Obrázky na stránke

ber in Scotland-yard.” A burst of grateful joy went up to her heavenly Father when she found herself settled in her new abode. - When I this day consider my happiness, in having so perfect health of body, cheerfulness of mind, no disturbance from without nor grief within, my time my own, my house quiet, sweet, and pretty, all manner of conveniences for serving God in public and private; how happy in my friends, husband, relations, servants, credit, and none to wait or attend on but my dear and beloved God, from whom I receive all this; what a melting joy ran through me at the thoughts of all these mercies, and how did I think myself obliged to go to the foot of my Redeemer, and acknowledge my own unworthiness of his favour.”

Margaret Godolphin was exemplary as a wife, even as Margaret Blagge had been exemplary in her unmarried estate. Where the religion of Christ dwells in the heart, its developments are beautifully adapted to the circumstances of individual life and the calls of relative duty ; like some luxuriant plant which winds, curls, and throws out its tendrils and leaves, in directions indicated by the position in which it is placed. With ease she instructed her servants, sedulously maintaining the forms of domestic religion, and breathing, in her whole intercourse with them, its kind, considerate and benignant spirit ; while, with the Christian dignity and condescension of the mistress, were blended, in all her conduct towards him she most loved on earth, the devotion, tenderness, and sympathy of the wife. She had learned the beautiful lesson, that pure and undefiled religion (that is, religion in its outward service, its external form) " before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” In addition to the practical expression of religion in indifference to the world, she cultivated its practical expression in activities for the good of others ; passing from the kingly palace, or the mansions of the noble, to the cottages of the humble and the hovels of the indigent; and visiting and releasing prisoners, of whom Evelyn says he could produce " a list of above thirty, restrained for debts in several prisons, which she. paid and compounded for at once.” Nor did she omit alms-deeds, while abounding in alms-gifts. She was like Dorcas, who was full of good works; like Priscilla, who instructed many more perfectly in the ways of God; like Mary, who bestowed much labour. She was a servant of the church, a succourer of the saints, a helper in Christ Jesuis, and ready to lay down her life for the gospel.

One joy was wanting to crown her wedded bliss, and anxiously she longed for it; not with the impatience, but almost with the intensity of Rachel. “She took home to her a poor orphan girl, whom she tended, instructed, and cherished with the tenderness of a natural mother." Providence at length crowned her hopes. She anticipated the event with confidence in the Divine power and mercy, but withal with a dash of melancholy and a foreboding that “she should not outlive the happiness she had so long wished for.” A son was born on Tuesday, the 3rd of September, 1678. All went on well for a few days. On the following Saturday, Evelyn received from Mr. Godolphin an alarming note. Dangerous symptoms appeared. All that medical skill could accomplish in those days, and under her circumstances, was done; but in vain. She lingered till Monday, September 9th, when she departed, in the 25th year of her age. She lies buried in Breage church, Cornwall, where her tomb reminds one of the pillar of Rachel's grave.

Such is the simple story of Margaret Godolphin, as told by John Evelyn. It is a quaint but beautiful account of practical piety, with some traits indicating a want of fuller light and richer knowledge. We must never forget that genuine piety springs from a simple reliance upon the Son of God, and from the in

dwelling of the Spirit of grace, the fountain of truth, holiness, and love. While noticing, in the object of our sketch, imperfections arising from the want of clearer views on some points, brightly does the star of this godly woman gleam amid the darkness that envelops the court of one of England's most degraded monarchs.


FEW places are so suggestive as public schools. What thickcoming fancies we have, when perchance only for two minutes we pause by the iron railings in front of Christ's Hospital, Newgatestreet, to look at the boys in yellow and blue, and listen to their light-hearted shouts-shouts which cruelly stab some hearts with recollections of like gladness now for ever gone!

We speculate upon what those merry roisterers may become in future days, what positions they may fill in the state-what eminence may await that timid-looking little fellow who leans so thoughtfully against the corner column of the arcade--and what a downward destiny may come to that beautiful lad, with ruddy cheeks and golden locks, the life of yonder group, who evidently regard him as their Magnus Apollo. And those two youths, with their arms fondly thrown over each other's shoulders talking so very earnestly -how divergent may be their paths, or how symbolical of future friendship may be their present attitude! Then, with fancies about the future, there come remembrances of the past, as we walk into the old school room, with its desks so profusely covered with penknife carvings, and its walls so closely studded with inscriptions, great and small. We decipher here and there, amidst gigantic capitals which tell of those forgotten, tiny letters forming the names of those who will never be forgotten.

We have mentioned Christ's Hospital, but our purpose is to take the reader to another old school in London, not far distant—that which belongs to the Charter-house; and if it were not that we are now in search of a celebrity belonging to the eighteenth century, we might tarry to talk of a boy educated there who from his sedate and thoughtful ways gained the soubriquet of Old Phlosthe same who recently won for himself immortal renown in the Indian war, whose name will be remembered by a distant posterity as the great Sir Henry Havelock. But we mean to go

back more than a century and a half, that we may meet with a boy who studied then, and, as we look on the lad, to connect with it the thought of the man he was to be. Indeed, several shades among the most illustrious of which our country boasts, meet us there in boyish stature. There is Isaac Barrow, noted among his playmates as a famous pugilist, but in fact an embryo mathematician and divine. And there is one whose pastime is not so unapt a type of the future; three times every morning, most methodically, by his father's command, does he run round the green : it is Master John Wesley, the son of the Epworth rector. Between the periods in which Barrow fought and Wesley ran, Master Joseph Addison and Master Richard Steele were then at school ; and we can fancy these two early friends walking about, like the blue-coat boys just sketched, little dreaming of the subsequent union of their names in connection with the history of periodical literature and elegant letters. It is the shade of Joseph Addison that we come to visit. His future career, in connexion with his genial boyhood, we wish to trace; and from the precincts of the Charter-house, we propose to start on a short tour to some of his London haunts, where again we shall find him in company with Richard Steele.

But before we go, one word about the Charter-house. It was originally a monastic foundation. A wealthy citizen richly endowed it at the end of the sixteenth century, both as an hospital and a school; and once a year his name is celebrated by the pensioners, who sing the following ditty :

“ Then blessed be the memory

Of good old Thomas Sutton,
Who gave us lodging, learning,

And he gave us beef and mutton."

Thomas Sutton, by the way, is most worthy of being had in remembrance and imitation by the wealthy of this world, if we are to believe what Fuller tells us of his retiring into his garden, and being overheard in prayer, exclaiming—“Lord, thou hast given me a large and liberal estate : give me also a heart to make use thereof.” Under a sense of responsibility to the Giver of all good, Sutton has left an enduring monument of his liberal care for his fellow-creatures in the two extremes of


after the rough storms of life, here put into harbour awhile, before stepping on the infinite and eternal shore; and boys, ere they battle with the tempest, find in the Charter-house a dockyard where the vessel is prepared for its coming voyages. Snug are the dormitories, spacious the halls, and liberal the allowance made to the former, while the latter are provided with a good education and every reasonable comfort. The architecture is of different kinds, exhibiting a series of examples extending through the sixteenth and part of the seventeenth century; and as we pass round the quadrangle and along the corridor, it is easy to fancy ourselves transferred to the reign of James I. or Henry VIII. It is one of those recesses in the heart of old London, into which the contemplative may dive, as into the glades of a forest, and, forgetting the crowds and conflicts of passing times, indulge in a quietude which he


« PredošláPokračovať »