard by Downe (in Ulster), " Ab 
aquilouali parte versus meridianum plagam." Add hereunto 
that place of Socrates, lib. 5. Hist. Eccles. c. 22. Ev Ajm<>xp 
TI] Supiae, j EKKXjjirta avriffTpotyov t%ii rr\v Qiaiv ov yap Trpoe 
avaroXag TO OvcnaffTijpiov, a\\a Trpog Svffiv opa. And compare 
it with that other place of Walafridus Strabo, where he sheweth 
both in the Church that Constantine and Helena builded at Jeru- 
salem ; and at Rome also in the Church of All Saints (which 
before was the Pantheon), and St. Peter's ; " Altaria non tantum 
ad Orientem, sed etiam in alias } artes esse distributa." 
April 16, 1622. 




TABLE-TALK. 33 

but still there was a Reservation, that for their Honour 
they should com& once a Year to the King, as they do 
still. 

Clergy. 

i HOUGH a Clergyman have no Faults of his 
own, yet the Faults of the whole Tribe shall 
be laid upon him, so that he shall be sure not 
to lack. 

2. The Clergy would have us believe them against our 
own Reason, as the Woman would have had her Husband 
against his own Eyes : W T hat ! will you believe your own 
Eyes before your own sweet Wife ! 

3. The Condition of the Clergy towards their Prince, 
and the Condition of the Physician is all one ; the Phy- 
sicians tell the Prince they have Agarick and Rhubarb, 
good for him and good for his Subjects' Bodies; upon 
this he gives them leave to use it ; but if it prove naught, 
then away with it, they shall use it no more : So the 
Clergy tell the Prince they have Physic good for his 
Soul, and good for the Souls of his People ; upon that 
he admits them ; but when he finds by Experience they 
both trouble him and his People, he will have no more to 
do with them. What is that to them, or any body else, 
if a King will not go to Heaven ? 

4. A Clergyman goes not a dram further than this, 
you ought to obey your Prince in general. If he does 
he is lost. How to obey him, you must be inform'd by 
those whose Profession it is to tell you. The Parson of 

D 



34 DISCOURSES, OR 

the Tower, a good discreet Man, told Dr. Mo.sely, (who 
was sent to me and the rest of the Gentlemen committed 
the 3d. Caroli, to persuade us to submit to the King) 
that he found no such Words as Parliament, Halean 
Corpus, Return, Tower, &c., neither in the Fathers, 
nor the Schoolmen, nor in the Text ; and therefore for 
his part he believed he understood nothing of the Busi- 
ness. A Satire upon all those Clergymen that meddle 
with Matters they do not understand. 

5. All confess there never was a more learned Clergy ; 
no Man taxes them with Ignorance. But to talk of that, 
is like the fellow that was a great Wencher ; he wish'd 
God would forgive him his Lechery, and lay Usury to 
his Charge. The Clergy have worse Faults. 

6. The Clergy and the Laity together are never like 
to do well ; 'tis as if a Man were to make an excellent 
Feast, and should have his Apothecary and his Physician 
come into the Kitchen ; the Cooks if they were let alone 
would make excellent Meat; but then comes the Apothe- 
cary and he puts Rhubarb into one Sauce and Agarick 
into another Sauce. Chain up the Clergy on both sides.* 

* Chain up both sides, i. e. Court-clergy and Puritan. 




TABLE-TALK. 35 



High Commission* 

I EN cry out upon the High Commission, as if 
the Clergymen only had to do in it, when I 
believe there are more Lay -men in Commission 
there, than Clergy-men ; if the Lay-men will not come, 
whose fault is that ? So of the Star-Chamber ; the People 
think the Bishops only censur'd Prynne, Burton, and 
Bastwick, when there were but two there, and one spake 
not in his own Case.f 

House of Commons. 

i 

.HERE be but two Erroneous Opinions in the 
House of Commons : That the Lords sit only 
for themselves, when the Truth is, they sit as 
well for the Commonwealth. The Knights and Burgesses 
sit for themselves and others, some for more, some for 
fewer ; and what is the Reason ? Because the Room will 
not hold all. The Lords being few, they all come ; and 



* Established in the first year of Eliz. in place of a greater 
power under the Pope, (says Clarendon,) Commissioners who 
exercised the King's Ecclesiastical Supremacy. Intended as a 
Court to reform manners, it grew to a contempt of the Common 
Law to reprehend the Judges, &c. It was abolished in 1641. 

t " There were but two there, and one spake,'' fyc. London and 
Canterbury. Prynne and the others arraigned them for sitting 
judges in their own cause. Laud made a long speech, says Fuller, 
against making innovations in the Church, and concluded, ' that 
he left the prisoners to God's mercy and the King's justice." 




36 DISCOURSES, OR 

imagine the Room able to hold all the Commons of 
England, then the Knights and Burgesses would sit no 
otherwise than the Lords do. The second Error is, that 
the House of Commons are to begin to give Subsidies, 
yet if the Lords dissent they can give no money. 

2. The House of Commons is called the Lower House, 
in twenty Acts of Parliament ; but what are twenty Acts 
of Parliament amongst Friends ? 

3. The Form of a Charge runs thus ; / Accuse in the 
Name of all the Commons of England. How then can 
any Man be as a Witness, when every Man is made the 
Accuser ? 

Confession. 

f 

N time of Parliament it used to be one of the 
first things the House did, to Petition the 
King that his Confessor might be removed, 
as fearing either his Power with the King, or else, lest he 
should reveal to the Pope what the House was in doing ; 
as no doubt he did when the Catholic Cause was con- 
cerned. 

2. The Difference between us and the Papists is, we 
both allow Contrition, but the Papists make Confession 
a part of Contrition ; they say a Man is not sufficiently 
contrite, till he confess his Sins to a Priest. 

3. Why should I think a Priest will not reveal Con- 
fession ? I am sure he will do any thing that is forbidden 
him, haply not so often as I. The utmost Punishment 
is Deprivation ; and how can it be proved, that ever any 





TABLE-TALK. 37 

Man revealed Confession, when there is no Witness? 
And no Man can be Witness in his own Cause. A mere 
Gullery. There was a time when 'twas public in the 
Church, and that is much against their Auricular Confes- 
sion. 



Competency. 

* 

which is a Competency for one Man, is 
not enough for another, no more than that 
which will keep one Man warm, will keep 
another Man warm : one Man can go in Doublet and 
Hose, when another Man cannot be without a Cloak, and 
yet have no more Clothes than is necessary for him. 



Great Conjunction. 

HE greatest Conjunction of Saturn and Ju- 
piter, happens but .once in eight Hundred 
Years, and therefore Astrologers can make 
no Experiments of it, nor foretel what it means ; not but 
that the Stars may mean something; but we cannot tell 
what, because we cannot come at them. Suppose a Planet 
were a Simple, or an Herb, how could a Physician tell 
the Virtue of that Simple, unless he could come at it, to 
apply it ? 





38 DISCOURSES, OR 



Conscience. 

i E that hath a Scrupulous Conscience, is like a 
Horse that is not well weigh'd,* he starts at 
every Bird that flies out of the Hedge. 

2. A knowing Man will do that, which a tender Con- 
science Man dares not do, by reason of his Ignorance ; 
the other knows there is no hurt ; as a Child is afraid to 
go into the dark, when a Man is not, because he knows 
there is no Danger. 

3. If we once come to leave that outloose, as to pretend 
Conscience against Law, who knows what inconvenience 
may follow ? For thus, Suppose an Anabaptist comes 
and takes my Horse, I Sue him ; he tells me he did ac- 
cording to his Conscience; his Conscience tells him all 
things are common amongst the Saints, what is mine is 
his ; therefore you do ill to make such a Law, " If any 
Man takes another's Horse he shall be hanged." What 
can I say to this Man ? He does according to his Con- 
science. Why is not he as honest a Man as he that pre- 
tends a Ceremony established by Law is against his Con- 
science ? Generally to pretend Conscience against Law 
is dangerous ; in some Cases haply we may. 

4. Some men make it a Case of Conscience, whether a 
Man may have a Pigeon-house, because his Pigeons eat 
other Folks' Corn. But there is no such thing as Con- 
science in the Business ; the Matter is, whether he be a 



* Dr. Wilkins reads well wayed, which is probably the right word. 




TABLE. TALK. 39 

Man of such Quality, that the State allows him to have a 
Dove-house ; if so, there's an end of the business ; his 
Pigeons have a right to eat where they please themselves.* 

Consecrated Places. 

^JTV HE Jews had a peculiar way of consecrating 
things to God, which we have not. 

2. Under the Law, God, who was Master 
of all, made choice of a Temple to worship in, where he 
was more especially present; just as the Master of the 
House, who owns all the House, makes choice of one 
Chamber to lie in, which is called the Master's Chamber. 
But under the Gospel there was no such thing; Temples 
and Churches are set apart for the conveniency of Men 
to Worship in ; they cannot meet upon the Point of a 
Needle ; but God himself makes no choice. 

3. All things are God's already ; we can give him no 
right, by consecrating any, that he had not before, only 
we set it apart to his Service. Just as a Gardener brings 
his Lord and Master a Basket of Apricocks, and presents 
them, his Lord thanks him, perhaps gives him something 
for his pains, and yet the Apricocks were as much his 
Lord's before as now. 

4. \Vhat is Consecrated, is given to some particular 

* To have a dove-house. A Lord of a Manor may build a dove- 
cot upon his land, parcel of his manor ; but a tenant of the 
manor cannot do it without licence. 3 Salkeld, 248. But any 
Freeholder may build a dove-cot on his own ground. Cro. Jac. 
382. 490. Burn's Justice. 




40 DISCOURSES, OR 

man, to do God Service, not given to God, but given to 
Man to serve God; and there's not any thing, Lands, or 
Goods, but some Men or other have it in their Power to 
dispose of as they please. The saying things Consecrated 
cannot be taken away, makes men afraid of Consecration. 
5. Yet Consecration has this Power ; when a Man has 
Consecrated any thing to God, he cannot of himself take 
it away. 

Contracts. 

I F our Fathers have lost their Liberty, why may 
not we labour to regain it ? Answ. We must 
look to the Contract ; if that be rightly made 
we must stand to it ;* if we once grant we may recede 
from Contracts upon any inconveniency that may after- 
wards happen, we shall have no Bargain kept. If I sell 
you a Horse, and do not like my Bargain, I will have my 
Horse again. 

2. Keep your Contracts, so far a Divine goes, but how 
to make our Contracts is left to ourselves ; and as we 
agree upon the conveying of this House, or that Land, 
so it must be. If you offer me a Hundred Pounds for my 



* It will be evident that the force of this observation must de- 
pend upon the word rightly. But hear the judicious Barrow : 
" An indefectible power cannot be settled by man, because there 
is no power ever extant at one time greater than there is at 
another ; so that whatever power we may raise, the other may 
demolish : there being no bonds whereby the present time may 
bind all posterity." 



TABLE-TALK. 41 

Glove, I tell you what my Glove is, a plain Glove, pre- 
tend no Virtue in it, the Glove is my own, I profess not 
to sell Gloves, and we agree for an hundred Pounds, I do 
not know why I may not with a safe Conscience take it. 
The want of that common Obvious Distinction of Jus 
preeceptivum, and Jus permissivum,* does much trouble 
Men. 

3. Lady Kent Articled with Sir Edward Herbert, 
that he should come to her when she sent for him, and 
stay with her as long as she would have him, to which he 
set his hand ; then he Articled with her, That he should 
go away when he pleased, and stay away as long as he 
pleased, to which she set her hand.-f- This is the Epitome 
of all the Contracts in the World, betwixt Man and Man, 
betwixt Prince and Subject, they keep them as long as 
they like them, and no longer. 



* Jus permissivum, fy. The Law that enjoins, and the Law that 
suffers. " If this doth authorize usury which before was but per- 
missive" &c. Bacon. 

f Sir Edward Herbert, Solicitor and Attorney General to 
Charles the First, and for some time Lord Keeper to Charles the 
Second, when in exile. Dr. Aikin says that a legal friend sug- 
gested to him that Sir Edward Herbert, who was an eminent 
lawyer, was probably retained for his advice by Lady Kent, at an 
annual salary ; and he produced examples of deeds granted for 
payments on the same account, one of them as late as the year 
1715. Hence it would appear that the lady had a great deal of 
law business on her hands, which would render the domestic 
counsel of such a person as Selden very valuable to her. 





42 DISCOURSES, OR 

Council. 

talk (but blasphemously enough) thjjt 
the Holy Ghost is President of their General 
Councils, when the Truth is, the odd Man is 
still the Holy Ghost. 

Convocation* 

'HEN the King sends his Writ for a Parlia- 
ment, he sends for two Knights for a Shire, 
and two Burgesses for a Corporation ; but 
when he sends, for two Arch-Bishops for a Convocation, 
he commands them to assemble the whole Clergy ; but 
they, out of Custom amongst themselves, send to the 
Bishops of their Provinces to will them to bring two Clerks 
for a Diocese, the Dean, one for the Chapter, and the 
Arch-Deacons ; but to the King every Clergyman is there 
present. 

2. We have nothing so nearly expresses the Power of 
a Convocation, in respect of a Parliament, as a Court- 
Leet, where they have a Power to make By-Laws, as they 



* The Convocation summoned with the Parliament in April, 
1640, continued after that Parliament was dissolved, under a new 
writ, says Clarendon, " under the proper title of a Synod. Made 
Canons which it was thought it might do; and gave subsidies out 
of Parliament, and enjoined oaths, which it certainly might not 
do, " &c. 




TABLE-TALK. 43 

call them ; as that a Man shall put so many Cows or 
Sheep in the Common ; but they can make nothing that 
is contrary to the Laws of the Kingdom. 



Creed. 

THANASIUS'S Creed is the shortest,* 
take away the Preface, and the Force, and the 
Conclusion, which are not part of the Creed. 
In the Nicene Creed it is etc iKK\riaiav, I believe in the 
Church ; but now, as our Common-prayer has it, I believe 
one Catholic and Apostolic Church. They like not Creeds, 
because they would have no Forms of Faith, as they have 
none of Prayer, though there be more reason for the one 
than for the other. 

Damnation. 

; F the Physician sees you eat any thing that is 
not good for your Body, to keep you from it, 
he cries 'tis Poison ; if the Divine sees you 
do any thing that is hurtful for your Soul, to keep you 
from it, he cries you are damned. 

2. To preach long, loud, and Damnation, is the way to 
be cried up. We love a Man that damns us, and we run 
after him again to save us. If a Man had a sore Leg, 
and he should go to an Honest Judicious Chirurgeon, and 



* Creed. Shorted. It is confined to the Trinity ; leaving out 
Catholic Church, Communion of Saints, &c. 




44 DISCOURSES, OR 

he should only bid him keep it warm, and anoint with such 
an Oil (an Oil well known) that would do the Cure, haply 
he would not much regard him, because he know! the 
Medicine beforehand an ordinary Medicine. But if he 
should go to a Surgeon that should tell him, your Leg will 
Gangrene within three days, and it must be cut off, and 
you will die, unless you do something that I could tell you, 
what listening there would be to this Man ! Oh, for the 
Lord's Sake, tell me what this is ; I will give you any 
content for your pains. 

Devils. 

HY have we none possessed with Devils in 
England? The old Answer is, the Protes- 
tants the Devil hath already, and the Papists 
are so Holy, he dares not meddle with them. Why then 
beyond Seas where a Nun is possest, when a Huguenot 
comes into the Church, does not the Devil hunt them 
out ? The Priest teaches him.* you never saw the Devil 
throw up a Nun's coats ; mark that, the Priest will not 
suffer it, for then the People will spit at him. 

2. Casting out Devils is mere Juggling ; they never cast 
out any but what they first cast in. They do it where for 
Reverence no Man shall dare to examine it ; they do it 
in a Corner, in a Mortise-hole, not in the Market-place. 
They do nothing but what may be done by Art; they 



* Him, i. e. the Devil. Find out the Huguenots and enter into 
them, or hunt them out of the Church. 




TABLE-TALK. 45 

make the Devil fly out of the Window, in the Likeness of 
a Bat or a Rat ; why do they not hold him ? Why in the 
Likeness of a Bat, or a Rat, or some Creature ? That is, 
why not in some shape we paint him in, with Claws and 
Horns ? By this trick they gain much, gain upon Men's 
Fancies, and so are reverenced ; and certainly if the Priest 
deliver me from him that is my most deadly Enemy, I 
have all the reason in the World to reverence him. Ob- 
jection. But if this be Juggling, why do they punish 
Impostures? Answer, For great reason, because they 
do not play their part well, and for fear others should 
discover them ; and so all of them ought to be of the same 
Trade. 

3. A Person of Quality came to my Chamber in the 
Temple, and told me he had two Devils in his Head (I 
wondered what he meant), and just at that time, one of 
them bid him kill me : with that I begun to be afraid, and 
thought he was mad. He said he knew I could cure him, 
and therefore entreated me to give him something ; for he 
was resolved he would go to no body else. I perceiving 
what an Opinion he had of me, and that 'twas only Melan- 
choly that troubled him, took him in hand, warranted him, 
if he would follow my directions to cure him in a short 
time. I desired him to let me be alone about an hour, 
and then to come again, which he was very willing to. In 
the meantime I got a Card, and lapped it up handsome 
in a Piece of Taffata, and put Strings to the Taffata, and 
when he came, gave it him to hang about his Neck, withal 
charged him, that he should not disorder himself neither 
with eating or drinking, but eat very little of Supper, and 



46 DISCOURSES, OR 

say his Prayers duly when he went to Bed, and I made 
no Question but he would be well in three or four Days. 
Within that time I went to Dinner to his House, and 
asked him how he did ? He said he was much better, but 
not perfectly well, or in truth he had not dealt clearly with 
me. He had four Devils in his head, and he perceived two 
of them were gone, with that which I had given him, but 
the other two troubled him still. Well, said I, I am glad 
two of them are gone ; I make no doubt but to get away 
the other two likewise. So I gave him another thing to 
hang about his Neck. Three Days after he came to me 
to my Chamber and profest he was now as well as ever he 
was in his Life, and did extremely thank me for the great 
Care I had taken of him. I fearing lest he might relapse 
into the like Distemper, told him that there was none but 
myself, and one Physician more in the whole Town that 
could cure Devils in the Head, and that was Dr. Harvey 
(whom I had prepared), and wished him, if ever he found 
himself ill in my Absence, to go to him, for he could cure 
his Disease as well as myself. The Gentleman lived many 
Years and was never troubled after. 

Self Denial. 

much the Doctrine of the times, that Men 
should not please themselves, but deny them- 
selves every thing they take delight in ; not 
look upon Beauty, wear no good Clothes, eat no good 
Meat, c. which seems the greatest Accusation that can 
be upon the Maker of all good things. If they be not to 





TABLE-TALK. 47 

be used, why did God make them ? The truth is, they that 
preach against them cannot make use of them theirselves, 
and then again, they get Esteem by seeming to condemn 
them. But mark it while you live, if they do not please 
themselves as much as they can ; and we live more by 
Example than Precept.* 

Duel. 

DUEL may still be granted in some Cases 
by the Law of England, and only there. 
That the Church allowed it Anciently, appears 
by this : in their public Liturgies there were Prayers 
appointed for the Duellists to say ; the Judge used to bid 
them go to such a Church and pray, fyc. But whether is 
this Lawful ? If you grant any War Lawful, I make no 
doubt but to convince it. War is Lawful, because God 
is the only Judge between two, that are Supreme.f Now 
if a Difference happen between two Subjects, and it can- 
not be decided by Human Testimony, why may they not 
put it to God to Judge between them by the Permission 
of the Prince ? Nay, what if we should bring it down for 
Argument's sake, to the Swordmen ? One gives me the 
Lie, 'tis a great disgrace to take it ; the Law has made no 
Provision to give Remedy for the Injury, if you can sup- 

* We live more by example than precept, and show our lives 
more in what we do than what we say. 

t This is the reading of the MS. in the Harleian collection. 
The original Edition has, " two that is supreme." The meaning 
appears to be two that acknowledge no common jurisdiction. 



48 DISCOURSES, OR 

pose any thing an Injury for which the Law gives no Re- 
medy : why am not I in this Case Supreme, and may there- 
fore right myself?* 

2. A Duke ought to fight with a Gentleman. The Rea- 
son is this : the Gentleman will say to the Duke 'tis True, 
you hold a higher Place in the State than I : there's a 
great distance between you and me, but your Dignity does 
not Privilege you to do me an Injury ; as soon as ever 
you do me an Injury, you make yourself my equal ; and as 
you are my equal I challenge you ; and in sense the Duke 
is bound to Answer him. This will give you some Light 
to understand the Quarrel betwixt a Prince and his Sub- 
jects. Though there be a vast Distance between him and 
them, and they are to obey him, according to their Con- 
tract, yet he hath no power to do them an Injury : then 
they think themselves as much bound to vindicate their 
Right, as they are to obey his Lawful Commands ; nor is 
there any other measure of Justice left upon Earth but 
Arms. 



* But Selden has himself remarked in his treatise of " the 
Duello or Single-Combat," chap. iv. That the divine law and 
Christianity teach otherwise. One of the most satisfactory evi- 
dences of advancing civilization in a right direction is the unfre- 
quency of this hateful practice among us. Paley has truly said, 
" Murder is forbidden; and wherever human life is taken away, 
otherwise than by public authority, there is murder." Moral and 
Political Philosophy, vol. i. p. 270. 



TABLE-TALK. 



49 



Epitaph. 

N Epitaph must be made fit for the Person for 
whom it is made. For a Man to say all the 
Excellent things that can be said upon one, and 
call that his Epitaph, is as if a Painter should make the 
handsomest Piece he can possibly make, and say 'twas my 
Picture. It holds in a Funeral Sermon. 





Equity. 

QUITY in Law, is the same that the Spirit is 
in Religion, what every one pleases to make 
it. Sometimes they go according to Con- 
science, sometimes according to Law, sometimes accord- 
ing to the Rule of Cour,t. 

2. Equity is a Roguish thing : for Law we have a mea- 
sure, know what to trust to ; Equity is according to the 
Conscience of him that is Chancellor, and as that is larger 
or narrower, so is Equity. "Pis all one as if they should 
make the Standard for the measure, we call a Foot, a 
Chancellor's Foot ; what an uncertain Measure would this 
be ? One Chancellor has a long Foot, another a short 
Foot, a Third an indifferent Foot : Tis the same thing 
in the Chancellor's Conscience. 

3. That saying, " Do as you would be done to," is often 
misunderstood, for 'tis not thus meant, that I a private 

E 



50 DISCOURSES, OR 

Man should do to you a private Man, as I would have you 
to me, but do, as we have agreed to do one to another by 
public Agreement. If the Prisoner should ask the Judge, 
whether he would be content to be hanged, were he in his 
case, he would answer no. Then says the Prisoner, do as 
you would be done to. Neither of them must do as pri- 
vate Men, but the Judge must do by him as they have 
publicly agreed ; that is, both Judge and Prisoner have 
consented to a Law, that if either of them steal, they shall 
be hanged. 



Evil Speaking. 

iE that speaks ill of another, commonly before 
he is aware, makes himself such a one as he 
speaks against ; for if he had Civility or Breed- 
ing he would forbear such kind of Language. 

2. A gallant Man is above ill words : an Example we 
have in the old Lord of Salisbury, who was a great wise 
Man. Stone had call'd some Lord about Court, Fool ; the 
Lord complains, and has Stone whipt : Stone, cries, I 
might have called my Lord of Salisbury Fool often enough, 
before he would have had me whipt.* 

* Whipping was the punishment generally inflicted. Lear 
threatens his fool with the whip. '' Every one knows, says 
Mr. Douce, the disgraceful conduct of Archbishop Laud to poor 
Archee. As Laud was proceeding to the council, the jester 
siccosted him with ' Wha's foule now ? doth not your Grace hear 
the news from Striveling ahout the Liturgy ?' This. was not to be 
pardoned either by the prelate or his master, and the records of 




TABLE-TALK. 51 

3. Speak not ill of a great Enemy, but rather give him 
good words, that he may use you the better, if you chance 
to fall into his Hands. The Spaniard did this when he 
was dying. His Confessor told him (to work him to Re- 
pentance) how the Devil tormented the wicked that went 
to Hell: the Spaniard replying, called the Devil my 
Lord. I hope my Lord the Devil is not so cruel, his 
Confessor reproved him. Excuse me said the Don, for 
calling him so, I know not into what Hands I may fall, 
and if I happen into his, I hope he will use me the better, 
for giving him good words. 



the council, March 11. 1637-8, tell us that Archibald Armstrong, 
the king's fool, for certain scandalous words of a high nature 
spoken by him against the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury his 
grace, shall have his coat pulled over his head, and be discharged 
the king's service, and banished the court." See Bushworth, part 
ii. vol. i. p.471. Bruntome, " Dames Gu/antes"adfin. relates a story 
of a fool belonging to Elizabeth of France, who got a whipping 
in the kitchen for a licentious speech to his mistress. The 
haughty Duke D'Espernon was however more discreet; his Gas- 
con accent was a constant source of raillery on the part of Maret, 
the fool of Lewis xin., whose talent lay in mimicry. Richelieu 
admonished the Duke to get rid of his provincial tones, at the same 
time counterfeiting his' manner, and sarcastically entreated him 
not to take the advice in bad part. " Why should I,' 3 replied the 
Duke, " when I bear as much every day from the King's fool who 
mocks me in your presence?" Vigneui de Murville, Melanges, 
ii. 50. 




52 DISCOURSES, OR 



Excommunication* 

* HAT place they bring for Excommunication, 
" put away from among yourselves that wicked 
Person," 1 Cor.v. Chap. 13 Verse is corrupted 
in the Greek: for it should be, ro Trovypor, put away that 
Evil from among you, not rbv TroVjjpoj', that Evil Person, 
besides, b irovqpos is the Devil in Scripture, and it may 
be so taken there ; and there is a new Edition of Theo- 
doret come out, that has it right ro novripbv. 'Tis true 
the Christians before the Civil State became Christian, 
did by Covenant and Agreement set down how they 
should live, and he that did not observe what they agreed 
upon, should come no more amongst them, that is, be 
Excommunicated. Such Men are spoken of by the Apostle 
[Romans i. 31.] whom he calls aavvStrovs KOI aairov^ovc, 
the Vulgate has it Incompositos et sine feeder e the last 
word is pretty well, but the first not at all. Origen in 
his Book against Celsus, speaks of the Christians' awQiiKrf : 
the Translation renders it Conventus, as [if] it signifies 
a Meeting, when it is plain it signifies a Covenant, and the 

* All this was argued by Selden in the Assembly of Divines, 
March, 1644-5. The Presbyterians claiming the Keys of Heaven 
to retain or remit sins to exclude from Sacrament, &c. (See 
articles " Sacrament," " Synod," " Assembly.") At last it was 
decided that the Presbyterian Synods might have the power to 
suspend from Sacrament, &c. but always subject to the final 
decision of Parliament if an appeal were made. The Presbyterians 
protest against this vote ; and are warned that they have violated 
the Privileges of Parliament, and come under a Pracmunire. 



TABLE-TALK. 53 

English Bible turned the other Word well, " Covenant- 
breakers.'' Pliny tells us, the Christians took an Oath 
amongst themselves to live thus and thus.* 

2. The other place, f Die Ecclesice Matth. xviii. 17, tell 
the Church, is but a weak Ground to raise Excommuni- 
cation upon, especially from the Sacrament, the lesser 
Excommunication; since when that was spoken, the Sa- 
crament was [notj] instituted. The Jews Ecclesia was 
their Sanhedrim, their Court : so that the meaning is, if 
after once or twice Admonition, this Brother will not be 
reclaimed, bring him thither. 

3. The first Excommunication was 180 Years after 

* Plinii Epistol. lib. x. p. 97. 

t The arguments here used are mostly taken from the learned 
work of Thomas Erastus, a physician of the palatinate, upon 
Ecclesiastical power, to which he denies all temporal jurisdiction. 
The title is rather a long one : " Explicatio Gravissimso Ques- 
tionis utrum Excommunicatio, quatenus Religionem intelligentes 
et amplexantes, a Sacramentorum usu, propter admissum facinus 
arcet; mandate nitatur Divino, an excogitata sit ab hominibus." 
Pesclavii, 1589, 4to. Thus in his 51st Thesis: " Die Eccle- 
siae non aliud significare, quam die populi tui, Magistri tui (seu 
qui ejusdem sit religionis) antequam apud profanum Magistratum 
cum fratre tuo litiges : Ut Apost. Paulus in 1 ed. Cor. vi. cap. 
ubi propter hunc causam arbitros ex suo ordine eos jubet eligere, 
pulcherrime exponit. Quis autem dubitat, hoc locum habere 
non posse, ubi magistratum Deus nobis largitur pium?" 

Selden was called an Erastian by his opponents. 

| The word not is erroneously omitted in all previous editions. 
See Matth. xvii. 17. 

Always an enemy to the usurpations of Ecclesiastical au- 
thority, when the points of Excommunication and suspension from 
the Sacrament, as part of the discipline in the new establishment 
of Keligion, were debated in the House, September 3, 1645, 



54 DISCOURSES, OR 

Christ, and that by Victor, Bishop of Rome: but that 
was no more than this, that they should Communicate 
and receive the Sacrament amongst themselves, not with 
those of the other Opinion ; the Controversy, (as I take 
it,) being about the Feast of Easter. Men do not care 
for Excommunication, because they are shut out of the 
Church, or delivered up to Satan, but because the Law 
of the Kingdom takes hold of them. After so many 
Days a Man cannot Sue, no not for his Wife, if you take 
her from him ; and there may be as much reason, to 
grant it for a small Fault, if there be contumacy, as for a 
great one. In Westminster Hall you may Out-law a 
Man for forty Shillings, which is their Excommunication, 
and you can do no more for Forty Thousand Pound. 

