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blessed success that God had given us, by moving the duchess's' heart to an exceeding cheerfulness, in signing £100 with her own hands, and promising to get her son to do as much, with some little apology that she had done nothing in it (as my brother writes) hitherto. She referred it also to my brother to name at first, what the sum should be: but he told her grace, that he would by no means do so, urging that charity must be free. She liked our book well, and has given order to the tenants at Leighton to make payment of it. God Almighty prosper the work. Amen.
hath continued to be so for fifty years, during all which time he hath been master of the revels.”—Walton's Life of Hero bert, xi. “DEAR BRO.
I was glad of your Cambridge news, but you joyed me exceedingly with your relation of my lady duchess's forwardness in our church building. I am glad I used you in it, and you have no cause to be sorry, since it is God's business. If there fall out yet any rub, you shall hear of me; and your offering of yourself to move my lords of Manchester and Bolingbroke is very welcome to me. To shew a forwardness in religious works is a good testimony of a good spirit. The Lord bless you, and make you abound in every good work, to the joy of your ever loving brother,
G. HERBERT, March 21, Bemerton. To my dear brother, Sir Henry
Herbert, at court.”—Warner's Letters, Ser. I. i. 7.
1 Catherine Clifton, wife of Esme Stuart, third duke of Lenox, and mother of James the fourth duke.
In another to N. F. he thus begins :
MY DEAR BROTHER.
I thank you heartily for Leighton, your care, your counsel, your cost. And as I am glad for the thing, so no less glad for the heart that God has given you and yours to pious works. Blessed be my God and dear Master, the spring and fountain of all goodness. As for my assistance, doubt not, through God's blessing, but it shall be to the full: and for my power, I have sent my letters to your brother, investing him in all that I have. [And so he goes on in his advice for the ordering of things to that business.]
74. I shall here set down a paper which I find amongst some other passages, the which will in part shew N. F.'s dear affection to this most deserving Mr. George Herbert, viz. :
On Friday the — Mr. Mapletoft' brought us word that Mr. Herbert, as he heard, was past hope of recovery; which was very grievous news, and so much the more, as altogether unexpected, we having understood no danger of his sickness till then, It seemed, as we afterwards understood”, about the hour, wherein we received this news, of which we being wholly ignorant, made presently our public
1 Joshua Mapletoft, husband of Susanna Collett, N. F.'s niece.
9 Probably “he died” should here be supplied.
supplications for his health, in the words and manner following':
“O most mighty God, and merciful Father, we most humbly beseech Thee, if it be Thy good pleasure, to continue to us that singular benefit which Thou hast given us in the friendship of Thy servant, our dear brother, who now lieth on the bed of sickness. Let him abide with us yet awhile, for the furtherance of our faith. We have indeed deserved by our ingratitude, not only the loss of him, but whatever other opportunities Thou hast given us for the attainment of our salvation. We do not deserve to be heard in our supplications; but Thy mercies are above all Thy works. In consideration whereof we prostrate ourselves in all humble earnestness, beseeching Thee, if so it may seem good to Thy Divine Majesty, that Thou wilt hear us in this, Who hast heard us in all the rest, and that Thou wilt bring him back again from the gates of death : that Thou wilt yet awhile spare him, that he may live to Thy honour, and our comfort. Lord, Thou hast willed that our delights should be in the saints on earth, and in such as excel in virtue: how then should we not be afflicted, and mourn when Thou takest them away from us! Thou hast made him a great help, and furtherance of the best things
1 “ Then follows a prayer to that purpose, very good, but very long.”_BAKER, who has omitted the prayer, which is here printed from Peckard.
amongst us, how then can we but esteem the loss of him a chastisement from Thy displeasure! O Lord, we beseech Thee that it may not be so: we beseech Thee, if it be Thy good pleasure, restore unto us our dear brother, by restoring to him his health: so will we praise and magnify Thy name and mercy with a song of thanksgiving. Hear us, O Lord, for Thy dear Son's sake, Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen."
75. But to proceed with N. F.'s life and actions. He always gave command, then, whenever he were at study, if any stranger or other did come and desire to speak with him, he might know it, for he would say, that it might in one kind or other be hoped that they came for his good or their own, and it was the thing he loved to make himself or others better. He would observe something from them, or out of them, to be of benefit to himself, to confirm in what was good, or to hate vice more and more; and he would endeavour to do them all the good he could, by words or example, and seldom or never any parted with him but received satisfaction.
76. He had great skill in physiognomy; he ever had a special regard of all men’s actions and dispositions, their tempers and affections. Insomuch that many of his friends and acquaintance that were intimate with him, would say of him, that he did know their tempers and their selves, inside and outside, much better than themselves did: and it hath been proved, that if he did but converse some few days with men and that they did not know his
intent, by what he heard from them and by such kind of discourse that he would put to them, he would tell, how those men were inclined, what ways and means would soon please or displease them, how they were to be dealt with in persuading or dissuading to this or that, and in brief, how most men were to be ruled and overcome and mastered by their counsellor or friends. And he so won the affections of most that he conversed with, as it was strange to all that knew him, how he could deal with all sorts of people for their good, and, as some merry friends would say, make himself master of them. He had this very art from his younger years, insomuch as it is well known, that when some differences have been in the college amongst the fellows many times in some college affairs, he then but a young fellow, yet so won upon each side that he could draw them off many times from their resolutions, to leave their passions and hearken to reason, and what was as it ought to be; and that in such a winning way and sweet way, in knowing all their tempers of mind and applying his arguments properly to them, that oftentimes in a little calm, some of the fellows having found that such and such had receded from their determinations and changed their minds, they would say in their passions, This young boy Nick Ferrar can do more with his tutor Linsell and others than all we can; such an insinuating subtle boy he is. And his tutor would laugh heartily at his friends, and tell them: If Nick took them to task, he would alter them also.