« PreviousContinue »
THE RIGHT HONOURABLB
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), Lord Ogle,” Collins says, " jure materno, was born in the year 1592, 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 noblenan was open to every man of genius and learning. He was more particularly the friend and munificent patron of Ben Jonson, whose 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 włdich 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 tv Charles I. on his journey into Scotland; “God be thanked, that though this stupendous entertainment might too much whet the appetite of others to excess, no man ever after in those days iinitated 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, this 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 Lord's Bacon. Ho. alludes to his “History of King Henry VIL."-GurORD.
Before your eyes, in presence of your peers,
it! Return'd the tyrant, my unnatural uncle, A truth of my despatch; I was convey'd With secrecy and speed to Tournay; fosterd By obscure means, taught to unlearn myself: But as I grew in years, I grew in sense Of fear and of disdain; fear of the tyrant Whose power sway'd the throne then: when disdain Of living so unknown, in such a servile And abject lowness, prompted me to thoughts of recollecting who I was, I shook off My bondage, and made haste to let my aunt of Burgundy acknowledge me her kinsman;
Heir to the crown of England, snatch'd by Henry From Richard's head; a thing scarce known i'th'
world. K. Ja. My lord, it stands not with your counsel
To fly upon invectives; if you can
War. You are a wise and just king, by the powers
utter The language of a king, and such is thine. Take this for answer; be whate'er thou art, Thou never shalt repent that thou hast put Thy cause and person into my protection. Cousin of York, thus once more we embrace thee; Welcome to James of Scotland! for thy safety, Know, such as love thee not shall never wrong thee. Come, we will taste a while our court-delights, Dream hence afflictions past, and then proceed To high attempts of honour. On, lead on!
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,
Orf. 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 writers. Shakspeare has it frequently in his tragedy of this usurper. GIFFORD.