The Full Wiki

George Herbert: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Herbert

Portrait by Robert White in 1674
(National Portrait Gallery)
Born 3 April 1593(1593-04-03)
Montgomery, Wales
Died 1 March 1633 (aged 39)
Bemerton, Wiltshire, England
Occupation Poet, orator, priest

George Herbert (3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633) was a Welsh poet, orator and Anglican priest. Being born into an artistic and wealthy family, he received a good education which led to his holding prominent positions at Cambridge University and Parliament. As a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, George Herbert excelled in languages and music. He went to college with the intention of becoming a priest, but his scholarship attracted the attention of King James I. Herbert served in parliament for two years. After the death of King James and at the urging of a friend, Herbert's interest in ordained ministry was renewed. In 1630, in his late thirties he gave up his secular ambitions and took holy orders in the Church of England, spending the rest of his life as a rector of the little parish of Fugglestone St Peter with Bemerton St Andrew, near Salisbury. He was noted for unfailing care for his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill, and providing food and clothing for those in need. Throughout his life he wrote religious poems characterized by a precision of language, a metrical versatility, and an ingenious use of imagery or conceits that was favoured by the metaphysical school of poets.[1] He is best remembered as a writer of poems and the hymns "Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life", "King of Glory, King of Peace" and "Let all the World in Every Corner Sing".


Early life

Herbert was born in Montgomery in Wales. His family was wealthy, eminent, intellectual and fond of the arts. His mother Magdalen was a patron and friend of John Donne and other poets;[2] his older brother Edward, later Lord Herbert of Cherbury, was an important poet and philosopher, often referred to as "the father of English deism". Herbert's father Richard Herbert, Lord of Cherbury died when George was three, leaving a widow and ten children.[3]

Herbert entered Westminster School at or around the age of 12 where he became a day student.[3] Though sometime after he was elevated to the level of scholar. Herbert later was admitted on scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1609 where he graduated first with a Bachelors and then with a masters degree in 1613 at the age of 20.[3] After graduating from Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge (where he achieved degrees with distinction), Herbert was elected a major fellow of his college. In 1618 he was appointed Reader in Rhetoric at Cambridge and in 1620 he was elected to the post of Cambridge University orator, whose duties would be served by poetic skill. He held this position until 1628.[4]

In 1624 he became a Member of Parliament, representing Montgomeryshire.[3] While these positions were suited to a career at court, and James I had shown him favour, circumstances worked against him: the King died in 1625, and two influential patrons of Herbert died later in the decade. However George Herbert's only service to parliament may have already ended in 1624 since, although a Mr Herbert is mentioned as a committee member, there is no record in the Commons Journal for 1625 of Mr. George Herbert (a distinction carefully made in the records of the preceding parliament).[3]


He took up his duties in Bemerton, a rural parish in Wiltshire, about 75 miles southwest of London in 1630. Here he preached and wrote poetry; also helping to rebuild the church out of his own funds[3].

In 1633 Herbert finished a collection of poems entitled The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations, which imitates the architectural style of churches through both the meaning of the words and their visual layout. The themes of God and love are treated by Herbert as much as psychological forces as metaphysical phenomena.

Suffering from poor health, Herbert died of tuberculosis only three years after taking holy orders. On his deathbed, he reportedly gave the manuscript of The Temple to Nicholas Ferrar, the founder of a semi-monastic Anglican religious community at Little Gidding (a name best known today through the poem Little Gidding by T. S. Eliot), telling him to publish the poems if he thought they might "turn to the advantage of any dejected poor soul", and otherwise, to burn them.


Barnabas Oley edited in 1652 Herbert's Remains, or sundry pieces of that Sweet Singer, Mr. George Herbert, containing A Priest to the Temple, or the countrey parson, Jacula Prudentum, &c. Prefixed was an unsigned preface by Oley. The second edition appeared in 1671 as A Priest to the Temple or the Country Parson, with a new preface, signed Barnabas Oley. These pieces were reprinted in later editions of Herbert's Works. The manuscript of The Country Parson was the property of Herbert's friend, Arthur Wodenoth, who gave it to Oley; the prefaces were a source for Izaak Walton's memoir of Herbert.

All of Herbert's English surviving poems are religious, and some have been used as hymns. They are characterised by directness of expression and some conceits which can appear quaint. Many of the poems have intricate rhyme schemes, and variations of lines within stanzas.

