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himself almost began to envy him. He threw a pair of disdainful glances, with affected majesty, on all sides the refectory, and observing the indispensable prolegomena of shaking successively in the air his pair of handkerchiefs, white and red, and sounding the trumpet in Sion, he began.”
Of the sermon, it may be sufficient to say, that it calls down the reprehension of the superior, who gives our friend a lecture upon his folly. This he receives in a way that becomes the friend and pupil of Friar Blas. It rivets hím, in short, in his old ways. The admonition of the more sensible father is wasted on the impudent and impenetrable stupidity of Gerund, and the maxims of Friar Blas prevail. The hero goes on his own way to immortality.
We have now little worth notice in the next two hundred pages-nothing that can be admitted as extract-sermons, discussions, criticisms, disputes between friars, (all very interesting in Spain, perhaps, but mightily tedious here,) fill the space. There is scarcely any thing which relieves this vein, except one single invitation to supper,—to which, as it is but short, we will invite the reader.
“ Friar Blas was about to reply, when Gregory came in with the supper, saying to them, with an air of rustic pleasantry, “Our fathers, onia tiempus habunt, tiempus dispuntandi & tiempus cenandi : the blessed St. Fillbelly be with your paternities now, and leave your cumlocutories; for the eggs are growing hard, the roast meat is a spoiling, and by the clock of my belly is it full nine at night.' • Brother Gregory is in the right of it,' said the Father Master; and they sat down to table. The supper was not splendid, but yet decent: a couple of sallads, a boiled and raw one, new-laid eggs, half a turkey roasted, some hashed hare, and cheese and olives for desert; and Friar Gerund diverted them much while it lasted. As his pedantic preceptor, the Domine Zaneas-largas, had his memory stored with heaps of Latin verses, sentences, and aphorisms, for every thing, and every thought, and every word, and which he bolted out at every turn, whether or no they were at all to the purpose, provided there was to be found amongst his cento any similarity in sound to any thing in the present subject, and by this means had acquired amongst the ignorant the credit of a monster of erudition, and a well of knollitch as he was called in that country, his diligent disciple Friar Gerund endeavoured to copy this impertinence, as well as all the other ridiculous extravagancies of the blessed domine."
But the merit of this book consists principally in the sketches, or portraits, which are introduced. Some of them we have already given. We shall extract one or two more, and then leave Friar Gerund to take his chance with the publie. We must remark here, however, that our friar's "history"
is not a complete history. It is only a fragment; and what we have consists simply of the progress of Gerund from one error to another—from folly to folly-and is intended to show how absurd even a preacher may be, who sets his heart upon the trial. Yet, we must take notice of one great event in the hero's life, namely, his preaching in his native village, for the first time, before his father, and mother, and relatives, &c. &c. It is altogether a grand doing, and the excellent Friar Blas does our hero the honour of attending upon him. If the reader wishes to know how these ceremonials are managed in Spain, he may read as follows:
“ Already were Friar Blas and Friar Gerund at the door of the house, awaiting their accompaniment, for it seemed indispensable to the predicador, in friendship and in brotherhood, to attend upon Friar Gerund, and he not only gave him the right hand all that day, but humbly waited upon him till he left him in the pulpit, and would even have sat upon the stairs of it if he had not been prevented by Antony Zotes, who obliged him to take a seat upon the bench of the fraternity, between himself and the past majordomo.
“And now issued from the house our Friar Gerund, handsome as the morning, cheerful as light, resplendent as the sun. He had smugged himself
it is evident, with the utmost prolixity. The barber had been strictly charged to exert the last efforts of his skill, since it was to be worth to him no less than a double real of silver; and in truth he had touched him with a master-hand, rendering him so bright, that he seemed to have been burnished. Above all, in his circle of hair, he had displayed the nicest art; the plain within appeared no other than an oval piece of fine Genoa paper, polished by the smoothing tooth, its border like a glossy black silk fringe, cut with the most exquisite exactness, without so much as a single hair starting forth to discompose the line; the fore-top elevated about two fingers and an half with marvellous proportion in front of the circumference of jet, and from its hinder extremity to the neck, the whole field of the occiput was wittingly less closely shaved than the ivory summit, that blackening a little, it might serve as a foil to set off the more laboured parts. He had that day hanseled a new habit, which his good mother had prepared him, and a sister of his, now a marriageable girl, had taken such indefatigable pains, and used so much skill in the doubling, folding, plaiting, pressing, &c. that both that and his scapulary made a most enchanting appearance, and such as even almost dazzled the sight."
After the sermon, there is, as a matter of course, a feast. In the course of this feast a guest arrives, and this is the author's account of him.
“ Our new guest was called Don Carlos; and as, on one hand, he was by no means dull of apprehension, and, on the other, had been so long at Madrid frequenting toilets, keeping stools warm, guarding
anti-chambers, loitering about the purlieus of the palace, and even now and then getting into a secretary of state's office, he was most furiously infected with the air of the grand monde. He made his civilities in the French manner, spoke Spanish stuck with gallicisms, affecting the circumlocutions, and even the tone or shrill twang with which they of that nation speak their language; their phrases and expressions were made familiar to him, by having heard them frequently in court-conversations, by having observed them in the sermons of the famous preachers who then gave law to, and were most celebrated at court, by having picked them out of books in the language itself, which he construed middlingly, and likewise by having caught them from the works of the bad translators from it, of which, for our sins, there is a pestilent multitude in these unhappy times. In short, our Don Carlos appeared to be a monsieur complete, signed, sealed, and witnessed; and for his part, for a monsieur would he have changed all the donships in the world; insomuch that even the dons of the Holy Spirit would have sounded much better to him, and perhaps he would have solicited to be one of their number with great earnestness, had they been called monsieurs.”
