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Moneth Minde. See Strype's Memorials Ecclesiastical, Vol. II. p. 281 ;—the Months Mind for the two Dukes of Suffolk (who died at Buckden of the sweating sickness, July 16, 1551, being then students of St John's College) was kept Sept. 22. So the more solemn Celebration of the Funerals of great persons, about a month more or less after their interments, used to be called.'
Dixit Martha ad Jhesum.
THIS holy Gospel late red contayneth in it a Dyalogue, that is to say a Commynication betwixt the Woman of blessyd Memory, called Martha, and our Savyour Jhesu. Which Dyalogue I would apply unto this noble Prynces late deceasyd, in whose remembrance this office and observances be done at this time. And thre thyngs by the leave of God I will entende. First, to shew wherein this noble Prynces may well be lykned and compared unto the blessyd Woman Martha. Second, how she may complain unto our Savyour Jhesu for the paynful dethe of her body, like as Martha dyd for the dethe of her Broder Lazarus. Thyrde, the comfortable Answere of our Savyour Jhesu unto her again. In the first shall stond her prayse and commendation; In the secounde, our mournynge for the loss of hyrr; In the thyrd, our comfort again.
Fyrst I say, the comparyson of them two may be made in four thyngs; In nobleness of Person, In discypline of their Bodys, In orderyng of their Souls to God, In Hospytalytyes kepying, and charytable dealyng to their Neighbours. In which four, the noble Woman Martha (as say the Doctors, entreatynge this Gospel and hyr Lyfe) was singularly to be commended and praysed: wherefore let us con
sider lykewise, whether in this noble Countesse may ony thynge like be founde.
Firste, the blessyd Martha was a Woman of noble blode, to whom by inherytance belonged the Castle of Bethany; and this nobleness of blode they have, which descended of noble Lyngage. Beside this, there is a nobleness of maners, withouten which, the nobleness of blode is moche defaced; for, as Boecius sayth, if oughte be good in the nobleness of blode, it is for that thereby the noble men and women sholde be ashamed to go out of kynde, from the vertuous maners of their auncetrye before. Yet also there is another noblenesse, which aryseth in every Person by the goodnesse of nature; whereby full often suche as come of ryghte pore and unnoble Fader and Moder, have grete abletees of nature to the noble dedes. Above '[all these same,] there is a foure maner of noblenesse, which may be called an encreased noblenesse; as by marryage and affynyte of more noble persons, such as were of lesse condycyon may encrease in hygher degree of noblenesse.
In every of these, I suppose, this Countesse was noble. Fyrst, she came of noble blode, lyneally descendyng of Kynge Edward the 3d. within the foure degree of the same. Her Fader was Johan Duke of Somerset, her Moder was called Margarete,
[ryghte noble as well in maners, as in blode,] to whom she was a veray Doughter in all [noble
1 All these MS. Col. Joh. 2 Desunt MS. Col. Joh.
maners,] for she was bounteous and lyberal to every Person of her Knowledge or acquaintance. Avarice and Covetyse she most hated, and sorowed it full moche in all persons, but specially in ony that belong'd unto her. She was also of syngular Easyness to be spoken unto, and full curtayse answere she would make to all that came unto her. Of mervayllous gentyleness she was unto all folks, but specially unto her owne whom she trusted and loved ryghte tenderly. Unkynde she wolde not be unto no creature, ne forgetfull of ony kyndness or servyce done to her before, which is no lytel part of veray nobleness. She was not vengeable, ne cruell; but redy anone to forgete and to forgyve injuryes done unto her, at the leest desyre or mocyon made unto her for the same. Mercyfull also and pyteous she was unto such as was grevyed and wrongfully troubled, and to them that were in Poverty, or sekeness, or ony other mysery.
MS. Col. Jo.
To God and to the Chirche full obedient and tractable, Serchynge his honour and plesure full* Seching besyly. A wareness of her self she had alway to eschewe every thyng that myght dishonest ony noble Woman, or distayne her honour in ony condycyon. Fryfelous thyngs that were lytell to be regarded, she wold let pass by; but the other that were of weyght and substance wherein she myght proufyte, she wolde not let,for ony payne or labour, to take upon hande. These and many other such noble condycyons left unto her by her 'Auncetres, 4 Auncetre MS. Col. Joh.
"Frivelous" 1560. Fisher on Pruger. N.E.D.
* and in Latin, and
she kept and encreased them with a greate dyly
The third nobleness also she wanted not, which I sayd was the nobleness of Nature. She had in maner all that was praysable in a Woman, either in Soul or in Body. Fyrst, she was of singular Wisedom, ferre passyng the comyn rate of women. She was good in remembraunce, and of holdyng memorye; a redye wytte she had also to conceive all thyngs, albeit they were ryghte derke. Right studious she was in 'Bokes, which she had in grete number, both in Englysh and in Frenshe; and MS. Col. Jo. for her exercise, and for the profyte of other, she did translate divers maters of Devocyon out of Frensh into Englysh. Full often she complayned that in her youthe she had not given her to the understanding of Latin, wherein she had a lytell perceyvyng; specyally of the Rubryshe of the Ordynall for the saying of her Servyce, which she did well understand. Hereunto, in favour, in words, in gesture, in every demeanour of her self, so grete nobleness did appear, that what she spake or dyde, it mervayllously became her.
The foure Nobleness, which we named a nobleness gotten or encreased, she had alsoe; For albeit she of her lynage were right noble, yet nevertheless
1 'To her Daughter Richmond a Book of English being a Legend of Saints, a Book of French called Lucun, another Book of French of the Epistles and Gospels, and a Primmer with clasps of silver gilt covered with purple velvet.' Dutchess of Buckingham's Will, who died 20 Ed. IV., quoted by Dugdale, Vol. I. p. 167.