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larly Jane, who was her father's favourite. Nothing so much disposes us to admire an individual as the praises of those we love, and it must have been from this cause that Jane Danvers "became so much a Platonic as to fall in love with Mr. Herbert unseen." This romantic incident happened fortunately for their union, for when Herbert arrived at Dauntsey, his friend was no more. The lovers were, however, introduced to each other by the kind offices of their friends, and Jane Danvers "changed her name into Herbert, the third day" after the first interview. This lady was a kinswoman of Aubrey, who says she was "a handsome bona-roba and generose." Bona-roba was one of the worthy antiquary's choicest phrases, and he applied it to the lovely Venetia Stanley, whose charms have been preserved by the pencil of Vandyke, and the pen of Ben Jonson. But he seems not to have understood the meaning of the word.
In the April of 1630, Herbert was suddenly deprived, by death, of his kind relation, William Earl of Pembroke. The name of this nobleman is embalmed in the eloquent sketch of Clarendon, and has long been associated with all that is honourable in the poetical history of the reign of James the First. He was an infant when his uncle, Sir Philip Sidney, died; but the groves of Penshurst were his frequent haunt, and within his view was the palace of Knowle, where the Wizard, Buckhurst, had called up the "terrific phantoms of his sombre and magnificent poetry." The son of "Sidney's sister," on whose lips the name of Spenser must have been a familiar word, could not but be a poet, at least in sentiment. Had he been less elevated in rank, his genius might have grown into loftier stature. His poems are only trifles, from the hand of an elegant courtier; but his memory will not die, until Ben Jonson shall be forgotten.
Herbert could not have parted from Cambridge after
a residence of nearly nineteen years, without regret. Never had the university been the home of more beloved and gifted children since the time when Spenser pursued his "sweet silent studies" in the quiet of Pembroke Hall. He had gazed on faces whose lustre has not yet faded into the common day. At Christ's there was Milton, the "Lady of his college*;" the courtly Fanshaw, the translator of the Pastor Fido, was a member of Jesus; Jeremy Taylor, then a beautiful youth, was a poor Sizer of Caius; Herrick enlivened St. John's with his festivity and wit; Giles Fletcher was at Trinity, and his brother Phineas at King's; the names of the celebrated Calamy, and the historian Fuller, even in his boyhood a prodigy of learning; and Mede, the profoundest Scripture critic of the age; and many more, might be added to the list.
Herbert's friends were not unmindful of his interest, and on the promotion of Dr. Curie from the rectory of Bemerton to the Bishopric of Bath and Wells, Philip Earl of Pembroke, to whom Herbert was Chaplain t, requested the King to "bestow the living upon his kinsman." "Most willingly to Mr. Herbert, if it be worthy of his acceptance," was the monarch's answer. We know that, in the subsequent imprisonment of the King, the poems of Herbert were his constant companions; these, with the Bible, the works of Sandys, Hooker, and one or two other books, composed his library in Carisbrook Castle.
But Herbert, who, like his friend Dr. Donne, was painfully alive to the deep responsibility of the duties he was about to take upon him, had almost determined to decline the "priesthood and that living;" when his old and dear friend, Mr. Woodnot, came to see him at Bainton, where he was staying with his wife's relations, and they went
together to thank Lord Pembroke for the presentation. The King was then on a visit to the Earl at Wilton, attended by a numerous retinue, among whom was Dr. Laud, who, on hearing the scruples of Herbert, "did so convince him," says Walton, "that the refusal of the living was a sin, that a tailor was sent for from Salisbury to Wilton to take measure, and make him canonical clothes against the next day, which the tailor did." From this anecdote we discover that a distinction of dress was not deemed requisite in persons admitted to Deacon's orders, for Herbert, though made Deacon in 1626", had hitherto worn his sword and silk clothes. Being habited in his new dress, he went with his presentation to the learned Dr. Davenant, then Bishop of Salisbury, who gave him immediate institution. Dr. Davenant had been Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity, and President of Queen's College, while Herbert was at Cambridge. It was not at that time required that a clergyman should be in priest's orders before he could be admitted to a cure of souls; but Herbert longed for the next Ember-week, that he might be ordained Priest, and rendered capable of administering both the sacraments. "At which time," says Walton, "the Rev. Dr. Humphrey Henchman laid his hand on Mr. Herbert's head."
He was inducted to the living on the 26th of April, 1630, and on being left alone in the church to "toll the bell," the sense of his situation so overpowered him, that when Mr. Woodnot, who was surprised at his long absence, looked through the window, he saw him lying on the ground before the altar. While in this lowly attitude, he afterwards told his friend, he "set rules for his future life, and made a vow to keep them." On the third day after his induction, he returned to his wife at Bainton, and when he had saluted her, he said, "You are now a minister's wife, and must so far forget your VOL. i. T
father's house, as not to claim a precedence of any of your parishioners." In the Country Parson he has left a picture of a clergyman's wife. "If he be married, the choice of his wife was made rather by his ear than his eye; his judgment, not his affection, found out a fit wife for him; whose humble and liberal disposition he preferred before beauty, virtue, and honour." Some of these traits were, perhaps, taken from the character of his own companion, who gained, we are informed by Walton, "an unfeigned love, and a serviceable respect from all that conversed with her; and their love followed her in all places, as inseparably as shadows follow substances in sunshine."
He remained only a short time at Bainton, and then returned to Bemerton. The old parsonage, through the neglect of the late incumbent, was very ruinous; anil Herbert, we learn from Aubrey, built a very handsome house, and made a good garden and walks for the minister. A sketch of the parsonage, as it then stood, was communicated by Archdeacon Coxe to Mr. Major for his edition of "Walton's Lives in 1825. The house now retains few of its original features; a little bedchamber, and one or two Mullion windows only remain; but until a comparatively recent period, the garden continued in the state in which it had been left by the poet. The village of Bemerton, which Aubrey calls a "pitiful little chapel of ease to Foughleston," was, in later years, the secluded abode of the amiable John Norris, whose neglected compositions glow with the purest fervour of the Christian philosopher.
We are now arrived at the most delightful period of Herbert's life, when the courtier, the poet, and the scholar, became the lowliest servant of the altar of his God. He did not come to offer unto heaven the paralytic thoughts of an exhausted intellect, or the wild fancies of an excited imagination; his choice was the result of much mental deliberation, assisted by grace and direction from above. He was acquainted 'with the "ways of learning," and "the quick returns of courtesy and wit," yet he could say, with sincerity and truth, "I love Thee." He knew
— The ways of pleasure, the sweet strains,
He had already expressed his sense of the fleeting
nature of earthly enjoyments, in his poem on Virtue.
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave,
And thou must die.
Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
The last stanza sinks into affectation, but the immortality of Virtue is a noble idea.
To impress more deeply on his mind the duties of a Christian pastor, he composed the Country Parson, which was published after his death by Barnabas Oley. With this little book, so simple in its style, and yet so touching in the affection of its exhortations, many of my readers are acquainted. It was the transcript of pure and gentle feelings, and reflects in every page the meekness and humility of the writer; it may be truly said to breathe of