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as you have done her. My Lady Newport goes into Shropshire on Monday next come fortnight, so that she says she must defer her Stratton journey till another year. I am writing in my sister Die's bed-chamber; my Lord is just looking in, and bids me send you his affectionate remembrance, and hopes to see you on Saturday. I shall be thought very long writing, for we are going abroad when I am done; but not for my diversion, I am sure you will believe, when, to do so, I must leave what I am now about, which yet I cannot till I have signed, with great truth, myself your's, R. VAUGHAN." "These letters (says the intelligent Editor) are written with such a neglect of style, and often of grammar, as may disgust the admirers of well-turned pe riods, and they contain such frequent repetitions of homely tenderness, as may shock the sentimental readers of the present day. But they evince the enjoyment of a happiness, built on such rational foundations, and so truly appreciated by its possessors, as too seldom occurs in the history of the human heart. They are impressed, too, with the marks of a cheerful mind, a social spirit, and every indication of a character prepared, as well to enjoy the sunshine, as to meet the storms of life.
"Thus gifted, and thus situated, her tender and prophetic exhortations both to her Lord and herself, to merit the continuance of such happiness, and to secure its perfect enjoyment by being prepared for its loss, are not less striking than his entire and absolute confidence in her character, and attachment to her society. It was thus, surely, that intellectual beings of different sexes were intended by their great Creator to go through the world together; -thus united, not only in hand and heart, but in principles, in intellect, in views, and in dispositions; each pursuing one common and noble end, their own improve. ment, and the happiness of those around them, by the different means appropriate to their sex and situation;-mutually correcting, sustaining, and strengthening each other; undegraded by all practices of tyranny on the one part, and of deceit on the other;-each finding a candid but severe judge in the understanding, and a warm and partial advocate in the heart of their companion ;-secure of a refuge from the vexations, the follies, the misunderstandings. and the evils of the world, in the arms of each other, and in the inestimable enjoyments of unlimited confidence, and unrestrained intimacy.
the warmest heart, hers was not one in which such feelings were exclusive.
"In the death of her beloved sister, Lady Elizabeth Noel, in 1679. Lady Russell experienced a severe affliction. Although happy, and consciously happy in an husband and children, who called forth every feeling that either could inspire to
"There seems, indeed, to be as great a variety in the powers of human hearts, as of human intellects. Some are found hardly equal to the modified selfishness which produces attachment to their most immediate connections; some have naturally strong feelings concentrated on a few objects, but which diffuse no warrath out of their own narrow focus; while others appear endowed with an almost boundless capacity for every virtuous affection, which contracts undiminished to all the minute duties of social life, and expands unexhausted to all the great interests of humanity.
Such was the heart of Lady Russell, in which her friends, her country, her religion, all found a place. She recurs to the character of her sister, under the name of a delicious Friend,' and uniting a fond remembrance of her feelings for her, in all those of her happiness with an adored husband, gratefully exclaims, Sure, nobody has ever enjoyed more pleasure in the conversations and tender kindness of a husband and a sister than myself.""
Her eldest daughter was born in 1674, another daughter in 1676, and her only son in 1680. Again we quote from the fair editor.
"The frequent mention made of these children in the following letters-of their health, their progress, and their amusements, prove how much every thing that concerned them occupied as well as interested their parents. Such details would be tedious, were it not consoling to trace the minute features of tenderness in characters, capable at the same time of the sternest exertions of human fortitude.
"Although Lady Russell felt all the soul-sufficing enjoyments of perfect affection in the society of her husband, she allowed no exclusive sentiment to withdraw either him or herself from the world, in which they were born to live, nor from the society which made that of each other more dear to them. Their summers at Stratton, to which she always adverts with pleasure, were diversified by their winters spent at Southampton House, from whence, if business, or country sports, called her companion, she sought society, and collected for him in her letters, all the little anecdotes, public or private, that could serve to amuse his absence; proving how compatible she deemed cheerfulness to be with de votion, and the reasonable enjoyment of trifles in this world, with an attentive regard to the great interests of the next.
