Page images

committee of education, that it may become a part of the general plan of education about to be established in France.

Art. 47

SINGLE SERMONS. The Prospects of the New Year; or God a National Refuge in Times of Trouble. Delivered in Leman-street Chapel, Duke-street, Blackfriar's, London, January 5.1817. By Thomas Curtis. 8vo. Gale and Fenner. 1817.

We have no doubt that Mr. Curtis means well, but he has not the faculty of very clearly or definitely expressing his meaning. After having quoted the maxim that the law of the land ought to be the will of the people fully and truly represented, he proceeds to find fault with that doctrine, and says, ' To talk of will being law when all law is made to govern the will, is such vain and vile philosophy, as no wise man could deliberately entertain, and in a Christian point of view is but little short of blasphemy.' Mr. C. forgets that the law is, or ought to be, the expression of that national will which is designed to controul the will of individuals, and to render it subservient to the general good. In order to give force to his opinion against reform, he confounds the will of the community with the caprice of individuals. Art. 48. The Duty and the Means of ascertaining the genuine

Sense of the Scriptures. Delivered at the Rey. W. Wall's Meeting-House, Moorfields, Feb. 8. 1816, at a Monthly As. sociation of Ministers and Churches. By Henry Forster Burder, M.A. 8vo. 1$. 6d. Conder. 1816.

Though we do not assent to the truth of all Mr. Burder's remarks in this discourse, we coincide in the justness of much which he has said on the duty of studying and the mode of interpreting the Scriptures. The more we study the Scriptures as we contemplate other antient books, with a view to discover the historical and grammatical sense, the less we shall be bewildered by those vague and perplexing theological notions, which are not the result of seriptural erudition so much as of a total ignorance of the general tendency and peculiar idiom of the holy writings.

CORRESPONDENCE. Senes shall be gratified without much delay: but some time and consideration are necessary for the accomplishment of the object in question.

We are still in hopes of effecting the plan suggested by R.W.: but difficulties have impeded it, and may perhaps ultimately defeat our wishes.

M. Devisscher will see an account of his publication in the present Review.

The APPENDIX to Vol. LxxxII. of the M. R. is published with this Number, and contains various interesting articles of Foreign LITERATURE, with the General Title, Table of Contents, and Index for the volume.



For J U N E, 1817.


ART. I. The Works of Henry Howard Earl of Surrey, and of

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder. Edited by Geo. Fred. Nott, D.D. F.S.A., late Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. 2 Vols. 4to. 71. 75. Boards. Longman and Co.

these volumes are printed uniformly, and published as one set of books, they are in fact distinc works: the first divided into two parts, containing the writings of Lord Surrey, with the Editor's apparatus criticus respecting that noble author; and the second including Sir Thomas Wyatt's productions, with similar commentaries and excursive matter. · We propose to confine ourselves, in the present article, to the former, and will take an early opportunity of making a report of the other.

As our readers may possibly inquire by what art a small duodecimo, such as they have usually seen to hold the remains of Surrey, has been suddenly expanded over more than nine hundred quarto pages, closely printed, it may be well to relieve their astonishment by drawing out for them a brief table of contents. The first volume, then, furnishes, 1. Memoirs of the Earl of Surrey. 2. A Dissertation on the Improvements introduced by him into English Poetry. 3. His Poetical Works. . 4. His Letters. 5. A large Body of Notes on the Poems. 6. A long historical Notice of the Earl of Northampton, Surrey's second Son. 7. and lastly, A copious Appendix, consisting of sundry Matters relevant and irrelevant. It will easily be presumed that so comprehensive a volume, without its companion, affords ample materials for as many pages as we can afford to allot to the subject at one time in the M. R.

The life of the gallant and ingenious Lord Surrey, as detailed by his present editor, is divested of much of that romantic dress which obscurity on the one hand, in the shape of traditional history, and hasty compilations on the other, chiefly resting on popular belief, seldom fail to superinduce. It seems, indeed, that tolerably strong reason exists for surinising that no previous biographer of this early poet has sifted VOL. LXXXIII. I


the evidence, on which he compiled his narrative, with any degree of care proportioned to the celebrity of the character which he proposed to illustrate. Horace Walpole's account is very jejune; and, while error and exaggeration may be avoided by conciseness, truth and historical information are equally sacrificed by it. Thomas Warton, possessed of far superior learning and industry, has confided too implicitly in Anthony Wood; a source from which, as a perennial stream, most modern English biographers have drawn with little compuncticn. Dr. Nott has been very indefatigable in his research, and in the course of it has found much cause for invalidating many facts hitherto deemed genuine: but a writer who sets out with the assumed necessity of controverting almost all the received opinions, on the subject in which he is engaged, will frequently overstep the proper limit, and propose a new theory where he is required only to correct an old error. Some instances of this disposition occur in these memoirs, especially where the editor is called to exercise his judgment between conflicting evidence; and in such cases it will not escape his readers that an inclination exists towards the side which is most paradoxical. The materials, however, of which Dr. Nott has been enabled to avail himself, are far more valuable and authentic than those of his predecessors; such as the archives of the Howard family, preserved by the different branches of their descendants; the documents in the State-paper office; books of the Privy Council, &c.; the former throwing light on the domestic, and the latter on the political life of the poet. For much of this peculiar advantage, the editor is indebted to the patronage which the Prince Regent has liberally and commendably extended to the undertaking.

