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was sometimes an occasion for a more supported assurance. I remember to have seen him, after giving his opinion that the colouring of a picture was not mellow enough, very deliberately take a brush with brown varnish, that was accidentally lying by, and rub it over the piece with great composure, before all the company, and then ask if he had not improved the tints.
When he had finished his commission in Paris, he left me strongly recommended to several men of distinction, as a person very proper for a travelling tutor, and after some time I was employed in that capacity by a gentleman who brought his ward to Paris, in order to set him forward on his tour through Europe. I was to be the young gentleman's governor, but with a proviso that he should always be permitted to govern himself. My pupil, in fact, understood the art of guiding in money concerns much better than I. He was heir to a fortune of about two hundred thousand pounds, left him by an uncle in the West Indies, and his guardians, to qualify him for the management of it, had bound him apprentice to an attorney. Thus avarice was his prevailing passion; all his questions on the road were how money might be saved; which was the least expensive course of travel; whether any thing could be bought that would turn to account when disposed of again in London. Such curiosities on the way as could be seen for nothing he was ready enough to look at, but, if the sight of them was to be paid for, he usually asserted that he had been told they were not worth seeing. He never paid a bill that he would not observe how amazingly expensive travelling was, and all this though he was not yet twenty-one. When arrived at Leghorn, as we took a walk to look at the port and shipping, he inquired the expense of the passage by sea home to England. This he was informed was but a trifle compared to his returning by land; he was therefore unable to withstand the temptation: so, paying me the small part of my salary that was due, he took leave, and embarked with only one attendant for London.
I now therefore was left once more upon the world at large; but then it was a thing I was used to. However, my skill in music could avail me nothing in a country where every peasant was a better musician than I; but by this time I had acquired another talent which answered my purpose as well, and this was a skill in disputation. In all the foreign universities and convents there are, upon certain days, philosophical theses maintained, against every adventitious disputant, for which, if the champion opposes with any dexterity, he can claim a gratuity in money, a dinner, and a bed for one night. In this manner, therefore, I fought my way towards England, walked along from city to city, examined mankind more nearly, and, if I may so express it, saw both sides of the picture. My remarks, however, are but few: I found that monarchy was the best government for the poor to live in, and commonwealths for the rich. I found that riches in general were in every country another name for freedom, and that no man is so fond of liberty himself as not to be desirous of subjecting the will of some individuals in society to his own.
116.-COURT OF JAMES THE FIRST.
SIR JOHN HARRINGTON.
[THERE is a very curious collection of original papers, written at various times, from the reign of Henry VIII. to that of James I., entitled, Nuga Antique;' and the most valuable of these miscellanies are the letters and tracts of Sir John Harrington. This very able courtier is principally known as the translator of Ariosto's 'Orlando Furioso;' and the characteristic of his mind, which was that of a ready and genial wit, has been established by the custom of Queen Elizabeth to speak of him as "that witty fellow, my godson," or "that merry poet,
my godson." The following extract from one of his letters exhibits his acute powers of observation, and his tendency to good-natured sarcasm. Certainly this picture of court manners shows the advance we have made in the decencies of life. Harrington was born in 1561; he died in 1612.]
In compliance with your asking, now shall you accept my poor account of rich doings: I came here a day or two before the Danish King came, and from the day he did come, until this hour, I have been well-nigh overwhelmed with carousals and sports of all kinds. The sports began each day in such manner and such sort, as well-nigh persuaded me of Mahomet's paradise. We had women, and indeed wine too, in such plenty, as would have astonished each sober beholder. Our feasts were magnificent, and the two royal guests did most lovingly embrace each other at table. I think the Dane hath strangely wrought on our good English nobles; for those, whom I never could get to taste good liquor, now follow the fashion, and wallow in beastly delights. The ladies abandon their sobriety, and seem to roll about in intoxication. In good sooth the parliament did kindly to provide his Majesty so seasonably with money, for there hath been no lack of good living; shows, sights, and banquetings, from morn to eve.
One day, a great feast was held, and, after dinner, the representation of Solomon, his Temple, and the coming of the Queen of Sheba was made, or (as I may better say) was meant to have been made, before their majesties, by device of the Earl of Salisbury and others.-But, alas! as all carthly things do fail to poor mortals in enjoyment, so did prove our presentment thereof. The lady who did play the queen's part, did carry most precious gifts to both their Majesties; but, forgetting the steps arising to the canopy, overset her caskets into his Danish Majesty's lap, and fell at his feet, though I rather think it was in his face. Much was the hurry and confusion; cloths and napkins were at hand, to make all clean. His Majesty then got up and would dance with the Queen of Sheba; but he fell down and humbled himself before her, and was carried to an inner chamber and laid on a bed of state; which was not a little defiled with the presents of the queen, which had been bestowed upon his garments; such as wine, cream, jellies, beverage, cakes, spices, and other good matters. The entertainment and show went forward, and most of the presenters went backward, or fell down; wine did so occupy their upper chambers. Now did appear, in rich dress, Hope, Faith, and Charity: Hope did essay to speak, but wine rendered her endeavours so feeble that she withdrew, and hoped the king would excuse her brevity: Faith was then all alone, for I am certain she was not joined with good works, and left the court in a staggering condition: Charity came to the king's feet, and seemed to cover the multitude of sins her sisters had committed in some sort she made obeisance and brought gifts; but said she would return home again, as there was no gift which Heaven had not already given his Majesty. She then returned to Hope and Faith, who were both in the lower hall. Next came Victory, in bright armour, and presented a rich sword to the king, who did not accept it, but put it by with his hand; and, by a strange medley of versification, did endeavour to make suit to the king. But Victory did not triumph long; for, after much lamentable utterance, she was led away like a silly captive, and laid to sleep on the outer steps of the ante-chamber. Now did Peace make entry, and strive to get foremost to the king; but I grieve to tell how great wrath she did discover unto those of her attendants; and, much contrary to her semblance, most rudely made war with her olive branch, and laid on the pates of those who did oppose her coming.