An example of Herbert’s religious poetry is “The Altar.” The poem itself is shaped like an altar, and this altar becomes his conceit for how one should offer himself as a sacrifice to the Lord. He also makes allusions to scripture, such as Psalms 51:17, where it states that the Lord requires the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Herbert also wrote A Priest to the Temple (or The Country Parson) offering practical advice to clergy. In it, he advises that "things of ordinary use" such as ploughs, leaven, or dances, could be made to "serve for lights even of Heavenly Truths".

His Jacula Prudentium (sometimes seen as Jacula Prudentum), a collection of pithy proverbs published in 1651, included many sayings still repeated today, for example "His bark is worse than his bite." Similarly oft quoted is his Outlandish Proverbs published in 1630.

Richard Baxter said, "Herbert speaks to God like one that really believeth a God, and whose business in the world is most with God. Heart-work and heaven-work make up his books". Dame Helen Gardner adds "head-work" because of his "intellectual vivacity".

Herbert influenced his fellow metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan who, in turn, influenced William Wordsworth.

George Herbert's poetry has been set to music by several composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Lennox Berkeley, Judith Weir, Randall Thompson, William Walton and Patrick Larley.

Herbert also wrote poems in Greek and in Latin. The latter mainly concern ceremonial controversy with the Puritans, but include a response to Pope Urban VIII's treatment of the ROMA AMOR anagram.


He is commemorated on 27 February throughout the Anglican Communion and on 1 March of the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Herbert has a window honouring him in Westminster Abbey.[5]


Published in August 2009, "If you meet George Herbert on the road, kill him:radically re-thinking priestly ministry", by Justin Lewis-Anthony, is an exploration of the life of George Herbert as a take-off for a re-evaluation of the ministry within the Church of England.


  1. ^ The Grolier 1996 Multimedia Encyclopedia, Grolier Electronic Publishing, Inc.
  2. ^ Donne would later become godfather to the young Herbert after the death of Herbert's biological father.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Charles, Amy M. (1977). A Life of George Herbert. Cornell University Press. p. 28. 
  4. ^ Herbert, George in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  5. ^ Dunton, Larkin (1896). The World and Its People. Silver, Burdett. p. 35. 

Sheldrake, Philip (2009) Heaven in Ordinary: George Herbert and his writings. Canterbury Press ISBN 978-1-85311-948-4

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things thee to see
And what I do in any thing,
To do it as for thee.

George Herbert (1593-04-031633-03-01) was an English poet and orator.



The Temple (1633)

The Church Porch

A verse may find him, who a sermon flies.

  • Line 5

Drink not the third glass, which thou canst not tame,
When once it is within thee.

  • Lines 25-26

Dare to be true. Nothing can need a lie:
A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.

  • Lines 77-78

By all means use sometimes to be alone.

  • Line 145

By no means run in debt: take thine own measure.
Who cannot live on twenty pound a year,
Cannot on forty.

  • Lines 175-177

Wit's an unruly engine, wildly striking
Sometimes a friend, sometimes the engineer.

  • Lines 241-242

Be calm in arguing: for fierceness makes
Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.

  • Lines 307-308

Be useful where thou livest.

  • Line 325

Man is God's image; but a poor man is
Christ's stamp to boot: both images regard.

  • Lines 379-380

The Altar

A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears,
Made of a heart, and cemented with tears;
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workman's tool hath touch'd the same.

A HEART alone
Is such a stone
As nothing but
Thy pow'r doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of my hard heart
Meets in this frame,
To praise thy name.

That if I chance to hold my peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine.

  • Lines 1-16

The Sinner

Yet Lord restore thine image, hear my call:

And though my hard heart scare to thee can groan,
Remember that thou once didst write in stone.
  • Lines 12-14


I got me flowers to strew Thy way,
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But Thou wast up by break of day,
And brought'st Thy sweets along with Thee.

