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himself to be, and I have no doubt really was, under the especial care of Heaven. The shadow of his Creator's wings was around him, and though to outward view, he sate immured in gloom, a spectacle of suffering and of sorrow; yet did the light of hope and faith burn strong and bright within him,
And thence “ the nightly Visitant," that came
Nor though political enmity, the most rancorous perhaps of all human prejudices, threw over the mighty name of Milton, whilst yet alive, a veil of hatred and of obloquy, were there wanting, even then, some great, and good, and liberal spirits, who loved and honoured and admired the man, and who beheld him in the storm that wrecked his peace, though not devoid of error, yet exhibiting the unconquerable mind and upright heart.
Yes, in the prophetic eye of genius and of generous freedom did Milton close his race in glory; and now, when the clouds of faction and licentiousness which perturbed the air he breathed, are passed away, in what a lovely and endearing light appears the injured bard! To Homer, sightless and in years, to Ossian dark, and mournful and forlorn, the sigh of sympathy belongs; but for Milton, the divine and hallowed Milton, the sport of evil days and evil tongues, blind, and aged, and forsaken, persecuted by his country, and deserted by his children, an added tear must fall!
* Mason's Ode to Memory.
In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half-hung,
MR. Walsingham found the once mighty and puissant Buckingham, the once gay and gallant
. In these celebrated lines, and in the comment upon them in many of the editions of the poet, there are some deviations
Villiers, meanly lodged in a small house in the market-place of Kirby-Moorside. The chamber in which he had been placed was dark and
from fact. The house in which the Duke expired was never 'used as an inn; but was, as I have represented it in my narrative, originally inhabited by one of his Grace's tenants. It is still standing in the market-place of Kirby-Moorside ; and if not now, was some years ago, occupied by a respectable shop-keeper, of the name of Atkinson. Pope, it may be observed, mentions “ the floors of plaster;" but the room in which tradition records the Duke to have died, is a chamber ; the same deal floor remains, and it is still shown to the curious.
In a note on the couplet relative to the Countess of Shrewsbury, it is stated, that the Duke killed the Earl of Shrewsbury, the husband of this too celebrated woman, in a duel, and that the Countess, in the habit of a page, held the Duke's horse during the combat. This latter piece of information, however, is an exaggeration; for Mr. Hinderwell assures us, that the circumstances attending the transaction, were follow : — that the Duke, having shamefully boasted of the success of his amours, and cruelly insulted the Earl with his misfertune, provoked him to send a challenge. They agreed to fight at Barn-Elms, in the presence of two gentlemen, whom they appointed their seconds. They fought with swords, and all four engaged at the same time. The first thrust proved fatal to the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was a feeble diminutive person, unfit for such a contest; but the Earl's friend killed the Duke's second at the same instant. Buckingham, elated with his victory, hastened to the Countess at Cliefden, where he boasted of the murder of her husband, whose blood he showed her upon his sword, as a trophy of his prowess."
History of Scarborough, p. 347., note,
dirty, and on a bed whose furniture was in rags, lay stretched the unhappy object of his visit, deserted by all his companions, and, with the exception of the man who had been sent to Rivaulx, unattended by a single servant. Bodily disease and mental agitation had given
It may be necessary also to observe that the account which has been given in the General Biographical Dictionary, of the interment of the Duke in Westminster Abbey, cannot be correct; for in a letter from the Earl of Arran, afterwards Duke of Hamilton, to a friend, and which is printed in Maty's Review, vol. iv. p. 425, it is mentioned, that “ the Earl passing through Kirby-Moorside, attended accidentally the Duke's last moments; that he died April 15. : 1687, - aged sixty;
and having no person to direct his funeral, and the Earl being obliged to pursue his journey, he engaged Gibson, Esq., (a gentleman of fortune, at Welburne, near KirbyMoorside), to see him decently interred;" a statement which is corroborated by the existing register of the parish, from which the following, is a literal extract.
1687, April 17th, Gorges Vilars Lord dooke of Bookingam."
From want of a stone, however, it is not known in what part of the church-yard the remains of this unhappy nobleman are deposited.
I will only add, that I have endeavoured to incorporate with my narrative, most of the authentic particulars of the death of the Duke of Buckingham, which have been recorded, either in his various biographies, or in the above mentioned letter of the Earl of Arran. VOL. II.