Page:Historical account of Lisbon college.djvu/48

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HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF LISBON COLLEGE.

On the return of the Embassy to Portugal, King Charles made Dr. Russell the bearer of his own favourable sentiments, in a letter to the Queen, who received him with distinguished marks of honour.

To reward his services and at the same time to preserve for her kingdom a person of such talents and worth, she nominated him Bishop of the Cape Verde Islands, promising to promote him to the first See in Portugal that should become vacant. This dignity Dr. Russell declined, but still continued at Court in quality of Preceptor to the Infanta, whom he soon after accompanied to England.

In 1671 the Bishopric of Portalegre becoming vacant, he was persuaded to accept it, and the year following received his consecration in the church of the College.

During the ceremony a dove was seen to enter the church, hover for some time over the head of the new prelate and then fly away. The account of this fact is preserved in a letter written by Dr. Godden, who was present when it occurred, to a friend in England, soon after the Bishop s consecration, of which letter a copy exists in the College. "You have the fact," says the Doctor at the conclusion of the letter, "make your own comment."

In Jan. 1672, Bishop Russell made his first entrance into Portalegre and took solemn possession of his Cathedral. An incident occurred at his enthronement which tends to show the perfect knowledge which he had acquired of the Portuguese tongue.

The Chapter of Portalegre somewhat piqued at the idea of having a foreigner for their Bishop, had received him with coldness, and on this occasion, when it was customary for the Prelate to make an address, expecting more amusement from his accent than edification from his discourse, were with unbecoming levity intimating their feelings to each other. The Bishop affecting not to understand or notice them, rose unruffled, and turning towards them, made so eloquent a discourse, and pro-