Obrázky na stránke


It is said that the ancient fathers preached, as the old Greek and Roman orators declaimed, by this instrument; but were the sermons of the ancient fathers an hour long? Many of those in St. Augustine's ten volumes might be delivered with distinctness in seven or eight minutes; and some of those of Latimer and his contemporaries in about the same time. But, query, are not the printed sermons of these divines merely outlines to be filled up by the preachor extempore? Dyos, in a sermon preached at Paul's Cross, in 1570, speaking of the walking and profane talking in the church at sermon time, also laments how they grudged the preacher his customary hour. So that an hour seems to have been the practice at the Reformation.

The hour-glass was used equally by the Catholics and Protestants. In an account of the fall of the house in Blackfriars, where a party of Romanists were assembled to hear one of their preachers, in 1623, the preacher is described as

Having on a surplice, girt about his middle with a linnen girdle, and a tippet of scarlet on both his shoulders. He was attended by a man that brought after him his book and hour-glass.-See The Fatal Vespers, by Samuel Clark, London, 1657.

In the Preface to the Bishops' Bible, printed, by John Day, in 1569, Archbishop Parker is represented with an hour-glass at his right hand. And in a work by Franchinus Gaffurius, entitled Angelicum ac Divinum opus Musice, printed at Milan in 1508, is a curious representation of the author seated in a pulpit, with a book in his hand; an hour-glass on one side, and a bottle on the other; lecturing to an audience of twelve persons. This woodcut is engraved in the second volume of Hawkins' History of Music, p. 333.

Hour-glasses were often very elegantly formed, and of rich

[ocr errors]

materials. Shaw, in his Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages, has given an engraving of one of the cabinet of M. Debruge at Paris. It is richly enamelled, and set with jewels. In the churchwardens' accounts of Lambeth Church are two entries respecting the hour-glass: the first is in 1579, when Is. 4d. was

payed to Yorke for the frame in which the hower standeth ; and the second in 1615, when 6s. 8d. was “payd for an iron for the hour-glasse." In an inventory of the goods and implements belonging to the church of All Saints, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, taken about 1632, mention is made of " one whole hour-glasse, and of “one halfe hour-glasse.” (See Brand's Newcastle, vol. i.

p. 370.)

Fosbroke says, "Preaching by the hour-glass was put an end to by the Puritans" (Ency. of Antiq., vol. i. pp. 273, 307). But the account given by a correspondent of the Gentleman's Magazine (1804, p. 201), is probably more correct :

Hour-glasses, in the puritanical days of Cromwell, were made use of by the preachers; who, on first getting into the pulpit, and naming the text, turned up the glass; and if the sermon did not hold till the glass was out, it was said by the congregation that the preacher was lazy : and if he continued to preach much longer, they would yawn and stretch, and by these signs signify to the preacher that they began to be weary of his discourse, and wanted to be dismissed.

Butler speaks of "gifted brethren preaching by a carnal hour-glass(Hudibras, Part I., canto III., v. 1061). And in the frontispiece of Dr. Young's book, entitled England's Shame, or a Relation of the Life and Death of Hugh Peters, London, 1663, Peters is represented preaching, and holding an hour-glass in his left hand, in the act of saying :-“I know you are good fellows, so let's have another glass." The same words, or something very similar, are attributed to the Nonconformist minister, Daniel Burgess. Mr. Maidment, in a note to " The New Litany," printed in his Third Book of Scottish Pasquils (Edin., 1828, p. 49), also gives the following version of the same :

A humorous story has been preserved of one of the Earls of Airly, who entertained at his table a clergyman, who was to preach before the Commissioner next day. The glass circulated, perhaps too freely; and whenever the divine attempted to rise, his Lordship prevented him, saying, “Another glass, and then.” After - flooring” (if the expression may be allowed) his Lordship, the guest went home. He next day selected a text: “ The wicked shall be punished, and that RIGHT EARLY.” Inspired by the subject, he was by no means sparing of his oratory, and the hour-glass was disregarded, although repeatedly warned by the precentor ; who, in common with Lord Airly, thought the discourse rather lengthy. The latter soon knew why he was thus punished by the reverend gentleman, when reminded, always exclaiming, not

6 Another glass, and then."

sotto voce,

Macaulay, speaking of Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury,


He was often interrupted by the deep hum of his audience; and when, after preaching out the hour-glass, which in those days was part of the furniture of the pulpit, he held it in his hand, the congregation clamorously encouraged him to go on till the sand had run off once more.—Macaulay's History, vol. ii. p. 177, edit. 3, with a reference in a foot-note to Speaker Onslow's Note on Burnet, i. 596 ; Johnson's Life of Sprat.

