(continued from previous
In 1600 the Queen had neither forgotten nor forgiven the marriage of
Southampton. Mountjoy was now made Lord-Deputy of Ireland, and
Southampton hoped to accompany him on his first campaign. Again we
have recourse to that agreeable Court gossip, Rowland White:—
Jan. 24, 1600.—"My Lord of Southampton goes over to Ireland,
having only the charge of 200 foot and 100 horse." He was not
permitted to accompany the Lord-Deputy to Ireland, and on February 9, we
find that, "My Lord of Southampton's going is uncertain, for it is thought
that her Majesty allows it not." Lord Mountjoy landed in Ireland
February 26, and on March 15, White says—"My Lord of Southampton is in
very good hope to kiss the Queen's hand before his going to Ireland.
Mr. Secretary is his good friend, and he attends it; his horses and stuff
are gone before."
March 23—"My Lord of Southampton hath not yet kissed
the Queen's hands, but attends it still."
March 29—"My Lord of Southampton attends to morrow to
kiss the Queen's hands; if he miss it, it is not like he shall obtain it
in any reasonable time. I hear he will go to Ireland, and hopes by
doing of some notable service to merit it at his return."
April 19—"My Lord of Southampton deferred his departure
for one week longer, hoping to have access to her Majesty's presence, but
it cannot be obtained; yet she very graciously wished him a safe going and
April 26—"My Lord of Southampton went away on Monday
last, Sir Charles Danvers brought him as far as Coventry. He is a
very fine gentleman, and loves you well."
May 3—"My Lord Southampton upon his going away sent my
Lord Grey word that what in his first letter he promised, he was now ready
in Ireland to perform."
On June 8, the Lord-Deputy wrote to Master Secretary
concerning the state of Connaught, wherein nothing was surely the Queen's
but Athlone by a provident guard, and Galway by their own good
disposition, wishing that the government of that province might be
conferred on the Earl of Southampton (to whom the Lord of Dunkellin would
more willingly resign, and might do it with greater reputation to himself,
in respect of the Earl's greatness) rather than upon Sir Arthur Savage
(who, notwithstanding, upon the Queen's pleasure again signified, was
shortly after made governor of that province). His lordship
protested that it was such a place as he knew the Earl would not seek, but
only himself desired this, because he knew the Earl's aptness and
willingness to do the Queen service, if he might receive such a token of
her favour; justly commending his valour and wisdom, as well in general as
in the late particular service in the Moyry, when the rear being left
naked, he by a resolute charge with six horse upon Tyrone at the head of
220 horse, drove him back a musket shot, and so assuring the rear, saved
the honour of the Queen's army.  It was as
useless, however, for Mountjoy to plead on behalf of Southampton as it had
been for Essex in the previous year. Her Majesty was unrelenting.
And in August, about the 25th, Southampton left the Irish war and sailed
for England. There was some rumour of his going into the Low
Countries in search of my Lord Grey; if so, nothing came of it. He
is said to have been summoned home by Essex.
White tells us, September 26, 1600—"The Earl of Southampton
arrived upon Monday night, and upon Wednesday went to his lady who lies at
Lees, my Lord Riches; he hath been extreme sick but is now recovered."
Such treatment as Southampton had received from the Queen was
naturally calculated to drive him closer to the side of his friend Essex,
who was then under the Queen's sore displeasure, brooding over his
discontent. So far had her Majesty's petty tyranny been carried,
that in the March of this year Lord and Lady Southampton, together with
others of Essex's friends, had been all removed from Essex House; whilst
great offence had been taken at Southampton and others having entered a
house that overlooked York Garden, on purpose to salute Essex from the
The two Earls were drawn together by many ties, by some
likeness of nature, by strong bonds of personal friendship, and links of
household love. Southampton was the nearest and dearest personal
friend that Essex had; first in all matters of vital import and secret
service. When Essex was consigned to the custody of the Lord Keeper
in the autumn of 1590, his two most intimate and trusted friends were
Southampton and Mountjoy; to these he committed the care of his interests.
When Southampton, in April, 1600, went to join Lord Mountjoy in Ireland,
Essex sent letters to Mountjoy, saying he relied on him and Southampton as
his best friends, and would take their advice in all things. It was
upon the intercession of Southampton, says Sir Henry Wotton, that the
fatal tempter, Cuffe, was restored to his place alter Essex had dismissed
him; and he "so working upon his disgraces and upon the vain foundations
of vulgar breath, which hurts many good men, spun out the final
destruction of his master and himself, and almost of his restorer, if his
pardon had not been won by inches."
It was at Southampton's residence, Drury House—on the site of
which now stands the Olympic Theatre—that the chief partisans of Essex
held their meetings in January, 1601. And Southampton in his
youthful zeal and fervent friendship seems to have felt that, come what
might, it was his place to dwell with Essex in disgrace, and if need be,
fall by his side in death. Though what the Essex conspiracy was
formed for or amounted to it is very difficult to deter mine. Essex
and his sister, Lady Rich, we know intrigued and plotted for the purpose
of bringing James to the throne, but that was never put forward on this
Lord Mountjoy being under the influence of Lady Rich, and
held captive in her strong toils of grace, was to some extent bound up
with the cause of Essex. His Secretary tells us that he was
privately professed and privy to the Earl's intentions, though, as these
were so vague and full of change, the acquiescence of Mountjoy may have
been very general. According to Sir Charles Danvers, Mountjoy had
promised that if the King of Scots would head the revolution and strike
for the throne of England, he would leave Ireland defensively guarded and
come over with 5000 or 6000 men, "which, with the party that my Lord of
Essex should make head withal, were thought sufficient to bring to pass
that which was intended." He had afterwards advised the Earl of
Essex to have patience and wait. Southampton had opposed this march
on London. He held it altogether unfit, as well in respect of his
friend's conscience to God and his love to his country, as his duty to his
sovereign, of which he, of all men, ought to have greatest regard, seeing
her Majesty's favours to him (Essex) had been so extraordinary, wherefore
he, Southampton, could never give his consent to it. 
To me the attempt of Essex looks like a too audacious
endeavour to apply, in a more public way, the rights of personal
familiarity which he had in some sort acquired and so often relied on in
private with the Queen. But the force and freedom of the personal
were on the wane. Essex had shown disloyalty to her Majesty's
person, which was more than disloyalty to her throne. He had said
the "Queen was cankered, and her mind had become as crooked as her
carcase." "These words," quoth Raleigh, "cost the Earl his had."
 Also, there were statesmen round the
throne who represented the public element, which was now rising in power
as the life and vigour of the royal lioness were ebbing, and they were
anxious that this personal fooling should cease, and the State policy be
shaped less by whims and more by fixed principles. Else, according
to Camden, the so-called conspirators were surprised to hear of a trial
for treason. They had thought the matter would have been let sleep,
and that the Queen's affection for Essex would cause it to be privately
settled or kept in the dark.  No doubt
there were some who stood about the Earl and urged him on with desperate
advice, that secretly nursed the wildest hopes of what a success might
bring forth for them, who also calculated that the Earl's influence with
the Queen would tide them over a defeat.
Southampton had his personal complaint with regard to the attack
made upon him in the street by Lord Grey, and to this he alluded in the
course of the parleyings at Essex House before the surrender; but of
course he knew this was no warrant for his being in arms against his
sovereign. With him it was essentially a matter of personal
friendship; he acted according to his sense of personal honour, which
blinded him to all else. He had told Sir Charles Danvers that he
would cast in his lot with my Lord of Essex, and venture his life to save
him. He had done all that he possibly could on behalf of a man who
had lost his head long before it fell from the block. He was one of
those who in 1599 dissuaded Essex from one of his projected attempts, in
which he purposed reducing his adversaries by force of arms. He
opposed the contemplated march upon London. He advised the Earl's
escape into France, and offered to accompany him into exile and share his
fortunes there. He, with Sir Charles Danvers, had, as Essex
admitted, persuaded the rash Earl to "parley with my Lord General."
Evidently he had seen all the peril, but thought his place was with his
friend, no matter what might be their fate. As he pleaded on his
trial, the first cause of his part in the matter was that affinity betwixt
him and Essex, "being of his blood, and having married his kinswoman," so
that for his sake he would have hazarded his life. He had the good
sense to see that the "rising," as it was called, the going into the city,
was a foolish thing, and he said so, but he continued, "My sword was not
drawn all day." It was indeed foolish, for such a cause, and such a
cry of revolution as "For the Queen! For the Queen! My life is in
danger!" were never set up in this world before or since. Stowe
informs its that the wondering citizens, not knowing what to make of the
cry, fancied that it might be one of joy because Essex and the Queen had
become friends again, and that her Majesty had appointed him to ride
through London in that triumphant manner.
Southampton urged in his defence, "What I have by my
forwardness offended in act, I am altogether ignorant, but in thought I am
assured never. If through my ignorance of law I have offended, I
humbly submit myself to her Majesty, and from the bottom of my heart do
beg her gracious pardon. For, if any foolish speeches have passed, I
protest, as I shall be saved, that they were never purposed by me, nor
understood to be so purposed, to the hurt of her Majesty's person. I
deny that I did ever mean or intend any treason, rebellion, or other
action against my sovereign or the state; what I did was to assist my Lord
of Essex in his private quarrel; and therefore, Mr. Attorney, you have
urged the matter very far; my blood be upon your head. I submit
myself to her Majesty's mercy. I know I have offended her, yet, if
it please her to be merciful unto me, I may live, and by my service
deserve my life. I have been brought up under her Majesty. I
have spent the best part of my patrimony in her Majesty's service, with
danger of my life, as your lordships know." Southampton was in his
twenty-eighth year when he was tried for treason. He had espoused
the Earl of Essex's cause unwarily, and followed him upon his fatal course
imprudently. But there was something chivalrous in his
self-sacrificing friendship; a spirit akin to that of the Scottish
chieftain, who, when the Pretender made his personal appeal, saw all the
danger, and said, "You have determined, and we shall die for you;" and
proudly open-eyed to death they went.
The historian notes that when my Lord Grey was called at the
trial, "the Earl of Essex laughed upon the Earl of Southampton, and jogged
him by the sleeve," to call his attention to his old "sweet enemy."
Perhaps we shall get at the Earl of Southampton's view of the
matter in a letter written by Sir Dudley Carleton to Sir Thomas Parry,
dated July 3, 1603; the remarkable words being spoken when and where there
was no need for the speaker to "hedge" on the subject:—
"The Lords of Southampton and Grey, the first night the Queen
came hither, renewed their old quarrels, and fell flatly out in her
presence. She was in discourse with Lord Southampton touching the
Lord of Essex' action, and wondered, as she said, that so many great men
did so little for themselves. To which Lord Southampton answered,
that the Queen being made a party against them, they were forced to
yield, but if that course had not been taken, there was none of their
private enemies, with whom their only quarrel was, that durst have opposed
themselves. This being overheard by the Lord Grey, he would
maintain the contrary party durst have done more than they. Upon
which he had the lie hurled at him. The Queen bade them remember
where they were."  This was in vain.
The bickering continued, and they had to be sent to their lodgings to
which they were committed, with a guard placed over them. On that
occasion the King had to settle the quarrel, and make peace between them.
Southampton was condemned to die, and lay in the Tower at
point of death; he was long doubtful whether his life would be spared.
His friends outside hoped for the best, but sadly feared the worst.
In a letter to Sir George Carew, dated March 4, 1601, Secretary Cecil
professes to be pleading all he dare for the "poor young Earl of
Southampton, who, merely for the love of Essex, hath been drawn into this
action," but says that he hardly finds cause to hope. It is "so much
against the Earl that the meetings were held at Drury House, where he was
the chief, that those who deal for him are much disadvantaged of arguments
to save him." Yet "the Queen is so merciful, and the Earl so
penitent, and he never in thought or deed offended save in this
conspiracy," that the Secretary will not despair. At last the
sentence was commuted to the "confined doom" of perpetual imprisonment.
At the death of the Queen the Earl was much visited, says
Bacon, who was one of the first to greet him, and who wrote to assure his
lordship that, how little soever it might seem credible to him at first
(he having been counsel against Southampton and Essex on their trial), yet
it was as true as a thing that God knoweth, that this great change of the
Queen's death, and the King's accession, had wrought in himself no other
change towards his lordship than this, that he might safely be that to him
now, which he was truly before.  We may rest
assured that Shakspeare was one of the first to greet his "dear boy," over
whose errors he had grieved, and upon whose imprudent unselfishness he had
looked with tears, half of sorrow, and half of pride. He had loved
him as a father loves a son; he had warned him, and prayed for him, and
fought in soul against adverse "Fortune" on his behalf, and he now
welcomed him from the gloom of a prison on his way to a palace and the
smile of a monarch. This was the poet's written gratulation:
"Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
Can yet the lease of my true love control;
Supposed as forfeit to a Confined Doom!
