Изображения страниц

and a guilty conscience. He knew good occasion of fearing that all men did discourse of his confutation, and so he affirmed that I had done what I could not do, although I would—as Seneca says—what he feareth he augmenteth ;' and as Cicero tells us : 'they always think their punishment before their eyes that have offended."?

"Now, it was impossible I could use delays in keeping my word good, for I wrote to the Lord Deputy, the Earl of Devonshire, verbation in this manner :

“Right honourable our most singular good Lord-Occasion of my presuming to write to your honor is tendered by Mr. Rider's book, in which it pleaseth him to specifie my name. He hath chosen your honor and the rest of her Majesty's Privie Council to patronize his labours, and I also, for my part, refuse not to abide your honor's censure and arbitrament. What Varus Geminus said to Augustus—they that durst plead in his presence were ignorant of his greatness, and they that durst not, of his benignitie,'- I may conveniently invert and apply to your Lordships—they that adventure to stand to your arbitrament are audacious towards your profession, and they that do not, are timorous of your disposition and uprightness.'

“We are at issue (in a matter of fact, as was lately in France, before the king, betwixt both professions) that they of us are to be taxed for impostors, who, in our labours have wrested, perverted, and falsified the primitive Fathers of the Church. Which may easily be discerned, both by only perusing the volumes of the Fathers, and by verdict of all chief Protestants in the world, whom we undertake to testifie the foresaid Fathers to stand with us against Mr. Rider.

“Vouchsafe of your especial affabilitie but one half day's trial, it shall appear, that either he is of whom Homer latinized speaketh-Ille sapit solus, volitant alii velut umbrae'-or, for his presumptuous dedication of his book to your Honors, that he deserveth to be treated as Aristo, whom the Athenians punished for unworthy treating their commendations; or as the silly poet, whom Sylla both warned and waged never to write ; or lastly, as Cherilus, whose verses Alexander considering and finding but seven good, awarded for each of them a piece of gold, and for the residue so many buffets.

“I truly am of St. Gregory's minde, saying, 'Who, although weak, would not contemn the teeth of this Leviathan, unless

Quod metuit auget."
Pænam semper ante oculos versari putant qui peccaverunt.”

the terror of the secular power did maintain them ?' It is a double drift; for what

'These persuade by flattering words,

Those enforce by smarting swords.' Deign, noble lord, but to suspend so long the sword ; and faintness and falsehood will soon be revealed. God Almighty preserve your Honor for His and your glorie. From the prison, September 28, 1602.

* Your Honour's humble client to command, assuredly in Christ, Henry FitzSimon."

" This letter being delivered ten days after that Mr. Rider's book came to light, the Deputy, being of fervent desire to further the disputation, sent for Mr. Rider, showed him the letter, and finding him relenting from the point, he sent me word by Mr. Henry Knevet, his gentleman usher, that if I would indeed come to trial, the only means was to entreat them of the College, upon the credit of their cause and champion, to sue for such a disputation, and they themselves to be umpires. A hard condition, but necessary in that place and time.

“Meanwhile Mr. Rider came to me the 2nd of October, 1602, to reclaim his resignation of these controversies to Scriptures or Fathers severally, resolving not to accept the Fathers for arbiters, unless they had the Scriptures conjointly concurring with them. A poor retreat, because by word of mouth, and in print, he had appealed to them not conjointly but severally; and again, because it is a silly imagination to think they may be separated."

"After my interview with the gentleman usher of the Deputy, and with the Dean of St. Patrick's, I wrote the following letter to them of the College, but endorsed to Dr. Challenor :

Worthy Cousin, -Great men, in confidence of their cause, have resigned their conference and controversie to unequal judges, in sundrie subjects.

drie subjects. Origen submitted his proceedings to an infidel's arbitrament, and prevailed against five adversaries. So Archelaus, Bishop in Mesopotamia, by like arbiter did vanquish Manes. So did the Israelites surmount the Samorites.

“'By whose example I have adventured to appeal unto, and endure your and the College adwardisment in this controversie betwixt Mr. Rider and me; that whither of us hath perverted, dissembled, or denied the effect and substance of authors by us alleged, concerning the consent of antiquity in Mr. Rider's cause or mine, must stand to any arbitrarie reprehension and condemnation it shall please you to denounce. Wherefore I

1 “Confutation," p. 27.

[ocr errors]

crave that it will please you to certify whether you will deign to be umpires, to award according to equitie and indifferencie.

“Whereunto that you condescend the rather I advouch, and so God willing, will manifest, that also all chief Protestants in the world do stand with us in this controversie, confessing the ancient Fathers to be ours, and opposite to Mr. Rider.

“Let not any extraordinarie confidence procure any inconvenience, or pulpit commotions, and exclamations, that posteritie may understand our courses to have becomed Christians. I expect your answer, committing you to God with affectionate desires of your happiness. November the 7th, 1602. Yours to command in Christ, Henry FitzSimon.'

“To this letter I received a mere puritanical answer, full of sugared, affected words, vainly applied, and all the matter wrested in obscuritie with this only parcel to the purpose :

Concerning the judgment, which you would have our College for to yeld as touching the cause between Mr. Deane Rider and you (provided always that you make us' no partie), when we shall see your books, and have some small time to compare the same, by the mercie of God, we promise faithfully to perform it without all respect of person and partialitie to the cause.

