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answer was, “ that he had passed a conflict with his last enemy, and had overcome him by the merits of his Master Jesus.” Af. ter which answer, he looked up, and saw his wife and nieces weeping to an extremity, and charged them, if they loved him to withdraw into the next room, and there pray every one alone for him ; for nothing but their lamentations could make his death uncomfortable. To which request their sighs and tears would not suffer them to make any reply; but they yielded him a sad obedience, leaving only with him Mr. Woodnot and Mr. Bostock. Immediately after they had left him, he said to Mr. Bostock, “ Pray, Sir, open that door, then look into that cabinet, in which you may easily find my last Will, and give it into my hand :” which being done, Mr. Herbert delivered it into the hand of Mr. Woodnot, and said, "My old friend, I here deliver you my last Will, in which you will find that I have made you my sole Executor for the good of my wife and nieces; and I desire you to shew kindness to them, as they shall need it: I do not desire you to be just; for I know you will be so for your own sake; but I charge you, by the religion of our friendship, to be careful of them.” And having obtained Mr. Woodnot’s promise to be so, he said, “I am now ready to die.” After which words, he said, “ Lord, forsake me not now my strength faileth me: but grant me mercy for the merits of my Jesus. And now, Lord-Lord, now receive my soul.” And with those words he breathed forth his divine soul, without any apparent disturbance, Mr. Woodnet and Mr. Bostock attending his last breath, and closing his eyes.
Thus he lived and thus he died, like a Saint, unspotted of the world, full of alms-deeds, full of humility, and all the examples of a virtuous life; which I cannot conclude better, than with this borrowed observation :
-All must to their cold graves :
Mr. George Herbert's have done so to this, and will :loubtless do so to succeeding generations.—I have but this to say more of
* Altered from a Dirge in Shirley's “ Contention of Ajax and Ulysses.”
him; that if Andrew Melvin died before him,* then George Her. bert died without an enemy, t I wish—if God shall be so pleased —that I may be so happy as to die like him.
There is a debt justly due to the memory of Mr. Herbert's virtuous Wife ; a part of which I will endeavour to pay, by a very short account of the remainder of her life, which shall follow. She continued his disconsolate widow about six
bemoaning herself, and complaining that she had lost the delight of her eyes; but more that she had lost the spiritual guide for her poor soul; and would often say, “O that I had, like holy Mary, the Mother of Jesus, treasured up all his sayings in my heart ! But since I have not been able to do that, I will labour to live like him, that where he now is I may be also.” And she would often say, ,-as the Prophet David for his son Absalom,—“O that I had died for him!” Thus she continued mourning till time and conversation had so moderated her sorrows, that she became the happy wife of Sir Robert Cook, of Highnam, in the County of Gloucester, Knight. And though he put a high value on the excellent accomplishments of her mind and body, and was so like Mr. Herbert, as not to govern like a master, but as an affectionate husband; yet she would even to him often take occasion to mention the name of Mr. George Herbert, and say, that name must live in her memory till she put off mortality. By Sir Robert she had only one child, a daughter, whose parts and plentiful estate make
*“Mr. George Herbert, Esq. Parson of Fuggleston and Bemerton, was buried 3d day of March, 1632.” (Parish Register of Bemerton.) It does not appear woorsther he was buried in the parish church or in the chapel. His letter to Mr. Nicholas Ferrar, the translator of Valdesso, is dated from his Parsonage at Bemerton, near Salisbury, Sept. 29, 1632. It must be remembered, that the beginning of the year, at that time, was computed the 25th of March. In this year also, he wrote the short address to the Reader, which is prefixed to his “Priest to the Temple,” which was not published till after his death.
+ It is not to be supposed that Andrew Melville could retain the least personal resentment against Mr. Herbert; whose veres have in them so little of the poignancy of satire, that it is scarce possible to consider them as capable of exciting the anger of him to whom they are addressed.
her happy in this world, and her well using of them gives a fair testimony that she will be so in that which is to come.
Mrs. Herbert was the wife of Sir Robert eight years, and lived his widow about fifteen; all which time she took a pleasure in mentioning and commending the excellencies of Mr. George Her. bert. She died in the year 1663, and lies buried at Highnam: Mr. Herbert in his own Church, under the altar, and covered with a gravestone without any inscription.
This Lady Cook had preserved many of Mr. Herbert's private writings, which she intended to make public; but they and Highnam House were burnt together by the late rebels, and so lost to posterity.
MR. GEORGE HERBERT TO NICHOLAS FARRER,
THE TRANSLATOR OF VALDESSO.
My dear and deserving brother, your Valdesso I now return with many thanks, and some notes, in which perhaps you will discover some care which I forbear not in the midst of my griefs ; first for your sake, because I would do nothing negligently that you commit unto me: secondly for the Author's sake, whom I conceive to have been a true servant of God; and to such, and all that is their's, I owe diligence: thirdly for the Church's sake, to whom by printing it, I would have you consecrate it. You owe the Church a debt, and God hath put this into your hands—as he sent the fish with money to St. Peter—to discharge it; happily also with this—as his thoughts are fruitful-intending the honour of his servant the Author, who, being obscured in his own country, he would have to flourish in this land of light, and region of the Gospel among his chosen. It is true, there are some things which I like not in him, as my fragments will express, when you read them : nevertheless, I wish you by all means to publish it, for these three eminent things observable therein : First, that God in the midst of Popery, should open the eyes of one to understand and express so clearly and excellently, the intent of the Gospel in the acceptation of Christ's righteousness,-as he sheweth through all his Considerations,-a thing strangely buried and darkened by the adversaries, and their great stumbling block. Secondly, the great honour and reverence which he every where bears towards our dear Master and Lord; concluding every Consideration almost with his holy name,
and setting his morit forth so piously; for which I do so love him, that were there nothing else, I would print it, that with it the honour of my Lord might be published. Thirdly, the many pious rules of ordering our life about mortification, and observation of God's kingdom within us, and the working thereof; of which he was a very diligent observer. These three things are very eminent in the Au thor, and overweigh the defects—as I conceive-towards the publishing thereof
From his Parsonage of
Sept. 29th, 1632.