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Various alarming reports have been in circulation upon the continent, respecting the health of the Pope, which has been for some time past in a very precarious state. The following official article has however appeared in the Roman Diario of the 7th inst. January.

"Rome---The health of the Holy Father has received another shock, occasioned by his great sensibility. His Holiness was strongly attached to M. Vincent Marie Strambi, Bishop of Macerata. This prelate, who was a member of the congregation of the Passionists, and was successfully employed in preaching, had been just called to Rome, and had resigned his

see.

It is said that Leo the twelfth destined him for his confessor. M. Strambi, was, however, seized with a fit of apoplexy, and died on the 1st of January, having exactly completed his seventy-ninth year. This unexpected death greatly affected the Pope, and his grief produced another change in his health; the want of sleep weakened him, and the swelling increased. However those symptoms have been reduced by the care of his physicians, and the august patient has recovered a little strength, and a hope prevailed that he will, 'ere long be again enabled to attend to business.

A letter dated Rome, January 10, says, "The Physicians are now agreed in acknowledging, that a very perceptible amelioration has occurred in the

health of the Pope. Without pronouncing the Holy Father to be entirely out of danger, they remark with pleasure that the oppression has diminished, that the expectorations are more free, and that the fever has ceased.

Cardinal Ruginni, the legate at Eavenna is very dangerously indisposed.

BIRTH.

On the 15th of Dec. at Versailles, the Lady of M Tasburgh, esq. of Burghwallis, near Doncaster, of a son.

MARRIAGES.

On the 24th of December, at Saint Mary's Chapel, Moorfields, and on the following morning, at the New Church, St. Pancras, Mr. Matthew Smith, Jun. of Bishopsgate-street, to Miss Lucretia Harding, of the King's Road, Somers-Town.

On the 14th instant, Adam Wilson, of Finsbury Circus, Esq. fourth son of Adam Wilson, Esq. Glassgowego, in the county of Aberdeen, to Miss Martha Teresa, second daughter of the late William Lescher, Esq, of Whitechapel, during a special offering of the holy sacrifice of the mass, at the Chapel of St. Mary, Moorfields, by the Rev. John Rolfe; afterwards, at the church of St Mary, Lambeth.

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On the twenty-ninth of the same month, died Rev. Francis Marie, aged eighty-two years.

On the 5th inst. W. Creuse, 72.

On the thirteenth of January, Winefred White, of Wolverhampton. At Holywell, in 1804, Winefred White received an instantaneous and permanent cure of a curvated spine and hemplagia of several ycars standing.

Mrs. Mary Thomas, Sen. of Buckand, late of Charles Street, Grosvenor-square, aged eighty-eight years.

Died 3rd instant, Mr, Charles Hill, of Wolverhampton.

Printed by AMBROSE CUDDON, 2, Carthusian Street, Charter-house Square.

THE

Catholic Miscellany ;

AND MONTHLY

REPOSITORY OF INFORMATION,

FOR FEBRUARY, 1824.

BIOGRAPHY.

MARGARET, BARONESS FORBES.

This lady was of the noble family of the Gordons, and allied to the blood royal of Scotland; her father, the Earl of Huntley, presided for a time as chief of the Scottish government, and afterwards rendered essential service to the queen regent, both in council and in the field; and whilst he lived, the religion of his ancestors was preserved whole and entire throughout the kingdom; but after he was taken and beheaded in 1563, the reigning faction introduced the reform of Knox with all its atrocities. The two elder brothers of the Lady Margaret forfeited their lives in defence of their religion, and a younger brother became a Jesuit, and was known in various parts of Scotland for many years as an active and indefatigable missionary, under the appellation of Father James Gordon Huntley. All the members of the family were Catholics, and firmly attached to the ancient faith. From her early years, the subject of this biographical sketch, exhibited marks of extraordinary piety, and, at a tender age, expressed a wish to take the veil in some religious community; this, however, met not the approbation of her widowed mother, who warmly rebuked her, and even obtained a prohibition from the king and the interference of her kindred. By the advice of the latter, she was shortly after espoused to Baron Forbes: a man, at that time, of great influence and power, and who possessed large revenues and

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extensive domains, but inferior to his lady in nobility. The match was brought about at the suggestion of the friends of each family, as the means of terminating a quarrel which had long agitated the two houses. But marriages between parties who profess different religious creeds, seldom produce happiness: this was verified in the present instance; for Margaret Gordon was a zealous Catholic, and Forbes was a rigid Calvinist; his kindred were the same.

