Lady Lettice Vi Countess Falkland

Cover of book Lady Lettice Vi Countess Falkland
Categories: Fiction » Classic

LADY LETTICE VI-COUNTESS FALKLAND - It is not growing like a tree In bulk, doth make men better be Or standing long an oak, three hundred year, To fall a log at last, dry, bald and sere. A lily of a d


ay Is fairer far in May. Although it fall and die that night, It was the plant and flower of light. In small proportions we just beauties see, And in short measures life may perfect be REN JONSON Ode fo the Memory of Henry Morison. - PREFACE THE idea of this book was suggested to me by the sympathetic account of Lettice Lady Falklands remarkable, pious, and beautiful life given in the chapter on Great Tew in Mrs. Sturge Hendersons Three Centuries in North Oxfordshire. References to Lady Falkland in the seventeenth century biographers, Anthony A Wood and John Aubrey, are full of respect and admiration whilst Lord Clarendon-her husbands most intimate friend-describes her as a lady of most extra- ordinary wit and judgment, and of the most signal virtue and exemplary life that the age produced Life, i. 45. There are glimpses of her gentle presence and influence in his Character of Lord Falkland, and also in a biography of her mother- in-law, Elizabeth, first Lady Falkland but the real charm of her personality only appears in the little book of consolation written by her chaplain, Dr. John Duncon 1648. It gives a vivid pic- ture of the life of a devout lady of the seventeenth century--one of the many pious Royalist widows. She would be interesting merely as the dearly- beloved wife Lettice of Lord Falkland but her own fascination becomes additionally apparent in the simple story of her great sorrows, and of the eager, loving, and practical spirit in which she grappled with the social problems of her time and sphere. Her methods of charity may seem obso- lete, but they are characterized by that directly personal contact and sympathy which is now recog- nized as the highest type of social service. This, with her earnest sense of responsibility and her idealism for herself and for others, makes her life as instructive to those who work as to those who suffer. The sincerity of Dr. Duncons narrative gives it a real value as a record of spiritual experience, and although perhaps, as a whole, it can scarcely claim to be regarded as a book of devotion suitable to the present day, yet it contains so much that is intensely human in thought and aspiration, so much that is as appropriate to the needs of to- day as to those of three centuries ago, that I See footnote, p. 3. PREFACE ix believe it will appeal to many, and I have there- fore incorporated a large part of the spiritual letters in this volume. The description of her life and character to be found in the Rev. W. H. Teales Life of Lord Falkland has been helpful to me in many ways. My thanks are due to the friends who have taken an encouraging interest in the preparation of this book also to Viscount Falkland for very kindly allowing me to reproduce the portrait in his pos- session. February, I 908. M. F. HOWARD. INTRODUCTION CONTENTS PAGE I. BIOGRAPHY, ELEGY, AND CHARACTER I 11. ARGUMENT OF .THE RETURNS OF SPIRITUAL COM- FORT AND GRIEF IN A DEVOUT .SOUL - 5 A LETTER CONTAINING MANY REMARKABLE PASSAGES IN THE MOST HOLY LIFE AND DEATH OF THE LATE LADY LETICE VICOUNTESS FALKLAND WITH EXTRACTS FROM THE RETURNS OF SPIRITUAL COMFORT AND GRIEF IN A DEVOUT SOUL, BY JOHN DUNCON, PARSON, SEQUESTRED, OF RATTENDEN, ESSEX - - 33 INDEX - - I07 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS LETTICE, VISCOUNTESS FALKLAND FROM A CONTEMPORARY PAGE ENGRAVING - - frontispiece GATEWAY IN GARDEN OF MANOR HOUSE, GREAT TEW fifleage ST. MICHAELS CHURCH, GREAT TEW - - I INTERIOR OF ST... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Lady Lettice Vi Countess Falkland
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