  • Lines 19-22

Easter Wings

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,

Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
Most poor:
With thee
O let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:

Then shall the fall further the flight in me.
  • Lines 1-10

Easter Wings (II)

My tender age in sorrow did begin:

And still with sicknesses and shame
Thou didst so punish sin,
That I became
Most thin.
With thee
Let me combine,
And feel this day thy victory:
For, If I imp my wing on thine,

Affliction shall advance the flight in me
  • Lines 1-10

Prayer (I)

Prayer the Church's banquet, Angels' age,

God's breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,

The Christian plummet sounding heav'n and earth;

Engine against th' Almighty, sinner's tower,

Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days' world transposing in an hour,

A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;

Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,

Exalted Manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well drest,

The milky way, the bird of Paradise,

Church bells beyond the stars heard, the soul's blood,
The land of spices; something understood.
  • Lines 1-14


Let all the world in ev'ry corner sing,

My God and King.
  • Lines 1-2

The Temper (I)

Whether I fly with angels, fall with dust,

Thy hands made both, and I am there;
Thy power and love, my love and trust
Make one place ev'ry where.
  • Lines 25-28


Who says that fictions only and false hair
Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?

  • Lines 1-3

Employment (II)

Man is no star, but a quick coal

Of mortal fire:

Who blows it not, nor doth control

A faint desire,

Lets his own ashes choke his soul.

  • Lines 6-10


My soul's a shepherd too; a flock it feeds

Of thoughts, and words, and deeds.
  • Lines 17-18


Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky;
The dew shall weep thy fall tonight,

For thou must die.
  • Lines 1-4

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,

Then chiefly lives.
  • Lines 13-16

Justice (I)

I cannot skill of these thy ways.

Lord, thou didst make me, yet thou woundest me;
Lord, thou dost wound me, yet thou dost relieve me:
Lord, thou relievest, yet I die by thee:
Lord, thou dost kill me, yet thou dost reprieve me.

But when I mark my life and praise,
Thy justice me most fitly praise:

For, I do praise thee, yet I praise thee not:
My prayers mean thee, yet my prayers stray:
I would do well, yet sin the hand hath got:
My soul doth love thee, yet it loves delay.

I cannot skill of these my ways.
  • Lines 1-12

Charms and Knots

Who goes to bed and does not pray,
Maketh two nights to every day.

  • Lines 7-8


Nothing wears clothes, but Man; nothing doth need
But he to wear them.

  • Lines 109-110

Most things move th' under-jaw; the Crocodile not.
Most things sleep lying; th' Elephant leans or stands.

  • Lines 139-140


I gave to Hope a watch of mine; but he

An Anchor gave to me.
  • Lines 1-2


Surely if each saw another's heart,

There would be no commerce,

No sale or bargain pass: all would disperse,

And live apart.
  • Lines 21-24


Do not beguile my heart,
Because thou art

My power and wisdom. Put me not to shame,

Because I am
Thy clay that weeps, thy dust that calls.
  • Lines 1-5


With sick and famish'd eyes,

With doubling knees and weary bones,

To thee my cries,
To thee my groans,

To thee my sighs, my tears ascend:

No end?
My throat, my soul is hoarse;

My heart is wither'd like a ground

Which thou dost curse.
My thoughts turn round,

And make me giddy; Lord, I fall,

Yet call.
  • Lines 1-12
Thou tarriest, while I die,

And fall to nothing: thou dost reign,

And rule on high,
While I remain

In bitter grief: yet I am styl'd

Thy child.
  • Lines 55-60

The Collar

I struck the board, and cry'd, No more.
I will abroad.
What? shall I ever sigh and pine?

My lines and life are free; free as the road,

Loose as the wind, as large as store.
Shall I be still in suit?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore

What I have lost with cordial fruit?

Sure there was wine

Before my sighs did dry it: there was corn

Before my tears did drown it;
Is the year only lost to me?
Have I no bays to crown it?
  • Lines 1-14
Thy rope of sands,

Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee

Good cable, to enforce and draw,
And be thy law,
While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
  • Lines 22-26

Call in thy death's head there: tie up thy fears.

  • Line 29

But as I rav'd and grew more fierce and wild

At every word,

Methought I heard one calling, Child!

And I reply'd, My Lord.
  • Lines 33-36

The Pulley

He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:

So both should losers be.
  • Lines 13-15

Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness

May toss him to my breast.
  • Lines 18-20

The Flower

Grief melts away
Like snow in May,
As if there were no such cold thing.
  • Lines 5-7
Who would have thought my shrivel'd heart

Could have recovered greenness?

  • Lines 8-9
And now in age I bud again,

After so many deaths I live and write;

I once more smell the dew and rain,

And relish versing: O my only light,

It cannot be
That I am he
On whom thy tempests fell all night.
  • Lines 36-42

A True Hymn

Whereas if the heart be moved,
Although the verse be somewhat scant,
God doth supply the want.
  • Lines 16-18


Throw away thy rod,
Throw away thy wrath:

O my God,

Take the gentle path.

