« PreviousContinue »
excite, they perplex us- -but in the end send us back with a stronger relish than ever for our more secular studies. They are, in short, admirable things to interpose between the rough and angular forms of worldly pursuits, to damp a little the too ardent and vehement assertion of political principles, and rights simply mundane.
Hampstead, May, 1838.
J. A. ST. JOHN.
SIR THOMAS BROWNE TO SIR KENELM DIGBY.
GIVE your servant, who hath ever honoured you, leave to take notice of a book at present in the press, entitled (as I am informed) "Animadversions upon a Treatise, lately printed, under the name of Religio Medici."" Hereof, I am advertised, you have descended to be the author. Worthy sir, permit your servant to affirm there is contained therein nothing that can deserve the reason of your contradictions, much less the candour of your "Animadversions." And to certify the truth thereof, that book (whereof I do acknowledge myself the author) was penned many years past, and (what cannot escape your apprehension) with no intention for the press, or the least desire to oblige the faith of any man to its assertions. But what hath more especially emboldened my pen unto you at present is, that the same piece, contrived in my private study, and as an exercise unto myself, rather than an exercitation for any other, having passed from my hand under a broken and imperfect copy, by frequent transcription it still run forward into corruption, and after the addition of some things, omission of others, and transposition of many, without my assent or privacy, the liberty of these times committed it unto the press; whence it issued so disguised, the author, without distinction, could not acknowledge it. Having thus miscarried, within a few weeks I shall, God willing, deliver unto the press the true and intended original (whereof, in the mean time your worthy self may command a view ;) otherwise, whenever that copy shall be extant, it will most clearly appear how far the text hath been mistaken, and all observations, glosses,