Selden gave his opinion on the subject ; and Whiteloek, in his 
Memorials, has given the following outline of his argument : 

" That for 4000 years there was no sign of any law to suspend 
persons from religious exercises : that under the law every sin- 
ner was Eo nomine, to come and offer, as he was a sinner ; and no 
priest or other authority had to do with him, unless it might be 
made to appear to them whether another did repent or not, which 
was hard to be done. Strangers were kept away from the Pass- 
over, but they were pagans. The question is not now for keeping 
pagans in times of Christianity, but protestants from protestant 
worship. No Divine can show that there is any such command 
as this, to suspend from the Sacrament. No man is kept from 
the Sacrament, eo nomine, because he is guilty of any sin, by the 
constitution of the reformed Churches, or because he hath not 
made satisfaction. Every man is a sinner ; the difference is only 
that one is a sinner in private, the other in public : the one is as 
much against God as the other. Die Eccle^te in St. Matthew 
meant the courts of law which then sat in Jerusalem. No man 
can show any Excommunication till the popes Victor and Zephy- 



. TABLE. TALK. 55 

4. When Constantine became Christian, he so fell in 
love with the Clergy, that he let them be Judges of all 
things ; but that continued not above three or four Years, 
by reason they were to be Judges of Matters they under- 
stood not, and then they were allowed to meddle with no- 
thing but Religion. All Jurisdiction belonged to him, 
and he scanted them out as much as he pleased, and so 
things have since continued. They Excommunicate for 
three or four Things ; matters concerning Adultery, 
Tithes, Wills, fyc., which is the civil Punishment the 
State allows for such Faults. If a Bishop Excommuni- 
cate a Man for what he ought not, the Judge has Power 
to absolve, and punish the Bishop : if they had that Juris- 
diction from God, why does not the Church Excommuni- 
cate for Murder, for Theft ? If the Civil Power might 
take away all but three Things, why may they not take 
them away too ? If this Excommunication were taken 
away, the Presbyters would be quiet ; 'tis that they have 
a mind to, 'tis that they would fain be at. Like the Wench 
that was to be Married : she asked her Mother when 
'twas done, if she should go to Bed presently. No, says 
her Mother, you must dine first. And then to Bed 



rinus, 200 years after Christ, first began to use it in private 
quarrels : whence Excommunication is but a human invention : 
it was taken from the heathen." 

Dr. Aikin has justly observed that Selden could not have 
more explicitly declared himself against that spirit of Ecclesias- 
tical dominion which began to characterise the new rulers, and 
which provoked Milton to exclaim 

New presbyter is but old priest writ large. 




56 DISCOURSES, OR 

Mother? No you must dance after Dinner. And then 
to Bed Mother ? No, you must go to Supper. And then 
to Bed Mother ? c. 



Faith and Works. 

an unhappy Division that has been made 
between Faith and Works. Tho' in my 
Intellect I may divide them, just as in the 
Candle I know there is both Light and Heat; but yet 
put out the Candle, and they are both gone ; one remains 
not without the other : So 'tis betwixt Faith and Works. 
Nay, in a right Conception, Fides est opus ; if I believe 
a thing because I am commanded, that is Opus. 

Fasting-Days. 

,HAT the Church debars us one Day, she 
gives us leave to take out in another. First 
we fast, and then we feast ; first there is a 
Carnival, and then a Lent. 

2. Whether do Human Laws bind the Conscience ? 
If they do, 'tis a way to ensnare : If we say they do not, 
we open the Door to disobedience. Answer. In this Case 
we must look to the Justice of the Law, and intention of 
the Law-giver : if there be no Justice in the Law, 'tis not 
to be obeyed ; if the intention of the Law-giver be abso- 
lute, our obedience must be so too. If the intention of 
the Law-giver enjoin a Penalty as a Compensation for the 
Breach of the Law, I sin not if I submit to the Penalty ; 
if it enjoin a Penalty, as a further enforcement of Obedi- 





TABLE-TALK. 57 

% 
ence to the Law, then ought I to observe it, which may 

be known by the often repetition of the Law. The way 
of fasting is enjoined unto them, who yet do not observe 
it. The Law enjoins a Penalty as an enforcement to 
Obedience ; which intention appears by the often calling 
upon us, to keep that Law by the King, and the Dispen- 
sation of the Church to such as are not able to keep it, 
as young Children, old Folks, diseased Men, fyc. 



Fathers a fid Sons. 

, T hath ever been the way for Fathers, to bind 
their Sons. To strengthen this by the Law 
of the Land, every one at Twelve Years of 

Age is to take the Oath of Allegiance in Court-Leets, 

whereby he swears Obedience to the King. 



Fines. 

HE old Law was, that when a Man was Fined, he 
was to be Fined Salvo Contenemento, so as his 
Countenance might be safe, taking Counten- 
ance in the same sense as your Country man does, when he 
says, if you will come unto my House, I will show you the 
best Countenance I can ; that is, not the best Face, but the 
best Entertainment. The meaning of the Law was, that 
so much should be taken from a Man, such a gobbet 
sliced off, that yet notwithstanding he might live in the 
same Rank and Condition he lived in before ; but now 
they fine men ten times more than they are worth. 





58 DISCOURSES, OR 



Free-will. 

L HE Puritans who will allow no Free-will at all, 
but God does all, yet will allow the Subject 
his Liberty to do or not to do, notwithstanding 
the King, the God upon Earth. The Armenians, who 
hold we have Free-will, yet say, when we come to the 
King, there must be all Obedience, and no Liberty to be 
stood for. 

Friars. 

HE Friars say they possess nothing: whose 
then are the Lands they hold ? not their 
Superior's, he hath vowed Poverty as well as 
they. Whose then ? To answer this, 'twas decreed they 
should say they were the Pope's. And why must the 
Friars be more perfect than the Pope himself? 

2. If there had been no Friars Christendom might 
have continued quiet, and things remained at a stay. 

If there had been no Lecturers, which succeed the 
Friars in their way, the Church of England might have 
stood and flourished at this Day. 



Friends. 

LD Friends are best. King James used to 
call for his old Shoes ; they were easiest for 
his Feet. 






TABLE-TALK. 59 



Genealogy of Christ. 

that say the Reason why Joseph's Pedi- 
gree is set down, and not Mary's, is, because 
the Descent from the Mother is lost, and 
swallowed up, say something ; but yet if a Jewish Woman, 
married with a Gentile, they only took Notice of the 
Mother, not of the Father. But they that say they were 
both of a Tribe,* say nothing; for the Tribes might 
marry one with another, and the Law against it was only 
Temporary, in the time while Joshua was dividing the 
Land, lest the being so long about it, there might be a 
confusion. 

2. That Christ was the Son of Joseph is most exactly 
true. For though he was the Son of God, yet with the 
Jews, if any Man kept a Child, and brought him up, and 
called him Son, he was taken for his Son ; and his Land 
(if he had any) was to descend upon him ; and therefore 
the Genealogy of Joseph is justly set down. 



* They were both of a tribe, and therefore only the genealogy of 
one was put down, as such marriage was unlawful, &c. 

This point is discussed in the 18th chap, of Seldon's Treatise 
De Successionibus ad Leges Ebraeorum. 




60 DISCOURSES, OR 



Gentlemen. 

'HAT a Gentleman is, 'tis hard with us to 
define. In other Countries he is known by 
his Privileges ; in PPestminster-H&\\ he is 
one that is reputed one ; in the Court of Honour, he that 
hath Arms. The King cannot make a Gentleman of 
Blood. What have you said ? Nor God Almighty : but 
he can make a Gentleman by Creation. If you ask which 
is the better of these two, Civilly, the Gentleman of 
Blood, Morally, the Gentleman by Creation may be the 
better ; for the other may be a Debauched Man, this a 
Person of worth. 

2. Gentlemen have ever been more Temperate in their 
Religion, than the common People, as having more Rea- 
son, the others running in a hurry. In the beginning of 
Christianity, the Fathers writ Contra gentes, and Contra 
Gentiles ; they were all one : But after all were Chris- 
tians, the better sort of People still retained the Name of 
Gentiles, throughout the four Provinces of the Roman 
Empire; as Gentil-homme in French, Gentil-huomo 
in Italian, Gentil-hombre in Spanish, and Gentil-man 
in English: and they, no question, being Persons of 
Quality, kept up those Feasts which we borrow from the 
Gentiles ; as Christmas, Candlemas, May-day, &c. con- 
tinuing what was not directly against Christianity, which 
the common People would never have endured. 




TABLE-TALK. 61 



Gold. 

jHERE are two Reasons, why these Words 
(Jesus autem transiens per medium eorum 
ibatj* were about our old Gold: the one is, 
because Ripleij, the Alchymist, when he made Gold in 
the Tower, the first time he found it he spoke these 
Words, per medium eorum, that is, per medium Ignis 
et Sulphuris. The other, because these Words were 
thought to be a Charm, and that they did bind whatsoever 
they were written upon, so that a Man could not take it 
away. To this Reason I rather incline. 

* We have the following account in Camden's Remains : 
" The first gold that K. Edward HI. coyned was in the yeare 
1343, and the pieces were called Florences, because Florentines 
were the coyners. Shortly after he coyned Nobles, of noble faire 
and fine gold ; afterwards the Hose-Noble then current for 6 shil- 
lings and 8 pence, and which our Alchymists do affirme (as an 
unwritten verity) was made by projection or multiplication Al- 
chymicall of Eaymund Lully in the Tower of London, who would 
prove it as Alchymically, beside the tradition of the Rabbies in 
that faculty, by the inscription ; for as upon the one side there is 
the King's image in a ship, to notifie that he was the Lord of the 
Seas, with his titles ; set upon the reverse a cross fleury with 
Lioneeux; inscribed, Jesus, autem transiens per medium illorum ibat. 
Which they profoundly expound, as Jesus passed invisible and in 
most secret manner by the middest of the Pharisees, so that gold 
was made by invisible and secret art among the ignorant. But 
others say, that text was only one of the Amulets used in that 
credulous warfaring age to escape dangers in battle." 

Lenglet du Fresnoy, in his History of Hermetic Philosophy, 
after mentioning Camden's and Selden's account says : " mais je 
n'ai jamais lu en aucun endroit que les artistes de la science Her- 




62 DISCOURSES, OR 



Hall. 

HE Hall was the Place where the great Lord 
used to eat, (wherefore else were the Halls 
made so big ?) Where he saw all his Servants 
and Tenants about him. He eat not in private, except 
in time of sickness : when once he became a thing cooped 
up, all his greatness was spoiled. Nay the King himself 
used to eat in the Hall, and his Lords sat with him, and 
then he understood Men. 



metique s'en soient servi de ces devises pour les accommoder a 
leur art ; en void une explication plus simple. 

Raymond Lulle apres son operation trouva moyen de s'evader 
de la Tour de Londres, ou il etoit detenu ; et avec un barque, ou 
un vaisseau, il sc,ut franchir le passage de la mer et sortir de 1'An- 
gleterre, sans qu'on s'en appercut. C'est a quoi se rapportent 
ces paroles de 1'Evangile, ou Edouard paroit insinuer, que 1'auteur 
de la matiere de ces pieces d'or avoit passe au travers de ses vais- 
seaux, comme Jesus Christ fait au milieu de ses Disciples, sans 
qu'on le vit, ou sans qu'on le connut. 

II est vrai cependant, que ce ne fut que sous Edouard III. ou 
V. que 1'on commenca en Angleterre a frapper des monnoyes 
d'or ; mais ce pourroit etre de celui que Raymond avoit fait sous 
le regne precedent, ou de celui que Cremer, instruit par Raymond 
Lulle, pouvoit avoir produit a ce prince, sous lequel il a vecu. 




TABLE-TALK. 63 

Hell. 

are two Texts for Christ's descending 
into Hell:* the one Psal. xvi. the other 
Acts ii. where the Bible that was in use 
when the Thirty Nine Articles were made has it Hell. 
But the Bible that was in Queen Elizabeth's time, when 
the Articles were confirmed, reads it Grave ; and so it 
continued till the new Translation in King James's time, 
and then 'tis Hell again. But by this we may gather the 
Church of England declined as much as they could, the 
descent, otherwise they never would have altered the Bible. 
2. He descended into Hell. This may be the Interpre- 
tation of it. He may be dead and buried, then his Soul 
ascended into Heaven. Afterwards he descended again 
into Hell,\ that is, into the Grave, to fetch his Body, and 
to rise again. The Ground of this Interpretation is taken 
from the Platonic Learning, who held a Metempsycho- 
sis, and when the Soul did descend from Heaven to take 
another Body, they called it Karct/3acriv- tic alnv taking 
a^jjc, for the lower World, the State of Mortality. Now the 
first Christians many of them were Platonic Philosophers, 
and no question spake such Language as was then under- 
stood amongst them. To understand by Hell the Grave 



* The descent into Hell. For much upon this controverted point 
see the Appendix to Parr's Life of Usher, p. 23, et seq. Arch- 
bishop Usher's opinion was very much that expressed by Selden. 

f In Edward the Sixth's Articles it was " went down to hell 
to preach to the spirits there." Fuller. 




64 DISCOURSES, OR 

is no Tautology ; because the Creed first tells what Christ 
suffered, He was Crucified, Dead, and Buried ; then 
it tells us what he did, He descended into Hell, the third 
day he rose again, he ascended, &c. 



Holy Days. 

I HEY* say the Church imposes Holy-Days. 
There's no such thing, though the Number of 
Holy-Days is set down in some of our Com- 
mon-Prayer Books. Yet that has relation to an Act of 
Parliament, which forbids the keeping of any Holy-Days 
in time of Popery; but those that are kept, are kept by 
the Custom of the Country ; and I hope you will not say 
the Church imposes that. 



Humility. 

|UMILITY is a Virtue all preach, none prac- 
tise, and yet every body is content to hear. 
The Master thinks it good Doctrine for his 
Servant, the Laity for the Clergy, and the Clergy for the 
Laity. 

2. There is Humilitas qucedam in Vitio. If a Man 
does not take notice of that excellency and perfection that 
is in himself, how can he be thankful to God, who is the 
Author of all excellency and perfection ? Nay, if a Man 
hath too mean an Opinion of himself, 'twill render him 
unserviceable both to God and Man. 

* " They," i. e. the Laudites. 





TABLE- TALK. 65 

3. Pride may be allowed to this or that degree, else a 
Man cannot keep up his Dignity. In Gluttony there 
must be Eating, in Drunkenness there must be drinking : 
'tis not the eating, nor 'tis not the drinking that is to be 
blamed, but the Excess. So in Pride. 



Idolatry. 

IDOLATRY is in a Man's own thought, not in 
the Opinion of another. Put case I bow to 
the Altar, why am I guilty of Idolatry ? be- 
cause a stander by thinks so? I am sure I do not believe 
the Altar to be God ; and the God I worship may be bow'd 
to in all Places, and at all times. 



Jews. 

>OD at the first gave Laws to all Mankind, but 
afterwards he gave peculiar Laws to the Jews, 
which they were only to observe. Just as we 
have the Common Law for all England, and yet you have 
some Corporations that besides that have peculiar Laws 
and Privileges to themselves. 

2. Talk what you will of the Jews, that they are cursed, 
they thrive where e'er they come, they are able to oblige 
the Prince of their Country, by lending him Money; 
none of them beg, they keep together, and for their being 
hated, my life for yours, Christians hate one another as 
much. 





66 DISCOURSES, OR 



Invincible Ignorance. 

all one to me if I am told of Christ, or some 
Mystery of Christianity, if I am not capable 
of understanding, as if I am not told at all ; 
my Ignorance is as invincible; and therefore 'tis vain to 
call their Ignorance only invincible, who never were told 
of Christ. The trick of it is to advance the Priest, whilst 
the Church of Rome says a Man must be told of Christ 
by one thus and thus ordained. 

Images. 
i 

HE Papists' taking away the second Command- 
ment, is not haply so horrid a thing, nor so 
unreasonable amongst Christians as we make 
it ; for the Jeivs could make no figure of God, but they 
must commit Idolatry, because he had taken no shape ; 
but since the Assumption of our flesh, we know what 
shape to picture God in. Nor do I know why we may 
not make his Image, provided we be sure what it is : as 
we say St. Luke took the picture of the Virgin Mary, 
and St. Veronica of our Saviour. Otherwise it would be 
no honour to the King, to make a Picture, and call it the 
King's Picture, when 'tis nothing like him. 

2. Though the learned Papists pray not to Images, 
yet 'tis to be feared the ignorant do ; as appears by that 
Story of St. Nicholas in Spain. A Countryman used 
to offer daily to St. Nicholas's Image, at length by mis- 




TABLE-TALK. 67 

chance the Image was broken, and a new one made of his 
own Plum-Tree ; after that the Man forebore : being com- 
plained of to his Ordinary, he answered, 'tis true, he used 
to offer to the old Image, but to the new he could not find 
in his heart, because he knew 'twas a piece of his own 
Plum-Tree. You see what Opinion this Man had of the 
Image ; and to this tended the bowing of their Images, the 
twinkling of their Eyes, the Virgin's Milk, fyc. Had they 
only meant representations, a Picture would have done 
as well as these Tricks. It may be with us in England 
they do not worship Images, because living amongst Pro- 
testants they are either laughed out of it, or beaten out of 
it by shock of Argument. 

3. 'Tis a discreet way concerning Pictures in Churches, 
to set up no new, nor to pull down no old. 

Imperial Constitutions. 

^ftHEY say Imperial Constitutions did only con- 
^ firm the Canons of the Church; but that is 
^ not so, for they inflicted Punishment, when 
the Canons never did : viz. If a Man converted a Chris- 
tian to be a Jew, he was to forfeit his Estate, and lose 
his Life. In Valentine's Novels, 'tis said, Constat Epis- 
copus Forum Legibus non habere, et judicant tantum 
de Religione.* 

* Leges Novellas Divi Valentinianse, A. tit. xii. 



t 




68 



Imprisonment. 

}IR Kenelm Digby was several times taken and 
let go again, at last imprisoned in Winchester 
House. I can compare him to nothing but a 
great Fish that we catch and let go again, hut still he will 
come to the Bait ; at last therefore we put him into some 
great Pond for Store. 

Incendiaries. 

^ANCY to yourself a Man sets the City on 
Fire at Cripplegate, and that Fire continues, 
by means of others, till it come to White- 
Friars, and then he that began it would fain quench it : 
does not he deserve to be punished most that first set the 
City on Fire ? So 'tis with the Incendiaries of the State. 
They that first set it on Fire, by Monopolizing, Forest 
Business,* Imprisoning Parliament Men tertio Caroli, 
fyc. are now become regenerate, and would fain quench 
the Fire. Certainly they deserve most to be punished, 
for being the first Cause of our Distractions. 

* Forest business, encroachments of the King's lands on the 
Subject's. Decided by jury under direction of corrupt Judges. 





TABLE. TALK. 69 



Independency. 

;NDEPENDENCY is in use at Amsterdam, 
where forty Churches or Congregations have 
nothing to do one with another. And 'tis no 
question agreeable to the Primitive times, before the Em- 
peror became Christian. For either we must say every 
Church governed itself, or else we must fall upon that old 
foolish Rock, that St. Peter and his Successors governed 
all. But when the Civil State became Christian, they 
appointed who should govern them ; before they governed 
by agreement and consent : if you will not do this, you 
shall come no more amongst us. But both the Indepen- 
dent Man, and the Presbyterian Man, do equally exclude 
the Civil Power, though after a different manner. 

2. The Independents may as well plead, they should 
not be subject to Temporal Things, not come before a 
Constable, or a Justice of Peace, as they plead they should 
not be Subject in Spiritual things, because St. Paul says, 
7* it so, that there is not a wise Man amongst you ? * 

3. The Pope challenges all Churches to be under him, 
the King and the two Archbishops challenge all the 
Church of England to be under them. The Presbyterian 
Man divides the Kingdom into as many Churches as there 
be Presbyteries ; and your Independent would have every 
Congregation a Church by itself. 

* 1 Corinthians, ch. vi. v. 5. 





70 DISCOURSES, OR 



Things Indifferent. 

N time of a Parliament, when things are under 
debate, they are indifferent ; but in a Church 
or State settled, there's nothing left indifferent. 



Public Interest. 

LL might go well in the Commonwealth, if 
every one in the Parliament would lay down 
his own Interest, and aim at the general good. 
If a man were sick and the whole College of Physicians 
should come to him, and administer severally, haply so 
long as they observed the Rules of Art he might recover ; 
but if one of them had a great deal of Scamony by him, 
he must put off that, therefore he prescribes Scamony. 
Another had a great deal of Rhubarb, and he must put 
off that, and therefore he prescribes Rhubarb, fyc. they 
would certainly kill the Man. We destroy the Common- 
wealth, while we preserve our own private Interests, and 
neglect the public. 

Human Invention. 

OU say there must be no Human Invention 
in the Church, nothing but the pure Word. 
Answer. If I give any Exposition, but what 
is expressed in the Text, that is my Invention ; if you 




TABLE-TALK. 71 

give another Exposition, that is your Invention, and both 
are Human. For Example, suppose the Word Egg were 
in the Text, I say, 'tis meant an Hen- Egg, you say a 
Goose-Egg ; neither of these are exprest, therefore they 
are Human Inventions ; and I am sure the newer the In- 
vention the worse ; old Inventions are best. 

2. If we must admit nothing but what we read in the 
Bible, what will become of the Parliament ? for we do not 
read of that there. 

Judgments. 
t 

'E cannot tell what is a Judgment of God ; 'tis 
presumption to take upon us to know.* In 
time of Plague we know we want Health, and 
therefore we pray to God to give us Health : in time of 
War we know we want Peace, and therefore we pray to 
God to give us Peace. Commonly we say a Judgment 
falls upon a Man for something in him we cannot abide. 
An example we have in King James, concerning the 
Death of Henry the Fourth of France : one said he was 
killed for his Wenching, another said he was killed for 
turning his Religion. No, says King James (who could 
not abide fighting), he was killed for permitting Duels in 
his Kingdom. 

* See Spencer on Prodigies, 1685, 8vo. p. 348. 





72 DISCOURSES, OR 



Judge. 

>E see the Pageants in Cheapside, the Lions, 
and the Elephants, but we do not see the 
Men that carry them : we see the Judges 

look big, look like Lions, but we do not see who moves 

them.* 

2. Little things do great works, when the great things 
will not. If I should take a Pin from the Ground, a little 
pair of Tongs will do it, when a great pair will not. Go 
to a Judge to do a business for you, by no means he will 
not hear of it ; but go to some small Servant about him, 
and he will dispatch it according to your heart's desire. 

3. There could be no mischief in the Common- Wealth 
without a Judge. Though there be false Dice brought 
in at the Groom-Porters,f and cheating offered, yet unless 
he allow the cheating, and judge the Dice to be good, 
there may be hopes of fair Play. 

* The Judges almost unanimously sanctioned Charles's right 
to Ship-Money and other extortions. When Selden and others 
sued to be admitted to be bailed out of the Tower, in 1629, Sir 
Robert Heath, Attorney General, said to the Judges : " I am 
confident that you will not bail them if any danger may ensue ; 
but first you are to consult with the King ; and he will show you 
where the danger lies." 

f An Office of the Koyal household succeeding, it is said, to 
the Master of the Revels. He used to keep a Gaming Table at 
Christmas. It should appear that this custom was abolished in 
or about the year 1700, when a poem was published, with the 
following title : 

" An Elegiack Essay upon the Decease of the Groom-Porter, 
and the Lotteries," fol. 1700. 




TABLE-TALK. 73 



Juggling. 

not Juggling that is to be blamed, but 
much Juggling; for the World cannot be 
Governed without it. All your Rhetoric, and 

all your Elenchs in Logic come within the compass of 

Juggling. 

Jurisdiction. 

\ HERE'S no such Thing as Spiritual Jurisdic- 
tion ; all is Civil ; the Church's is the same 
with the Lord Mayor's. Suppose a Christian 
came into a Pagan Country, how can you fancy he shall 
have any Power there ? he finds faults with the Gods of 
the Country ; well, they will put him to death for it : 
when he is a Martyr, what follows ? Does that argue he 
has any spiritual Jurisdiction ? If the Clergy say the 
Church ought to be governed thus, and thus, by the 
Word of God, that is Doctrinal,* that is not Discipline. 

2. The Pope he challenges Jurisdiction over all ; the 
Bishops they pretend to it as well as he; the Presby- 
terians they would have it to themselves ; but over whom 
is all this ? the poor Laymen. 

* Original edition, that is doctrine all. 





74 DISCOURSES, OR 



Jus Divinum. 

LL things are held by Jus Divinum, either 
immediately or mediately. 

2. Nothing has lost the Pope so much in 
his Supremacy, as not acknowledging what Princes gave 
him. 'Tis a scorn upon the Civil Power, and an un- 
thankfulness in the Priest. But the Church runs to Jus 
divinum, lest if they should acknowledge that what they 
have, they have by positive Law, it might be as well taken 
from them as given to them. 



King. 

KING is a thing Men have made for their 
own Sakes, for quietness-sake. Just as in a 
Family one Man is appointed to buy the 
Meat : if every Man should buy, or if there were many 
buyers, they would never agree, one would buy what the 
other liked not, or what the other had bought before, so 
there would be a confusion. But that Charge being 
committed to one, he according to his Discretion pleases 
all ; if they have not what they would have one day, they 
shall have it the next, or something as good. 

2. The word King directs our Eyes ; suppose it had 
been Consul, or Dictator. To think all Kings alike is 
the same folly, as if a Consul of Aleppo or Smyrna 
should claim to himself the same Power that a Consul at 




TABLE-TALK. 75 

Rome [had.]* What! am not I a Consul? or a Duke of 
England should think himself like the Duke of Florence ; 
nor can it be imagined, that the word BauiXswc did signify 
the same in Greek as the Hebrew Word "^7^ did with 
the Jews. Besides, let the Divines in their Pulpits say 
what they will, they in their practice deny that all is the 
King's : they sue him, and so does all the Nation, 
whereof they are a part. What matter is it then what 
they Preach or Teach in the Schools ? 

3. Kings are all individual, this or that King, there is 
no Species of Kings. 

4. A King that claims Privileges in his own Country, 
because they have them in another, is just as a Cook, that 
claims Fees in one Lord's House, because they are allowed 
in another. If the Master of the House will yield them, 
well and good. 

5. The Text Render unto Caesar the things that are 
Caesar's, makes as much against Kings, as for them ; for 
it says plainly that some things are not Caesar's. But 
Divines make choice of it, first in Flattery, and then be- 
cause of the other part adjoined to it Render unto God 
the things that are God's, where they bring in the Church. 

6. A King outed of his Country, that takes as much 
upon him as he did at home in his own Court, is as if a 
Man on high, and I being upon the Ground, used to lift 
up my voice to him, that he might hear me, at length 
should come down, and then expects I should speak as 
loud to him as I did before. 

* Had is omitted in original edition. 




76 DISCOURSES, OR 

King of England. 

r 

I HE King can do no wrong ; that is, no Process 

can be granted against him. What must be 
done then ? Petition him, and the King writes 
upon the Petition soit droit fait, and sends it to the 
Chancery, and then the business is heard. His Confes- 
sor will not tell him, he can do no wrong. 

2. There's a great deal of difference between Head of 
the Church, and Supreme Governor, as our Canons call 
the King. Conceive it thus : there is in the Kingdom of 
England a College of Physicians ; the King is Supreme 
Governor of those, but not Head of them, nor President 
of the College, nor the best Physician. 

3. After the Dissolution of Abbeys, they did not much 
advance the King's Supremacy, for they only cared to 
exclude the Pope : hence have we had several Transla- 
tions of the Bible put upon us. But now we must look 
to it, otherwise the King may put upon us what Religion 
he pleases. 

4. 'Twas the old way when the King of England had 
his House, there were Canons to sing Service in his 
Chapel ; so at Westminster in St. Stephens Chapel where 
the House of Commons sits : from which Canons the 
Street called Canon-row has its Name, because they 
lived there ; and he had also the Abbot and his Monks, 
and all these the King's House. 

5. The three Estates* are the Lords Temporal, the 

* " The three Estates." " This division of estates is counten- 
anced by some old statutes," says Fuller, " and was doubtless well 



TABLE-TALK. 77 

' Bishops are the Clergy, and the Commons, as some would 
have it. Take heed of that, for then if two agree, the 
third is involved ; but he is King of the three Estates. 

6. The King hath a Seal in every Court, and though 
the Great Seal be called Sigillum Anglite, the Great Seal 
of England, yet 'tis not because 'tis the Kingdom's Seal, 
and not the King's, but to distinguish it from Sigillum 
Hibernice, Sigillum Scotice. 

7. The Court of England is much altered. At a 
solemn Dancing, first you had the grave Measures, then 
the Corrantoes and the Galliards, and this is kept up with 
Ceremony ; at length to Trenchmore, and the Cushion- 
Dance, and then all the Company dance, Lord and Groom, 
Lady and Kitchen-Maid, no distinction. So in our Court, 
in Queen Elizabeth's time, Gravity and State were kept 
up. In King James's time things were pretty well. But 
in King Charles's time, there has been nothing but Trench- 
more, and the Cushion-Dance, omnium gatherum tolly- 
polly, hoite come toite. 

The King. 

hard to make an Accommodation between 
the King and the Parliament. If you and I 
fell out about Money, you said I owed you 
Twenty Pounds, I said I owed you but Ten Pounds, it 

agitated between High Church and Parliament. Some of the 
aged Bishops (he says) had their tongues so used to the language 
of a third estate, that more than once they run on that reputed 
rock in their speeches ; for which they were publicly shent, and 
enjoined an acknowledgement of their mistake." 




78 DISCOURSES, OR 

may be a third Party allowing me Twenty Marks, might 
make us Friends. But if I said I owed you Twenty 
Pounds in Silver, and you said I owed you Twenty Pounds 
of Diamonds, which is a Sum innumerable, 'tis impossible 
we should ever agree. This is the Case. 

2. The King using the House of Commons, as he did 
Mr. Pym and his Company, that is, charging them with 
Treason, because they charged my Lord of Canterbury 
and Sir George Ratcliff; it was just with as much Logic 
as the Boy, that would have lain with his Grandmother, 
used to his Father ; you lay with my Mother, why should 
not I lie with yours? 

3. There is not the same Reason for the King's ac- 
cusing Men of Treason, and carrying them away, as there 
is for the Houses themselves, because they accuse one of 
themselves. For every one that is accused, is either a 
Peer, or a Commoner ; and he that is accused hath his 
Consent going along with him ; but if the King accuses, 
there is nothing of this in it. 

4. The King is equally abused now as before : then 
they flattered him and made him do ill things, now they 
would force him against his Conscience. If a Physician 
should tell me, every thing I had a mind to was good for 
me, tho' in truth 'twas Poison, he abused me ; and he 
abuses me as much, that would force me to take something 
whether I will or no. 

5. The King so long as he is our King, may do with 
his Officers what he pleases ; as the Master of the House 
may turn away all his Servants, and take whom he please. 

6. The King's Oath is not security enough for our 
Property, for he swears to Govern according to Law; 



TABLE-TALK. 79 

now the Judges they interpret the Law, and what Judges 
can be made to do we know. 

