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THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
EARL OF NEWCASTLE, VISCOUNT MANSFIELD, LORD
BOLSOVER AND OGLE.
My LORD, Out of the darkness of a former age (enlightened by a late both learned and an honourable pen),? I have endeavoured to personate a great attempt, and, in it, a greater danger. In other labours you may read actions of antiquity discoursed ; in this abridgment find the actors themselves
1 "William Cavendish (nephew to the first Earl of Devonshire), Jord Ogle,” Collins says, "jure materno, was born in the year 1992, and was early in favour with James I., by whom he was made a knight of the Bath in 1610, and created a peer, by the title of Viscount Mansfiel 1, in 1623. He continued in favour with Charles I., who created him Earl of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1628, and Marquis six years afterward. In 1638, the king assigned him the office of governor to the Prince of Wales." For more than half a century the house of this distinguished noblernan was open to every man of genius and learning. He was more particularly the friend and munificent patron of Ben Jonson, whos e connexion with the family appears to have been of long and close continuance, and whose assistance was called for by them on all occasions of mirth or melancholy, whether in the supply of monumental inscriptions, or in furnishing interludes for those splendid entertainments wrdich his patron was accustomed to give, and which appear to have been the astonishment of the times. “God be thanked," says the Earl of Clarendon, emphatically, when mentioning that which the earl gave tu Charles I. on his journey into Scotland; “God be thanked, that though this stupendous entertainment might too much whet the appetite or others to excess, no man ever after in those days imitated it.” For an 8.ccount of the public services of the Earl of Newcastle, for proofs of his devotion and unshaken fidelity to his royal and unfortunate master, th's reader is referred to the pages of the saine excellent historian. A long and elaborate character of the earl will be found in the second volume, from which we extract such passages as serve to show his attachment to literature and the fine arts.
“He was a very fine gentleman, active, and full of coura ge, and most
2 Learned and honourable pen.) That of the great Lordi Bacon. Ho. alludes to his “ History of King Henry VII."-GIFTORD.
discoursing; in some kind practised as well what to speak as speaking why to do. Your lordship is a most competent judge in expressions of such credit, commissioned by your known ability in examining, and enabled by your knowledge in determining, the monuments of Time. Eminent titles may, indeed, inform who their owners are, not often what. To yours, the addition of that information in both cannot in any application be observed flattery, the authority being established by truth. I can only acknowledge the errors in writing mine own; the worthiness of the subject written being a perfection in the story and of it. The custom of your lordship's entertainments (even to strangers) is rather an example than a fashion; in which consideration I dare not profess a curiosity : but am only studious that your. lordship will please, among such as best honour your goodness, to admit into your noble construction,
accomplished in those qualities of horsemanship, dancing, and fencing which accompany a good breeding, in which his delight was. Besides that, he was amorous in poetry and music, to which he indulged the greatest part of his time; and nothing could have tempted him out of those paths of pleasure, which he enjoyed in a full and ample fortune, but honour, ambition to serve the king when he saw him in distress, and abandoned by most of those who were in the nighest degree obliged to him and by him."
“In all actions of the field he was still present, and never absent in any battle ; iu all which he gave instances of an invincible con rage and fearlessness in danger, in which the exposing himself notoriously did sometimes change the fortune of the day when his troops began to give ground. Such articles of action were no sooner over than he retired to his delightful company, music, or his softer pleasures; to all which he was so indulgent, and to his ease, that he would not be interrupted upon what occasion soever, insomuch as he sometimes denied admission to the chiefest officers of the army, even to General King himself, for two days together, from whence many inconveniences fell out."— History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. b. 8.
i The monuments of Time, i. e. such as are destined to live to future ages; a compliment somewhat too high even for this great and good man, whose judgment in matters of mere literature never possessed that commanding influence which the grateful poet seems inclined to endow bim with.-GIFFORD.
Lord DAwbenEy. .
Earl of SURREy.
JAMEs IV. King of Scotland.
Lady KATHERINE Gordon.
Sheriff, Constables, Officers, Guards, Serving-men, Maskers and Soldiers.
SCENE, partly in England, partly in Scotland.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Westminster.—The Royal Presence-chamber. Enter King HENRY, -supported to the throne by the
Bishop of Durham and Sir William Stanley, Earl of Oxford, Earl of Surrey, and Lord DAWBENEY.
- A Guard.
Dur. The rage of malice
Of discord and ambition: this hot vengeance
Daw. Edward the Fourth, after a doubtful fortune,
Oxf. Margaret of Burgundy Blows fresh coals of division.
Sur. Painted fires, Without or heat to scorch or light to cherish. Daw. York's headless trunk, her father; Edward's
fate, Her brother, king; the smothering of her nephews By tyrant Gloster, brother to her nature, Nor Gloster's own confusion (all decrees Sacred in heaven), can move this woman-monster, But that she still, from the unbottom'd mine Of devilish policies, doth vent the ore Of troubles and sedition.
-pulld from his boar's sty.) This contemptuous allusion to the armorial bearings of Richard III. is very common in our old wri. ters. Shakspeare has it frequently in his tragedy of this usurper.GIFFORD.