  • Lines 1-4

Then let wrath remove;
Love will do the deed:

For with love

Stony hearts will bleed.

  • Lines 17-20

Throw away thy rod;
Though man frailties hath,

Thou art God:

Throw away thy wrath.

  • Lines 29-32

The Elixir

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things thee to see

And what I do in any thing,

To do it as for thee.
  • Lines 1-4
A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine:

Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,

Makes that and th' action fine.
  • Lines 17-20


O who will show me those delights on high?

Echo. I.
  • Lines 1-2

Love (III)

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,

Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack

From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,

If I lacked any thing.
  • Lines 1-6

You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:

So I did sit and eat.
  • Lines 17-18

The Church Militant

Religion stands on tip-toe in our land,
Ready to pass to the American strand.

  • Lines 235-236

Jacula Prudentum (1651)

  • Full Title : Jacula Prudentum : or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, &c. : Selected By Mr. George Herbert
  • All quotes in this section were taken from The Complete Works in verse and prose of George Herbert: Volume III, Prose (1874), edited by the Rev. Alexander B. Grosart, printed for private circulation.
    • With regard to the numbering scheme, an introductory note states : In the first edition the Proverbs are numbered 1 to 1032, and commence with 'Man proposeth,' &c. and end with 'He that wipes,' &c. ; but the numbering inadvertently passes from 173 to 178, and so onward to 778, when the numbering is continued 780, and so again 831 is succeeded by 833, and 947 by 949. Thus 7 from 1032 leaves 1025, agreeably to our numbering, in the first edition. Our text follows the original edition throughout ; but the additions of 1650 are placed within brackets unnumbered. [...] Original orthography and wording are for the first time restored.
      • From Jacula Prudentum ; p. 313, Complete Works: V. III
  • [ OLD men go to death; death comes to young men. ]
  • 1. Man proposeth, God disposeth.
  • 13. The scalded dog feares cold water.
  • 14. Pleasing ware is halfe sould.
  • 15. Light burthens long borne growe heavie.
  • 18. When all sinnes growe old covetousnesse is young.
  • 20. You cannot know wine by by the barrell.
  • 49. Love and a cough cannot be hid.
  • 61. Ill ware is never cheape.
  • 67. Never had ill workman good tooles.
  • 74. Hearken to Reason, or shee will bee heard.
  • 77. When a dog is a-drowning every one offers him drink.
  • 79. Who is so deafe as he that will not heare?
  • 80. He that is warme thinkes all so.
  • 82. Hee that goes barefoot must not plant thornes.
  • 86. He that lives well is learned enough.
  • 89. All truths are not to be told.
  • 104. Leave jesting while it pleaseth, lest it turne to earnest.
  • 105. Deceive not thy physitian, confessor, nor lawyer.
  • 123. To a boyling pot flies come not.
  • 136. Old wine and an old friend are good provisions.
  • 138. Well may hee smell fire whose gowne burnes.
  • 141. Love your neighbor, yet pull not downe your hedge.
  • 149. Marry your sonne when you will, your daughter when you can.
  • 153. The mill cannot grind with water that's past.
  • 155. Good words are worth much, and cost little.
  • 158. The eye and religion can beare no jesting.
  • 165. Debters are lyers.
  • 166. Of all smells, bread ; of all tasts, salt.
  • 169. God heales, and the physitian hath the thankes.
  • 170. Hell is full of good meanings and wishings.
  • 177. One stroke fells not an oke.
  • 183. Where the drink goes in there the wit goes out.
  • 192. Whose house is of glasse must not throw stones at another.
  • 193. If the old dog barke he gives counsell.
  • 196. Hee that lookes not before finds himself behind.
  • 200. The hole calls the thiefe.
