Stewart 1986

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Stewart, Stanley. George Herbert. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1986.

on the Harmonies -- "These works are valuable aids to our understanding of Herbert's intended audience, which was -- I should think incontrovertibly -- Nicholas Ferrar and his community f worshipers at Little Gidding."

George Herbert: Life and 'Lives'

"It is important to recognize how early and how completely Oley attributes to Herbert's poetry the values of Scripture and of biblical commentary, for Oley's opinion became part of an accepted -- if not the accepted -- way of construing Herbert's poetry." (6)
"While Oley's main interest is Thomas Jackson and the theological disputes that bedeviled the times, Walton's Live of Mr. George Herber (1670) did most to shape the image of George Herbert, priesta nd poet, as a saint." (6)

Select Hymns, Taken out of Mr. Herbert's Temple, And Turn'd into the Common Metre (1697) -- common hymnal in England (12)

"during the eighteenth century Herbert became a favorite of the Moravian brotherhood and that, in fact, a volume of hymns based largely on The Temple was one of the first books they brought to the New World" (12)
"For it is the Selet Hymns and its lineal discendant, the first edition of the Wesleys' Hymns and Sacred POems (1739), that the simple, pietistic, quintessentially Protestant and -- yes -- Puritan Herbert is established. It is established through a radical process of revision." (12)

changes in transforming Herbert's poems into hymns -- imply "that Herbert's text is already a hymn" (14)

"The Dissenter's Herbert is more Protestant, more Puritan, more clear, more rational, more modern, and certainly more relevant to the Dissenter's needs than is the text of Herbert's poem. By no means unique, this Dissenter's Herbert, then, is part of an emerging image of Herbert as the sweet and saintly singer of simple hymns." (16)

George Herbert and the Church

unlike Donne or Crashaw, "Herbert underwent nothing like a serious change in his religious convictions or practices. And yet his spiritual pathway intersected Crashaw's at LIttle Gidding, where both men found themselves among kindred souls." (26)

James I, distrust of Puritans repudiating prayer, leaving only spontaneity in prayer (35) -- prayer becomes preaching

"For Herbert, public prayer is an intrinsic part of the Eucharist. In his emphasis on expressiveness, Herbert incorporates interests of importance to those urging continued church reform; but as he sees in that expressiveness a preparation for, and enactment of, the Eucharist, he exhibits values important to those content with Anglican rites and ceremonies." (37)

Herbert painted Pauline text at his wife's seat in Bemerton Church (46)

Herbert and the 'Harmonies' of Little Gidding

"Herbert had reason to suppose that Ferrar and his 'Little Academy' would prepare his manuscript for print -- or at least copy it: 'They were,' writes J. Max Patrick in his spirited 'Critical Problems in Editing George Herbert's The Temple,' 'experienced in such work, and the Bodleian Manuscript resembles similar volumes turned out by the Little Gidding community.' In fact, copying, gilding, book binding, and other quasi-literary interests were energetically pursued at Little Gidding, where they were looked upon as acts of devotion." (59)
"In the following pages, I hope to show that work done at Little Giding provides valuable evidence about the audience for which Herbert wrote and that this context was not medieval, but rather topical and lively. I shall argue, too, that these typical expressions of biblical tradition there were not uniquely Protestant, surely not Puritan, and might even be described as Catholic." (59)

criticism has neglected the Harmonies; however "this anomaly is new. In the nineteenth century, the importance of the connection between Herbert's poetry and the 'Harmonies' of Little Gidding was taken for granted." (60) -- cites. T. T. Carter

"The young ladies cut, trimmed, copied, pasted, wrote and ciphered; and they learned how to bind the volumes as well as how to construct their pages in what they believed was 'a new king od Printing.' Each line -- sometimes single words or syllables of a line -- was scissored and arranged to give the impression that the text was intended to appear in just that way. Knowing the thought process behind this careful practice, and knowing also that George Herbert had one such volume in his possession, gives vivid meaning to the lines from 'Th eH. Scriptures II,' which arter closey associated with the 'Harmonies': 'This verse marks that, and both do make a motion / Unto a third'." (62)
"The 'Knives and Cizers' were tools only to put together what belonged that way in the first place. In the seventeenth century, harmonized 'the foure Evangelists' was akin to unveiling 'the Sanctuary,' which, like the Gospels, was upheld by four pillars. The narrative linking of the Tabernacle with 'the living temple' was embodied in the Gospels, although as Augustine, an early harmonizer of the Evangelists, pointed out, understanding that narrative required great effort." (63)