I have much marvelled at these strange pageantries, and they do bring to my remembrance what passed of this sort in our queen's days; of which I was sometime
an humble presenter and assistant: but I ne'er did see such lack of good order, discretion, and sobriety, as I have now done. I have passed much time in seeing the royal sports of hunting and hawking, where the manners were such as made me devise the beasts were pursuing the sober creation, and not man in quest of exercise or food. I will now, in good sooth, declare to you, who will not blab, that the gunpowder fright is got out of all our heads, and we are going on, hereabouts, as if the devil was contriving every man should blow up himself, by wild riot, excess, and devastation of time and temperance. The great ladies do go well masked, and indeed it be the only show of their modesty to conceal their countenance; but, alack, they meet with such countenance to uphold their strange doings, that I marvel not at aught that happens. The lord of the mansion is overwhelmed in preparations at Theobalds, and doth marvellously please both kings, with good meat, good drink, and good speeches. I do often say (but not aloud), that the Danes have again conquered the Britons, for I see no man, or woman either, that can now command himself or herself. I wish I was at home:—0 rus, quando te aspiciam ?
[SIR RICHARD FANSHAWE, a devoted adherent to the fortunes of Charles I., and a faithful servant of Charles II., was an honest statesman, and a gentleman of rare private virtue. He was also a scholar and a poet; and is known for a translation, very beautiful in parts, of Guarini's 'Pastor Fido.' In his life of peril and difficulty he had the support of an incomparable wife, who survived him; and who left a manuscript memoir of her career, for the instruction of her son. This interesting narrative was first printed in 1829. It contains many curious anecdotes of the times; but its greatest charm consists in the picture it presents of the devoted attachment of an accomplished and heroic woman to the husband of her love. Lady Fanshawe wrote her memoir in 1676, and died in 1680.]
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 delight 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 have you be a stranger to it; because, by the example, you may imitate what is applicable to your condition in the world, and endeavour to avoid those misfortunes we have passed through, if God pleases.
Endeavour 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.
Endeavour 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 as his company is, such is the man and have 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 grey 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
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 historics 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 went from me with perfect cheerfulness and content; nor revealed he his joys and hopes, but 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 a true Protestant of the Church of England, so born, so brought up, and so died; his conversation was so honest, that I never heard him speak a word in my life that tended to God's dishonour, or encouragement of any kind of debauchery or sin. He was ever much esteemed by his two masters, Charles the First and Charles the Second, both for great parts and honesty as for his conversation, in which they took great delight, he being so free from passion that made him beloved of all that knew him; nor did I ever see him moved but with his master's concerns, in which he would hotly pursue his interest through the greatest difficulties.
He was the tenderest father imaginable, the carefulest and most generous master I ever know; 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; in the managing of which, I thank God, I found his approbation and content.
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 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 praisc most justly; but thus without offence 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.
We select a few passages which beautifully illustrate the purity and strength of the affection which this admirable woman bore to her companion in sorrow and in joy.
My Lady Rivers, a brave woman, and one that had suffered many thousand pounds' loss for the king, and whom I had a great reverence for, and she a kindness for me as a kinswoman,—in discourse she tacitly commended the knowledge of state affairs, and that some women were very happy in a good understanding thereof, as my Lady Aubigny, Lady Isabel Thynne, and divers others, and yet none was at first more capable than I; that in the night she knew there came a post from Paris from the queen, and that she would be extremely glad to hear what the queen commanded the king in order to his affairs; saying, if I would ask my husband privately, he would tell me what he found in the packet, and I might tell her. I that was young and innocent, and to that day had never in my mouth, what news? began to think there was more in inquiring into public affairs than I thought of, and that it being a fashionable thing, would make me more beloved of my husband, if that had been possible, than I was. When my husband returned home from council, after welcoming nim, as his custom ever was he went with his handful of papers into his study for an hour or more; I followed him; he turned hastily, and said, 'what wouldst thou have, my life?' I told him I heard the prince had received a packet from the queen, and I guessed it was that in his hand, and I desired to know what was in it; he smilingly replied, 'My love, I will immediately come to thee, pray thee go, for I am very busy.' When he came out of his closet, I revived my suit; he kissed me and talked of other things. At supper I would eat nothing; he as usual sat by me, and drank often to me, which was his custom, and was full of discourse to company that was at table. Going to bed I asked again, and said I could not believe he loved me if he refused to tell me all he knew; but he answered nothing, but stopped my mouth with kisses. So we went to bed, I cried, and he went to sleep. Next morning early, as his custom was, he called to rise, but began to discourse with me first, to which I made no reply; he rose, came on the other side of the bed and kissed me, and drew the curtains softly and went to Court. When he came home to dinner, he presently came to me as was usual, and when I had him by the hand, I said, 'Thou dost not care to see me troubled;' to which he, taking me in his arms, answered 'My dearest soul, nothing upon earth can afflict me like that, and when you asked me of my business, it was wholly out of my power to satisfy thee, for my life and fortune shall be thine, and every thought of my heart in which the trust I am in may not be revealed, but my honour is my own, which I cannot preserve if I communicate the prince's affairs; and pray thee with this answer rest satisfied.' So great was his reason and goodness, that upon consideration it made my folly appear to me so vile, that from that day until the day of his death I never thought fit to ask him any business but what he communicated freely to me in order to his estate or family.