The Mortal Moon hath her Eclipse endured,
And the sad Augurs mock their own presage,
Incertainties now crown themselves assured,
And Peace proclaims Olives of endless age:
Now with the drops of this most balmy time
My love looks fresh; and Death to me subscribes,
Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme,
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes:
And thou in this shalt find thy Monument
When Tyrants' crests and Tombs of Brass are spent."
Mr. Chamberlain, writing to Dudley Carleton, April 1603, says, "The l0th
of this month the Earl of Southampton was delivered out of the Tower by
warrant from the King," sent by Lord Kinloss—"These bountiful beginnings
raise all men's spirits, and put them in great hopes." Wilson says,
 "The Earl of Southampton, covered long with the
ashes of great Essex his ruins, was sent for from the Tower, and the King
looked upon him with a smiling countenance, though displeasing happily to
the new Baron Essingdon, Sir Robert Cecil, yet it was much more to the
Lords Cobham and Grey, and Sir Walter Raleigh."
Shakspeare's was not the only poetic greeting received by the
Earl as he emerged from the Tower. Samuel Daniel hastened to salute
him, and give voice to the general joy:
"The world had never taken so full note
Of what thou art, hadst thou not been undone;
And only thy affliction hath begot
More fame, than thy best fortunes could have won:
For, ever by Adversity are wrought
The greatest works of Admiration;
And all the fair examples of Renown
Out of distress and misery are grown.
He that endures for what his conscience knows
Not to be ill, doth from a patience high
Look only on the cause whereto he owes
Those sufferings, not on his misery:
The more he endures, the more his glory grows:
Which never grows from imbecility:
Only the best-compos'd and worthiest hearts,
God sets to act the hard'st and constant'st parts."
John Davies of Hereford also addressed the Earl on his liberation, and
grew jubilant over the rising dawn of the new reign, opening on the land
with such a smiling prospect:
"The time for mirth is now, even now, begun;
Now wisest men with mirth do seem stark mad,
And cannot choose—their hearts are all so glad.
Then let's be merry in our God and King,
That made us merry, being ill bestadd:
Southampton, up thy Cap to Heaven fling,
And on the Viol their sweet praises sing;
For he is come that grace to all doth bring."
Southampton was invited to meet the King on his way to London. In
Nicholls's Progresses of James I.  we
read, that "Within half a mile of Master Oliver Cromwell's (our Oliver's
uncle), the Bailiff of Huntingdon met the King, and there delivered the
sword, which his Highness gave to the new-released Earl of Southampton, to
bear before him. O admirable work of mercy, confirming the hearts of
all true subjects in the good opinion of his Majesty's royal compassion;
not alone to deliver from captivity such high nobility, but to use
vulgarly with great favour, not only him, but also the children of his
late honourable fellows in distress. His Majesty passed on in state,
the Earl bearing the sword before him, as I before said he was appointed,
to Master Oliver Cromwell's house."
His lands and other rights, which had been forfeited
by the Earl's attainder, were now restored, with added honours and
increase of wealth. He was appointed Master of the Game to the
Queen, and a pension of £600 per annum was conferred upon his countess.
He was also installed a Knight of the Garter, and made Captain of the Isle
of Wight. By a new patent, dated July 21, he was again created Earl
by his former titles. And the first bill after the recognition of
the King, which was read in the parliament that met on the 19th of March,
1604, was for restitution of Henry, Earl of Southampton. On the 4th
of this month, Rowland White writes, "My lady Southampton was brought to
bed of a young lord upon St. David's day (March 1), in the morning; a
saint to be much honoured by that house for so great a blessing, by
wearing a leek, for ever upon that day." 
On the 27th of the same month the Child was christened at Court, "the King
and Lord Cranbourn with the Countess of Suffolk being gossips."
March 30 the Earl was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, together
with his friend the Earl of Devonshire. Towards the end of June
Southampton was arrested suddenly. The cause was, in all
probability, some sinister suggestions of one or other of the Scotch lords
who were jealous of his advancement and of the favour shown to him by the
Queen. These marks of favour were followed, in June, 1606, by the
appointment of his lordship to be Warden of the New Forest (on the death
of the Earl of Devonshire), and Keeper of the Park of Lindhurst. In
November, 1607, the Earl lost his mother, who had been the wife
successively of Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, Sir Thomas Heneage,
and Sir William Hervey. We are told that she "left the best of her
stuff to her son, and the greater part to her husband." The "stuff"
consisted of jewellery, pictures, hangings, &c., chiefly collected by Sir
Thomas Heneage, for the possession of which the Earl of Arundel ranked him
among the damned.
The Earl of Southampton was a very intimate friend of William
Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and both, like the sage Roger Ascham, were
sadly addicted to cock-fighting. Rowland White records, on the 19th
of April, 1605, that "Pembroke hath made a cock-match with Suffolk and
Southampton, for £50 a battle;" and May 13 he says, or rather sings—
The Herberts, every cockpit day,
Do carry away
The gold and glory of the day.
in sport led to the quarrel with Lord Montgomery, recorded in Winwood's
Memorials.  Southampton and the wild
brother of the Earl of Pembroke fell out, as they were playing at tennis,
in April, 1610, "where the rackets flew about their ears, but the matter
was compounded by the King without further bloodshed."
The two Earls, Southampton and Pembroke, were yoked in a
nobler fellowship than that of sport. They fought side by side in
the uphill struggle which colonization had to make against Spanish
influence. They carried on the work of Raleigh when his adventurous
spirit beat its wings in vain behind the prison bars, and continued it
after his gray head had fallen on Tower Hill. They both belonged to
the Company of Adventurers and Planters of the City of London for the
first colony of Virginia (May 23, 1609): Southampton being appointed one
of the council. He became a most active promoter of voyages of
discovery, and a vigilant watcher over the interests of the colonists.
December 15, 1609, the Earl writes to Lord Salisbury, that he has told the
King about the Virginian squirrels brought into England, which are said to
fly. The King very earnestly asked if none were provided for him,
and whether Salisbury had none for him, and said he was sure Salisbury
would get him one. The Earl says he would not have troubled Lord
Salisbury on the subject, "but that you know so well how he is affected
to these toys." A squirrel that could fly being of infinitely
more interest to James than a colony that could hardly stand.
In 1607 Southampton and Sir Ferdinando Gorges had sent out
two ships, under the command of Harlie and Nicolas. They sailed
along the coast of New England, and were sometimes well but oftener ill
received by the natives. They returned to England in the same year,
bringing five savages back with them. One wonders whether
Shakspeare's rich, appreciation of such a "find" has not something to do
with his discovery of Caliban, the man-monster, and land-fish.
It is pretty certain that the Earl's adventures as a
colonizer had a considerable influence on the creation of Shakspeare's
Tempest. The marvellous stories told of "Somer's Island," called
the Wonderful Island, for the plantation of which a charter was granted to
Southampton, Pembroke, and others, may have fired the Poet's imagination
and tickled his humour.
August, 1612, the English merchants sent home some ambergris
and seed pearls, "which the devils of the Bermudas love not better to
retain than the angels of Castile do to recover."
October 27, 1613, a piece of ambergris was found, "big as the
body of a giant, the head and one arm wanting; but so foolishly handled
that it brake in pieces, so that the largest piece brought home was not
more than 68 ounces in weight." Again, we read that the Spaniards,
dismayed at the frequency of hurricanes, durst not adventure there, but
called it Dæmoniorum insulam.
On the 12th of May, 1614, the Earl of Southampton supported
the cause of his young plantation in Parliament, on which occasion Dick
Martin, in upholding the Virginian colony, so attacked and abused the
House that he was had up to the bar to make submission. Sir Thomas
Gates had just come from Virginia, and reported that the plantation must
fall to the ground if it were not presently helped.
The Earl lived to see the colony founded and flourishing.
In 1616 Virginia was reported by Sir Thomas Dale to be "one of the
goodliest and richest kingdoms in the world, which being inhabited by the
King's subjects, will put such a bit into our ancient enemy's mouth as
will curb his haughtiness of monarchy." And in 1624, the year of the
Earl's death, the colony was so far thriving that it had "worn out the
scars of the last massacre," and was only pleading for a fresh supply of
powder. The good work was crowned. "The noble and glorious
work of Virginia," as it was called by Captain Bargrave, whose estate had
been ruined in its support, and his life afterwards dedicated to the
"seeing of it effected."
The Earl of Southampton has left his mark on the
American map; his name will be found in various parts of Virginia.
Southampton Hundred is so called after his title; and the Hampton Roads,
where President Lincoln met the envoys from the South, to broach terms of
reconciliation and peace, memorable likewise as the meeting-place of the
Merrimac and Monitor, were so named after the friend and
patron of Shakspeare.
Our American friends were oblivious of much that was stirring
in the mother's Memory, when the heart of England thrilled to the deeds
done by Virginians in the late civil wars. In spite of her face
being set sternly against slavery, she could not stifle the cry of race,
and the instinct of nature,—could not but remember that these also were
the descendants of her heroic adventurers, the pioneers of her march round
the globe, who laid down their weary bones when their work was done, and
slept in the valleys of old Virginia, to leave a living witness that cried
from the mountains and the waters with the voice of her own blood, and in
the words of her own tongue.
As the friend of Essex, whom King James delighted to honour,
the Earl of Southampton received many marks of royal favour, although he
was not one who was naturally at home in such a court. On June 4,
1610, he acted as carver at the splendid festival which was given in
honour of young Henry's assumption of the title of Prince of Wales.
In 1613 he entertained the King at his house in the Now Forest. A
letter written by him to Sir Ralph Winwood, 
August 6, 1613, gives us a glimpse of his feelings at the time. He
was one of the friends chosen to act on the part of Essex' son Robert, in
the matter of devising the means of a divorce. And he writes with
evident disgust at the conduct of affairs: "Of the Nullity I see you
have heard as much as I can write; by which you may discern the power of a
King with Judges, for of those which are now for it, I knew some of them,
when I was in England, were vehemently against it. I stay here only
for a wind, and purpose (God willing) to take the first for England;
though, till things be otherwise settled, I could be as well pleased to be
anywhere else; but the King's coming to my House imposeth a necessity at
this time upon me of returning." In 1614, he made a visit to the Low
Countries, and was with Lord Herbert of Cherbury at the siege of Rees, in
the duchy of Cleves. In 1617, Southampton accompanied James on his
visit to Scotland. And, from a letter of the Earl's to Carleton,
April 13, 1619, we learn that he has been chosen a privy councillor.
He remarks, that he will rather observe his oath by keeping counsel than
giving it; much is not to be expected from one "vulgar councillor," but he
will strive to do no hurt. It is said that he had long coveted this
honour. June 30, 1613, the Rev. Thos. Larkin, writing to Sir Thos.
Puckering, had said—"My Lord of Southampton hath lately got licence to
make a voyage over the Spa, whither he is either already gone, or means to
go very shortly. He pretends to take remedy against I know not what
malady; but his greatest sickness is supposed to be a discontentment
conceived that he cannot compass to be made one of the Privy Council;
which not able to brook here well at home, he will try if he can better
digest it abroad."
If he had looked up to this as the consummation of his
wishes, he could have found but little satisfaction, and no benefit, from
it when realized. He was unable from principle to acquiesce in the
measures of the Court. Those who had kept the Council Chamber closed
against him for so long had by far the truer instinct. He is spoken
of by Wilson as one of the few gallant spirits that aimed at the public
liberty more than their own personal interests or the smiles of Court
favour. This writer says —"Southampton,
though he were one of the King's Privy Council, yet was he no great
Courtier. Salisbury kept him at a bay, and pinched him so, by reason
of his relation to old Essex, that he never flourished much in his time;
nor was his spirit (after him) so smooth shod as to go always at the Court
pace, but that now and then he would make a carrier that was not very
acceptable to them, for he carried his business closely and slily, and was
rather an adviser than an actor."
He was a member of the notable Parliament of 1620, when he
joined the small party that was in opposition to the Court, his ardent
temperament often kindling into words which were as scattered sparks of
fire inflaming the little band that thwarted the meaner and baser wishes
of the King and his ministers. Contrary to the desire of Government,
he was chosen Treasurer of the Virginia Company. Also, in
Parliament, he came forward to withstand the unconstitutional views of
ministers and favourites. Early in the year 1621 he made a
successful motion against illegal patents; and Camden mentions that during
the sitting of the 14th of March "there was some quarrelling between the
Marquis of Buckingham, and Southampton and Sheffield, who had interrupted
for repeating the same thing over and over again, and that contrary to
received approved order in Parliament."
The Prince of Wales tried to reconcile them.
Buckingham, however, was not the man to forget or forgive an affront.
And those on whom he fixed his eye in enmity sooner or later felt the arm
of his power, although the blow was sometimes very secretly dealt.