Gay, in his Pastorals, writes :

He said that Heaven would take her soul no doubt,
And spoke the hour-glass in her praise quite out.

Zacharie Boyd says, in The Last Battell of the Soule in Death, 1629, reprinted Glasgow, 1831, at p. 469:

Now after his Battell ended hee hath surrendered the spirit, Clepsydra efluxit, his houre-glasse is now runne out, and his soule is come to its wished home, where it is free from the fetters of flesh.

This divine was minister of the barony parish of Glasgow, the church for which was then in the crypt of the cathedral. I have no doubt the hour-glass was there used from which he draws his simile. To judge from the contents of " Mr. Zacharie's ” MS. sermons still preserved in the library of the College of Glasgow, each, at the rate of ordinary speaking, must have occupied at least an hour and a half in delivery. When he had become infirm and near his end, and had found it necessary to shorten his sermons, his "kirk session" was offended, as

Feb. 13, 1651. Some are to speak to Mr. Z. Boyd about the soon skailing (dismissing) of the Baronie Kirk on Sunday afternoon.

[ocr errors]

Though sermons are now generally restricted to from three quarters to an hour's delivery, the practice of long preaching in the olden times in the west of Scotland had much prevailed. Early among a few classes of the first Dissenters, on “Sacramental occasions as they are yet called, the services lasted altogether (not unfrequently) continuously from ten o'clock on Sabbath forenoon, to three and four o'clock the following morning.

Among Dr. Rawlinson's manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, No. 941 contains a collection of Miscellaneous Discourses, by Mr. Lewis of Margate, in Kent, whence the following extract has been made :

It appears that these hour-glasses were coeval with our Reformation. In a fine frontispiece, prefixed to the Holy Bible of the bishops' translation, printed in 4to. by John Day, 1569, Archbishop Parker is represented in the pulpit with an hour-glass standing on his right hand; ours, here, stood on the left without any frame. It was proper that some time should be prescribed for the length of the sermon, and clocks and watches were not then so common as they are now. This time of an hour continued till the Revolution, as appears by Bishop Sanderson's, Tillotson's, Stillingfleet's, Dr. Barrow's, and others' sermons, printed during that time.

The writer of this article was informed in 1811, by the Rev. Mr. Burder, who had the curacy of St. Dunstan’s, Fleet Street, that the large silver hour-glass formerly used in that Church, was melted down into two staff-heads for the parish beadles.

An hour-glass frame of iron, fixed in the wall by the side of the pulpit, was remaining in 1797 in the church of North Moor, in Oxfordshire.

Hogarth, in his "Sleeping Congregation," has introduced an hour-glass on the left side of the preacher; and Mr. Ireland observes, in his description of this plate, that they are "still placed on some of the pulpits in the provinces." The stands are still to be found in many churches in England; but it has been said that there are only three hour-glass stands where any portion of the glass is remaining


The following passage is from the Facetiæ Cantabrigiensis, p. 95. (London, Charles Mason, 1836):

Porson observing that he could pun on any subject, a person present defied him to do so on the Latin gerunds, which, however, he immediately did in the following admirable couplet :

When Dido found Æneas would not come,
She mourned in silence, and was DI-DO-DUM.

The late Professor Porson's own account of his academic visits to the Continent:

I went to Frankfort, and got drunk
With that most learn'd professor-Brunck:
I went to Worts, and got more drunken,
With that more learned professor-Ruhncken.


The first Philadelphia Directories were published in the year 1785, when two appeared : White's and M'Pherson's. The latter is a duodecimo volume of 164 pages, and contains some things worth making a note of.

Some persons do not seem to have comprehended the object of the inquiries made of the inhabitants as to their names and occupations; supposing, perhaps, that they had some connection

« PredošláPokračovať »