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LATITUDE OF THE PLANETS. h 245 $ 1 4 17010911019 531 s 1 38s! ( 0530 | H 0 39n
BIOGRAPHICAL ANECDOTES OF RICHARD SAVAGE. In the year 1697, Anne, Countess of Macclesfield, having lived some time on every uneasy terms with her husband, thought a public confession of adultery the most expeditious means of obtaining her liberty, and therefore confessed the child, with which she was then pregnant, to be the offspring of earl Rivers. Upon this, her husband applied, not to the ecclesiastical courts for a divorce, but to parliament, for an act, by which his marriage might be dissolved, the nuptial ontract annulled, and the children of his wife illegitimated.
This act he obtained ; and on March 3d was separated from his wife, whose large fortune was of course returned to her ;, and in a short time she was married to colonel Brett.
While lord Macclesfield was prosecuting this affair, his wife was, on the 10th of January following, delivered of a son, whom earl Rivers appeared to consider as his own, by being his godfather, and giving him his own name, which was, by his direction, registered in the records of St. Andrew's parish, Holborn. The earl probably imagining, that a child, whose birth had caused a separation from a husband whom she hated, would be an object of great tenderness and regard to his mother. This, unfortunately for the helpless infant, left him solely to her care.
It is difficult to discover what motives could be found to over-balance the natural affection of a parent, or what interest could induce her to treat her offspring with neglect and cruelty, instead of supporting and defending; to delight in seeing him struggle with misery, caused chiefly by her inveterate persecution from the first to the last hour of his life.
But whatever were her motives, no sooner was this son born, than disowned by her. She committed him to the care of a poor woman, whom she directed to educate him as her own, and enjoined never to inform him of his true parents. Thus, Richard Savage, though born with a legal claim to honcur and to affluence, was in two months illegitimated by the parliament, and disowned by his mother, doomed to poverty and obscurity, and launched into the ocean of life, only that he might be swallowed by its quicksands, or dashed upon its rocks.
His mother could not indeed infect others with the same cruelty. To inquiries, dictated by the curiosity or tenderness of her relations, she was compelled to reply; and her mother, the lady Mason, probably to prevent more criminal contrivances, engaged to pay the nurse for her care, and to superintend the education of the child; in which charitable
office she was assisted by his godmother, Mrs. Lloyd, who looked upon him with peculiar tenderness till her death, which happening in his tenth* year, was another of the misfortunes of his childhood; for, though she endeavoured to alleviate his loss, by a legacy of £300 ; yet, as he had none to prosecute his claim, her will was eluded by the executors, and no part of the money was ever paid. He was not, however, wholly abandoned.
The lady Mason still continued her care; and directed him to be placed at the grammar-school at St. Alban's, where he was known by the name of his nurse, without the least intimation that he had a claim to any other. Here he was initiated in literature; passed through several of the classes, and as he always spoke of his master with respect, it is probable, that the mean rank, in which he then appeared, did not hinder his genius from being distinguished, or his industry from being rewarded ; and if, in his peculiar situation, he obtained distinction and rewards, it is not likely that they were gained but by genius and industry.
While he was thus cultivating his talents, earl Rivers died f. He had frequently inquired after his son, and was always amused with evasive answers; but being now on his death-bed, he thoughtit his duty to provide for him, and, therefore, demanded a positive account of him, with an importunity not to be diverted or denied.--His mother, who could no longer refuse an answer, declared that he was dead; which is, perhaps, the first instance of a lie invented by a mother to deprive her son of a provision, which was designed him by another, and which she could not expect herself, though he should lose it.
The earl, therefore, bestowed -upon some other the £6000, which he had in his will bequeathed to Savage.
The next gradation of cruelty, on the part of this unnatural mother, was to send him secretly to the American plantations, but in this she was frustrated, most probably because she could not easily find accomplices wicked enough to concur in so cruel an action, and the design of a mother so to expose her child to slavery and want without interest and without provocation, being so far beyond the stretch of common depravity, might give Savage protectors and advovates among those who had long traded in crimes, and whom compassion had never touched before.
* June, 1707.
† August 18th, 1712.
Being hindered from banishing him into another country she soon after formed a scheme for burying him in obscurity in his own, and ordered him to be placed with a shoemaker in Holborn *, where he was employed at the awl till the death of his nurse, whose effects, under the idea that they were now become his own, it was natural for him to take care of, and amongst whose papers he found some letters from the Lady Mason, that informed him who he was, and for what cause he was concealed, determined him to quit his occupation.
[To be continued.]
To the Editor of the Monthly Correspondent.
FEEL obliged by your attention to my request in forwarding to me the nativity of the immortal Nelson. The position of the heavens at this given period so remarkably accords with his extraordinary life, his various bodily accidents, his splendid and rapid advancement, the time and nature of his death, that there cannot be a doubt of the observed time being nearly correct; however, I have found occasion to alter it 13m. which may be accounted for by the difference of clocks, or by not being observed to minutes, as the hour given was 10 in the morning, but I have rectified it to 13m. past 10, when the heavenly bodies were posited as in the following scheme.-
The planet Mars, the lord of the sign Scorpio, ascending the horizon in the genesis of this great and illustrious man,
is his significator; we find him here exceedingly strong, being in his own house and triplicity, irradiated by the sextile beams of Venus, and nearly so aspected by the Moon, which position describes a middled-size person, prompt and determined, ambitous of glory, invincible in enterprize, and fearless of danger; but for the particular qualities of the mind, genius, and disposition, Ptolemy directs us to observe the position of the Moon and Mercury and their dispositors, and how they are afflicted or befriended, or are posited both as to the signs and houses. We find here the Moon is most excellently placed on the mid-heaven, nearly in conjunction with Venus,