« AnteriorContinuar »
Mrs Bargrave of her fits, to prepare her not to think it strange that she should put her upon writing to her brother, to dispose of rings and gold, which looked so much like a dying person's request; and it took accordingly with Mrs Bargrave as the effect of her fits coming upon her, and was one of the many instances of her wonderful love to her and care of her, that she should not be affrighted, which, indeed, appears in her whole management, particularly in her coming to her in the day time, waving the salutation, and when she was alone; and then the manner of her parting, to prevent a second attempt to salute her.
Now, why Mr Veal should think this relation a reflection, (as it is plain he does by his endeavouring to stifle it,) I cannot imagine; because the generality believe her to be a good spirit, her discourse was so heavenly. Her two great errands were, to comfort Mrs Bargrave in her affliction, and to ask her forgiveness for her breach of friendship, and with a pious discourse to encourage her. So that, after all, to suppose that Mrs Bargrave could hatch such an invention as this from Friday noon till Saturday noon, (supposing that she knew of Mrs Veal's death the very first moment,) without jumbling circumstances, and without any interest too; she must be more witty, fortunate, and wicked too, than any indifferent person, I dare say, will allow. I asked Mrs Bargrave several times if she was sure she felt the gown? She answered modestly, "If my senses be to be relied on, I am sure of it.” I asked her if she heard a sound when she clapped her hands upon her knee? She said she did not remember she did, but said she appeared to be as much a substance as I did who talked with her. “And I may," said she, "be as soon persuaded that your apparition is talking to me now, as that I did not really see her; for I was under no manner of fear, and received her as a friend, and parted with her as such. I would not," says she, “give one farthing to make any one believe it; I have no interest in it ; nothing but trouble is entailed upon me for a long time, for aught I know; and had it not come to light by accident, it would never have been made public.” But now she says she will make her own private use of it, and keep herself out of the way as much as she can; and so she has done since. She says she had a
gentleman who came thirty miles to her to hear the relation; and that she had told it to a room-full of people at the time. Several particular gentlemen have had the story from Mrs Bargrave's own mouth.
This thing has very much affected me, and I am as well satisfied as I am of the best grounded matter of fact. And why we should dispute matter of fact, because we cannot solve things of which we can have no certain or demonstrative notions, seems strange to me; Mrs Bargrave's authority and sincerity alone would have been undoubted in any other case.
OF THE LATE
DUKE OF BUCCLEUCH AND QUEENSBERRY.
PUBLISHED IN THE EDINBURGH JOURNAL, SOON AFTER THE MELANCHOLY EVENT TO WHICH IT REFERS.
It is so lately as the year 1812, that Scotland was deprived of one of the best patriots and most worthy men to whom she ever gave birth, by the death of Henry, Duke of Buccleuch, who was succeeded in his rank and titles by his eldest son, whom also his country has now lost. To fill the place of his excellent father was a task of no small difficulty, for there never lived a man in a situation of distinction so generally beloved, so universally praised, and so little detracted from, or censured. The unbounded generosity of Duke Henry, his public munificence, his suavity of disposition, the sound and excellent sense, enlightened patriotism, and
high spirit of honour which united in that excellent person, rendered him the darling of all ranks, and his name was never mentioned without praises by the rich, and benedictions by the poor. The general sorrow of all classes at the news of his death, the unfeigned tears which were shed at his funeral, cannot yet be forgotten.
Bred up under such a father, and a mother worthy of him, and living with those excellent parents in the strictest ties of mutual affection, the late Duke came to the honours and estates with the anxious wish to tread in his father's paths, and to follow the same course of public patriotism and private benevolence, in which he had so eminent an example before him. His country and friends might, to all human appearance, have promised themselves long to enjoy the benefits arising from such dispositions in a person so eminent. He was in the prime of life, of a constitution strong to outward appearance, and seasoned by constant exercise, both on foot and horseback-he was the father of a promising family-the husband of one whom it was impossible to know without loving, or even to look upon without admiring. All seemed to promise a course of life long and happy, as that which his father had just closed. But it has pleased God to show us upon what a slight foundation
all earthly prospects rest. Some symptoms of delicate health had already displayed themselves in 1814; but, in the succeeding year, the Duke, in the loss of his excellent partner, sustained a wound from the effects of which he never recovered. "Come to me as soon as you can,” was his affecting expression to a friend, "and do not fear the excess of my grief-you will find me as much composed as I shall be for the remainder of my life.” And he was so—from a desire that the grief of the dearest objects of his affection might not be augmented by witnessing his. It was also the dying request and admonition of the object whom he lamented, that he would not suffer his regret for her to convert his house into a house of mourning; and while she blamed herself at the same time for indulging long and deep affliction for the death of their eldest son, she implored him not to fall into the same error. He promised, and kept his word. But the early and continued exertions which he made, from a high sense of duty, to suppress his sorrow, had an unfavourable influence upon his own health, which became gradually more and more impaired, until the late catastrophe. The few years during which he possessed his high situation, and the comparative retirement which his state of health required, have combined to render the cha