« PreviousContinue »
discomposed, and hath no concernments in the great alterations of the world, and entertains death like a friend, and reckons the issues of it as the greatest of its hopes; but ambition is full of distractions, it teems with stratagems, as Rebecca with struggling twins, and is swelled with expec
Pembroke, Dorset, and Montgomerie, who in memory of her father, erected this monument in 1653.”
The present church of Skipton is a spacious and respectable building, though of very different periods. Perhaps no part of the original structure now remains; but from stone seats, with pointed arches and cylindrical columns, now in the south wall of the nave, may perhaps be referred to the earlier
part of the thirteenth century. Beneath the altar unusually elevated on that account, is the vault of the Cliffords, the place of their interment from the dissolution of Bolton Priory to the death of the last Earl of Cumberland; which, after having been closed many years, I obtained permission to examine, March 29, 1803; the original vault, intended only for the first Earl and his second lady, had undergone two enlargements; and the bodies having been deposited in chronological order, first, and immediately under his tomb, lay Henry the first Earl ; whose lead coffin was much corroded, and exhibited the skeleton of a short and very stout man, with a long head of flaxen hair, gathered in a knot behind the skull. The coffin had been closely fitted to the body and proved him to have been very corpulent as well as muscular. Next lay the remains of Margaret Percy, his second Countess, whose coffin was still entire. She must have been a slender and diminutive woman. The third was “the lady Eleanor's grave,' whose coffin was decayed, and exhibited the skeleton (as might be expected in a daughter of Charles Brandon and a sister of Henry the VIIIth) of a tall and large limbed female. At her right hand was Henry the second earl, a very tall and rather slender man, whose thin envelope of lead really resembled a winding sheet, and folded like coarse drapery, over the limbs. The head was beaten to
tation as with a tympany, and sleeps sometimes as the wind in a storm, still and quiet for a minute, that it may burst out into an impetuous blast till the cordage of his heart-strings crack; fears when none is nigh, and prevents things which never
the left side; something of the shape of the face might be distinguished, and a long prominent nose was very conspicuous. Next lay Francis, Lord Clifford, a boy. At bis right hand was his father George the third earl, whose lead coffin precisely resembled the outer case of an Egyptian mummy, with a rude face, and something female mamma cast upon it; as were also the letters G. C. 1605. The body was closely wrapped in ten folds of coarse cereclo:h, which being removed exhibited the face so entire (only turned to copper colour) as plainly to resemble his portraits. All his painters, however, had the complaisance to omit three large warts upon the left cheek. The coffin of earl Francis, who lay next to his brother, was of the modern shape, and alone had an outer shell of wood, which was covered with leather; the soldering had decayed, and nothing appeared but the ordinary skeleton of a tall man. This earl had never been embalmed. Over him lay another coffin, much decayed, which, I suspect, had contained the lady Anne Dacre his mother. Last, lay Henry the fifth earl, in a coffin of the same form with that of his father. Lead not allowing of absorption, or a narrow vault of much evaporation, a good deal of moisture remained in the coffin, and some hair about the skull. Both these coffins had been cut open. Room might have been found for another slender lady; but the countess of Pembroke chose to be buried at Appleby; partly, perhaps, because her beloved mother was interred there, and partly that she might not mingle her ashes with rivals and enemies.
It is curious to contrast with these humiliating relics of departed greatness, the pomp and heraldry, and the pride of genealogy, which are displayed above.
had intention, and falls under the inevitability of such accidents which either could not be foreseen, or not prevented.
ON GOVERNMENT AND REVOLUTIONS.
During the civil wars in this country, Bishop Taylor retired into Wales. His dedication to his work on the Liberty of Prophesying, in his Polemical Discourses, begins as follows:
In this great storm, which hath dashed the vessel of the church all in pieces, I have been cast upon the coast of Wales, and in a little boat thought to have enjoyed that rest and quietness which in England in a greater I could not hope for. Here I cast anchor, and thinking to ride safely, the storm followed me with so much impetuous violence, that it broke a cable, and I lost my anchor; and here again I was exposed to the mercy of the sea, and the gentleness of an element that could neither distinguish things nor persons. And but
The following extract is from an extremely interesting volume, entitled "Peace and Contentment of Mind," by Peter Du Moulin, D.D. Canon of Christ's Church, Canterbury, one of his majesty's chaplains.
"Some years ago being cast by the storm upon a remote coast, and judging that it would have been to no purpose for me to quarrel with the tempest, I sat upon the shore to behold it calmly; taking no other interest in it, but that of my sympathy with those friends whom I saw yet beaten by the wind and the waves. And to that calmness my condition
that he who stilleth the raging of the sea, and the noise of his waves, and the madness of his people, had provided a plank for me, I had been lost to all the opportunities of content or study. But I know not whether I have been more preserved by the courtesies of my friends, or the gentleness and mercies of noble
“ 'Oc ροι παρειχον ου την τυχουσαν φιλανθρωπιαν ημιν, αναψαντες γαρ πυραν προσελαβοντο παντας ήμας δια τον υετον τον εφεστωτα και δια το ψυχος. . And now since I have come ashore, I have been gathering a few sticks to warm me, a few books to entertain my thoughts, and divert them from the perpetual meditation of my private troubles, and the public dyscrasy; but those which I could obtain were so few and so impertinent, and unuseful to any great purposes, that I began to be
contributed very much, because former tempests had left me little occasion to be much concerned in the present agitation, or to fear much those which might come after.
“ There I found myself invited to husband that uncertain interval of unexpected rest, to meditate by what means I might possess every where, and in the very storm, the peace and contentment of my mind; and to try whether I could be so happy while
got peace for myself, to procure it unto others.
“ For that contemplation I made use of four books, the half wild country where I found myself affording but few
The first and chief was the Holy Scripture, the meditation whereof brings that peace which passeth all. understanding. My second book was the great volume of Nature. The third was the lessons of Divine Providence. The fourth that which every one carrieth along with himself, and that is man."
sad upon a new stock, and full of apprehension that I should live unprofitably, and die obscurely and be forgotten, and my bones thrown into some common charnel-house, without any name or note to distinguish me from those who only served their generation by filling the number of citizens, and who could pretend to no thanks or rewards from the public beyond "jus trium liberorum." While I was troubled with these thoughts, and busy to find an opportunity of doing some good in my small proportion, still the cares of the public did so intervene, that it was as impossible to separate my design from relating to the present, as to exempt myself from the participation of the common calamity; still half my thoughts was (in despite of all my diversions and arts of avocation) fixed upon and mingled with the present concernments; so that besides them I could not go.
In another part of his Polemical Discourses, he says:
We have not only felt the evils of an intestine war, but God hath smitten us in our spirit. But I delight not to observe the correspondencies of such sad accidents, which, as they may happen upon divers causes, or may be forced violently by the strength of fancy, or driven on by jealousy, and the too fond opinings of troubled hearts and afflicted spirits, so they do but help to vex the offending part, and relieve the afflicted but with a fantastic and groundless comfort; I will therefore deny leave to my own affections to ease them