Twelve days after the Parliament had adjourned, Southampton was committed
to the custody of the Dean of Westminster, to be allowed no intercourse
with any other than his keeper (Sir Richard Weston). June 23, Sir
Richard Weston declined to be the Earl's keeper, and Sir W. Parkhurst was
The Rev. Joseph Mead writes to Sir Martin Stutville, June 30
of this year—"It is said that this week the Countess of Southampton,
assisted by some two more countesses, put up a petition to the King, that
her lord might answer before himself; which, they say, his Majesty
Various others were imprisoned, about the same time, for
speaking idle words. Among the rest, John Selden was committed to
the keeping of the Sheriff of London; he was also set at liberty on the
same day as the Earl of Southampton, July 18, 1621. In a letter of
proud submission sent to the Lord Keeper Williams, Southampton promises to
"speak as little as he can," and "meddle as little as he can," according
to "that part of my Lord Buckingham's advice!" In these
stormy discussions and early grapplings with irresponsible power, we hear
the first mutterings of the coming storm that was to sweep through
England, and feel that, in men like Southampton, the spirit was stirring
which was yet to spring up, full statured and armed, for the overthrow of
weak prince and fatal parasites, to stand at last as a dread avenger
flushed with triumph, smiling a stern smile by the block at Whitehall.
His imprisonment did not repress Southampton's energies or lessen his
activity. In the new Parliament, which assembled on the 9th of
February, 1624, he was on the committee for considering the defence of
Ireland; the committee for stopping the exportation of money; the
committee for the making of arms more serviceable. He was a true
exponent of the waking nation, in its feeling of animosity against Spain,
and of disgust at the pusillanimous conduct of James, who would have
tamely submitted to see his son-in-law deprived of the Palatinate.
The aroused spirit of the country having compelled the King to enter into
a treaty with the States-General, granting them permission to raise four
regiments in this country, Southampton obtained the command of one of
them. "This spring," says Wilson, "gave birth to four brave
Regiments of Foot (a new apparition in the English horizon), fifteen
hundred in a Regiment, which were raised and transported into Holland (to
join the army under Prince Maurice) under four gallant colonels: the Earl
of Oxford, the Earl of Southampton, the Earl of Essex, and the Lord
Willoughby." This was a fatal journey for the Earl, the last of his
wanderings, that was to bring him the "so long impossible Rest."
"The winter quarter at Rosendale," Wilson writes, "was also fatal to the
Earl of Southampton, and the Lord Wriothesley his son. Being both
sick there together of burning fevers, the violence of which distemper
wrought most vigorously upon the heat of youth, overcoming the son first;
and the drooping father, having overcome the fever, departed from
Rosendale with an intention to bring his son's body into England, but at
Berghen-op-Zoom he died of a lethargy, in the view and presence of
the relator." The dead son and father were both brought in a small
bark to England, and landed at Southampton; both were buried at Tichfield,
on Innocents' day, 1624.
"They were both poisoned by the Duke of Buckingham," says Sir
Edward Peyton, in his Catastrophe of the House of the Stuarts (p.
360), as plainly appears, he adds, "by the relation of Doctor Eglisham."
This relation of Eglisham's will be found in the Forerunner of Revenge.
 The doctor was one of King James's physicians
for ten years. His statement amounts to this—that the Earl of
Southampton's name was one of those which were on a roll that was found in
King Street, Westminster, containing a list of those who were to be
removed out of Buckingham's way. Also, that when the physicians were
standing round the awfully disfigured body of the dead Marquis of Hamilton
(another supposed victim of Buckingham's), one of them remarked, that "my
Lord Southampton was blistered all within the breast, as my Lord Marquis
This statement made me curious enough to examine Francis
Glisson's report of the post mortem examination of the Earl of
Southampton's body: it is in the British Museum; 
and I found it to be so suspiciously reticent that the silence is far more
suggestive than what is said. It contains no mention whatever of the
condition of the blood or the brain, the spleen or bowels, the heart or
liver, the stomach or lungs. The bladder and kidneys are the only
parts described. An altogether unsatisfactory report, that looks as
though it were a case of suppressed evidence. This, coupled with the
lethargy noticed by Wilson, and the known implacable enmity of
Buckingham, does at least give colour to the statements of Sir Edward
Peyton and Dr. Eglisham. But for us it will remain one of the many
secrets—for which John Felton, "with a wild flash in the dark heart of
him," probed swiftly and deeply with his avenging knife.
One cannot but feel that the Earl of Southampton did not get
adequate scope for his energies under James any more than in the previous
reign, and that he should have lived a few years later, for his orb to
have come full circle. He might have been the Rupert of Cromwell's
horsemen. He was not a great man, nor remarkably wise, but he was
brave, frank, magnanimous, thoroughly honourable, a true lover of his
country, and the possessor of such natural qualities as won the love of
Shakspeare. A comely noble of nature, with highly finished manners;
a soldier, whose personal valour was proverbial; a lover of letters, and a
munificent patron of literary men. Camden affirms that the Earl's
love of literature was as great as his warlike renown.
Chapman, in one of his dedicatory Sonnets prefaced to the
Iliads, calls the Earl "learned," and proclaims him to be the "choice
of all our country's noble spirits." Richard Braithwaite inscribes
his Survey of History, or a Nursery for Gentry to Southampton, and
terms him "Learning's select Favourite." Nash calls him "a dear
lover and cherisher, as well of the lovers of poets as of poets
themselves." Florio tells us that he lived for many years in the
Earl's pay, and terms him the "pearl of peers." He relieved the
distress of Minsheu, author of the Guide to Tongues. Barnaby
Barnes addressed a Sonnet to him in 1593, in which he expressed a hope
that his verses, "if graced by that heavenly countenance which gives light
to the Muses, may be shielded from the poisoned shafts of envy."
Jervais Markham inscribed his poem on Sir Richard Grenville's
last fight to him in the following Sonnet—
"Then glorious Laurel of the Muses' hill,
Whose eyes doth crown the most victorious pen;
Bright Lamp of Virtue, in whose sacred skill
Lives all the bliss of ear-enchanting men,
From graver subjects of the grave assays,
Bend thy courageous thoughts unto these lines,
The grave from whence mine humble Muse doth raise
True honour's spirit in her rough designs;
And when the stubborn stroke of my harsh song
Shall seasonless glide through Almighty ears,
Vouchsafe to sweet it with thy blessed tongue,
Whose well-tuned sound 'stills music in the spheres;
So shall my tragic lays be blest by thee,
And from thy lips suck their eternity."—J. M.
Wither appears to have had some intention of celebrating the Earl's marked
virtues and nobility of character as exceptionally estimable in his time,
for, in presenting him with a copy of his Abuses Stript and Whipt,
he tells him—
"I ought to be no stranger to thy worth,
Nor let thy virtues in oblivion sleep:
Nor will I, if my fortunes give me time."
In the year
1621, the Earl had not ceased his patronage of literary men, as is shown
by the dedication to him of Thomas Wright's Passions of the Mind in
The historical student may learn from the political
circumstances of the time why the collected works were not offered to the
foremost friend of Shakspeare. The patronage of the two brothers who
were in high favour at Court was of far greater value than that of
Southampton would have been, when he was in active opposition to the King
and his parasites. Player-like, Heminge and Condell "wear themselves
in the Cap of the time; there they do muster true gait, speak and move
under the influence of the most received star."
Many elegies were sung over the death of Southampton, of
which the following, by Sir John Beaumont, is the best—
"I will be bold my trembling voice to try,
That his dear name in silence may not die;
The world must pardon if my song be weak,
In such a cause it is enough to speak.
Who knew not brave Southampton, in whose sight
Most placed their day, and in his absence night?
When he was young, no ornament of youth
Was wanting in him, acting that in truth
Which Cyrus did in shadow; and to men
Appeared like Peleus' son from Chiron's den:
While through this island Fame his praise reports,
As best in martial deeds and courtly sports.
When riper age with winged feet repairs,
Grave care adorns his head with silver hairs;
His valiant fervour was not then decayed,
But joined with counsel as a further aid.
Behold his constant and undaunted eye,
In greatest danger, when condemned to die!
He scorns the insulting adversary's breath,
And will admit no fear, though near to death.
When shall we in this realm a Father find
So truly sweet, or Husband half so kind?
Thus he enjoyed the best contents of life,
Obedient children, and a loving wife.
These were his parts in peace; but, O, how far
This noble soul excelled itself in war.
He was directed by a natural vein,
True honour by this painful way to gain.
I keep that glory last which is the best,
The love of learning, which he oft expressed
In conversation, and respect to those
Who had a name in arts, in verse, or prose."
survived the Earl for many years, and died in 1640.
Walpole, in his Anecdotes of Painting, mentions a
portrait, half-length, of Elizabeth Vernon, as being at Sherburn Castle,
Dorsetshire. It is by Cornelius Jansen, who was patronized by the
Earl of Southampton,  and may thus have drawn the
portrait of Shakspeare. This picture, says Walpole, is equal to
anything the master executed. The clothes are magnificent, and the
attire of her head is singular, a veil turned quite back. The face
and hands are coloured with incomparable lustre. This likeness was
in the Portrait Exhibition held at Kensington in 1866. A noble
picture of a queenly woman! There is also an authentic portrait of
this lady, in good preservation, at Hodnet Hall, which represents her as a
type of a beauty in the time of Elizabeth. Her dress is a brocade in
brown and gold, her ribbons are scarlet and gold, her ruff and deep sleeve
cuffs are of point lace, her ornaments of coral; her complexion is fresh,
vivid, auroral, having clearly that war of the red rose and the white
described by Shakspeare in his 99th Sonnet. The hair is suggestive,
too, of the singular comparison used in that Sonnet betwixt glossy
red-brown hair and "buds of marjoram."
An engraving by Thompson, from a portrait by Vandyke, a copy
of which is in the British Museum, shows Lady Southampton to have been
tall and graceful, with a fine head and thoughtful face; the long hair is
softly waved with light and shadow, and the look has a touch of languor,
different from the Hodnet Hall picture, but this last may be only a
It is pleasant to remember that from this much-tried pair, in
whom Shakspeare took so affectionate an interest, sprang one of the most
glorious of Englishwomen, one of the pure white lilies of all womanhood!
This was the wife of Lord William Russell, she whose spirit rose so
heroically to breast the waves of calamity; whose face was as an angel's
shining through the gathering shadows of death, with a look of lofty
cheer, to hearten her husband on his way to the scaffold; almost
personifying in her great love, the good Providence that had given to him
so precious a spirit for a companion, so exalted a woman to be his wife!
Lady Russell was the grand-daughter of the Earl and Countess of
Southampton. She was the daughter of Thomas Wriothesley, who was
called the Virtuous Lord Treasurer of Charles II., by his first wife,
daughter of Henry de Massey, Baron de Rouvigni, a French Protestant noble.
PENELOPE DEVEREUX was a
daughter of one of those proud old English houses, whose descendants love
to dwell on the fact that they came in with the Norman Conquest. The
progenitor of the English branch of the Devereux family bore high rank in
Normandy before he carved out a larger space for himself on English soil
at the battle of Senlac as one of Duke William's fighting men. He
became the founder of an illustrious House that was destined to match four
times with the royal Plantagenets, and to be enriched with the blood and
inherit the honours of the Bohuns and Fitzpierces, Mandevilles and
Bouchiers. On the father's side, Penelope descended from Edward
III., and her mother, Lettice Knollys, was cousin, once removed, to Queen
Elizabeth. Thus a dash of blood doubly-royal ran in her veins, and
in her own personal beauty this vital sap of the family tree appears by
all report to have put forth a crowning flower.
Her father was that good Earl Walter whom Elizabeth called "a
rare jewel of her realm and an ornament of her nobility," whose character
was altogether of a loftier kind than that of his more famous son Robert,
the royal Favourite. His story is one of the most touching—he
having, as it was suspected, had to change worlds in order that Leicester
might change women.
Penelope was four years older than her brother Robert.
She was born at Chartley in 1563. Very little is known of her
childhood. She was but thirteen years of age, the oldest of five
children, at the time of her father's early death, and the bitterest pang
felt by the brave and gentle Earl was caused at his parting from the
little ones that were being left so young when they so much needed his
fatherly forethought and protecting care.
There are few stories more pathetic than that told of this
Earl's bearing on his deathbed, by the faithful pen of some affectionate
soul, said to have been one of his two chaplains, Thomas Knell by name.
