Hark! the merry Christ-Church bells !

ALDRICH, Dean of Christ-Church.

In the foregoing chapter, we have given a rapid, but, I trust, not unfaithful sketch of the most prominent features of the dominant religious parties of the time, chiefly as they affected the Church of England, through that long period of fanaticism triumphant, in the midst of which Ken was entered ą “poor scholar” on the ancient ecclesiastical foundation of William of Wykeham, and, when its spirit was more subdued, became a member of the University of Oxford, and fellow of New college. The obtruded Warden of this College having died, aş well as the Puritanical Warden of Winchester, in the year of Cromwell's death, the Fellows regularly elected Michael Woodward in 1658, who continued till his death.

During this period of Ken's academical residence, while the Puritans bore sway, his conduct was

peaceable, though his disposition was far from being accordant with the system and discipline of the University at that time.

From early connections and associations, his heart was with the loyal, and learned, and virtuous ejected Clergy, which subsequent circumstances will tend to confirm, and which it appears to me is evident, from his not taking any degree till after the Restoration. He might have taken his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1659; but most probably he disliked the examinations, and continued, giving no offence, as under-graduate of his College, till the reign of the Cheynels,* &c. was over.

Every thing in the University wore, to the eyes of Ken,a new appearance, when the restored members of the halls and colleges, yet surviving, appeared again in their square caps! Morley wore his square capp till he died — as in lofty contempt of the captious frivolousness of the Puritans. Again, at St. Mary's

“The pealing anthem swell'd the note of praise." Again the chant, as Prynne called it, “was tossed from side to side”—-in reality, heard responsive, and how impressively to those who, from their earliest days, had associated such music with their first devotional feelings, and now sat, with tears in their

eyes, recalling many friends, some dead, few surviving to

* Francis Cheynel, of Merton, of whom more hereafter.

+ The object of more aversion, as the Theologians at Dort all appeared “Consilium horrendum," in Geneva skull-caps.

hear, in their old age, the same affecting strains, in the same sacred place.

These higher feelings were experienced, indeed, by few, as few of the old Clergy remained. On the severe puritanical discipline being cast off at Oxford, no doubt some loose was given, even under academical regulations, to the unbridled feelings of exultation. Antony Wood might have drunk the King's health, and made an oration in his musical club. Crewe, afterwards Bishop of Durham, might have re-strung, and played in livelier key and better tune, the old loyal Northern ballad - if it were, indeed, so old —

Peggy, now the King's come,

Peggy, now the King's come,
We shall play, and we shall sing,

Peggy, now the King's come. Old Wolsey's quadrangle soon afterwards resounded to the merry peal. Dr. Fell presented his college with “Great Tom,” whose far-heard and mighty tongue might have seemed to express the national feelings, in unison from the lowest to the mightiest in the land. Then might the Vicars have joined in such a measure as that which a succeeding Dean* of the same college, not long afterwards, so sweetly harmonized :

Hark! the merry Christchurch bells,

One, two, three, four, five, six !
They sound so sweet, so wondrous sweet,

And they troll so merrily! merrily!

* The accomplished Dean Aldrich.

Hark! the first and second bell,

On ev'ry day, at four and ten,
Cries “ Come, come, come, come, come to prayers ;"

And the VERGER walks before the Dean.

“The merry Christ Church bells,” so long deemed idolatrous, had not been heard, nor “the VERGER walked before the DEAN,” for nearly seventeen years; and we may conceive the pensive pleasure Ken must have felt, when,“ meditating on this world's mutations," he strolled alone on the banks of Isis, listening to the revived music of the belfry, while“ Wykeham's peal was up."*

Pious, not ostentatious - a scholar, and friend of the Muses - he continued, it appears, a resident member of his college, beloved and respected, for six years, pursuing the same regular course of academical life and studies.

He took his first degree of Bachelor of Arts 1661. It is not improbable that soon after this he went into Orders ; and, at the proper age commencing Master of Arts, may have employed his time as tutor of the younger members of the college.

Revered and respected he must have been, equally for learning, character, and manners, as he was elected, with one voice, by the Fellows of Winchester, to fill the first vacancy of a fellowship, by the death of Stephen Cook, in 1666. He now

* Hurdis.

returned to Winchester, as resident Fellow of that Society, which he left, an interesting youth, in 1655-6.

The interest he manifested in, and the attachment he felt for, the school in which he had received his early education, was evinced by the publication of that “Manual,” which was formerly placed in the hands of every boy, containing the rudiments of religious knowledge, adapted to those in early life, in the form of a dialogue between a Wykehamical tutor and his pupil. His subscribing 1001. to the new buildings of New college fronting the garden, was the first proof of his gratitude.

Ken left New college for his Wykehamical residence at Winchester, as Fellow of the college, in 1666; and inquiring for some information of

my friend Henry Huntingford, nephew of the present excellent Bishop of Hereford, the inheritor of Ken's Wykehamical piety and learning, and, like him, rising from a Fellowship to the episcopal Bench, (his nephew being a Fellow of the same college)-I was gratified when, to the information he gave me, he added, “I am writing this in the very room which Ken inhabited when he was Fellow."

In this room he read and wrote, and accompanied his morning and evening hymn with his lute. Interested in the morals, religion, and welfare of the younger tribe, of which he was lately one, he might have passed his quiet days, and closed his private and peaceful career, in this social and lettered seclusion, among his books and friends of youth, had

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