« AnteriorContinua »
Fortune's frowns' were certainly bestowed for awbile on the Marquis and his bride. They were married at the Ambassador's chapel in Paris, in 1645. Before the civil war broke out he was in receipt of an income of £22,000 a year. But of this he was now deprived. So that soon after his marriage, his steward told him that he had not credit enough to procure him another meal. This intelligence the Marquis received quite composedly, and only remarked to his wife, 'in a pleasant manner,' that she must pawn some of her clothes. To escape this alternative she prevailed upon her maid to dispose of some trinkets which she had formerly presented to her, and was glad thus to spare her own wardrobe for awhile. Quitting Paris, they proceeded to Rotterdam. From thence they went to Antwerp, where they lodged in a house belonging to the 'widow of a famous picture drawer, Van Ruben.' The Duchess writes:
With the Restoration peace and affluence once more shone upon them. The Marquis was restored to his estates, and advanced to a Dukedom. But his satisfaction in his renewed prosperity was not unalloyed. His princely domains presented a melancholy spectacle of ruin and devastation. Bolsover, where he had in regal fashion entertained Charles and Henrietta Maria, had been actually pulled down, that money might be made out of the sale of the materials.
Besides her philosophical writings, her biographies, tales, and 'Social Letters? the Duchess wrote a great number of plays. "The Humorous Lovers,' attributed to her by Pepys, at the performance of which she and the Duke were present, is one of the best plays of the time.
Not content with attiring herself in fancy costumes, her attendants were also tricked out by her in unusual splendor. Her coachman and footman were arrayed in velvet coats, whilst the coach seems to have been of the most lugubri. ous fashion. It is described by Pepys, as 'a large black coach, adorned in silver instead of gold, and snow-white curtains, and every thing black and white. The 'antick' dress, in which she was herself attired, consisted of 'a velvet cap, her hair about her ears, many black patches because of pimples about her mouth, naked neck without any thing about it, and a black just-au-corps.'
It was in a similar costume that on the 30th of May she was introduced to the Royal Society. Evelyn attended her to the meeting room, where she was received with great pomp by the president. 'After they had shown her many experiments, and she cried, still she was full of admiration, she departed, being led out and in by several lords, among others, Lord George Barkeley and Earl of Carlisle, and a very pretty young man, the Duke of Somerset.'
The Duchess did not excel in any ordinary feminine pursuits. She had no skill with the needle. Her maids had nothing to do but to dress, curl, and adorn themselves. Moved by the complaints of her friends, she says:
I sent for the governess of my house, and bid her give orders to have flax and wheels bought, for I with my maids would sit and spin. The governess, hearing me say so, smiled to think what uneven threads I would spin, 'for,' said she, 'though nature hath made you a spinster in poetry, yet education hath not made you a spinster in housewifery, and you will spoil more flax than get cloth by your spinning.'
The Duchess died in 1673, and the Duke in 1676. On a stately monument in Westminster Abbey is the following inscription:
Here lies the loyal Duke of Newcastle, and his Duchess, his second wife, by whom he had no issue: Her name was Margaret Lucas, youngest sister to the Lord Lucas of Colchester, & noble family ; fir nil the brothers were valiant, and all the sisters virtuous. This Duchess was a wise, wilty, and lenrned Lady, which her many books do testify: She was a most virtuous, and careful, and loving wife, and was with her Lord all the time of his banishment and miseries, and when she came home, never parted with him in his solitary retirements.
ANNE HARRISON-LADY FANSHAWE. ANNE HARRISOX, married to Sir Richard Fanshawe, a devoted Royalist, in 1644, was born in London, March 25, 1625. She shared in the perils and sufferings of the period, and developed under her trials sterling qualities of character, which only such trials could test. She wrote for the instruction of her son a narrative of her life, a few years before her death, which occurred in 1680.*
ADVICE TO HER SON. I have thought it good to discourse to you, my most dear and only son, the most remarkable actions and accidents of your family, as well as the more eminent ones of your father; and my life and necessity, not love or revenge, hath made me insert some passages which will reflect on their owners, as the praises of others will be but just, which is my intent in this narrative. I would not bave you be a stranger to it; because, by the example, you may imitate what is applicable to your condition in the world, and endeavor to avoid those misfortunes which we have passed through, if God pleases.
Endeavor to be innocent as a dove, but as wise as a serpent; and let this lesson direct you most in the greatest extremes of fortune. Hate idleness, and curb all passions; be true in all words and actions; unnecessarily deliver not your opinion; but when you do, let it be just, well considered, and plain. Be charitable in all thought, word, and deed, and ever ready to forgive injuries done to yourself, and be more pleased to do good than to receive good.