"From devotion, and devoted resignation to the will of Heaven, who ever required or obtained more than Lady Russell? Whose implicit faith in the inscrut
able ways of the Almighty was ever exposed to severer trials? And where, and when, were the consoling doctrines of Christianity ever applied to more poignant distress, or productive of more admirable effects, than on her life, her conduct, and her character? Yet her devotion separated her in no degree either from the affections, the interests, or the amusements of the world. She appeared at a court, in the profligacy of which she did not participate; and amused herself in a society, whose frivolity she avoided."
which they listened to infamous persons, whose evidence was often in the highest degree inconsistent, greatly injured the good cause they had at heart. There is a principle of rectitude and compassion always alive in the British mind, which makes it dangerous, in a political view, to follow violent measures too far, even towards offending individuals. There are no people in whom indignation so soon melts into pity, as appears in many signal instances, particularly in that of James the Second's forced abdication. Driven as he was from the throne by the resentment of his injured and oppressed subjects,-forsaken by his friends and his children,—deserted by his army, and insulted by the populace,-when he attempted to escape in disguise, and was driven back, and forced to return to London, the very mob showed feelings of remorse and humanity to their unfortunate sovereign, and forgot for the moment his faults, while they witnessed his fallen fortunes, and saw him, as it were, in their power.
Of the fatal French influence which pervaded the councils and depraved the court of Charles the Second, too much is known to make it necessary to dwell at length on what makes so painful a part of the history of this country during that turbulent period,
which called forth the virtuous re
sistance of Lord Russell and his compatriots. That fatal influence derived aid from a religion, which, giving the power of absolution to a fellow-sinner, deadens the horror at meditated crime, and lulls the conscience of the criminal to false peace when wickedness is become habitual. Conscious that among the secret votaries of such a religion, a lurking enemy to peace and freedom was ever ready to start up for their annoyance-remembering, too, the horrors of what was then no distant period, the massacre of St Bartholomew, and, nearer home, the Gunpowder Plot and the Irish Massacre, which many then living had witnessed, we cannot wonder though the apprehension of a Popish successor should create a lively terror in the minds of Protestants less pious and public-spirited than the band of patriots who struggled to exclude from the throne a prince whom they knew to be a bigot to that intolerant religion. Nor was it to be wondered at that they should regard with antipathy and terror any intimate connection with France, the manners and the politics of that country having always had a fatal influence on this, even when unconnected with the mean and treacherous compact which disgraced the private history of Charles the Second. Nothing could be objected to the antigallican and anticatholic zeal of these patriots, which were amply justified by succeeding events; yet the eagerness with which they pursued the Papists implicated in the famous plot, and the credulity with
There seems to have been a similar revulsion of feeling with regard to the Catholics at the period of time immediately preceding that in which the piety and fortitude of Lady Russell were called to support her under the severest calamity that could assail a virtuous and devoted heart like hers. And the cruelty and injustice with which the court pursued the victims of their smothered vengeance could never have taken effect, had they not seized upon the crisis in which this dubious and self-accusing feeling had produced a general timidity and want of adhesion and energy among the friends of civil liberty. But, in order to have a just sympathy with the sufferings of the admirable person whose sad story we are considering, we must have some idea of the height of felicity from which she was precipitated,
of the depth and strength of her affections, and of the worth and excellence of the object on which they were placed.
Thomson, in an apostrophe to Liberty, says,
The generous Russell, too, whose tempered
more properly speaking, looking for
and every memorial of these unhappy
"If I were more fortunate in my expression, I could do myself more right when I would own to my dearest Mr Russell what real and perfect happiness I enjoy, from that kindness he allows me every day to receive new marks of, such as, in spite of the knowledge I have of my own wants, will not suffer me to mistrust I want his love, though I do merit, to so desirable a blessing; but, my best life, you that know so well how to love and to ob
in He knows best when we have had
lige, make my felicity entire, by believing
fore; as much beauty, and greater youth than is necessary; he sent his daughter,
Lady Mary, word the same night, he had provided a playfellow for her. Mr Neale, who interrupts me in this my most pleasant employment, tells me, my Lord Mulgrave has the Garter given him," &c.
The fifth letter which follows is a good specimen of the daily written talk of the heart, in the first instance, and then of the intelligence with which she is at pains to amuse him for whom she lives, and thinks, and feels.
remembered, how you had accepted Bedfordshire, and the reports here of Sir Richard Knight, or such, being set up. If I had news, I should not be very ready to send it you, being sure my Lord Marquis therefore I have been the less inquisitive. would have it better expressed from several, My sister Northumberland had, last night, a letter from the Lady Northumberland; all the account she gives her is, that if her grandchild likes the addresses of my Lord Ogle better than any others, she shall accept them: this is the whole; for all the rest of the letter is some kind of notice how severe she hears she is against her in her ordinary discourse. My Lord Ogle is come to town for certain, I think.
