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3RARY ^



VCRSTY OF
.LIFORMIA
kN DIEGO



J



PAULINE FORE MOFFITT
LIBRARY



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA




JAMES K MOFFITT



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. SAN DIEGO




3 1822 02682 0704



Si



7



ENGLISH MEN OF LETTERS

EDITED BY JOHN MORLEY

pocriet lEOition



BENTLEY



MACMILLAN AND CO., Limited

LONDON • BOMBAY • CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK • BOSTON • CHICAGO
ATLANTA • SAN FRANCISCO

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd.

TORONTO



I f i t



ENGLISH mEN OF LETTER



BENTLEY



^^^^ R. C. JEBB



MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON

1909



First Edition 1882. New Edition 1889.
Library Edition 1902. Pocket Edition 1909.



PREFATORY NOTE.

The following are the principal sources for an
estimate of Bentley's life and work : —

1. Life of Bentley, by J. H. Monk, 4to, London, 1830 :
2nd ed., 2 vols. 8vo, 1833. — 2. Bentley's Correspondence,
ed, C. Wordswoi-th, 2 vols., Lond. 1842.— 3. Bentley's
Works, ed. Alex. Dyce, 1836—38. Vols. I and II :— Disser-
tation on Letters of Phalaris, (1) as published in 1699,
(2) as originally printed in Wotton's Beflections, 1697. Epis-
tola ad loannem Millium. Vol. Ill ; — Boyle Lectures, with
Newton's Letters : Sermons : Remarks upon a late Discourse
of Free-thinking : Proposals for an edition of the New
Testament : Answer to the Remarks of Conyers Middleton. —
4. Bentley's Fragments of Callimachus, in the edition of
Graevius, Utrecht, 1697, reprinted in Blomfield's ed., London,
1815.— 5. Emendations on Menander and Philemon (1710),
reprinted, Cambridge, 1713. — 6. Horace, Camb. 1711, 2nded.,
Amsterdam, 1713. — 7. Terence, Camb. 1726, 2nd ed., Am-
sterdam, 1728. — 8. Milton's Paradise Lost, Lond. 1732. — 9.
Manilius, Lond. 1739,

Notes by Bentley appeared during liis lifetime in the
books of other scholars. Since his death, many more
have been published from his MSS. These, while vary-
ing much in fulness and value, cannot be overlooked in
a survey of the field which his studies covered. The
subjoined list comprises the greater part of them: —

On Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, in Gaisford's ed.,
Oxford, 1805. — Hephaestion, in Gaisford's ed., 1810. — Lucretius,



J. B



vi BENTLEY.

in Oxford ed., 1818. — Horace (curae novissimae), in the Cam-
bridge Muaeum Criticiim I. 194 — 6, ed. T. Kidd. — Ovid, in
the Classical Journal, six. 168, 258, ed. G. Burges. — Lucan,
ed. R. Cumberland, Strawberry Hill, 1760. — Silius Italicus,
Cla.ss. Jouni. iir. 381. — L. Annaeus Seneca, ib. xxxvii. 11,
ed. T. Kidd. — Nicauder, in Museum Criticiun, I. 370, 445, ed.
J. H. Monk. — Aristophanes, in Classical Journal, xi. 131, 248,
XII. 104, 352, XIII. 132, 336, xiv. 130, ed. G. Burges ; and in
Museum Criticum, ii. 126, ed. J. H. Monk. — Sophocles, Theo-
critus, Bion, Moschus, ed. E. Maltby in Morell's Thesaurus,
reprinted in Classical Journal, xiii. 244. — Philostratus, in
Olearius's edition (1709).— Hierocles, in Needhanvs edition
(1709). — Plautus, in E. A. Sonnenschein's ed. of the Captivi,
p. 135, Loud. 1880. — Iliad i. ii, at the end of J. Maehly's
memoir of Bentley (1868), from the MS. at Trinity College,
Cambridge. — Selected Notes on the Greek Testament (from
the MS. at Trin. Coll. Camb.) including those on the Epistle
to the Galatiaus, in Bentleii Critica Sacra, ed. A. A. ElUs,
Camb. 1862.— A few anecdota from Bentley's MS. notes on
Homer (at Trin. Coll., Camb.) are given below, p. 153.

