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She lost this husband of her youth on the 28th of March, 1624, and it tells highly to her honour, and affords, likewise, a strong proof of her unshaken regard for his memory, that she educated and portioned all his illegitimate children. The character, indeed, which she has left of him in her MS. must be considered as touched with the pencil of tenderness itself; for it appears from the same authentic source, that she had had considerable dissensions with him, in consequence of refusing to abide by the award of king James, and sell her claims of inheritance for a sum of money.
. " This first lord of mine,” she says, in a spirit of affectionate retrospection, “ was, in his own nature, of a just mind, of a sweet disposition, and very valiant in his own person. He had a great advantage in his breeding by the wisdom and devotion of his grandfather, Thomas Sackville, earl of Dorset, and lord high treasurer of England, who was then held one of the wisesť men of that time ; by which means he was so good a scholar in all manner of learning, that, in his youth, when he lived in the university of Oxford, (his said grandfather being at that time chancellor of that university), there was none of the young nobility, then students there, that excelled him. He was also a good patriot to his country, and generally well beloved in it; much esteemed of by all the parliaments that sate in his time, and so great a lover of scholars and soldiers, as that with an excessive bounty towards them, or indeed any of worth that were in distress, he did much diminish his estate, as also with excessive prodigality in housekeeping, and other noble ways at court, as tilting, masquing, and the like; prince Henry being then alive, who was much addicted to those noble exercises, and of whom he was much beloved *.”
About eight years previous to the death of her first lord, and not long after her marriage with him, she was, on the 24th of May, 1616, deprived of her good, and, on her own part, almost idolized mother. She had parted with her only seven weeks before, on the road between Penrith and Appleby, and this last interview was cherished by her through life with such fond and regretful remembrance, that very soon after the means were in her power, and when she was countess dowager of Pembroke, she erected a pillar on the spot, with the following inscription,
* Lady Pembroke's Summary,
commemorative of the circumstance, and connected, in the pious spirit of her lamented parent, with an annual benefaction to the poor.
“ This pillar was erected in the year 1656, by Ann, Countess Dowager of Pembroke, &c., for a memorial of her last parting, in this place, with her good and pious mother, Margaret, Countess Dowager of Cumberland, on the 2d of April, 1616; in memory whereof she hath left an annuity of £4 to be distributed to the poor of the parish of Brougham, every 2d day of April for ever, upon the stone-table placed hard by. Laus Deo !"
There is something, it must be owned, peculiarly pleasing in this act of filial piety, and it has drawn forth from a deservedly popular poet of the present day a few lines remarkable for the pensive sweetness of their expression, and worthy indeed of the subject.
Hast thou through Eden's wild-wood vales pursued
* The Eden is the principal river of Cumberland, and rises in the wildest part of Westmoreland.
Which still records, beyond the pencil's power,
Very soon after the decease of her first lord, the countess had the misfortune to catch the small-pox, by which her life was endangered, and her face so scarred, that she is said to have declared her determination, in consequence of this loss of personal attraction, never to marry again. It had been fortunate for her had she adhered to this resolution ; but, with a frailty of purpose of which she had soon reason to repent, she was induced, in the year 1630, to re-enter the pale of matrimony with Philip, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, a connexion by which her existence was embittered for many years.
It is scarcely possible indeed to assign any other motive for this step than what may be inferred from a passage in her own Memoirs, where, speaking of this second marriage, she says, it “ was wonderfully brought to pass by the providence of God, for the crossing and disappointage of the envy, malice, and sinister practices of her enemies ;” a declaration which, as leading us to conclude that she had sought
Rogers's Pleasures of Memory, Part 2d.
protection from her union with this nobleman, would place him in a very different light from that in which he has been represented by lord Orford and Mr. Pennant, the former terming him a memorable, and the latter a brutal simpleton.
The picture also which the countess, herself an excellent judge, has given of the intellectual character of the earl of Pembroke, must be considered as perfectly incompatible with these appellations ; for though she acknowledges his want of education, she speaks in the most decided terms of the mental activity with which nature had endowed him. “He was no scholar at all to speak of,” she says, “ for he was not past three or four months at the university of Oxford, being taken away thence by his friends presently after his father's death, in queen Elizabeth's time, at the latter end of her reign, to follow the court, as judging himself fit for that kind of life when he was not passing fifteen or sixteen years old : yet he was of a very quick apprehension, a sharp understanding, very crafty withal, and of a discerning spirit, but extremely choleric by nature, which was increased the more by the office of chamberlain to the king, which he held many years. He was never out of England but