He suffered terribly and was grievously tormented, says the narrator, for
the space of twenty-two days. He was dying far from his poor
children, who were about to be left fatherless, with almost worse than no
mother. He may have had a dark thought that he had been sent away by
one of his enemy's cunning Court-tricks to be stricken and to
die—"nothing was omitted," says Camden, "whereby to break his mild spirit
with continual crosses one in the neck of another"—that Leicester was
secretly taking his life preliminary to the taking of his wife; but he
bore his affliction with a most valiant mind, and, "although he felt
intolerable pain, yet he had so cheerful and noble a countenance that he
seemed to suffer none at all, or very little," nor did he murmur through
all the time and all the torture. He is described as speaking "more
like a divine preacher and heavenly prophet" than a mortal man, lying or
kneeling with a light soft as the light of a mother's blessing, smiling
down from her place in heaven, on his fine face, which was moulded by
Nature in her noblest mood, and finished by suffering with its keenest
touch. "What he spoke," says the narrator, "brake our very hearts,
and forced out abundant tears, partly for joy of his godly mind, partly
for the doctrine and comfort we had of his words. But, chiefly I
blurred the paper with tears as I writ." His only care in worldly
matters was for his children, to whom often he commended his love and
blessing, and yielded many times, even with great sighs, most devout
prayers to God that He would bless them and give them His grace to fear
Him. For his daughters also he prayed, lamenting the time, which is
so vain and ungodly, as he said, considering the frailness of women, lest
they should learn of the vile world. He never seemed to sorrow but
for his children. "Oh, my poor children," often would he say, "God
bless you, and give you His grace." Many times begging mercy at the
hands of God, and forgiveness of his sins, he cried out unto God, "Lord
forgive me, as I forgive all the world, Lord, from the bottom of my heart,
from the bottom of my heart, even all the injuries and wrongs, Lord, that
any have done unto me. Lord, forgive them, as I forgive them from
the bottom of my heart." He was anxious that Philip Sidney should
marry his daughter Penelope, and with fervent feeling he bequeathed her to
him. Speaking of Sidney, two nights before he died, he said, "Oh,
that good gentleman! have me commended unto him, and tell him I send
him nothing, but I wish him well, and so well that if God so move both
their hearts, I wish that he might match with my daughter. I call
him son. He is wise, virtuous, and godly; and if he go on in the
course he hath begun, he will be as famous and worthy a gentleman as
England ever bred." Two days before his death he wrote his last
letter to the Queen, in which he humbly commits his poor children to her
Majesty, and her Majesty to the keeping of God. "My humble suit must
yet extend itself further into many branches, for the behoof of my poor
children, that since God doth now make them fatherless, yet it will please
your Majesty to be a mother unto them, at the least by your gracious
countenance and care of their education, and their matches." The
night before he died "he called William Hewes, which was his musician, to
play upon the virginals and to sing. Play, said he, my song, Will
Hewes, and I will sing it myself. So he did it most joyfully, not as
the howling swan, which, still looking down, waileth her end, but as a
sweet lark, lifting up his hands and casting up his eyes to his God, with
this mounted the crystal skies and reached with his unwearied tongue the
top of the highest heavens. Who could have heard and seen this
violent conflict, having not a stonied heart, without innumerable tears
and watery plaints?" Unhappily, the dying father's wish on the
subject of his daughter's marriage was not to be fulfilled.
Waterhouse, in his letter to Sir H. Sidney, 
unconsciously uttered a prophecy when he said, "Truly, my lord, I must say
to your lordship, as I have said to my Lord of Leicester and Mr. Philip,
the breaking off from this match will turn to more dishonour than can be
repaired with any other marriage in England!" The marriage did not
take place, and in many ways the predicted dishonour came.
It has been conjectured that Sidney alluded to Lady Penelope
in a letter to his friend, Languet, who, in the course of their
correspondence, had exhorted him to marry. He says, "Respecting her
of whom I readily acknowledge how unworthy I am, I have written you my
reasons long since, briefly indeed, but yet as well as I was able." 
If Sidney spoke of Lady Penelope Devereux in this letter, his reasons for
not marrying just then may have been that he thought her too young at that
time, for she was but fifteen years old, the date of his letter being
March, 1578. Sidney had first met "Stella" at Chartley, where he had
followed the Queen on her visit there in 1575. His comparative
poverty and lack of prospect may have been a cause for diffidence on his
part. In his 33rd Sonnet the Poet gives us one account of the
matter. He reproaches himself for not being able to see by the
"rising morn" what a "fair day" was about to unfold. It is not
probable that the two lovers were already apart three years before the
lady's marriage with Lord Rich. The time came, however, when, from
some fatal cause or other, they were sundered, although there is proof
that they had been drawn together by very tender ties.
"I might, unhappy word! O me! I
And then would not, or could not see my bliss,
Till now, wrapt in a most infernal night,
I find how heavenly day, Wretch! I did miss.
Heart! rend thyself, thou dost thyself but right;
No lovely Paris made thy Helen his!
No force, no fraud, robbed thee of thy delight,
Nor Fortune of thy fortune author is:
But to myself, myself did give the blow,
While too much wit (forsooth!) so troubled me,
That I respects for both our sakes must show:
And yet could not, by rising Morn foresee
How fair a day was near! O punished eyes!
That I had been more foolish, or more wise."
I see no sense
in arguing against this being Sidney's lament for not marrying Stella.
There was a time when it might have been. He might have called her
his own, but he must needs show his wisdom by waiting a little longer.
He was troubled in the matter with too many thoughts, and too much 'wit
forsooth.' He stood upon respects for both their sakes, which kept
them asunder until it was too late. For whilst he would, and would
not; looked and longed, other influences were brought to bear. The
lady's friends were anxious that she should wed a wealthy fool, and
possibly the proud impetuous beauty of sixteen or seventeen may have felt
piqued at Sidney's delay, and wilfully played into the hands of an evil
fortune. How Sidney was aroused from his dream, and awoke to the
fact that he had lost his day, and might now stretch forth his empty arms
till they ached, and call in vain upon those eyes that were far from him
as the stars, is told in his Sonnets; how the reckless lady found that she
had dashed away the sweetest, purest cup of noble love ever proffered to
her lips, is written in her after-life, and in the useless search for that
which she had missed once and for ever. The two were doomed to walk
on the opposite banks, with yearnings towards each other, while the river
of life kept broadening on between them, pushing them farther and farther
apart, who were sundered at least for life.
The character of Lord Rich as a husband is painted by Sidney
in Sonnet 22. The description agrees with others in representing him
to have been a poor, vulgar Lord with a very sordid soul. And she
was the wife of this man, and might have been his!
Lady Penelope Devereux, in her eighteenth year, had bloomed
into such a rose of beauty, as would have found (we like to think) a fit
nestling place for giving forth its sweetness in the bosom of Philip
Sidney! And it seems one of those sad inevitable things which make
so much of the tragedy of the human lot, that these two should not have
come together. If they had married, how different it all might have
been! What tragedies of love may be expressed in those words "Might
have been!" Heyden describes Penelope Devereux as being "a lady
in whom lodged all attractive graces of beauty, wit, and sweetness of
behaviour, which might render her the absolute mistress of all eyes and
hearts." She grew to be a woman of brilliant physical beauty, with
intellectual capacity and mental charms to match, as richly furnished
within as attractively without.
What Sidney was, the world has gathered from the glimpse we
got of him, in his brief beautiful life, and saintly death. In his
nature, humanity nearly touched the summit of its nobleness. And
from him Penelope was taken to be given to a man whose character as nearly
sounded the depths of human baseness. Thus the radiance of her
tender romance died out, and the hues of love's young dawn all faded into
a sadly beclouded day!
Sidney has told the story of his love for Lady Rich under the
title of Astrophel and Stella, in 108 Sonnets, which were first
printed in quarto, 1591. He asks us to listen to him, because he
must unfold a riddle of his own life. It was of this personal
passion of his that the Muse said to him: "Fool! look in thy heart and
write." The object of his writing, he tells us, was that the
"dear she," whom he had lost for ever through her marriage with Lord Rich,
might "take some pleasure of his pain;" a sentiment that springs straight
from the deepest root of the feeling of which it has been said, "All other
pleasures are not worth its pains!"
We can see something of Penelope Devereux's personal graces
as pictured by her lover in the Arcadia. In these Sonnets he
again describes her as having "black eyes," and "golden hair," and he
dwells much upon those "black stars," and "black beams" of her eyes.
He illustrates the peculiarity of her complexion, and the "kindly claret"
of her cheek, by a story. The 22nd Sonnet relates how on a hot
summer's day he met "Stella" with some other fair ladies.
They were on horseback, with a burning sun in the cloudless blue.
The other ladies were compelled to shade their faces with their fans to
preserve their fairness; "Stella" alone rode with her beauty bare, and
she, the daintiest of all, went openly free from harm, whilst the "hid and
meaner beauties" were parched.
"The cause was this ;
The Sun which others burned, did her but kiss."
the most unique complexion of a blonde brunette.
The Sonnets lead us to think that the lady's heart remained
with Sidney; although or because he depicts the passion as being
kept sacred chiefly through her own strength of character. In Sonnet
11 he treats the subject in an elegantly quaint manner. "In truth, O
love," he exclaims, "with what a boyish mind thou dost proceed in thy most
serious ways! Here is heaven displaying its best to thee. Yet of
that best thou leavest the best behind." For like a child that has
found some pretty picture-book with gilded leaves, and is content with the
glitter and the outside show, and does not care for the written riches, so
love is content to play at "looking babies" in Stella's eyes, and at bo-peep
in her bosom.
"Shining in each outward part,
But, fool! seeks not to get into her heart."
lover's pleadings grow more in earnest.
"Soul's joy! bend not those morning stars from me,
Where virtue is made strong by beauty's might;
Where love is chasteness, pain doth learn delight,
And humbleness grows on with majesty:
Whatever may ensue, oh, let me be
Co-partner of the riches of that sight:
Let not mine eyes be hell-driven from that light;
O look! O shine! or let me die, and see!"
In Sonnet 73 the Poet has dared to steal a kiss whilst the lady was
sleeping, and the aspect of her beauty, when ruddy with wrath, causes him
"O heavenly fool! thy most kiss-worthy face,
Anger invests with such a lovely grace,
That Anger's self I needs must kiss again!"
kiss was the one immortalized in his famous 81st Sonnet, commencing
"O kiss! which dost those ruddy gems impart."
In one of the songs interspersed among the Sonnets, the Poet also tells us
of a stolen interview on the part of the two Lovers.
"In a grove most rich with shade,
Where birds wanton music made;
Astrophel with Stella sweet,
Did for mutual comfort meet;
Both within themselves oppressed,
Both each in the other blest.
Him great harms had taught much care;
Her fair neck a foul yoke bare:
Wept they had; alas the while!
But now tears themselves did smile."
Here they had
met, with eager eyes and hungry ears, asking to know all about each other
"But, their tongues restrained from walking,
Till their hearts had ended talking!"
At length the
"Stella, sovereign of my joy,
Fair triumpher of annoy;
Stella, star of heavenly fire,
Stella, loadstar of desire:
Stella, in whose shining eyes,
Are the lights of Cupid's skies:
Stella, whose voice when it speaks,
Senses all asunder breaks;
Stella, whose voice when it singeth,
Angels to acquaintance bringeth;
Stella, in whose body is
Writ each character of bliss,
Whose face all, all beauty passeth
Save thy mind, which it surpasseth,
Grant, O grant—but speech alas!
Fails me, fearing on to pass;
Grant—oh me, what am I saying?
But no fault there is in praying!"
"In such wise she love denied
As yet love it signified."
telling him to cease to sue, she says his grief doth grieve her worse than
"If that any thought in me
Can taste comfort but of thee,
Let me feed, with hellish anguish,
Joyless, helpless, endless languish!
Therefore, Dear, this no more move
Lest, though I leave not thy love,
Which too deep in me is framed,
I should blush when thou art named."
Thus we have it upon Sidney's testimony, that the lady triumphed in her
purity, whilst acknowledging him to be the natural lord of her love.
The conditions on which she was his are stated in Sonnet 69—
"O joy too high for my low style to show,
O bliss fit for a nobler state than me!
Envy put out thine eyes, lest thou do see
What oceans of delight in me do flow.
My friend that oft saw'st through all masks of woe,
Come, come, and let me pour myself on thee.
Gone is the winter of my misery;
My Spring appears; O see what here doth grow!
For Stella hath, with words where faith doth shine,
Of her high heart given me the monarchy;
I, I, oh! I may say that she is mine:
And though she give but thus conditionly
This realm of bliss, while virtuous course I take,
No kings be crown'd but they some covenants
The poetry of Sidney is a little like a gorgeous court-dress of his time,
seamed stiffly with precious stones and pearls of price. But to Lady
Rich it is indebted for its most life-like breathings of nature and its
most visible beatings of the human heart beneath. To her beauty we
owe delicious descriptions in which poetry grows divinely dainty. It
was Stella's beauty, seen through Philoclea's transparent veil, that
inspired some of the loveliest, most movingly delicate things ever said or
sung of bodily beauty. This was Stella's hair—
"Her hair fine threads of finest gold
In curled knots man's thought to hold."