7. The King and the Parliament now falling out, are 
just as when there is foul Play offered amongst Game- 
sters ; one snatches the other's stake ; they seize what they 
can of one another's. 'Tis not to be asked whether it 
belongs not to the King to do this or that : before when 
there was fair Play, it did. But now they will do what is 
most convenient for their own safety. If two fall to 
scuffling, one tears the other's Band, the other tears his ; 
when they were Friends they were quiet, and did no such 
thing ; they let one another's Bands alone. 

8. The King calling his Friends from the Parliament, 
because he had use of them at Oxford, is as if a Man 
should have use of a little piece of Wood, and he runs 
down into the Cellar, and takes the Spigot ; in the mean- 
time all the Beer runs about the House : when his Friends 
are absent, the King will be lost. 

Knights Service. 

; NIGHTS Service in earnest means nothing, 
for the Lords are bound to wait upon the 
King when he goes to War with a Foreign 
Enemy, with it may be one Man and one Horse ; and he 
that doth not, is to be rated so much as shall seem good 
to the next Parliament.* And what will that be? So 
'tis for a private Man, that holds of a Gentleman. 

* Some of the early Kings forced their subjects of 201. a year 
to take the order of knighthood, or exempt themselves by a fine. 





80 DISCOURSES, OR 



Land. 

HEN Men did let their Land under foot,* the 
Tenants would fight for their Landlords, so 
that way they had their Retribution : but now 
they will do nothing for them ; may be the first, if but a 
Constable bid them, that shall lay the Landlord by the 
heels ; and therefore 'tis vanity and folly not to take the 
full value. 

2. Allodium is a Law Word, contrary to Feudum,^ 
and it signifies Land that holds of nobody. We have no 
such Land in England. 'Tis a true Proposition ; all the 
Land in England is held, either immediately, or medi- 
ately of the King. 



Elizabeth and James had exercised this right once. Charles at 
his coronation summoned all of 40/. a year to take the order ; and 
in 1630 levied heavy fines on those who did not ; raising 100,000/. 
thereby. It is said the Long Parliament soon abolished this and 
so many other grievances. 

Every man is bound by his tenure to defend his Lord ; and both 
he and his Lord the King and his country, &c. See Homage, 
Coke upon Littleton. 

* Under foot, i. e. under value. Lord Bacon, in speaking of 
Usury, says, That were it not upon this easie borrowing upon 
interest, Men's necessities would draw upon them, a most sudden 
undoing ; in that they would be forced to sell their meanes (be it 
Land or Goods) farre Underfoot. Essay XLI. Of Usurie. 

f On the Etymology of the word Allodial, which has been largely 
discussed, there is a copious and interesting article in the '' Trc- 
sor des Origines" of Charles Pougens under the word Alien. 




TABLE-TALK. 81 



Language. 

! O a living Tongue new Words may be added, 
but not to a dead Tongue, as Latin, Greek, 
Hebrew, fyc. 

2. Latimer is the Corruption of Latiner ; it signifies 
he that interprets Latin; and though he interpreted 
French, Spanish, or Italian, he was called the King's 
Latiner, that is, the King's interpreter. 

3. If you look upon the Language spoken in the Saxon 
Time, and the Language spoken now, you will find the 
Difference to be, just as if a Man had a Cloak that he 
wore plain in Queen Elizabeths Days, and since, here 
has put in a piece of Red, and there a piece of Blue, and 
here a piece of Green, and there a piece of Orange-tawny. 
We borrow Words from the French, Italian, Latin, as 
every Pedantic Man pleases. 

4. We have more Words than Notions, half a dozen 
words for the same thing. Sometimes we put a new sig- 
nification to an old word, as when we call a Piece a Gun. 
The Word Gun was in use in England for an Engine, 
to cast a thing from a Man, long before there was any 
Gun-powder found out. 

5. Words must be fitted to a Man's Mouth. 'Twas well 
said of the Fellow that was to make a Speech for my Lord 
Mayor ; he desired to take measure of his Lordship's 
Mouth. 




82 DISCOURSES, OR 



Law. 

MAN may plead not guilty, and yet tell no 
Lie; for by the Law, no Man is bound to 
accuse himself; so that when I say Not Guilty, 
the meaning is, as if I should say by way of paraphrase, 
I am not so guilty as to tell you ; if you will bring me to 
a Trial, and have me punished for this you lay to my 
Charge, prove it against me. 

2. Ignorance of the Law excuses no man ; not that all 
Men know the Law, but because 'tis an excuse every man 
will plead, and no Man can tell how to confu'te him. 

3. The King of Spain was outlawed in Westminster' 
Hall, I being of Council against him. A Merchant had 
recovered Costs against him in a Suit, which because he 
could not get, we advised to have him Outlawed for not 
appearing, and so he was. As soon as Gondomar heard 
that, he presently sent the Money, by reason, if his Master 
had been Outlawed, he could not have the benefit of the 
Law, which would have been very prejudicial, there being 
then many suits depending betwixt the King of Spain, 
and our English Merchants.* 

4. Every Law is a Contract between the King and the 
People, and therefore to be kept. A Hundred Men may 

* Sir John Leach, when Vice-chancellor in 1819, stated the 
law of the land to be that foreign monarchs or governments have 
no peculiar privilege in the courts of law, where they are only 
considered in ^he light of private individuals, and can sue and be 
sued as such. 



TABLE-TALK. 83 

owe me a Hundred Pounds, as well as any one Man ; and 
shall they not pay me because they are stronger than I ? 
Objection. Oh but they lose all if they keep that Law. 
Answer. Let them look to the making of their Bargain. 
If I sell my Lands, and when I have done, one comes and 
tells me I have nothing else to keep me. I and my Wife 
and Children must starve, if I part with my Land ; must 
I not therefore let them have my Land, that have bought 
it and paid for it ? 

5. The Parliament may declare Law,* as well as any 
other inferior Court may, (viz.) the King's Bench. In 
that or this particular Case, the King's Bench will declare 
unto you what the Law is, but that binds no body but 



* The Parliament may declare. This may refer to the Lords 
sitting on appeals, Peerages, &c. or as. a Court of Justice, as in 
Stafford's trial. Or to some such language as this Manifesto put 
forth by the Parliament against one of the King's in 1642. They 
declare that " the King alone could not be Judge in this case," 
(the state of the nation, &c.) " for the King judges not matters 
of law but by his courts ; nor can the Courts of Law be Judges 
of the state of the Kingdom against the Parliament, because they 
are inferior. But as the Law is determined by the Judges, who 
are of the King's Council ; so the state of the Nation is to be 
determined by the two Houses of Parliament, who are the proper 
Judges of the Constitution. If therefore the Lords and Commons 
in Parliament assembled declare this or the other matter to be 
Law, or according to the Constitution of the Kingdom, it is not 
lawful for any single person or inferior court to contradict it." 
Resolved : " That when the Lords and Commons, which is the 
supreme Law of Judicature in the Kingdom shall declare what 
the Law is to have this not only questioned but contradicted, 
and a command that it should not be obeyed, is a high breach of 
Privilege of Parliament." Rushworth, v. iii. part I. p. 698. 




84 DISCOURSES, OR 

whom the Case concerns : so the highest Court, the Par- 
liament may do, but not declare Law, that is, make Law 
that was never heard of before. 



Law of Nature. 

CANNOT fancy to myself what the Law of 
Nature means, but the Law of God.* How 
should I know I ought not to steal, I ought 
riot to commit Adultery, unless some body had told me 
so ? Surely 'tis because I have been told so ? 'Tis not 
because I think I ought not to do them, nor because you 
think I ought not ; if so, our minds might change, whence 
then comes the restraint ? From a higher Power, nothing 
else can bind. I cannot bind myself, for I may untie 
myself again ; nor an equal cannot bind me, for we may 
untie one another : it must be a superior Power, even 
God Almighty. If two of us make a Bargain, why should 
either of us stand to it ? What need you care what you 
say, or what need I care what I say ? Certainly because 
there is something about me that tells me Fides est ser- 
vanda ; and if we after alter our Minds, and make a new 
Bargain, there's Fides servanda there too. 

* The reader need scarcely be reminded that Selden has written 
a learned treatise " De Jure Naturali et Gentium, juxta Disci- 
plinam Ebrseorum." 




TABLE-TALK. 85 



Learning. 

' O Man is the wiser for his Learning : it may 
administer Matter to work in, or Objects to 
work upon; but Wit and Wisdom are born 
with a Man. 

2. Most Mens Learning is nothing but History duly 
taken up. If I quote Thomas Aquinas for some Tenet, 
and believe it, because the School-Men say so, that is but 
History. Few men make themselves Masters of the 
things they write or speak. 

3. The Jesuits and the Lawyers of France, and the 
Low-Country-men, have engrossed all Learning. The 
rest of the World make nothing but Homilies. 

4. 'Tis observable, that in Athens where the Arts 
flourished, they were governed by a Democracy : Learning 
made them think themselves as wise as any body, and they 
would govern as well as others ; and they spake as it were 
by way of Contempt, that in the East, and in the North 
they had Kings, and why ? Because the most part of 
them followed their Business ; and if some one Man had 
made himself wiser than the rest, he governed them, and 
they willingly submitted themselves to him. Aristotle 
makes the Observation. And as in Athens the Philoso- 
phers made the People knowing, and therefore they thought 
themselves wise enough to govern ; so does preaching 
with us, and that makes us affect a Democracy : for upon 
these two Grounds we all would be Governors, either be- 




86 DISCOURSES, OR 

cause we think ourselves as wise as the best, or because 
we think ourselves the Elect, and have the Spirit, and the 
rest a Company of Reprobates that belong to the Devil. 



Lecturers. 

jECTURERS do in a Parish Church what the 
Friars did heretofore, get away not only the 
Affections, but the Bounty, that should be 
bestowed upon the Minister. 

2. Lecturers get a great deal of Money, because they 
preach the People tame, as a Man watches a Hawk ;* and 
then they do what they list with them. 

3. The Lectures in Black-Friars, performed by 
Officers of the Army, Tradesmen, and Ministers, is as if 
a great Lord should make a Feast, and he would have his 
Cook dress one Dish, and his Coachman another, his 
Porter a third, fyc. 

Libels. 

; HOUGH some make slight of Libels, yet you 
may see by them how the Wind sits : as take 
a Straw and throw it up into the Air, you shall 
see by that which way the Wind is, which you shall not 

* Hawks were tamed by watching. Shakespeare has several 
allusions to it : Desdemona in assuring Cassia how she will urge 
his suit to Othello, says : 

" I'll watch him tame, and talk him out of patience." 





TABLE-TALK. 87 

do by casting up a Stone. More solid Things do not 
show the Complexion of the times so well, as Ballads and 
Libels. 

Liturgy. 

} 

HERE is no Church without a Liturgy, nor 
indeed can there be conveniently, as there is 
no School without a Grammar. One Scholar 
may be taught otherwise upon the Stock of his Acumen, 
but not a whole School. One or two, that are piously dis- 
posed, may serve themselves their own way, but hardly a 
whole Nation. 

2. To know what was generally believed in all Ages, the 
way is to consult the Liturgies, not any private Man's 
writing. As if you would know how the Church of Eng- 
land serves God, go to the Common-Prayer Book, consult 
not this nor that Man. Besides, Liturgies never Compli- 
ment, nor use high Expressions. The Fathers oft-times 
speak Oratoriously. 

Lords in the Parliament. 

i HE Lords giving Protections is a scorn upon 
them. A Protection means nothing actively, 
but passively ; he that is a Servant to Parlia- 
ment Man is thereby protected. What a scorn it is to a 
Person of Honour, to put his Hand to two Lies at once, 
that such a man is my Servant, and employed by me, 
when haply he never saw the man in his Life, nor before 
never heard of him. 




88 DISCOURSES, OR 

2. The Lords protesting* is Foolish. To protest is 
properly to save to a man's self some Right ; but to pro- 
test, as the Lords protest, when they their selves are in- 
volved, 'tis no more than if I should go into Smithjield, 
and sell my Horse, and take the money, and yet when I 
have your money, and you my Horse, I should protest this 
Horse is mine, because I love the Horse, or I do not 
know why I do protest, because my Opinion is contrary to 
the rest. Ridiculous ! When they say the Bishops did 
anciently protest, it was only dissenting, and that in the 
case of the Pope. 



Lords before the Parliament. 

i 

>REAT Lords by reason of their Flatterers, are 

the first that know their own Virtues, and the 
last that know their own Vices. Some of 
them are ashamed upwards, because their Ancestors were 
too great. Others are ashamed downwards, because they 
were too little. 

2. The Prior of St. John of Jerusalem,^ is said to be 

* " The Lords protesting." The Lords (says Clarendon) had an 
ancient privilege, very rarely used, of entering their names as 
dissentients from the vote of the majority. But time the Puritan 
Lords would often do it; not simply entering their names, but 
summing up the matter debated, and protesting " lest mischief 
should befall the Commonwealth by this Resolution," &c. and 
this in the Records of the House, so that the Commons saw who 
was with them and who not. 

t Being generally of noble extraction and a military person. 

" So also the Abbot of St. James, by Northampton, may be 




TABLE-TALK. 89 

Primus Baro Anglite, the first Baron of England, be- 
cause being last of the Spiritual Barons, be chose to be 
first of the Temporal. He was a kind of an Otter, a 
Knight half Spiritual, and half Temporal. 

3. Quest. Whether is every Baron a Baron of some 
Place ? 

Answ. 'Tis according to his Patent ; of late Years 
they have been made Baron of some Place, but anciently 
not, called only by their Surname, or the Surname of 
some Family, into which they have been married. 

4. The making of new Lords lessens all the rest. 
'Tis in the business of Lords, as it 'twas with St. Nicolas 's 
Image : the Country-Man, you know, could not find in 
his Heart to adore the new Image, made of his own 
Plum-Tree, though he had formerly worshipped the old 
one. The Lords that are ancient we honour, because we 
know not whence they come ; but the new ones we slight, 
because we know their beginning. 

5. For the Irish Lords* to take upon them here in 

said to sit but on one hip in Parliament, he appears so in the 
twilight betwixt a Baron and no Baron in the summons there- 
unto." Fuller. 

* In 1626 the Lords complained to the King, that whereas they 
had heretofore, out of courtesy, as to strangers, yielded prece- 
dency according to degree, " unto such nobles of Scotland and 
Ireland as, being in titles aboTe them, have resorted hither ; Now 
divers of the natural born subjects of those Kingdoms resident 
here with their families, and having their chief estates among us, 
do, by reason of some late created dignities in those Kingdoms of 
Scotland and Ireland, claim precedency of the Peers of this Kealm, 
which tends to the disservice of your Majesty, and to the great 
disparagement of the English Nobility, as by these reasons may 
appear, &c." Rushworlh, i. 237. 




90 DISCOURSES, OR 

England, is as if the Cook in the Fair should come to 
my Lady Kent's Kitchen, and take upon him to roast the 
Meat there, because he is a Cook in another place. 

Marriage. 

\ F all Actions of a Man's Life, his Marriage 
does least concern other people, yet of all 
Actions of our Life 'tis most meddled with by 
other People. 

2. Marriage is nothing but a Civil Contract. Tis true, 
'tis an Ordinance of God : so is every other Contract ; 
God commands me to keep it when I have made it. 

3. Marriage is a desperate thing. The Frogs in JEsop 
were extreme wise ; they had a great mind to some Water, 
but they would not leap into the Well, because they could 
not get out again. 

4. We single out particulars, and apply God's Provi- 
dence to them. Thus when two are married and have 
undone one another, they cry it was God's Providence 
we should come together, when God's Providence does 
equally concur to every thing. 

Marriage of Cousin- Germans* 

[OME Men forbear to marry Cousin-Germans 
out of this kind of scruple of Conscience, be- 
cause it was unlawful before the Reformation, 
and is still in the Church of Rome. And so by reason 

* On this subject the reader may consult the learned Disserta- 




TABLE-TALK. 91 

their Grand-Father, or their great Grand-Father did not 
do it, upon that old Score they think they ought not to 
do it : as some Men forbear Flesh upon Friday, not re- 
flecting upon the Statute which with us makes it unlaw- 
ful, but out of an old Score, because the Church of Rome 
forbids it, and their Fore-fathers always forbore flesh upon 
that Day. Others forbear it out of a Natural Consider- 
ation, because it is observed, for Example, in Beasts, if two 
couple of a near Kind, the Breed proves not so good. The 
same Observation they make in Plants and Trees, which 
degenerate being grafted upon the same Stock. And 'tis 
also further observed, those Matches between Cousin- 
germans seldom prove fortunate. But for the lawfulness 
there is no Colour but Cousin-germans in England may 
marry both by the Law of God and man ; for with us we 
have reduc'd all the Degrees of Marriage to those in the 
Levitical-Law, and 'tis plain there's nothing against it. 
As for that that is said, Cousin-germans once removed may 
not Marry, and therefore, seeing* a further degree may 
not, 'tis presumed a nearer should not; no Man can tell 
what it means. 



tion of Gothofred. " De Nuptiis Consobrinorum : Ubi Lex cele- 
brandis 19 Cod. de Nuptiis illustratur Arcadioque Imperatore 
vindicatur," which is subjoined to his Edition of Philostorgius. 
Genev. 1 643, 4to. Also the Works of the memorable John Hales 
of Eton. Glasgow, 1765, vol. i. p. 145. Wood's Institutes of the 
Civil Law, p. 47, and Dr. Taylor's Elements, p. 331. 
* The orig. ed. has being. 




92 DISCOURSES, OR 



Measure of Things. 

E measure from ourselves ; and as things are 
for our use and purpose, so we approve them. 
Bring a Pear to the Table that is rotten, we 
cry it down, 'tis naught ; but bring a Medlar that is 
rotten, and 'tis a fine thing; and yet I'll warrant you the 
Pear thinks as well of itself as the Medlar does. 

2. We measure the Excellency of other Men, by some 
Excellency we conceive to be in ourselves. Nash a Poet, 
poor enough, (as Poets us'd to be,) seeing an Alderman 
with his Gold Chain, upon his great Horse, by way of 
scorn, said to one of his Companions, " Do you see yon 
fellow, how goodly, how big he looks ? Why that fellow 
cannot make a blank Verse." 

3. Nay we measure the goodness of God from our- 
selves ; we measure his Goodness, his Justice, his Wisdom, 
by something we call Just, Good, or Wise in ourselves ; 
and in so doing, we judge proportionably to the Country- 
fellow in the Play, who said if he were a King, he would 
live like a Lord, and have Peas and Bacon every day, and 
a Whip that cried Slash. 

Difference of Men. 

HE Difference of Men is very great; you 
would scarce think them to be of the same 
Species, and yet it consists more in the Affec- 
tion than in the Intellect. For as in the strength of Body, 




TABLE-TALK. 93 

two Men shall be of an equal strength, yet one shall 
appear stronger than the other, because he exercises, and 
puts out his strength, the other will not stir nor strain 
himself: So 'tis in the strength of the Brain; the one 
endeavours, and strains, and labours, and studies, the other 
sits still, and is idle, and takes no pains, and therefore he 
appears so much the inferior. 

Minister Divine. 

HE imposition of hands upon the Minister 
when all is done, will be nothing but a desig- 
nation of a Person to this or that Office or 
Employment in the Church. 'Tis a ridiculous Phrase 
that of the Canonists Conferre Ordines. 'Tis Cob'ptare 
aliquem in Ordinem ; to make a Man one of us, one of 
our Number, one of our Order. So Cicero would under- 
stand what I said, it being a Phrase borrowed from the 
Latins, and to be understood proportion ably to what was 
amongst them. 

2. Those Words you now use in making a Minister, 
receive the Holy Ghost, were used amongst the Jews in 
making of a Lawyer ; from thence we have them, which is 
a villanous key to something, as if you would have some 
other kind of Prefecture than a Mayoralty, and yet keep 
the same Ceremony that was used in making the Mayor. 

3. A Priest has no such thing as an indelible Charac- 
ter : what difference do you find betwixt him and another 
Man after Ordination ? Only he is made a Priest, as I 
said, by Designation ; as a Lawyer is called to the Bar, 



94 DISCOURSES, OR 

then made a Sergeant. All Men that would get Power 
over others, make themselves as unlike them as they can ; 
upon the same Ground the Priests made themselves 
unlike the Laity. 

4. A Minister when he is made, is Materia prima, 
apt for any form the State will put upon him, but of him- 
self he can do nothing. Like a Doctor of Law in the 
University ; he hath a great deal of Law in him, but can- 
not use it till he be made some-body's Chancellor ; or like 
a Physician ; before he be received into a house, he can 
give no-body Physic ; indeed after the Master of the 
house hath given him charge of his Servants, then he 
may. Or like a Suffragan, that could do nothing but give 
Orders, and yet he was no Bishop. 

5. A Minister should preach according to the Articles 
of Religion established in the Church where he is. To 
be a Civil Lawyer let a Man read Justinian, and the 
Body of the Law, to confirm his Brain to that way ; but 
when he comes to practise, he must make use of it so far 
as it concerns the Law received in his own Country. To 
be a Physician let a Man read Galen and Hippocrates ; 
but when he practises, he must apply his Medicines ac- 
cording to the Temper of those Men's Bodies with whom 
he lives, and have respect to the heat and cold of Climes, 
otherwise that which in Pergamus, where Galen lived, 
was Physic, in our cold Climate may be Poison. So to 
be a Divine, let him read the whole Body of Divinity, the 
Fathers and the Schoolmen, but when he comes to 
practise, he must use it and apply it according to those 
Grounds and Articles of Religion that are established in 
the Church, and this with sense. 



TABLE-TALK. 95 

6. There be four things a Minister should be at ; the 
Conscionary part, Ecclesiastical Story, School Divinity, 
and the Casuists. 

1. In the Conscionary part, he must read all the chief 
Fathers, both Latin and Greek wholly : St. Austin, St. 
Ambrose, St. Chrysostom, both the Gregortes, &c. 
Tertullian, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Epiphanius ; 
which last have more Learning hi them than all the rest, 
and writ freely. 

2. For Ecclesiastical Story let him read Saronius, 
with the Magdeburgenses, and be his own Judge, the one 
being extremely for the Papists, the other extremely 
against them. 

3. For School Divinity let him get Cavelluss Edition 
of Scotus or Mayro,* where there be Quotations that 
direct you to every Schoolman, where such and such 
Questions are handled. Without School Divinity a Di- 
vine knows nothing Logically, nor will be able to satisfy 
a rational Man out of the Pulpit. 

4. The Study of the Casuists must follow the Study 
of the Schoolmen, because the division of their Cases, is 
according to their Divinity ; otherwise he that begins with 
them will know little ; as he that begins with the study 
of the Reports and Cases in the Common Law, will 
thereby know little of the Law. Casuists may be of ad- 

* In the original edition it is Javelins and Muyco, but Catellu* 
was the Editor of Duns Scotus ; and there is no doubt that Fran- 
ciscus Mayronis, the renowned follower of Duns Scotus, is meant. 
He was called Doctor illuminatus et acutus, mugister abstractio- 
num. 



96 DISCOURSES, OR 

mirable use, if discreetly dealt with, though among them 
you shall have many leaves together very impertinent. 
A Case well decided would stick by a man, they would 
remember it whether they will or no, whereas a quaint 
Position dieth in the birth. The main thing is to know 
where to search ; for talk what they will of vast memories, 
no man will presume upon his own memory for any thing 
he means to write or speak in public.* 

7. Go and teach all Nations. This was said to all 
Christians that then were, before the distinction of Clergy 
and Laity ; there have been since, Men designed to preach 
only by the State, as some Men are designed to study the 
Law, others to study Physic. When the Lord's Supper 
was instituted, there were none present but the Disciples, 
shall none then but Ministers receive ? 

8. There is all the reason you should believe your 
Minister, unless you have studied Divinity as well as he, 
or more than he. 

9. 'Tis a foolish thing to say Ministers must not meddle 
with Secular Matters, because his own profession will take 
up the whole Man : may he not eat, or drink, or walk, or 
learn to sing ? The meaning of that is, he must seriously 
attend his Calling. 

10. Ministers with the Papists, that is their Priests, 
have much respect ; with the Puritans they have much, 



* See the very erudite and interesting work of Muretus, 
Variarum Lectionem Venet. 1559, 4to. lib. iii. cap. 1 ; De quo- 
rundam admirabilia memoria ; where he relates the well attested 
wonders achieved by a Corsican of prodigious memory who 
dwelt near him at Padua. 



TABLE-TALK. 97 

and that upon the same ground; they pretend both of em 
to come immediately from Christ ; but with the Protest- 
ants they have very little ; the reason whereof is, in the 
beginning of the Reformation they were glad to get such 
to take Livings as they could procure by any Invitations, 
things of pitiful condition. The Nobility and Gentry, 
would not suffer their Sons or Kindred to meddle with 
the Church ; and therefore at this day, when they see a 
Parson, they think him to be such a thing still, and there 
they will keep him, and use him accordingly ; if he be a 
Gentleman, that is singled out, and he is used the more 
respectfully. 

11. The Protestant Minister is least regarded, appears 
by the old Story of the Keeper of the Clink.* He had 
Priests of several sorts sent unto him ; as they came in, 
he asked them who they were. Who are you ? to the 
first. I am a Priest of the Church of Rome. You are 
welcome, quoth the Keeper ; there are those will take 
Care of you. And who are you ? A silenced Minister. 
You are welcome too; I shall fare the better for you. 
And who are you ? A Minister of the Church of England. 
O God help me, quoth the Keeper, I shall get nothing 

* The Clink. " Now amongst the fruitful generation of jails 
in London, there were thought never a better ; some less bad 
amongst them. I take the Marshalsea to be in those times the 
best for usage of prisoners. But O ! the misery of God's poor 
saints in Newgate, under Alexander the Jailer (more cruel than 
his namesake was to St. Paul) in Lollard's Tower, the Clink, and 
Bonner's Coal house." Fuller. 

The Clink was an appendage to the Bishop of Winchester's 
Palace in Southwark. 



98 DISCOURSES, OR 

by you ; I am sure you may lie, and starve, and rot, be- 
fore any body will look after you. 

12. Methinks 'tis an ignorant thing for a Churchman, 
to call himself the Minister of Christ, because St. Paul, 
or the Apostles called themselves so. If one of them had 
a Voice from Heaven, as St. Paul had, I will grant he is 
a Minister of Christ ; I will call him so too. Must they 
take upon them as the Apostles did? Can they do as 
the Apostles could? The Apostles had a Mark to be 
known by, spake Tongues, cured Diseases, trod upon 
Serpents, e. Can they do this ? If a Gentleman tells 
me, he will send his Man to me, and I did not know his 
Man, but he gave me this mark to know him by, he should 
bring in his Hand a rich Jewel; if a Fellow came to me 
with a Pebble-Stone, had I any reason to believe he was 
the Gentleman's Man? 

Money. 

jONEY makes a Man laugh. A blind Fiddler 
playing to a Company, and playing but Scur- 
vily, the Company laughed at him ; his boy 
that led him, perceiving it, cried, Father, let us be gone, 
they do nothing but laugh at you. Hold thy Peace, Boy, 
said the Fiddler ; we shall have their money presently, 
and then we will laugh at them. 

2. Euclid was beaten in Boccaline,* for teaching his 

* Boccaline, i. e. in a Story of Boccalini. He was a famous 
satirist of the 16th Century, and in the Ragguagli di Parnaso 
feigns this story of Euclid. The common tradition is, that Boc- 
calini himself was killed by the very means he supposed employed 




TABLE-TALK. 99 

Scholars a mathematical Figure in his School, whereby he 
showed that all the Lives both of Princes and private Men 
tended to one Centre, con gentilezza, handsomely to get 
Money out of other men's pockets, and put it into their 
own. 

3. The Pope used heretofore to send the Princes of 
Christendom to fight against the Turk ; but Prince and 
Pope finely juggled together; the Moneys were raised, 
and some Men went out to the Holy War ; but commonly 
after they had got the Money, the Turk was pretty quiet, 
and the Prince and the Pope shared it between them. 

4. In all times the Princes in England have done 
something illegal to get Money : but then came a Parlia- 
ment and all was well ; the People and the Prince kissed 
and were Friends, and so things were quiet for a while. 
Afterwards there was another Trick found out to get 
Money, and after they had got it, another Parliament was 
called to set all right, fyc. but now they have so out-run 
the Constable 

Moral Honesty. 

\ 

HEY that cry down moral Honesty, cry down 
that which is a great part of Religion, my 
Duty towards God, and my duty towards 
Man. What care I to see a Man run after a Sermon, if 
he cozens and cheats as soon as he comes home ? On the 

against Euclid; being beaten to death by four men aimed with 
bags of sand. It is more probable that rumour picked up his own 
fiction ignorantly and applied it to himself!, V. Biogr. Universelle. 
llagguagli di Parnasso. 





100 DISCOURSES, OR 

other side Morality must not be without Religion ; for if 
so, it may change, as I see convenience. Religion must 
govern it. He that has not Religion to govern his Mo- 
rality, is not a dram better than my Mastiff-Dog ; so long 
as you stroke him, and please him, and do not pinch him, 
he will play with you as finely as may be, he is a very 
good moral Mastiff; but if you hurt him, he will fly in 
your Face, and tear out your Throat. 

Mortgage. 

\ N case I receive a thousand Pounds, and mort- 
gage as much Land as is worth two thousand 
to you ; if I do not pay the Money at such a 
day, I fail. Whether you may take my Land and keep 
it in point of Conscience ? Answer. If you had my Lands 
as security only for your Money, then you are not to 
keep it; but if we bargained so, that if I did not repay 
your 1000/. my Land should go for it, be it what it will, 
no doubt you may with a safe Conscience keep it ; for in 
these things all the Obligation is Servare Fidem. 

Number. 

LL those mysterious things they observe in 
Numbers, come to nothing upon this very 
ground, because Number in itself is nothing, 
has nothing* to do with Nature, but is merely of Human 

* Original edition, not. 





TABLE-TALK. 101 

Imposition, a mere Sound. For Example, when I cry 
one o'Clock, two o'Clock, three o'Clock, that is but Man's 
division of Time ; the time itself goes on, and it had been 
all one in Nature, if those Hours had been called nine, 
ten, and eleven. So when they say the seventh Son is 
Fortunate, it means nothing ; for if you count from the 
seventh backward, then the First is the seventh ; why is 
not he likewise Fortunate ? 

Oaths. 

^TEARING was another thing with the Jews 
than with us, because they might not pronounce 
the Name of the Lord Jehovah. 

