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ting his dog fondly: 'I love him the heart casteth about for some alleviabetter for it.' “Perhaps,' quoth the tion in its excessive grief, which may lieutenant in a scoffing manner, “it be I shall find in imparting to one might be he came thither to have his well acquainted with his virtues and blessing.' To which my lord replied, my love for him what I have learnt
It is no new thing for animals to seek touching the closing scenes of my dear a blessing at the hands of holy men, lord's mortal life. For think not I St. Jerome writing how the lions which have been so happy as to behold him had digged St. Paul the hermit's again, or that he should die in my grave stond waiting with their eyes arms. No; that which was denied upon St. Anthony expecting his bless me for ten long years neither could
his dying prayers obtain. For many “ Is it not a strange trial, mine own months notice had been given unto Constance, and one which hath not me by his servants and others that his befallen many women, to have a health was very fast declining. One fondly loved husband yet alive, and gentleman particularly told me he to be sometimes so near unto him that himself believed his end to be near. it should take but a few moments to His devout exercises were yet increascross the space which doth divide us, ed—the bent of his mind more and and yet never behold him; year after more directed solely toward God and year passing away, and the heart heaven. In those times which were waxing sick with delays? Howso- allotted to walking or other recreaever, one sad firm hope I hold, which tion, his discourse and conversation keepeth me somewhat careful of my either with his keeper or the lieutenhealth, lest I should be disabled when ant or his own servant, was either that time cometh-one on which I fix tending to piety or some kind of profitmy mind with apprehension and de- able discourse, most often of the happisire to defer the approach thereof, yet ness of those that suffer anything for pray one day to see it-yea, to live our Saviour's sake; to which purpose long enough for this and then to die, he had writ with his own hand upon the if it shall please God. When mine wall of his chamber this Latin senown Fhilip is on his death-bed, when tence, •Quanto plus afflictionis pro the slow consumptive disease which Christo in hoc sæculo, tanto plus devoureth his vitals obtaineth its end, gloriæ cum Christo in futuro ;' the then, I ween, no woman upon earth, which he used to show to his servants, none that I ever heard of or could inviting them, as well as himself, to think of, can deny me to approach suffer all with patience and alacrity. him and receive his last embrace. Oh “ In the month of August tidings that this should be my best comfort, were brought unto me that, sitting at mine only hope!”
dinner, he had fallen so very ill immeI pass over many intervening let
diately upon the eating of a roasted ters from this afflicted lady which at
teal, that some did suspect him to be distant intervals I received, in one of
poisoned. I sent him some antidotes, which she expressed her sorrow at the
and all the remedies I could procure; execution at Tyburn of her constant
but all in vain. The disease had so friend and guide, Father Southwell,
possessed him that it could not be reand likewise informed me of Mistress
moved, but by little and little consumWells's death in Newgate, and tran
ed his body, so that he became like an scribe this one, written about six
anatomy, having nothing left but skin months afterward, in which she relates
and bone. Much talk hath been minthe closing scene of her husband's life:
istered anent his being poisoned.
Alas! my thinking is, and ever shall “MINE OWN DEAR CONSTANCE- be, the slow poison he died of was All is over now, and my overcharged lack of air, of sunshine, of kindness,
VOL. II. 50
of loving aid, of careful sympathy. from, which heard the same from his When I heard his case was consider- father-in-law, my Lord Dorset. Coed desperate, the old long hopes, sus- stance, for a brief while a terriblets. tained for ten years, that out of the mult raged in my soul. Think what extremity of grief one hour of com- it was to know one so long, so fort should arise, woke up; but now I passionately loved, dying nigh unto was advised not to stir in this matter and yet apart from me, dying unaided myself, for it should only incense the by any priest-for though he had a queen, who had always hated me; great desire to be assisted by Father whereas my lord she once had liked, Edmund, by whose means he had been and it might be, when she heard he reconciled, it was by no means permitwas dying, she should relent. She ted that either he or any other priest had made a kind of promise to some should come to him-dying without a of his friends that before his death kindred face to smile on him, without his wife and children should come a kinsman for to speak with him and unto him ; whereupon, conceiving that list to his last wishes. He desired to now his time in the world could not see his brother William or his uncle be long, he writ a humble letter to Lord Henry; at least to take his last her petitioning the performance of her leave of them before his death; but promise. The lieutenant of the neither was that small request granted Tower carried this letter, and deliver- —no, not so much as to see his brothed it with his own hands to the queen, er Thomas, though both then and erer and brought him her answer by word he had been a Protestant. And all of mouth. What think you, mine this misery was the fruit of one stern, own Constance, was the answer she cruel, unbending hatred — of one sent that dying man? God forgive proud human will; a will which was her! Philip did; yea, and so do I sundering what God had joined to--not fully at the time, now most gether. Like a bird against the bars fully. His crown should have been of an iron cage, my poor heart dashless glorious but for the heart-martyr- ' ed itself with wild throbbings against dom she invented.
