Two Gentle Men: The Lives of George Herbert and Robert Herrick

By Marchette Chute | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

THE NEW MINISTER AT BEMERTON WAS FORTUNATE IN HAVING A wife as loving and as concerned with the welfare of the congregation as he was himself. Jane Herbert could not leave Baynton House for her new home until the rectory had been repaired, but her husband brought her accounts of the parishioners he had met. The first of these was an old woman, stricken with poverty and burdened with many troubles, and Jane at once made the trip to Salisbury, about twenty miles away, to buy her a pair of blankets. She sent them to the old woman with a message that they were "a token of her love" and that the two of them would become acquainted as soon as she could move into the rectory at Bemerton.

Not many women could have endured with grace the change from the easy living of Baynton House to the rigid requirements of a small country parish. George Herbert had warned his wife that his new profession was held in "general ignominy," but Jane Herbert seems to have been one of those delightful women, rare in the seventeenth century, who had very little sense of social degrees. She could love an old woman who needed blankets just as easily as she could love any of her illustrious Danvers cousins. She was loved, naturally enough, in return by her husband's congregation, and "this love followed her in all places as inseparably as shadows follow substances in sunshine."

With such a nature, Jane Herbert would have had no difficulty in learning one of the basic skills of her new life-the art of healing. Any woman of the period with a household of her own had to have some knowledge of it, but a minister's wife served the needs of the whole community. Twice in his handbook on the duties of a parson, Herbert emphasizes the fact that a parson's

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Two Gentle Men: The Lives of George Herbert and Robert Herrick
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Part One - George Herbert 9
  • Chapter One 11
  • Chapter Two 22
  • Chapter Three 35
  • Chapter Four 47
  • Chapter Five 57
  • Chapter Six 68
  • Chapter Seven 77
  • Chapter Eight 85
  • Chapter Nine 93
  • Chapter Ten 107
  • Chapter Eleven 116
  • Chapter Twelve 123
  • Chapter Thirteen 134
  • Chapter Fourteen 148
  • Part Two - Robert Herrick 153
  • Chapter Fifteen 155
  • Chapter Sixteen 161
  • Chapter Seventeen 170
  • Chapter Eighteen 178
  • Chapter Nineteen 184
  • Chapter Twenty 192
  • Chapter Twenty-One 203
  • Chapter Twenty-Two 211
  • Chapter Twenty-Three 219
  • Chapter Twenty-Four 226
  • Chapter Twenty-Five 235
  • Chapter Twenty-Six 244
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven 255
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight 265
  • Appendix - Walton's Biography of Herbert 277
  • Selected Bibliography 283
  • Index 299
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