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himself with a blunderbuss, two or three peers, with one accord, rose up, and turned pistols, and a dagger ; but Curtis, far from their backs upon the wretched prisoner-s0 being intimidated, made up to the carl, and relates Horace Walpole-and, when the so overpowered him by an air of strong de- question was put, not a dissentient voice termination, that he suffered himself to be was heard in that solemn assembly; the seized without the slightest resistance. The words, “ Guilty upon my honor,” resoundmoment afterwards he exclaimed," that he ed from month to mouth, reverberating had killed a villain, and that he gloried in through the crowded house, and listened to
in breathless silence. Lord Ferrers was conveyed first to Ashby- On the following day Lord Ferrers receivde-la-Zouche, where he awaited the verdict ed judgment. A brief, manly address of the coroner's jury. He was then commit- from the criminal, closed this remarkable ted to Leicester jail, and thence taken in scene. He regretted that he had troubled his own landau and four, under a strong their lordships with a defence to which he guard, to the Tower.
was always averse—that of insanity. He On the 16th of April he was brought to thanked their lordships for their “fair and his trial, which lasted two days. He con- candid trial ;” and requested a respite, ducted his defence himself, and committed which was afterwards granted. a fatal error in so doing; for his sole chance During that solemn interval, Lord Ferof escape from the judgment of the law rers made a will, in which he left 13001. to rested on the popular belief of his insanity. Mr. Jobnson's family, 601. a year to Mrs. His acuteness, his presence of mind, his Clifford, and 10001. to each of his natural clear memory, his pertinent questions, com-children. This will being made after his pletely refuted this notion. His unhappy conviction, was not valid ; but, by the brothers did their best to save him from an good feeling of his successors,
it was carried ignominious death upon this presumption. into effect. Horace Walpole, who was present at the Whilst the earl was thus evincing in some trial, feelingly remarks,—" It was affecting measure his penitence, the famous Whiteto see his family come forward to prove in- field visited him, and endeavored to consanity in blood, in order to save him." To vert him. He found him courteous, but inthe earl's credit, he entered into this at- flexibly deaf to religious subjects,-a state tempt with reluctance, and remarked with of mind which Whitefield, or, as Horace a delicacy and sensibility for which few Walpole calls him, “ that impertinent felcould have given him credit upon the situa- low,'' described in his sermons as a heart tion to which he was reduced,
on being of stone.” obliged to prove himself a lunatic that he But the last sad scene now approached. might not be deemed a murderer." When Tyburn was then in all its sombre glory; and he found that the plea could not save him, thither, to undergo the punishment of hanghe confessed that he had availed himself ing, Lord Ferrers was to be conveyed. A of it only to gratify his friends, and that scaffold was erected there, and was covered be believed it had been prejudicial to his with black cloth.
The lord high steward, in passing The attire in which Lord Ferrers dressed sentence, remarked, " that the prisoner had himself for this, the last act of his wretched appeared almost ashamed to take refuge life, seems to imply great singularity, if it under a pretended insanity ; but that he be not characteristic of absolute insanity. had displayed, in all his cross-examinations Instead of assuming a decorous mourning, of the witnesses, the exactness of a memory he appeared in a suit of a light color, emmore than ordinarily sound.”
broidered gaily with silver. This was said During the progress of the trial, the sym- to have been his wedding dress. pathies of the lords had been awakened to may think it strange, sir,” said the peer to the situation of the noble prisoner. His the sheriff, who attended him, to see me calmness, his clearness and ability, were ex- in this dress, but I have a particular reason torting admiration, until, as the evidence for it.” The procession then set out amid proceeded, his determined, fierce revenge the gaze of thousands, to whom that day was manifested; and when it was shown was a holiday. Lord Ferrers, by his own that he had endeavored to pull the bed request, went to his doom in his landau and clothes off his agonized victim with a view four, escorted by horse-guards. A mournto tearing the bandages from his wound, the ing coach and six, containing a party of his VOL. XII. No. IV.