Stella's eyes, the "matchless pair of black stars"—
"Their arches be two heavenly lids,
Whose wink each bold attempt forbids."
"Her cheeks with kindly claret spread,
Aurora-like new out of bed."
"But who those ruddy lips can miss,
Which blessèd still themselves do kiss?"
And of love in
Stella's lips, it is said that, for very sweetness—
"With either lip he doth the other kiss."
Stella's pretty pearly ear-tips—
"The tip no jewel needs to wear;
The tip is jewel to the ear."
It was of
Stella that Sidney wrote—
"Her shoulders be like two white doves
And of Stella's
"Where whiteness doth for ever sit,
And there with strange compact do lie
Warm snow, moist pearl, soft ivory."
description of his own love—
"In truth, O Love, with what a boyish mind
Thou dost proceed in thy most serious ways,"
characteristic of his own proceedings.
With all the simplicity of a child that is ignorant of use
and wont, he dallies with, enumerates, and describes her naked bodily
charms from her forehead down to her foot, "whose step on earth all beauty
sets," with a freedom astonishingly frank. And after recounting her
outer perfections with the purity of a spirit whose warmest thoughts walk
naturally in white, he tells how all this beauty is but
"the fair Inn
Of fairer guests which dwell within."
There is a
lovely description of the same lady weeping in the third book of the
Arcadia —"Her tears came dropping down like
rain in sunshine, and she, not taking heed to wipe the tears, they hung
upon her cheeks and lips as upon cherries which the dropping tree bedeweth."
The chief point of attraction, however, in her life time, as now, is the
lady's eyes. It was the wonder of Sidney why, with such tawny hair
and face so fair that the roses blushed and drooped half dotingly, half
enviously, to see the deeper bloom in her cheek, these eyes should have
been so black. He asks did nature make them so, like a cunning
painter, on purpose to produce the utmost effect of light and shade?
Twenty years ago I did not do justice to Sidney, nor see how
great a fostering influence he had been to Shakspeare; nor know how far
their Sonnets are bound up together. In all the love-poetry ever
written or the poetry of love ever lived there are no pleas more pathetic,
none more naïvely winsome than those of Sidney's. His
expressions of love-longing are almost unparalleled in their power of
piercing to the quick. Many of his touches are sharply pathetic.
He toys with the keen edge of his love, trying it over and over like a
child essaying the edge of a knife with which he cuts himself, and as the
drops of life run ruddily, keeps on smiling through those other drops in
his eyes, which wear a glister of glory. Some of his pleas are
pathetic enough to give a man the heart-ache as he reads them, whatsoever
their effect on the woman for whom they were written. Some of his
felicitous conceits are extravagantly fine. But the flowers are
sweet however artificial they may look; however prim in pattern; their
rootage is in a ground of the naturalest simplicity of character.
His lines are loded with precious metal of subtle thought, richly
worth the mining for; and this no one ever understood better than
Shakspeare did. He is fain to write in verse, and show his love,
"She, dear she, may take some pleasure of my pain. "
"They love indeed who quake to say they love" (54).
He tries to
entice sleep to come to him by promising him that he shall see the image
of Stella enshrined in his heart more like life than anywhere else:—
"O make in me these civil wars to cease!
I will good tribute pay if thou do so;
Take thou of me, sweet pillows, sweetest bed;
A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light;
A rosy garland and a weary head:
And if these things, as being thine by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see!"
What a way of praying sleep to come "for love of Stella," or "for Stella's
sake!" He learned that Stella had lately pitied a lover in romance,
she who has no pity for him who loves her so really. And he pleads
"Then think, my dear, that you in me do read
Of lovers' ruin some thrice-sad tragedy.
I am not I; pity the tale of me."
"O, let not fools in me thy works reprove,
And scorning say, 'See what it is to love!'" (107)
"O do not let Thy Temple be destroyed."
Sidney's Sonnets, not Daniel's, were the true prototype if not literary
model of Shakspeare's. The distilled sweetness, the antithetic
thought as well as expression, the serious kind of wit, are at times
pre-eminently Shakspearean, e.g.
"I had been vext if vext I had not been"
"Blest in my curse, and cursèd in my bliss" (60).
"Not thou by praise, but praise in thee is raised;
It is a praise to praise, when thou art praised" (135).
In this way
Love's Labour's Lost is alive with Sidney.
Sidney's first Sonnet, with its forcible last
"Fool, said my Muse to me, look in thy heart and write,"
was like a
trumpet-call to Shakspeare in 1591. The impression that line stamped
in him comes out immediately and most vividly in the play of that period,
Love's Labour's Lost. For example—
"Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books."
"Why, all delights are vain; and that most vain,
Which, with pain purchased, doth inherit pain:
As, painfully to pore upon a book,
To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look:
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile:
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes."
I am digressing here; but this unwedded pair of lovers cannot be put
asunder by any man for all time; they are so bound up together by Sidney's
The marriage of Penelope Devereux with Lord Rich
appears to have been promoted by the Earl of Huntingdon, then Lord
President of the North, who was a great friend of the family, a relative
also, and one of the guardians of the young Earl of Essex. The
sisters, Penelope and Dorothy, sometimes resided in his house. In a
letter addressed to Lord Burghley, the other guardian, March 10th, 1580,
the Earl of Huntingdon proposed that a match should be made between the
Lady Penelope and the young Lord Rich, "he being a proper gentleman, and
in years very suitable."  In August of the
same year, Essex informs Burghley that he is about to leave Cambridge for
a time, on purpose to accompany Lord Rich. "who, for many causes not
unknown" to the guardian, was very dear to him. The handing over of
the Lady Penelope to this Lord Cloten was then about to be completed.
In his "Epistle to the King," with which the Earl of
Devonshire accompanied the "Discourse" written by him in defence of his
marriage with Lady Rich, the case is thus put on behalf of the "poor lost
sheep," shut out of the fold, as he calls his wife. "A lady of great
birth and virtue, being in the power of her friends, 
was by them married against her will unto one against whom she did protest
at the very solemnity, and ever after; between whom, from the first day,
there ensued continual discord, although the same fears that forced her to
marry, constrained her to live with him. Instead of a comforter, he
did study in all things to torment her; and by fear and fraud did practise
to deceive her of her dowry; and though he forbore to offer her any open
wrong, restrained with the awe of her brother's powerfulness, yet as he
had not in long time before (the death of Essex) in the chiefest duty of a
husband used her as his wife, so presently after his death he did put her
to a stipend, and abandoned her without pretence of any cause, but his own
desire to live without her." It was, says Mountjoy, after Lord Rich
had withdrawn himself from her bed for the space of twelve years, that he
did, "by persuasions and threatenings, move her to consent unto a divorce,
and to confess a fault with a nameless stranger!"
Two years after the marriage of Penelope Devereux with Lord
Rich, Philip Sidney married the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham, but if
we are to trust the Sonnets, and poetry is often true to the deepest
truth, his love for Lady Rich, and her love for him, must have survived
the marriage of both. Sidney was struck down with his mortal wound
at Zutphen, on the 22nd of September, 1586, and he died on the 17th of the
His widow was again married, this time to the Earl of Essex,
in the year 1590. She thus became sister to Lady Rich, Sidney's
first love. The Sonnets in which Sidney had proclaimed his passion
were first published in the next year. And, as a curious
illustration of the manners of the time, Spenser, in a new Volume of Poems
printed in 1595, also celebrated the loves of "Astrophel and Stella," and
inscribed the poem "to the most beautiful and virtuous Lady, the Countess
of Essex." Thus Sidney, having lost his first love, and being in all
likelihood married at the time, was not only deeply in love with the wife
of another man, but sang of it in fervent verse, and rejoiced in it,
"though nations might count it shame," and, after his death, his friend,
the Poet Spenser, publishes an apotheosis of this passion, and
respectfully dedicates his poem to Sidney's widow, who had now become Lady
In applying the latter Sonnets of Shakspeare to the character
of Lady Rich, it will be well to recall this puzzling state of things, in
relation to the Sonnets of Sidney, and the poetry of Spenser.
Spenser introduces Lady Rich as "Stella" in his Colin Clout's come
"Ne less praiseworthy Stella, do I read,
Though nought my praises of her needed are,
Whom verse of noblest Shepherd, lately dead,
Hath praised and raised above each other star."
And in his
Astrophel; a pastoral Elegy upon the Death of the most noble and valorous
Knight, Sir Philip Sidney, he has caught up for immortality that early
love of Sidney's for Lady Rich, with the tenderness of its dewy dawn about
it, and the purple bloom of young desire. Many maidens, says the
Poet, would have delighted in his love, but
"For one alone he cared, for one he sigh't,
His life's desire, and his dear love's delight.
Stella the fair, the fairest star in sky,
As fair as Venus or the fairest fair;
A fairer star saw never living eye
Shoot her sharp-pointed beams through purest air;
Her he did love, her he alone did honour,
His thoughts, his rhymes, his songs were all upon her.
To her he vowed the service of his days,
On her he spent the riches of his wit,
For her he made hymns of immortal praise,
Of only her he sung, he thought, he writ.
Her, and but her, of love he worthy deemed;
For all the rest but little he esteemed."
And this is
dedicated to Sidney's widow.
This "gentle Shepherd born in Arcady" was engaged in hunting,
on foreign soil, in a forest wide and waste, where he was wounded by a
wild beast. There he lay bleeding to death,
"While none was nigh his eyelids up to close,
And kiss his lips like faded leaves of rose."
At length he was found by some shepherds, who stopped his wound, though
too late, and bore him to his "dearest love," his Stella, who, when she
saw the sorry sight,
"Her yellow locks, that shone so bright and long,
As sunny beams in fairest summer's days,
She fiercely tore, and with outrageous wrong
From her red cheeks the roses rent away.
His pallid face impicturèd with death,
She bathed oft with tears and dried oft;
And with sweet kisses sucked the wasting breath
Out of his lips, like lilies, pale and soft."
He dies, and
her spirit at once follows his!
"To prove that death their hearts cannot divide,
Which living were in love so firmly tied."
Spenser's representation is false and utterly unfair to Sidney's wife, who
followed him to the Netherlands in June or July; was near him in his pain,
to soothe him and kiss the fading lips, and when the knitted brows
smoothed out nobly into rest, she was there "his eyelids up to close."
This thought, however, did not trouble the serene Spenser in his
Matthew Roydon wrote lovingly of Sidney—
"When he descended from the mount 
His personage seemed most divine;
A thousand graces one might count
Upon his lovely cheerful eyne:
To hear him speak and sweetly smile,
You were in Paradise the while.
Did never love so sweetly breathe
In any mortal breast before;
Did never Muse inspire beneath
A Poet's brain with finer store:
He wrote of Love with high conceit,
And Beauty reared above her height."
We are not told in prose how Lady Rich felt and bore the death of Sidney,
but Lodowick Bryskett, in his Mourning Muse of Thestylis, 
professes to give an account of her bearing and appearance under the
affliction. He says 'twas piteous to hear her plaints, and see her
"heavy mourning cheere," while from "those two bright stars, to him
sometime so dear, her heart sent drops of pearl." He continues in
some quotable lines—
"If Venus when she wailed her dear Adonis slain,
Aught moved in thy fierce heart compassion of her woe,
Her noble Sister's plaints, her sighs and tears among,
Would sure have made thee mild, and inly rue her pain:
Aurora half so fair herself did never show,
When, from old Tython's bed, she weeping did arise.
The blinded archer-boy, like lark in shower of rain,
Sat bathing of his wings, and glad the time did spend
Under those crystal drops, which fell from her fair eyes;
And at their brightest beams him proyned in lovely wise.
Yet sorry for her grief, which he could not amend,
The gentle boy 'gan wipe her eyes, and clear those lights,
Those lights through which his glory and his conquest shines."
We shall not
find a prettier picture of Love and Lady Rich!
Spenser, in his poem on the death of Astrophel, makes Stella
follow "her mate like turtle chaste." Lady Rich did nothing of the
kind in reality; it might have been better for her if she had. Her
position was now most perilous; one that made her beauty a fatal gift.
Much that was noble in her nature seems to have passed away with the noble
Sidney. In this sense there may have been some allegorical shadow of
the truth in the Poet's representation. There was no love in her own
home to kindle at the heart of her life, and touch the face of it with
happy health, and hallow her superb outward beauty with the light that
shines sacredly within, or gives the expression from above, whilst the
well-known fact of Sidney's love for her, and the halo of romance which
his poetry had created round her name, were but too likely to expose her
more than ever to fresh temptations. To these sooner or later she
undoubtedly yielded; and "not finding that satisfaction at home she ought
to have received, she looked for it abroad, where she ought not to find
it." Whether Mountjoy was the first cause of serious quarrel betwixt
her and Lord Rich, is not on record. But according to his statement,
it must have been as early as 1592 or 1593, that Lord Rich, either with or
without just cause, withdrew himself from his marriage bed. He soon
found that the wife he had bought had to be paid for. Her friends
had forced her to the altar, where she made her unavailing protest, but
there was the after-life to be lived with her, face to face, when the same
friends could not help him. She was not the kind of woman to bear
her sorrow proudly silent, or receive his unkindness meekly. 