E-. Cumberland's Memoirs (4to, 1806, 2nd edition in
2 vols. 8vo, 1807) deserve to be consulted independently
of Monk's quotations from them. The memoir of Bentley
by F. A. Wolf, in his Litter arisclie Analekten (pp. 1 — 89,
Berlin, 1816), has the permanent interest of its author-
ship and its date. Bud's Diary, so useful for a part of
Bentley's college history, was edited with some additional
letters by H. E,. Luard for the Cambridge Antiquarian
Society, 1860. De Quincey's essay — originally a review
of Monk — has every charm of his style; the sometimes
whimsical judgments need not be taken too seriously.
Hartley Coleridge's comments on Monk's facts may be
seen in the short biography of Bentley which he wrote
in the Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire (pp. 65 — ■
174). In 'Richard Bentley, eine Biographic' (Leipzig.



PREFATORY NOTE. vii

1868), Jacob Maehly gives a concise sketch for German
readers, on Monk's plan of a continuous chronological
narrative, in which notices of the literary works are
inserted as they occur.

It is proper to state the points wliich are distinctive
of the present volume : — 1 . In regard to the external
facts of Beutley's life, I have been able to add some traits
or illustrations from contemporary or other sources :
these are chiefly in chapters I, in, vil, xii. — 2. Chap-
ter VI is condensed from some results of studies in the
University life of Bentley's time and in the history of
Trinity College. — 3. The controversy on the Letters of
Phalaris has hitherto been most familiar to English
readers through De Quincey's essay on Bentley, or the
brilliant passage in Macaulay's essay on Temple. Both
versions are based on Monk's. The account given here
will be found to present some matters under a diflerent
light. In such cases the views are those to which I was
led by a careful examination of the original sources,
and of all the literary evidence which I could find. —
4. The aim has been not more to sketch the facts of
Bentley's life than to estimate his work, the character of
his powers, and his place in scholarship. Here the
fundamental materials are Bentley's writings themselves.
To these I have given a comparatively large share of
the allotted space. My treatment of them has been
independent of any predecessor.

The courtesy of the Master of Trinity afibrded me
an opportunity of using Bentley's marginal notes on
Homer at a time when they would not otherwise have
been accessible. Mr Tyj-rell, Regius Professor of Greek
in the University of Dublin, favoured me with informa-
tion regarding a manuscript in the Library. Pi'of. A.



viii BENTLEY.

Michaelis, of Sirassburg, and Mr J. W. Clark, of Trinity
Collego, Cambridge, kindly lent me some books and tracts
relating to Bentley.

My thanks are especially due to Dr Hort, for reading
the proof-sheets of chapter x ; and to Mr Munro, for
reading those of chapters viil and ix. To both I have
owed most valualtle suggestions. For others, on many
points, I have been indebted to Dr Luard, Registrary of
the University of Cambridge ; who, with a kindness which
I cannot adequately acknowledge, has done me the great
favour of reading the Avhole book during its passage
through the press.



The College, Glasgow,
February, 1882.



ANNALS OF BENTLEY'S LIFE.



&et.



1662




1672


10


1676


14


1680


18


1682


20


1683


21


1686


23


1689


27


1690


28


1691


29


1692


30


1693


31


1694


32


1696


33


1696


34


1697


35


1698


36


1699


37



I. Eakuee Period.— 1662-1669.
Jan. 27. Birth.
Goes to Wakefield School.
Enters St John's Coll., Cambridge.
B.A. Degree.

Master of Spalding School. Tutor to J. Stillingfleet.
M.A. Degree.
James IZ.

"William and nSary. Goes with J. Stillingfleet to Oxford
Ordained. Chaplain to Bp Stillingfleet.
Letter to Mill.

