« السابقةمتابعة »
of course suppose, before the days of Fluentius, were it not that this Bishop of Florence has been a good deal hacked as one of the line of witnesses’ against the papal Antichrist; and therefore those who have read Bishop Newton on the Prophecies, either in his own works or in those of more modern writers, may be aware that Fluentius was condemned in the year 1105. I presume, therefore, that Fox meant before the fourteenth century, of which he was writing,] A.D. 1239, Gerardus, Bishop of Laodicea, in his book entitled “Of the Preservation of the Servants of God,' doth conjecture Antichrist to be even at hand, by the rarity of prophesying and the gift of curing.” This Bishop of Laodicea is, I believe, principally known by his being said to have attended a council about a century before the time specified by Fox, (that is, in the year 1142,) and by his having written some books, one of which I have seen described as De Conversatione Servorum Dei.” This, I suppose, Fox had also seen, and read conservatione; but I believe the title really was,
“ De conversatione virorum Dei in terra sancta commorantium,”—but never mind.* Fox immediately proceeds, “ There is also a certain prophecy of Jerome Savonarola, evident (if it be worthy of credit) sixtynine years before.” One would suppose this to mean, “ before” the year 1239 just mentioned, or, at any rate, “ before” the period of which Fox was writing ; but, in fact, it is only the same effect of a close translation of Illyricus as I have mentioned on a former occasion,t and means, that Jerome Savonarola had suffered sixty-nine years before the time when Fox was writing : the words of Illyricus are, “ Ante annos 50, exustus est Florentiæ celeberrimus concionator Hieronymus Savanorola,” &c. Now, when all these blunders are
" crowded into one page, shall we be seriously told, “Never mind; --these mistakes will not do anybody much harm; do not cavil about them, but look at the doctrine." Well, then, what is the boasted doctrine ? Why, that the Abbot Joachim, and “ this blessed Hildegard,” were divinely inspired prophets.
Is it for the sake of this precious doctrine that we are to overlook and to excuse all sorts of ignorant blundering? Or is there some other doctrine, for the sake of which this abominably false doctrine is to be thrown among the heap of misstated facts, as one of the things which it is expedient to pass over for the sake of something else? I speak, however, of the principle; and I cannot conceive that any doctrine, how good soever, is a sufficient excuse for the misstatement of fact. I have the satisfaction of knowing that many are ready
* It seems likely that Fox confounded this writer with Gerardus Leodiensis, or Leodicensis, who lived nearer to the time which he mentions. This seems the more probable, as he appears to have made the same mistake elsewhere. If the reader turns to vol. ii., p. 193, he will find the Bishop of Laodicea introduced; and if he turns to Illyricus, (Catal. Test. 371,) he will, I think, be in no doubt that Fox was translating “ Nactus occasionem captivitatis Leodiensis episcopi, quem nescio quis coeperat.” If he is acquainted with the history, be may be as much surprised to find the Bishop of Liege, as the Bishop of Laodicea, so circumstanced. In fact, it was the Archbishop of Lunden-but what difference can it make? : | Review of Fox's History of the Waldenses, p. 38.
Catal. Test. 988.
to join me in protesting against this form of the expediency system; and I am full of hope that the glaring specimen presented by this new edition of Fox may lead reflecting persons to consider whether this “never-mind” school of history should be allowed to cut its way through matters of fact, with reckless slaughter of names, and places, and dates, and with any translation or mistranslation of documents, in order to establish any point of faith, or practice, or opinion, which it may see fit to select. Besides, I cannot help anticipating much good from an assurance of the probability that many subscribers, after puzzling over the history of the Christian church, presented to them in so singular a form of undigested and negligent compilation, will be led to desire something like a plain, intelligible narrative of facts, not written for the sake of inculcating any particular view of doctrine, or of exalting or criminating any particular class of persons.