His morose selfishness was not calculated to draw out her better part.
Hers was not the nature from which the sweetness is to be crushed by
treading on; not the spirit to submit to a passive degradation.
He dreamed a bonny blooming Rose to wed:
He woke to find a briar in his bed.
He caught at
the flower of which he had obtained legal possession, and he fell among
the thorns. These must have pricked him unmercifully at times with
the finger pointings of scorn, the darts of her wild wit, and the sharp
thrusts of the very sting of bitterness.
In a letter written by this poor Lord to Essex, Sept. 11th,
1595, we perceive how uneasily he wriggles on one of his thorns! He
is suspicious of the contents of his wife's letters, which he dares not
intercept or open.
acknowledge with all thankfulness, your Lordship's favour, signified by
your letters, which I received yesterday by my man; entreating leave also
to put you in mind to remember your letters into Staffordshire to your
sister, and to the other party. I met this messenger from
thence, but durst not intercept the letters he brings, for fear these
troublesome times will bring forth shortly a parliament, and so perhaps a
law to make it treason to break open letters written to any my lords of
the Council, whereby they are freely privileged to receive writings from
other men's wives without any further question, and have full authority to
see every man's wife at their pleasure. A lamentable thing, that
this injustice should thus reign in this wicked age. I only entreat
your Lordship, that as you hear anything farther of that matter I
wrote to you of, I may have your pleasure and farther directions.
And so, commending your Lordship to the blessed tuition of the Almighty, I
remain your Lordship's poor brother to command in all honesty.
"RO. RICH." 
It is possible that the "other party" of this letter may have been
Mountjoy, and "that matter" referred to the beginning of his
liaison with Lady Rich. If so, Essex did not trouble himself much in
the matter, he rather winked at the freedom of his sister in trying to
exchange the "foul yoke her fair neck bore," for the solace of her lover's
arm. He had his own designs upon Mountjoy.
He could have cared little for the lady's morals, to have
brought home to her close acquaintanceship, and placed on the most
familiar footing, the sparkling, clever, vain, and presumptuous Antonio
Perez, the Spanish renegade, whose intimacy with her son Francis made good
old Lady Bacon hold up her hands in horror. "Though I pity your
brother," she writes in a letter to Anthony Bacon, 
"yet so long as he pities not himself, but keepeth that bloody Perez, yea,
as a coach companion and bed companion; a proud, profane, costly fellow,
whose being about him I verily fear the Lord God doth mislike, and doth
less bless your brother in credit and otherwise in his health; surely I am
utterly discouraged, and make conscience further to undo myself to
maintain such wretches as he is, that never loved your brother but for his
own credit, living upon him." Lady Bacon felt more care for her son
than Essex did for his sister.
A pretty fellow was this Perez to fill the situation assigned
to him, in the following letter from Mr. Standen to Mr. Bacon, which also
serves to show us something of the uncertain temperament and incalculable
turns of the Lady Rich. The letter was written in March or April,
WORSHIPFUL,—As we were at supper, my Lady Rich, Signor Perez, Sir
Nicholas Clyfford, and myself; there came upon a sudden into the chamber,
my Lord and Sir Robert Sidney, and there was it resolved that Signor Perez
must be, to-morrow morning at eight of the clock, with my Lord in Court;
after which my Lord means to dine at Walsingham House, and in the way, to
visit Mr. Anthony Bacon; which, my Lady Rich understanding, said she would
go also to dine with them at Walsingham's. And my Lord, asking how
she would be conveyed thither, she answered, that she would go in their
companies, and in coach with them, and, arrived at Mr. Bacon's house, and
there disembarked my Lord; her brother, Sir Robert should bring her to
Walsingham's, and return back with the coach for my Lord her brother.
All which I write unto you, Sir, by way of advice, to the end you not
taken unarmed. Women's discretions being uncertain, it may be she
will not dismount, and the contrary also will fall out. Now, it is
resolved, that Mr. Perez shall not depart, for that my Lord hath provided
him here with the same office those eunuchs have in Turkey, which is to
have the custody of the fairest dames; so that he wills me to write, that
for the bond he hath with my Lord, he cannot refuse that office."
postscript to one of her letters to Anthony Bacon, dated May 3rd, 1596,
Lady Rich being at the time in a "solitary place where no sound of any
news can come;" entreats him to let her know something of the world. Amongst other things, she would fain hear what has become of his wandering
neighbour, Signor Perez. This flattering knave and charming hypocrite, who
had the insinuating grace of the serpent, the subtlety and impudence of Iachimo,
was on such familiar terms with Lady Rich as to write the following letter
to her, March 26th, 1595—
hath given me news of the health of your Ladyships, the
three sisters and goddesses, as in particular, that all three have amongst
yourselves drunk and caroused unto Nature, in thankfulness of what you owe
unto her, in that she gave you not those delicate shapes to keep them
idle, but rather that you should push forth unto us here many buds of
those divine beauties. To these gardeners wish all happiness
for so good tillage of their grounds. Sweet ladies mine, many of these
carouses! O what a bower I have full of sweets of the like tillage and trimmage of gardens."
The clever scamp goes on to say that he has written a book full of such
secrets as some persons would not like to have known. He appears to
intimate that on his return to England, these people must pay or he shall
publish, so that with the one means or the other he will live by his book. "My Book," he says,
"will serve my turn. But I will not be so good cheap this second time. My
receipts will cost dearer, wherefore let every one provide!"
In the December of this year 1595, we learn by Rowland White's Letters
that there was to be a christening at Sir Robert Sidney's, to which Lady
Rich and Lord Mountjoy were both invited. "I went to Holborn," says
"and found my Lord Mountjoy at his house. I said my lady sent me unto
him, to desire him, both in your name and hers, to christen your son that
was newly born, which he very honourably promised to do; and when I told
him my Lady Rich was godmother, he was much pleased at it!"
Lady Rich had willingly agreed to be a godmother. White told her that both
the mother and child had the measles, "to which she suddenly replied, that
after eight days there was no danger to be feared, 'and therefore,' she
said, 'it shall be no occasion to keep me from doing Sir Robert Sidney and
my lady a greater kindness.' When I saw her so desperate, I humbly
besought her ladyship to take a longer time to think upon the danger,
which she did till that afternoon, and then coming to her to Essex House,
she told me she was resolved." Her ladyship was not afraid of the measles. And yet the christening was deferred. Writing later in the month, White
reports Lady Rich to be in Town, but "the christening is put off till
Wednesday, New Year's Eve. She says that my Lord Compton desired her to
defer it till then, because of some urgent business he hath in the
country, that will keep him away till Tuesday night; but, I do rather
think it to be a tetter that suddenly broke out in her fair white forehead
which will not be well in five or six days, that keeps your son from being
christened. But my Lady Rich's desires are obeyed as
commandments by my Lady."  Evidently the
lady wished to look her best, and show no spot on the
face of her beauty, in the presence of my Lord Mountjoy. The interest
which these two mutually inspired kept increasing, until at length their
illegal intercourse was publicly known; the husband being looked upon as
no impediment. Johnstone intimates that the patience of Lord Rich as a
husband was more wondered at than admired; and that his strange conduct
in retaining his wife, after being perfectly well aware of her connection
with Lord Mountjoy, was
thought anything but prudent. But the morality of the time does not appear
to have been greatly outraged. The Queen showed the first sign of
disapproval. Camden records the fact, that in 1600, Lady Rich "had lost
the Queen's favour
for abusing her husband's bed." This he softened, on revision of his work,
to "Quæ, mariti thorum violare suspecta."
There is a letter written by Lord Rich to the Earl of Essex, dated April
16th, 1597, which has been held to be so dark in meaning, so enigmatical
in expression, that nothing has hitherto been made of its contents. Lady
Rich had just got
out of danger from the small-pox. In a letter dated three days later,
Rowland White says, "My Lady Rich is recovered of her small-pox, without
to her beautiful face." Lord Rich's letter refers to this illness of his
wife, and the consequent danger to her fair face, but it also contained an
enclosure touching certain love-matters therein written of, to the
perplexity of his Lordship, and relating to a "fair Maid" in whom the
Lady Rich was interested, of whose beauty she was so careful as not to
send the writing direct for fear of infection: —"My Lord, your Sister,
being loth to send you any of her infection, hath made me an instrument to
send you this enclosed epistle of Dutch true or false love; wherein, if I
be not in the right, I may be judged more infected than fitteth my
profession, and to deserve worse than the pox of the smallest size. If it
fall out so, I disburden myself, and am free from such treason, by my
disclosing it to a Councillor, who, as your Lordship well knows, cannot be
of any such offence. Your Lordship sees, by this care of a fair maid's
beauty, she doth not altogether despair of recovery of her own again;
which, if she did, assured by envy of others' fairness, would make her
willingly to send infection
among them. This banishment makes me that I cannot attend on you; and this
wicked disease will cause your sister this next week to be at more charge
to buy a masker's visor to meet you dancing in the fields than she would
[once?] hoped ever to have done. If you dare meet her, I beseech you
patience unto her, which is my only theme of exhortation. Thus, over saucy
to trouble your Lordship's weightier affairs, I take my leave, and ever
your Lordship's poor brother to command, Ro. RICH." Now, to my thinking,
there is no more natural explanation of this mysterious letter than that
the "fair Maid" of whose beauty Lady Rich is so thoughtful a guardian,
and to whom the "epistle of Dutch true or simulated love" evidently
belongs, is Elizabeth Vernon, cousin both to Lady Rich and to the Earl of
Essex, and that we here catch a glimpse of some of the Sonnets, as they
pass from hand to hand. The "Epistle" over which Lord Rich tries to shake
his wise head jocosely, is
not sealed up from him. He has read it, and finds it only sealed in the
sense; it is, as the unlearned say, all Greek to him, or, as he says, it
is "Dutch." The subject, too, is amatory, so much he perceives; but
whether, it pertain to real
life or to fiction is beyond his reach; he merely hopes the brother,
who is a Councillor of State, will discover no treason in it. If this
love-epistle, the purport of which his Lordship failed to fathom, should
have consisted of the
Sonnets that Elizabeth Vernon speaks to Lady Rich in her jealousy, it
would fit the circumstances of the case as nothing else could, and
perfectly account for Lord Rich's perplexity. We may imagine how little he
would make of them when their meaning has kept concealed from so many
other prying eyes for
nearly three centuries. If my suggestion be right, this letter gives us a
most interesting glimpse of the persons concerned, and of the light in
which they viewed the Sonnets; here contributing to the private amusement
of Lady Rich, her brother Essex, and Elizabeth Vernon, whilst Lord Rich is
not in the secret.
Let us now glance for a moment at the Lady Rich in another of the
many-coloured lights in which she was seen by her contemporaries. In
November, 1598, Bartholomew Young, a poet of the time,—he who is the
largest contributor to England's Helicon,—inscribed to her his
Translation of the Diana of George of Montemayor, with the following
"To the Right Honourable and my very good lady, the Lady Rich.
"Right Honourable, such are the apparent defects of art and judgment in
this new portrayed Diana, that their discovery must needs make me blush,
and abase the work, unless with undeserved favour erected upon the high
and shining pillar of your honourable protection, they may seem to the
beholder less or none at all. The glory whereof as with reason it can no
ways be thought worthy, but by boldly adventuring upon the apparent
demonstration of your magnificent mind, wherein all virtues have their
proper seat, and on that singular desire, knowledge, and delight,
wherewith your Ladyship entertaineth, embraceth, and affecteth honest
endeavours, learned languages, and this particular subject of Diana, 
warranted by all virtue and modesty, as Collin, in his French dedicatory
to the illustrious Prince Louis of Lorraine, at large setteth down and
commandeth; now presenting it to so sovereign a light, and relying on a
gracious acceptance, what can be added more to the full content, desire,
and perfection of Diana, and of her unworthy interpreter (that hath in
English here exposed her to the view of strangers), than for their comfort
and defence to be armed with the honourable titles and countenance of so high and excellent a Patroness. But as, certain years past,
my honourable good Lady, in a public show at the Middle Temple, where your
honourable presence, with many noble Lords and fair Ladies, graced and
beautified those sports, it befell to my lot, in that worthy assembly,
unworthily to perform the part of a French orator, by a dedicated speech
in the same tongue; and that amongst so many good conceits, and such
general skill in tongues, all the while I was rehearsing it, there was not
any whose nature, judgment, and censure in that language I feared and
suspected more than your Ladyship's, whose attentive ear and eye daunted
my imagination with the apprehension of my disabilities, and your
Ladyship's perfect knowledge in the same. Now, once again, in this
Translation out of Spanish (which language also with the present matter
being so well known to your Ladyship), whose reprehension and severe
sentence of all others may I more justly fear, than that which, Honourable
Madame, at election you may herein duly give or with favour take away? I
have no other means, than the humble insinuation of it to your most
Honourable name and clemency, most humbly beseeching the same pardon to
all those faults, which to your learned and judicious
views shall occur. Since then, for pledge of the dutiful and zealous
desire I have to serve your Ladyship, the great disproportion of your most
noble estate to the quality of my poor condition, can afford nothing else
but this small present, my prayer shall always importune the heavens for
the happy increase of your high and worthy degree, and for the full
accomplishment of your most honourable desires.