Boyle Lectures. Prebendary of "Worcester. Temple's .Essay.
Nominated King's Librarian.
Appointed, April 12. Wotton's Rejlectionn.
Chaplain in Ordinary to King.— F.E.S.— Boyle's Phalaris.
Promotfs reparation of Camb. Press.— D.D.
First Essay on Phalaris in 2nd ed. of Vfotion.—' Fragments

of Callimachus in the ed. of Graevius.'
Jan. ' Boyle against Bentley.'
Mar. 'Bentley against .Br^^ie.'— Master of Trin. Coll. Camb.



ANNALS OF BENTLEY'S LIFE.



1700


aet.
38


1701


39


1702


40


1702-4


40-2


1706-8


44^6


1710


48


1711


49


1713


51


1714


62



1715


53


1716


64


1717


55


1718


56


1719


57


1720


58


1724


62


1725


63


1726


64


1727


65


1728


66


1729


67


1730


68


1731


69


1732


70


1733


71


1734


72


1735-7


73-5


1738


76


1739


77


1740


78


1742


80



1691


29


1692


30


1693


31


1699


37


1710


48


1711


49


1713


51


1726


64


1732


70


1739


77



II. At Cambridge. — 1700 — 1742.
Feb. 1. Installed at Trin.— Vice-Chancellor.
Jan. 7. Marriage.— Archdeacon of Ely.
Anne.

College refortus.— Swift's Battle of the Books (1704).
Aids L. Kuster, T. Hemsterhuys.
Feb. 10. Petition from Fellows of Trin. to Bp Moore.

Menander and Philemon.— ThoTT^hiW's portrait of B.
Dec. 8. Horace.

Bp cites B. to Ely B.owm.—B^marlis in reply to Collins.
FiEST TaiAi AT Ely House.— July 31. Bp Moore dies

before judgment has been given. Aug. 1. Death of

Queen Anne. George I.

Jacobite Revolt. B.'s Sermon on Popery.

Petition from Fellows of Trin. to Crown.

B. Regius Prof, of Divinity. George I. visits Cambridge.

B. arrested. Deprived of Degrees by Senate (Oct. 17).

B. makes terms with Miller.

Proposals for edition of New Testament.

Mar. 26. B.'s degrees restored.- Declines see of Bristol.

B.'s Latin speech at Commencement.

Terence published.

George II. Death of Newton.

Greorge II. at Cambridge.— B.'s illness.— Colbatch active,

Bp Greene cites B. to appear. Veto by King's Bench.

Senate House opened.

Fire at Cottonian Library.

B.'s edition of Paradise Lost. He undertakes Homer.

Second Teial at Ely House.

April 27. Bp Greene sentences B. to deprivation.

Efforts to procure execution of the judgment.

April 22. End of the struggle. B. remains in possession.

Manilius.

Death of Mrs Bentlcy.

March. Pope's enlarged Dunciad, with verses on B.

June. B. examines for the Craven.— July 14. His death.

Dates of some PraNCiPAL Works.
Letter to Mill.
Boyle Lectures.
Fragments of Callimaclius.
Enlarged Dissertation on Phalaris.
Emendations on Menander and Philemon.
Horace.

Remarks on a late Discourse of Free-thinking.
Terence.

Edition of Paradise Lost.
Manilius.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

PACE

KARLY LUTE. TIIK LETTER TO MILL 1



CHAPTER II.

THE BOYLE LECTURES 19

CHAPTER III.

LEARNED CORRESrONDENCE. THE KINu's LIBRARIAN . . .3.3

CHAPTER IV.

THE CONTROVERSY ON THE LETTERS OF PHALARIS . . 40

CHAPTER V.

UKNTLEY's DISSERTATION 64

CHAPTER VI.

TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE 86



CONTENTS. XI

CHAPTER VII.

PA6B

BENTLEY AS MASTER OP TRINITY 97

CHAPTER VIII.

lilTERARY WORK AFTER IVOO. — HORACE 124



CHAPTER IX.

OTHER CLASSICAL STUDIES. — TERENCE. — MANILIUS. —

HOMER 136



CHAPTER X.

THE. PROPOSED EDITION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT . . 157

CHAPTER XI.

ENGLISH STYLE. EDITION OF PARADISE LOST .... 172

CHAPTER XII.