2. There is no Oath scarcely, but we swear to things 
we are ignorant of : for Example, the Oath of Supremacy ; 
how many know how the King is King? what are his 
Right and Prerogative ? So how many know what are 
the Privileges of the Parliament, and the Liberty of the 
Subject, when they take the protestation ? But the mean- 
ing is, they will defend them when they know them. As 
if I should swear I would take part with all that wear Red 
Ribbons in their Hats, it may be I do not know which 
Colour is Red ; but when I do know, and see a Red 
Ribbon in a Man's Hat, then will I take his Part. 

3. I cannot conceive how an Oath is imposed, where 
there is a Parity (viz.) in the House of Commons ; they 
are all pares inter se, only one brings a Paper, and shows 
it the rest, they look upon it, and in their own Sense take 
it. Now they are but pares to me, who am none of the 



102 DISCOURSES, OR 

House, for I do not acknowledge myself their Subject; 
if I did, then no question, I was bound by an Oath of their 
imposing. "Tis to me but reading a Paper in their own 
Sense. 

4. There is a great difference between an Assertory 
Oath, and a Promissory Oath. An Assertory Oath is 
made to a Man before God, and I must swear so as Man 
may know what I mean : but a Promissory Oath is 
made to God only, and I am sure he knows my meaning. 
So in the new Oath it runs, " whereas I believe in my 
Conscience," fyc. " I will assist thus and thus : " that 
whereas gives me an Outloose ; for if I do not believe so, 
for aught I know I swear not at all. 

5. In a Promissory Oath, the mind I am in is a good 
Interpretation ; for if there be enough happened to change 
my mind, I do not know why I should not. If I promise 
to go to Oxford to morrow, and mean it when I say it, 
and afterwards it appears to me, that 'twill be my undoing ; 
will you say I have broke my Promise if I stay at Home ? 
Certainly I must not go. 

6. The Jews had this way with them, concerning a 
Promissory Oath or Vow ; if one of them had vowed a 
Vow, which afterwards appeared to him to be very pre- 
judicial by reason of something he either did not foresee, 
or did not think of, when he made his Vow ; if he made 
it known to three of his Countrymen, they had Power to 
absolve him, though he could not absolve himself; and 
that they picked out of some Words in the Text.* Per- 

* There is a tradition to the purpose among the Jews. See 
the third part of Maimonides Jad. Chaz, lib. 6. de Seperatione. But- 



TABLE-TALK. 103 

jury hath only to do with an Assertory Oath; and no 
Man was punished for Perjury by Man's Law till Queen 
Elizabeth's time ; 'twas left to God, as a sin against him : 
the Reason was, because 'twas so hard a thing to prove a 
Man perjured ; I might misunderstand him, and he swears 
as he thought. 

7. When Men ask me whether they may take an Oath 
in their own Sense, 'tis to me, as if they should ask 
whether they may go to such a place upon their own 
Legs ; I would fain know how they can go otherwise. 

8. If the Ministers that are in sequestred Livings will 
not take the Engagement, threaten to turn them out and 
put in the old ones, and then I'll warrant you they will 
quietly take it. A Gentleman having been rambling two 
or three Days, at length came home, and being in Bed 
with his Wife, would fain have been at something, that 
she was unwilling to, and instead of complying, fell to 
chiding him for his being abroad so long : Well says he, 
if you will not, call up Sue, (his Wife's Chamber-maid,) 
upon that she yielded presently. 

9. Now Oaths are so frequent, they should be taken 

ler, who must have known Selden, as he was some time in the 

service of Lady Kent, thus refers to it : 

The rabbins write, when any Jew 
Did make to God or man a vow, 
Which afterwards he found untoward, 
And stubborn to be kept, or too hard ; 
Any three other Jews o' th' nation 
Might free him from his obligation. 
See the loose notions of the casuistical rabbins concerning vows 

in Lightfoot's works, vol. ii. p. 708. Parker's case of the Church 

of England, 1681, p. 48. 




104 

like Pills, swallowed whole; if you chew them you will 
find them bitter ; if you think what you swear 'twill hardly 
go down. 

Oracles. 

[RAGLES ceased presently after Christ, as 
soon as no body believed them.* Just as we 
have no Fortune-Tellers, nor Wise-Men, 
when no body cares for them. Sometime you have a 
Season for them, when People believe them, and neither 
of these, I conceive, wrought by the Devil. 

Opinion. 

PINION and Affection extremely differ. I 
may affect a Woman best, but it does not fol- 
low I must think her the handsomest Woman 

* Milton, in his Hymn on the Nativity, of course poetically 
follows the notion that the Oracles ceased at the coming of Christ : 

The Oracles are dumb, 

No voice or hideous hum 

Huns through th' arched roof in words deceiving. 

Apollo from his shrine 

Can no more divine, 

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. 
And about that time their credit apparently was shaken, but 
there were other causes, as Van Dale and Fontenelle have shown, 
which eventually silenced them at a later period. It takes a long 
time to eradicate any superstitious belief among the people ; and 
the learned, even within the last century, have shown themselves 
sufficiently credulous of vaticinations, and supposed supernatural 
events. 




TABLE-TALK. 105 

in the World. I love Apples best of any Fruit, but it does 
not follow, I must think Apples to be the best Fruit. Opin- 
ion is something wherein I go about to give reason why 
all the World should think as I think. Affection is a 
thing wherein I look after the pleasing of myself.* 

2. 'Twas a good Fancy of an old Platonic : the Gods 
which are above Men, had something whereof Man did 
partake, an Intellect, Knowledge, and the Gods kept on 
their course quietly. The Beasts, which are below Man, 
had something whereof Man did partake, Sense and 
Growth, and the Beasts lived quietly in their way. But 
Man had something in him, whereof neither Gods nor 
Beasts did partake, which gave him all the Trouble, and 
made all the Confusion in the W T orld ; and that is Opinion. 

3. 'Tis a foolish thing for me to be brought off from an 
Opinion, in a thing neither of us know, but are led only 
by some Cobweb-stuff ; as in such a Case as this, Utrum 
Angeli in vicem colloquantur ? if I forsake my side in 
such a case, I shew myself wonderful light, or infinitely 
complying, or flattering the other party : but if I be in a 
business of Nature, and hold an Opinion one way, and 
some Man's Experience has found out the contrary, I 
may with a safe Reputation give up my side. 

4. 'Tis a vain thing to talk of a Heretic, for a Man 

* Good ! This is the true difference betwixt the beautiful and 
the agreeable, which Knight and the rest of that 7c\ij9oe dOtov 
have so beneficially confounded, meretricibus scilicet et Plutoni. 

Oh what an insight this whole article gives into a wise man's 
heart, who has been compelled to act with the many, as one of the 
many ! It explains Sir Thomas More's zealous Komanism. Cole- 
ridse. 




106 DISCOURSES, OR 

for his heart can think no otherwise than he does think.* 
In the Primitive Times there were many Opinions, no- 
thing scarce but some or other held. One of these 
Opinions being embraced by some Prince, and received 
into his Kingdom, the rest were condemned as Heresies ; 
and his Religion, which was but one of the several 
Opinions, first is said to be Orthodox, and so have con- 
tinued ever since the Apostles. 

Parity. ^ 

IIS is the Juggling Trick of the Parity, they 
would have no body above them, but they do 
not tell you they would have no body under 
them. 

* Bishop Taylor in his " Liberty of Prophesying." Sect. 2. 
8. says, " it is inconsistent with the goodness of God to condemn 
those who err, where the error hath nothing of the will in it, who 
therefore cannot repent of their error, because they believe it 
true. * * * For all have a concomitant assent to the truth of what 
they believe ; and no man can at the same time believe what he does 
not believe." 

f Parity. H. Peacham in his " Minerva Britannia, or a Garden 
of Heroycal Devices," 1612, p. 171, says, 

" There is a sect, whome Puritans we call 
Whose pride this figure fitteth best of all. 
Not such I meane, as are of Faith sincere, 
And to doe good endevour all they can, 
Would all the world of their religion were, 
We taxe th' aspiring factious Puritan : 
Whose PARITIE,* doth worse confusion bring, 
And pride presumes to overlooke his King. " 

* PARITAS confusionis mater. August. 




TABLE-TALK. 107 



Parliament. 

LL are involved in a Parliament. There was 
a time when all Men had their Voice in 
choosing Knights. About Henry the Sixth's 
time they found the inconvenience ; so one Parliament 
made a Law, that only he that had forty Shillings per 
annum should give his Voice, they under should be ex- 
cluded. They made the Law who had the Voice of all, 
as well under forty Shillings as above ; and thus it con- 
tinues at this Day. All consent civilly in a Parliament ; 
Women are involved in the Men, Children in those of per- 
fect age ; those that are under forty Shillings a Year, in 



The public men said this was the destroying of Presbyters if the 
lesser number did not submit to the greater; it was a sort of 
Prelacy, if it was pretended that votes ought rather to be weighed 
than counted ; Parity was the essence of their constitution, &c. 
Burnet. 

On the 9th of February, 1640, upon a debate in the House res- 
pecting the Bishops, Sir Simonds D'Ewes records that " Sir 
John Strangways rose up and spake on their behalf, saying, if we 
made a Parity in the Church, we must come at last to a Parity in 
the Commonwealth ; and the Bishops were one of the three 
Estates of the Kingdom, and had a voice in the Parliament. Mr. 
Cromwell stood up next and said, he knew no reason for these 
suppositions, he did not understand why the gentleman that last 
spoke should make an inference of Parity from the Church to the 
Commonwealth, nor that there was any necessity of the great 
revenue of Bishops. He was more convinced, touching the irre- 
gularity of Bishops, than ever before ; because like the Roman 
Hierarchy, they would not endure to have their condition come to 



108 DISCOURSES, OR 

those that have forty Shillings a year, those of forty Shil- 
lings in the Knights. 

2. All things are brought to the Parliament, little to 
the Courts of Justice : just as in a room where there is a 
Banquet presented, if there be Persons of Quality there, 
the People must expect, and stay till the great ones have 
done. 

3. The Parliament flying upon several Men, and then 
letting them alone, does as a Hawk that flies a Covey of 
Partridges, and when she has flown them a great way, 
grows weary and takes a Tree ; then the Falconer lures 
her down, and takes her to his fist : on they go again, 
hei rett, up springs another Covey, away goes the Hawk, 
and as she did before, takes another Tree, $fc. 

4. Dissenters in Parliament may at length come to a 
good end, though first there be a great deal of do, and a 
great deal of noise, which mad wild folks make : just as in 
brewing of Wrest-Beer, there's a great deal of Business 
in grinding the Malt, and that spoils any Man's clothes 
that comes near it : then it must be mashed, then comes 

a trial." MSS. Harl. 162, cited in the Edinburgh Eeview, vol. 
Ixxxiv, p. 90. 

Since a Purity was first ordained by God himselfe, and that 
there needeth no Order or Degree of persons, because God is 
equall and no respecter of persons. Be it therefore ordered 
that we have no King but Parity. 

That every yeare there shall be the Round-heads feast cele- 
brated, a well-lung'd long-breathed Cobler shall preach a Sermon 
six houres, and his prayer two houres long, and at every Messe in 
this Feast shall be presented a goodly Dish of Turnips, because 
it is very agreeable to our Natures ; for a Turnip has a round 
head, and the Anagram of Puritan is a TVRNIP." New Orders new 
made by a Parliament of Roundheads, &c. 4to. Lond. 1642. 



TABLE. TALK. 109 

a Fellow in and drinks of the Wort, and he's drunk ; 
then they keep a huge quarter when they carry it into the 
Cellar, and a twelve month after 'tis delicate fine Beer. 

5. It must necessarily be that our Distempers are worse 
than they were in the beginning of the Parliament. If a 
Physician comes to a sick Man, he lets him blood, it may 
be scarifies him, cups him, puts him into a great disorder, 
before he makes him well ; and if he be sent for to cure 
an Ague, and he finds his Patient hath many diseases, a 
Dropsy, and a Palsy, he applies remedies to 'em all, which 
makes the cure the longer and the dearer : this is the case. 

6. The Parliament-men are as great Princes as any in 
the World, when whatsoever they please is Privilege of 
Parliament ; no man must know the number of their 
Privileges, and whatsoever they dislike is Breach of Pri- 
vilege. The Duke of Venice is no more than Speaker of 
the House of Commons ; but the Senate at Venice are 
not so much as our Parliament-men, nor have they that 
Power over the People, who yet exercise the greatest 
Tyranny that is any where. In plain truth, Breach of 
Privilege is only the actual taking away of a Member of 
the House, the rest are Offences against the House : 
for Example, to take out Process against a Parliament- 
man, or the like. 

7. The Parliament Party, if the Law be for them, they 
call for the Law ; if it be against them, they will go to a 
Parliamentary Way ; if no Law be for them, then for 
Law again : like him that first called for Sack to heat 
him, then small Drink to cool his Sack, then Sack again 
to heat his small Drink, fyc. 




110 DISCOURSES, OR 

8. The Parliament Party do not play fair play, in 
sitting up till two of the Clock in the Morning, to vote 
something they have a mind to.* 'Tis like a crafty 
Gamester, that makes the Company drunk, then cheats 
them of their Money. Young men, and infirm men go 
away. Besides, a Man is not there to persuade other 
Men to be of his mind, but to speak his own heart, and 
if it be liked, so, if not, there's an end. 

Parson. 

; HOUGH we write Parson differently, yet 'tis 
but Person ; that is, the individual Person set 
apart for the Service of such a Church ; and 
'tis in Latin Persona,, and Personatus is a Personage. 
Indeed with the Canon-Lawyers, Personatus is any Dig- 
nity or Preferment in the Church. 

2. There never was a merry World since the Fairies 
left Dancing, and the Parson left Conjuring. The Opinion 
of the latter kept Thieves in awe, and did as much good 
in a Country as a Justice of Peace. 

Patience. 

[ATIENCE is the chiefest fruit of Study. A 
man that strives to make himself a different 
thing from other men by much reading, gains 

this chiefest good, that in all Fortunes, he hath something 

to entertain and comfort himself withal. 

* The famous Remonstrance was carried after sitting from 3 
p. m. to 3 a. m. which made some one say it was " the Verdict 
of a starved Jury." 





TABLE-TALK. Ill 



Peace. 

ING James was pictured going easily down a 
Pair of Stairs, and upon every Step there was 
written, Peace, Peace, Peace. The wisest 
way for men in these times is to say nothing. 

2. When a Country-wench cannot get her Butter to 
come, she says, the Witch is in her Churn.* We have 
been churning for Peace a great while, and 'twill not come ; 
sure the Witch is in it. 

3. Though we had Peace, yet 'twill be a great while 
e'er things be settled. Though the Wind lie, yet after a 
Storm the Sea will work a great while. 

Penance* 

lENANCE is only the Punishment inflicted, 
not Penitence, which is the right word : a Man 
comes not to do Penance, because he repents 
him of his Sin, but because he is compelled to it; he 

* This is bantered by C. Cotton in his Virgil Travesty, b. iv. 

Scot in his Discovery of Witchcraft, observes, " That when the 
country people see the butter cometh not, then get they out of 
the suspected witch's house, a little butter, whereof must be made 
three balls in the name of the holy Trinity ; and so, if they be 
put into the churn, the butter will presently come, and the witch- 
craft will cease but if you put a little sugar and soap into the 
churn among the cream, the butter will never come." Webster 
(Display of Witchcraft, b. 12, c. 21.) assigns natural causes for 
the butter not coming, with the method to make it come. 





112 DISCOURSES, OR 

curses him, and could kill him that sends him thither. 
The old Canons wisely enjoined three years Penance, 
sometimes more, because in that time a Man got a habit 
of Virtue, and so committed that sin no more for which he 
did Penance. 



People. 

is not any thing in the World more 
abused than this Sentence, Salus populi 
suprema Lex esto, for we apply it, as if we 
ought to forsake the known Law, when it may be most 
for the advantage of the People, when it means no such 
thing. For first, 'tis not Salus populi suprema Lex est, 
but esto ; it being one of the Laws of the Twelve Tables,* 
and after divers Laws made, some for Punishment, some 
for Reward ; then follows this. Salus populi suprema 
Lex esto : That is, in all the Laws you make, have a 
special Eye to the Good of the People; and then what 
does this concern the way they now go? 

2. Objection. He that makes one is greater than he 
that is made ; the People make the King, ergo, Sfc. 



* It is probably a lapse of memory in Selden, or incorrectly re- 
lated ; for this is not one of the Laws of the xii. Tables, but among 
those which Cicero has set down for the government of his imagi- 
nary republic. See De Legibus, lib. iii. 8. It seems to have 
forcibty impressed itself on Ammianus Marcellinus, who repeats 
it in substance more than once ; his words are " finis enim justi 
imperii, ut sapientes docent, utilitas obedientium restimatur et sa- 
lus." Amm. Marcel, xxx. 8, and xxix. 3. 




TABLE-TALK. 113 

Answer. This does not hold ; for if I have 1000J. per 
Annum, and give it you, and leave myself ne'er a Penny ; 
I made you, but when you have my Land, you are greater 
than I. The Parish makes the Constable, and when the 
Constable is made, he governs the Parish. The Answer 
to all these Doubts is, Have you agreed so ? if you have, 
then it must remain till you have altered it. 

Pleasure. 

^LEASURE is nothing else but the intermission 
of Pain, the enjoying of something I am in 
great trouble for till I have it. 

2. 'Tis a wrong way to proportion other Men's Plea- 
sures to ourselves ; 'tis like a Child's using a little Bird, 
" O poor Bird, thou shall sleep with me ;" so lays it in 
his Bosom, and stifles it with his hot Breath : the Bird 
had rather be in the cold Air. And yet too 'tis the most 
pleasing Flattery, to like what other men like. 

3. 'Tis most undoubtedly true, that all Men are equally 
given to their pleasure ; only thus, one man's pleasure 
lies one way, and another's another. Pleasures are all 
alike simply considered in themselves : he that hunts, or 
he that governs the Commonwealth, they both please 
themselves alike, only we commend that, whereby we our- 
selves receive some benefit ; as if a man place his delight in 
things that tend to the common good. He that takes 
pleasure to hear Sermons, enjoys himself as much as he 
that hears Plays ; and could he that loves Plays endeavour 
to love Sermons, possibly he might bring himself to it as 

I 



114 DISCOURSES, OR 

well as to any other Pleasure. At first it may seem harsh 
and tedious, but afterwards 'twould be pleasing and de- 
lightful. So it falls out in that which is the great Plea- 
sure of some Men, Tobacco ; at first they could not abide 
it, and now they cannot be without it. 

4. Whilst you are upon Earth, enjoy the good Things 
that are here (to that end were they given), and be not 
melancholy, and wish yourself in Heaven. If a King 
should give you the keeping of a Castle, with all things 
belonging to it, Orchards, Gardens, <^c. and bid you use 
them; withal promise you that, after twenty years to 
remove you to the Court, and to make you a Privy 
Counsellor ; if you should neglect your Castle, and refuse 
to eat of those fruits, and sit down, and whine, and wish 
you were a Privy Counsellor, do you think the King 
would be pleased with you ? 

5. Pleasures of Meat, Drink, Clothes, #c. are forbidden 
those that know not how to use them ; just as Nurses cry 
pah ! when they see a Knife in a Child's Hand ; they 
will never say any thing to a Man. 

Philosophy, 
t 

"HEN Men comfort themselves with Philo- 
sophy, 'tis not because they have got two or 
three Sentences, but because they have di- 
gested those Sentences and made them their own: so 
upon the matter, Philosophy is nothing but Discretion. 





TABLE-TALK, 115 



Poetry. 

VID was not only a fine Poet, but, as a man 
may speak, a great Canon Lawyer, as appears 
in his Fasti, where we have more of the 

Festivals of the old Romans than any where else : 'tis pity 

the rest are lost. 

2. There is no reason Plays should be in Verse, either 
in Blank or Rhyme ; only the Poet has to say for him- 
self, that he makes something like that, which somebody 
made before him. The old Poets had no other reason 
but this, their Verse was sung to Music ; otherwise it 
had been a senseless thing to have fettered up themselves.* 

3. I never converted but two, the one was Mr. Cra- 
shaw, from writing against Plays, by telling him a way 
how to understand that Place of putting on Woman's 
Apparel, which has nothing to do in the business, as 
neither has it, that the Fathers speak against Plays in 
their Time, with reason enough, for they had real Idola- 
tries mixed with their Plays, having three Altars per- 
petually upon the Stage. The other was a Doctor of 
Divinity, from preaching against Painting ; which simply 
in itself is no more hurtful, than putting on my Clothes, 

* No one man can know all things; even Selden here talks 
ignorantly. Verse is in itself a music, and the natural symbol of 
that union of passion with thought and pleasure, which consti- 
tutes the essence of all poetry, as contradistinguished from history 
civil or natural. To Pope's Essay on Man, in short to whatever 
is mere metrical good sense and wit, the remark applies. Coleridge. 



116 DISCOURSES, OR 

or doing anything to make ray self like other folks, that 
I may not be odious nor offensive to the Company. 
Indeed if I do it with an ill Intention, it alters the Case ; 
so, if I put on my Gloves with an intention to do a mis- 
chief, I am a Villain. 

4. 'Tis a fine thing for Children to learn to make 
Verse ; but when they come to be Men, they must speak 
like other Men, or else they will be laughed at. 'Tis 
ridiculous to speak, or write, or preach in Verse. As 'tis 
good to learn to dance, a man may learn his Leg, learn to 
go handsomely ; but 'tis ridiculous for him to dance, when 
he should go. 

5. 'Tis ridiculous for a Lord to print Verses ; 'tis well 
enough to make them to please himself, but to make them 
public, is foolish. If a Man in a private Chamber twirls 
his Band-strings, or plays with a Rush to please himself, 
'tis well enough ; but if he should go into Fleet-street, 
and sit upon a Stall, and twirl a Band-string, or play with 
a Rush, then all the Boys in the Street would laugh at 
him. 

6. Verse proves nothing but the quantity of Syllables ; 
they are not meant for Logic.* 



* True; they, that is, verses, are not logic ; but they are, or 
ought to be, the envoys and representatives of that vital pas- 
sion, which is the practical cement of logic ; and without which 
logic must remain inert. Coleridge. 




TABLE-TALK. 117 



Pope. 

POPE'S Bull and a Pope's Brief differ very 
much ; as with us the Great Seal and the 
Privy Seal. The Bull being the highest 
Authority the Pope* can give, the Brief is of less. The 
Bull has a Leaden Seal upon silk, hanging upon the In- 
strument ; the Brief has sub Annulo Piscatoris upon the 
side. 

2. He was a wise Pope, that when one that used to be 
merry with him, before he was advanced to the Popedom, 
refrained afterwards to come at him, (presuming he was 
busy in governing the Christian World,) the Pope sends 
for him, bids him come again, and says he, we will be 
merry as we were before ; for thou little thinkest what a 
little Foolery governs the whole World. 

3. The Pope in sending Relics to Princes, does as 
Wenches do by their Wassails at New-years tide ; they 
present you with a Cup, and you must drink of a slabby 
stuff; but the meaning is, you must give them Moneys, 
ten times more than it is worth. 

4. The Pope is Infallible, where he hath power to com- 
mand ; that is, where he must be obeyed ; so is every 
Supreme Power and Prince. They that stretch his In- 
fallibility further, do they know not what. 

5. When a Protestant and a Papist dispute, they talk 
like two Madmen, because they do not agree upon their 

* Orig. edit. King. 



118 DISCOURSES, OR 

Principles. The one way is to destroy the Pope's Power, 
for if he hath Power to command me, 'tis not my alleging 
Reasons to the contrary can keep me from obeying : for 
Example, if a Constable command me to wear a green 
Suit to-morrow, and has Power to make me, 'tis not my 
alleging a hundred Reasons of the Folly of it, can excuse 
me from doing it. 

6. There was a Time when the Pope had Power here 
in England, and there was excellent use made of it ; for 
'twas only to serve turns, as might be manifested out of 
the Records of the Kingdom, which Divines know little 
of. If the King did not like what the Pope would have, 
he would forbid the Pope's Legate to land upon his 
ground. So that the Power was truly then in the King, 
though suffered in the Pope. But now the Temporal and 
the Spiritual Power (Spiritual so call'd, because ordained 
to a Spiritual End) spring both from one Fountain, they 
are like to twist that. 

7. The Protestants in France bear Office in the State, 
because though their Religion be different, yet they ac- 
knowledge no other King but the King of France. The 
Papists in England they must have a King of their own, 
a Pope, that must do something in our Kingdom ; there- 
fore there is no reason they should enjoy the same Privi- 
leges. 

8. Amsterdam admits of all Religions but Papists, and 
'tis upon the same Account. The Papists where'er they 
live, have another King at Rome; all other Religions 
are subject to the present State, and have no Prince else- 
where. 



TABLE-TALK. 119 

9. The Papists call our Religion a Parliamentary Re- 
ligion ; but there was once, I am sure, a Parliamentary 
Pope ; Pope Urban was made Pope in England by Act 
of Parliament, against Pope Clement. The Act is not in 
the Book of Statutes, either because he that compiled the 
Book would not have the Name of the Pope there, or else 
he would not let it appear that they meddled with any 
such thing ; but 'tis upon the Rolls. 

10. When our Clergy preach against the Pope and the 
Church of JRome, they preach against themselves ; and 
crying down their Pride, their Power and their Riches, 
have made themselves poor and contemptible enough ; 
they did it at* first to please their Prince, not considering 
what would follow. Just as if a man were to go a journey, 
and seeing, at his first setting out, the way clean and fair, 
ventures forth in his Slippers, not considering the Dirt 
and the Sloughs are a little further off, or how suddenly 
the Weather may change. 

Popery. 

^rjpott HE demanding a Noble, for a dead body pass- 




ing through a Town, came from hence in 
time of Popery, they carried the dead Body 
into the Church, where the Priest said Dirges; and 
twenty Dirges at four Pence a piece, *comes to a Noble; 
but now it is forbidden by an Order from my Lord 
Marshal ; the Heralds carry his Warrant about them. 

* The original edition misprints dedicate for did it at. 




120 DISCOURSES, OR 

2. We charge the Prelatical Clergy with Popery, to 
make them odious, though we know they are guilty of no 
such thing: just as heretofore they called Images Mam- 
mets, and the Adoration of Images Mammetry, that is, 
Mahomet and Mahometry ; odious names, when all the 
World knows the Turks are forbidden Images by their 
Religion. 

Power, State. 
i 

jHERE is no stretching of Power. 'Tis a good 
rule, Eat within your Stomach, act within 
your Commission. 

2. They that govern most make least noise. You see 
when they row in a Barge, they that do drudgery-work, 
slash, and puff, and sweat ; but he that governs, sits quietly 
at the Stern, and scarce is seen to stir. 

3. Syllables govern the World. 

4. All power is of God, means no more than Fides 
est servanda. When St. Paul said this, the People had 
made Nero Emperor. They agree, he to command, they 

to obey. Then God's* comes in, and casts a hook 

upon them, keep your Faith : then comes in, all Power is 
of God. Never King dropped out of the Clouds. God did 
not make a new Emperor, as the King makes a Justice of 
Peace. 

* Some word seems to be wanting here, though there is no space 
for it in the first edition. The second edition reads, God comes, 
&c. Perhaps we should read, " God's ordinance" 1 See Richard 
Baiter's notes to his Paraphrase on the N. T. Romans, xiii. 



TABLE-TALK. 121 

5. Christ himself was a great observer of the Civil 
power, and did many things only justifiable, because the 
State required it, which were things merely Temporary, 
for the time that State stood. But Divines make use of 
them to gain Power to themselves ; as for Example that 
of Die Ecclesia, tell the Church ; there was then a San- 
hedrim, a Court to tell it to, and therefore they would 
have it so now. 

6. Divines ought to do no more than what the State 
permits. Before the State became Christian, they made 
their own Laws, and those that did not observe them, 
they Excommunicated, [naughty men] they suffered them 
to come no more amongst them. Bnt if they would come 
amongst them, how could they hinder them ? By what 
Law ? By what Power ? they were still subject to the 
State, which was Heathen. Nothing better expresses the 
Condition of Christians in those times, than one of the 
meetings you have in London, of Men of the same Coun- 
ty, of Sussex-M.en, of Bedfordshire-Men ; they appoint 
their Meeting, and they agree, and make Laws amongst 
themselves, [He that is not there shall pay double, &c.] 
and if any one mis-behave himself, they shut him out of 
their Company: but can they recover a Forfeiture made 
concerning their Meeting by any Law ? Have they any 
power to compel one to pay ? But afterwards when the 
State became Christian, all the Power was in them, and 
they gave the Church as much, or as little as they pleased ; 
and took away when they pleased, and added what they 
pleased. 

7. The Church is not only subject to the Civil Power 



122 DISCOURSES, OR 

with us that are Protestants, but also in Spain : if the 
Church does Excommunicate a Man for what it should not, 
the Civil Power will take him out of their Hands. So in 
France, the Bishop of Anglers altered something in the 
Breviary ; they complained to the Parliament at Paris, 
that made him alter it again, with a \_comme abuse.~]* 

8. The Parliament of England has no Arbitrary Power 
in point of Judicature, but in point of making Law only. 

9. If the Prince be servus natura, of a servile base 
Spirit, and the Subjects liberi, Free and Ingenuous, oft- 
times they depose their Prince, and govern themselves. 
On the contrary, if the People be Servi Natura, and 
some one amongst them of a Free and Ingenuous Spirit, 
he makes himself King of the rest ; and this is the Cause 
of all changes in State : Commonwealths into Monarchies, 
and Monarchies into Common-wealths. 

10. In a troubled State we must do as in foul Weather 
upon the Thames, not think to cut directly through, so 
the Boat may be quickly full of water, but rise and fall as 
the Waves do, give as much as conveniently we can. 

Prayer. 

r 

[F I were a Minister, I should think myself 
most in my Office, reading of Prayers, and 
dispensing the Sacraments ; and 'tis ill done to 
put one to officiate in the Church, whose Person is con- 

* Un appel comme d'abus is an appeal to the civil from the eccle- 
siastical court, when the latter is supposed to have exceeded its 
power. 




TABLE-TALK. 123 

temptible out of it. Should a great Lady, that was in- 
vited to be a Gossip, in her place send her Kitchen-Maid, 
'twould be ill taken ; yet she is a Woman as well as she ; 
let her send her Woman at least. 

2. You shall pray, is the right way, because according 
as the Church is settled, no Man may make a Prayer in 
public of his own head. 

3. 'Tis not the Original Common -prayer-book. Why, 
show me an original Bible, or an original Magna Charta. 