66 You tion."
friends, followed the landau; and this was Thus died one, on whosc doom the judg. again succeeded by a hearse and six, pro- ment of the present generation, more vided for the reception of his body. lenient than the past, passes this criticism
During his imprisonment, Lord Ferrers that the insanity of the culprit was unwrote to the king, praying that he might doubted. How far it might be alleged in suffer where his ancestor the Earl of Essex excuse of a crime so coolly premeditated, had suffered. He reminded his majesty so systematically accomplished, is probleinthat he quartered part of the royal arms atical. Doubtless, in our own times, a with his own ; but this appeal was fruitless ; life-long imprisonment would have been and it was appointed that the earl should substituted for the punishment of death; die where common felons met their doom. when the mind which retained so many of
This trait of family pride in one so de- its healthiest powers might have been graded, may appear singular to those who brought to a sense of duty, the heart relook not into the human heart, and do not claimed, the burden of guilt alleviated. know how nearly meanness and loftiness, But George II.'s determination to make an shame and impenitence, unite in the same example of one in so exalted a station, heart. But how can we explain Lord Ferrers' was inexorable ; and we cannot but respect religious sentiments, or reconcile them with the firmness which was based upon a prinhis actions? He declared as he went along, ciple so just. The Earl Ferrers was sucamid a mass of human beings whose atten- ceeded by his brother Washington, who tion was fixed on him only, " That he had took his seat in the house of Lords—it always adored one God; although he never being established, that an entailed dignity could believe what some sectaries teach, is not forfeited by attainder of felony. that faith alone will save mankind, and that It is a relief to turn to another member if a man, just before his death, say, 'I be- of the Shirley family, who, whatever might lieve ;' that alone would ensure his salva- have been her errors of judgment, was de
He blamed Lord Bolingbroke for vout, conscientious, bountiful. Selina, publishing his opinions, and disturbing the countess of Huntingdon, was the aunt of order of society. The melancholy proces- Earl Laurence, being the daughter and one sion was followed all this while by a coach of the co-heiresses of Washington, second containing the unhappy partner of Lord earl Ferrers. She was married when in Ferrers' guilt, Mrs. Clifford. When they her twenty-second year to Theophilus, earl drew near the scaffold, Lord Ferrers told of Huntingdon, whose death at an early the sheriff that he wished to take leave of age is supposed to have first disposed her that person, “ for whom he had a very sin mind to religious impressions. Four song cere regard. But
upon the sheriff object- and three daughters were the issue of this ing, he replied, “Sir, if you think I am marriage, and the sorrows attending upon wrong I submit.” He then delivered to the the death of some of these children, and sheriff a purse, a ring, and a pocket-book, the anxieties imparted by the misconduct in which there was a bank-note, and begged of others, co-operated with the endeavors of him to give them “ to that individual.”' that powerful mind which, in the celebrated
His death was marked by a composure Whitefield, was destined to control Lady and decorum, and an apparent penitence, Huntingdon's reason, and prompt her which almost cause a regret that a still actions. longer respite had not been afforded to In the spring-time of her life, Lady one who now, for the first time, had met Huntingdon was of a gay disposition and with any opposition to his will, or known fascinating manners. The loss of her the salutary chastisement of adversity. children-for one daughter alone survived The attendants, awe-struck yet gratified, her-and the death of her husband before heard from the lips of the felon the ejacu- the charms of her prosperous life had been lation, "O God, forgive me all my errors-- touched by time, destroyed for ever the pardon all my sins ! »
elasticity of her spirits. She had never The following verses were found in Lord been of a dissipated turn, but was always Ferrers' apartment in the Tower. They pious and benevolent, and, before she bewere attributed to him, but were probably came a proselyte of Whitefield, was a made for him :
member of the Church of England. No "In doubt I lived, in doubt I die,
second nuptials ever engaged the affections Yet stand prepared the vast abyss to try;
which were devoted to the dead; and it And undismay'd expect eternity.”
was thought typical of her coldness to all earthly passions that the widowed countess peer and the peasant went away alike edi. placed on the tomb of her lost husband a fied and enraptured. The truth is, that, marble bust. “ Cold was she," writes one in an age of apathy, he arose a seeming who has drawn her character, as the in-prophet. He was a man of infinite address sensible marble, whose gentle smile, amid and of strong sense; and, to use an exthe symbols of death, seemed eloquent with pression of one of his admirers, he “ comimmortality.”
mon-placed the truths of the Reformation ;-) It was during this void of the heart that adapting them, in his peculiar colloquial Lady Huntingdon first heard Whitefield manner, to every comprehension.