these human obstacles. But not for “ This was her message : • That if very long, I thank God; brief wis he would but once go to the Protest the storm which convulsed my soul. ant church his request should not only I soon discerned his hand in this great be granted, but he should moreover trial-his will above all human will ; be restored to his honor and estate and while writhing under a Father's with as much favor as she could merciful scourge, I could yet bless show. Oh, what were estates and him who held it. I pray you, Conhonors to that dying saint! what her stance, how should a woman have enfavor to that departing soul! One dured so great an anguish which had offering, one sacrifice, one final with- not been helped by him? Methinks drawing of affection's thirsty and what must have sustained me was parched lips from the chalice of a that before-mentioned gentleman's resupreme earthly consolation, and all port of my dear lord's great piety and was accomplished; the bitterness of virtue, which made me ashamed of death overpast. He gave thanks to not striving to resemble him in howsothe lieutenant for his pains; he said ever small a degree. Oh, what a he could not accept her majesty's work God wrought in that chosen offers upon that condition, and added soul! What meekness, what humilwithal that he was sorry he had but ity, what nobleness of heart! He one life to lose in that cause. A very grew so faint and weak by degrees worthy gentleman who was present at that he was not able to leave his bed. this passage related it to me; and His physicians coming to visit him Lord Mountague I have also had it some days before his death, he desired them not to trouble themselves now with his finger turneth the unstable any more, his case being beyond their wheel of this variable world, can in skill. They thereupon departing, Sir the revolution of a few days bring Michael Blount, then lieutenant of the you to be a prisoner also, and to be Tower, who had been ever very hard kept in the same place where now you and harsh unto him, took occasion to keep others. There is no calamity come and visit him, and, kneeling down that men are subject unto but you by his bedside, in humble manner de- may also taste as well as any other sired my dear Phil to forgive him. man. Farewell, Mr. Lieutenant; for Whereto mine own beloved husband the time of my short abode come to answered in this manner, “Do you me whenever you please, and you ask forgiveness, Mr. Lieutenant ? shall be heartily welcome as my Why, then, I forgive you in the same friend. My dear lord, when he uttersort as I desire myself to be forgiven at ed these words, should seem to have the hands of God;' and then kissed his had some kind of prophetic foresight hand, and offered it in most kind touching this poor man's fate ; for I and charitable manner to him, and have just heard this day, seven weeks holding his fast in his own said, 'I only after my husband's death, that pray you also to forgive me whatever Sir Michael Blount hath fallen into I have said or done in anything offen. great disgrace, lost his office, and is sive to you,' and he melting into tears' indeed committed close prisoner in and answering that he forgave him that same Tower where he so long with all his heart;' my lord raised kept others. himself a little upon his pillow, and “And now my faltering pen must made a brief, grave speech unto the needs transcribe the last letter I receivlieutenant in this manner : Mr. Lieu- ed from my beloved husband, for your tenant, you have showed both me and heart, dear friend, is one with mine. my men very hard measure.' Where- You have known its sufferings through in, iny lord?' quoth he. Nay,' said the many years evil influences robbed my lord, I will not make a recapitu- it of that love which, for brief interlation of anything, for it is all freely vals of happiness afterward and this forgiven. Only I am to say unto you long separation since, hath, by its a few words of my last will, which be- steady and constant return, made so ing observed, may, by the grace of rich amends for the past. In these God, turn much to your benefit and final words you shall find proofs of his reputation. I speak not for myself; excellent humility and notable affecfor God of his goodness hath taken or- tion for my unworthy self, which I der that I shall be delivered very doubt not, my dear Constance, shall shortly out of your charge; only for draw water from your eyes. Mine others I speak who may be committed yield no moisture now. Methinks to this place. You must think, Mr. Lieu- these last griefs have exhausted in tenant, that when a prisoner comes them the fountain of tears. hither to this Tower that he bringeth “Mine own good wife, I must now sorrow with him. Oh, then do not in this world take my last farewell of add affliction to affliction; there is no you; and as I know no person living man whatsoever that thinketh himself whom I have so much offended as to stand surest but may fall. It is a yourself, so do I account this opportuvery inhuman part to tread on hinn nity of asking your forgiveness as a whom misfortune hath cast down. singular benefit of Almighty God. And The man that is void of mercy God I most humbly and heartily beseech hath in great detestation. Your com- you, even for his sake and of your mission is only to keep in safety, not charity, to forgive me all whereinsoto kill with severity. Remember, ever I have offended you; and the asgood Mr. Lieutenant, that God who surance I have of this your forgiveness is my greatest contentment at this had created it. And she who writeth present, and will be a greater, I doubt this letter, she who loved him sino! not, when my soul is ready to depart her most early years—who when be out of my body. I call God to wit- was estranged from her waited his reness it is no small grief unto me that I turn-who gloried in his virtues, cannot make you recompense in this doated on his perfections, endured his world for the wrongs I have done you. afflictions, and now lamenteth his Affliction gives understanding. God, death, hath nothing left but to live s who knows my heart, and has seen widow ; indeed with no other glory my true sorrow in that behalf, has, I than that which she doth borrow from hope, of his infinite mercy, remitted his merits, until such time as it shall all, I doubt not, as you have done in please God to take her from this earth your singular charity, to mine infinite to a world where he hath found, she comfort.