4. Admit the Preacher prays by the Spirit, yet that 
very Prayer is Common-prayer to the People ; they are 
tied as much to his Words, as in saying, Almighty and 
most merciful Father. Is it then unlawful in the Minis- 
ter, but not unlawful in the People ? 

5. There were some Mathematicians, that could with one 
fetch of their Pen make an exact Circle, and with the next 
touch, point out the Centre ; is it therefore reasonable to 
banish all use of the Compasses ? Set Forms are a pair of 
Compasses. 

6. God hath given gifts unto Men. General Texts 
prove nothing : let him show me John, William or 
Thomas in the Text, and then I will believe him. If a 
man hath a voluble Tongue, we say, he hath the gift of 
prayer. His gift is to pray long, that I see ; but does he 
pray better ? 

7. We take care what we speak to Men, but to God we 
may say any thing. 

8. The people must not think a thought towards God, 
but as their Pastors will put it into their Mouths ; they 
will make right Sheep of us. 



124 DISCOURSES, OR 

9. The English Priests would do that in English, 
which the Romish do in Latin, keep the people in Ignor- 
ance ; but some of the people outdo them at their own 
Game. 

10. Prayer should be short, without giving God Al- 
mighty Reasons why he should grant this, or that ; he 
knows best what is Good for us. If your Boy should ask 
you a Suit of Clothes, and give you Reasons, " otherwise 
he cannot wait upon you, he cannot go abroad but he will 
discredit you," would you endure it ? You know it better 
than he ; let him ask a Suit of Clothes. 

11. If a Servant that has been fed with good Beef, 
goes into that part of England where Salmon is plenty, 
at first he is pleased with his Salmon, and despises his 
Beef, but after he has been there a while, he grows weary 
of his Salmon, and wishes for his good Beef again. We 
have a while been much taken with this praying by the 
Spirit ; but in time we may grow weary of it, and wish for 
our Common-Prayer. 

12. 'Tis hoped we may be cured of our extemporary 
Prayers, the same way the Grocer's Boy is cured of his 
eating Plums, when we have had our Belly full of them. 

Preaching. 

I 

iOTHING is more mistaken than that Speech, 
Preach the Gospel : for 'tis not to make long 
Harangues, as they do now-a-days, but to tell 
the News of Christ's coming into the World ; and when 
that is done, or where 'tis known already, the Preacher's 
Work is done. 




TABLE- TALK. 125 

2. Preaching in the first sense of the word ceased as 
soon as ever the Gospel was written. 

3. When the Preacher says, this is the Meaning of the 
Holy Ghost in such a place, in sense he can mean no 
more than this ; that is, I by studying of the place, by com- 
paring one place with another, by weighing what goes be- 
fore, and what comes after, think this is the Meaning of 
the Holy Ghost ; and for shortness of Expression I say, 
the Holy Ghost says thus, or this is the Meaning of the 
Spirit of God. So the Judge speaks of the Kings Procla- 
mation, this is the Intention of the King; not that the 
King had declared his Intention any other way to the 
Judge, but the Judge examining the Contents of the Pro- 
clamation, gathers by the purport of the Words the King's 
Intention ; and then for shortness of expression says, 
this is the King's Intention. 

4. Nothing is Text but what was spoken in the Bible, 
and meant there for Person and Place ; the rest is Appli- 
cation, which a discreet Man may do well ; but 'tis his 
Scripture, not the Holy Ghost. 

5. Preaching by the Spirit (as they call it) is most 
esteemed by the Common-people, because they cannot 
abide Art or Learning, which they have not been bred 
up in. Just as in the business of Fencing, if one Country 
Fellow amongst the rest, has been at the School, the rest 
will under-value his Skill, or tell him he wants Valour : 
You come with your School- Tricks ; there's Dick 
Butcher has ten times more Mettle in him : so they say 
to the Preachers, You come with your School-Learning : 
There's such a one has the Spirit. 



126 DISCOURSES, OR 

6. The Tone in preaching does much in working upon 
the people's Affections. If a Man should make Love in 
an ordinary Tone, his Mistress would not regard him ; 
and therefore he must whine. If a Man should cry Fire, 
or Murder, in an ordinary Voice, no body would come out 
to help him. 

7. Preachers will bring any thing into~the Text. The 
young Masters of Arts preached against Non-Residency 
in the University ; whereupon the Heads made an Order, 
that no Man should meddle with any thing but what was 
in the Text. The next Day one preached upon these 
Words, Abraham begat Isaac : when he had gone a 
good way, at last he observed, that Abraham was resident ; 
for if he had been Non-Resident, he could never have 
begot Isaac ; and so fell foul upon the Non-Residents.* 

8. 1 could never tell what often preaching meant, after 
a Church is settled, and we know what is to be done ; 'tis 
just as if a Husband-man should once tell his Servants 
what they are to do, when to sow, when to reap, and after- 
wards one should come and tell them twice or thrice a 
Day what they know already. You must sow your Wheat 
in October, you must reap your Wheat in August, fyc. 

9. The main Argument why they would have two 
Sermons a Day, is, because they have two Meals a Day ; 
the Soul must be fed as well as the Body. But I may as 

* In 1631, they began to preach against Laud's innovation, at 
Oxford. Yea, their very texts gave offence ; one preaching on 
Numbers xiv. 6. " Let us make a Captain and return into Egj^pt." 
Another on Kings xiii. 2. " And he cried against the Altar in the 
word of the Lord, and said, 0! Altar, Altar." 



TABLE-TALK. 127 

well argue, I ought to have two Noses because I have 
two Eyes, or two Mouths because I have two Ears. 
What have Meals and Sermons to do one with another ? 

10. The Things between God and Man are but a few, 
and those, forsooth, we must be told often of; but things 
between Man and Man are many; those I hear of not 
above twice a Year, at the Assizes, or once a Quarter at 
the Sessions ; but few come then ; nor does the Minister 
exhort the People to go at these times to learn their Duty 
towards their Neighbour. Often preaching is sure to 
keep the Minister in Countenance, that he may have 
something to do. 

11. In preaching they say more to raise Men to love 
Virtue than Men can possibly perform, to make them do 
their best ; as if you would teach a Man to throw the Bar, 
to make him put out his strength, you bid him throw 
further than it is possible for him, or any Man else : throw 
over yonder House. 

12. In preaching they do by Men as Writers of Ro- 
mances do by their chief Knights, bring them into many 
Dangers, but still fetch them off : so they put Men in fear 
of Hell, but at last bring them to Heaven. 

13. Preachers say, do as I say, not as I do. But if a 
Physician had the same Disease upon him that I have, 
and he should bid me do one thing, and he do quite 
another, could I believe him ? 

14. Preaching the same Sermon to all sorts of People, 
is, as if a School-Master should read the same Lesson to 
his several Forms : if he reads Amo, amas, amavi, the 
highest Forms Laugh at him ; the younger Boys admire 



128 DISCOURSES, OR 

him ; so 'tis in preaching to a mixed Auditory. Objec* 
tion. But it cannot be otherwise ; the Parish cannot be 
divided into several Forms : what must the Preacher then 
do in Discretion ? Answer. Why then let him use some 
expressions by which this or that condition of people may 
know such Doctrine does more especially concern them ; 
it being so delivered that the wisest may be content to 
hear. For if he delivers it altogether, and leaves it to 
them to single out what belongs to themselves (which is 
the usual way) 'tis as if a Man would bestow Gifts upon 
Children of several Ages, Two Years old, Four Years 
old, Ten Years old, fyc. and there he brings Tops, Pins, 
Points, Ribands, and casts them all in a Heap together 
upon a Table before them ; though the Boy of Ten Years 
old knows how to choose his Top, yet the Child of Two 
Years old, that should have a Riband, takes a Pin, and 
the Pin e'er he be aware pricks his Fingers, and then all's 
out of order, fyc. Preaching for the most part is the glory 
of the Preacher, to show himself a fine man. Catechising 
would do much better. 

15. Use the best Arguments to persuade, though but 
few understand ; for the Ignorant will sooner believe the 
judicious of the Parish, than the Preacher himself ; and 
they teach when they dissipate what he has said, and be- 
lieve it the sooner, confirmed by men of their own side. 
For betwixt the Laity and the Clergy there is, as it were, 
a continual driving of a bargain ; something the Clergy 
would still have us be at, and therefore many things are 
heard from the Preacher with suspicion. They are afraid 
of some ends, which are easily assented to, when they 



TABLE-TALK. 129 

have it from some of themselves. Tis with a Sermon as 
'tis with a Play ; many come to see it, which do not un- 
derstand it ; and yet hearing it cried up by one, whose 
judgment they cast themselves upon, and of power with 
them, they swear and will die in it, that 'tis a very good 
Play, which they would not have done if the Priest him- 
self had told them so. As in a great School, 'tis [not] * 
the Master that teaches all; the Monitor does a great 
deal of work ; it may be the Boys are afraid to see the 
Master : so in a Parish 'tis not the Minister does all ; the 
greater Neighbour teaches the lesser, the Master of the 
House teaches his Servant, fyc. 

16. First in your Sermons use your Logic, and then 
your Rhetoric. Rhetoric without Logic is like a Tree 
with Leaves and Blossoms, but no Root ; yet I confess 
more are taken with Rhetoric than Logic, because they are 
catched with a free Expression, when they understand not 
Reason. Logic must be natural, or it is worth nothing at 
all ; your Rhetoric Figures may be learned. That Rhe- 
toric is best which is most seasonable and most catching. 
An instance we have in that old blunt Commander at 
Cadiz, who showed himself a good Orator ; being to say 
something to his Soldiers, which he was not used to do, 
he made them a Speech to this purpose : What a shame 
will it be, you Englishmen, that feed upon good Beef and 
Brewess, to let those Rascally Spaniards beat you that eat 
nothing but Oranges and Lemons ; and so put more 
Courage into his Men than he could have done with a 

* Not is omitted in the orig. ed. 
K 



130 DISCOURSES, OR 

more learned Oration. Rhetoric is very good, or stark 
naught : There's no Medium in Rhetoric. If I am not 
fully persuaded I laugh at the Orator. 

1 7. 'Tis good to preach the same thing again ; for that's 
the way to have it learned. You see a Bird by often 
whistling to learn a Tune, and a Month after record it to 
herself. 

18. 'Tis a hard Case a Minister should be turned out 
of his Living for something they inform he should say in 
his Pulpit. We can no more know what a Minister said 
in his Sermon by two or three words picked out of it, than 
we can tell what Tune a Musician played last upon the 
Lute, by two or three single Notes. 

Predestination. 

**^HEY that talk nothing but Predestination, and 
will not proceed in the way of Heaven till they 
be satisfied in that point, do, as a man that 

would not come to London, unless at his first step he 

might set his foot upon the top of Paul's. 

2. For a young Divine to begin in his Pulpit with Pre- 
destination, is as if a Man were coming into London, and 
at his first Step would think to set his Foot, fyc. 

3. Predestination is a point inaccessible, out of our 
reach ; we can make no notion of it, 'tis so full of intri- 
cacy, so full of contradiction ; 'tis in good earnest, as we 
state it, half a Dozen Bulls one upon another. 

4. Doctor Prideaux, in his Lectures, several Days 
used Arguments to prove Predestination ; at last tells his 





TABLE-TALK. 131 

Auditory they are damned that do not believe it ; doing 
herein just like School-Boys, when one of them has got 
an Apple, or something the rest have a mind to, they use 
all the Arguments they can to get some of it from him : 
/ gave you some f other Day ; You shall have some 
with me another time: When they cannot prevail, they 
tell him he's a Jackanapes, a Rogue and a Rascal. 



Preferment. 

you would have a Child go to such a 
place, and you find him unwilling, you tell 
him he shall ride a Cock-horse, and then he 
will go presently ; so do those that govern the State, deal 
by men, to work them to their ends ; they tell them they 
shall be advanced to such or such a place, and they will 
do any thing they would have them. 

2. A great Place strangely qualifies. John Read, 
Groom of the Chamber to my Lord o/"Kent, was in the 
right.* Attorney Noy being dead, some were saying, 
how would the King do for a fit Man ? Why, any Man 
(says John Read) may execute the Place. I warrant 
(says my Lord) thou think'st thou understand'st enough 
to perform it. Yes, quoth John, Let the King make me 
Attorney, and I would fain see that Man, that durst tell 
me, there's any thing I understand not. 

3. When the Pageants are a coming there's a great 
thrusting and a riding upon one another's Backs, to look 

* This sentence is awkwardly transposed in the orig. ed. 



132 DISCOURSES, OR 

out at the Window : stay a little and they will come just 
to you, you may see them quietly. So 'tis when a new 
Statesman or Officer is chosen ; there's great expectation 
and listening who it should be ; stay a while, and you may 
know quietly. 

4. Missing Preferment makes the Presbyters fall foul 
upon the Bishops : Men that are in hopes and in the way 
of rising, keep in the Channel, but they that have none, 
seek new ways : 'Tis so amongst the Lawyers ; he that 
hath the Judge's Ear, will be very observant of the way of 
the Court; but he that hath no regard will be flying out. 

5. My Lord Digby* having spoken something in the 
House of Commons, for which they would have questioned 
him, was presently called to the upper House. He did 
by the Parliament as an Ape when he hath done some 
waggery; his Master spies him, and he looks for his 
Whip, but before he can come at him, whip says he to the 
top of the House. 

6. Some of the Parliament were discontented, that they 
wanted places at Court, which others had got ; but when 
they had them once, then they were quiet. Just as at a 
Christening, some that get no Sugar-plums, when the 
rest have, mutter and grumble ; presently the Wench 
comes again with her Basket of Sugar-plums, and then 
they catch and scramble, and when they have got them, 
you hear no more of them. 



* Lord Digby. He spoke against Strafford's attainder, and was 
called up to the Lords, June 10, 1641. 



TABLE-TALK. 133 




can be no Prcemunire. A Prcemu- 
nire (so called from the word Preemunire* 
facias) was when a Man laid an Action in an 
Ecclesiastical Court, for which he could have no remedy 
in any of the King's Courts, that is, in the Courts of 
Common Law, by reason the Ecclesiastical Courts before 
Henry the Eighth were subordinate to the Pope, and so it 
was contra coronam et dignitatem Regis ; but now the 
Ecclesiastical Courts are equally subordinate to the King. 
Therefore it cannot be contra coronam et dignitatem 
Regis, and so no Prcemunire. 

* Prtemunire, more properly Pr&monere. To incur a prsemunire, 
according to the Stat. 16 Rich. II. c. 15, was to be out of the 
King's protection, to forfeit Lands and goods and to be imprisoned. 
See Fuller's Church History, p. 148. Coke's 12th Report, p. 37. 
'' A Priemunire is a writ issued out of the King's Bench against 
one who hath procured any Bull or like process of the Pope from 
Rome, or elsewhere, for any Ecclesiastical place or preferment 
within this realm ; or doth sue in any foreign Ecclesiastical court 
to defeat or impeach any judgment given in the King's Court. 
The writ was much in use during the time the Bishop of Rome's 
authority was in credit in this land, as there were there two prin- 
cipal authorities the Spiritual in the Pope, and the Temporal in 
the King. But since the foreign authority in Spiritual matters 
is abolished, and either jurisdiction is to be agnized to be settled 
wholly and only in the Prince of this land, sundry wise men are 
of opinion that there can be no Prtftnunire by the statutes at this 
day against any man exercising any subordinate jurisdiction 
under the King." See Sir Thomas Ridley's " View of the Civile 
and EcclesiasticallLaw." Oxford, 1676, p. 153, &c. Barrington's 
Observations on the more antient Statutes, 1762, 4to. p. 251. 




134 DISCOURSES, OR 



Prerogative. 

iREROGATIVE is something that can be 
told what it is, not something that has no 
Name: just as you see the Archbishop has 
his Prerogative Court, but we know what is done in that 
Court. So the King's Prerogative is not his will, or, 
what Divines make it, a power, to do what he lists. 

2. The King's Prerogative, that is, the King's Law. 
For example, if you ask whether a Patron may present to 
a Living after six Months by Law ? I answer no. If you 
ask whether the King may? I answer he may by his 
Prerogative, that is by the Law that concerns him in that 
case. 

Presbytery. 

that would bring in a new Government, 
would very fain pursuade us, they meet it in 
Antiquity. Thus they interpret Presbyters, 
when they meet the word in the Fathers. Other profes- 
sions likewise pretend to Antiquity. The Alchymist will 
find his Art in Virgil's Aureus ramus, and he that de- 
lights in Optics will find them in Tacitus. When Ccesar 
came into England they would persuade us, they had 
Perspective-Glasses, by which he could discover what 
they were doing upon the Land, because it is said, Positis 
Speculis: the meaning is, His Watch or his Sentinel 
discovered this, and this, unto him. 




TABLE-TALK. 135 

2. Presbyters have the greatest power of any Clergy 
in the World, and gull the Laity most. For example ; 
admit there be twelve Laymen to six Presbyters, the six 
shall govern the rest as they please. First because they 
are constant, and the others come in like Churchwardens 
in their turns, which is a huge advantage. Men will give 
way to them who have been in place before them. Next, 
the Laymen have other professions to follow : the Pres- 
byters make it their sole Business ; and besides, too, they 
learn and study the Art of persuading : some of Geneva 
have confessed as much. 

3. The Presbyter with his Elders about him, is like a 
young Tree fenced about with two, or three, or four 
Stakes ; the Stakes defend it, and hold it up, but the 
Tree only prospers and flourishes : it may be some Willow 
Stake may bear a Leaf or two, but it comes to nothing. 
Lay-Elders are Stakes, the Presbyter the Tree that 
flourishes. 

4. When the Queries were sent to the Assembly con- 
cerning the Jus Divinum of Presbytery,* their asking 



* The Assembly met with many difficulties ; some complaining 
of Mr. Selden,that advantaged by his skill in antiquity, common 
law, and the Oriental tongues, he employed them rather to pose 
than profit, perplex than inform the members thereof in the 14 
queries he proposed ; whose intent therein was to humble the 
Jure-divino-ship of Presbytery ; which though hinted and held 
forth, is not so made out in Scripture, but, being too scant on 
many occasions, it must be pieced with prudential additions. 
These queries being sent from Parliament to the Assembly, it was 
ordered that in the answers proof from Scripture be set down 
with the several texts at large, in the express words of the same, 



136 DISCOURSES, OR 

time to answer them, was a Satire upon themselves ; for 
if it were to be seen in the Text, they might quickly turn 
to the place, and show us it. Their delaying to answer 
makes us think there's no such thing there. They do 
just as you have seen a fellow do at a Tavern Reckoning : 
when he should come to pay his Reckoning, he puts his 
Hands into his Pockets, and keeps a grabbling and a 
fumbling, and shaking, at last tells you he has left his 
Money at home ; when all the Company knew at first, he 
had no Money there ; for every Man can quickly find his 
own Money. 



Priests of Rome. 

( HE Reason of the Statute against Priests, was 
this : In the beginning of Queen Elizabeth 
there was a Statute made, that he that drew 
Men from their civil Obedience was a Traitor. It hap- 
pened this was done in privacies and confessions, when 
there could be no proof; therefore they made another 
Act, that for a Priest to be in England was Treason, 
because they presumed that [itj was his business to fetch 
men off from their Obedience. 

2. When Queen Elizabeth died, and King James 
came in, an Irish Priest does thus Express it : Elizabetha 
in orcum detrusa, snccessit Jacobus, alter Hfereticus. 



&c. On receiving these queries the Assembly is in great pur- 
turbation, appoints a solemn fast, and a committee to consider 
the answers. 




TABLE-TALK. 137 

You will ask why they did use such Language in their 
Church. Answer. Why does the Nurse tell the Child of 
Raw-head and Bloody-bones, to keep it in awe ? 

3. The Queen Mother and Count Rosset are to the 
Priests and Jesuits like the Honey-pot to the Flies.* 

4. The Priests of Rome aim but at two Things, to get 
Power from the King, and Money from the Subject. 

5. When the Priests come into a Family, they do as a 
Man that would set fire on a House ; he does not put fire 
to the Brick-wall, but thrusts it into the Thatch. They 
work upon the Women and let the Men alone.f 

6. For a Priest to turn a man when he lies a dying, is 
just like one that hath a long time solicited a woman, and 
cannot obtain his end ; at length makes her drunk, and 
so lies with her. 

Prophecies. 
i 
REAMS and Prophecies do thus much good ; 

they make a man go on with boldness and 
courage, upon a Danger or a Mistress : if he 
obtains, he attributes much to them ; if he miscarries, he 
thinks no more of them, or is no more thought of himself. 



* The Queen Mother and Rosset. Mary de Medicis got out of 
England at last by the Parliament, at 10,000/. expense, Aug. 1641. 

f See Michelet's late remarkable publication, " Priests, 
Women, and Families." 





138 DISCOURSES, OR 



Proverbs. 

,HE Proverbs of several Nations were much 
studied by Bishop Andrews, and the reason 
he gave was, Because by them he knew the 
minds of several Nations, which is a brave thing ; as we 
count him a wise man, that knows the minds and insides 
of men, which is done by knowing what is habitual to 
them. Proverbs are habitual to a Nation, being trans- 
mitted from Father to Son. 



Question. 

;HEN a doubt is propounded, you must learn 
to distinguish, and show wherein a thing holds, 
and wherein it doth not hold. Ay, or no, 
never answered any Question. The not distinguishing 
where things should be distinguished, and the not confound- 
ing, where things should be confounded, is the cause of all 
the mistakes in the World. 

Reason. 

N giving Reasons, Men commonly do with us 
as the Woman does with her Child ; when she 
goes to Market about her business, she tells it 
she goes to buy it a fine thing, to buy it a Cake or some 
Plums. They give us such Reasons as they think we 
will be catched withal, but never let us know the Truth. 





TABLE-TALK. 139 

2. When the School-Men talk of Recta Ratio in 
Morals, either they understand Reason as it is governed 
by a Command from above, or else they say no more 
than a Woman, when she says a thing is so, because it is 
so ; that is, her Reason persuades her 'tis so. The other 
Acception has Sense in it. As take a Law of the Land, 
I must not depopulate,* my Reason tells me so. Why ? 
Because if I do, I incur the detriment. 

3. The Reason of a Thing is not to be enquired after, 
till you are sure the Thing itself be so. We commonly 
are at What's the Reason of it ? before we are sure of 
the Thing. 'Twas an excellent Question of my Lady 
Cotton, when Sir Robert Cotton was magnifying of a 
Shoe, which was Moses's or Noah's, and wondering at the 
strange Shape and Fashion of it : But, Mr. Cotton, says 
she, are you sure it is a Shoe ? 

Retaliation. 

N Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth. 
That does not mean, that if I put out another 
Man's Eye, therefore I must lose one of my 
own, (for what is he the better for that ?) though this be 
commonly received ; but it means, I shall give him what 
Satisfaction an Eye shall be judged to be worth. 



* Depopulate. Depopulatio agrorum a great offence in the 
ancient Common Law : Pulling down, or leaving to ruin farm- 
houses, cottages, &c. turning arable into pasture, &c. 





140 DISCOURSES, OR 



Reverence. 

IS sometimes unreasonable to look after Re- 
spect and Reverence, either from a Man's 
own Servant, or other Inferiors. A great 
Lord and a Gentleman talking together, there came a 
Boy by, leading a Calf with both his Hands : says the 
Lord to the Gentleman, You shall see me make the Boy 
let go his Calf; with that he came towards him, thinking 
the Boy would have put off his Hat, but the Boy took no 
Notice of him. The Lord seeing that, Sirrah, says he, 
Do you not know me that you use no Reverence ? Yes, 
says the Boy, if your Lordship will hold my Calf, I will 
put off my Hat. 

Non- Residency . 

People thought they had a great Victory 
over the Clergy, when in Henry the Eighth's 
time they got their Bill passed, That a Clergy- 
man should have but two Livings : before, a Man might 
have Twenty or Thirty ; 'twas but getting a Dispensation 
from the Pope's Limiter, or Gatherer of the Peter - 
Pence,* which was as easily got, as now you may have a 
Licence to eat Flesh. 



* Peter-Pence. A levy of one penny to the Pope on every 
chimney that smoked so called hearth-penny, smoke-penny, &c. 
granted by Ine or Athelulph. 





TABLE-TALK. 141 

2. As soon as a Minister is made, he hath Power to 
preach all over the World, but the Civil-Power restrains 
him ; he cannot preach in this Parish, or in that ; there is 
one already appointed. Now if the State allows him Two 
Livings, then he hath Two Places where he may Exercise 
his Function, and so has the more Power to do his 
Office, which he might do every where if he were not 
restrained. 

Religion. 

: ING James said to the Fly, Have I Three 
Kingdoms, and thou must needs fly into my 
Eye? Is there not enough to meddle with 
upon the Stage, or in Love, or at the Table, but Religion ? 

2. Religion amongst Men appears to me like the 
Learning they got at School. Some Men forget all they 
learned, others spend upon the Stock, and some improve 
it. So some Men forget all the Religion that was taught 
them when they were Young, others spend upon that 
Stock, and some improve it. 

3. Religion is like the Fashion : one Man wears his 
Doublet slashed, another laced, another plain ; but every 
Man has a Doublet. So every man has his Religion. 
We differ about Trimming.* 

4. Men say they are of the same Religion for Quiet- 
ness sake ; but if the Matter were well examined you would 

* May not this have afforded a hint to Swift for The Tale of a 
Tub? 



142 DISCOURSES, OR 

scarce find Three any where of the same Religion in all 
Points. 

5. Every Religion is a getting Religion ; for though I 
myself get nothing, I am subordinate to those that do. 
So you may find a Lawyer in the Temple that gets little 
for the present ; but he is fitting himself to be in time one 
of those great Ones that do get. 

6. Alteration of Religion is dangerous, because we know 
not where it will stay : 'tis like a Millstone that lies upon 
the top of a pair of Stairs ; 'tis hard to remove it, but if 
once it be thrust off the first Stair, it never stays till it 
comes to the bottom. 

7. Question. Whether is the Church or the Scripture 
Judge of Religion? Answer. In truth neither, but the 
State. I am troubled with a Boil ; I call a Company of 
Chirurgeons about me ; one prescribes one thing, another 
another ; I single out something I like, and ask you that 
stand by, and are no Chirurgeon, whatthink you of it. You 
like it too ; you and I are Judges of the Plaster, and we 
bid them prepare it, and there's an end. Thus 'tis in Re- 
ligion : the Protestants say they will be judged by the 
Scriptures ; the Papists say so too ; but that cannot speak. 
A Judge is no Judge, except he can both speak and com- 
mand Execution ; but the truth is they never intend to 
agree. No doubt the Pope, where he is Supreme, is to be 
Judge ; if he say we in England ought to be subject to 
him, then he must draw his Sword and make it good. 

8. By the Law was the Manual received into the Church 
before the Reformation ; not by the Civil Law, that had 
nothing to do in it ; nor by the Canon Law, for that 



TABLE-TALK. 143 

Manual that was here, was not in France, nor in Spain ; 
but by Custom, which is the Common Law of England; 
and Custom is but the Elder Brother to a Parliament : 
and so it will fall out to be nothing that the Papists say, 
ours is a Parliamentary Religion, by reason the Service- 
Book was Established by Act of Parliament, and never any 
Service-Book was so before. That will be nothing that 
the Pope sent the Manual ; 'twas ours, because the State 
received it. The State still makes the Religion, and re- 
ceives into it what will best agree with it. Why are the 
Venetians Roman Catholics ? because the State likes the 
Religion ; all the World knows they care not Three-pence 
for the Pope. The Council of Trent is not at this day 
admitted in France. 

9. Papist. Where was your Religion before Luther, 
an Hundred years ago ? Protestant. Where was America 
an Hundred or Sixscore Years ago ? our Religion was 
where the rest of the Christian Church was. Papist. 
Our Religion continued ever since the Apostles, and there- 
fore 'tis better. Protestant. So did ours. That there 
was an Interruption of it, will fall out to be nothing, no 
more than if another Earl should tell me of the Earl of 
Kent ; saying, He is a better Earl than he, because there 
was one or two of the Family of Kent did not take the 
Title upon them ; yet all that while they were really Earls ; 
and afterwards as great a Prince declared them to be 
Earls of Kent, as he that made the other Family an Earl. 

10. Disputes in Religion will never be ended, because 
there wants a Measure by which the Business would be 
decided. The Puritan would be judged by the Word of 



144 DISCOURSES, OR 

God : If he would speak clearly he means himself, but he 
is ashamed to say so ; and he would have me believe him 
before a whole Church, that has read the Word of God 
as well as he. One says one thing, and another another ; 
and there is, I say, no Measure to end the Controversy. 
'Tis just as if Two Men were at Bowls, and both judged 
by the Eye. One says 'tis his Cast, the other says 'tis my 
Cast ; and having no Measure, the Difference is Eternal. 
Ben Jonson Satirically expressed the vain Disputes of 
Divines, by Inigo Lanthorn, disputing with his Puppet in 
a Bartholomew Fair. It is so ; It is not so : It is so ; 
It is not so ; crying thus one to another a quarter of an 
Hour together. 

11. In Matters of Religion to be ruled by one that 
writes against his Adversary, and throws all the Dirt he 
can in his Face, is, as if in point of good Manners a Man 
should be governed by one whom he sees at Cuffs with 
another, and thereupon thinks himself bound to give the 
next Man he meets a Box on the Ear. 

12. 'Tis to no purpose to labour to reconcile Religions, 
when the Interest of Princes will not suffer it. 'Tis well 
if they could be reconciled so far that they should not 
cut one another's Throats. 

13. There's all the Reason in the World, Divines 
should not be suffered to go a Hair beyond their Bounds, 
for fear of breeding Confusion, since there now be so 
many Religions on Foot. The Matter was not so narrowly 
to be looked after when there was but one Religion in 
Christendom : the rest would cry him down for an 
Heretic, and there was no Body to side with him. 



TABLE-TALK. 145 

14. We look after Religion as the Butcher did after 
his Knife, when he had it in his Mouth. 

15. Religion is made a Juggler's Paper; now 'tis a 
Horse, now 'tis a Lanthorn, now 'tis a Boar, now 'tis a 
Man. To serve Ends Religion is turned into all Shapes. 

16. Pretending Religion and the Law of God, is to set 
all things loose. When a Man has no mind to do some- 
thing he ought to do by his Contract with Man, then he 
gets a Text, and interprets it as he pleases, and so thinks 
to get loose. 

17. Some Men's pretending Religion, is like the Roar- 
ing Boys'* way of challenges, Their Reputation is dear, 
it does not stand with the Honour of a Gentleman ; 
when, God knows, they have neither Honour nor Reputa- 
tion about them. 

