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Which, when they took their pastime with the winds,
Hubert, when pleading to Matilda for his master, says:
"Hubert. Virtue! pale poverty,
Reproach, disaster, shame sits on her forehead,
The unclean tongue of slaunder daily licks her
Out of her fashion; but if you be King John's friend,
Mat. Oh, strong temptation.
Hubert. You may, like
A nimble wind, play on the ruffling bosome
Of that phantastick wood, the world; your sleep's a paradise
The wanton minutes glide just like a streame,
When the king imagines he has persuaded Fitzwater to give him his daughter on condition of procuring a divorce, in the joy of his heart he exclaims:
"K. John. Yet there is hope; now by my crown I will.
We shall be sonne and father; thou and I
After Matilda has succeeded in procuring a secure retreat
in Dunmore Abbey, John has an interview with her in the presence of her father, and in vain attempts to make her bend to his wishes. Taking a solemn farewell of her father and the king, she leaves them. Fitzwater says, as she goes:
"Fitz. A father's blessing, like a welcome cloud With child of friendly showers, hover o'er thy goodnesse, And keep it ever green;-she is gone, sir.
K. John. Go thou and runne into the sea.
Fitz. Ha, ha, so the great Emperor of the Barrons,
May come out again i'th' guts of a
We have not, however, space for more than Old Fitzwater's denial of the charge of being a rebel, which the king throws in his teeth while they are parleying on the walls of a castle, to which the barons refuse the king entrance. He exclaims, in great indignation:
"K. John. Barr'd out and brav'd,
You bate and chafe a lyon; bring Old Fitzwater;
Fitz. Now by the blood
I lost in holy Palestine with Richard,
Oh that right reall souldier! King John, I sweare,
That foul word rebel has unrivitted
The bars of reason, and made me very angry;
Is it to take truth's part, to be a rebel?
(And that maid my daughter ;) to preserve your glory,
Immediately after this, a sudden conversion takes place in the king, on hearing of the landing of the Dauphin, and of an army under Young Bruce. However, not before he has remorselessly procured the death of Matilda, by means of a poisoned glove, because she had escaped entirely from his power. As he is repenting, her funeral passes; he relents with stronger marks of contrition, and a reconciliation is huddled up in a very short time among all the parties, and the play finishes with a dirge over the fate of the unfortunate Matilda.
Andrew Pennycuicke, for whom this play was printed, states in his dedication that it passed the stage with general applause, (he being the last that acted Matilda in it.) This is a late period for a man to perform the part of a woman. He also says, that it does not appear in its ancient and full glory; a piece of information for which we give him implicit credit. The text is in truth very corrupt. We have hazarded a few emendations, and are inclined to think that several defects still observable in the metre are to be ascribed to the said Andrew, and not to the author. Davenport is also the author of a comedy, called A new Trick to cheat the Devil, and a tragi-comedy, entitled The City Night-Cap; besides several plays which have never been printed. The first is a very agreeable facetious comedy, and the second possesses occasional energy both of feeling and writing.
ART. VII.-The Political Works of Andrew Fletcher, Esq. London, 1732.
Andrew Fletcher, of Saltoun, was a steady and ardent, though not always a discreet, patriot; a forcible speaker, and an ingenious political speculator. His public life lasted through a long and very interesting period, both of Scotch and English history; and he was connected, in a greater or less degree, with most of the illustrious personages, arduous struggles, and important changes, of that period. These are claims for more attention than has been generally directed towards him, but not for more than this little volume is calculated amply to repay.