"Your aunt tells me your cousin Newport will be chosen, it is declared; but she did not tell me how her lord took it. My sister was told yesterday Mr Montague was off for standing knight of the shire, but was for some borough. Mr helps him too, and the election-day would be Saturday; but she knew nothing of this from him, or any thing else. Her little girl has been so ill two days, she feared the small-pox: I have not seen it, but she sent thought it would prove an ague. Your me word this morning Dr Micklethwart sister is as well as is to be expected; but we hear nothing of Lady Die. Our small ones are as you left them, I praise God: Miss writes and lays the letters by, that papa may admire them when he comes: it
is a moment more wished for than to be expressed by all the cloquence I am mistress of, yet you know how much that is; but my dear abuser I love more than my life, and am entirely his.
"I was very sorry to read any thing under your hand, written so late as I had one brought me to Montague House; but I heard yesterday morning, by a servant of my Lord Marquis, you got well to Teddington, so I hope you did to Basing, and our poor Stratton, and will by Saturday night to the creature of the world that loves I have lived as retired, since you best. you went, as the severest and jealous husband could enjoin a wife: so that I am not fitted to entertain you with passages in the town, knowing no more how the world goes than an Italian lady, they say, usually does. The weather has been of the worst kind here, continually either snow, hail, or high winds: God keep you from colds! I wish you may know when you are well, and not stir from my Lord Marquis, whose very humble servant I am, and must be the more so, because I think he is so kind
to you, as that my Lord would willingly agree to my wish. To take up as little of your time as I can, I have sent you my sister's letter to read; my answer to it you may guess at. I wrote at large what was said in my chamber: it might have been
"The following letter, written at this time from Basing, is among the very few, yet extant, from Lord Russell to his wife:
"Basing, February the 8th, 1678-9. "I am stole from a great many gentlemen into the drawing-room at Basing, for a moment, to tell my dearest I have thought of her being here the last time,
and wished for her a thousand times; but in vain, alas! for I am just going now to Stratton, and want the chariot, and my dearest dear in it. I hope to be with you on Saturday. We have had a very troublesome journey of it, and insignificant enough, by the fairness and excess of civility of somebody :-but more of that when 1 see you. I long for the time, and am, more than you can imagine, your
"I am troubled at the weather for our own selves, but much more for my sister. Pray God it may have no ill effect upon her, and that we may have a happy meeting on Saturday. I am Miss's humble servant."
The sixteenth seems to contain some indications of the coming storm. Many of the intermediate contain snatches of intelligence relative to Oates and Bedloe, and the Popish plot, but unconnected as they are, it is difficult to make any thing intelligible about the transactions of the
"Sending your victuals by the higler, I take the same opportunity to let my dearest know I have his by the coach, and do humbly and heartily praise my God for the refreshing news of his being well: yet you do not in words tell me if you are very well; and your going to the House tells no more than that you are not very ill. If your nose bleeds as it did, pray let me beg of you to give yourself time to bleed in the arm. My heart, be assured, mine is not easy, till I am where you are; therefore, send us a coach as soon as you can: it shall find us ready whenever it comes, if God bless us to be well. I wrote more
fully to this purpose in the morning, only
the wise from seeking aid and counsel from her experience, her fortitude, and piety.
The twentieth letter is from London to Oxford, and here the clouds begin to thicken. Lord Russell had gone down to attend that Parliament at Oxford which began with such evil auguries, and was so abruptly dismissed. Lady Russell appears to have had a very just idea of the duties which, in extreme cases, are incumbent on a woman of sense and spirit, and allowed capacity. She appears, with all feminine modesty and domestic quietness, to have confined herself to the ordinary paths of occupation and enjoyment, till particular exigencies called forth the more masculine powers of her mind to the assistance and support of her beloved. She appears never to have obtruded herself till required, and never to have shrunk back when urged by the circumstances of the times to obey the dictates of stern necessity. Unmeddling and unpretending, the judgment and civil courage which she displayed in the terrible exigencies that proved the strength of her character, had the effect of making her the object of unbounded confidence and respect to all who knew her. Thus, while these officious and restless characters, who, quitting the true sphere of female excellence, live upon notoriety, were shunned and dreaded, the seclusion in which she took shelter to weep in secret, could not prevent the great and
amiss any action of mine, from seven
"The report of our nursery, I humbly praise God, is very good. Master improves really, I think, every day. Sure he is a goodly child; the more I see of others, the better he appears: hope God will give him life and virtue. Misses and their mamma walked yesterday after dinner to see their cousin Alington. Miss Kate wished she might see him; so I gratified her little person. Unless I see cause to add a note, this is all at this time from yours only entirely
"Look to your pockets: a printed paper says you will have fine papers put into them, and then witnesses to swear."
We close, rather reluctantly, these extracts, with the twenty-fourth, in the end of which there is a hint of enemies and ill wishers, which shows the storm that wrecked her peace was then gathering; but has still that wholesome tone of undecaying affection and thorough confidence which animates the whole correspondence.