DOMESTIC LIFE. LAST YEARS 192

CHAPTER XIII.

BENTLEy's place IN THE HISTORY OF SCHOLARSHIP . . 20G



BENTLEY.



CHAPTER I.

EARLY LIFE. THE LETTER TO MILL,

Richard Bentley was born on January 27, 1662.
A remarkable variety of interest belongs to liis life of
eighty years. He is the classical critic whose thoroughly
original genius set a new example of method, and gave a
decisive bent to the subsequent course of scholarship.
Among students of the Greek Testament he is memorable
as the first who defined a plan for constructing the whole
text directly from the oldest documents. His English
style has a place of its own in the transition from the
prose of the seventeenth century to that of the eighteenth.
During forty years he was the most prominent figure of
a great English University at a stirring period. And
everything that lie did or wrote bears a vivid impress
of personal character. The character may alternately
attract and repel ; it may provoke a feeling in whiclx
indignation is tempered only by a sense of the ludicrous,
or it may irresistibly appeal to our admiration ; but at
all moments and in all moods it is signally masterful.
J. B. B



2 BENTLEY. [chap.

His birthplace ^^•as Oulton, a township in the Parish
of llothwell, near Wakefield, in the West Riding of
Yorkshire. His family were yeomen of the richer class,
wlio for some generations liad held property in the
neighbourhood of Halifax. Bentley's grandfather had
been a captain in the royalist army during the civil
■war, and had died while a prisoner in the hands of
the enemy. The Bentleys sufiered in fortune for their
attachment to the cavalier party, but Thomas Bentley,
Richard's father, still owned a small estate at Woodles-
ford, a village in the same parish as Oulton. .After
the death of his first wife, Thomas Bentley, then an
elderly man, married in 1661 Sarah, daughter of Richard
Willie, of Oulton, who is described as a stonemason,
but seems to have been rather what would now be called
a builder, and must have been in pretty good circum-
stances; he is said to have held a major's commission
in the royal army during the troubles. It was after
him that his daughter's firstborn was called Richard.
Bentley's literary assailants in later years endeavoured
to represent him as a sort of ploughboy who had been
developed into a learned boor ; Avhile his amiable and
accomplished grandson, Richard Cumberland, exhibited
a pardonable tendency to overestimate the family claims.
Bentley himself appears to have said nothing on the
subject.

He was taught Latin grammar by his mother.
From a day-school at INlethley, a village near Oulton, he
was sent to the Wakefield Grammar School — probably
when he was not more tlian eleven years old, as he went
to Cambridge at fourteen. Schoolboy life must liave
been more cheerful after the Restoration than it had
been before, — to judge from that lively picture in



i.] EAELY LIFE. THE LETTER TO I^IILL. 3

North's 'Lives' of the school at Bury St Edraund's,
where the master — a staunch royalist — was forced, 'in
the dregs of time,' to o])serve 'super-hypocritical fastings
and seekings,' and 'walked to Church after his brigade of
boys, there to endure the infliction of divers holders-
forth.' Then the King came to his own again, and this
scholastic martyr had the happy idea of ' publishing his
cavaliership by putting all the boys at his school into red
cloaks ; ' 'of whom he had near thirty to j^tarade before
him, through that observing town, to church; which
made no vulgar appearance.' The only notice of
Bentley's school-life by himself (so far as I know) is in
Cumberland's Memoirs, and is highly characteristic,
' I have had from him at times whilst standing at his
elbow' — says his grandson, who was then a boy about
nine years old — ' a complete and entei"taining narrative
of his schoolboy days, with the characters of his different
masters very humorously displayed, and the punishments
described which they at times would wrongfully inflict
upon him for seeming to be idle and regardless of his
task, — When the dunces, ho would say, coxdd not
discover that I was pondering it in my mind, and fixing
it more firmly in my memory, than if I had been hawliny
it out amongst the rest of my schoolfellows.^ However, he
seems to have retained through life a warm regard for
Wakefield School. It had a high reputation. Another
of its pupils, a few years later, was John Potter,— author
of the once popular work on Greek Antiquities, editor of
Lycophron, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bentley was only thirteen when his father died.
His grandfather, Richard Willie, decided that ho should
go to the University without much more delay. The
boy had his own way to make; his father's small estate



