« PreviousContinue »
and happy had he been if he had gone two or three years since; before the world was weary of him, or that he had left that scandal behind him. He was not long sick, past eight or ten days, and died of a burning fever and putrefaction of his lungs, a defect he never complained of. He hath left his lady, (for so she is now generally held to be,) 1500l. a year, and most of his moveables ; and of five children that she fathered
upon him at the parting from her former husband, I do not hear that be provided for more than three, leaving to the eldest son, I hear, between 3 and 40001. a year, and to a daughter 60001. in money."
The contradictions in these several accounts, and the circumstances that may be advanced in extenuation of this unfortunate lady's conduct, may be left to the reader's discernment. She was unhappily married at an early period, and was the object of attachment with two of the most accomplished and elegant men of the age in which she lived. The adage of " fortes creantur fortibus," may be very safely extended to the natural endowments of form and features; Lady Rich was without doubt remarkable for personal beauty, her two sons by Lord Rich, who make so conspicuous a figure in Clarendon's history, were the handsomest men of their day, and a portrait of her grand daughter Isabella first Countess of Radnor, now before the writer, presents one of the loveliest images ever created by that painter of the graces, Sir Peter Lelly.
The following are from the Arcadia :
Is it to carry news
Is left a sun, whose beams thy place may use?
Yet stay and well peruse,
In earthy form inclos’d a heavenly spark:
Thy running course cannot such beauties mark. No, no, thy motious be
Hasten’d from us with bar of shadow dark,
From a long piece,
His lambs were him beside ;
From a longer piece. As I my little flock on Ister bank,
A little flock, but well my pipe they couth, Did piping lead, the sun already sank
Beyond our world, and e'er I got my booth,
Each thing with mantle black the night did scoth: Saving the glow-worm, which would courteous be Of that small light oft watching shepherds see.
The welkin had full niggardly enclosed
In coffer of dark clouds his silver groats, Y’cleped stars; each thing to rest disposed,
The caves were full, the mountains void of goats.
The birds eyes closed, closed their chirping notes, As for the nightingale, wood-music's king, It August was, he deigned not then to sing. Amid my sheep, though I saw naught to fear,
Yet, for I nothing saw, I feared sore: Then found I which thing is a charge to bear,
As for my sheep I dreaded mickle more
Than ever for myself since I was bore.
The song I sang old Lanquet had me taught,
Lanquet, the shepherd best swift Işter knew,
For faithful heart, clean hands, and mouth as true;
With his sweet skill my skilless youth he drew,
He said the music best thilk powers pleased,
Was jump concord between our wit and will;
And lowest sink not down to jot of ill:
With old true tales he wont mine ears to fill, How shepherds were of yore, how now they thrive, Spoiling their flocks, the while 'twixt them they strive. He liked me, but pitied lustful youth:
His good strong staff my slippery years upbore; He still hoped well, because I loved truth :
'Till forced to part with heart and eyes e’en sore,
To worthy Corydon he gave me o'er ; But thus in oak's true shade recounted he, Which now, in night's deep shade, sheep beard of me.
Hubert Languet, justly praised in this extract, was a Frenchman, born at Viteaux in 1518. He was converted to the protestant faith by reading the works of Melancthon, and afterwards entered into the service of the reformed princes of Germany. A series of his letters to Sir Philip Sidney is extant, which exhibits him to great advantage, as a profound schola", a wise and prudent adviser, and a firm friend. He died at Antwerp in 1581, leaving behind him the character of being one of the most learned men, and ablest politigians of his time.
Sonnet. Since nature's works be good, and death doth serve
As nature's work; why should we fear to die? Since fear is vain, but when it may preserve ;
Why should we fear that which we cannot fly? Fear is more pain, than is the pain it fears,
Disarming human minds of native might: While each conceit an ugly figure bears,
Which were not ill well viewed in reason's light.
And scarce discern the dawn of coming day,
Our life is but a step in dusty way;
To see her offspring seek a good increase,
And war of thoughts is swallowed up in peace,
Live one in two a well united pair;
Let not these slumbering clouds thy beauty hide,
The honest bridegroom and the bashful bride.
With mutual embraces them to twine :