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up those liberties that now “ blossom as the rose.' Through God's blessing, the day when despotism prompted men to perilous enterprises and then crushed them for longing after liberty, is gone by, we trust for ever,
Bloomsbury-square is not very far from Lincoln’s-inn-fields. Southampton House occupied the whole north side of it. “It was a large building,” says Strype, “with a spacious court before it, and a curious garden behind, which lieth open to the fields, enjoying a wholesome and pleasant air.” It was erected for Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, whose only daughter and heir, Lord Russell married. This was the never-to-be-forgotten Lady Rachel, with whom he lived in that very house, in the enjoyment of a domestic lot which rarely falls to the share of mortals. With the history just noticed fresh in our memory, we cannot help thinking of her devotion and heroism-of her sitting in the Old Bailey court under the bar where her noble husband stood a prisoner, taking notes and assisting in his defence
of her casting herself, bathed in tears, at the feet of Charles, supplicating the life of her beloved lord-of her calm converse with him in prison when his fate was fixed—and of the scene of the last night, so touchingly described in Burnet's journal. “At ten o'clock my lady left him. He kissed her four or five times, and she so kept her sorrows to herself, that she gave him no disturbance by their parting. After she was gone, he said: "Now the bitterness of death is past,' and ran out a long discourse concerning her - how great a blessing she had been to him, and said what a misery it would have been to him, if she had not that magnanimity of spirit joined to her tenderness as never to have desired him to do a base thing for the saving of his life.”
Walking through Bloomsbury-square, with the associations just indicated in our minds, we cannot but see the shade of the calm, heroic, gentle, saintly wife, and now widow, of the martyred lord. She passes by in her mourning weeds, her amiable countenance beclouded only with sorrow; or we see her sitting in her little closet, at her desk, in the mansion of her father, on the anniversary of the sad day in July. We see her writing :—“I know I have deserved my punishment, and will be silent under it; but yet secretly my heart mourns and cannot be comforted, because I have not the dear companion and sharer of all my joys and sorrows. I want him to talk with, to walk with, to eat and sleep with : all these things are irksome to me now; all company and meals I could avoid if it might be. Yet all this is, that I enjoy not the world in my own way, and this same hinders my comfort.
comfort. When I see my children before me, I remember the pleasure he took in them : this makes my heart shrink.” Again she says "I hope this has been a sorrow I shall profit by. I shall, if God will strengthen my faith, resolve to return him a constant praise, and make this the season to chase all secret murmurs from grieving my soul for what is past, letting it rejoice in what it should rejoice, his favour to me in the blessings I have left, which many of my betters want, and yet have lost their chiefest friends also.” Once
-“God knows my eyes are ever ready to pour out marks of a sorrowful heart which I shall carry to the grave, that quiet bed of rest. My friendships have made all the joys and troubles of my life; and yet who would live and not love? Those who have tried the insipidness of it, would, I believe, never choose it. Mr. Waller says:
• What know we of the blest above,
and it is enough ; for if there is so charming a delight in the love and suitableness in humours to creatures, what must it be to the clarified spirits to love in the presence of God ?”
Here she died in 1723, and here we must leave Lord William and the Lady Rachel, with the thought, that long since they
have been reunited in that happy world reserved for all who, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, have been reconciled to God by living faith in the atonement of his Son. Their remains slumber in the beautiful old church of Chenies, Buckinghamshire, the mausoleum of the Bedford family. We shall never forget visiting that spot, one bright summer's day, and gazing on the tomb of that honoured pair, whose love and sorrow have enshrined their memory in sympathizing hearts, while their heroism has exalted them to a bright place in England's history. And well, too, do we remember the broken lily sculptured in pure white marble over the grave of the first wife of him who now so honourably bears the name of Russell. A touching memento that of life's crushed joys, and a monitory symbol to every reader of the frailty of all earthly good.
