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practise theatrical attitudes in his sermons,
affected oratory, and intoned his voice. Growing
impatient from disappointment, he founded his
"Oratory." The building is thus described in
a contemporary print:* "The place that Orator
Henley pitched upon for his Oratory is very
remarkable and befitting his noble institution:
being a sort of wooden booth built on the
shambles in Newport-market, near Leicester-
fields, formerly used as a temporary meeting-
house of a Calvinistical congregation."

* The Historical Register for 1726.

Henley set himself up as a rival to the
Universities and the Church; indeed, he had
some thoughts of forming a little project for the
abolition of the universities and the overthrow
of the Church. He boasted "he would teach
more in one year than schools and universities did
in five, and could write and study twelve hours
a day, and yet appear as untouched by the yoke,
as if he had never borne it." Disraeli relates
that Henley was in his youth extremely modest,
unaffected, and temperatequalities which he
certainly did not retain as he grew older, for he
burst into the wildest indulgences, and his
bombast and self-conceit were absolutely wonderful.
His pulpit was covered with black cloth,
embroidered with gold; his creeds, vulgates,
and liturgies were printed in red and black; he
struck medals which he dispensed to his
admirers, representing a sun near the meridian,
with the motto Ad Summa, and the inscription,
Inveniam viam aut faciam (I will find a way or
make it). His sarcasm is considered to have
been keen, and he "went in" for brilliant jokes
in his sermons. He was a great enemy of Pope,
whose satire on him is well known:

Embrowned with native bronze, lo! Henley stands,
Tuning his voice and balancing his hands,
How fluent nonsense trickles from his tongue!
How sweet the periods, neither said nor sung!
Still break the benches, Henley, with thy strain,
While Sherloch, Hare, and Gibson preach in vain.
Oh, great restorer of the good old stage,
Preacher at once and Zany of thy age!

He usually chose a text from the Old or
New Testament, and adapted it to the topics of
the day, or to a satire on persons personally
obnoxious to him; but sometimes his discourses
resembled a kind of general oration rather than
a sermon. His manuscript sermons are
preserved in the library at the Guildhall, London;
his handwriting is very irregular, and some of
the sermons are so much erased and blotted
that it is not easy to decipher them. We see
from his sermons that he was a good scholar.

One of his Orations, preached October 21,
1730, is entitled, "A Sober Enquiry into the
History and Adventures of Whyttington and Hys
Cat." The text chosen for this discourse was,
"A cat may look at a king" (English Proverb).
It is chiefly a satire on governments and the
Church. He tells the story of Whittington and
his cat, and in pointed satire likens cats to the
magistrates and judges. "A cat is a creature
extremely political; it does indeed, like other
civil magistrates, look not only grave but sleepy;
but when it winketh, little knows the mouse
what it thinketh." The next paragraph is a
satire on the Church. He says: "There is no
mention of cats in the Scripture; mice are there
spoken of, therefore Church mice are common,
but many of them are poor, for the Church cats,
pretending only to play with them, starve the
mice." The rest consists of satires on the topics
of the day, which would not interest the reader

Henley sometimes prayed in a devout and
impressive manner, but sometimes his prayers
were ludicrous and even blasphemous. In one
of his sermons, discoursing of the peoples
who would be damned, he prayed that the
Dutch might be "undamned." In another of
his sermons, he undertook to prove that the
petticoat was worn by the ancients, and, in
corroboration, quoted that chapter of the Old
Testament in which Samuel's mother is said to have
made him "a little coat" obviously a "petticoat."
He usually hired a body of strong men
to attend his sermons and dispose of anybody
inclined to discuss a point with him; but
on one occasion, having challenged any two
Oxonians to argue with him on the superiority
of his doctrines and teaching over those of the
Church and the Universities, two Oxonians
appeared, attended by a larger body of prize-fighters
than he was provided with, and he slunk away
by the back door.

He had on all occasions a particular aversion
to the bishops; in a sermon preached September
6, 1741, entitled, "The present war of the world
in religion and nations," he says: "It might
have been presumed, when Christ came, one
Lord, one Faith, one Baptiser, one God and
Father of All, that we might have been blessed
with unity. Quite the reverse. Peter, who
denies his Lord with cursing and swearing, was
the first who drew the sword; then quarrelled
with Paul, and bequeathed his spirit to bishops,
who quarrel with all that think differently from
them." He might not have said this with the
less reason, if he had lived in the edifying days
of "ESSAYS AND REVIEWS." He was very fond
of styling himself a "Rationalist." On his
death-bed the last words he uttered were, "Let
my notorious enemies know I die a Rationalist."
With this important piece of information for the
confusion of his enemies, we leave Orator Henley
and the subject.



ADOLFUS, Duke of Guelders, having died,
Was laid in state for men to see. Priests vied
With soldiers, which the most should honour him.
Borne on broad shoulders through the streets, with hymn
And martial music, the dead Duke at last
Reach'd Tournay. There they laid him in the vast
Cathedral, where perpetual twilight dwells,
Misty with scents from silver thuribles;
Since it seems fitting that, where dead kings sleep,
The sacred air, by pious aids, should keep
A certain indistinctness faint and fine,
To awe the vulgar mind, and with divine