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school for Trinity College, Cambridge, and repaired to that university in the year 1608. His mother, knowing well what nurseries of vice universities are, and deeply anxious that a promise so morally fair as her son's should not be blasted, recommended him to the special charge of Dr Nevil, then Master of the college and Dean of Canterbury, who provided him a tutor, and acted towards him like a second father. His mother had previously to this removed to Oxford, in order to give her eldest son Edward, and some of her younger children, the benefits of a university education.

university education. There she became acquainted with the celebrated Dr Donne, and an “amity,' to use Walton's language, was begun between them, “made up of a chain of suitable inclinations and virtues,-an amity like that of St Chrysostom to his dear and virtuous Olympias. He was at that time a poor struggling man, with a wife and family, and she supplied him with funds, besides honouring him with her friendship. This admirable woman, after continuing twelve years a widow, was married a second time, to the Earl of Danby; and Dr Donne lived long enough to shed tears at her death, and to pronounce a funeral oration over her grave.

Meanwhile, George was pursuing a calm, pious, and diligent career at Cambridge. His mother's image seemed to hang up like a picture, in his still study-chamber, restraining him from vice, calming down passion, and smiling him on to labour. Even in the morning of that short day of his life,” he seemed to be marked out for virtue and to become the care of Heaven." He was made Bachelor of Arts in the year 1611; Major Fellow of the college in 1615; and in the same year, when he was only twenty-two years of age, he became Master of Arts. It is notable, that during all his college career his principal diversion was music. This is another of the points in which he resembles Milton. While many of his youthful contemporaries were engaged in riot, or “ assembling themselves by troops in the harlots' houses," holy George Herbert sate alone and aloft in his evening chamber, with a musical instrument in his hand, to the piercing call of which his own peaceful thoughts and the solemn stars of night appeared in

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unison to arise. Thus he “relieved,” he said, “his drooping spirits, composed his distracted thoughts, and raised his weary soul so far above the earth, that it gave him an earnest of the joys of heaven before he possest them.” The power of music has been felt by brutes and by brute-like men; but how far deeper is its influence upon prepared and holy spirits, on whom it does not, as on common mortals,“ pour beautiful disdain, but in whom it awakens strange yearnings—dim delightful memories—obscure and mighty joys, which they may hereafter recognise in loftier stages of their existence !

By this habitual practice of the art of music did Herbert shield his young soul, at that period when the passions are strongest and most dangerous. Companions he had fewonly Dr Nevil sometimes invaded his studious solitude, and cheered him by his company. He regretted afterwards that he kept himself so shy, and so much aloof, in deportment and in dress, from his inferiors in rank,—a regret in which we cannot share. His pride was, on the whole, a pure, and noble, and defensive pride. It taught him habits of deep self-communion, and enabled him to accumulate those materials whence he was afterwards to pile up the stately fabric of The Temple."

In the year 1619, he was elected orator for the university. The duties of this office were various. We quote, from one of his letters, his own description of what he had now to do. “The orator's place is the finest place in the university, though not the gainfullest; yet that will be about £30 per

But the commodiousness is beyond the revenue, for the orator writes all the university letters, makes all the orations, be it to king, prince, or whatever comes to the university. To requite these pains, he takes place next the doctors, is at all their assemblies and meetings, and sits above the proctors; is regent or non-regent at his pleasure, and such like gaynesses, which will please a young man well.” In this situation, highly honourable in itself, and especially to him on account of his youth, he spent eight years, and obtained universal credit for the taste, tact, facility, and felicity with which he discharged its duties. While acting in this capacity,

King Jamie," as he is often familiarly called, sent the uni



versity one of his pedantic books, entitled Basilicon Doron, and our hero was appointed to acknowledge the gift. He did so, in a Latin letter still extant, with so much elegance, such agreeable flattery, and with a mixture of conceits so suitable to James's capacity and taste, that he was delighted, made particular inquiry about the orator, and declared him to be the jewel of the university. George Buchanan or John Milton would not have told James, “ Liber hic vester summovet oceanum ambientem, adeo ut qui non subjiciuntur ditioni, eruditioni vestræ obtemperent; per hunc imperas orbi universo, victoriæque gloriam absque crudelitate effusi sanguinis, delibas.” But George Herbert, with all his excellencies, was, partly by temperament and partly by position, very much of a courtier, and held lofty notions of prerogative, alike in church and state. Hence, when the brave and witty Andrew Melville assailed the liturgy, ceremonies, and government of the Church, in divers bitter versicles, Herbert strained his genius and Latinity to reply, in the “ Angli Musæ Responsariæ,” to be found in some editions of his poems. He lavished not a little flattery, too, upon Prince Charles, and on Lord Bacon, the latter of whom became intimate with, and dedicated his translation of some of David's Psalms to, his “very good friend, Mr George Herbert." He included, also, among his warm friends, Dr Andrews, Bishop of Winchester, Sir Henry Wotton, and Dr Donne, who left him, at his death, a precious seal, bearing the figure of Christ crucified upon an anchor, with the inscription-Crux mihi anchora. During the first years of his oratorship, Herbert was far from idle. He studied Italian, Spanish, and French, very carefully, the more that he entertained the ambition of being made Secretary of State. Latterly, in the prosecution of this aim, and from love of the court life, he was seldom to be found in Cambridge, except when the king was there, and when panegyrics, eloquent and overdone as laureates' odes, were always forthcoming. His delight was in London. The king had given him a handsome sinecure of £120 a-year, which had once belonged to Sir Philip Sydney; and with this, and the annuity he had from his family, and the proceeds of his college and his oratorship, he, according to



