« 이전계속 »
We shall conclude our extracts and our article together, with the historian's “ true and particular” account “of the person, character, manner, and fate," with which he also concludes his biographical sketch of “the unfortunate Politician.”
“ I. His stature.--Hee was higher then the ordinary sort of men. He was seven full feet in length (if there be no mistake in the difference of the measure). And whereas, often the cock-loft is empty, in those which nature hath built many stories high; his head was sufficiently stored with all abilities.
“ II. His temper.-Of a most healthfull constitution ; of a lively colour, and vigorous limbes, so that he was used to say, that he could endure the violence of any disease for a twelvemonth together by his sole naturall strength, without being beholding to art, or any assistance of physick.
“ III. His learning.-Hee had a quicke apprehension, and solid judgement, and was able on any emergent occasion, to speake rationally on any controversie in divinity. Hee would not abide to heare any fundamentall point of religion brought into question; insomuch, that when once two bishops began to contend about the meaning of that noted place, My Father is greater than I am, Andronicus suspecting that they would fall foule upon the Arrian heresie, vowed to throw them both into the river, except they would bee quiet, a way to quench the hottest disputation, by an in-artificiall answer, drawne from such authoritie.
« IV. His wives.-First, Theodora Comnenia, daughter of Isaacius Sebasto Crator, his nearest kinswoman; so that the marriage was most incestuous.
“The second, Anna, daughter to the king of France: of whom, largely before.
« V. His lawful issue, both by his first wife.—John Comnenius, hís eldest sonne. It seemes hee was much deformed, and his soule, as cruell, as his body, ugly. He assisted Hagio Christophorita-Stephanus in the stifling of Xene.
“ Manuel, his second sonne, of a most vertuous disposition. Let those, that undertake the ensuing history, shew how both had their eyes bored out by Isaacius.
“ VI. His natural issue.--I meet with none of their names, and though he lived wantonly with many harlots, and concubines: yet (what a Father observeth) πολυγαμια ποιεί ατεκνίαν, Many wives make few children. And it may be imputed to the providence of nature, that monsters (such as Andronicus) in this particular, are happy that they are barren.
• VII. His buriall.-By publicke edict it was prohibited that any should bury his body; however, some were found, who bestowed, though not a solemne grave, yet an obscure hole upon him, not out of pitty to him, but out of love to themselves ; except any will say, that his corps, by extraordinary stinch, provided its owne burial], to avoyd a generall annoyance.”
Vita illustrissimæ ac piissimæ Dominæ Magdalena Montis-Acuti
in Anglia Vice-Comitissa. Scripta per Richardum Smitheum, Lincolniensem, Sacræ Theologiæ Doctorem, qui illi erat a sacris Confessionibus : Ad Eduvardum Farnesium Cardinalem et Angliæ Protectorem.
Mulier timens Dominum ipsa laudabitur. Proverb. 3. Roma, apud Jacobum Mascardum, 1609. Superiorum permissu.
for the Staphy, of ratulate
So insatiable was the literary curiosity of Anthony à Wood, and so favourable were the circumstances in which he was placed for the gratification of it, that when we meet with a book of English biography, of which he says that he had never seen it', we may at least congratulate ourselves on the acquisition of a rarity. But independently of Wood's admission, we have other reasons to think that the book of which the title is now announced is to be classed amongst the libri rariores. It was unknown to Dodd, the Catholic historian. We will not venture to say that it is “ inter libros rariores rarissimus:" but one of the most indefatigable and sagacious of modern book-collectors, after inquiring for it in England and on the continent in vain, caused a transcript to be made of the copy in the Vatican, and on that transcript it is that our present review of the work is founded.
We venture to think, however, that this work has superior claims upon public attention. As to its general character, it is the “livelie portraiture” of a lady of high rank, born in the reign of Henry VIII., nurtured in the court of Queen Mary, and living through the reign of Elizabeth, and a part of that of her successor, still adhering to the catholic faith, and making an open profession of it. Though the life of an individual, it may be regarded as presenting us with a view of the situation in which a very interesting class of persons was placed, the families of high rank, who, in the early Protestant reigns, continued in a conscientious adherence to the forms of the Catholic church. Such is its general character. We find in it also agreeable traits of the manners of the times, and a few anecdotes of considerable persons of the age, not perhaps elsewhere recorded.
The writer, we may apprise the reader, was the same Richard Smith who in the early part of the reign of Charles I. appeared in England with the title of Bishop of Chalcedon; having been commissioned by the Pope to exercise episcopal jurisdiction in
of his action was in Lancashire, where he appeared in his pontificalia with his horned mitre and crosier, conferring of orders, bestowing his benediction, and such like, to the wonder of ignorant and poor people.” In 1628 a reward was offered for his apprehension; but he escaped to France, where he was patronised by Cardinal Richelieu.
The work is divided into sixteen chapters, some of the principal points in each of which we shall now submit to the reader. The first chapter relates to the descent and the early education of the Viscountess Montacute. In the first there was every thing that is illustrious. She was a daughter of the great northern baron, William Lord Dacre, at whose castle of Naworth, in Cumberland, she was born in 1538. Her mother was a daughter of George Talbot, the fourth Earl of Shrewsbury of that house, whose wife was a daughter of William Lord Hastings the Chamberlain.
