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Captain Woodcock, of Hackney, he had only one daughter, of which the mother, the first year after her marriage, died in childbed, and the child also within a month after. By his third wife, Elizabeth, the daughter of one Mr. Minshal, of Cheshire, (and kinswoman to Dr. Paget) who survived him, and is said to be yet living, he never had any child; and those he had by the first he made serviceable to him in that very particular in which he most wanted their service, and supplied his want of eye-sight by their eyes and tongue; for though he had daily about him one or other to read to him, some person of man's estate, who of their own accord greedily catched at the opportunity of being his readers, that they might as well reap the benefit of what they read to him, as oblige him by the benefit of their reading; others, of younger years sent by their parents to the same end, yet excusing only the eldest daughter by reason of her bodily infirmity, and difficult utterance of speech, (which to say truth I doubt was the principal cause of excusing her) the other two were condemned to the performance of reading, and exactly pronouncing of all the languages of whatever book he should at one time or other think fit to peruse; vix. the Hebrew (and I think the Syriac), the Greek, the Latin, the Italian, Spanish and French. All which sorts of books to be con– fined to read, without understanding one word, must needs be a trial of patience, almost beyond endurance; yet it was endured by both for a long time, yet the irksomeness of this employment could not be always concealed, but broke out more and more into expressions of uneasiness; so that at length they were all (even the eldest also) sent out to learn some curious and ingenious sorts of manufacture, that are proper for women to learn, particularly embroideries in gold or silver. It had been happy indeed if the daughters of such a person had been made in some measure inheritrixes of their father's learning; but since fate otherwise decreed, the greatest honour that can be ascribed to this now living (and so would have been to the others had they lived) is to be daughter to a man of his extraordinary character,
He is said to have died worth 1500l. in money, (a considerable estate, all things considered,) besides household goods; for he sustained such losses as might well have broke any person less frugal and temperate than himself; no less than 2000l. which he had put for security and improvement into the excise office, but neglecting to recal it in time, could never after get it out, with all the power and interest he had in the great ones of those times; besides another great sum, by mismanagement and for want of good advice.
Thus I have reduced into form and order whatever I have been able to rally up, either from the recollection of my own memory, of things transacted while I was with him, or the information of others equally conversant afterwards, or from his own mouth by frequent visits to the last.
I shall conclude with two material passages, which
though they relate not immediately to our author, or his own particular concerns; yet in regard they happened dur
ing his public employ, and consequently fell most espe
cially under his cognizance; it will not be amiss here to subjoin them. The first was this.
Before the war broke forth between the states of England, and the Dutch, the Hollanders sent over three ambassadors in order to an accommodation; but they returning reinfecta, the Dutch sent away a plenipotentiary, to offer peace upon much milder terms, or at least to gain more time.
But this plenipotentiary could not make such haste, but that the parliament had procured a copy of their instructions in Holland, which were delivered by our author to his kinsman that was then with him, to translate for the council to view, before the said plenipotentiary had taken shipping for England; an answer to all he had in charge lay ready for him, before he made his public entry into London.
In the next place there came a person with a very sumptuous train; pretending himself an agent from the Prince of Conde, then in arms against Cardinal Mazarine: the parliament mistrusting him, set their instrument so busily at work, that in four or five days they had procured intelligence from Paris, that he was a spy from King Charles; whereupon the very next morning our author's kinsman was sent to him, with an order of council commanding him to depart the kingdom within three days, or expect the punishment of a spy. By these two remarkable passages, we may clearly
*To the Nightingale . . . . . .
Page To Mr. H. Lawes, on the publishing his Airs . 311 On the religious Memory of Mrs. Catherine Thomson To the Lord General Fairfax e o - - 312 To the Lord General Cromwell . - * e To Sir Henry Vane, the Younger - - -
* On the late Massacre in Piemont - • - 313
X On his Blindness - e - - • - –
To Mr. Lawrence - • - - - e
To Cyriack Skinner . . - . . . 314
To the same - e o e e o e
* On his deceased Wife . e - o - - ODES.
On the Morning of Christ's Nativity . - e 315
o, • Upon the Circumcision . . . . . 321 – ; the Death of a fair Infant . . . . — • On Time . • e e e e e e 323 • At a solemn Music - - o e e e
An Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester .. 324
Another on the same . o - e o e 329