18. They talk much of settling Religion : Religion is 
well enough settled already, if we would let it alone. 
Methinks we might look after, fyc. 

19. If Men would say they took Arms for any thing 
but Religion, they might be beaten out of it by Reason : 
out of that they never can, for they will not believe you 
whatever you say. 

20. The very Arcanum of pretending Religion in all 
Wars, is, That something may be found out in which all 
men may have interest. In this the Groom has as much 
interest as the Lord. Were it for Land, one has One 
Thousand Acres, and the other but One ; he would not 

* Roaring Boys. The Swash bucklers or bullying bucks of 
Charles's time. 

L 




146 DISCOURSES, OR 

venture so far as he that has a Thousand. But Religion 
is equal to both. Had all Men Land alike, by a Lex 
Agraria, then all Men would say they fought for Land. 



Sabbath. 

JHY should I think all the fourth Command- 
ment belongs to me, when all the fifth does 
not ? What Land will the Lord give me for 
honouring my Father ? It was spoken to the Jews with 
reference to the Land of Canaan ; but the meaning is, 
If I honour my Parents, God will also bless me. We 
read the Commandments in the Church-Service, as we do 
David's Psalms; not that all there concerns us, but a 
great deal of them does. 

Sacrament. 

HRIST suffered Judas to take the Commu- 
nion. Those Ministers that keep their Parish- 
ioners from it, because they will not do as 
they will have them, revenge, rather than reform. 

2. No Man can tell whether I am fit to receive the 
Sacrament ; for though I were fit the day before, when he 
examined me, at least appeared so to him, yet how can 
he tell, what sin I have committed that night, or the next 
morning, or what impious Atheistical thoughts I may have 
about me, when I am approaching to the very Table ? 





TABLE-TALK, 147 

Salvation. 

>E can best understand the meaning of aurripia, 
Salvation, from the Jews, to whom the Saviour 
was promised. They held that themselves 
should have the chief place of happiness in the other 
world ; but the Gentiles that were good men, should like- 
wise have their portion of Bliss there too. Now by Christ 
the Partition-Wall is broken down, and the Gentiles that 
believe in him, are admitted to the same place of Bliss 
with the Jews ; and why then should not that portion of 
Happiness still remain to them, who do not believe in 
Christ, so they be morally Good ? This is a charitable 
opinion. 

State. 

\ N a troubled State save as much for your own 
as you can. A Dog had been at Market to 
buy a Shoulder of Mutton ; coming home he 
met two Dogs by the way, that quarrelled with him ; he 
laid down his Shoulder of Mutton, and fell to fighting with 
one of them ; in the meantime the other Dog fell to eating 
his Mutton ; he seeing that, left the Dog he was fighting 
with, and fell upon him that was eating ; then the other 
Dog fell to eat : when he perceived there was no remedy, 
but which of them soever he fought withal, his Mutton was 
in danger, he thought he would have as much of it as he 
could, and thereupon gave over fighting, and fell to eating 
himself. 





148 DISCOURSES, OR 



Superstition. 

^HEY that are against Superstition 'oftentimes 
run into it of the wrong side. If I will wear 
all colours but black, then am I superstitious 
in not wearing black. 

2. They pretend not to abide the Cross,* because 'tis 
superstitious ; for my part I will believe them, when I see 
them throw their money out of their pockets, and not till 
then. 

3. If there be any Superstition truly and properly so 
called, 'tis their observing the Sabbath after the Jewish 
manner. 

Subsidies. 

JERETOFORE the Parliament was wary what 
Subsidies they gave to the King, because they 
had no account ; but now they care not how 
much they give of the Subjects' money, because they give 
it with one hand, and receive it with the other; and so 
upon the matter give it themselves. In the mean time 
what a case the Subjects of England are in ! If the men 

* It will be remembered that on the old coins the reverse had 
generally the device of a Cross, hence the French phrase of 
" Jouer Croix et pile'' for to play at tossing for heads or tails. So 
in As You Like It, ii. 4. f ' Touch. For my part I had rather bear 
with you than bear you ; yet I should bear no Cross if I did bear 
you ; for I think you have no money in your purse." 





TABLE-TALK. 149 

they have sent to the Parliament misbehave themselves, 
they cannot help it, because the Parliament is eternal. 

2. A Subsidy was counted the fifth part of a man's 
Estate, and so fifty Subsidies is five and forty times more 
than a man is worth. 

Simony. 

HE Name of Simony was begot in the Canon- 
Law : the first Statute against it was in 
Queen Elizabeth's time. Since the Refor- 
mation Simony has been frequent : One reason why it 
was not practised in time of Popery, was the Pope's pro- 
vision ; no man was sure to bestow his own Benefice. 

Ship-Money. 

R. Noy brought in Ship-money first for Maritime 
Towns; but that was like putting in a little 
Auger, that afterwards you may put in a 
greater. He that pulls down the first Brick, does the 
main Work ; afterwards 'tis easy to pull down the Wall. 
2. They that at first would not pay Ship-money, till 
'twas decided, did like brave men, though perhaps they 
did no good by the Trial ; but they that stand out since, 
and suffer themselves to be distrained, never questioning 
those that do it, do pitifully, for so they only pay twice 
as much as they should.* 

* Selden evidently doubted whether Ilampden's contest against 
the payment of Ship-Money, though praiseworthy and correct, 





150 DISCOURSES, OR 



Synod Assembly * 

>E have had no National Synod since the King- 
dom hath been settled as now it is, only 
Provincial; and there will be this incon- 
veniency, to call so many Divines together ; 'twill be to 
put power in their Hands, who are too apt to usurp it, as 
if the Laity were bound by their determination. No, let 
the Laity consult with Divines on all sides, hear what they 
say, and make themselves Masters of their Reasons ; as 
they do by any other profession, when they have a dif- 
ference before them. For Example, Goldsmiths, they 
enquire of them, if such a Jewel be of such a value, and 
such a stone of such a value, hear them, and then, being 
rational men, judge themselves. 

2. Why should you have a Synod, when you have a 

was of any benefit to the country, and we may consider that his 
doubt was founded upon a just fear that it would aggravate the 
growing enmity between the people and the Sovereign, and 
would involve in one feeling of dislike all the constituted branches 
of the Executive." Johnson's Memoirs ofSelden. 

* It was not composed like the yearly General Synods of the 
Presbyterian Church, entrusted with independent power ; but 
was a Committee to advise with Parliament in matters of Reli- 
gion, and referring all to the final sanction of Parliament. The 
Presbyterian party strove hard to make their Church and 
councils independent of the state ; but Selden and the Erastians 
kept them under the civil power. 

The Assembly began to sit in July, 1643, in February, 1648-9, 
changed into a Committee for the ordination of Ministers, and 
broke up finally in 1652. 



TABLE-TALK. 151 

Convocation already, which is a Synod ? Would you have 
a superfetation of another Synod ? The Clergy of Eng- 
land, when they cast off the Pope, submitted themselves 
to the Civil Power, and so have continued, but these 
challenge to be Jure Divino, and so to be above the 
Civil Power ; these challenge power to call before their 
Presbyteries all Persons for all sins directly against the 
Law of God, as proved to be sins by necessary conse- 
quence. If you would buy Gloves, send for a Glover or 
two, not Glovers- Hall: consult with some Divines, not 
send for a Body. 

3. There must be some Laymen in the Synod, to 
overlook the Clergy, lest they spoil the Civil work : Just 
as when the good Woman puts a Cat into the Milk-House 
to kill a Mouse, she sends her Maid to look after the Cat, 
lest the Cat should eat up the Cream. 

4. In the Ordinance for the Assembly, the Lords and 
Commons go under the names of learned, godly, and 
judicious Divines ; there is no difference put betwixt them 
and the Ministers in the context. 

5. 'Tis not unusual in the Assembly to revoke their 
Votes, by reason they make so much haste, but 'tis that 
will make them scorned. You never heard of a Council 
[that] revoked an Act of its own making; they have 
been wary in that, to keep up their Infallibility ; if they did 
any thing, they took away the whole Council, and yet we 
would be thought infallible as any body. 'Tis not enough 
to say, the House of Commons revoke their Votes, for 
theirs are but Civil truths, which they by agreement 
create, and uncreate, as they please : but the Truths the 



152 DISCOURSES, OR 

Synod deals in are Divine ; and when they have voted a 
thing, if it be then true, 'twas true before ; not true be- 
cause they voted it, nor does it cease to be true because 
they voted otherwise. 

6. Subscribing in a Synod, or to the Articles of a 
Synod, is no such terrible thing as they make it ; because, 
If I am of a Synod, 'tis agreed, either tacitly or expressly, 
that which the major part determines, the rest are involved 
in; and therefore I subscribe, though my own private 
Opinion be otherwise; and upon the same Ground, I may 
without scruple subscribe to what those have determined 
whom I sent, though my private Opinion be otherwise, 
having respect to that which is the Ground of all assem- 
blies; the major part carries it. 



Thanksgiving. 

T first we gave thanks for every Victory as 
soon as ever 'twas obtained ; but since we 
have had many, now we can stay a good while. 
We are just like a Child : give him a Plum, he makes his 
Leg; give him a second Plum, he makes another Leg; 
at last when his Belly is full, he forgets what he ought to 
do; then his Nurse, or some body else that stands by 
him, puts him in mind of his Duty ; Where's your Leg ? 





TABLE-TALK. 153 



Tithes. 

yTHES are more paid in kind in England, 
than in all Italy and France. In France 
they have had Impropriations * a long time ; 
we had none in England till Henry the Eighth. 

2. To make an Impropriation, there was to be the 
consent of the Incumbent, the Patron, and the King ; 
then 'twas confirmed by the Pope : without all this the 
Pope could make no Impropriation. 

3. Or what if the Pope gave the Tithes to any Man, 
must they therefore be taken away? If the Pope gives 
me a Jewel, will you therefore take it away from me ? 

4. Abraham paid Tithes to Melchizedeck. What 
then ? 'Twas very well done of him ; it does not follow 
therefore that I must pay Tithes, no more than I am 
bound to imitate any other action of Abrahams. 

5. 'Tis ridiculous to say the Tithes are God's Part, and 
therefore the Clergy must have them. Why, so they are 
if the Layman has them. 'Tis as if one of my Lady 
Kent's Maids should be sweeping this Room, and another 
of them should come and take away the Broom, and tell 
for a Reason why she should part with it ; 'Tis my Lady's 
Broom : As if it were not my Lady's Broom, which of 
them soever had it. 

6. They consulted in Oxford where they might find 

* Importations, i. e. Lay-impropriations ; appropriation being 
the proper term for any benefice given into clerical hands. 



154 DISCOURSES, OR 

the best Argument for their Tithes, setting aside the Jus 
Divinum ; they were advised to my History of Tithes; 
a Book so much cried down by them formerly ; in which, 
I dare boldly say, there are more arguments for them 
than are extant together any where. Upon this, one writ 
me word, That my History of Tithes was now become like 
Pelias Hasta,* to wound and to heal. I told him in my 
Answer, I thought I could fit him with a better Instance. 
'Twas possible it might undergo the same Fate, that 
Aristotle, Avicen, and Averroes did in France, some five 
hundred Years ago; which were Excommunicated by 
Stephen Bishop of Paris (by that very name, Excom- 
municated) because that kind of Learning puzzled and 
troubled their Divinity ; but finding themselves at a loss, 
some Forty Years after (which is much about the time 
since I writ my History) they were called in again, and so 
have continued ever since. 

Trade. 

I HE RE is no Prince in Christendom but is 
directly a Tradesman, though in another way 
than an ordinary Tradesman. For the pur- 
pose, I have a Man ; I bid him lay out twenty Shillings 
in such Commodities ; but I tell him for every Shilling he 
lays out I will have a Penny. I trade as well as he. 
This every Prince does in his Customs. 

2. That which a Man is bred up in he thinks no 

* Pelias' hasta, i. e. the spear of Achilles, which was necessary 
to cure the wound it had inflicted on Telephus. 





TABLE-TALK. 155 

cheating ; as your Tradesman thinks not so of his Profes- 
sion, but calls it a Mystery. Whereas if you would 
teach a Mercer to make his Silks heavier, than what he 
has been used to, he would peradventure think that to be 
cheating. 

3. Every Tradesman professes to cheat me, that asks 
for his Commodity twice as much as it is worth. 

Tradition. 

JAY what you will against Tradition; we 
know the Signification of Words by nothing 
but Tradition. You will say the Scripture 
was written by the Holy Spirit ; but do you understand 
that Language 'twas writ in ? No. Then for Example, take 
these words, In principle erat verbum. How do you 
know those words signify, In the beginning' was the word, 
but by Tradition, because some Body has told you so ? 

Transubstantiation. 

i HE Fathers using to speak Rhetorically, 
brought up Transubstantiation : as if because 
it is commonly said, Amicus est alter idem, 
one should go about to prove a Man and his Friend are 
all one. That Opinion is only Rhetoric turned into Logic. 
2. There is no greater Argument (though not used) 
against Transubstantiation than the Apostles at their first 
Council forbidding Blood and Suffocation. Would they 
forbid Blood, and yet enjoin the eating of Blood too ? 





156 DISCOURSES, OR 

3. The best way for a pious Man, is, to address him- 
self to the Sacrament with that Reverence and Devotion, 
as if Christ were really there present. 

Traitor. 

; IS not seasonable to call a Man Traitor that has 
an Army at his Heels. One with an Army 
is a Gallant man. My Lady Cotton was in 
the right, when she laughed at the Dutchess of Richmond 
for taking such State upon her, when she could Command 
no Forces. She a Dutchess ! there's in Flanders a 
Dutchess indeed; meaning the Arch-Dutchess. 

Trinity. 

tHE second Person is made of a piece of Bread 
by the Papist, the Third Person is made of 
his own Frenzy, Malice, Ignorance and Folly, 
by the Roundhead. To all these the Spirit is intituled. 
One the Baker makes, the other the Cobler ; and betwixt 
those two, I think the First Person is sufficiently abused. 

Truth. 

SE Aristotelians say, All Truth is contained 
in Aristotle in one place or another. Galileo 
makes Simplicius say so, but shows the ab- 
surdity of that Speech, by answering, All Truth is con- 
tained in a lesser Compass, viz. in the Alphabet. Aris- 
totle is not blamed for mistaking sometimes, but Aristo- 





TABLE-TALK. 157 

telians for maintaining those mistakes. They should 
acknowledge the good they have from him, and leave him 
when he is in the wrong. There never breathed that 
Person to whom Mankind was more beholden. 

2. The way to find out the Truth is by others' mistak- 
ings ; for if I was to go to such a Place, and one had gone 
before me on the Right-hand, and he was out; another 
had gone on the Left-hand, and he was out; this would 
direct me to keep the middle way, that peradventure would 
bring me to the place I desired to go. 

3. In troubled Water you can scarce see your Face, 
or see it very little, till the Water be quiet and stand still. 
So in troubled times you can see little Truth ; when times 
are quiet and settled, then Truth appears. 

Trial. 

.RIALS are by one of these three ways; by 
Confession, or by Demurrer; that is, con- 
fessing the Fact, but denying it to be that, 
wherewith a Man is charged ; for Example, denying it to 
be Treason, if a Man be charged with Treason ; or by a 
Jury. 

2. Ordalium was a Trial ; and was either by going 
over nine red-hot Plough Shares, (as in the Case of Queen 
Emma, accused for lying with the Bishop of Winchester, 
over which she being led blindfold, and having passed all 
her Irons, asked when she should come to her Trial ; or 
'twas by taking a red-hot Coulter in a Man's hand, and 
carrying it so many Steps, and then casting it from him. 




158 DISCOURSES, OR 

As soon as this was done, the Hands or the Feet were to 
be bound up, and certain Charms to be said, and a day 
or two after to be opened : if the parts were whole, the 
Party was judged to be Innocent ; and so on the contrary. 

3. The Rack is used no where as in England : * In 
other Countries 'tis used in Judicature, when there is a 
Semiplena probatio, a half Proof against a Man ; then 
to see if they can make it full, they rack him if he will 
not confess. But here in England they take a Man and 
rack him, I do not know why, nor when ; not in time of 
Judicature, but when some body bids. 

4. Some Men before they come to their Trial, are 
cozened to Confess upon Examination. Upon this Trick, 
they are made to believe some body has confessed before 
them ; and then they think it a piece of Honour to be 
clear and ingenuous, and that destroys them. 



University. 

EIE best Argument why Oxford should have 
precedence of Cambridge, is the Act of Par- 
liament, by which Oxford is made a Body, 
made what it is, and Cambridge is made what it is ; and 

* It is commonly believed the Rack was not used in England 
later than 1619, when Peacham, suspected of treason, was racked 
by order of the Privy Council. But Mr. Jardine quotes from the 
Council Book a series of warrants for torture from Edward the 
Sixth down to 1 640. The twelve Judges declared it was against 
the Law, hi Felton's case. 




TABLE. TALK. 159 

in the Act it takes place. Besides Oxford has the best 
Monuments to show. 

2. 'Twas well said of one, hearing of a History Lecture 
to be founded in the University: Would to God, says 
he, they would direct a Lecture of Discretion there ; this 
would do more Good there a hundred times. 

3. He that comes from the University to govern the 
State, before he is acquainted with the Men and Manners 
of the Place, does just as if he should come into the pre- 
sence Chamber all Dirty, with his Boots on, his riding 
Coat, and his Head all daubed. They may serve him 
well enough in the Way, but when he comes to Court, 
he must conform to the Place. 

Vows. 

QPPOSE a Man find by his own Inclination 
he has no mind to marry, may he not then 
vow Chastity ? Answer. If he does, what a 
fine thing hath he done ! 'tis as if a Man did not love 
Cheese, and then he would vow to God Almighty never 
to eat Cheese. He that vows can mean no more in sense 
than this ; to do his utmost endeavour to keep his Vow. 

Usury. 

\ 

,HE Jews were forbidden to take Use one of 

another, but they were not forbidden to take 
it of other Nations. That being so, I see no 
reason, why I may not as well take Use for my Money 





160 DISCOURSES, OR 

as Rent for my House.* 'Tis a vain thing to say, Money 
begets not Money ; for that no doubt it does. 

2. Would it not look oddly to a Stranger that should 
come into this Land, and hear in our Pulpits Usury 
preached against, and yet the Law allow it ? Many Men 
use it ; perhaps some Churchmen themselves. No Bishop 
nor Ecclesiastical Judge, that pretends power to punish 
other Faults, dares punish, or at least does punish any 
man for doing it. 

Pious Uses. 

HE ground of the Ordinary's taking part of 
a Man's Estate, who died without a Will, to 
Pious Uses, was this ; to give it some body to 
pray, that his Soul might be delivered out of Purgatory : 
now the pious Uses come into his own Pocket. 'Twas 
well expressed by John O Powls in the Play, who acted the 
Priest : one that was to be hanged, being brought to the 
Ladder, would fain have given something to the Poor ; 
he feels for his Purse, (which John O Powls had picked 
out of his Pocket before,) missing it, cries out, he had lost 
his Purse ; now he intended to have given something to 
the Poor : John O Powls bid him be pacified, for the 
Poor had it already. 

* The prejudice against taking Use or Interest for money was 
then termed Usury, and was considered if not criminal, at least 
hateful. The reader may turn to Lord Bacon's 41st Essay, which 
is on this subject, to see with what caution he ventures to speak 
of " the Commodities of Usury," and he will be amused with 
some of the arguments against it. 





TABLE-TALK. 161 



War. 

O not under-value an Enemy by whom you 
have been worsted. When our Country-men 
came home from fighting with the Saracens, 
and were beaten by them, they pictured them with huge, 
big, terrible Faces (as you still see the sign of the Sara- 
cens Head is) when in truth they were like other Men. 
But this they did to save their own Credits. 

2. Martial-Law* in general, means nothing but the 
Martial-Law of this, or that Place : with us to be used in 
Fervore Belli, in the Face of the Enemy, not in time 
of Peace ; there they can take away neither Limb nor 
Life. The Commanders need not complain for want of 
it, because our Ancestors have done gallant things with- 
out it. 

3. Question. Whether may Subjects take up Arms 
against their Prince ? Answer. Conceive it thus : Here 
lies a Shilling betwixt you and me; Ten Pence of the 
Shilling is yours, Two Pence is mine : by agreement, I 



* Martial Law. This was one of the chief grievances com- 
plained of in the Petition of Right, debated many days in Parlia- 
ment, and Selden one of the chief speakers. Charles had billeted 
his soldiers illegally on his subjects ; any crimes, violence, &c. 
those soldiers should commit, to be punished by Martial Law 
whereby many were illegally executed, and many, acquitted by 
the Martial Law, evaded the surer process of the Common Law. 
Great outrage and violence prevailed ; the roads were not safe, 
markets unfrequented, &c. 

II 



162 DISCOURSES, OR 

am as much King of my Two Pence, as you of your Ten 
Pence. If you therefore go about to take away my Two 
Pence, I will defend it, for there you and I are equal, 
both Princes. 

4. Or thus, two supreme Powers meet : one says to the 
other, give me your Land ; if you will not, I will take it 
from you ; the other, because he thinks himself too weak 
to resist him, tells him, of Nine Parts I will give you 
Three, so I may quietly enjoy the rest, and I will become 
your Tributary. Afterwards the Prince comes to exact 
Six Parts, and leaves but Three; the Contract then is 
broken, and they are in Parity again. 

5. To know what Obedience is due to the Prince, you 
must look into the Contract betwixt him and his People ; 
as if you would know what Rent is due from the Tenant 
to the Landlord, you must look into the Lease. When 
the Contract is broken, and there is no third Person to 
judge, then the Decision is by Arms. And this is the Case 
between the Prince and the Subject. 

6. Question. What Law is there to take up Arms against 
the Prince, in Case he break his Covenant ? Answer. 
Though there be no written Law for it, yet there is Cus- 
tom, which is the best Law of the Kingdom ; for in Eng- 
land they have always done it. There is nothing expressed 
between the King of England and the King of Prance, 
that if either Invades the other's Territory, the other shall 
take up Arms against him ; and yet they do it upon such 
an Occasion. 

7. Tis all one to be plundered by a Troop of Horse, or 
to have a Man's Goods taken from him by an Order from 



TABLE-TALK. 163 

the Council Table. To him that dies, 'tis all one whether 
it be by a Penny Halter, or a Silk Garter ; yet I confess 
the silk Garter pleases more ; and like Trouts, we love 
to be tickled to Death. 

8. The Soldiers say they fight for Honour, when the 
Truth is they have their Honour in their Pocket ; and 
they mean the same thing that pretend to fight for 
Religion. Just as a Parson goes to Law with his Parish- 
ioners ; he says, For the good of his Successors, that the 
Church may not lose its Right ; when the meaning is to 
get the Tithes into his own Pocket. 

9. We govern this War as an unskilful Man does a 
Casting-Net : if he has not the right trick to cast the Net 
off his Shoulder, the Leads will pull him into the River. 
I am afraid we shall pull ourselves into Destruction. 

10. We look after the particulars of a Battle, because 
we live in the very time of War ; whereas of Battles past 
we hear nothing but the number slain. Just as for the 
Death of a Man : when he is sick, we talk how he slept 
this Night, and that Night, what he eat, and what he 
drank : But when he is dead, we only say, he died of a 
Fever, or name his Disease, and there's an end. 

11. Boccaline* has this passage of Soldiers. They 
came to Apollo to have their Profession made the Eighth 
Liberal Science, which he granted. As soon as it was 
noised up and down, it came to the Butchers, and they 
desired their Profession might be made the Ninth : For 

* Bagguagli di Parnasso, Centuria I. cap. Ixxv. This book 
seems to have been a favourite with Selden, he has cited it else- 
where. It was extremely popular for its wit and satire. 




164 DISCOURSES, OR 

say they, the Soldiers have this Honour for the killing of 
Men ; now we kill as well as they ; but we kill Beasts for 
the preserving of Men, and why should not we have 
Honour likewise done to us ? Apollo could not Answer 
their Reasons, so he reversed his Sentence, and made the 
Soldier's Trade a Mystery, as the Butcher's is. 

Witches* 

HE Law against Witches does not prove there 
be any ; but it punishes the Malice of those 
People, that use such means to take away 
Men's Lives. If one should profess that by turning his 
Hat thrice, and crying Buz, he could take away a Man's 

* There is a remarkable coincidence of opinion on the justice 
of punishing Witchcraft between Selden and Hobbes. " As for 
Witches, I think not that their witchcraft is any real power ; but 
yet that they are justly punished for the false beliefe they have 
that they can do such mischiefe, joyned with their purpose to do 
it if they can : their trade being nearer to a new Religion than to 
a Craft or Science." Leviathan, p. 7,ed. 1651. 

This however would only apply to those who practised witchery 
with an evil intention, or to impose on credulity. Many of the 
poor wretches who were cruelly tormented and executed as sup- 
posed witches, were the victims of wicked informers or malevolent 
and ignorant neighbours, or enemies. And their confessions 
were extorted from them by cruel tortures. It seems now mar- 
vellous that the belief in witches so long maintained itself not only 
among the people, but among men of high intellectual power, a 
Glanville and a Henry More. Even Bentley defends the belief in 
witchcraft on the ground of the existence of a public law against it 
declaring it felony, and Dr. Samuel Clarke in his Exposition of the 
Church Catechism appears to countenance the popular credulity. 




TABLE. TALK. 165 

Life, though in truth he could do no such thing, yet this 
were a just Law made by the State, that whosoever should 
turn his Hat thrice, and cry Buz, with an intention to 
take away a Man's Life, shall be put to death. 

Wife. 

|E that hath a handsome Wife, by other Men is 
thought happy; 'tis a Pleasure to look upon 
her, and be in her Company ; but the Husband 

is cloyed with her. We are never content with what we 

have. 

2. You shall see a Monkey sometime, that has been 
playing up and down the Garden, at length leap up to 
the top of the Wall, but his Clog hangs a great way below 
on this side: the Bishop's Wife is like that Monkey's 
Clog; himself is got up very high, takes place of the 
Temporal Barons, but his Wife comes a great way behind. 

3. "Tis reason a Man that will have a Wife should be 
at the Charge of her Trinkets, and pay all the Scores she 
sets on him. He that will keep a Monkey 'tis fit he 
should pay for the Glasses he breaks. 

Wisdom. 

W T ise Man should never resolve upon any 
thin OP, at least never let the World know his 

O* 

Resolution, for if he cannot arrive at that, he 
is ashamed. How many things did the King resolve in 
his Declaration concerning Scotland, never to do, and 




166 DISCOURSES, OR 

yet did them all ! A Man must do according to Accidents 
and Emergencies. 

2. Never tell your Resolution beforehand ; but when 
the Cast is thrown, play it as well as you can to win the 
Game you are at. Tis but folly to study how to play 
Size-ace, when you know not whether you shall throw it 
or no. 

3. Wise Men say nothing in dangerous times. The 
Lion you know called the Sheep to ask her if his Breath 
smelt : she said, Aye ; he bit off her Head for a Fool. 
He called the Wolf and asked him : he said no ; he tore 
him in pieces for a Flatterer. At last he called the Fox 
and asked him : truly he had got a Cold and could not 
smell. 



Wit. 

JT and Wisdom differ ; Wit is upon the sudden 
turn, Wisdom is in bringing about ends. 

2. Nature must be the ground-work of 
Wit and Art ; otherwise whatever is done will prove but 
Jack-pudding's work. 

3. Wit must grow like Fingers. If it be taken from 
others, 'tis like Plums stuck upon black Thorns ; there 
they are for a while, but they come to nothing. 

4. He that will give himself to all manner of ways to 
get Money, may be rich ; so he that lets fly all he knows 
or thinks, may by chance be Satirically Witty. Honesty 
sometimes keeps a Man from growing Rich, and Civility 
from being Witty. 




TABLE-TALK. 167 

5. Women ought not to know their own Wit, because 
they will still be showing it, and so spoil it ; like a Child 
that will continually be showing its fine new Coat, till at 
length it all bedaubs it with its pah Hands. 

6. Fine Wits destroy themselves with their own Plots, 
in meddling with great Affairs of State. They commonly 
do as the Ape that saw the Gunner put -Bullets in the 
Cannon, and was pleased with it, and he would be doing 
so too : at last he puts himself into the Piece, and so both 
Ape and Bullet were shot away together. 



Women. 

\ET the Women have power of their heads, 
because of the Angels. The reason of the 
words because of the Angels, is this : The 
Greek Church held an Opinion that the Angels fell in 
Love with Women ; an Opinion grounded upon that, 
Genesis vi.* The Sons of God saw the Daughters of 
Men that they irerefair. This Fancy St. Paul discreetly 
catches, and uses it as an Argument to persuade them to 
modesty. 

2. The Grant of a Place is not good by the Canon Law, 
before a Man be dead : upon this ground some Mischief 
might be plotted against him in present possession, by 
poisoning or some other way. Upon the same reason a 
Contract made with a woman, during her Husband's Life, 
was not valid. 

But see also the Apocryphal Book of Enoch, ch. vii. v. 1,2. 




168 DISCOURSES, OR 

3. Men are not troubled to hear a Man dispraised, be- 
cause they know though he be nought, there's worth in 
others ; but Women are mightily troubled to hear any of 
them spoken against, as if the Sex itself were guilty of 
some Unworthiness. 

4. Women and Princes must both trust some body ; 
and they are Happy or Unhappy according to the desert 
of those under whose Hands they fall. If a Man knows 
how to manage the Favour of a Lady, her Honour is 
safe, and so is a Prince's. 



Year. 

the Manner of the Jews (if the Year 
did not fall out right, but that it was dirty for 
the People to come up to Jerusalem, at the 
Feast of the Passover, or that their Corn was not ripe 
for their first Fruits,) to intercalate a Month, and so to 
have, as it were, two Februaries, thrusting up the Year 
still higher, March into April's place, April into May's 
place, Sfc. Whereupon it is impossible for us to know 
when our Saviour was born, or when he died. 

2. The Year is either the Year of the Moon, or the 
Year of the Sun ; there's not above eleven Days difference. 
Our moveable Feasts are according to the Year of the 
Moon ; else they should be fixed. 

3. Though they reckon ten Days sooner beyond Sea, 
yet it does not follow their Spring is sooner than our's : 
we keep the same time in natural things, and their ten 



TABLE-TALK. 169 

Days sooner, and our ten Days later in those things mean 
the self same time; just as twelve Sous in French, are 
ten Pence in English. 

