Monday, July 4, 2016

"what help is there in Greek, what in Hebrew, what in the Latin language?"

Historic England
"Here lies tongueless a man who used many languages, and was the official reader of Hebrew [at Christ Church, Oxford].  But what help is there in Greek, what in Hebrew, what in the Latin language?  If his skill in languages ever gave succour to others, that alone gives him protection now.  You, therefore, whom the tongue of Thomas Neale used to help him, help him, voiceless as he now is, with your holy tongue.  Subscription of the author himself:  While still healthy, I placed these verses here for myself, so that an image of my death might thereby be seen by me in advance.  Even if he kills me, I shall still put my hope in him.  Job. c. 13.  A.D. 1590, my 71st year."

"Hic iacet elinguis qui linguis pluribus olim
Usus, Hebraismi publica lingua fuit.
Graeca quid hic?  quid Hebraea iuvat?  quid lingua Latina?
Si qua alios iuvit, nunc ea sola iuvat.
Vos ergo Thomae Neli quos lingua iuvabat,
Elinguem lingua (quaeso) iuvate pia.
Subscriptio ipsi authoris
Hos egomet versus posuit mihi sanus, ut esset
Hinc praevisa mihi mortis imago meae.
Etiam si occiderit me
In ipsum tamen sperabo.  Job, ca. 13.
Anno. Domini. 1590.  aetatis vero meae. 71."

     Shroud brass for the Rev. Thomas Neale, a recusant ordained under Queen Mary, and placed by him above a side-altar in St. Peter's, Cassington, Oxfordshire (where the Rev. Neale may have continued to say Mass), "At a time when prayers for the dead had been forbidden".  Gerard Kilroy, Edmund Campion:  a scholarly life (London and New York:  Routledge, 2016 [2015]), 48-50.  Translation Kilroy's.

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