  • 208. The honey is sweet, but the bee stings.
  • 213. Send a wise man on an errand, and say nothing unto him.
  • 215. Into a mouth shut flies flie not.
  • 222. One graine fills not a sacke, but helpes his fellowes.
  • 235. One hand washeth another, and both the face.
  • 241. An ill wound is cured, not an ill name.
  • 242. The wise hand doth not all that the foolish mouth speakes.
  • 248. Marry a widdow before she leave mourning.
  • 253. A foole knowes more in his house then a wise man in another's.
  • 279. Many kisse the hand they wish cut off.
  • 286. Goe not for every griefe to the physitian, nor for every quarrell to the lawyer, nor for every thirst to the pot.
  • 292. The best mirrour is an old friend.
  • 294. A man's discontent is his worst evill.
  • 296. The child saies nothing but what it heard by the fire.
  • 300. He will burne his house to warme his hands.
  • 302. All is not gold that glisters.
  • 305. He is not poore that hath little, but he that desireth much.
  • 307. Hee wrongs not an old man that steales his supper from him.
  • 310. Keep not ill men company, lest you increase the number.
  • 314. The absent partie is still faultie.
  • 317. Be not a baker if your head be of butter.
  • 319. Little sticks kindle the fire, great ones put it out.
  • 322. Although the sun shine, leave not thy cloake at home.
  • 334. When you are an anvill, hold you still; when you are a hammer, strike your fill.
  • 336. He that makes his bed ill, lies there.
  • 339. Hee that lies with the dogs riseth with fleas.
  • 344. Who eates his cock alone must saddle his horse alone.
  • 345. He that is not handsome at twenty, nor strong at thirty, nor rich at forty, nor wise at fifty, will never bee handsome, strong, rich, or wise.
  • 354. He that hath no ill fortune is troubled with good.
  • 370. Would you know what mony is, go borrow some.
  • 374. All things require skill but an appetite.
  • 375. All things have their place, knew wee how to place them.
  • 376. Little pitchers have wide eares.
  • 383. The horse thinkes one thing, and he that sadles him another.
  • 386. The buyer needes a hundred eyes, the seller not one.
  • 391. To a crazy ship all windes are contrary.
  • 406. He that blames would buy.
  • 412. He that seekes trouble never misses.
  • 413. He that once deceives is ever suspected.
  • 421. He that hath a head of waxe must not walke in the sunne.
  • 422. He that hath love in his brest hath spurres in his sides.
  • 429. Hee that hath one hogge makes him fat ; and hee that hath one sonne makes him a foole.
  • 440. Fly the pleasure that bites to-morrow.
  • 445. A great ship askes deepe waters.
  • 449. Trust not one night's ice.
  • 460. The resolved minde hath no cares.
  • 465. In the kingdome of blind men the one-ey'd is king.
  • 467. Warre makes theeves, and peace hangs them.
  • 473. Hope is the poor man's bread.
  • 475. Fine words dresse ill deedes.
  • 477. A poore beauty finds more lovers than husbands.
  • 495. For want of a naile the shoe is lost, for want of a shoe the horse is lost, for want of a horse the rider is lost.
  • 496. Weigh justly and sell dearely.
  • 497. Little wealth, little care.
  • 499. Gluttony kills more then the sword.
  • 502. A penny spar'd is twice got.
  • 508. He that tells a secret is another's servant.
  • 511. Pension never inriched young man.
  • 519. One enemy is too much.
  • 520. Living well is the best revenge.
  • 523. A fool may throw a stone into a well, which a hundred wise men cannot pull out.
  • 533. Help thyselfe, and God will helpe thee.
  • 534. At the game's end we shall see who gaines.
  • 557. The offender never pardons.
  • 562. When the tree is fallen all goe with their hatchet.
  • 574. A feather in hand is better then a bird in the ayre.
  • 577. Folly growes without watering.
  • 583. Thursday come and the week's gone.
  • 601. The fatt man knoweth not what the leane thinketh.
  • 611. Time is the rider that breakes youth.
