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SIR, Presents

RESENTS to gods were offered by the hands of Graces; and why not those to great princes, by those of the Muses? To you therefore, great prince of honour, and honour of princes, I jointly present poesy and musick; in the one, the service of my defunct brother; in the other, the duty of my self living; in both, the devotion of two brothers, your highness's humble servants. Your excellence then, who is of such recommendable fame with all nations, for the curiosity of your rare spirit to understand, and ability of knowledge to judge of all things, I humbly invite; leaving the songs of his Muse, who living so sweetly chanted the glory of your high name. Sacred is the fame of poets; sacred the name of princes: to which

humbly bows, and

vows himself ever

your highness seryant,


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Come, sacred Virtue; 1 no Muse, but thee,

Invoke, in this great labour I intend.
HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR. Do thou inspire my thoughts: infuse in me

A power to bring the same to happy end.

Raise up a work for later times to see,
That may thy glory and my pains commend:

Make me these tumults rightly to rehearse;

And give peace to my life, life to my verse. • 4
What times forego Richard the Second's reign ;
The fatal causes of this civil war:

And thou, Charles Montjoy, who did'st once afford
Hisnncle's pride; his greedy minions gain : Rest for my fortunes on thy quiet shore,
Gloc'ster's revolt, and death, deliver'd are.

And cheered'st me on these measures to record
Herford, accus'd, exild, call'd back again, In graver tones than I had us'd before ;
Pretends to amend what others rule did mar. Behold, my gratitude makes good my word

The king from Ireland bastes, but did no good; Engag'd to thee, although thou be no more;
Whilst strange prodigious signs foretoken blood. That I, who heretofore have liv'd by thee,

Do give thee now'a room to live with me.
I SING the civil wars, tumultuous broils


And Memory, preserv'ress of things done,

Come thou, unfold the wounds, the wrack, the waste; Whose people haughty, proud with foreign spoils, Reveal to me how all the strife begun Upon themselves turn back their cong'ring hand:

'Twixt Lancaster and York, in ages past :-
Whilst kin their kin, brother the brother foils; . How causes, counsels, and events did run,
Like ensigns all, against like ensigns band: So long as these unhappy times did last;
Bows against bows, the crown against the crown;

Unintermix'd with fictions, fantasies :
Whilst all pretending right, all rights thrown down. I versify the truth, not poetize.
What fury, O wbat madness held thee so, And to the end we may with better ease
Dear England, (too ton prodigal of blood)

Discern the true discourse, vouchsafe to show
To waste so much, and war without a foe;

What were the times foregoing, near to these,
Whilst France, to see thy spoils, at pleasure stood! That these we may with better profit know. '60
How much might'st thou have purchas'd with less Tell how the world fell into this disease ;

And how so great distemperature did grow :
T bave done thee honour, and thy people good? So shall we see by what degrees it came;
Thine might have been whatever lies between How things at full do soon wax out of frame.
The Alps and us, the Pyrenees and Rhene.

Ten kings had from the Norman conq'ror reign'd',
Yet now what reason have we to complain,

With iutermix'd and variable fate,
Since hereby came the calm we did enjoy, When England to her greatest height attain'd
The bliss of thee, Eliza? Happy gain

Of power, dominion, glory, wealth, and state;
For all our losses; when as no other way

After it had with much ado sustain'd
The Heav'ns could find, but to unite again The violence of princes, with debate 7.5
The fatal sever'd families, that they

3 [grow Might bring forth thee: that in thy peace might That glory, which few times could ever show.

1 Which was in the space of 260 years.

For titles, and the often mutipies

Ti embroil his age with turnults, he had been
Of nobles, for their ancient liberties.

The happiest monarch that this state had seen.
For first, the Norman a conq'ring all by might, Him Richard ? follows in the government;
By night was forc'd to keep what he had got; Who much the glory of our arms increasid,
Mixing our customs and the form of right And all his father's mighty treasure spent,
With foreign constitutions he had brought; In that devoutful action of the east :
Mast'ring iite mighty, humbling the poorer wight,- Whereto whilst he his forces wholly bent,
By all severest means that could be wrought; Despite and treason his desigas oppress'd;

And, making the succession doubtful, rent A faithless brother, and a fatal king, go This new-got state, and left it turbulent.