The reader may now_take a portrait of a different complexion,—the parson of Pero Rubio. We have seen such people ourselves, but they are scarce.
“ He was arch-priest of that district, commissary of the holy office, and a man of singular corporeal and intellectual structure. Of somewhat less than the ordinary height; a bulky and rather oblong head, with an hoariness of orange mixed with grey; an episcopal circle, broad-shouldered, big-bellied, fresh-coloured, and wrinkled ; sheepeyed, and in the circumference of them, marks or furrows imprinted by his ever-during spectacles, for he took them off only to read or write, or when he was alone. His tongue was too big for his mouth, and his manner of speaking hollow, guttural, and authoritative, puffing frequently for the greater gravity. His literature was as gross as his person (but he had indeed turned over some books of morality); for that large head of his was well filled with the most ridiculous and apocryphal informations that are to be found in books; such being his humour, that let them be but once printed and he took them all at a price, pouring them out in conversation with the rustics, as well clerical as laical, with such a satisfaction, with such a coram vobis, and. with such puffings of his cheeks, as left not the least doubt of their truth and authenticity. He read gazettes and mercuries, whenever he . could filch the reading of them, without costing him a maravedi. And, at the same time, he was infinitely curious and inquisitive after every thing which passed in every chimney-corner, a whisperer, and a mystery-monger, he was beheld by all in an equivocal light, something, between respect and banter, between contempt and fear.'
As we have said, “ Friar Gerund” is not the history of an eventful life. It is not studded with adventures, like Don
Quixote or Gil Blas; but it is nevertheless rich in folly and characteristic portrait; and were the two thick volumes, into which it has been translated, compressed into one fourth (or sixth) of the size, the book would really be very amusing. As it is, it is tedious enough-indeed more than enough. We do not desire to read long tirades against this folly or that,or long discussions on mythology-or on style or grammar (all these are here) in a book which professes to be a book of humour. They overpower the wit and spirit of ridicule, which glances here and there pleasantly enough, but which is, on the whole, lamentably disproportionate to the size of the history itself. Our excellent Father Isla should have given us a separate book on these points, or an appendix to be referred to (or not) at the pleasure of the reader. If Gerund had been thus left more to himself, he would have done better. There is certainly an excellent cluster of shaven heads in the volume, could they have been contemplated more apart; but they are surrounded by a sea of polemics, which occasionally hinders the reader altogether from enjoying a fair view of these professors of theology. The author does every thing too much at length; his arguments, his descriptions, his dialogues, his humour, would all be the better for-brevity.
We have no doubt, but that this book was useful in Spain. And had we (which is quite impossible) any flowery preachers here, such a one might be serviceable even in England. It is almost a pity, that the case is not so; for then we might perhaps have a history” of our own. Till that improveable period shall arrive, we must, perforce, be content with our Campanzan, who is, at once, neither too heavy to sink, nor too light to be cast away; but, with a due mixture of the coxcomb and the blockhead, is ably poised, and looks well and exemplary upon the conspicuous place, to which the ingenuity of Father Isla and the sins of the Spanish clergy have raised him.
ART. III.- A Saint Indeed: or, The Great Work of a Christian,
opened and pressed, in a Treatise on Keeping the Heart. Ву John Flavel. 1667.
On a grave-stone, in part of the chancel of St. Saviour's, Dartmouth, we lately saw engraven, “ Mr. John Flavel, 1691.” And, underneath, the following inscription—“This stone also covers the remains of William B. Evans, of Ottery St. Mary, who, whilst on a visit to his friends at Dartmouth, was sud
denly taken from them on the 12th of August, 1814. During his walk on earth of 75 years, his conduct was that of an humble Christian, and many were the hours in which, with a volume of his esteemed Flavel, he sought retirement from the world, and intercourse with heaven” This is followed by a long set of verses, so badly engraved as not to be easily made out, and, from the little we could collect of them, apparently not worth the pains of decyphering. The concluding line is,
“ And find their Flavel there!"
The singularity of the inscription, however, inspired us with a wish to judge for ourselves of the merits of an author, whom, notwithstanding the conspicuous place which his name occupies in Calamy's list of Ejected Ministers, we had been previously content to rank (hypothetically) among the many painful and laborious writers of controversial or speculative theology, whose works have been collected together, in two or more folio volumes, to be no longer read or thought of, than while the fashion of the age inclined men's hearts to those unprofitable and pernicious subjects of disputation. To have been capable, more than a century after his departure from his secular state, of still preaching peace and consolation to the soul of a devout follower, within the walls of the very town which, during his sojourn on earth, he had edified by his zealous labours, argues merit of a more solid foundation, and unchangeable nature; and the perusal of the little treatise, which is the subject of this article, has disposed us very heartily to concur in the estimate made by the worthy Mr. W B. Evans, of Ottery St. Mary, of the benefits to be derived from an intercourse with the works of the author.
We shall preface the extracts which we propose to furnish, by a short account of the writer, which we shall take from Calamy, not having at hand the collection of his works in two volumes folio, with his life prefixed, to refer to—but, as we are told by Calamy, that this prefixed life contains a portion of the diary kept by the author, that circumstance will certainly have weight with us to read the life itself, and, perhaps, on some future occasion, to give an account of it, and of the general contents of the volumes, to our readers.
Mr. John Flavel was the son of Mr. Richard Flavel, who was, also, a minister of the gospel, and ejected from his living of Willersby, in Wiltshire, by the same act of uniformity which deprived the son of that of Dartmouth, to which place he had removed, “ upon an unanimous call,” from Deptford, which he first held, although "a much more profitable benefice.” The father was afterwards committed to Newgate (with “sundry old