Imágenes de páginas

speak and act such sins as the ancient, humble Christians believed to be a sin to think ; and where, as our reverend Hooker says, “ former simplicity and softness of spirit is not now to be found, because zeal hath drowned charity, and skill meekness.” It will be good to think that these sad changes have proved this epitaph to be a useful caution unto us of this nation; and the sad effects thereof in Germany have proved it to be a mournful truth.

This by way of observation concerning his epitaph. The rest of his will follows in his own words.

Further, I, the said Henry Wotton, do constitute and ordain to be joint executors of this my last will and testament, my two grand nephews, Albert Morton, second son to Sir Robert Morton, knight, late deceased, and Thomas Bargrave, eldest son to Dr. Bargrave, Dean of Canterbury, husband to my right virtuous and only niece. And I do pray the aforesaid Dr. Bargrave, and Mr. Nicholas Pey, my most faithful and chosen friends, together with Mr. John Harrison, one of the Fellows of Eaton College, best acquainted with my books and pictures, and other utensils, to be supervisors of this my last will and testament. And I do pray the aforesaid Dr. Bargrave, and Mr. Nicholas Pey, to be solicitous for such

arrearages as shall


due unto me from his majesty's exchequer at the time of my death; and to assist my forenamed executors in some reasonable and conscientious satisfaction of my creditors, and discharge of my legacies now specified; or that shall be hereafter added unto this my testament by any codicil or schedule, or left in the hands or in any memorial with the aforesaid Mr. John Harrison.

And first, to my most dear sovereign and master, of incomparable goodness, (in whose gracious opinion I have ever had some portion, as far as the interest of a plain, honest man,) I leave four pictures at large of those Dukes of Venice, in whose time I was there employed, with their names written on the back side, which hang in my great ordinary dining-room, done after the life by Edoardo Fialetto ; likewise, a table of the Venetian college, where ambassadors had their audience, hanging over the mantle of the chimney in the said room, done by the same hand, which containeth a draught in little, well resembling the famous D. Leonardo Donato, in a time which needed a wise and constant man. the picture of a Duke of Venice, hanging over against the door, done either by Titiano, or some other principal hand, long before my time. Most humbly beseeching his majesty, that the said pieces may remain in some corner of any of his


houses, for a poor memorial of his most humble vással.

Item, I leave his said majesty all the papers and negotiations of Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, knight, during his famous employment, under queen Elizabeth, in Scotland and in France; which contain divers secrets of state, that perchance his majesty will think fit to be preserved in his paper-office, after they have been perused and sorted by Mr. Secretary Windebank, with whom I have heretofore, as I remember, conferred about them. They were committed to my disposal by Sir Arthur Throgmorton, his son, to whose worthy memory I cannot better discharge my faith, than by assigning them to the highest place of trust.

“ Item, I leave to our most gracious and virtuous queen Mary, Dioscorides, with the plants naturally colored, and the text translated by Matthiolo in the best language of Tuscany, whence her said majesty is lineally descended, for a poor token of my thankful devotion for the honor she was once pleased to do my private study with her presence. I leave to the most hopeful prince, the picture of the elected and crowned queen of Bohemia, his aunt, of clear and resplendent virtues through the clouds of her fortune. Lord's Grace of Canterbury now being, I leave my picture of Divine Love, rarely copied from

To my

one in the king's galleries, of my presentation to his majesty ; beseeching him to receive it as a pledge of my humble reverence to his great wisdom. And to the most worthy Lord Bishop of London, Lord High Treasurer of England, in true admiration of his Christian simplicity and contempt of earthly pomp, I leave a picture of Heraclitus bewailing, and Democritus laughing at, the world ; most humbly beseeching the said Lord Archbishop his Grace, and the Lord Bishop of London, of both whose favors I have tasted in my life-time, to intercede with our most gracious sovereign after my death, in the bowels of Jesus Christ, that, out of compassionate memory of my long services (wherein I more studied the public honor than mine own utility), some order may be taken out of my arrears due in the exchequer, for such satisfaction of my creditors, as those whom I have ordained supervisors of this my last will and testament, shall present unto their lordships, without their farther trouble ; hoping likewise in his majesty's most indubitable goodness, that he will keep me from all prejudice, which I may otherwise suffer by any defect of formality in the demand of my said arrears. “ To

for a poor addition to his cabinet, I leave as emblems of his attractive virtues and obliging nobleness, my great loadstone, and a piece of amber of both kinds naturally united,

and only differing in degree of concoction, which is thought somewhat rare. Item, a piece of crystal sexangular (as they grow all) grasping divers several things within it, which I bought among the Rhætian Alps, in the very place where it grew; recommending most humbly unto his lordship, the reputation of my poor name in the point of my debts, as I have done to the forenamed spiritual lords, and am heartily sorry that I have no better token of my humble thankfulness to his honored person. Item, I leave to Sir Francis Windebank, one of his majesty's principal Secretaries of State, (whom I found my great friend in point of necessity) the Four Seasons of old Bassano, to hang near the eye

in his

parlour (being in little form), which I bought at Venice, where I first entered into his most worthy acquaintance.

To the above-named Dr. Bargrave, Dean of Canterbury, I leave all my Italian books not disposed in this will. I leave to him likewise my viol de Gamba, which hath been twice with me in Italy ; in which country I first contracted with him an unremovable affection. To my other supervisor, Mr. Nicholas Pey, I leave my chest, or cabinet of instruments and engines of all kinds of uses; in the lower box whereof are some fit to be bequeathed to none but so entire an honest

« AnteriorContinuar »