Cut off his growth of glory in the spring. 120
William 3 his son tracing his father's ways, Which wicked brother, contrary to course,
(The great men spent in peace, or slain in fight) False Johns, usurps his nephew Arthur's rights;
Upon depressed weakness only preys,

Gers to the crown by craft, by wrong, by force ;
And makes bis force maintain his doubtfull right: Rules it with last, oppression, rigour, might;
His elder brother's claim vexing his days, - Murders the lawful heir without remorse :
His actions and exactions still incite;

Wherefore procuring all the world's despite,
And giving beasts what did to men pertain, A tyrant loath'd, a homicide convented,
(Took for a beast) bimself in th' end was slain. - Poison'd he dies, disgrac'd, and unlamented. -
His brother Henry 4 next commands the state; Henry' his son is chosen king, though young,
Who, Robert's title better to reject,

Ayd Lewis of France (elected first) beguild;' 130 Seeks to repacify the people's hate;

After the mighty had debated long, And with fair shows, rather than in effect,

Doubtful to choose a stranger or a child : Allays those grievances that heavy sat;

With him the barons (in these times grown strong) Reforms the laws, which soon he did neglect: War for their ancient laws so long exild. • And 'reft of sons, for whom he did prepare, He grants the Charter, that pretended ease; Leaves crown and strife to Maud his daughter's care. Yet kept his own, and did his state appease. Whom Stephens, his nephew, (falsifying his oath) Edward , his son, a martial king, succeeds; Prevents; assails the realm, obtains the crown; Just, prudent, grave, religious, fortunate : Such tumults raising as torment them both, Whose happy-order'd reign møst fertile breeds Whilst both held nothing certainly their own : Plenty of mighty spirits, to strength his state ; -140 Th' afflicted state (divided in their troth,

And worthy minds, to manage worthy deeds, And partial faith) most miserable grown,

Th' experience of those times ingenerate : Endures the while; till peace, and Stephen's death, For, ever great employment for the great, Gave some calm leisure to recover breath. Quickens the blood, and honour doth beget. –

X Х When Henry 6, son to Maud the empress, reigns, And had not his misled, lascivious son, And England into form and greatness brought; Edward the Second", intermitted so Adds Ireland to this sceptre, and obtains

The course of glory happily begun, Large provinces in France; much treasure got, (Which brought him and his favourites to woe)

And from exactions here at home abstains: That happy current without stop had run i And had not his rebellious children sought Unto the full of his son Edward's flow: 15

But who bath often seen, in such a state, ? 1067. William I. surnamed the Conqueror, the Father and son like good, like fortunatebase son to Robert Vl. duke of Normandy, reigned twerty years and eight months; and left the crown his son Henry in the crown and government; which of England to William, his third son, contrary to turned to his great disturbance, and set all his the custom of succession.

sons (Henry, Richard, Geoffrey, and John) against 3 1087. William II. had wars with his elder bro- him. He reigned thirty-four years and seven months. ther, Robert duke of Normandy; with whom his 7 1189. Richard went to the holy wars, was king uncle Otho, and many of the nobility of England, of Jerusalem ; whilst his brother John, by the help took part. He was slain hunting in the New of the king of France, usurped the crown of England. Forest, by sir Walter Tyrrell shooting at a deer, He was detained prisoner in Austria, redeemed, when he had reigned thirteen years.

and reigned nine years and nine months. 4 1100. Henry I. the youngest son of William 8 1199. King John usurps the right of Arthar, the Conqueror, reigned thirty-five years and four son to Geoffrey, his elder brother; and reigns semonths; whose sons (William and Richard) being venteen years. He had wars with his barons; who drowned in the seas, he leaves the crown to Maud, elected Lewis, son to the king of France. first married to the emperor Henry IV. and after 9 1216. Henry III. at nine years of age was to Geoffrey Plantagenet, earl of Anjou.

crowned king, and reigned fifty-six years. 5 1135. Stephen, son to the earl of Blois and 10 1272. Edward I. had the dominion over this Adela, daughter to William the Conqueror, invades whole island of Britain ; and reigned gloriously the kingdom, contends with Maud the empress for thirty-four years, seven months. the succession, and reigned tumultuarily eighteen "1 1307. Edward II. abused by his minions, and years and ten months.

debauched by his own weakness, was deposed from 6 1154. Henry II. son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, his government, when he had reigned nineteen years earl of Anjou, and Maud the empress, associated and six months; and was murthered in prison.

: 220

But now this great succeeder '2 all repairs, The other, Langley '7; whose mild temperateness
And reinduc'd that discontinu'd good;

Did tend unto a calmer quietness.
He builds up strength and greatness for his heirs,
Out of the virtues that adorn'd his blood.