Although Fletcher was an active partizan from the time when he first became known, as an opponent of the Duke of Lauderdale's administration, in the reign of Charles II., to the extinction of the Scottish parliament by the Union, it was only during about five years, towards the close of his career, that he appeared as an author. The first article in this collection was printed in 1698, and the last very early in 1704. He was the same man in composition, as in debate and action. He battles as vigorously with pen and press, as he had been accustomed to do with sword and tongue. One could have wished, that he had taken to writing sooner; and that more of his own romantic history, (for such it seems to have been by the scanty notices in the Earl of Buchan's Essays on the Lives of Fletcher and Thomson, published in 1792,) and of the particulars of his intercourse with the great actors of his times, had been preserved: but still we take up with interest whatever was written by so extraordinary a man as he really was; by one who had studied so intently, and thought so freely, and felt so strongly; who was at once so accomplished a scholar, and so bustling a politician; whose family was so noble and whose principles so levelling, for his mother was descended from the stock of Bruce, and every beating of his republican heart sent royal blood rushing through his veins ;-who was one of the only two Scotchmen admitted to the confidence of Lord Russell's Council of Six; who accompanied the unfortunate Monmouth on his desperate undertaking; who was the associate of Sir Patrick Hume, and the other illustrious refugees at the Hague, by whom the revolution of 1688 was concerted; who never asked nor received any honour or emolument from the sovereign whom he had helped to raise to the throne, but regarded his measures with the same jealous patriotism as he had manifested towards others; and who, in the Scottish parliament, fought vigorously and splendidly the last battle of his country's independence. The relics of such a man must be regarded with
There is a cotemporary character of him prefixed to his works, which so well epitomizes his history, and is so good and true in itself, that we insert it. It is taken from a MS. in the library of the late Thomas Rawlinson, Esq."
"Andrew Fletcher, of Saltoun, is a gentleman of good estate in Scotland, attended with the improvement of a good education. He was knight of the shire for Lothian, to that parliament where the Duke of York was commissioner, in the reign of King Charles II., and openly opposed the designs of that prince, and the fatal bill of Accession, which obliged him to retire, first to England, and then to Hol
"The Duke of York could not forgive his behaviour in that par
liament; they summoned him to appear at Edinburgh, which he not daring to do, was declared traitor, and his estate confiscated: he retired to Hungary, and served several campaigns under the Duke of Lorrain he returned to Holland, after the death of King Charles II., and came over to England with the Duke of Monmouth; had the misfortune to shoot the Mayor of Lime after his landing; and on it returned again to Holland; and came over at the revolution with the Prince of Orange.
"He is so zealous an assertor of the liberties of the people, that he is too jealous of the growing power of all princes; in whom he thinks ambition so natural, that he is not for trusting the best of princes with the power which ill ones may make use of against the people: believes all princes were made by, and for the good of, the people; and thinks princes should have no power but that of doing good. This made him oppose King Charles; invade King James; and oppose the giving so much power to King William, whom he never would serve; nor does he ever come into the administration of this Queen: but stands up a stout pillar for the constitution of the parliament of Scotland.
"He is a gentleman, steady in his principles, of nice honour, with abundance of learning: brave as the sword he wears, and bold as a lion a sure friend and an irreconcileable enemy: would lose his life readily to serve his country; and would not do a base thing to save it. His thoughts are large as to religion, and could never be brought within the bounds of any particular sect. Nor will he be under the distinction of a whig or tory; saying, those names are used to cloak the knaves of both.
"His notions of government, however, are too fine spun, and can hardly be lived up to by men subject to the common frailties of nature; neither will he give allowance for extraordinary emergencies; witness the Duke of Shrewsbury, with whom he had always been very intimate; yet the duke coming to be Secretary of State a second time, purely to save his country, this gentleman would never be in common charity with him afterwards. And my Lord Spencer, now Lord Sunderland, for voting for the army, was used by that man much after the same manner.
"He hath wrote some very good things; but they are not published in his name: he hath a very good genius. A low, thin man, of a brown complexion; full of fire; with a stern, sour look; and fifty years old."
The publications here referred to are, we apprehend, those collected in this volume. The character is very accurately drawn, and the failings which it ascribes are fully certified by both the life and writings of Fletcher. He was, in truth, of a fiery, impetuous, and overbearing disposition; a thing not very uncommon with great reformers, or those who aspire to be, or to be thought so. So generally are they of this temperament, that it may almost be taken as an essential part of the character. It cleaves to them from Martin Luther down to William