V. MARGARET GODOLPHIN.
THE Blagges—an ancient Suffolk family—had attained to high consideration as early as the reign of Henry VIII. One who bore the name, with the title of Sir George, was, before his knighthood, which was not conferred till the reign of Edward vi., well known at court, and enjoyed the friendship of the unfortunate Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyatt. Suspected as “a favourer of the gospel”—a title given to such as were on the side of the Reformation in those times of conflict, he was arrested by the leaders of the popish party and narrowly escaped the stake through the interposition of the capricious monarch. Henry was in the habit of addressing those he liked by some humorous designation, often intensely vulgar. Saluting George Blagge, after he had just missed being burnt, with the odd soubriquet, “ Ah, my pig,"
Ah, my pig,”—the courtier replied, “If your majesty had not been better to me than your bishops were, your pig had been roasted ere this time.”
One of the descendants of Sir George was Colonel Thomas Blagge, of Horningsheath, in Suffolk, groom of the bedchamber to Charles I., and governor of Wallingford. He married Mary North, daughter of Sir Robert North, of Mildenhall, in the same county. Report speaks of the husband as of “extraordinary wit and signal loyalty ?" and of the wife, as "so eminent in all the virtues and perfections of her sex, that it were hard to say whether were superior, her beauty, wit, or poetry.” Stormy were the times, and sadly interrupted must have been the domestic joys of this worthy couple; especially after the death of their royal master and the establishment of the Commonwealth, when to them, as royalists, their path must have been thorny indeed, and the sky of the future all dark.
Three years after the execution of Charles, Mary Blagge, on the 2nd of August, folded in her arms a babe—the fruit of her sorrow, the flower of her hope. She and the colonel gave the girl the name of Margaret, and brought her up with care. extraordinary discernment soon advanced to a great and early sense of religion," which proved her safeguard against the dangers to which she was early exposed; for while yet a child, before her seventh year, she was taken, by the old Duchess of Richmond, into France, and consigned to the care of the Countess of Guildford, a bigoted papist, who tried to persuade the child to go to mass; but she, then so intelligent and religiously disposed, refused to comply, though rudely treated and menaced by the countess, as Margaret in after life used to relate to her friends, with many “pretty circumstances.” But she did not stay long in France. On her return to England she lived with her much loved mother. In 1665 came the raging pestilence, like death on the pale horse, striking terror into the hearts of the Londoners; when Mrs. Blagge, in common with thousands more, hastened from the infected city to the fresh air and the sequestered scenes of the country.
The depression of the royalists had at this time come to an end; Charles had been restored, and Whitehall was once again a scene of cavalier pomp and courtly revelries. As a mark of favour to a family that had suffered in the civil wars, the Duchess of York offered to Mrs. Blagge to take Margaret, now only twelve years old, to place her at court, and make her one of her maids of honour. The proposal, so flattering in a worldly point of view, was accepted, and the young lady soon found herself in a “surprising change of air and a perilous climate.”
“A perilous climate ” indeed, for the atmosphere was loaded with the pestilence of vice. It would pollute our pages to enter into the details of profligacy and intrigue which filled, to overflowing, the court of the second Charles. Taste, elegance, and wit might throw a veil of fascination over the habits indulged, and screen from general observation a portion of their deformity; but the intrinsic evil of licentiousness will and must remain, however it may wear a fashionable disguise. “ The manners of Chesterfield" may be united with “ the morals of Rochefoucault;" but whatever some may have smartly said to the contrary, vice can lose nothing of its guilt, though it should part with all its grossness. Margaret, after the pure example and moral instructions of her mother, was shocked at what she saw and heard at court; and the marvel is how such a mother could have trusted one she so much loved in such a furnace of temptation. But there was that in the young girl's heart which kept her amidst the fires. Not long had Margaret Blagge been a maid of honour, when she lost both her mother and her mistress. Among her papers she thus records the bereaving stroke, exhibiting, in in