Puslapio vaizdai

a place in the History of Yorkshire; or of the West Riding (if that history were tripartively distributed ;)-or in the Gentleman's Magazine ;-or in John Nichol's Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century: (I honor John Nichols, I honor Mr. Urban!) much more might it have had place,-much more might it be looked for here.

I might have told thee, Reader, of Daniel the Grandfather, and of Abigail his second wife, who once tasted tea in the housekeeper's apartments at Skipton Castle ; and of the Great Grandfather who at the age of twenty-eight died of the small pox, and was the last of the family that wore a leathern jerkin; and of his father Daniel the atavus, who was the first of the family that shaved, and who went with his own horse and arms to serve in that brave troop, which during the wreck of the King's party the heir of Lowther raised for the loyal cause : and of that Daniel's Grandfather (the tritavus) who going to Kentmere to bring home a wife was converted from the popish superstition by falling in with Bernard Gilpin on the

way. That apostolic man was so well pleased with his convert, that he gave him his own copy of Latimer's sermons,—that copy which was one of our Daniel's Sunday books, and which was religiously preserved in reverence for this ancestor, and for the Apostle of the North (as Bernard Gilpin was called) whose autograph it contained.

The history of any private family, however humble, could it be fully related for five or six generations, would illustrate the state and progress of society better than could be done by the most elaborate dissertation. And the History of the Doves might be rendered as interesting and as instructive as that of the Seyor the Howards.

Frown not, My Lord of Norfolk, frown not, your Grace of Somerset, when I add, that it would contain less for their descendants to regret.







For never in the long and tedious tract

Of slavish grammar was I made to plod;
No tyranny of Rules my patience rackt ;

I served no prenticehood to any Rod;
But in the freedom of the Practic way
Learnt to go right, even when I went astray.


It has been the general practice of historians, from the time of Moses, to begin at the beginning of their subject: but as a river may be traced either from its sources or its mouth, so it appears that a history may be composed in the reversed order of its chronology; and a French author of very considerable ability and great learning has actually written a history of the Christian religion from his own times upwards. It forms part of an elaborate and extensive work entitled Parallele des Religions, which must have been better known than it appears to be at present if it had not happened to be published in Paris during the most turbulent year of the Revolution. Perhaps if I had carried back the memoirs of the Dove family, I might have followed his example in chusing the up-hill way, and have proceeded from son to father in the ascending line. But having resolved (whether judiciously or not) not to go farther back in these family records than the year of our Lord 1723, being the year of the Doctor's birth, I shall continue in the usual course, and pursue his history ab incunabulis down to that important evening on which we find him now reaching out his hand to take that cup of tea which Mrs. Dove has just creamed and sugared for him. After all the beaten way is usually the best, and always the safest. “ He ought to be well mounted,” say Aaron Hill, “who is for leaping the hedges of custom.” For myself I am not so adventurous a horseman as to take the hazards of a steeple chace.

Proceeding therefore after the model of a Tyburn biography, which being an ancient as well as popular form is likely to be the best,we come after birth and parentage to education. " That the world from Babel was scattered into divers tongues, we need not other proof,” says a grave and good author, “ than as Diogenes proved that there is motion,-by walking ;- so we may see the confusion of languages by our confused speaking. Once all the earth was of one tongne, one speech and one consent; for they all spake in the holy tongue wherein the world was created in the beginning. But pro peccato dissentionis humanæ (as saith St. Austin,)—for the sin of men disagreeing --not only different dispositions but also different languages came into the world.—They came to Babel with a disagreeing agreement; and they came away punished with a speechless speech. They disagree among themselves, while every one strives for dominion. They agree against God in their Nagnavad lan Liguda,—we will make ourselves a rendezvous for idolatry. But they

« AnkstesnisTęsti »