  • 619. You may bring a horse to the river, but he will drinke when and what he pleaseth.
  • 620. Before you make a friend eate a bushell of salt with him.
  • 621. Speake fitly, or be silent wisely.
  • 639. Emptie vessels sound most.
  • 648. Show me a lyer, and I'l shew thee a theefe.
  • 649. A beane in liberty is better than a comfit in prison.
  • 676. A little wind kindles, much puts out the fire.
  • 677. Dry bread at home is better than rost meate abroad.
  • 678. More have repented speech then silence.
  • 682. One father is more than a hundred schoole-masters.
  • 684. When God will punish, He will first take away the understanding.
  • 707. Reason lies betweene the spurre and the bridle.
  • 710. Three can hold their peace if two be away.
  • 714. Comparisons are odious.
  • 719. One sword keepes another in the sheath.
  • 720. Be what thou wouldst seem to be.
  • 737. The best smell is bread, the best savour salt, the best love that of children.
  • 743. God's mill grinds slow but sure.
  • 744. Every one thinkes his sacke heaviest.
  • 753. By doing nothing we learne to do ill.
  • 756. Every sin brings its punishment with it.
  • 759. Give not S. Peter so much, to leave Saint Paul nothing.
  • 763. Better speake truth rudely then lye covertly.
  • 766. Better suffer ill than doe ill.
  • 775. A shippe and a woman are ever repairing.
  • 778. He that doth what he should not shall feele what he would not.
  • 779. He that marries for wealth sells his liberty.
  • 782. He that lends gives.
  • 815. In a long journey straw waighs.
  • 816. Women laugh when they can and weepe when they will.
  • 830. He thinkes not well that thinkes not againe.
  • 837. Words are women, deedes are men.
  • 838. Poverty is no sinne.
  • 848. He that endures is not overcome.
  • 850. He that talkes much of his happinesse summons griefe.
  • 874. None knows the weight of another's burthen.
  • 876. One houre's sleepe before midnight is worth three after.
  • 878. It's more paine to doe nothing then something.
  • 891. Hee hath no leisure who useth it not.
  • 897. There are more physitians in health then drunkards.
  • 901. Halfe the world knowes not how the other halfe lies.
    • This is printed in some editions as : Half the world knows not how the other half lives.
  • 906. Silkes and satins put out the fire in the chimney.
  • 911. Life is halfe spent before we know what it is.
  • 916. The little cannot bee great, unlesse he devoure many.
  • 940. The great would have none great, and the little all little.
  • 942. Every mile is two in winter.
  • 966. With customes wee live well, but lawes undoe us.
  • 971. Hee that learnes a trade hath a purchase made.
  • 991. Speake not of my debts, unlesse you mean to pay them.
  • 1010. An oath that is not to bee made is not to be kept.
  • 1011. The eye is bigger then the belly.
  • 1023. An old cat sports not with her prey.
  • [ An idle youth, a needy age. ]
  • [ Silke doth quench the fire in the kitchin. ]
  • [ The war is not don so long as my enemy lives. ]
  • [ Hee that makes himself a sheep shall be eat by the wolfe. ]
  • [ An old dog barks not in vain. ]
  • [ Cruelty is more cruell if we defer the pain. ]
  • [ What one day gives us another takes away from us. ]
  • [ A scab'd horse cannot abide the comb. ]
  • [ The wolfe eats oft of the sheep that have been warn'd. ]
  • [ When war begins then hell openeth. ]
  • [ There is a remedy for everything, could men find it. ]
  • [ There is an hour wherein a man might be happy all his life, could he find it. ]
  • [ Wo be to him that reads but one book. ]
  • [ The love of money and the love of learning rarely meet. ]
  • [ Some had rather lose their friend then their jest. ]
  • [ Much money makes a countrey poor, for it sets a dearer price on every thing. ]
  • [ Your thoughts close and your countenance loose. ]
  • [ Whatever is made by the hand of man, by the hand of man may be overturned. ]