His preach. That most remarkable man was votaries believed him, however, to be half at this time in the prime of life and the divine; and thought that, like the apocazenith of his popularity. His person was lyptic angel, he was so near the throne of graceful, his stature above the middle grace that he came down “ clothed with its height, his complexion very fair, and his rainbow.” countenance manly. His eyes were of a
The celebrated Howell Harris introduced dark blue ; and although disfigured by a him to Lady Huntingdon, who sent for squint, lively and expressive. In after life Whitefield to her house in Chelsea. He he became corpulent, and a notion of self- preached to her twice in her drawing-room, indulgence was imparted by that defect, in a manner which determined her to send but there was no ground for it. His habits for some of the nobility to hear him. Lord were singularly nice and cleanly, upon the Chesterfield was among the complimentary principle that everything about a minister listeners who wished to please the charming should be “ spotless." He was known to countess, and who were amused, perhaps say that he could not die easy if his gloves to some good effect, by the preacher. were out of place. He had the gentleman- “Sir," said the great master of politely love of order, which required his table ness to Whitefield, “ I shall not tell you to be elegantly spread even if only a loaf, what I shall tell others, how I approve of or his favorite dish, a cow keel, were to be you.” set upon it.
Lord Bolingbroke also came, sat like Such were his external graces ; his in- an archbishop,'
” and observed that Mr. ward gifts were, perhaps, as remarkable as Whitefield had done great justice to the those of any enthusiast of past times. In Divine attributes. Then turning to the society he had a ready wit, recalling some-countess, he said, what his early occupation at the bar of an " You may command my pen when you inn; and in the pulpit this was thought no will, it shall be drawn in your service." unbecoming attribute, even when the most Privy councillors and nobles went to dine serious themes were in question. His with him, and Whitefield exclaimed, maxim was “ to preach as Apelles painted 1 Thus the world turns round !” ---for eternity;" yet his sermons scarcely At this time above a thousand commuexcite the passing curiosity of the most nicants thronged every Sabbath to St. enthusiastic at the present day. Never, Bartholomew's, where he preached. He however, did human preacher exercise so lectured at Lady Huntingdon's sometimes powerful an influence over the passions of to sixty persons of rank, Bolingbroke being others. He thought it his duty, indeed, generally among the listeners; and in him " to smite with the hand, stamp with the Whitefield soon felt the deepest interest, foot, and lift up the voice like a trumpet." and expressed the most lively hopes of his He was sometimes the judge putting on his conversion; but although several of the condemning cap, and exclaiming “Sinner, nobility were won over by his persuasions, I must do it! I must proclaim judgment;' that lofty intellect remained unsubdued. sometimes the humorous retailer of a vast in process of time, Whitefield formed a store of anecdotes; yet always solemn, plan of identifying Lady Huntingdon with always in earnest ; every accent of his his religious societies. He saw, he said, voice produced an incredible effect; and "a Dorcas at Ashby Place," and felt that the bolder flight of fancy carried his hearers she ought to be a “ Phæbe.” He felt that away from the powerful acting of the man he wanted a “ leader," and selected this whose art it was to seem natural. His generous, high-born woman for that saintly manners fascinated all ranks; he charmed position. How he disclosed to her his the learned as well as the unlearned ; the wishes, what were her first emotions, to what
extent vanity aided the work, as well as Perhaps the secretary might have gone faith, we have no records. He wrote to still further. The Christian world was her thus :
then, as Whitefield expressed it, "in a leader' is wanting. This honor deep sleep : nothing but a loud voice could hath been put upon your tadyship by the awaken it.” “I love those,” thus was he great Head of the Church ; an honor con- wont to say, "who thunder out the word.” ferred on few, but an earnest of one to be Another proselyte, one of Queen Caroline's put on your ladyship before men and an- ladies of the bedchamber, declared herself gels when time shall be no more.