Be civil and obliging to all, dutiful where God and nature command you; but friend to one, and that friendship keep sacred, as the greatest tie upon earth, and be sure to ground it upon virtue; for no other is either happy or lasting.
Endeavor always to be content in that estate of life which it hath pleased God to call you to, and think it a great fault not to employ your time either for the good of your soul, or improvement of your understanding, health, or estate; and as these are the most pleasant pastimes, so it will make you a cheerful old age, which is as necessary for you to design, as to make provision to support the infirmities which decay of strength brings: and it was never seen that a vicious youth terminated in a contented, cheerful old age, but perished out of countenance. Ever keep the best qualified persons' company, out of whom you will find advantage, and reserve some hours daily to examine yourself and fortune; for if you embark yourself in perpetual conversation or recreation, you will certainly shipwreck your mind and fortune. Remember the proverb-such
* This Memoir was first printed in 1829. In respect to her own home training she writes :Now it is necessary to say something of my mother's education of me, which was with all the advantages the time afforded, both for working all sorts of fine work with my needle, nnd learning French, singing, lute, the virginals, and dancing; and notwithstanding I learned as well as most did, yet was I wild to that degree, that the hours of my beloved recreation took up too much of my time, for I loved riding in the first place, running, und all active pastimes ; in short, I was that which we graver people call a hoiting girl; but to be just to myself, I never did mischief to myself or people, nor one immodest word or action in my life, though skipping and activity was my delight. But upon my mother's denth I then begnu to reflect, and, as an offering to her memory, I flung away those little childnesses that had formerly possessed me, and, by my father's command, took upon me charge of his house and family, which I so ordered by my excellent mother's example as found acceptance in his sight. I was very well beloved by all our relations and my mother's friends, whoin I paid a great respect to, and I ever was ambitious to keep the best company, which I have done, I thank God, all the days of my life. We lived in great plenty and hospitality, but no lavisliness in the least, nor prodigality, and, I believe, my futher never drank six glasses of wine in his life in one day.'
as bis company is, such is the man—and bave glorious actions before your eyes, and think what shall be your portion in heaven, as well as what you desire on earth. Manage your fortune prudently, and forget not that you must give God an account hereafter, and upon all occasions.
Remember your father, whose true image though I can never draw to the life, unless God will grant me that blessing in you; yet, because you were but ten months and ten days old when God took him out of this world, I will, for your advantage, show you him with all truth, and without partiality.
He was of the highest size of men, strong, and of the best proportion; his complexion sanguine, his skin exceedingly fair, his hair dark brown and very curling, but not very long; his eyes gray and penetrating, his nose high, his countenance gracious and wise, his motion good, his speech clear and distinct. He never used exercise but walking, and that generally with some book in his hand, which oftentimes was poetry, in which he spent his idle hours; sometimes he would ride out to take the air, but his most delight was to go only with me in a coach some miles, and there discourse of those things which then most pleased him, of what nature soever.
He was very obliging to all, and forward to serve his master, his country, and friend; cheerful in his conversation; his discourse ever pleasant, mixed with the sayings of wise men, and their histories repeated as occasion offered, yet so reserved that he never showed the thought of his heart, in its greatest sense, but to myself only; and this I thank God with all my soul for, that he never discovered his trouble to me, but he went from me with perfect cheerfulness and content; nor revealed his joys and hopes, but he would say that they were doubled by putting them in my breast. I never heard him hold a disputation in my life, but often he would speak against it, saying, it was an uncharitable custom, which never turned to the advantage of either party. He would never be drawn to the fashion of any party, saying, he found it sufficient honestly to perform that employment he was in; he loved and used cheerfulness in all his actions, and professed his religion in his life and conversation.
He was the tenderest father imaginable, the carefulest and most generous master I ever knew; he loved hospitality, and would often say, it was wholly essential for the constitution of England; he loved and kept order with the greatest decency possible; and though he would say I managed his domestics wholly, yet I ever governed them and myself by his commands.