4 BENTLEY. [chap.

Imtl Ix'cu left to a son by tlie first marriage; and in
those days there was nothing to hinder a precocious lad
from matnculating at fourteen, though the ordinary age
was already seventeen or eighteen. On May 24, 1676,
'Ricardus Bentley de Oulton' was enrolled in the
Admission 13ook of St John's College. The choice of a
University may have been influeiiced by the fact that
John Baskervile, the master of Wakefield School, was a
member of Emmanuel College, Cambridge; the choice of
a College, partly by the fact that some scholarships for
natives of Yorkshire had been founded at St John's by
Sir Marmaduke Constable. Bentley, like Isaac Kewton
at Trinity, entered as a subsizar, a student who receives
certain allowances. St John's College was just then the
largest in the University, and appears to have been as
efficient as it was distinguished. The only relic of
Bentley's undergraduate life is a copy of English verses
on the Gunpowder Plot. That stirring theme was long
a stock subject for College exercises. Bentley's verses
have the jerky vigour of a youth whose head is full of
classical allusions, and who is bent on making points.
The social life of the University probably did not
engage very much of his time; and it is left to us to
conjecture how much he saw of two Cambridge contem-
poraries who afterwards wrote against him, — Richard
Johnson, of his own College, and Garth, the poet, of
Peterhouse; or of William Wotton, his firm friend in
later life — that 'juvenile prodigy' who was a boy of
fourteen when Bentley took his degree, and yet already
a Bachelor of Arts.

Notliing is known of Bentley's classical studies
while he was an undergraduate. His own statement,
that some of his views on metrical questions dated from



I.] EARLY LIFE. THE LETTER TO MILL. 5

earliest manhood (iam ah adolescentia), is too vague to
prove anything. Monk remarks that there were no
prizes for classics at Cambridge then. It may be ob-
served, however, that there was one very important
prixe — the Craven University Scholarship, founded in
1647. But no competition is recorded between 1G70,
when Bentley was eight years old, and 1681, the year
after he took his first degree. The studies of the
Cambridge Schools were Logic, Ethics, Natural Philo-
sophy, and Mathematics. Bentley took high honours in
these. His place was nominally sixth in the first class,
but really third, since three of those above him were men
of straw. The Vice-Chancellor and the two Proctors
then possessed the privilege of interpolating one name
each in the list, simply as a compliment, and they
naturally felt that such a complimeiit was nothing if it
was not courageous. Bcntley's degree had no real like-
ness, of course, to that of third Wrangler now ; modern
Mathematics were only beginning, and the other subjects
of the Schools had more weight ; the testing process, too,
was far from thorough.

Bentley never got a Fellowship. In his time, — in-
deed, until the present century, — there were territorial
restrictions at almost all Colleges. As a native of
Yorkshire, he had been elected to a Constable scholar.ship,
but the same circumstance excluded him from a greater
prize. When he graduated, two Fellowships at St John's
were already held by Yorkshiremen, and a third re-
presentative of the same county was inadmissible. He
was a candidate, indeed, in 1G82 ; but as no person not
in Priest's Orders was eligible on that occasion, he must
have gone in merely to show what he could do. The
College was enabled to recognise him in other ways,



6 BENTLEY. [chap.

however. lie was appointed to the mastership of
Hpakliiig Sdiool in Lincohisliire. At the end of about a
year, he (juitted this post for one which offered attractions
of a different kind. Dr Stillingfleet — then Dean of St
Paul's, and formerly a Fellow of St John's, Cambridge —
wanted a tutor for his second son : and his choice fell on
Bentlej'.

