Imágenes de páginas

Of thought and texture may

That fragment unto thee, in usefulness,
In strength, and snowy innocence. Then shall
The village schoolmistress shine brighter, through
The exit of her boy; and both shall live,
And virtue triumph too, and virtue's tears,
Like Heav'n's pure blessings, fall upon her grave."*

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There is no reader of English poetry, who does not recollect Cowper's exquisite lines on his Mother's Picture. This fragment of Bloomfield forms a noble companion to them. It strikes me to be written in a loftier tone, and still more excellent manner than any of his other productions. Let him give new delight and astonishment to the world by a moral and descriptive poem in blank verse !

Jan. 26, 1809.


No. LXIV. Memoir of William II abington.

Dignum laude virum Musa vetat mori."


The following has been recovered by my friend Mr. Nichols, from a mass of papers. .

Oct. 11, 1797. William Habington, a poet and historian of the last century, seems to have received less notice from posterity than he deserves. The principal particulars of his life and family are to be found in Wood's

* The wbole of this is taken from the interesting memoir by Brayley, which accompanies Storer and Greig's illustrations of Bloomfield, 1806, 4to.

Athenæ, II. 110; and Nash's Worcestershire, I. 588. I shall select such as appear necessary to the illustration of his character and writings.

RICHARD HABINGTON of Brockhampton, in Herefordshire, of a very ancient family, had three sons ; Richard, the eldest, of Brockhampton, left a daughter and coheir Eleanor, who marrying Sir Thomas Baskerville left a daughter and heir Eleanor, wife of John Talbot of Longford in Shropshire, father by her of John, i0th Earl of Shrewsbury. * John Habington, second son, was Cofferer to Queen Elizabeth. In fifth of that Queen's reign he bought the manor of Hindlip, in Worcestershire. He was born 1515; rebuilt the mansion about 1572, and died 1581. By Katherine daughter of John Wykes of Morton-Jefreys he left issue Thomas HABINGTON his eldest son, born at Thorpe in Surry, 1560; godson of Q. Eliz. who after having studied at Oxford, and travelled to Rheims and Paris, connected himself on his return with those who laboured to release Mary Queen of Scots; and contrived many hiding holes in his curious old seat, lately remaining. On the discovery of Babington's conspiracy, 1586, for which his brother Edward, a dangerous and turbulent man, suffered death, (see a minute account of it in Camden's history of this reign, in Kennet, II. 515–518); he fell under strong suspicions, and

* Coll. Peer. iii. p. 27. + See an engraving of it in Nash.

# The conspirators were Anthony Babington of Dethick-Hall, in Ashover, Derbyshire (see Pilkington's Derbyshire, II. p. 326); Joha Savage, a bastard ; Gilbert Gifford, of the family of Chillington Co. Staff.; John Ballard, a priest of Rheiins; Edward Windsor, brother to Lord Windsor ; Thomas Salisbury, of a good family in VOL. VIII.

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was committed prisoner to the Tower, where he remained six years, and is said only to have saved his life by being Elizabeth's godson.* Here he con. soled himself by deep study, and treasured up the principal part of that learning by which he was afterwards distinguished. He was at length permitted to retire to Hindlip, and married Mary eldest daughter of Edward Parker Lord Morley, (by Elizabeth daughter and sole heir of Sir William Stanley, Lord Montegle) the descendant of the learned Henry Parker, Lord Morley, temp. Hen. VIII. of whom see Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors, I, 92. Notwithstanding his escape, he could not help being so far implicated in the Gunpowder Plot as to conceal Garnet, Oldcorn, and others in his house, for which he was condemned to die, but by the intercession of his brother-in-law, Lord Morley, who was the means of its discovery by communicating a letter of warning, supposed to have been written by his sister, (Mrs. Habington) he was again sa ved; and pardoned on condition of neyer stirring out of Worcestershire. He made good use of his future time; entirely addicting himself to study; and living to the great age of 87, Oct. 8, 1647. During

Denbighshire; Charles Tilney, the last of an ancient house, and one of the Band of Gentlemen-Pensioners to the Queen ; Chidiock Tichburn of Southampton; Edward Abingtov; Robert Gage of Surry; John Travers, and John Charnock of Lancashire ; John Jones, whose father was Yeoman or Keeper of the Wardrobe to Queen Mary; Barnewal, of a noble family in Ireland ; and Henry Dun, Clerk in the Office of First Fruits and Tenths; and one Polly a supposed spy on them. Camd. ut supr.

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* Woud, 11. 110.

this period, he collected the materials for the history of his native county, on which Dr. Nash's excellent Collections are built. Wood says he had seen part of these MSS, and that “every leaf was a sufficient testimony of his generous and virtuous mind, of his indefatigable industry, and infinite reading."

WILLIAM HABINGTON, his eldest son, was born at Hindlip, Nov.5, 1605, was educated in the Jesuits' College at St. Omer's, and afterwards at Paris, and in the first of these was earnestly invited to take upon him the habit of the order; but excused himself and left them. After his return from Paris he was instructed by his father in history, and became an accomplished gentleman.

He married Lucy daughter of William Herbert first Lord Powis* by Eleanor daughter of Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland, by Katherine daughter and coheir of John Neville, Lord Latimer.

History has preserved but little of his character, but while nothing contradictory to them is recorded, we have a right to deduce the colour of it from his writings. From these he appears to have been distinguished for connubial felicity, for a love of retirement and study, and for the elegance and dignity of his sentiments. In 1635, when he was thirty years old, he published in 8vo. a little volume of poems, entitled Castara, under which name he cele

* He died at Hendon in Middlesex, March 6, 1655, and was succeeded by Percy Herbert, 2d Lord Powis, who died 1666, and whose daughter Mary, married George Lord Talbot, son of John Earl of Shrewsbury. Dugd. Bar. II. 261.

+ Coll. Peer. II. p. 407.

brates his wife. This kind of title was the fashion of the day: thus Lovelace immortalized bis mistress under the name of Lucasta. The third edition of Castara, in 1640, duodec. now lies before me. It is divided into three parts; the first is “ The MisTRESS," prefaced by a prose description : this consists of verses addressed to her before marriage, The second part, is “ The Wife," prefaced in a similar manner. This part is followed by “ The Friend,” containing eight elegies on the death of his kinsman, the Hon. George Talbot, who must have been one of the three younger sons of John Talbot of Longford, whose names are not mentioned in Collins's Peerage, Vol. III. p. 27.* The third part, is the “Holy Man,” and consists of paraphrases of the Psalms.

In the author's prefatory address to the public, he says, that “ love stole some hours from business and his more serious study," But he does not claim from hence the sacred name of poet, like those “ wbo can give no nobler testimony of twenty years employment than some loose copies of lust happily expressed.” To that, “ he shall not dare by this essay to lay any title, since more sweat and oil he must spend, who shall arrogate so excellent an attribute.” The praise he lays a very just claim to, is that of a chaste Muse. “ Had I slept,” says he, $ in the silence of my acquaintance, and affected no study beyond that which the chace or field allows, poetry had then been no scandal upon me, and the

* P. 33 he is called uncle to the Earl of Shrewsbury, who must have been John 10:b Earl, who died ?653.

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