"Most humbly devoted,
Such was the language of literature addressing Lady Rich, in the year
Troubled times were now coming for the house of
Essex; the clouds were gathering fast in which the star of Lady Rich was
to suffer temporary eclipse.
We may be satisfied that both Essex and his
ambitious sister were continually haunted with the thought of his
relationship to Elizabeth being as near as that of Queen Mary Stuart's
son, and that their blood would be running too red and high with this
royal reminder, which begat the most tantalizing hopes; sang with
insidious suggestion in his ear, and secretly undermined his whole life,
and that Lady Rich fanned this fire in her brother's blood, and fed the
foolish aspirations of his perturbed spirit. Possibly the early
intrigue of Essex and his sister with James in 1589, 
in which the "Weary Knight" expressed himself as so tired of the "thrall
he now lives in," so desirous of a change, and offered himself, his
sister, and all their friends in anything he (James) had to "do against
the Queen," arose in great part from their thinking that a change, if
brought about turbulently, would give Essex a chance of taking the throne.
Quite as unlikely things had occurred in the national History. Stowe
remarks on the tendency of the Kentish Men to be swayed lightly at the
change of Princes.
It is certain that Essex's sister was with him in his
schemes, although she personally escaped the consequences. The
Sonnets of Shakspeare hint as much. And on the morning of the fatal
Sunday, when Essex and his armed followers rushed through the streets on
their mad mission, she was moving about like the very bird of the storm:
her spirit hovers visibly above the coming wave of commotion. Both
Lady Rich and her cousin the Countess of Southampton were at Essex House
that morning in the midst of the armed men. The Earl of Bedford
(Edward the 3rd Earl), in his letter of exculpation to the Lords of the
Council,  relates how Lady Rich came to his house
in the midst of the sermon, and told him that the Earl of Essex desired to
speak with him. When he got to Essex House, he found out how he was
caught, and he declares that when the sally was made, he secretly escaped
down a cross street, and made his way home again. There can be no
doubt that her ladyship was a clever, determined whip for the Essex cause.
The Earl of Nottingham, writing to Lord Mountjoy on the behaviour of Essex
after the trial, tells how he spared none in "letting us know how
continually they laboured him about it." "And now," said
Essex, "I must accuse one who is most nearest to me, my sister who did
continually urge me on with telling me how all my friends and followers
thought me a coward, and that I had lost my valour." 
Truly his sister had loved him not wisely, but too well. "It is well
known," she said, "that I have been more like a slave than a sister; which
proceeded out of my exceeding love, rather than his authority." 
This occurs in her letter of defence, written to the Earl of Nottingham,
in the postscript of which there is a natural touch. "Your Lordship's
noble disposition forceth me to deliver my grief unto you, hearing a
report that some of these malicious tongues have sought to wrong a
worthy friend of yours. I know the most of them did hate him for
his zealous following the service of her Majesty, and beseech you to
pardon my presuming thus much, though I hope his enemies have no power to
harm him." This worthy friend of the Earl's, about whom the lady is
so anxious, was Lord Mountjoy.
On the accession of James to the English throne, the star of
Lady Rich shone once more in the Court horizon. We find pompous John
Florio among the first to hail its re-arising. She was one of the
five noble ladies to whom he erected his five altars, and burnt incense,
when he inscribed to them his Translation of Montaigne's Essays, in
1603; her ladyship being one of those from whom he had received
countenance and favour; "one of those whose magnanimity and magnificent
frank nature have so kindly bedewed my earth when it was sunburnt; so
gently thawed it when frost-bound, that I were even more senseless than
earth, if I returned not some fruit in good measure."
The new reign opened with a general restoration of Essex's
friends. Lady Rich was one of the six noble personages chosen to
proceed to the Scottish border for the purpose of meeting and conducting
the new Queen to the English Capital. Lady Anne Clifford, in a note
to her narrative, says the Queen showed no favour to the elderly ladies,
when the meeting took place, but to my Lady Rich and such like company.
Here is the testimony of an eye-witness that the lady of forty kept her
place in appearance with the younger ones of the Court, with whom she is
classed. The new Queen was in some respects a kindred spirit, and
made a favourite companion of Lady Rich. She was, says the French
Ambassador Rosni, afterwards Duke de Sully, of a bold and enterprising
nature; loved pomp and splendour, tumult and intrigue. With such a
Queen, and in such a Court, Lady Rich was again in her glory. Her
status in the new Court was defined by special license. On the
occasion of the Royal procession from the Tower to Whitehall, March 15th,
1604, her place was appointed at the head of fourteen Countesses, who all
bore most noble names.
The King granted to Lady Rich "the place and rank of the
ancientest Earl of Essex, called Bouchier, whose heir her father was, she
having by her marriage, according to the customs of the laws of honour,
ranked herself according to her husband's barony. By this gracious
grant, she took rank of all the Baronesses of the kingdom, and of all
Earls' daughters, except Arundel, Oxford, Northumberland, and Shrewsbury."
The Earl of Worcester, writing to the Earl of Shrewsbury in 1603, 
says, in reporting news of the Court, "This day the King dined abroad with
the Florentine Ambassador, who taketh now his leave very shortly. He
was with the King at the Play at night, and supped with my Lady Ritchie in
her chamber. . . . . We have ladies of divers degrees of favour; some for
the private chamber, some for the bed-chamber, and some for neither
certain. The plotting and malice among them is such, that I think
Envy hath tied an invisible snake about most of their necks, to sting one
another to death."
The Lady Rich would be able to hold her own, and
feel perfectly at home in the Court of James and Oriana, where the morals
were loose, and the manners free, and her singular beauty shone nightly
unparagoned as Stella Veneris. "The Court," Wilson says,
"being a continued Maskerado, where she, the Queen, and her ladies,
like so many sea-nymphs or Nereides, appeared often in various dresses, to
the ravishment of the beholders; the King himself being not a little
delighted with such fluent elegancies as made the night more glorious than
the day." "Their apparel was rich," says Carleton, speaking of the
ladies in one of these masques, "but too light and courtesan-like for such
great ones." At the masque which followed the marriage of Sir Philip
Herbert, we learn by Winwood's Memorials, 
that "there was no small loss that night of chains and jewels, and many
great ladies were made shorter by the skirts, and were very well served
that they could keep cut no better." Also, Carleton, in his letter
to Mr. Winwood, giving an account of the marriage, supplies us with a
curious picture of the Court and King, and the manners of both. He
says, "The Bride and Bridegroom were lodged in the Council Chamber, where
the King, in his shirt and night-gown, gave them a réveille-matin,
before they were up, and spent a good time in or upon the bed, choose
which you will believe."
And all went merrily for the Lady Rich. So long as she
only lived in adultery with Mountjoy, her honoured position in Court and
society was unquestioned. But Mountjoy was conscientious enough to
wish to make her his wife, and obtain the Church's blessing on the bond
which had held them together so long, if so loosely. He desired to
make his wife an honest woman, and his children legitimate. By an
agreement among the several parties a judgment was obtained from the
Ecclesiastical Court. Lady Rich was divorced from her husband, and
the Earl of Devonshire immediately married her. But the divorce
proved to be only a legal separation; not a sufficient warrant for a
subsequent marriage. The motives of Mountjoy were of the purest and
most manly, but an oversight had assuredly been made in interpreting the
law. This attempt to make the Lady Rich his own lawful wife, drew
down on the head of Mountjoy a bursting thundercloud. The Court
world, which had looked on so complacently whilst the supposed law of God
was broken full in its sight, was horrified at this violation of the law
of man, even though it were done unwittingly. The King was moved to
such anger that he told Mountjoy he had "purchased a fair woman with a
black soul!" others chimed in, most indignantly rejecting the lady's right
to become private property. Yet, this "fair woman with a black soul"
had, whilst merely living in open criminal intercourse, been accepted as
the light and glory of the Court. Mountjoy pleaded with manly
tenderness and charity for his wife, and tried to justify his act, but in
vain. He told the King that "the laws of moral honesty, which, in
things not prohibited by God, I have ever held inviolable, do only move me
now to prefer my own conscience before the opinion of the world." In
spite of which noble sentiment, his heart broke, trying to bear the sad
lot that had befallen him. "Grief of unsuccessful love," says his
secretary Moryson, "brought him to his last end." He died within
four months of his marriage, April 3, 1606.
Sir Dudley Carleton, writing to Mr. J. Chamberlain, at Ware
Park, on Good Friday, April 17, 1606, says :—
"My L. of Devonshire's funeral will be
performed in Westminster, about three weeks hence. There is much
dispute among the heralds, whether his lady's arms should be impaled with
his, which brings in question the lawfulness of the marriage, and that is
said to depend on the manner of the divorce. Her estate is much
threatened with the King's account, but it is thought she will find good
friends, for she is visited daily by the greatest, who profess much love
to her for her Earl's sake; meantime, amongst the meaner sort you may
guess in what credit she is, when Mrs. Bluenson complains that she had
made her cousin of Devonshire shame her and her whole kindred.
"2nd May.—It is determined that his arms shall be set up
single, without his wife's." 
The first publication of the dramatic poet, John Ford, was a poem on the
death of the Earl of Devonshire, printed in 1606, entitled Fame's
Memorial, and dedicated "To the rightly Right Honourable Lady, the
Lady Penelope, Countess of Devonshire." Some of the lines are
"Linked in the graceful bonds of dearest life,
Unjustly termed disgraceful, he enjoyed
Content's abundance; happiness was rife,
Pleasure secure; no troubled thought annoyed
His comforts sweet; toil was in toil destroyed;
Maugre the throat of malice, spite of spite,
He lived united to his heart's delight:
"His heart's delight, who was the beauteous Star
Which beautified the value of our land;
The lights of whose perfections brighter are
Than all the lamps which in the lustre stand
Of heaven's forehead by Discretion scanned;
Wit's ornament! Earth's love! Love's paradise!
A saint divine, a beauty fairly wise:
"A beauty fairly wise, wisely discreet
In winking mildly at the tongue of rumour;
A saint merely divine, divinely sweet
In banishing the pride of idle humour:
Not relishing the vanity of tumour,
More than to a female of so high a race;
With meekness bearing sorrow's sad disgrace."
It is difficult to resist smiling at the idea of making the Lady Rich a
sort of winking saint. The Poet is nearer the mark when he likens
her, in another stanza, as a wit among women, to a nightingale amidst a
quire of common song-birds.
Poor Lady Rich! Her fate was as full of contrast as the moral
mixture of her nature, or the outward show of her twilight beauty.
The most striking opposites met in her complexion, her character, and her
life; as though the parental elements in her were not well or kindly
mixed. Like Beatrice, she seems to have been born in "a merry hour
when a star danced" over her father's house; born to be clothed in the
purple of choicest speech a poet's love can lavish; to sit as a proud
queen in the hearts of some who were among the kingliest of men, and be
crowned with such a wreath of amaranth as descends upon the brow of but
few among women. One of the bright particular stars of two Courts;
the beloved idol of two heroes; one of the proudest, wittiest, most
fascinating women of her time; the Beauty, in singing of whom, the poets
vied like rival lovers, as they strung their harps with "Stella's" golden
hair, and strove together in praise of the starry midnight of those eyes
that were so darkly lustrous with their rich eastern look. And her
day of stormy splendour appears to have ended in the saddest way
imaginable; closing in impenetrable night: all the pride of life suddenly
laid low in the dust of death, and so dense a darkness about her grave,
that we cannot make out her name.