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

GEORGE HERBERT (1593-1633), English poet, was born at Montgomery Castle on the 3rd of April 1593. He was the fifth son of Sir Richard Herbert and a brother of Lord Herbert of Cherbury. His mother, Lady Magdalen Herbert, a woman of great good sense and sweetness of character, and a friend of John Donne, exercised great influence over her son. Educated privately until 1605, he was then sent to Westminster School, and in 1609 he became a scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was made B.A. in 1613, M.A. and major fellow of the college in 1616. In 1618 he became Reader in Rhetoric, and in 1619 orator for the university. In this capacity he was several times brought into contact with King James. From Cambridge he wrote some Latin satiric verses 1 in defence of the universities and the English Church against Andrew Melville, a Scottish Presbyterian minister. He numbered among his friends Dr 1 Printed in 1662 as an appendix co J. Vivian's Ecclesiastes Solomonis. Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Izaak Walton, Bishop Andrewes and Francis Bacon, who dedicated to him his translation of the Psalms. Walton tells us that "the love of a court conversation, mixed with a laudable ambition to be something more than he was, drew him often from Cambridge to attend the king wheresoever the court was," and James I. gave him in 1623 the sinecure lay rectory of Whitford, Flintshire, worth 120 a year. The death of his patrons, the duke of Richmond and the marquess of Hamilton, and of King James put an end to his hopes of political preferment; moreover he probably distrusted the conduct of affairs under the new reign. Largely influenced by his mother, he decided to take holy orders, and in July 1626 he was appointed prebendary of Layton Ecclesia (Leighton Bromswold), Huntingdon. Here he was within two miles of Little Gidding, and came under the influence of Nicholas Ferrar. It was at Ferrar's suggestion that he undertook to rebuild the church at Layton, an undertaking carried through by his own gifts and the generosity of his friends. There is little doubt that the close friendship with Ferrar had a large share in Herbert's adoption of the religious life. In 1630 Charles I., at the instance of the earl of Pembroke, whose kinsman Herbert was, presented him to the living of Fugglestone with Bemerton, near Salisbury, and he was ordained priest in September. A year before, after three days' acquaintance, he had married Jane Danvers, whose father had been set on the marriage for a long time. He had often spoken of his daughter Jane to Herbert, and "so much commended Mr Herbert to her, that Jane became so much a Platonic as to fall in love with Mr Herbert unseen." The story of the poet's life at Bemerton, as told by Walton, is one of the most exquisite pictures in literary biography. He devoted much time to explaining the meaning of the various parts of the Prayer-Book, and held services twice every day, at which many of the parishioners attended, and some "let their plough rest when Mr Herbert's saints-bell rung to prayers, that they might also offer their devotions to God with him." Next to Christianity itself he loved the English Church. He was passionately fond of music, and his own hymns were written to the accompaniment. of his lute or viol. He usually walked twice a week to attend. the cathedral at Salisbury, and before returning home, would "sing and play his part" at a meeting of music lovers. Walton illustrates Herbert's kindness to the poor by many touching anecdotes, but he had not been three years in Bemerton when he succumbed to consumption. He was buried beneath the altar of his church on the 3rd of March 1633.

None of Herbert's English poems was published during his lifetime. On his death-bed he gave to Nicholas Ferrar a manuscript with the title The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations. This was published at Cambridge, apparently for private circulation, almost immediately after Herbert's death, and a second imprint followed in the same year. On the title-page of both is the quotation "In his Temple doth every man speak of his honour." The Temple is a collection of religious poems connected by unity of sentiment and inspiration. Herbert tried to interpret his own devout meditations by applying images of all kinds to the ritual and beliefs of the Church. Nothing in his own church at Bemerton was too commonplace to serve as a starting-point for the epigrammatic expression of his piety. The church key reminds him that "it is my sin that locks his handes," and the stones of the floor are patience and humility, while the cement that binds them together is love and. charity. The chief faults of the book are obscurity, verbal conceits and a forced ingenuity which shows itself in grotesque puns, odd metres and occasional want of taste. But the quaint beauty of Herbert's style and its musical quality give The Temple a high place. "The Church Porch," "The Agony," "Sin," "Sunday," "Virtue," "Man," "The British Church," "The Quip," "The Collar," "The Pulley," "The Flower," "Aaron" and "The Elixir" are among the best known of these poems. Herbert and Keble are the poets of Anglican theology. No book is fuller of devotion to the Church of England than The Temple, and no poems in our language exhibit more of the spirit of true Christianity. Every page is marked by transparent sincerity, and reflects the beautiful character of "holy George Herbert." Nicholas Ferrar's translation (Oxford, 1638) of the Hundred and Ten Considerations ... of Juan de Valdes contained a letter and notes by Herbert. In 1652 appeared Herbert's Remains; or, Sundry Pieces of that Sweet Singer of the Temple, Mr George Herbert. This included A Priest to the Temple; or, The Country Parson, his Character, and Rule of Holy Life, in prose; Jacula prudentum, a collectioia,of proverbs with a separate title-page dated 1651, which had appeared in a shorter form as Outlandish Proverbs in 1640; and some miscellaneous matter. The completest edition of his works is that by Dr A. B. Grosart in 1874, this edition of the Poetical works being reproduced in the "Aldine edition" in 1876. The English Works of George Herbert ... (3 vols., 1905) were edited in much detail by G. H. Palmer. A contemporary account of Herbert's life by Barnabas Oley was prefixed to the Remains of 1652, but the classic authority is Izaak Walton's Life of Mr George Herbert, published in 1670, with some letters from Herbert to his mother. See also A. G. Hyde, George Herbert and his Times (1907), and the "Oxford" edition of his poems by A. Waugh (1908).

<< Herbert (Family)

Henry William Herbert >>


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address