Thomas Middleton, Mariage of the Old and New Testament (1620)

other Harmonizers: Thomas Middleton, James Bentley, Hugh Broughton, John Huid, Henry Garthwait, John Lightfoot, and William Gould (64)

as in John Lightfoot's Harmony (1644), "so in Herbert's 'The H. Scriptures,' the meaning of the written Word was not immediately accessible but was, rather, mysterious" (64)

"Especially in relation to 'The H. Scriptures II,' the implicit assumptions about the meaning of Scripture and the bookmaker's art are revealing. The reader has the choice of following 'from Section to Section' in the 'same Evangelist, whose Gospel is indicated by a colored letter,' notwithstanding any 'Differences,' by looking beyond the 'Collection' (or, as Herbert designates the process, 'collation') to the 'Composition.' Accordingly, the Preface' to Luke becomes the 'Preface' to a synthetic narrative, 'to all the Evangelical Historie as well as to St Lukes Gospell'." (65)
"Rather than an indication of a Puritanical preoccupation with 'arts and crats' intended to keep young hands busy, the 'Harmonies' were an integral part of worship." (66)
"As Herbert conceives the interpretation of Scripture, so he presents his own lines as part of a composit expression, which in turn reflects a continuing process of the speaker's struggle to graps the hidden meaning (Such are thy secrets') of God's Word and, so, his intentions for one particular 'Christian.' This process transforms shards of expreience that seem unrelated and confused into a new and refreshing recognition or 'story'." (67)
"In 'The H. Scriptures II,' the speaker expostulates as if he were -- the phrase belongs to Nicholas Ferrar -- a 'Discerner of the Skie.' This figure emerges as early in the sequence as 'The Agonie.' In a similar way, in all three poems astronomers and serious readers scan God's 'Books' for evidence of meaning. This is so because the Book of God's Creatures and the Book of God's Word alike conceal and reveal the mind of God." (67)
"Ferrar borrowed from Jensenius an arrangement, reminiscent of the Psalter ..., suggesting a parallel between the Psalms and the 'story' of his divine descendant." (71)

Harmonies reflect the values of the community and the religious experience at Little Gidding (72)

"the rote repetition of headings and passages extrapolated from the four Evangelists was an important part of daily worship with Ferrar's 'Little Academy.' Then as now, people are known by the company they keep, and the same practices that Charles I and Archbishop Laud supported were those their adversaries condemned. Whereas Little Gidding was steeped in repetitious forms of worship anathema o Puritans -- the Psalter, the 'Harmonies,' Vigils -- and whereas George Herbert's poetry seems at times best described as 'a meditation upon the liturgy,' devotional practices of more Protestant sects tended toward spontaneous expression 'as neede and oocasion urgeth, and the spirit giveth utterance,' leading at times, or so it seemed to many Anglicans, to a confusion of 'deep sighs, Groans and Tears and Roaring.'" (73)
"In the context of this religious controversy, the more one looks at the Story-Books and 'Harmonies' of LIttle Gidding the more one is likely to register doubt regarding Ferrar's and Herbert's Puritan presentiments." (73)

many of the engravings "were executed by or drawn after artists of the Roman or Mannerist tradition" (74)

all letters and story-books bear the "IHS" symbol of the Jesuits (74)

"One of the charges laid against Laud was that he possessed books engraved by Boethius Bolswert, whose engravings of the life of Christ George Henderson describes as 'the backbone of the King's [i.e., Charles's] great Concordance'." (74)

Chana Bloch argues that "Herbert melds many of the sources noted by Tuve with his own 'diligent Collation of Scripture with Scripture.'" -- he and the Harmonies both bring in "many of the old image, often with their Catholic and liturgical associations" (75)

"Nicholas Ferrar and his group were, as modern critics can aspire to be, prepared readers of Herbert's texts. From the atoms of single syllables, words, and phrases, they put together a seamless wonder of a story, which when read correctly, explained the reader and the Word." (81)

The Sanctuary of the Troubled Soul

Herbert's poems as part of a "patterned sequence" (83)

man's entrance into the body of Christ through baptism and communion

  • "The opening section of 'The Church' is a series of poems organized around the most important event on the Christian calendar, Passion Week." (90)

in "The church militant," "Herbert's refrain is a pastiche of lines from verses in Psalms 89 and 139" (109)

The School of George Herbert

"Jordan II" -- "Herbert's poet commits himself to a species of divine plagiarism" (128)

"School of Donne" and "School of Herbert" arose alongside each other (128)

Crashaw, visited LG in 1635 (133)