Her mother, the "little Western Flower," lively-blooded
Lettice Knollys, "She that did supply the wars with thunder and the Court
with stars," lived on in her lustihood to a green and gray old age,
walking erectly, to appearance, after all the crookednesses of her career;
her sunset going down with a mellow and tranquil shine, and dying at last
amidst her mourners in the very odour of sanctity. But the daughter
vanishes from view in a moment, while yet the star of her life rode high,
it goes out suddenly, and we are left in the darkness all the blinder for
the late dazzle of her splendour. She who had been the cynosure of
all eyes, passes out of sight almost unnoticed, and one who was among the
first in fame becomes suddenly unknown. Of all who were so well
known in their lifetime, she surely must have been the least remembered in
her death. It looks as though the disappearance had been
intentional; as though she had taken the black death-veil, and drawn the
dark curtains about her, and that by a tacit agreement betwixt her and the
world, her name and reputation should be buried with her body, as one of
those, of whom the Poet sings, who were
"Merely born to bloom and drop;
Here on earth they bore their fruitage, mirth and fully were the crop:
What of soul was left, I wonder, when the kissing had to stop?
'Dust and ashes' so you creak it, and I want the heart to scold.
Dear, dead women, with such hair, too—what's become of all the gold
Used to hang and brush their bosoms? I feel chilly and grown old." 
So completely did Lady Rich pass out of sight that not a portrait of her
remains. Yet she was often painted, and there must have been various
pictures of her extant at the time of her death. One of Burghley's
secret agents, who writes to the English Minister from the Scottish Court,
informs him on the 20th of October, 1589, that Rialta (Lady Rich) has sent
the King her portrait. There is also a portrait of her mentioned,
among the goods and chattels at Wanstead, in the inventory taken of
Leicester's property after his death. But I have failed to trace
either painting or engraving of Lady Rich at present in existence.
There is a portrait by Vandyke of her son Henry, first Earl of Holland,
whose curious complexion had such attractions for James! He had
light hair, possibly golden, and the black eyes of his mother. It is
also most difficult to find any record of her out of poetry and the
Sydney Memoirs. I know of but one mention of her death: it was
disinterred by Professor Craik only a few years ago from the Latin History
of Robert Johnstone Historia Rerum Britannicarum), published at
Amsterdam in 1655. At page 420, the writer relates that Devonshire,
stung by the reproaches of the King, who told him he had purchased a fair
woman with a black soul, broke down altogether and breathed his last in
the arms of Lady Rich, passing away in the midst of her adorations, tears,
and kisses. And he adds that the lady, worn out with grief and
lamentation, did not long survive him, but, laden with the robes and
decorations of mourning, lay night and day stretched on the floor in a
corner of her bed-chamber, refusing to be comforted, except by death.
"Happy pair," he says, "had but a legal union sanctified their glowing and
constant love." This is the only ray of light that pierces the
gloom; the only word that breaks the silence.
The liaison with Lord Mountjoy attracted the public
attention at the time. But it may be remembered that although Lady
Rich was more closely attached to Lord Mountjoy in the years 1599 and
1600, for instance, than to her husband, who, according to Mountjoy, had
kept her from his bed for the space of twelve years before they finally
and absolutely parted; yet there was no bond that bound her to Mountjoy
with inviolable ties when he was away, for example, with his army in
Ireland. Mountjoy, we may be sure, was not the only "noble ruin of
her magic." At the most he could but claim a share in her until he
had made her his own, after her divorce from Lord Rich. This,
indeed, he acknowledges by his diffidence on the score of paternity, for,
out of the five children assigned to him by Lady Rich, he only recognized
and provided for three of them as his own. These five children were
all born after the Lord Rich (on Mountjoy's own showing) had withdrawn
himself from his lady's bed, and at least four of the five were born
before the re-marriage of her Ladyship with Mountjoy. Sidney has
painted the Lady Rich as an Angel of Light. The allusions to her and
to the shady side of her reputation in Shakspeare's Latter Sonnets tend to
make her look more like an Angel of Darkness. But there was a living
woman in whom these two alternated, and out of which her nature was
compounded—the woman who, with her tropical temperament and bleak lot in
marriage, could yet remain the conqueror of Sidney and herself in such
circumstances of peril as he has depicted in his confessions—the woman who
would fight for her husband through thick and thin, and hurry back to him
if she heard he was ill, wait upon him and watch over him day and night
from a sense of duty rather than a necessity of affection—the woman who
was passionately fond of her children, and so devoted to her brother
Robert that she would have bartered body and soul for him, and gone
through hell-fire for his sake—who was always ready to help a friend when
her influence was of value at Court—this woman has never been portrayed
for us, unless some approach to her picture under other names has been
made by the one great master, solely capable, in his dramatic works.
It is difficult, as Fuller has said, to draw those to the
life who never sit still. The Lady Rich is one of these subjects,
all sparkle and splendour, and the radiance as of rain which continual
motion keeps a-twinkle, so various in their humours and sudden in their
change. In her the most perplexing opposites intermixed with a
subtle play and endless shiftings of light and shade, many coloured and
evanescent as the breeze-tinted ripples of a summer sea. No two
portraits of her could possibly be alike. Her letters, some of which
have been recovered by Mr. Grosart since last I wrote, show her to have
had the kindly heart that was always ready to succour the distressed.
For example, in March 1596, she writes to Essex:—
"Worthy Brother, I was so loth to importune you for this
poor gentlewoman, as I took this petition from her the last time I was at
the Court, and yesterday I sent her word by her man that I would not
trouble you with it, but wished her to make some other friends. Upon
which message, her husband, that hath been subject to franticness through
his troubles, grew in such despair as his wife's infinite sorrow makes me
satisfy her again, who thinks that none will pity her misery and her
children if you do not; since, if he cannot have pardon, he must fly, and
leave them in very poor estate. Dear brother, let me know your
pleasure; and believe that I endlessly remain your most faithful sister, PENELOPE
Again, she writes to
old woman Harny hath a suit to my brother, which I would not have her
trouble him with; but that it is only his letter to my lord Mayor for a
mean place that is fallen in his gift, which she desires for her son
White. Let me entreat you to draw a letter, and that somebody may go
if you have no leisure yourself, that will be earnest with the Mayor,
since it is like he will excuse it if he can for some creature of his own;
and so in haste I rest,
Your very assured friend,
To my friend Mr. Renalles." (1604.)
TO THE EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON.
hope my first letter will excuse some part of my fault, and I assure you
nothing shall make me neglect to yield you all the earnest assurances I
can of my affection and desires to be held dear in your favour, whose
worthy kindness I will strive to merit by the faithfullest endeavours my
love can perform towards you, who shall ever find me unresumably,
"Your lordship's faithful cousin and true friend,
Your lordship's daughter is exceeding fair and well, and I hope by your
son to win my wager.
"Chartly, this 10th of May."
It is endorsed "The Lady Rich to the Earl of Southampton," and has a note,
"This alludes to the expectation the Earl had of a son at this time.
See Lodge." The seal is a "deer," very much resembling that
used by Andrew Marvell. [Grosart.]
TO THE EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON.
"The exceeding kindness I receive from your lordship in hearing often from
you doth give me infinite contentment, both in referring assurance of your
health, and that I remain in your constant favour, which I well endeavour
to merit by my affection unto your lordship. My Lord Rich doth so
importune me daily to return to my own house as I cannot stay here longer
than Bartelmentide, which I do against his will, and the cause of his
earnest desire to have me come up is his being so persecuted for his land,
as he is in fear to lose the greatest part he hath and his next term, who
would have me a solicitor to bear part of his troubles, and is much
discontented with my staying so long: wherefore I beseech your lordship to
speak with my brother, since I am loth to leave my lady here alone, and if
you resolve she shall go with me into Essex, which I very much desire,
then you were best to write to me that you would have her go with me,
which will make my Lord Rich the more willing, though I know he will be
well contented, to whom I have written that I will come as soon as I know
what my brother and yourself determine for my Lord. I am sorry for
Sir Harry Bower's hurt, though I hope it is so little as it will not mar
his good face; and so in haste I wish your lordship all the honour and
happiness you desire.
"Your lordship's most affectionate cousin,
"Chartly, this 9th of July.
"To the most honourable the Earl of Southampton."
TO THE EARL OF SALISBURY.
gentlewoman hath entreated me to recommend her suit unto you, of whose
good success I should be very glad, because she is one I have been long
acquainted with, and is of the best disposition that ever I found any of
her nation. I beseech your Lordship to favour her, that if it be
possible she may attain some satisfaction if her desires be not
unreasonable; and so wishing your Lordship all happiness and contentment,
"Your Lordship's most affectionate friend to do you service,
"Ennile (?) this last of May (Indorsed 1605).
"To the right honourable My Lord, the Earl of Salisbury."
And Rowland White gives us a pleasant glimpse of her ladyship in the
aspect of a beggar for others.
In March 1597, he had occasion to seek her aid for the
purpose of getting presented to the Queen a very earnest petition of Sir
Robert Sidney's. He says, "I took this opportunity to beseech her to
do you one favour, which was to deliver this letter (and showed it to her)
to the Queen; she kissed it and took it, and told me that you had never a
friend in Court who would be more ready than herself to do you any
pleasure; I besought her, in the love I found she bore you, to take some
time this night to do it; and, without asking anything at all of the
contents of it, she put it in her bosom and assured me that this night, or
to-morrow morning, it would be read, and bid me attend her." Which
makes us feel a waft of cordial warmth breathed from a kindly-affectioned
heart, as the letter disappears in its temporary resting-place.
Let me conclude with the words of Anne Bradstreet, the
American Poetess who wrote the first volume of verse that was published in
New England. She composed an Elegy on Sidney forty-eight years after
his death, in which she said of Lady Rich—
"Illustrious Stella! then didst shine full well,
If thine Aspect was mild to Astrophel!"
Moryson's History of Ireland, Book I. chap. ii. p. 173.
[118.](page 331) Examination of Southampton after
[119.](page 331) "And as, with age, his body
So his wind cankers."—Tempest, IV. i.
[120.](page 331) Camden's Elizabeth, p.
[121.](page 333) Nicholls's Progresses of
[122.](page 333) Birch's Elizabeth, vol.
ii. p. 500.
[123.](page 334) History of England, vol.
ii. p, 663.
[124.](page 335) Vol.
i. p. 98.
[125.](page 335) Sydney Memoirs.
[126.](page 335) Vol. iii. p. 154.
[127.](page 337) Winwood Memorials,
vol. iii. p. 475.
[128.](page 338) Life and Reign of King James
I., p. 736.
[129.](page 338) Court and Times of James,
vol. ii. p. 263.
[130.](page 339) Harleian Miscellany vol.
ii. pp. 72-7.
[131.](page 339) It is strange that Wilson
should notice the statements of Eglisham with regard to the poisoning of
the King, and also of the Marquis of Hamilton, and have no word of reply
respecting the alleged poisoning of Southampton, he having been the Earl's
secretary, and present when he died!
[132.](page 339) Vide Ayscough's catalogue
[133.](page 341) Peachum,
in his Graphice, or the most Ancient and Excellent Art of Drawing and
Limning, says, the Earls of Southampton and Pembroke were amongst the
chief patrons of painting in England.
N.B.—In the footnote p. 220 of Walpole's Anecdotes of
Painting in England, Mr. Dallaway speaks wrongly of this work as being
first published in 1634. The first edition, a copy of which is in
the British Museum, was published in 1612.
[134.](page 344) Sydney Memoirs, i. 147.
[135.](page 344) Correspondence of Sidney and
Languet, translated by S. A. Pears, 1895, p. 144.
[136.](page 349) The Countess of Pembroke's
Arcadia is not exactly "a Poem," but Mr. Grosart reprints 177 pages of
verse from it.
[137.](page 351) Lansd. MSS., 31,
[138.](page 351) "O, Hell! to choose love by
another's eyes!" says Hermia, when Lysander speaks of love depending on
the "choice of friends."
[139.](page 353) Of the Muses.
[140.](page 353) "Thestylis," says the Countess
of Pembroke in her Doleful Lay of Clarinda, written on Sidney's
Of gentle wit, and dainty-sweet device,
Whom Astrophel full dear did entertain,
Whilst here he lived, and held in passing price."
[141.](page 354) Vide Fulke Greville's
Letter printed with his Poems in 1633.
[142.](page 355) Among Anthony Bacon's Papers.
[143.](page 355) Birch, i. 143.
[144.](page 356) Birch, vol. i, p. 229.
[145.] (page 356) Sloane MSS., 4115.
[146.](page 356) Sydney Memoirs, vol. i. p.
[147.](page 358) From which Sidney had made some
[148.](page 359) In a communication to Burghley,
made by Mr. Thomas Fowler from Edinburgh, October 7th, 1589, he says of
Lady Rich, "She is very pleasant in her letters, and writes the most part
thereof in her brother's behalf. 'He,' the King, 'commended much the
fineness of her wit, the invention, and well-writing.'"—Murdin,
[149.](page 359) Birch Add. MSS., 4160.
[150.](page 359) Brewer, p. 17.
[151.](page 359) Ibid., p. 20.
[152.](page 360) Lodge's Illustrations
[153.](page 361) Vol. ii, p. 43.
[154.](page 361) S. P. O.
[155.](page 363) "A
Toccato of Galuppi's," Robert Browning.