Page images

and aspiring temper. Moryson mentions, on his own authority, that “ in his childhood, when his parents would have his picture, he chose to be drawn with a trowel in his hand, and this motto-Ad reædificandam antiquam domum.” Moryson also mentions that, on leaving Oxford university very young, he was still “ not well grounded," but that he repaired the deficiency in London by obtaining the most skilful instructors in the languages, history, mathematics, cosmography, and natural philosophy. In these pursuits he took chief delight, spending much of his time in canvassing subjects of doubt and difficulty, and practising his memory on the most subtle objections with their solutions. But his chief delight was in theology, ever the most attractive in early youth to minds of wide and grasping range : he loved much to study both the fathers and the schoolmen. For this latter taste he accounted by mentioning that, “ being in his youth much addicted to popery, so much as through prejudicate opinion no writer of our time could have diverted him from it, yet, by observing the fathers' consent, and the schoolmen's idle and absurd distinctions, he began first to distaste many of their opinions, and then by reading our authors, to be confirmed in the reform doctrine."

His introduction to court was curious. Having come to London he repaired to Whitehall to see the court. The queen chanced to be at dinner, when Blount's figure, then strikingly graceful, caught her eye, not the slowest to discern the attractions of manly beauty. She immediately inquired his name, and, on being informed who he was, called him to her, gave him her hand to kiss, and desired him to come often to court, with the assurance that she would keep his fortune in view.

The queen kept her word. After a few years' waiting, during which he was employed from time to time, he was appointed to the government of Portsmouth. In 1594 his brother's death took place, and he succeeded to the title of Mountjoy, with the remains of a wasted property, amounting to 1000 marks a-year. This, though small, was sufficient to supply the expenses of a moderate young nobleman who had no family to maintain. Two or three years after, he served under lord Essex in an expedition to the Azores. We have already mentioned in a former page, that the friendship of Essex was rendered unprofitable by the intense jealousy with which he looked on the queen's favour, which he wished entirely to engross. To this jealousy it was owing that, when the queen was afterwards desirous to send Mountjoy to Ireland, Essex, not content with obtaining the appointment for himself, endeavoured to represent Mountjoy as a bookish dreamer, unfit for that arduous and responsible charge. Nevertheless, it is mentioned by Moryson, that the high qualities of his character had so struck “ two old counsellors of Ireland,” that they long before pointed him out as the person most likely to suppress the rebellion of Tyrone. The history of his Irish campaign, by which the prognostication of the two old gentlemen was amply verified, we have fully given. King James, who succeeded immediately on the close of this rebellion, created him earl of Devonshire. His life is said to have been embittered by unfortunate love. In his early days he had engaged the affections of a daughter of the earl of Essex; but he was not felt by the lady's father to be a match equal to their expectations. According to the tyrannical usage of the time, she was reluctantly married to lord Rich. The consequence was unhappy, and leaves a blót, the only one, on the memory of Mountjoy; the cruel award of the tyrannical father was repaired by a crime. The divorce of lady Rich followed. After which she was married to Mountjoy, who lived but a few months after.

Moryson, from whom we have already drawn some interesting particulars of this eminent commander, enables us to add a few more of no small interest respecting his person and character:“ He was of stature tall, and of very comly proportion; his skin faire, with little haire on his body, which haire was of colour blackish, (or inclining to blacke,) and thin on his head, where he wore it short, except a locke under his left eare, which he nourished the time of this warre, and, being woven up, laid it in his necke under his ruffe. The crown of his head was in his latter days something bald, as the fore part naturelly curled; he onely used the barber for his head; for the haire on his chin (growing slowly) and that on his cheeks and throat, he used almost daily to cut it with his sizers, keeping it so low with his owne hand that it could scarce bee discerned, as likewise himselfe kept the haire of his upper lippe something short, onely suffering that under his nether lippe to grow at length and full ; yet, some two or three yeeres before his death, he nourished a sharpe and short pikedenant on his chin. His forehead was broad and high; his eyes greate, blacke, and lovely; his nose something low and short, a little blunt in the end ; his chin round; his cheeks full, round, and ruddy ; his countenance chearefull, and amiable as ever I beheld of any man; onely some two yeeres before his death, upon discontentment, his face grew thinne, his ruddy colour failed, growing something swarthy, and his countenance was sad and dejected; his arms were longe, and of proportionable bignes; his hands longe and white; his fingers great at the endes; and his leggs somewhat little, which he gartered ever ebone the knee, wearing the garter of St George's order under his left knee, except when he was booted, and so wore not that garter, but a blue ribbon instead thereof above his knee, and hanging over his boote.”