"ready to show out, if called upon by Lady Huntingdon was won ovor by this Whitefield. But the palace was " ringing presumptuous assurance; from benceforth about her,” and Mrs. Greenfield was adthe energies of her mind were devoted to vised by the prudent minister to be content plans for the propagation of the Calvinistic without becoming a “glorious martyr," and doctrines; upwards of 100,0001., in addi- to be satisfied with hearing him at Lady tion to a large sum left in her will, were Huntingdon's select and pious assemblies. expended by her in the foundation of cha- In his leetares to these ladies, Whitefield pels, and in aiding the missionaries ap- is admitted to have mingled more complipointed by Whitefield. She reduced her ment and consolation than was consistent style of living; she sold her jewels. In with their eondition and his own sincerity. 1768 she founded her college near Tal-On one occasion he made, however, a fatal garth, in South Wales, for the education mistake. The famous Countess of Suffolk of serious and godly young men, and such was brought by Lady Guildford to Lady as she believed had a“ Divine call." Not- Huntingdoa's evening meetings. Whitewithstanding this very decided line of con- field was ignorant of her presence, and duct, Lady Huntingdon had still not re- drew his bow, and let fly his shafts at a nounced the doctrines of Episcopacy, al- venture. Lady Suffolk felt the wounds of though she sanctioned an independent form conscience or of pride, and believed that of worship. She weighed not, possibly, the the darts were aimed at her. She contrivconsequences of her actions, for she was ed to sit through the service in silence; but now completely the creature of Whitefield's when the preacher had retired, she broke will; no enthusiast of Port Royal ever ont into violent harangues against Lady bowed so completely beneath the intellec- Huntingdon, and declared that she knew tual power and firm self-reliance of her sa- the sermon was intended to insult her. She periors. Lady Huntingdon described her- was, in time, appeased, but returned to
as a ship before the wind, carried on those perilous regions no more. by an impulse she could not resist or de- Startling as these scenes were, they fell scribe."
short in excitement and interest of Lady Doubtless fashion, that powerful machine Huntingdon's chapel at Bath, the resort and for keeping alive the heat of the devotee's talk of that thronged watering-place. imagination, had no small influence in It was opened in great state by Whitefield, these matters. Even at court, Whitefield's and was in itself very attractive, being of "elect ladies," as they were called, were beat architecture, with Gothic windows. the objects of notice. It became the elect, "I am glad," said Horace Walpole, “ to they thought, to dress with peculiar sim- see luxury creeping on them before perseplicity. Lady Chesterfield, one of the cation." leaders of fashion, went to the drawing- At a period when the greatest negligence room in a brown lutestring, embroidered prevailed, the service in this chapel was with silver flowers. George II., diverted rendered seductive at once to the senses at his own powers of wit and observation, and the intellect. It is curious to find absolutely laughed aloud as he said to Lady Huntingdon adopting the practice of Lady Chesterfield,
our modern clergy. At the upper end of “I know who chose that gown for you-- her chapel was a broad haut pas of four Mr. Whitefield. I hear you have been at- steps, advancing at the middle; at each tending him & year and a half.” Lady end of the broadest part were two eagles, Chesterfield confessed she had, and acknow- with red cushions, for the parson and the ledged her admiration of the preacher, clerk. Behind these were three more steps, whilst even the Secretary of State stepped on which stood an eagle for the pulpit, and forward to assure his majesty that no hurt to all three were scarlet arm-chairs. A was designed to the State by the Methodists. I band of boys and girls, with good voices,
sang hymns in parts; and on either side of | of the funeral the sacrament was adminis the haut pas was a balcony for the “elect tered to the mourning family at the foot of ladies."