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was great grandson of that Duke of Norfolk who fell in the cause of Richard at Bosworthfield; and his grandfather, at that time Earl of Surrey, was .confined in the Tower when Henry VIIth obtained possession of the crown, but was afterward liberated by the same monarch, taken into favour, and restored to his paternal honours of the dukedom of Norfolk. The father of the poet, and son of the preceding, known under the successive names of Lord Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, and lastly Duke of Norfolk, married first the Lady Anne, youngest daughter of Edward the IVth, by whom he had several children who died in infancy, and secondly Lady Elizabeth Stafford, daughter of the Duke of Buckingham. The celebrated Earí of Surrey was the eldest son by this marriage, and, as his father survived him, is historically known by no other appellation.

Neither the place nor the exact date of his birth


can be settled with any thing like precision : but Kenning-hall in Norfolk is suggested by Dr. Nott as the most probable scene of the former, and the year 1516 as a date for his birth most coinciding with some events of his life better ascertained in point of time.

The first statement of former biographers, which the reverend editor prepares to controvert, is the presumed education of Lord Surrey at Windsor-Castle in company with the Duke of Richmond, a natural son of Henry VIII. It cannot be doubted that these two young men passed some of their earlier years at that place; Lord S. himself bearing testimony to it in his poems, and the following words occurring in the writings of Lord Herbert of Cherbury: “ It appears that these two noble youths were bred up together, and spent much of their young days at Windsor :" words, however, which are not strong enough to imply that it was the regular scene of their education. Dr. Nott has had access to a curious book of household-expenditure belonging to the Norfolk family, from which it appears that a boy was brought up at Tendring-hall in Suffolk, where he passed the spring and the summer-months, removing to Hunsdon in Hertfordshire for the winter on the 29th of October in each year. The expences of the nursery-establishment are regularly entered in this document; and the fact deduced from it relative to Surrey seems at first sight satisfactory, but is not so on examination. The accounts of the nursery-dinners are from 1513 to 1524 inclusive: but, if Lord Surrey was born in 1516, what becomes of this evidence ? — The name of Surrey's preceptor is unknown. Dr. Nott proposes the celebrated Leland, Hadrian Junius, and lastly Clerke, a learned Englishman of those days, who continued to reside in this nobleman's family until the time of his attainder; and a preference grounded on presumptive evidence is given to the latter. The whole of this statement, however, seems perfectly conjectural, and not intitled to much attention. It will be recollected that Surrey had the strongest stimulus to literary exertion in the success of many nobles who were closely allied to his family: Bouchier Lord Berners, the translator of Froissart, Thomas Lord Stafford, Parker Lord Morley, and George Boleyn Lord Rochford, having been long conspicuous for taste and learning. Such were doubtless the persons whose example warmed the ambition of the aspiring boy: but the names of those who directed his studies and pruned the exuberances of his fancy must probably continue in obscurity. Anthony à Wood says that, when Surrey's domestic education was completed, he was sent to Cardinal I 2

College, It

College, (now Christ-Church,) Oxford, but he rests his authority on tradition alone. The present editor imagines that he went to King's College, Cambridge, and studied there under Richard Croke: but we do not see that Dr. Nott produces much stronger ground for this surmise, than Wood gives for his traditionary report: though the circumstance that Lord Surrey was subsequently elected High Steward of the latter University may perhaps be deemed corroborative of the fact of his having studied there.

Of the usual divisions of education observed by the young nobility at the beginning of the sixteenth century, an idea may be collected from the following passage in Hardinge's chronicle, preserved by Mr. Ellis in the preface to the last edition of his “Specimens," and quoted by Dr. Nott. appears closely to correspond with the system pursued with Surrey.

• And as Lord's sons been set, at four year age
At school to learn the doctrine of letture;
And after six to have them in language
And sit at meat, seemly in all nurture:
At ten and twelve to revel is their cure
To dance, and sing and speak of gentleness :
At fourteen year they shall to field I sure,
At hunt the deer, and catch an hardiness.

For deer to hunt and slay, and see them bleed
An hardiment giveth to his courage.
And also in his wit he giveth heed
Imagining to take them at avantage.
At sixteen year to warry, and to wage,
To joust and ride, and castles to assail,
To skirmish als, and make sicker scurage,
And set his watch for peril nocturnal.

. And every day his armour to essay,
In feat of arms with some of his meynie;
His might to prove, and what that he do may
If that he were in such a jeopardy
Of war befall, that by necessity
He might algates with weapons him defend. .
Thus should he learn in his priority

His weapons all, in armes to dispend.' At the age of sixteen, Lord Surrey married the Lady Frances Vere, daughter of the Earl of Oxford: but the parties did not live together immediately on their union, a restriction necessarily and usually imposed at that period, in the case of such early marriages. With this lady, however, he is said to have afterward passed his days in all the harmony of conjugal affection, to have had several children by her, and to have

« PreviousContinue »