But what can general readers make of history thus set before them ? Take, for instance, the council of Basil. There are, perhaps, very few parts of ecclesiastical history more interesting to those who would be likely to read the acts and monuments of protestantism. It must be a matter of interest to see the papal supremacy openly questioned, publicly debated, and even practically disputed, by a council undertaking to depose the reigning pope and elect another. And such another—the very idea of taking a Duke of Savoy, shaving him, and
a seating him in the chair of St. Peter, is surely most singular; and every reader who desires to understand the facts of which he reads must wish to know who were the electors. If he does, that which the publishers affirm to be “ by far the best edition of Foxe—the most complete, and the most accurate that has ever been produced,” will tell them that first of all a triumvirate was chosen, the first and foremost of which was “ Thomas Abbot of Donduno, of the diocese of Candiderace, commonly called of Greece," iii. 662. Did anybody ever
. hear of such an abbey or such a diocese? And thongh he is afterwards called Thomas de Scotia, (which may lead to a suspicion that though called of Greece' he came from Scotland,) will one reader in fifty guess that Candiderace is a corruption of Candida Casa, and that, in fact, he was the Abbot of Dundrain, in Galloway ? This abbot, and the other two members of the triumvirate, “ associated unto them Christian Gregreginus, President of St. Peter's church in the diocese of Olmutz, in the heart of Germany,” jii. 663. Was there only one St. Peter's church in the diocese of Olmutz, and what was the function of the “ President” of it? “ Never mind”_but I do mind. If it does not matter who the man was, or where he came from, why does this long description hold the place of sense? Why is the general reader to be astonished by a parade of fine words which will not bear pulling to pieces—and from which he gains no idea but the mistaken one, that there is something very learned which the editor did not take the trouble to bring down to the level of his readers? This person filled a considerable place in the council; and it may, or may not, be worth while to specify that he got a surname from the town of Königin Gratz, and that he was prior of the canons of St. Peter's at Brunn, in the diocese of Olmutz, which (whatever excuse there might be for Æneas Sylvius) is somewhat absurdly described to modern readers as being in the heart of Germany. Thus, however, there were four persons; and whom did they, in fulfilment of the duty for which they were selected, appoint as electors of the new pope? Why, among others, Bishop Epurgimus, and Bishop Faurinensis, and the Bishop of Seben, and Bishop Nicensis. Did anybody ever hear of any one of them? The unlucky“ general reader seems as if he had no chance with any of them except Nicensis ; but even that is only as he stands here, for in the book he immediately follows “George Bishop of Nice;" so that if he has heard of the council of Nice that will not help him; but, what is still more unlucky, both are blunders. Nice should be Vich, (Vicensis,) in Catalonia, and Nicensis should be Visensis, or of Viseo, in Portugal: “ Never mind-they were popish prelates, what can it matter where they came from?" "Why, really, seeing that they chose the Duke of Savoy for pope, the locality of these prelates seems to be an important feature in the case; and surely it is not at all the same whether an unheard-of bench of bishops descended from the clouds in a machine to do this singular deed, or whether they came from Ivrea, Turin, and Geneva.* They had with them, however, “ William Archdeacon of St. Hewes, of Metz.” One does not often hear of an Archdeacon of Saint Anything; but perhaps it does as well for practical purposes as calling him “ William Hugh's, (if we may so translate bis name, Guilielmus Hugonis,) Archdeacon of Metz.” « Henricus de Indeis of Cullen,” too, may do as well as if his n were turned, and he were recorded as "Henricus de Judeis, of Cologne." Next to him comes “ James de Saltzburgacan, of Ratisbone," who may, perhaps, be considered as only modernized by being docked of nearly half bis canonical title, but whom some readers may hardly make out to have been, “ James de Saltzburg, a canon of Ratisbone.” as to abbots," the Abbot of St. Beningo” may be guessed to mean Benignus." “ Nicholas Crossetanus” may do as well as “ Grossetanus ;” and “John de Thaurenensis,” notwithstanding the grammar, leads us to suppose that he came from somewhere in the diocese of Turin, which is more information as to locality than we are sometimes able to obtain. Indeed, what would be the use of knowing to what particular monastery he belonged? Yet, when one is aware of the thing, there is something very concise and comprehensive in turning titles or descriptions into names; as in the next abbot's case, “ Francis Abundance, though, without some intimation, the general
” , reader would hardly guess that “ Francis” was the name of the man, and “Abundance" (or, Notre Dame d'Abondance) that of an Augustine monastery in the diocese of Geneva. But not to insist on all these barbarisms, which are contained in about one page,—such as has, I think, seldom been equalled,-I must notice one other thing in it, which will perhaps surprise the general reader, who has been previously called upon to read rather more than he understood about the Soldan of Babylon, the Soldan of Egypt, and other such paynim personages.
Eporediensis, Taurinensis, Gebennensis.
It is, that these electors, thus assembled to choose a pope, were to have “Peter de Atro [read, Atrio] for the Soldan, who had used the same office before in the council.” What business could any Soldan have in the council where even Benet and Collet were excluded ?* This looks, indeed, like “ Turk and Pope;" and a note about it would have been more to the purpose, and more for the convenience of the general reader, than one to tell him that “Cracovia” means « Cracow," or that “ Tridentum” means “ Trent,” or any one of the five notes which attest that this page of blunders was not sent into the world with such purely careless rapidity as the statement of the publishers might lead one to imagine.