Now you will expect that I should say something that may remain of us jointly, which I will do though it makes my eyes gush out with tears, and cuts me to the soul to remember, and in part express the joys I was blessed with in him. Glory be to God, we never had but one mind throughout our lives. Our souls were wrapped up in each other's; our aims and designs one, our loves one, and our resentments one. We so studied one the other, that we knew each other's mind by our looks. Whatever was real happiness, God gave it me in him ; but to commend my better half, which I want sufficient expression for, methinks is to commend myself, and so may bear a censure; but, might it be permitted, I could dwell eternally on his praise most justly; but thus without offense I do, and so you may imitate him in his patience, his prudence, his chastity, his charity, his generosity, his perfect resignation to God's will, and praise God for him as long as you live here, and with him hereafter in the kingdom of Heaven. Amen.
SIR THOMAS ELYOT
Sir Thomas Elyot, or Eliot, the author of “The Gover nour, and the translator into English of Plutarch's “Education, or the bringing up of Children," and by his various publications a worthy cultivator of the English language, was born in Devonshire about the year 1497. His father, Sir Richard Elyot, was made by King Henry VIII one of the justices of the King's Bench, and he appears to have been educated at St. Mary's Hall, Oxford, where he was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1518, and in 1524 to the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law. After traveling on the Continent, he was introduced to the court of Henry VIII, who conferred on him the order of knighthood, and employed him in several embassies, particularly to Rome in 1532, and afterwards, about the year 1536, to the Emperor Charles V. He was much respected by men of learning, and numbered among his friends the famous antiquary Leland, and Sir Thomas More, although we are constrained to mention in this connection, that when suspected of a leaning to the Church of Rome, and a general inquisition was made for his Catholic books to burn, on the ground of this friendship with the great Chancellor, he protested that “the amity betwixt me and Sir Thomas was but usque ad aras,' ” and “that I never was so much addicted unto him as I was unto truth and fidelity towards my sovereign lord.” And in the same letter “to the Lord Crumwel” he desires to be brought “into the king's most noble remembrance, that of his most bounteous liberality it may like his highness to reward, me with some convenient portion of the suppressed lands, whereby I may be able to continue my life according to that honest degree whereunto his grace has called me.” Whether the priory estate of St. Germans, which became the residence of the Eliot family a few years later, was the fruit of this quasi-denial of the friendship of a man so truly great and good as Sir Thomas More, and of his eager sycophancy to a brutal monarch to share in the spoils of demolished churches, we know not. We would look for better things from an author who can discourse so eloquently respecting justice and magnanimity as Sir Thomas does in his “Governour," although the fundamental doctrine of the book as to earthly government is—that “the best and the most sure government is by one king, or prince, who ruleth only for the weal of his people.” He died in 1546, and was buried in the church of Carleton in Cambridgeshire, of which county he had been sheriff
The following list of Sir Thomas Elyot's publications is taken from the “Biographia Britannica :"_
I. The Castle of Health. London, 1541, 1572, 1580, 1595, &c., in 8vo.
V. "De Rebus Memoralibus Angliæ," for the completing of which he had perused many old English monuments.
VI. A Defense or Apology for Good Women.
VII. Bibliotheca Eliot: "Elyot's Library or Dictionary." London, 1541, &c., folio; which work Cooper augmented and enriched with thirty-three thousand words and phrases, besides a fuller account of the true signification of words.
He translated likewise from Greek into English “The Image of Governance, compiled of the Acts and Sentences by the Emperor Alexander Severus." London, 1556, 1594, &c., in 8vo. And from Latin into English,
1. “St. Cyprian's Sermon of the Mortality of Man."
2. “The Rule of a Christian Life," written by Pica, Earl of Mirandola. London, 1534, in 8vo. (Vide Wood Ath. Oxon. Vol. I., col. 67.)
To this list Ames adds “Doctrinall of Princes, translated out of Greke into Englishe," 15-15.
The “ Castle of Health ” subjected him to much carping criticism from both the gentry and the faculty. It was thought to be a lowering of his rank to become a physician and to write a book on the science of physic, “ which beseems not a knight;" but Sir Thomas, in the second edition, makes answer:-“That many kings and emperors, and other great princes, (whose names he there sets down, as Juba, Mithridates, Artemisia, &c.,) for the universal necessity and incomparable utility which they perceived to be in that science, did not only advance and honor it with special privileges, but also were therein studious themselves. And that it was no shame for a person of quality to write a book of the science of physic, any more than it was for King Henry VIII to publish a book of the science of grammar, which he had lately done." And “that his highness had not disdained to be the chief author and setter forth of an Introduction into Grammar for the Children of his subjects. Whereby, said he, having good masters, they shall easily and in short apprehend the understanding and form of speaking true and elegant Latin.” For which he breaks out in praises of the king :“O royal heart, full of very nobility! O noble breast,” &c.
"Truly, if they call him a physician which is studious about the