the coffin. The assembled party then reBesides this there was a sly corner for tired to Lady Huntingdon's house, and at the bishops; and this was called by the cleven returned to the chapel, which was witty Lady Betty Cobbe, the “ Nicodemite crowded to excess, the congregation being Corner.” Into this, that enthusiastic pro- admitted by tickets distributed by the selyte delighted to smuggle bishops to see young Earl of Buchan. During five days and hear unseen ; and, perchance, to learn, this scene was repeated. for pulpit eloquence was at its lowest ebb; The “trophies” won by Whitefield and and the earnest boldness of Whitefieid Lady Huntingdon in the Chesterfield might not be without its fruits. Nor was family were also remarkable. The Lady Whitefield's idea a bad one :--
Gertrude Hotham, the earl's sister; her “ It has long been my judgment,” he young, ill-fated daughter; and her son, Sir said, “ that it would be best for many of Charles Hotham, were his avowed disciples. the present preachers to have a tutor and The Countess de Litz, the sister of Lady retire for awhile, and be content with Chesterfield, was another proselyte; but, preaching now and then, till they were a perhaps, the prize he most gloried in was little more improved ;” nor weuld the sug- the Countess of Chesterfield herself. The gestion be misplaced even in these enlight- natural daughter of George I., she was as ened days.
powerful at court as in the circles of fashTo return to the chapel. Its pulpit wassion. She was foremost in every scene of shared with Whitefield by the famous Ro- dissipation. She met Whitefield at Lady maine ; or, to write in the “cicct” style, Huntingdon's, and became humble, de“ dear Mr. Romaine hath been much oun- muro, and “elect.” At her ladyship's ed in it.” Among the listeners in this tea-table, Pulteney, earl of Bath, laid really beautiful structure were the afflicted aside his politics for a season, and sang Lord and Lady Sutherland, who had re- hymns side by side with Lady Chesterfield. paired to Bath to recover, in the amuse- Lord Dartmouth, the patron of Newton of ments of that place, from the death of their Olney, and the beloved of George III. and eldest daughter. But they found a greater Queen Charlotte, was another star in this solace in the chapel of Lady Huntingdon, singular assemblage, composed, when we where, as it happened, their funeral sermon comprise Chesterfield and Bolingbroke, of was preached before a throng of nobility the subdued scoffer, and the half-admiring, and fashion ; for they died in the prime of half-sneering sceptic ; of the zealous enlife almost together, whilst their daughter, thusiast, and of the gentle, alarmed, inert the late Duchess-countess of Sutherland, believer. Scandal soon found out this capiwas an infant. The death of Lady Suther- tal theme for its venom. Whitefield, the land was concealed from her mother, and archpriest, was attacked with a bitterness that of Lord Sutherland alone disclosed. which, in the present day, would have evaThe unhappy mother set out to Bath to porated into a good-humored raillery. Accensole her daughter. She met on the cording to Cowper, he road from the north two hearses, and heard. Bore the pelting scorn of half an age; that they were carrying her son-in-law and The very butt of slander, and the blot daughter to be entombed at Holyrood. For every dart that malice ever shot. Another patient, pious listener in this
The man that mentioned him at once dismissed
All mercy from his lips, and sneered and hissed." assembly, was Lady Glenorchy; or, as she was afterwards called, “the Selina of And whilst he was thus reviled, the CounScotland." This lady formed her spiritual tees of Moira, Lady Huntingdon's only self upon the model of Lady Huntingdon, surviving daughter, was dismissed from the and received her first spiritual gifts in the office of lady of the bed chamber for refuschapel at Bata. A solemn scene, in which ing to play at cards on Sundays. Every Lady Huntingdon played a conspicuous possible crime was attributed to Whitepart, was enacted when the Earl of Buchan field; perhaps on the strength of his own died, Whitefield attending by his bed-side. confession, that he was at one time “ hastDuring a week, the coffin was exhibited in ing to hell.” But this acknowledgment, the chapel, where Whitefield preached prompted by the wish to give hope to othtwice a day, and all the rank and fashion ers, could only be turned against him by in the city came to hear. On the morning bad minds.