A youth of twenty-one, with Bentley's tastes and
powers, could scarcely have been placed in a more ad-
vantageous position. Stillingfleet was already foremost
among those scholarly divines who were regarded as the
champions of Christianity against deists or materialists,
and more particularly as defenders of the English Church
against designs which had been believed to menace it since
the Restoration. The researches embodied in Stillingfleet's
Origines Sarrae and other works had for their general aim
to place the Anglican religion on the historical basis of
primitive times. In the course of his extensive and
varied studies, he had gradually formed that noble
library — one of the finest private collections then existing
in England — which after his death was purchased for
Dul)lin by Archbishop Marsh. Free access to such a
library was a priceless boon for Bentley. At the Dean's
house he would also meet the best literary society in
London; and his 'patron' — to use the phrase of that
day — received liim on a footing which enabled him to
profit fully by such opportunities. Stillingfleet could
sympathise with the studies of his son's young tutor. In
liis own early days, after taking his degree at the same
College, Stillingfleet had accepted a domestic tutorship,
and 'besides his attendance on his proper province, the
instruction of the young gentleman,' had found time to
set about writing his h-enicum, — the endeavour of a



1.] te.\ELY LIFE. THE LETTER TO MILL. 7

sanguine youtli to make peace between Presbyterians
and Prelacy. A contemporary biogi'apher (Dr Timothy
Goodwin) has thus desci-ibed Dr Stillingfleet. 'He was
tall, graceful, and well-proportioned ; his countenance
comely, fresh, and awful ; in his conversation, cheerful
and discreet, obliging, and very instructive.' To the day
of his death in 1699 Stillingfleet was Bentley's best
friend, — the architect, indeed, of his early fortunes.

The next six years, from the twenty -first to the twenty-
seventh of his age (1683 — 1689), were passed by Bentley
ill Dr Stillingfleet's family. It was during this period,
when he enjoyed much leisure and the use of a first-rate
library, that Bentley laid the solid foundations of his
learning. He enlarged his study of the Greek and Latin
classics, writing notes in the margin of his books as he
went along. In those days, it will be remembered, such
studies were not facilitated by copious dictionaries of
classical biography, geography, and antiquities, or by
those well-ordered and comprehensive lexicons which
exhibit at a glance the results attained by the labours of
successive generations. Bentley now began to make for
himself lists of the authors whom he found cited by the
ancient grammarians ; and it may be observed that a series
of detractors, from Boyle's allies to Richard Dawes,
constantly twit Bentley with owing all his learning to
'indexes.' Tlius, in a copy of verses preserved by Granger,
Bentley figures as

Zoilus, tirM with turning o'er
Dull indexes, a precious store.

At this time he also studied the New Testament critically.
His labours on the Old Testament may be described in
his own words. ' I wrote, before I was twenty -four years



8 BENTLEY. t^^HAr.

of age, a sort of Hexapla; a thick volume in quarto, in
the first column of which I inserted every word of the
Hel)rew Bible alphabetically; and, in five other columns,
all the various interpretations of those words in the
Chaldce, Syriac, Yulgate, Latin, Septuagint, and Aquila,
Symmachus, and Thcodotion, that occur in the whole
Bible.'

Bontley did not take Orders till 1690, when he Avas
twenty-eight, but he had probably always intended to do
BO, His delay may have been partly due to the troubles
of James II. 's reign. Immediately after the Revolution
Dean Stillingfleet was raised to the see of Worcester.
His eldest son had gone to Cambridge ; but Bentley's
pupil, James, was sent to Wadham College, Oxford.
Bentley accompanied him thither ; and, having taken an
ad eundem degree of M.A., was placed on the books of
Wadham College. He continued to reside at Oxford till
the latter part of 1690; and we find him engaged on
behalf of the University in negotiations for the purchase
of the library which had belonged to Dr Isaac Voss,
Canon of Windsor. This valuable collection — including
the books of Gerard John Yoss, Isaac's father — ultimately
went to Leyden; not, apparently, through any fault of
Bentley's, though that was alleged during his controversy
with Boyle.

While living at Oxford, Bentley enjoyed access to
the Bodleian Library; and, as if his ardour had been
stimulated by a survey of its treasures, it is at this
time that his literary projects first come into view. 'I
had decided ' (he informs Dr Mill) ' to edit the fragments
of all the Greek poets, with emendations and notes, as a
single great work.' Perhaps even Bentley can scarcely
then have realised the whole magnitude of such a task.


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