To this curious description of the man, we are enabled to add one not less so of his manners and habits:4" Further," writes his biographer, “ in his nature he was a close concealer of his secrets, for which cause lest they should be revealed, and because he loved not to be importuned with suites; a free speaker, or a popular man, could not long continue his favourite. He was sparing in speech, but when he was drawn to it most judicious therein, if not eloquent. He never used swearing, but rather hated it, which I have often seen him control at his table with a frowning brow and an angry cast of his black eye. He was slow to anger, but, once provoked, spake home. His great temper was most seene in his wise carriage between the court factions of his time. He was a gentle enemy, easily pardoning, and calmly pursuing revenge; and a friend, if not cold, yet not to be used much out of the high way, and something too much reserved towards his dearest minions.” To this admirably drawn character no comment is wanting. Judicious, refined in taste, of acute and quick understand. gே, Wayal மர சார் நகைவகை. ரீ வர கார்d temper, at, like many such keilf-centred is has affection for others Mountion was well fitted for a scene of action, which was rendered perplexed and intricate, sot more by the moring chess of forces which were to be checked and subdued, than by the various eross-currents of passion, prejudice, and opposite interests, which were to be neutralized or controled

We shall not prolong this postscript farther than to make mention of one, who, though in no way connected either with politics or lite. rature, has left a name rendered memorable by extreme longevity. Elinor, counters of Desmond, was daughter of the Fitz-Geralds of Drumana in the county of Waterford, and widow of James, thirteenth earl of Desmond, in the reign of Edward IV. She lived till some time in the reign of James L. The ruin of the house of Desmond reduced her to poverty, as no provision was made to save her jointure from the spoil. On this occasion she made her appearance in the court of Elizabeth, who, we presume, redressed the grievance. She was at the time 140, and seemed to retain considerable vigour and animation. She seems to have held her jointure on the Desmond estate till then. Her life, indeed, seems to have been held by some renewable tenure, as she is mentioned by Bacon to have twice renewed her teeth, each renewal having perhaps been accompanied by a renovation of vitality. It is indeed remarkable, in most persons who live to ages beyond the ordinary duration of human life, that there does not, for the most part, appear any proportional mark of the wreck of time. Whether this be owing to a greater fund of the vital principle, (whatever this may be,) or to a slower progress of the changes of life, or to renovation, such as the above fact would seem to imply, such is the fact. Of this the writer of these pages has known some examples, several persons, of eighty and upwards, not seemingly advanced further in decay than others of sixty-five and seventy; and in the same way, at earlier ages, the principle is to be traced, so that some appear to be advancing faster than others to the common event of life, and all moving, as it were, with different rates of progress in periods of different duration. Mention is made of the countess of Desmond by various writers, none of whom furnish materials for the biographer. Walpole makes mention of a picture, which is also noticed by Pennant as a remarkable picture, in the earl of Kinnoul's collection at Dupplin Castle.



DIED A. D. 1021.

MAELMURY, or Marian, son of Eocha, succeeded Murechan in the archbishopric of Armagh, in 1001. He was a man both of learning and ability, and much esteemed by his contemporaries. While he governed this see, the famous Brian Boru, or Boruma, was killed at the battle of Clontarf, and his body with that of his son, Murchard, were conveyed, by his own special directions, first to Swords and afterwards to Armagh, accompanied by Maelmury and the clergy of the diocese, and interred with great solemnity in the cathedral of that city. The archbishop continued in this see for nineteen years, and died from grief, the 3d of June, 1021, at the total destruction of Armagh by fire.

[ocr errors][merged small]

CELSUS, otherwise called Celestine, and in Irish, Cellach, was elected archbishop of Armagh, by the unanimous voice of the clergy and people, and was consecrated in 1106. He was a man of great learning, being called in the Antiquities of Oxford, “an universal scholar." The Ulster Annals record a synod having been held in 1111, “where were present Cellach, Comorban of St Patrick, and Maelmury O’Dunan, arch-presbyter of Ireland, (perhaps the same whom the Connaught Annals call Miler O’Dunan, archbishop of Cashel) together with 50 bishops, 300 presbyters, and 3000 ecclesiastics, to regulate the lives and manners of the clergy and laity." Moriertae O'Brian, king of Ireland, with the nobility of Legh-moa, or the south part of Ireland, were also present on this occasion. On the death of Samuel O’Haingly, in 1127, Celsus was elected both by the Irish and Normans, to fill the vacant see, but it would appear that he held it only a few months. He died in 1129, at the age of fifty, and was buried at Lismore, according to his own desire. When he found his death approaching, he expressed an earnest wish that Malachy, bishop of Connor, should succeed him, and sent his staff to him as his successor. Malachy was appointed to the archbishopric about five years afterwards.

GSLASZ vño sueeseriei Vaianiny. Sve wave ainsatt satei, the armnispriest magneztiei hat tideese ir agus ir ten years WIM 2 sur internetun tm the sination of Nigel, que of the same family, who e o many generations intrutesi ženseives into that see. Hating with the arriage 4 Doin, Castel, aal Tam receired á pall each, form John Papaz, who came over as legate from the pope, Eugene IIL in 1152. Gelasy is remarkable for having called a synod of 26 bishooe in 1162, where it was decreed, that from that time none should be admitted as a publie reader of divinity, but such as belonged to the university of Armagh. He died March 27th, 1174.

Donagh O'Brian.

DIED A. D. 1207.

DONACI O'BRIAN, a descendant from the royal family of that ame, was appointed to the see of Limerick, to which his ancestors "vanted extensive portions of land. He considerably enlarged

# Bernard. + Colgan. Ware. Ø Ibid.

« PreviousContinue »