But two considerations lead me to fear that I am occupying too much room with this particular case. I say nothing about trespassing on your pages, because you have the remedy in your own hands; but there are two other considerations. First, that the defence that has been insinuated consists, principally, in a suggestion that the faults pointed out are few, while I feel embarrassed by the number which I have noticed, but not yet mentioned. Secondly, while I am working down the number already noted, they are rapidly multiplying by the publication of fresh volumes. Let me give a specimen from the volume just published. I have as yet scarcely had leisure to pay much attention to it, but a friend, who found it on my table, happened to look into it, and read to me the editor's note on p. 383. The passage which it is intended to explain is this :-“ Afterwards, the emperor coming to Brussels, there was a terrible slaughter and persecution of God's people-namely, in Brabant, Hennegow, and Artois." The note itself is “Hennegow, probably Henneberg. -Ed." Why probably? Even if it were not stated in the heading that the persecution was in Flanders, what likelihood is there that the emperor's coming to Brussels should affect the protestants of the county of Henneberg down away in Franconia? Can it be anything but the mere guess of ignorance, grounded on a little similarity of sound, and put forth without even looking at a map? Surely, the only probability which appears on the surface is, that Hennegow was some place near Brussels, and between Brabant and Artois; and anybody who should look at the commonest English map would suspect it to be Hainault. I say an English map, because, if he looked at a German or Dutch one, he would probably find Hainault plainly called Hennegau, or Henegouwen. Then, presently afterwards, we are told, that “coming to Hennegow, Augustine desired Master Nicholas, because he was learned, to come to Bergis, to visit and comfort certain brethren there.” iv. 390. The editor having, as we have seen, previously decided that Hennegow was, probably, Henneberg, and having here, on the opposite page, the plain words “ Bergis in Hennegow,” now puts a note to inform his readers (without any doubt or proba
I have before noticed the editor's explanation of this phrase at iii. 634. It has been since repeated, iv. 364, with the additional absurdity, that the person degraded “ from the order of Benet and Collet,” was “a religious man of the friars Eremites of the order of St. Austin."
bility, and as merc matter of fact) that Bergis means Bergen-op-Zoom, or, in other words, that Bergen-op-Zoom is in Franconia, while, in truth, Bergis (or rather Bergæ, but the reader will have perceived that neither Fox nor his editor are very particular about cases) means Mons, the capital of Hainault. If the reader looks in a German or Dutch map, he may probably find it called Bergen, for a reason which will be obvious to those who only know enough of Latin and German to be aware that Mons in one language, is equivalent to Berg in the other.
If I have expended room in noticing this fresh instance, it has had the good effect of bringing us back to the subject of geography, of which it is really necessary to take some further notice, as will, I think, appear by a few specimens which I will give as briefly as I can, -indeed, they require but very little remark.
We are told that, while on his way to the Holy Land, “ King Richard won another certain strong hold, called · Monasterium Griffonum,' situated in the midst of the river Delfar, between Messina and Calabria," 299. How could there be a river between Sicily and Italy? Scylla and Charybdis (which, by the way, Fox tells us in the new volume be two dangerous rocks in the sea,” iv. 629,) are got rid of, and not only the Pharos of Messina, but the streight to which it gave a name, are all sunk in “ the river Delfar.”
Again, in the history of the same monarch, Fox tells us, “ It befel that a certain noble personage, Lord of Lemonice, in Little Britain, (Widomarus by name,) found a great treasure,” 318. I suspect that he might have kept it, if King Richard had possessed as little information respecting his locality as is here furnished. If it could be supposed that any one really desirous of understanding the history, and of knowing the proper names of the persons and places of which he reads, would study this edition of Fox's work, it would be worth while to lay down a few rules for finding the root of those words which are not to be found in any dictionary. One of the first of these rules should be to invert any n or u which may be found in the word; and perhaps one of the next should be to turn any u thus found into a v. At all events, these rules would be sufficient for our present purpose; and having applied them to the Lord of Lemonice, we get Lemovice, which we may consider as either a translation or an abridgment of Lemovicensis ; and so we detect the Lord, or Viscount, of Limoges. But when or how his territory got into, or out of, “Little Britain,” I have no idea. In the same paragraph, too, the place where King Richard was slain, and the man who killed him, are both miscalled, and Galuz and Cordoun should exchange initials. Now (without adverting to higher considerations) shall we not, as a nation, get laughed at all over Europe for reprinting such a History of England, --and that not only without any correction, or any notice of its blunders, but with great solemnity of recommendation on the precise ground of the high character of the work for accuracy of detail” ?But the subject of geography is too copious to allow of my crowding into this letter what I wish to say of it; I hope, therefore, to resume the subject, and, in the meantime,
I am, my dear Sir, yours very truly, S. R. MAITLAND.