And I would to God that what effect Eutropius founde, and those that vouchsafed themselves to be hearers of his judgment, the same, among any of us might feel and fynde, that do err from the truth of God, of ignorance or of knowledge; for the Lord's arm is not so shrunken in, but that he may make us yet of a Saul a Paul. To whose grace I affectionately leave you. November the 8th, 1602. Your cousin, desiring in Christ you may be his brother, L. Challenor.'

"Behold the Puritans' letter (in style and pointing of themselves) to testifie to all the world, that I being in prison (not being able to shrink out of their hands or punishment, whensoever it should please them to cite or condemn me), yet did proffer, urge, and importunate the being confronted to Mr. Rider! Let any therefore judge how Riderly it is assured, that I sought many sleights and delays from coming to this conflict.2

“Mr. Rider says that in May, 1603, I sent him by mny clarke a scroule, blotted, interlined, crossed, and unlegible. To make Mr. Rider confute himself, I will allege certain of his words to the Lords of the Council. Speaking of those that did condemn his writings, he says : ‘They that will censure before they see, are like such wise men as will shoot their bolt as soon at a bush as They feared he would drag them into the controversy.

Replie" to Rider.

at a bird. Now, a little after this, talking of my copy, he says : 'the highest in the land had a view of his scrowle

, and the reverendest and learnedest perused the same. What their opinion was of it, I silence for a season.'

“By these two clauses, say I, either Mr. Rider must confess, that my copie was legible, or that the highest in the land did not peruse it diligently; or, if they should censure it without such perusing it as being legible, that they can be no wiser in that * than such wise men as censure before they see, and shoot as soon at a busil as at a bird. If he can gambol over this block without breaking the shins of his pretence, he shall have my suffrage to bear the ball on Shrove Tuesday.

“How, I crave, could such, whom he ironically calls wise men, view, peruse, and censure my scroule if it were not presented or were not legible? The lrigliest in the land are the State, who commonly are not of the clearest sight. If they censured what was illegible, Mr. Rider termeth them in plain English but fools. So that if my writing was legible, his long pretence is utterly discredited ; if it were illegible, and yet were censured as aforesaid, Mr. Rider awardeth the highest, the reverendest, and learnedest in the land to be fools. If they take it not in ill part, I covet no other benefit thereby than to have my scronle, as it pleaseth him to call it, to be known to have been legible.

“ Concerning the copie by me exhibited to Mr. Rider, you may understand, that when I perused his Caveat, and at the first sight considered his spirit to say anything for his reputation's sake, and accordingly to aver the most desperate untruths, that any bearing countenance of a man might utter, I wrote to him the very next day in most instant and enticing terms, that if he had any courage in his cause he should procure me one to extract my lucubrations. He no sooner required it than it was granted, and withal a warrant to protect any else that would dispute with him, and that the printer might publish his and my intermeddlings. As he confesseth, within fifteen days I had despatched twelve sheets in refutation of his Cavtat, of which I read part to himself, and proffered to show the authors themselves. He absolutely refused all examination and disputation. For as both the Constable and his own man, Venables, will not deny, he never came at me without a covenant, that we should not confer in any matters of learning, to which his own testimony accordeth, wherein he says that in words I should be too hard for a hundred. He requested that we should communicate our arguments one to another, and conjointly print them at our several expenses. To this I consented, God doth know, not upon any presumption of my talent, although the meanest of a thousand, and as a man of straw, yet in that height I was more dreadful to them than any scarecrow in a field to the dastard fowle.

“Being troubled by what I shewed him, he could never abide that I might enjoy the use of print, alleging that he must first have perused what I would print. It was his ordinarie refuge in all assemblies, that I might print what I list if I would first present him with the sight of my writings. So that on the 4th of Februarie, 1603 (or 1602 according to their date), I sent him a copie of my writing, which contained two quires of paper, and I kept a copy for myself. Judge also if it were a reprehensible delay to spend four months in the making of as much as replenished two quires of paper and, in recopying the same in as many quires. All these pains and charges must I have been at, he having upon me the wringing vie, and following it eagerly, that if I would not sustain I should lose my game.

"If he had suffered my travail to have passed to print, it might be legible to his heart's desire, and he not pointed at for not daring to answer objections against his Caveat, unless he might have them a time to be well considered ; which foul imbecilitie in a professor of learning, his own master in Oxford (at this time my dear brother), Mr. Sabinus Chamber, doth testify to have been anciently in Mr. Rider. These are his words, under his hand :-Mr. John Rider came to me to Oxford about the beginning of Lent, as I remember, in the year 1581, recommended by my aunt, by whom he was then maintained. He remained there till the Act, which is celebrated always in summer. In one and the same year he passed Bachelor and Master of Arts, by means of I know not what juggling and perjurie. I never had any scholar more indocile and unskilful. Before his answering I must have instructed him in all that I would oppose, and yet the next day he was never the wiser. The kind offices that my aunt and I did him if he deny, he must be profoundly impudent. This I testify under my hand, at Luxemburg, the 24th of December,

1604. "I

About this distinguished pupil of F. Chamber, FitzSimon tells the following anecdote :

“On St. Mathias' Eve, the 23rd of February, 1603, I, taking the air in prison on the northern tower, saw Mr. Rider repairing to see Mr. Browne, and I requested him to ascend. After a few words, he asked me to inform him in a matter made doubtful to him by a great statesman—whether I was a Jesuit, or a priest, or both ? I answered that I was un

1" Replic."

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »