Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

against the king 3. This high-spirited lord, who had the most chimerical notions of civil liberty, upon the defeat of those projects in which he had so great a share, retired with indignation to the isle of Lundy, on the coast of Devon, and continued a voluntary prisoner in his fastness till the protector's death4. After the restoration, he was preferred to the honourable offices of lord privy-seal, and chamberlain of the household, by Charles the second, according to the prudent maxim of that prince, to “caress his foes, and trust his friends 5.” This noble author died April 14, 1662.

Beside several speeches in parliament, the following list of his publications is given by Wood.

“ The Scots Designs discovered ', relating their

* He was lauded by Capt. W. Mercer (the panegyrist of the republican leaders) as the Mæcenas of London in his day; and thus did the verser, as he termed himself, close his plausive strain:

“ Por neither Plato for his wisest parts,
Nor Mars for valour, Cato for his arts,
Nor yet Mecænas for his worthy praise,
They need not make so much report of these;
Nor yet needs Rome extoll and tell so much,
As if the world, nor we could shew them such;
Against them all, I do protest, appeal,
To thee brave Fiennes, lord viscount Say and Seal.

Angliæ Speculum, 1646.
• Echard, p.716.

Granger's Biog. Hist. vol. ii. p. 141. • Lord Orford mentions this as extant in the Sunderland library at Blenheim. Works, vol. i. p. 46

.

dangerous Attempts lately practised against the English Nation, with the sad Consequence of the same. Wherein divers Matters of public Concernment are disclosed; and the Book called “Truths Manifest,' is made apparent to be Lies Manifest."" Lond. 1643. 4to.

This is said to be usually called “ Vindicia Veritatis, or an Answer to a Discourse entitled “Truth is Manifest,'" &c.

“ Folly and Madness made manifest; or some Things written to shew how contrary to the Word of God, and Practice of the Saints, in the Old and New Testament, the Doctrines and Practices of the Quakers are,” &c. Oxon, 1659, 4tó.

“ The Quakers Reply manifested to be Railing: or a Pursuance of those by the Light of the Scriptures, who through their dark Imaginations would evade the Truth,” &c. Oxon, 1659-60, 4to.

Other things of his, says Wood, I have not yet seen : nor has the editor been able to discover any of the preceding, in the copious collections of printed tracts either in the British Museum or the Bridgewater library.]

ELIZABETH,

COUNTESS OF BRIDGEWATER,

а

[The amiable daughter of the loyal and esteemed William Cavendish, marquis of Newcastle, married John, viscount Brackley, in 1642, who performed the part of the elder brother in Comus, and who succeeded to the earldom of Bridgewater in 1649. This lady was introduced by Ballard among his Memoirs of eminent Women", and a memorial of her extraordinary character, taken from a monumental record in the church of Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, was printed from Chauncey's History of that county 3. This inscription informs us, that she had composed

“ Meditations and Prayers, with devout Contemplations upon every particular Chapter in the Bible, written with her owo Hand.”

But a valuable correspondent 4 in the Gentleman's Magazine, for 17925, who signs himself “ A Lover of Biography,” and who is not only a lover but an adept in that and other departments of polite literature, announces himself as the possessor of a volume in manuscript, which contains the pious compositions of this lady, and is thus entitled :

• Page 199

• Vol. i. p. 609. See also Collins's Peerage. • Samuel Egerton Brydges, esq. of Denton-court, Kent. • See Supplement, p. 1163.

“ True Coppies of certaine loose Papers left by the Right Hon. Elizabeth, Countesse of Bridgewater, collected and transcribed together here, since her Death, Anno Dni. 1663.”

“ All which,” says Mr. Brydges, “is evidently the fair hand of an amanuensis; and under it is the earl's attestation and subscription, in these words, Examined by J. Bridgewater.' This manuscript, which has never been out of the hands of the countess and her descendants, is certainly a proof of a very uncommon piety at least, which in the accounts of her has not been at all exaggerated, and which combined with her beauty, her accomplishments, her youth, her descent, and the pathetic epitaph on her death, of that husband, who was himself distinguished for all learned and amiable qualitics, appears eminently curious and interesting. Yet I am aware," says the same ingenuous writer, “that the unusual strain of religion, which breaks forth on every occasion, is open to the jests and sneers of light-hearted and unfeeling people; for which reason it is a treasure that shall never, with my consent, be unlocked to the profane eye of the public at large. It consists of prayers, confessions, and meditations, upon various occasions.

Farther particulars of this exemplary wife and mother may be seen in Collins's Peerage, Granger's Biographical History, Brydges' Topographer, Warton's Milton, and Todd's Comus. The learned editor of the latter publication mentions another attested copy of the countess of Bridgewater's pious and tender Meditations, which had been preserved in the Ashridge library, and answers the character of them given above. The worthy earl desired it might be recorded on his tomb, that he enjoyed, almost twenty-two years, all the happiness that a man could receive in the sweet society of the best of wives. Upon her decease he became one of the most disconsolate of men, as he had been one of the happiest of husbands; and, enduring rather than enjoying life, “ did sorrowfully wear out twenty-three years four months and twelve days” of widowhood, and deceased on the 26th of October 1686, aged sixty-three.]

« PredošláPokračovať »