The religion of his wife was, in their eyes, an evil of the greatest magnitude; every method, therefore, was resorted to which their ingenuity could devise, to pervert her from her faith, and to oblige her to embrace the puritanic opinions of her husband, who was a man of ungovernable and morose temper, and who could not brook the refusal of his lady to change her religious creed at his pleasure he therefore treated her with cruelty; confined her to his Castle, and at last he took a mistress to his bed. The baroness had at this time borne him three children, one son and two daughters, and was pregnant of a fourth; nevertheless his hatred increased, and he now entertained thoughts of depriving his lady of her life; at one time he stripped her of her clothes and barely left her a single mantle to cover herself; at another time, affecting a reconciliation, he proposed to give a banquet; but at this banquet, it was his intention to have administered poison to her. Of this she received timely information from one who was privy to the design, but who possessed not the hardened villany of his master; and by the assistance of this man she effected her escape from the castle early in the morning, and sought shelter under the roof of a kinsman who resided not more than six miles distant.

Here a new difficulty arose, for her relations, indignant at the wrongs which she had endured, were resolved to reek their vengeance upon the perpetrator of them. Every means was therefore made use of in her power, to prevent the meditated attack; and, at length, having obtained the interference of the king, harmony seemed to be restored between the parties; but the heart of Forbes was not changed, and his hatred of the baroness still urged him to the committal of new deeds of cru

elty and injustice. Knowing that she was accustomed to take the air upon the top of a mountain near the residence of her kinsman, he once attempted to hurl her down the precipice; and in this instance, it would seem that her life was miraculously preserved. He also caused a report to be industriously circulated, that his lady had proved false to his bed, and procured from the ministers of his church, a bill of divorce; nay, with their consent, he proceeded publickly to espouse the woman with whom he had a long time past cohabited; and these conscientious ministers decreed, "that the husband might lawfully take another wife, because the other was stiffe in her religion, which they called popish; and this they determined might be done publiquely and solemnly, seeing that the first was to be reputed to be dead before God in her soule, and most worthy of all shame and ignominie." Not long after her escape from the castle of her lord, the baroness was delivered of a male child, whom she suckled at her own breast without any molestation from her husband; but when the child was weaned, he contrived to have it forcibly taken from her and placed under his own roof, there to be brought up in the prejudices and puritanical opinions which he had endeavoured to instil into his other children. In this he had been successful with his daughters, who had imbibed all his rancorous hatred against their mother, and who even urged the father to acts of greater injustice. Such was not the case, however, with his sons: as they advanced in years, so did their attachment to their mother increase they kept up a private correspondence with her, and listened to her advice and instructions; they contrasted the ferocious conduct of the father, who partook of all the persecuting spirit of his sect, and whose guides were his inordinate passions, with the meek piety of their mother, who murmured not under affliction, but patiently bore the wrongs which were heaped upon her. At length, they both determined to embrace that religion, which, although they were yet young, they nevertheless were capable of perceiving, was the principle of their mother's conduct and the guide of all her actions. The eldest was the first who formed this resolution; and that he might put it in prac

tice, he crossed the seas, and some time after, giving up all the flattering prospects of property and titles which his high birth ensured to him, he entered among the capuchins at Antwerp: but short was his sojournment in this asylum of piety; for soon after he had joined this religious order, one day, whilst singing with his brethren the praises of the Almighty, he suddenly expired in the choir. He had, however, often conversed with his brother upon the subject of religion, and had afterwards privately invited him by letter to follow his example. At length, touched by divine grace, John, the youngest son, secretly visited his uncle, Father James Gordon Huntley, who instructed him in the principles and duties of the Catholic faith, and received him into the bosom of the Church; and after the death of his brother, he determined to imitate his conduct by quitting the allurements and vanities of this world, and by spending his days in the retirement of a cloister: he therefore fled the castle of his ancestors; and, disguised in the rugged habit of a shepherd's boy, he reached the coast and embarked for Antwerp, where he experienced many difficulties before he was enabled to make his profession among the capuchins. He was afterwards removed to different houses, and frequently occupied some of the most important charges of his order.

In the mean time, the lady Margaret, ignorant of the step her son had taken, felt all the alarm of a mother for his safety when the rumour of his absence was spread abroad. Her kinsmen, also, irritated at the continued malignity of her husband, and believing that the young man had been destroyed by his father's mistress, were prepared to assemble in battle array, ravage the lands, and burn the castle of Lord Forbes with himself and concubine. The prudent conduct and earnest entreaties of the baroness checked these hostile proceedings of the Gordons, and at length the retreat which their youthful relative had chosen, was discovered.

The life of her ladyship was still strewed with thorns; she was harassed with many advantageous proposals according to the worldly views of marriage, none of which, as a conscientious Catholic, she could accept; for although her husband had

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