Lord Dacre was one of the few eminent persons of the time who dared to oppose the designs of King Henry. He was brought into danger of death by his resistance to the measures which issued in the King being declared supreme head of the church of England. It was he who made the sarcastic and bold reply to the King, who, in a private conference, inquired what he then thought of the ecclesiastical authority he had acquired : “ Posthac, igitur, ubi majestas vestra deliquerit, poteris teipsum absolvere;"—hereafter, when your majesty sins, you may absolve yourself. He continued unchanged in his principles at the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth, and signalised his zeal for the Catholic church by a steady opposition to the measures by which she established the reformed.
The spirit of the father descended upon the daughter. She was educated in his house under the eye of her mother, till she had completed her twelfth year. We have no particular account of the course of study through which she passed: but we obtain a glimpse of the manners of the times, when we are told by her biographer, that Magdalene did not indulge herself, as her sisters did, in hawking, or in hunting the stag or the hare, preferring to imitate the example of the Blessed Virgin, rather than to act like the profane Diana.
From the age of twelve to fifteen she lived with the Countess of Bedford. The countess, who was the wife of the first Russell, Earl of Bedford, is described by Smith as a Catholic and religious lady. Lady Montacute was accustomed to relate of her that she longed much for a son, and entreated that one might be given her both by her own prayers and those of others; but that she much repented of the prayer when she saw her son fall into heresy, which she abhorred, and acting in innumerable ways impiously towards herself. This son must have presented
a very different aspeot to people who in that day of division were ranged on the other side, since we find Bradford, the Protestant martyr, applying to him the somewhat antiquated but forcible expression, “ The A per se A of the Protestant nobility.”
It was usual in those times for the young ladies of rank to be placed in the households of great persons, partly for education, and partly for the purpose of introducing them to society ; but we were scarcely prepared to find them called to perform the very servile offices which it seems the Countess of Bedford, then old and infirm, exacted from the daughter of the Lord Dacre. On the accession of Queen Mary, 1553, she was taken to court to be one of the maids of honour. Much is said in praise of the court of Queen Mary. It was schola virtutum, puritatis altrix, domicilium pietatis : and Smith does not lose the opportunity of contrasting with it the infamia probra of the court of Elizabeth, glancing, it is probable, at the affair of Mrs. Throckmorton. The ladies of Mary's court practised a devotion which might be called austere.
Of this court, Magdalene Dacre was one of the chief ornaments. She had beauty, virtue, and mental endowments of a superior order, which attracted many admirers, of whom Sir John Arundel was one, and who, on account of his wealth and power, was commonly called “the Great.” In the reign of Elizabeth, he suffered a long imprisonment for his faith': but the Lord Viscount Montacute, Sir Anthony Browne, K. G. and one of the Privy Council, was the most favoured lover, and to him she was married at St. James's, the Queen gracing the solemnity with her presence.
This was the first Viscount Montacute, grandson of Lucy, one of the coheirs of John Neville, Marquis Montacute, brother to Richard Earl of Warwick. He was created a viscount about a year and a half before the marriage.
Of this founder of the honour of Viscount Montacute the accounts in the Peerages are very meagre. We have a chapter in this work, “ De insignibus virtutibus Vice-Comitis Montisacuti.” We collect from it that, during the reign of King Edward, he was committed to prison on account of his attachment to the Catholic religion. His zeal for that religion was manifested by his ornamenting his chamber tapetibus, probably painted cloth of religious subjects. When his father would have absented himself from parliament when the great question of the alteration of religion was to be debated in the reign of
This must have been Sir John Arundel of Lanherne, who is passed over with the slightest notice possible in the Peeragos.
Edward, that he might not fall into offence with the Protestant party, the son never ceased to entreat him to go and vote as his conscience prompted him. In the reign of Mary he laboured earnestly to bring things back to their old state, and was sent on a solemn embassy to the Pope to ask pardon in the name of the English nation, and to promise future obedience. And when, in the reign of Elizabeth, it was debated in the House of Lords whether the Catholic religion should be entirely suppressed in England, Lord Montacute with much eloquence exhorted the peers not to be carried about with every wind of doctrine, nor to undo what had lately with such solemnity been completed ; ascribing the late changes to the infamous lust of Henry VIII. and his covetousness of the goods of the church.
He was thus, as it seems, a decided and zealous Catholic; but in the delicate question, which necessarily presented itself in the early years of Elizabeth, how far occasional communion with a church deemed heretical might be tolerated in one who professed himself a member of the Catholic church, Lord Montacute seems to have thought and acted with more liberality than to his lady's confessor appeared right. He did sometimes enter the churches of the heretics. He had a priest in his household whose opinion it was that something ought in this to be yielded to the times. Smith condemns the time-serving opinion, and applauds the conduct of another priest who succeeded the former in the viscount's household, and who required and obtained from him submission for this fault.
We may collect from this work, that even in families of the highest rank, not only an opinion of the power of magical arts to injure, but also to counteract such injuries, prevailed : for we are told that the Viscount Montacute died of a long, painful, and foreign disease; that some thought he was poisoned, others that he was bewitched; and that to the latter opinion he himself inclined, but he refused all assistance from diabolical arts, preferring rather to die.
These are the facts which this writer has preserved concerning the first of the Viscounts Montacute, the owners of the splendid mansion at Cowdray. We pass over some less material circumstances communicated by Lady Montacute to her confessor, and which are only curious as the relation of them draws the veil of the confessional, and admits to conferences such as rarely, it may be believed, take place between a matron and a male friend in the present day.
The union continued six-and-thirty years; and they lived together in great affection. We find, on turning to the Peerage, that the viscount died on October 19, 1592. Of their eight children, only three were living when Smith wrote, Sir George, and Sir Henry Browne, and Elizabeth, the wife of Sir Robert Dormer.