4. The lengthening of Days is not suddenly perceived 
till they are grown a pretty deal longer, because the Sun, 
though it be in a Circle, yet it seems for a while to go in 
a right Line. For take a Segment of a great Circle 
especially, and you shall doubt whether it be straight or 
no. But when the Sun is got past that Line, then you 
presently perceive the Days are lengthened. Thus it is 
in the Winter and Summer Solstice ; which is indeed the 
true Reason of them. 

5. The Eclipse of the Sun is, when it is new Moon ; 
the Eclipse of the Moon when 'tis full. They say Diony- 
sius was converted by the Eclipse that happened at our 
Saviour's Death, because it was neither of these, and so 
could not be natural. 



Zealots. 

|NE would wonder Christ should whip the 
Buyers and Sellers out of the Temple, and 
nobody offer to resist him, considering what 
Opinion they had of him. But the reason was, they had 
a Law, that whosoever did profane Sanctitatem Dei, aut 
Templi ; the Holiness of God or the Temple, before ten 
Persons, 'twas lawful for any of them to kill him, or to do 
any thing this side killing him, as whipping him, or the 
like. And hence it was, that when one struck our Saviour 




170 TABLE-TALK. 

before the Judge, where it was not lawful to strike (as it 
is not with us at this Day), he only replies ; If I have 
spoken Evil, bear Witness of the Evil ; but if Well, why 
smitest thou me ? He says nothing against their smiting 
him, in case he had been guilty of speaking Evil, that is 
Blasphemy ; and they could have proved it against him. 
They that put this Law into execution were called Zealots ; 
but afterwards they committed many Villanies. 



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A FEW NOTES ON SHAKESPEARE, with Occasional Remarks 
on the Emendations of the Manuscript-Corrector in Mr. Collier's copy of the folio, 
1652. By the Rev. Alexander Dyce. 8vo, cloth, 5s. 

" Mr. Dyce's Notes are peculiarly delight- enabled him to enrich them. All that he has 
ful, from the stores of illustration with recorded is valuable. We read his little vo- 
which Ms extensive reading not only among lume with pleasure, and close it with re- 
our writers, but among those of other couu- gret." Literary Gazette. 
tries, especially of the Italian poets, hag / 

Other Publications illustrative of Shakespeare 1 s Life and Writings. 

Malone's Letter to Dr. Farmer (in WiveWs Historical Account of the 

Reply to Ritson), relative to his Edition Monumental Bust of Shakespeare, in the 

of Shakespeare, published 1790. 8vo, Chancel of Stratford-on-Avon Church, 

sewed, Is. 8vo, 2 flutes, Is. 6d. 

Ireland's (W. Henry) Authentic Ireland's (W. H.) Vortigern, an 

Account of the Shakespearian Manu- Historical Play, represented at Drory 

scripts, &c. (respecting his fabrication of Lane, April 2, 1796, as a supposed newly 

them). 8vo, Is. 6d. discovered Drama of Shakespeare. Jfem 

n*.a~aJ~ ITT TU~\ 1?,*~ ., tJ, Edition, with an original Preface. 8vo, 

Graves s (H M.) Essay on the faffiMi , e> ls . M. &3 pri( 3,. M-) 

Genms of Shakespeare, with Critical Re- The preface ig both interesting and cu- 

marks on the Characters of Romeo, Vons, from the additional information 

Hamlet, Juliet, and Ophelia. Post 8vo, it gi ve g respecting the Shakespeare 

cloth, 2s. 6d. (original price 5s. 6d ) forgeries, containing also the substance 

Comparative Review of the Opi- of his " Confessions." 

nions of JAMES BOADEN, in 1795 and Traditionary Anecdotes of Shake- 

in 1796, relative to the Shakespeare MSS. speare, collected in Warwickshire in 1693. 

8vo, 2s. 6vo, sewed, la. 



VALUABLE AND INTERESTING BOOKS. 



Boaden (Jas.) on the Sonnets of 
Shakespeare, identifying the person to 
whom they are addressed, and elucidat- 
ing several points in the Poet's liistory. 
8vo, Is. 6d. 

Madden? s (Sir F.) Observations on 
an Autograph of Shakespeare, and the 
Orthography of his Name 8vo, sewed, Is. 

Criticism applied to Shakespeare. 
By C. Badharn. Post 8vo, Is. 

Collier's (J. P.) Reasonsfor a New 
Edition of Shakespeare's Works. 8vo, Is. 

Account of the only known Maitu- 
script of Shakespeare's Plays, comprising 
some important variations and correc- 
tions in the " Merry Wives of Windsor," 
obtained from a Playhouse Copy of that 
Play recently discovered. By J. 0. Hal- 
liwell. 8vo,"ls. 

Rimbaulfs " Who was ' Jack Wil- 
son' the Singer of Shakespeare's Stage ?" 
An attempt to prove the identity of this 
person with J ohnWilson, Doctor of Music 
in the University of Oxford, A.D. 1614. 
8vo, Is. 



Shakespeare 's Will, copied from 
the Original in the Prerogative Court, 
preserving the Interlineations and Fac- 
similes of the three Autographs of the 
Poet, with a few preliminary Observa- 
tions. By J. 0. Halliwell, I'.R.S., &c. 
4to, Is. 

A Few Remarks on the Emenda- 
tion " Who smothers her with Painting," 
in the Play of Cymbeline, discovered by 
Mr. Collier, in a Corrected Copy of the 
Second Edition of Shakespeare. By J. 0. 
Halliwell. 8vo, Is. 

A Few Words in Reply to Mr. 
Dyce's "Few Notes on Shakespeare." 
By the Rev. Joseph Hunter. 8vo, Is. 

The Grimaldi Shakespeare. 
Notes and Emendations on the Plays of 
Shakespeare, from a recently discovered 
annotated copy by the late J. Grimaldi, 
Esq., Comedian. 8vo, cuts, Is. 

A humorous squib on the late Shake- 
speare Emendations. 



THE PILGRIM FATHERS. Collections concerning the Church or 
Congregation of Protestant Separatists formed at Scrooby, in North Nottinghamshire, 
in the time of James I, the Founders of New Plymouth, the Parent Colony of New 
England. By the Rev. Joseph Hunter, F.S A., and an Assistant Keeper of her 
Majesty's Records. Handsomely printed. 8vo, cloth, 8s. 
This work contains some very important recently been discovered, through the in- 

particnlars of these personages, and their 

connections previously to their leaving 

England and Holland, which were entirely 

unknown to former writers, and have only 



defatigahle exertions of the Author. Pre- 
fixed to the volume are some beautiful 
Prefatory Stanzas, by Richard Monckton 
Millies, Esq., M.P. 



LOVE LETTERS OF MRS. PIOZZI (formerly Mrs. Thrale, the 
friend of Dr. Johnson), written when she was Eightv, to the handsome actor, William 
Augustus Conway, aged Twenty-seven. 8vo, sewed, 2s. 

LIFE OF MR. THOMAS GENT, Printer, of York. Written by 

himself. 8vo, fine portrait, engraved by Aug. Fox. Cloth, 2s. 6d. (original price 9s.) 
The Author of this curious, and hitherto was the author as well as printer. The 
unpublished, piece of Autobiography is well Book requires no encomium to those who 
known by the several works of which he have read Southey's " Doctor." 

ENGLAND'S WORTHIES, under whom all the Civil and Bloody 
Warres, since Anno 1642 to Anno 1647, are related. By John Vicars, Author of 
"England's Parliamentary Chronicle," &c. &c. Royal 12mo, reprinted in the old style 
(similar to Lady Willonyhby's Diary), with copies of the 18 rare portraits after Ho/tar, 
$-c. Half morocco, 5s. 

LISTER. The Autobiography of Joseph Lister (a Nonconformist), of 
Bradford, Yorkshire, with a contemporary account of the Defence of Bradford and 
Capture of Leeds, by the Parliamentarians, in 1642. Edited by Thos. Wright, F.S.A. 
8vo, sewed, 2s. 

FORMAN. The Autobiography and Personal Diary of Dr. Simon 
Foi'man, the celebrated Astrologer, 1552-1602, from unpublished MSS. in the Ashmu- 
lean Museum, Oxford. Edited by J.O. Halliwell. Small 4to, sewed, 5s. 
Only 150 copies privately printed. It will by the Camden Society, who also printed 

form a companion to Dr.Dee'sDiary, printed this work but afterwards suppressed it. 



JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, 36, SOHO SQUARE, LONDON. 5 

LIFE, POETKY, AND LETTERS OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT 
the Corn-Law Rhvmer (of Sheffield). Edited by his Son-in-Law, John Watkins 
?ost 8vo, cloth (an interesting volume), 3s. (original price 7s. 6d.) 

WESLEY. Narrative of a Remarkable Transaction in the Early Life 
of John Wesley. Now first printed, from a MS. in the British Museum. 8vo, sewed, 2s. 
A very curious love affair between J. W. thodists. It is entirely unknown to all 
and his housekeeper; it gives a curious in- Wesley's biographers. 
Bijrht into the early economy of the Me- 

GOUNTER'S (CoL, of Racton, Sussex) Account of the Miraculous 
Escape of King Charles II. Now first printed. Post 8vo, Is. 

This little tract takes up the narrative where the Royal memoir breaks off. 



literature. 



/COMPENDIOUS ANGLO-SAXON AND ENGLISH DIG- 
\J TIOXARY. By the Rev. J. Bosworth, D.D., F.R.S. be. 8vo, closely printed in 
treble columns, 12s. 



Large Paper. Royal 8vo (to match the next Article), cloth, 1. 



" This is not a mere abridgment of the most practical and valuable in the former 

large Dictionary, but almost an entirely expensive edition, with a great accession 

new work. In this compendious one will be of new words and matter." Author's 

found, at a very moderate price, all that is Preface. 

ON THE ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH, Germanic, and Scandi- 
navian Languages and Nations, with Chronological Specimens of their Languages. 
By J. Bosworth, D.D. Royal 8vo, boards, 1. 
A new and enlarged edition of what was of the Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, and now 

formerly the Preface to the First Edition published separately. 

ANGLO-SAXON DELECTUS ; serving as a first Class-Book to the 
Language. By the Rev. W. Barnes, B.D., of St. John's College, Cambridge. 12mo, 
cloth, 2s. 6d. 

" To those who wish to possess a critical by references to Greek, the Latin, French, 
knowledge of their own Native English, and other languages. A philosophical spirit 
some acquaintance with Anglo-Saxon is in- pervades every part. The Delectus consists 
dispensable ; and we have never seen an of short pieces, on various subjects, with 
introduction better calculated than the pre- extracts from Anglo-Saxon History and the 
gent to supply the wants of a beginner in a Saxon Chronicle. There is a good 'Glossary 
short space of time. The declensions and at the end." Atkenaevm, Oct. 20, 1849. 
conjugations are well stated, and illustrated 

GUIDE TO THE ANGLO-SAXON TONGUE : on the Basis of 

Professor Rask's Grammar ; to which are added, Reading Lessons, in Verse and Prose, 
with Notes, for the use of Learners. By E. J. Vernon, B.A-, Oxon. 12mo, cloth, or 
"Mr Vernon has, we think, acted wisely Anglo-Saxon write, in prose and verse, 
in taking Rask for his model ; but let no for the practice of the student, who will 
one suppose from the title that the book is find great assistance in reading them from 
merely a compilation from the work of that the grammatical notes with which they are 
philologist. The accidence is abridged from accompanied, and from the glossary which 
Bask, with constant revision, correction, follows them. This volume, well studied, 
and modification ; but the syntax, a most will enable any one to read with ease the 
important portion of the book, is original, generality of Anglo-Saxon writers ; and its 
and is compiled with great care and skill ; cheapness places it within the reach of 
and the latter half of the volume consists of every class. It has our hearty recommen- 
a well-chosen selection of extracts from dation." Literary Gazttte. 



6 VALUABLE AND INTERESTING BOOKS. 

ANALECTA ANGLO-SAXONICA. Selections, in Prose and Verse, 
from Anglo-Saxon Literature, with an Introductory Ethnological Essay, and Notes, 
Critical and Explanatory. By Louis F. Klipsteiu, of the University of Giessen. Two 
thick vols. post 8vo, cloth, 12s. (original price 18s.) , 

INTRODUCTION TO ANGLO-SAXON READING; comprising 

^Ifric's Homily on the Birth-day of St. Gregory, with a copious Glossary, &c. By 
L. Langley, F L.S. 12mo, cloth, 2s. 6d. 

^Elfric's Homily is remarkable for beauty forth Augustine's mission to the " Land of 
of composition, and interesting, as setting the Angles." 

ANGLO-SAXON VERSION OF THE LIFE OF ST. GUTHLAC, 

Hermit of Croyland. Printed, for the first time, from a MS. in the Cottonian Library, 
with a Translation and Notes. By Charles Wycliffe Goodwin, M.A., Fellow of Cathe- 
rine Hall, Cambridge. 12mo, clotb^ 5s. 

ANGLO-SAXON VERSION OF THE HEXAMERON OF ST. 

BASIL, and the Anglo-Saxon Remains of St. Basil's Admomtio ad Filium Spiritualem. 
Now first printed, from MSS. in the Bodleian Library, with a Translation and Notes. 
By the Rev. H. W. Norman. 8vo, Second Edition, enlarged. Sewed, 4s. 

ANGLO-SAXON VERSION OF THE STORY OF APOLLONIUS 

of Tyre ; upon which is founded the Play of Pericles, attributed to Shakespeare; 
from a MS., witn a Translation and Glossary. By Benjamin Thorpe. 12mo, cloth, 
4s. 6d. (original price 6s.) 

ANALECTA ANGLO-SAXONICA. A Selection, in Prose and Verse, 
from Anglo-Saxon Authors, of various ages, with a Glossary. By Benjamin Thorpe, 
F.S. A. A New Edition, with corrections and improvements. Post 8vo, cloth, 8s. (origiual 
price 12s.) 

POPULAR TREATISES ON SCIENCE, written during the Middle 
Ages, in Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman, and English. Edited by Thomas Wright, M.A. 
8vo, cloth, 3s. 

A PHILOLOGICAL GRAMMAR, grounded upon English, and 

formed from a comparison of more than Sixty Languages. Being an Introduction to 

the Science of Grammars of all Languages, especially English, Latin, and Greek. By 

the Rev. W. Barnes, B D., of St. John's College, Cambridge ; Author of " Poems iu 

the Dorset Dialect," " Anglo-Saxon Delectus," &c. 8vo (pp. 322), cloth, 9s. 

" Mr. Barnes' work is an excellent spe- tice may be traced, and that an attempt 

cimen of the manner in which the advauc- may be made to expound a true science of 

ing study of Philology may be brought to Grammar. Mr. Barnes has so far grounded 

illustrate and enrich a scientific exposi- his Grammar upon English as to make it an 

tion of English Grammar." Edinburgh English Grammar, but he has continually 

Guardian. referred to comparative philology, and 

" Of the science of Grammar, by indue- sought to render his work illustrative of 

tion from the philological facts of many general forms, in conformity with princi- 

languages, Mr. Barnes has, in this volume, pies common, more or less, to the language 

supplied a concise and comprehensive ma- of all mankind. More than sixty lan^iuges 

BULL Grammarians may differ as to the have been compared in the course of pre- 

regulanty of the principles on which na- paring the volume ; and the general prin- 

tions have constructed their forms and ciples laid down will be found useful in the 

usages of speech, but it is generally allowed study of various tongues. It is a learned 

that some conformity or similarity of prac- and philosophical treatise." Lit. 'Guz. 

SKELTON'S (John, Poet Laureate to Hewry VIII) Poetical Works : 

the Bowge of Court, Colin Clout, Why come ye not to Court ? (his celebrated Satire 
on Wolsey), Phillip Sparrow, Klinour Humming, fcc. ; with Notes and Life. By the 
Rev. A.Dyce. 2 vols. 8vo, cloth, 14s. (original orice 1. 12s.) 
" The power, the strangeness, the volu- manner, made Skelton one of the most ex- 

bility of his language, the audacity of his traordiuary writers of any age or country." 

satire, and the perfect originality of his Kouthey. 

EARLY HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY IN ENGLAND. Illus- 
trated by an English Poem of the XlVth Century, with Notes. By J. 0. Halh'well. 
Post 8vo, Second Edition, with a Jacsintile of the original JJM. in the British Museum. 
Cloth, 2s. 6d. 



JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, 36, SOHO SQUARE, LONDON. 7 

TORRENT OF PORTUGAL ; an English Metrical Romance. Now- 
first published, from an unique MS. of the XVth Century, preserved in the Chetham 
Library at Manchester. Edited by J. () Halliwell, &c. Post 8vo, cloth, uniform 
with Sit so/i, H'eber, and Ellit't publications. 5s. 
" This is a valuable and interesting ad- to the collections of Ritson, Weber, and 

dition to our list of early English metrical Ellis." Literary Gazette. 

romances, and an indispensable companion 

HARROWING OP HELL ; a Miracle Play, written in the Reign of 
Edward II. Now first published, from the Original in the British Museum, with a 
Modern Reading, Introduction, and Notes. By J. 0. Halliwell, Esq., F.R.S., F.SJL, 
&c. 8vo, sewed, 2s. 

NUG.E POETICA ; Select Pieces of Old English Popular Poetry, 
illustrating the Manners and Arts of the XVth Century. Edited by J. 0. Halliwell. 
Post 8vo, only 100 copies printed, cloth, 5s. 

ANECDOTA LITERARIA; a Collection of Short Poems. in English, 
Latin, and French, illustrative of the Literature and History of England in the Xlllth 
Centurv ; and more especially of the Condition and Manners of the different Classes 
of Socie'ty. Bv T. Wright, M.A., F.S.A., &c. 8vo, cloth, only 250 copies printed, 5s. 

EAR A MATHEMATICA ; or, a Collection of Treatises on the Mathe- 
matics and Subjects connected with them, from ancient inedited MSS. By J. O. 
Halliwell. 8vo, Second Edition, cloth, &. 

PHILOLOGICAL PROOFS of the Original Unity and Recent Origin 
of the Human Race, derived from a Comparison of the Languages of Europe, *". 
Africa, and America. By A. J. Johnes. 8vo, cloth, 6s. (original price 12s. Od.) 

Printed at the suggestion of Dr. trichord, to whose works it will be found a 
useful Supplement. 

eeo 



ialects of 



TIIBLIOGRAPHICAL LIST of all the Works which have been pub- 
Jj lished towards illustrating the Provincial Dialects of England. By John Russell 

Smith. Post 8vo, Is 

Very serviceable to such as prosecute .... We very cordially recommend it to 
the study of our provincial dialects, or are notice." 
collecting works on that curious subject Metropolitan. 

GLOSSARY OF PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL WORDS USED 

IN ENGLAND; by F. Grose, F.S.A.: with which is now incorporated the Supple- 

ment, by Samuel Pegge, F.S.A. Post 8vo, cloth, 4a. 6d. 

Cornwall. Specimens of Cornish Dorset. Poems of Rural Life, in 

Provincial Dialect, collected and ar- the Dorset Dialect with a D.ssertation 

ran-ed by Uncle Jan Treenoodle, with and Glossary By the Rev. Mini. Barnes, 

BonTe Introductory Remarks and a Glos- B.D. Second Ed>ho enlarged and cor- 

gary by an Antiquarian Friend; also a reeled, royal 12mo, cloth, 10s. 

Selection of Songs and other Pieces con- A fi tj f ^ u ui8 p, ayed 

nected wUh Cornwall Post 8vo i<A th ,, tn 7 varioul p f eces in ,L vo- 

a ctiriotis portrait of Dolly Pentrtath. lume; according to some critics nothing 

Cloth, 4s. jjgg appeared equal to it since the time 

e Attempt at a Glossary of Bums; the "Gentleman's Mag*. 



2s. M. (original price 5s.) 



8 



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Devonshire. A Devonshire Dia- 
logue, in Four Parts (by Mrs. Palmer, 
sister to Sir Joshua. Reynolds) with Glos- 
sary, by the Rev. J. Phillipps, of Mem- 
bury, Devon. 12mo, cloth, 2s. 6d. 

Durham. A Glossary of Words 
used in Teesdale, in the County of Dur- 
ham. Post 8vo, with a Map of the Dis- 
trict. Cloth, 6s. 

Essex. John Noakes and Mary 
Styles : a Poem ; exhibiting some of tlie 
most striking lingual localisms peculiar 
to Essex ; with a Glossary. By Charles 
Clark, Esq., of Great Totham Hall, Essex. 
Post 8vo, cloth, 2s. 

Lancashire.-Dialect of South Lan- 
cashire, or Tim Bobbin's Tumiuus and 
Meary; revised and corrected, with his 
Rhymes, and an enlarged Glossary of 
Words aud Phrases, chiefly used by the 
Rural Population of the Manufacturing 
Districts of South Lancashire. By Samuel 
Bamford. 12mo, Second Edition. Cloth, 
3s. Gd. 

Leicestershire Words, Phrases, 
and Proverbs. By A. B. Evans, D.D., 
Head Master of Market-Hosworth Gram- 
mar School. 13mo, cloth, 5s. 

Northamptonshire. The Dialect 
and folk-Lore of Northamptonshire : a 
Glossary of Northamptousliire Provin- 
cialisms, Collection of Fairy Legends, 
Popular Superstitions, Ancient Customs, 
Proverbs, s.c. By Thomas Sternberg. 
12mo, cloth, 5s. 

Northamptonshire. Glossary of 
Northamptonshire Words and Phrases ; 
with examples of their colloquial use, and 
illustrations, frojn various Authors; to 
which are added, the Customs of the 
County. By Miss A. E. Baker. 2 vols. 
post 8vo, cloth, &\. 4s. 



Sussex. A Glossary of the Pro- 
vincialisms of the County of Sussex. 
By W. Durrant Cooper, F.S.A. Post bvo, 
Second Edition, enlarged. Cloth, 5s. 

Westmoreland and Cumberland. 
Dialogues, Poems, Songs, and Ballads, 
by various Writers, in the Westmoreland 
and Cumberland Dialects ; now first 
collected; to which is added, a copious. 
Glossary of Words peculiar to those Coun- 
ties. Post 8vo (pp. 408), cloth, 9s. 

All the poetical quotations in "Mr. 
and Mrs. Sandboy's Visit to the Great 
Exhibition," are to be found in this 
volume. 

Wiltshire. A Glossary of Pro- 
vincial Words and Phrases in use in 
Wiltshire, showing their Derivation m 
numerous instances, from tlie Language 
of the Anglo-Saxons. By John Yonge 
Akerman, Esq., F.S.A. 12mo, cloth, 3s. 

Wiltshire, Sfc. Spring Tide, or 

the Angler and his Friends. By J. Y. 

Akerman. 12mo, plates, cloth, 3s. 6d. 

These Dialogues incidentally illustrate 

the Dialect of the West of England, 

Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Dia- 
lect, exemplified in various Dialogues. 
Tales, and Songs, applicable to the 
County ; with a Glossary. Post SYO, Is, 

A Glossary of Yorkshire Words 
and Phrases, collected in Whitby and ita 
Neighbourhood ; with examples of their 
colloquial use and allusions to local Cus- 
toms and Traditions. By an Inhabitant. 
12mo, cloth, 3s. 6d. 

Yorkshire. -The Hallamshire (dis- 
trict of Sheffield) Glossary. By the Rev. 
Joseph Hunter, author of the History of 
" Hallamshire," " South Yorkshire," &c. 
Post 8vo, cloth, 4s. (original price 8s. ) 



A RCH^OLOGICAL INDEX to Remains of Antiquity of the Celtic, 
jf\_ Romano-British, and Anglo-Saxon Periods. By John Yonge Akerman, Fellow and 
Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries. 8vo, illustrated with numerous engravings, 
comprising upwards of five hundred objects. Cloth, 15s. 

This work, though intended as an intro- The plates, indeed, form the most valuable 

part of the book, both by their number and 
the judicious selection of-types and exam- 
ples which they contain. It is a book 
which we can, on this account, safely and 
warmly recommend to all who are interest- 
ed in the antiquities of their native land." 
Literary Gazette, 



Tins worn, tnougn imenueu as an intro- 
duction and a guide to the study of our early 
antiquities, will, it is hoped, also prove of 
service as a book of reference to the prac- 
tised Archieologist. 

" One of the first wants of an incipient 
Antiquary is the facility of comparison; 
and here it is furnished him at one glance. 



JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, 36, SOHO SQUARE, LONDON. 9 

REMAINS OF PAGAN SAXONDOM, principally from Tumuli in 

England. Drawn from the Originals. Described aud illustrated by John Yonge 
Akerman, Fellow aud Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries. One handsome volume, 
4to, illustrated with 40 COLOURED PLATES, 'half morocco, 3. 

The plates are admirably executed by tion of the Author. It is a work well worthy 
Mr. Basire, and coloured under the direc- the notice of the Archseologist. 

VESTIGES OF THE ANTIQUITIES OF DERBYSHIRE, and 

the Sepulchral Usages of its Inhabitants, from the most Remote Ages to the Reforma- 
tion. By Thomas Bateman, Esq., of Yolgrave, Derbyshire. In one handsome volume, 
8vo, with numerous woodcuts of Tumuli and their contents, Cros3cs,Tombs, j-c. Cloth, las. 

RELIQULE ANTIQULE EBORACENSIS, or Relics of Antiquity, 
relating to the County of York. By W. Bowman, of Leeds, assisted by several 
eminent Antiquaries. 4to, 6 Parts (complete), flatet, 15s. 

KELIQULE ISURIAN^E : the Remains of the Roman Isurium, now 
AJdborough, near boroughbridge, Yorkshire, illustrated and described. By Henry 
Ecroyd Smith. Royal 4to, with 37 platu, cloth, 1. 5s. 

The most highly illustrated work erer published on a Roman Station in England. 

DESCRIPTION OF A ROMAN BUILDING, and other Remains, 
discovered at Caerleon, in Monmouthshire. By J. E. Lee. Imperial 8vo, with 20 in- 
teresting etchings by the Author. Sewed, 5s. 

ARCHAEOLOGIST AND JOURNAL OF ANTIQUARIAN 

SCIENCE. Edited by J. O. Halliwell. 8ro. Nos. I to X. complete, with Index (pp. 420), 

with 19 engravings, cloth, reduced Jrom 10s. 6d. to 5s. 6d. 

Containing original articles on Architec- graphy, Proceedings of the various Antiqua- 
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of Ireland, Philology, Bibliography, Topo- Reviews of recent Antiquarian Works, fcc. 

ULSTER JOURNAL OF ARCHEOLOGY : conducted under the 
superintendence of a Committee of Archseologists at Belfast. Handsomely printed 
in 4to, with engravings. Published Quarterly. Annual Subscription, 12s. Nos. i to 12 
are ready. 

ARCH^EOLOGIA CAMBRENSIS. A Record of the Antiquities, 
Historical, Genealogical, Topographical, and Architectural, of Wales and its Marches. 
FIRST SERIES, complete, in 4 vols, 8vo, many plates and woodcuts, cloth, 2. 2s. 
Any odd Parts may be had to complete Sets. 

- SBCOHD SZRLES, 6 vols. 8vo, cloth, 3. 3s. 

-- THIRD SERIES, VoL L, cloth, 1. 5s. 



Numismatics* 

TNTRODUCTIONTO THE STUDY OP ANCIENT AKD MODERN 

I COINS. Bv J. Y. Akerman, Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries. Foolscap 8vo, 

nith numerous wood engravings from the original Coins (an excellent introductory 

boot), cloth, 6s. 6d. 
TRADESMEN'S TOKENS struck in London and its Vicinity, from 

1648 to 1671, described from the originals in the British Museum, kc. By J. T. 

Akerman, F.S.A. 8vo, with 8 plates of numerous examples, cloth, 15s. 

Large faper, in 4to, cloth, 1. Is. 

This work comprises a list of nearly three and coffee-house sizn, *<? * *., *^* 
thousand Tokens, and contains occasional an introductory account of the muses 
illustrative topographical and antiquarian which led to the adoption of such a cur- 
notes on persons, places, streets, old tavern rency. 



10 VALUABLE AND INTERESTING BOOKS. 

ANCIENT COINS OF CITIES AND PRINCES, Geographically 
Arranged and Described Hispania, GaDia, Britannia. By J. Y. Akerman, F.S.A. 
8vo, with engravings of many hundred Coins- from actual examples. Cloth, 18s. 

COINS OF THE ROMANS RELATING TO BRITAIN, Described 
and Illustrated. Bj' J. Y. Akerman, F.S.A. Second Edition, greatly enlarged, 8vo, 
with plates and woodcuts, 10s. 6d. 

NUMISMATIC ILLUSTRATIONS of the Narrative Portions of the 

NEW TESTAMENT. By J. Y. Akermaa. 8vo, numerous woodcuts from the original 
Coins in various public and private Collections. Cloth, 5s. 

NUMISMATIC CHRONICLE AND JOURNAL OF THE NUMIS- 
MATIC SOCIETY. Edited by J. Y. Akerman. Published Quarterly, at 3s. 6d. 
per Number. 
This is the only repertory of Numismatic ages and countries, by the first Numisma- 

intelligence ever published in England. It tists of the day, both English and 1'oruign. 

contains papers on coins and medals, of all Odd parts to complete sets. 

LIST OF TOKENS ISSUED BY WILTSHIRE TRADESMEN 

in the Seventeenth Century. By J. Y. Akerman. 8vo, platen, sewed, Is. 6d. 

LECTURES ON THE COINAGE OF THE GREEKS AND 
ROMANS, Delivered in the University of Oxford. By Edward Cardwell, D.D., Prin- 
cipal of St. Alban's Hall, and Professo'r of Ancient History. 8vo, cloth, 4s. (original 
price bs. 6d ) 
A very interesting historical volume, and written in a pleasing and popular manner. 

HISTORY OF THE COINS OF CUNOBELINE, a^d of the 

ANCIENT BRITONS. By the Rev. Beale Poste. 8vo, with numerous plates and 
voodcuti, cloth (only 40 printed), 1. 8s. 



TOURNEY TO BERESFORD HALL, in Derbyshire, the Seat of 

J Charles Cotton, Esq., the celebrated Author and Angl.-r. By W. Alexander, F.S.A., 

F.L.S., late Keeper of the Prints in the British Museum, Crown 4to. printed on 

tinted paper, with a spirited frontispiece, representing Walton and his adopted So 

Cotton in the fishing -house, and vignette title-page. Cloth, 5s. 

Dedicated to the Anglers of Great Britain and the various Walton and Cotton 
Clubs. Only 100 printed. 



ARCHAEOLOGICAL MINE ; a Magazine, in which will be comprised 
the History of Kent, founded on the basis ' " ' ' ~ . - 
Parts 1 to 24. Published Monthly. Is. each. 