doth humbly hope, rest unto his soul." “ Now what remaineth but in a few brief sentences to relate how this loved
The Countess of Arundel is now husband spent his last hours, and the aged
and the aged. The virtues which hare crownmanner of his death? Those were for the
ed her mature years are such as her most part spent in prayer; sometimes yo
youth did foreshadow. My pen would saying his beads, sometimes such
run on too fast if it took up that psalms and prayers as he knew by
theme. This only will I add, and so heart. Seeing his servants (one of
conclude this too long piece of writwhich hath been the narrator to me of
ing—she hath kept her constant rethese his final moments) stand by his solve
hy his solve to live and die a widow. I have bedside in the morning weeping in a
seen many times letters froin both mournful manner, he asked them
Protestants and Catholics which made what o'clock it was ?' they answering
unfeigned protestations that they were that it was eight or thereabout, Why,
never so edified by any as by her. then,' said he, I have almost run out As the Holy Scriptures do say of that my course, and come to the end of this
noble widow Judith, “Not one spoke miserable mortal life,' desiring them
an ill word of her," albeit these times not to weep for him, since he did not
are extremely malicious. For mine doubt, by the grace of God. but all own part I never read those words of would go well with him ; which being
Holy Writ, “ Who shall find a valiant said he returned to his prayers upon
woman?” and what doth follow, but I his beads again, though then with a must needs
must needs think of Ann Dacre, the very slow, hollow, and fainting voice: wife of Philip Howard, earl of Arunand so continued as long as he was del and Surrey. able to draw so much breath as was sufficient to sound out the names of Jesus and Mary, which were the last After the lapse of some years, it words he was ever heard to speak. hath been my hap to have a sight of The last minute of his last hour being this manuscript, the reading of which, come, lying on his back, his eyes firmly even as the writing of it in former fixed toward heaven, his long, lean, days, doth cause me to live over again consumed arms out of the bed, his my past life. This lapse of time hath hands upon his breast, laid in cross added nothing notable except the one upon the other, about twelve dreadful death of Hubert, iny dear o'clock at noon, in a most sweet man- Basil's only brother, who suffered last ner, without any sign of grief or year for the share he had, or leastways groan, only turning his head a little was judged to have, in the Gunpowder aside as one falling into a pleasing Plot and treason. Alas! be which sleep, he surrendered his soul into the once, to improve his fortunes, denied hands of God who to his own glory his faith, when fortune turned her back
upon him grew into a virulent hatred young gentleman, the son of Mr of those in power, once his friends and Yates, and hath gone to reside with tempters, and consorted with despe- him at his seat in Worcestershire ; rate men; whether he was privy to and Ann, Lady Arundel's god-daughtheir counsels, or only familiar with ter, nothing will serve but to be a them previous to their crimes, and so "holy Mary,” as the French people fell into suspicion of their guilt, God do style those dames which that great knoweth. It doth appear from some and good prelate, M. de Genève, hath good reports that he died a true pen- assembled in a small hive at Annecy, itent. There is a better hope me- like bees to gather honey of devotion thinks for such as meet in this world in the garden of religion. This should with open shame and suffering than seem a strange fancy, this order being for secret sinners who go to their so new in the Church, and the place pompous graves unchastised and un- so distant; but time will show if this absolved.
should be God's will; and if so, then By his brother's death Basil re- it must needs be ours also. covered his lands; for his present What liketh me most is that my son majesty hath some time since recalled Roger doth prove the very image of the sentence of his banishment. And his father, and the counterpart of him many of his friends have moved him in his goodness. I am of opinion that to return to England; but for more nothing better can be desired for him reasons than one he refused so much than that he never lose so good a as to think of it, and has compounded likeness. his estate for £700, 8s. 6d.
And now farewell, pen and ink, Our children have now grown unto mine old companions, for a brief moripe years. Muriel (who would have ment resumed, but with a less steady been a nun if she had followed her hand than heretofore ; now not to be godmother's example) is now married, again used except for such ordinary to her own liking and our no small purposes as housewifery and friendcontentment, to a very commendable ship shall require.
ONCE I believed that tears alone
Could tell of sorrow deep;
Within my heart I weep.
And many think me calm, because
My cheek unwet appears ;
The pain of unshed tears.