With these did Woodstock 18 interpose his part;
He makes his subjects lords of more than theirs, A man for action violently bent,
And sets their bounds far wider than they stood. And of a spirit averse and over-thwart,

His pow'r and fortune had sufficient wrought, Which could not suit a peaceful government: 100 Could but the state have kept what he had got. Whose ever-swelling and tumultuous heart

Wrought his own ill, and others discontent. And had his heir 13 surviv'd him in due course, And these bad all the manage of affairs, What limits, England, had'st thou found ? What During the time the king was under years.

bar? What world could have resisted so great force? And in the first years of his government, O more than men! (two thunderbolts of war)

Things pass'd at first: the wars in France proceed, Why did not time your joined worth divorce, Though not with that same fortune and event, T have made your several glories greater far ? Being now not follow'd with such careful heed : Too prodigal was Nature thus to do,

Our people here at home grown discontent,
To spend in one age what should serve for two.

Through great exactions insurrections breed :
But now the sceptre in this glorious state,

Private respects hinder'd the common-weal ;

And idle ease doth on the mighty steal. 170 Supported with strong pow'r and victory,

Was left unto a child 14; ordain'd by Pate
To stay the course of what might grow too high :

Too many kings breed factions in the court;

The head too weak, the members grown too great :
Here with a stop that greatness did abate,
When pow'r upon so weak a base did lie.

Which evermore doth happen in this sort (threat
For, lest great fortune should presume too far,

When children rule; the plague which God doth Such oppositions interposed are.

Unto those kingdoms, which he will transport

To other lines, or utterly defeat. 230 Never this island better peopled stood ;

“ For, the ambitious once inur'd to reign, Never more men of might, and minds address'd;

Can never brook a private state again. Never more princes of the royal blood, 180 (If not too many for the public rest)

“ And kingdoins ever suffer this distress,
Nor ever was more treasure, wealth, and good,

Where one, or many, guide the infant king;
Than when this Richard first the crown possess'd,

Which one, or many, (tasting this excess
The second of that name; in two accurs'd ;

Of greatness and command) can never bring
And well we might have miss'd all but the first.

Their thoughts again t' obey, or to be less :

From hence these insolencies ever spring,
In this man's reign began this fatal strife,

Contempt of others, whom they seek to foil;
(The bloody argument whereof we treat) Then follow leagues, destruction, ruin, spoil.” 240
That dearly cost so many a prince his life,
And spoil'd the weak; and even consum'd the great; And whether they which underwent this charge
That, wherein all confusion was so rife,

Permit the king to take a youthful vein, 140 As Memory ex'n grieves her to repeat:

That they their private better might enlarge :
And would that time might now tbis knowledge lose, Or whether he himself would farther strain,
But that 't is good to learn by others' woes. (Thinking his years sufficient to discharge
Edward the Third being dead, had left this child 15

The government) and so assum'd the rein.

Or howsoever, now his ear he lends
(Son of his worthy son deceas'd of late) •

To youthful counsel, and his lusts attends.
The crown and sceptre of this realın to wield;
Appointing the protectors of his state

And courts were never barren yet of those,
Two of his sons to be his better shield;

Which could with subtle train, and apt advice, 250
Supposing uncles, free from guile or hate,

Work on the prince's weakness, and dispose
Would order all things for his better good,

Of feeble frailty, easy to entice. 2 B In the respect and honour of their blood.

And such no doubt about this king arose,
Of these, John duke of Lancaster

Whose fattery (the dang'rous nurse of vice)
(Too great a subject grown for such a state:

Got hand upon his youth, to pleasures bent,
The title of a king, and glory won

Which, led by them, did others discontent.
In great exploits, his mind did elevate
Above proportion kingdoms stand upon ;

For now his uncles grew much to mislike
Which made him push at what his issue gat:)

These ill proceedings: were it that they saw
That others favour'd, did aspiring seek

Their nephew from their counsels to withdraw, 12 1326. Edward III.

(Seeing him of a nature flexible and weak)
13 Edward the Black Prince, who died before his Because they only would keep all in awe;

Or that indeed they found the king and state
14 Richard II. being but eleven years of age, was Abus'd by such as now in office sat.
crowned king of England, 1377.
15 Richard II. son to the Black Prince.

17 Edmund Langley, earl of Cambridge, after
16 The duke of Lancaster, entitled king of Castile, created duke of York.
in the right of his wife Constance, eldest daughter 18 Thomas of Woodstock, after made duke of
to king Peter



was one;


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