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By A. M. Williams

The most unique features of existence at Little Gidding used to be the 'Little Academy' based by way of Nicholas Ferrar, his nieces and a few different individuals of the neighborhood for his or her universal guide and delight. At typical conferences, individuals of the Little Academy took it in turns to narrate 'stories' according to ancient or present occasions. Ferrar saved transcripts either one of the tales and of the next social and private purposes, from which Mr Williams has reproduced of the 'Conversations' which occupied the family members cognizance for your time. The dialog concentrated at the resignation of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V elicited long discussions of what the Ferrars felt to be the degeneracy in their personal instances in private and non-private existence. The kin main issue with austerity in vitamin usually diverged into normal feedback of the licence and comfort of the higher sessions within the early 1600s. Mr Williams has supplied a truly complete advent and notes describing the individuals of the Little Academy and giving the history of the 2 dialogues that he has reproduced.

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After the Chief had sketched in the many reasons which Charles V had for being the happiest of men,' one of the company rising with a sober countenance' promised that if she proved Charles was unhappy, he might be counted ' a fool of four and twenty carats that thinks out of the gleanings of some few clusters in a petty fortune to extract that wine of gladness and content which Charles the Fifth could not do out of the whole xxxiv DE CONTEMPTU MUNDI vintage of human felicity' (p. 60). To which the Chief replied that he had already followed the example of Charles in his contempt for worldly delights and that now he must lead others as they strove to follow him.

Heare her own words. I am not ignorant of all kinds 1 See below, pp. 171-3. Walton remarks in his life of Herbert, 'And 'tis fit to tell the reader that many of the clergy that were more inclined to practical piety and devotion than to doubtful and needless disputations did often come to Gidden Hall and make themselves part of that society . ' (pp. 311-12). lvi DE CONTEMPTU MUNDI of Lives: for I have obeyed, and I have governed: I have had good Neighbours and also evill: I have found trechery where I trusted: I have evill bestowed benefitts, and I have been evill reported of when I have done well.

P. 136) The nature of names could not be more clearly revealed. DE CONTEMPTU MUNDI The leading actors of the 'Dialogue on the Retirement of Charles V9 The members of the Little Academy—actors as they called themselves—who took part in the 'Dialogue on the Retirement of Charles V' were seven in number: the Chief, Patient, Cheerfull, Guardian, Affectionate, Resolved, and Moderator. Three other persons were obviously present at some of the meetings—the Grandmother or Mother, the Visitor, and the Submisse—as well as unknown members of the audience.

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