NOTES ON THE CHURCHES in the Counties of KENT, SUSSEX, 
and SURREY, mentioned in Domesday Book, and those of more recent Date ; with 
some Account of the Sepulchral Memorials and other Antiquities. By the Rev. Arthur 
Hussey. Thick 8vo,/e plates. Cloth, 18s. 

KENTISH CUSTOMS ConsuetudinesKancia?. A History of GAVEL- 
KIND, and other remarkable Customs, in the County of Kent. By Charles Sandys, 
Esq., F.S.A. (Cantianus). Illustrated with facsimiles; a very handsome volume. Cloth, 15s! 

HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OP RICHBOROUGH, RECUL- 
VER, and LYMNE, in Kent. By C. R. Roach Smith, Esq., F.S.A. Small 4to, with 
many engravings on wood and copper, by F. W. Fairkolt. Cloth, 1. Is. 
No antiquarian volume could display a scuted Roach Smith, the ardent explorer ; 

trio of names more zealous, successful, and Fairholt, the excellent illustrator; and 

intelligent, on the subject of Romano-Bri- Rolfe, the indefatigable collector." iite~ 

tiah remains, than the three here repre- rary Gazette. 



JOHN EUSSELL SMITH, 36, SOHO SQUARE, LONDON. 11 

HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF DARTFORD, in Kent ; with 
incidental Notices of Places in its Neighbourhood. By J. Dunkin. 8vo 17 plates 
Only \50printed. Cloth, 41. Is. 

HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF GRAVESEND, in Kent, and of the 
Port of London. By R. P. Cruden, late Mayor of Graveaend. Royal 8vo, 37 fine 
plates and woodcuts ; a very handsome volume. Cloth, 10s. (original price 1. 8s.) 

ACCOUNT OF THE ROMAN AND OTHEB ANTIQUITIES discovered 
at Springhead, near Gravcsend, Kent. By A. J. Dunkin. 8vo, plates (only 100 printed). 
Cloth, 6s. 6d. 

HISTORY OF ROMNEY MARSH, in Kent, from the time of the 

Romans to 1833 ; with a Dissertation on the original Site of the Ancient Anderida. 
By W. Holloway, Esq., author of the " History ol Rye." 8vo, with maps and plates. 
Cloth, 12s. 

CRITICAL DISSERTATION on Professor Willis's "Architectural 
History of Canterbury Cathedral." By C. Sandys, of Canterbury. 8vo, 2s. 6d. 

HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF THE TOWN OF LANCASTER. 

Compiled from Authentic Sources. By the Rev. Robert Simpson. 8vo, cloth, 8s. 

A DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT OF LIVERPOOL, as it was during 
the last Quarter of the Eighteenth Century, 17751800. By Richard Brooke, Esq., 
F.S.A. A handsome volume. Royal 8vo, utith illustrations. Cloth, 1. 5s 
In addition to information relative to the have never been previously published, re- 
Public Buildings, Statistics and Commerce specting the pursuits, habits, and amuse- 
of the Town, the work contains some cu- nients of the inhabitants of Liverpool during 
rious and interesting particulars wuich that period, with views of its public edifices. 

NOTICES OF THE HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF ISLIP, 
Oxon. By J. 0. HaUiwell. 8vo (only 50 printed), sewed, Is. 

HISTORY OF B ANBURY, in Oxfordshire; including Copious His- 
torical and Antiquarian Notices of the Neighbourhood. By Alfred Beesley. Thick 
8vo, 684 closely printed pages, with 60 woodcuts, engraved in the first style of art, by 
0. Jewett, of Oxford. 14s. (original price 1. 5s.) 

HISTORY OF WITNEY, with Notes of the Neighbouring Parishes 
and Hamlets in Oxfordshire. By the Rev. Dr. Giles, formerly Fellow of Christ's 
College, Oxford. 8vo, plates. Cloth (only 150 printed), 6s. 

HISTORY OF THE PARISH AND TOWN OF B4MPTON, in Oxford- 
shire, with the District and Hamlets belonging to it. By the Rev. Dr. Giles. 8vo, 
plates. Second Edition. Cloth, 7s. 6d. 

SUSSEX GARLAND. A Collection of Ballads, Sonnets, Tales, 
Elegies, Songs, Epitaphs, Stc., illustrative of the County of Sussex ; with Notices, 
Historical, Biographical, and Descriptive. By James Taylor. Post 8vo, fngracnuji. 
Cloth, 12s. 

HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF THE ANCIENT PORT AND 

Town of RYE, in Sussex ; compiled from Original Documents. By William Holloway 
Esq. Thick 8vo (only 200 printed), cloth, 1. Is. 

HISTORY OF WINCHELSEA, in Sussex. By W. Durrani Cooper, 

F.S.A. 8vo, fine plates and woodcuts, 7s. 6d. 

CHRONICLE OF BATTEL ABBEY, in Sussex ; originally compiled, 
in Latin by a Monk of the Establishment, and now first translated, with Notes, and 
an Abstract of the subsequent History of the Abbey. By Mark Antony Lower, Ji.A. 
8vo, icith illustrations. Cloth, 9s. 

HAND-BOOK TO LEWES, in Sussex, Historical and Descriptive; 
with Notices of the Recent Discoveries at the Priory. By Mark Antony Lower. 
IJmo, many engravings. Cloth, Is. 6d. 

CHRONICLES OF PEVENSEY, in Sussex. By M. A. Lower. 12mo, 

s, Is. 



12 VALUABLE AND INTERESTING BOOKS. 

MEMORIALS OP THE TOWN OF SEAFORD, Sussex. By M. A. 
Lower. 8vo, plates. Boards, 3s. 6d. 

HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF THE TOWN OF MARL- 
BOROUGH, and more generally of the entire Hundred of Selkley in Wiltshire. By 
James Waylen, Esq. Thick 8vo, woodcuts. Cloth, 14s. 

This volume describes a portion of Wilts not included by Sir R. C. Hoare and 
other topographers. 

HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE CISTERCIAN ABBEY OF 

SA.LLEY, in Craven, Yorkshire, its Foundation and Benefactors, Abbots, Possessions, 
Compotus, and Dissolution, and its existing Remains. Edited by J. Harland. Royal 
8vo, 12 plates. Cloth, 4s. 6d. 

ANNALS AND LEGENDS OF CALAIS; with Sketches of Emigre 
Notabilities, and Memoir of Lady Hamilton. By Robert Bell Calton, author of 
"Rambles in Sweden and Gottland," &e. &c. PostSvo, with frontispiece qnd vignette. 
Cloth, 5s. 

A very entertaining volume on a town full of historical associations connected 
with England. 



(ienealogg, antr urname, 

/CURIOSITIES OF HERALDRY; with Illustrations from Old 
\J English Writers. By Mark Antony Lower, M.A., author of " Essays on English 

Surnames ;" with illuminated title-page, and numerous engravings from designs by 

the Author. 8vo, cloth, 14s. 

PEDIGREES OF THE NOBILITY AND GENTRY OF HERTFORD- 
SHIRE. By William Berry, late, and for fifteen years, Registering Clerk in the Col- 
lege of Arms, author of the " Encyclopaedia Heraldica," &c. &c. Folio (only 126 
printed). 1. 5s. (original price 3. 10s). 

GENEALOGICAL AND HERALDIC HISTORY of the Extinct and 
Dormant BARONETCIES of England, Ireland, and Scotland. By J. Burke, Esq. 
Medium 8vo. Second Edition. 638 closely printed pages, in double columns, with about 
\WQArms engraved on wood, fine portrait of James I. Cloth, 10s. (original price 1. 8s.) 

ENGLISH SURNAMES. An Essay on Family Nomenclature, His- 

torical, Etymological, and Humorous; with several illustrative Appendices. By Mark 

Antony Lower, M.A. 2 vols. post 8vo. Third Edition, enlarged, woodcuts. Cloth, 12s. 

This new and much improved edition, be- Allusive Arms, and the Roll of Battel 

sides a great enlargement of the chapters, Abbey, contain dissertations on Inn Signs 

contained in the previous editions, com- and remarks on Christian names ; with a 

prises several that are entirely new, to- copious Index of many thousand names. 

gether with notes on Scottish, Irish, and These features render " English Surnames 1 ' 

Norman surnames. The "Additional Pro- rather a new work than a new edition. 

lusious," besides the articles on Rebuses, 

INDEX TO THE PEDIGREES AND ARMS contained in the Heralds' 

Visitations and other Genealogical Manuscripts in the British Museum. By R. Sims, 
of the Manuscript Department. 8vo, closely printed in double columns. Cloth, 15s. 
An indispensable work to those engaged ing the different families of the same name 

In Genealogical and Topographical pursuits, in any county), as recorded by the Heralds 

affording a ready clue to the Pedigrees and in their Visitations between the years 1538 

Arms of nearly 40,000 of the Gentry of to 1686. 

England, their Residences, &c. (distinguish- 

A GRAMMAR OF BRITISH HERALDRY, consisting of "Blazon" 
and "Marshalling;" with an Introduction on the Rise and Progress of Symbols and 
Ensigns. Ry the Rev. W. Sloane-Evans, B.A. 8vo, with 26 plates, comprising vp- 
vMrds of 4KKi figures. Cloth, 5s. 

One of the best introductions ever published. 



JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, 36, SOHO SQUARE, LONDON. 13 

A PLEA FOB THE ANTIQUITY OF HERALDRY, with an Attempt 
to Expound its Theory aiid Hlucidate its History. By W. Smith Ellis. Esq of the 
Middle Temple. 8vo, sewed, Is. 6d. 

BARONIA ANGLIA CONCENTRATE ; or, a Concentration of all 
the Baronies called Baronies in Fee, deriving their Origin from Writ of Summons, and 
not from any specific Limited Creation ; showing the Descent and Line of Ueirship, 
as well as those Families mentioned by Sir William Dugdale, as of those whom that 
celebrated Author has omitted to notice : interspersed with Interesting Notices and 
Explanatory Remarks. \Vhereto is added the Proofs of Parliamentary Sitting from 
the Reign of Edward I to Queen Anne ; also, a Glossary of Vermont English, Scotch, 
out Irish Peerage Titles, icith references to presumed existing Heirs. By Sir T. C. Banks. 
2 vols. 4to, cloth, 3. 3s ; now offered for 15s. 

A book of great research by the well- former works. The second volume, pp. 210- 

known author of the "Dormant and Extinct 800, contains an Historical Account of the 

Peerage," and other heraldic and historical first settlement of Nova Scotia, and the 

works. Those fond of genealogical pursuits foundation of the Order of Nova Scotia 

ought to secure a copy while it is so cheap. Baronets, distinguishing those who had 

It may be considered a Supplement to his seisin of lands there. 

t <t <D<M>(t>(t> !>. 



PLAYING CARDS. Facts and Speculations on the History of 
Playing Cards in Europe. By W. A. Chatto, author of the "History of Vopd 
Engraving;" with Illustrations by J. Jackson. 8vo, profusely illustrated tcith 
enyrarings, both plain and coloured. Cloth, 1. Is. 

" The inquiry into the origin and signifi- subject. In spite of its faults, it is ei- 

cation of the suits and their marks, and the ceedingly amusing ; and the most critical 

heraldic, theological, and political emblems reader cannot fail to be entertained by the 

pictured from time to time, in their changes, variety of curious outlying learning Mr. 

opens a new field of antiquarian interest ; Chatto has somehow contrived to draw into 

and the perseverance with which Mr. Chatto the investigations." Atlas. 

has explored it leaves little to be gleaned "Indeed the entire production deserves 

by his successors. The plates with which our warmest approbation." Lit. Gat. 

the volume is enriched add considerably to "A perfect fund of antiquarian research, 

its value in this point of view. It is not to and most interesting even to persons who 

be denied that, take it altogether, it con- never play at cards." Tait't Slag. 

tains more matter than has ever before "A curious, entertaining, and realiy 

been collected in one view upon the same learned book." Rambler. 

HOLBEIN'S DANCE OF DEATH ; with an Historical and Literary 

Introduction, by an Antiquary. Square post 8vo, with 53 engraiingt being the moat 
accurate copies fter executed of these Gems of Art and a frontispiece of an aarienl 
bedstead at Mx-Ia-Chapelle, vith a Dunce of Death caned on it, engraied by Fairkolt. 
Cloth, 9s 

The designs are executed with a spirit " Ces 53 planches des Schlotthaner sent 

and fidelity quite extraordinary. They are d'une exqnise perfection." Langlois, ssai 
indeed most truthful" Athentrvm. fur let Dances des Jfortt. 

THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER (present Version). Small 8ro, 
beautifully printed by Whittingham ; every page ornamented Kith voodcut bonlert, 
designed by Bans Holbein and Albert Durer, copied from the celebrated Book of Prayer 
called " OUEES ELIZABITH'S." Antiaue cloth, 10*. W. Plain *oroecu,fcnble but, 
and gilt edges, Its. Antique morocco, beteUed boards, ed-fet gilt and tooUii, 16. 6d. 

Containing upwards of 700 pages. The designs represent scenes in Scriptm? 
History, the Virtues and Vices, Dance of Death with all condition* of perton*. fee. 
tc,, illustrated with appropriate mottoes. 

MEMOIRS OF PAINTING, with a Chronological History of the 

Importation of Pictures by the Great Masters into England since the H rcnch Revo- 
lution. By W. Buchanan. 2 vols. 8vo, boards, 7. 6tL .original price 1. 6*.) 



14 VALUABLE AND INTERESTING BOOKS. 

ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE OF THE COUNTY OT 

ESSEX, from the Norman Era to the Sixteenth Century; with Plans, Elevations, 
Sections, Details, &c., from a Series of measured Drawings and Arcliitcctural and 
Chronological Descriptions. By James Hadlield, Architect. Imperial 4to, 80 plates, 
leather back, cloth aides, 1. 11s. 6d. 

HISTOIRE DE L' ARCHITECTURE SACREE du quatrieme au 
dixieme siecle dans les anciens eveches de Geneve, Lausanne et Sion. Par J. D. 
Blavignac, Architecte. One vol. 8vo (pp. 450), and 37 Plates, and a 4to Atlas of 82 
plates of Architecture, Sculpture, Frescoes, Betiquaritt, j-c. STC. 2. 10*. 

A very remarkable Book, and worth tlie notice of the Architect, the Archieologist, 
and the Artist. 

-380 

popular $0tr, &alcs, anti Superstitions, 

mHE NURSERY RHYMES OF ENGLAND, collected chiefly from 

J. Oral Tradition. Edited by J.O. Halliwell. The Fifth Edition., enlarged, with nu- 
merous Designs, by W. B. Scott, Director of the School of Design, NewcastU-on-Tyne. 
12mo, cloth, gilt leaves, 4s. 6d. 

POPULAR RHYMES AND NURSERY TALES, with Historical 

Elucidations. By J. 0. Halliwell. 12mo, cloth, 4s. 6d. 

This very interesting volume on the Tra- Rhymes, Places and Families, Superstition 
ditional Literature of England is divided Rhymes, Custom Rhymes, and Nursery 
into Nursery Antiquities, Fireside Nursery Songs ; a large number are here printed for 
Stories, Game Rhymes, Alphabet Rhymes, the first time. It may be considered a 
Riddle Rhymes, Nature Songs, Proverh sequel to the preceding article. 

OLD SONGS AND BALLADS. A Little Book of Songs and Ballads, 
gathered from Ancient Music Books, MS. and Printed, by E. F. Rimbault, LL.D., 
P.S.A., &.C., elegantly printed in post 8vo, pp. 240, half morocco, 6s. 
" Dr. Rimbault has been at some pains used to delight the rustics of former 

to collect the words of the Songs which times." Atlas. 

BALLAD ROMANCES. By R. H. Home, Esq., Author of " Orion," 

&c. 12mo (pp. 248), cloth, 3s. (original price 6s. 6d.) 

Containing the Noble Heart, a Bohemian "Pure fancy of the most abundant and 

Legend; the Monk of Swineshead Abbey, picturesque description. Mr. Home should 
a ballad Chronicle of the Deatli of King write us more Fairy Tales; we know none 
John ; the Three Knights of Camelott, a to equal him since the days of Drayton and 
Fairy Tale; the Ballad of Delora, or the Herrick." Examiner. 
Passion of Andrea Como ; Bedd Gelert, a " The opening poem in this volume is a 

Welsh Legend; Ben Capstan, a Ballad of fine one; it is entitled the 'Noble Heart,' 
Qe Night Watch; the Elfe of the Wood- and not only in title but in treatment 
lands, a Child's Story. well imitates the style of Beaumont and 

Fletcher." Atherumm. 

WILTSHIRE TALES, illustrative of the Manners, Customs, and 

Dialect of that and adjoining Counties. By John Yonge Akerman. 12mo, cloth, 2s. 6d. 

" We will conclude with a simple but the stories as it is interesting as a pictune 

hearty recommendation of a little book of rustic manners." 

vhich is as humorous for the drolleries of Tallis's Weetly Paper. 

MERRY TALES OF THE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM. Edited by 
James Orchard Halliwell, Esq., F.S.A. Post 8vo, Is. 

SAINT PATRICK'S PURGATORY. An Essay on the Legends of 

Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, current during the Middle Ages. By Thomas Wrisrht. 

M.A., F.S.A., &c. Post Svo, cloth, 6s. 

* It must be observed that this is not a over, it embraces a singular chapter of lite- 
mere account of St. Patrick's Purgatory, rary history, omitted by Warton and all 
but a complete history of the legends and former writers with whom we are acquaint- 
superstitions relating to the subject, from ed; and we think we may add, that it forms 
the earliest times, rescued from old MSS. the best introduction to Dante that lias yet 
as well as from old printed books. More- been published." Literary Qazette. 



JOHN EUSSELL SMITH, 36, SOHO SQTJAKE, LONDON. 15 



TTANDBOOK TO THE LI BEAKY OP THE BEITISH MUSEUM; 

JLjL containing a brief History of its 1'ormation, and of the various Collections of which 
it is composed ; Descriptions of the Catalogues in present use ; Classed Lists of 
the Manuscripts, &c.; and a variety of information indispensable for Literary Men; 
with some Account of the principal Public Libraries in London. By Richard Sims, 
of the Department of Manuscripts, Compiler of the " Index to the Heralds' 
Visitations." Small 8vo (pp. 438), with map and plan. Cloth, 5s. 
It will be found a verv useful work to every literary person or public institution 
in all parts of the world. 

" A little handbook of the Library has book to the Library of the British Museum,' 
been published, which I think will be most which I sincerely hope may have the suc- 
useful to the Public." Lord Seymour's cess which it deserves." Letter from Thai. 
Reply in the House of Commons, July, 1854. Wright, Esq., F.S.A., Author of the 'Biogra- 

" 1 am much pleased with your book, and phia Britannica Literaria,' $-c. 
find in it abundance of information which " Mr. Sims's ' Handbook to the Library 

1 wanted." Letter from Albert Way, Esq., of the British Museum "is a very compre- 
I.S.A., Editor of the " Prontplorium Par- hensive and instructive volume ..... 
vulorum," $-c. I venture to predict for it a wide circula- 

"I take this opportunity of telling you tion." Mr. Bolton Carney, in "Notes and 
how much 1 like your nice little ' Hand- Queries," No. 213. 

A MANUAL FOB THE GENEALOGIST, TOPOGEAPHER, AN- 
TIQUARY, AND LEGAL PROFESSOR; consisting of a Guide to the various Public 
Records, Registers, Wills, Printed Books, &c. &c. By Richard Sims, of the British 
Museum, Compiler of the " Handbook to the Library of the British Museum," 
" Index to the Pedigrees in the Heralds' Visitations," &c. 

A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL CATALOGUE OF ENGLISH WRITERS 

ox ANGLING AMD ICHTHYOLOGY. By John Russell Smith. Post 8vo, sewed, Is. 6d. 

B1BLIOTHECA MADRIGALIANA A Bibliographical Account of 

the Musical and Poetical Works published in England during the Sixteenth and 

Seventeenth Centuries, under the Titles of Madrigals, Ballets, Ayres, Canzonets, &c. 

&c. By Edward F. Rimbault, LL.D., F.S.A. 8vo, cloth, 5s. 

It records a class of books left unde- furnishes a most valuable Catalogue of 

scribed by Ames, Herbert, and Dibdin, and Lyrical Poetry of the age to which it refer*. 

THE MANUSCRIPT RARITIES OP THE UNIVERSITY o* 

CAMBRIDGE. By J. O. Halliwell, F.R.S. 8vo, boards, 3s. (original price 10s. 6d.) 
A companion to Hartshorne's " Book Rarities " of the same University. 

SOME ACCOUNT OF THE POPULAR TRACTS, formerly in the 
Library of Captain Cox, of Coventry, A. D. 1575. By J. 0. Halliwell. 8vo (only 50 
printed), sewed, Is. 

CATALOGUE OF THE CONTENTS OF THE CODEX HOL- 
BROOKIANUS. (A Scientific MS.) By Dr. John Holbrook, Master of St. Peter's 
College, Cambridge, 1418-1431). By J. 0. Halliwell. 8vo, Is. 

ACCOUNT OF THE VERNON MANUSCRIPT. A Volume of Early 
English Poetry, preserved in the Bodleian Library. By J. 0. Halliwell. 8vo (only 50 
printed), Is. 

BIBLIOTHECA CANTIANA. A Bibliographical Account of what 
has been published on the History, Topography, Antiquities, Customs, and Family 
Genealogy of the County of Kent, with Biographical Notes. By John Russell Smith. 
In a handsome 8vo volume (pp. 370), mtk two plates of facsimiles of Autographs of 
33 eminent Kentish Writers. 5s. (original price 14s.) Lanje Paper, 10s. 6d. 

BIBLIOMANIA in the Middle Ages ; or, Sketches of Book-wqrms, 
Collectors, Bible Students, Scribes, and Illuminators, from the Anglo-Saxon and 
I^oi-man Periods; with Anecdotes, illustrating the History of the Monastic Libraries 
of Great Britain. By F. S. Merry weather. Square 12mo, cloth, 3s. 



16 VALUABLE AND INTERESTING BOOKS. 



J&tscelianus, 

SPRING-TIDE ; OB, THE ANGLER AND HIS FRIENDS. By 
John Yonge Akerman. 12mo, plates. Cloth, 3s. 6d. 

& tribute to tfjt fHcmorg of SHilliam Carton. 
THE GAME OF THE CHESSE. In small folio, in sheets, 1. 16s.; 

or, bound in calf, antique style, S.Z. 2s.; or, in morocco, with silver clasps $ tosses, 3. 3*. 

Frequently as we read of the Works of present age into somewhat greater intimacy 
Caxton and the early English Printers, and with the Father of Amilish ^Printers. 
of their Black Letter Books, very few per- The TYPE HAS BK.EN CAREFULLY IMI- 

sons have ever had the opportunity of see- TATKD, and the cuts traced, from the copy in 
ing any of these productions, and torminga the British Museum. The Paper and \Vater- 
proper estimate of the ingenuity and skill marks have also been made expressly, as 
uf-tnose who first practised the " Noble Art near as possible, like the original ; and the 
of Printing." Book is accompanied by a tew remarks of 

a practical nature, which have been SUL'- 

This reproduction of the first work print- gested during the progress of the fount, mid 
ed by Caxton at Westminster, containing the necessary study and comparison of 
23 woodcuts, is intended iu some measure Caxton's Works with those of his contem- 
to supply this deficiency, and bring the poraries in Germany, by Mr. V. FIGGINS. 

ANTIQUITIES OF SHROPSHIRE. By the Rev. R. W. Eyton, 
Rector of Ryton. Royal 8vo, with plates. Vols. I. & II, 1 each. 

THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY ELUCIDATED. By the Rev. Dr. John 

Collingwood Bruce, Author of the " Roman Wall. " 4to, a handsome tolume, illustrated 
with 17 COLOURED plates, representing the entire Tapestry. Extra boards, \. Is. 

TONSTALL (Cuthbert, Bishop of Durham) Sermon preached on Palm 
Sunday, 1539, before Henry Vlll; reprinted verbatim from the rare Edition by 
Barthelet, in 1539. 12mo, Is. 6d. 

An exceedingly interesting Sermon, at the commencement of the Reformation; 
Strype, iu his " Memorials," has made large extracts from it 

ARCHERY. The Science of Archery, showing its Affinity to Heraldry, 
and capabilities of Attainment. By A. P. Harrison. 8vo, sewed, Is. 

HISTORY OF OREGON AND CALIFORNIA and the other Terri- 
tories on the North-West Coast of America, accompanied by a Geographical View and 
Map, and a number of Proofs and Illustrations of the History. By Robert Grecnhow, 
Librarian of the Department of State of the United States. Thick 8vo. Large Map. 
Cloth, 6s. (pub. at 16s.) 

LITERARY COOKERY; with Reference to Matter attributed to 
Coleridge and Shakespeare. In a Letter addressed to the " Athentcum," with a 
Postscript containing some Remarks upon the refusal of that Journal to print it. 
8vo, sewed, Is. 

FOUR POEMS FROM "ZION'S FLOWERS;" or, Christian Poems 
for Spiritual Edification. By Mr. Zacbarie Boyd, Minister in Glasgow. Printed from 
his MS. in the Library of the University of Glasgow, with Notes of his Life and 
Writings, by Gab. NeiL Small 4to, portrait ana facsimile. Cloth, 10s. 6d. 
The above forms a portion of the well- diligent perusal. Boyd was a contemporary 
known "Zachary Boyd's Bible." A great of Shakespeare, and a great many phrases 
many of his words and phrases are curious in his " Bible " are the same as to be found 
and siniusing, and the Book would repay a in the great southern .Dramatist. 

VOYAGES, Relations, et Memoires originaux pour servir h, 1'Histoire 
de la D6converte de 1'Ame'rique, publics pour la premiere fois en Francais. Par 
H. Ternaux-Compans. 20 vols. 8vo, both Scries, and complete. Sewed, 3. 10s. 
A valuable collection of early Voyages translations of unpublished SpaiiWi M>?. 

aud Relations on South America ; also principally relating to Old and ^ cw Mexico. 

TUCKJ5B AXD CO., PKIXTEBS, PEREY'S PLACE, OXFORD STHEET. 



Lately published, 2 vols. 8vo, pp. 872, cloth, 1. Is. 



CRITICISMS UPON, ANALYSIS OP, AND EXTRACTS FROM 
CURIOUS, VALUABLE, AND SCARCE BOOKS. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. I. 

1. Mrs. Behn's Dramatic Writings. 1724. 

2. Bishop Berkeley and others on Tar Water. 1744. 

3. French Pictures of the English in the last Century. 1764. 

4. Population and Emigration in the 17th Century. 1624. 

5. Increase Mather's Eemarkable Providences. 1681. 

6. The Travels and Observations of Boullaye-le-Gouz. 1657. 

7. The First Edition of Shakespeare. 1623. 

8. Pyrrhonism of Joseph Glanvill. 1665. 

9. Old Notions on Heraldry Feme's Blazon of Geutrie. 1586. 

10. Russia in the ea rlier part of the Sixteenth Century. 1556. 

11. Ancient English Ballad Poetry. 1794. 

12. National Characteriatics in the Sixteenth Century. 1542. 

13. The Scottish Colony of Darien, 1698-1700. 

14. Political Satires under George III. 1795. 

15. Popular Satires of Pierre Gringore. 

16. The Works of Henry Peacharn. 1642-61-69. 

17. James Gillray's Caricatures. 

18. Agriculture under Henry the Eighth. 

19. Early Scottish History, and its Exponents. 1729. 

20. Satires and Declamations of Thomas Nash. 1592-1613. 

21. The Tartars in China. 1654-1723. 

22. The Duchess of Newcastle and her Works. 1656. 

23. Local Nomenclature. 1733. 

24. English Music and Madrigals. 1729. 

25. Family History. 1782. 

26. Old Notions on Diet. 1620. 

27. Anecdota Literaria : 

Extracts from the Diary of John Richards, Esq., of Wurmwcll, in Dorset- 
shire. 1697-1702. Household Inventory of. the Fifteenth Century. 
Our Old Public Libraries Religious Fragment in Anglo-Saxon, with a 
Translation. The Order of Shooting with the Crossbow ; a Poem of the 
Sixteenth Century. Poem, supposed to be in the Lancashire Dialect of 
the Fourteenth Century. A Burlesque Bill of Fare. Scraps, English 
and Latin, from a MS. of the Fourteenth Century. 




THE RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW. 



CONTESTS OF VOL. II. 

1. Sir William Davenant, Poet Laureat and Dramatist. 1673. 

2. Cooke's " Poor Man's Case." 1648. 

3. Old English Letter Writer. 1599, 1621. 

4. Gardening. 1563. 

5. English Political Songs and Satires. 1600. 

G. Medieval Travellers in the Holy Land. 1282-1506. 

7. The Athenian Letters. 

8. Wace the Trouvere. 

9. Drayton's Polyolbion. 1613. 

10. William Penn and the Quakers " No Cross, No Crown." 

11. The first County Historian. 1576. 

12. The Philosophy of the Table under Charles I. 1633. 

13. Kussia in the time of Peter the Great. 1671-1758. 

14. Leland Thomas Hearne Anthony a Wood, &c. 1722. 

15. The Decay of Good Manners. 1669-1676. 

16. Stephen's Essays and Characters Law and Lawyers. 1615. 

17. Historic Memorials of Ancient Paris. 1640. 

18. John Davies the Epigrammatist. 1611. 

19. The Emperor Sigismund at Windsor, A.D. 1416. 

20. The Turks in the Seventeenth Century. 

21. Controversial Writers on Astrology. 1603-1687. 

22. Done's Polydoron. 1631. 

23. Travellers in Scandinavia. 1777-1814. 

24. Collections of old French popular Literature. 1648-1678. 

25. Foreign Materials for Scottish History. 1513-1547. 

26. Shakespeare's Jest Book. 1567. 

27. Travels of Sir Thomas Herbert. 1638. 

28. Waterhous and Fox on the Utility of Learning in the Church. 

29. English Almanacs under James I. 1615. 

30. Memoirs of Psalinanazar--Dr. Johnson. 

31. French Drama at the beginning of the Sixteenth Century. 

32. Historiettes de Tallement de Eeaux. 1640-1691. 

33. Anecdota Literaria : 

Pepys on the Disposition of hia Library. Legendary Poems of the 15th 
Century. The Child of Bristow : Metrical Legends of the loth Century. 
Regulations of the Stews iu Southwark. Proverbs. Exhortation to 
the Crusade. Fragment of Burlesque. English Manuscripts iu the 
great National Library, Copenhagen.