Walton, enjoyed his genteel humour for clothes, and for court-like company, leaving one Herbert Thorndike to be his substitute at the university. It is curious to think of the author of “The Temple” as a fop, learned in varieties of velvet doublets, laden with alderman-like chains of gold, and profound in questions referring to the buckles and hose of the period! But it is as curious, and far more pleasing to notice, that his biographers and friends have never hinted that the purity he had retained at Cambridge in youth was lost in London in manhood. Often as in “The Temple” he accuses himself, his allusions seem rather to point to frivolities and vanities, than to faults or vices.

He was, however, subject to infirmities and illnesses of various sorts—now scorched by severe fever, and threatened by consumption, and always worn out by the edge of intense study. His wit, he used to say, was like a "pen-knife in too narrow a sheath, too sharp for his body.” This bred in him a strong desire to leave the university, to decline all study for a season, and to travel in foreign parts. To this, however, his mother, doubtless for satisfactory reasons, was decidedly opposed ; and, with a spirit rare in grown-up children, he cheerfully submitted to her pleasure.

While Herbert, instead of travelling abroad, was dancing attendance at Court, and expecting promotion, two of his principal friends, the Duke of Richmond and the Marquis of Hamilton, died. They were followed to the grave by King James himself, and with him expired all Herbert's ambitious hopes. He retired to the neighbourhood of London, where, for a season, he communed with his own heart and was still. The question was, should he return to "the painted pleasures of a court, or enter into sacred orders "?

He soon made up his mind to the latter step, induced partly by his mother's earnest wish, partly perhaps by disappointment and chagrin, but principally by a deep and growing sense of the vanity of earthly things, and of the grandeur and reality of the things above. He had come at last completely within the attraction of heaven, and all the rest of his short life was spent in revolving in narrowing circles around the great orb. No sooner


he was

had he formed the resolution than he proceeded to put it in practice. Within a year he was made deacon, and in July 1626 he was appointed Prebendary of Layton Ecclesia in the diocese of Lincoln. The church at this place he found in a ruinous condition, and his first step was to raise a subscription for repairing it. He succeeded, it is said, in making it a very gem. In the year 1629, being thirty-four years of

age, seized with a quotidian ague, and in order to remove it by change of air, he went to Woodford in Essex, where some of his friends, and his brother Sir Henry, were residing. There, in the course of a year, by following a strict dietary regimen, he was completely cured of the ague, although, in its place, a consumptive tendency began more decidedly to discover itself. In the sharpest of his fits he would sometimes cry, . “Lord, abate my great affliction or increase my patience; but, Lord, I repine not; I am dumb, Lord, before thee, because thou doest it.” His next remove was to Dauntsey in Wiltshire, 66 a noble house in a choice air,” owned by Lord Danvers. Here, by spare diet, exercise, and avoiding all study, he became so well and strong, that he determined on two important steps—to marry, and to enter on the order of priest in the English Church. These had long been the two main wishes of his mother's heart, but she was not permitted to see the accomplishment of either, having died in 1627. At her death he had resigned his oratorship.

His marriage was singular and even romantic in its circumances. He had a friend in Wilts, named Charles Danvers, who had a family of nine daughters, and who had often publicly expressed a desire that Mr Herbert should marry one of them, but especially his daughter Jane, because Jane was his beloved daughter. He had often spoken of the subject to Herbert, and often to Jane, so that she fell in love with him before she had ever seen his face, and he, it would seem, was very favourably disposed toward her. Her father, unfortunately, died before they met, but some friends procured an interview, and certainly Love never did his work in a more rapid and masterly style than on this occasion, nor did ever Marriage


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