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Which, when they took their pastime with the winds,
Would charm the astonish'd gazer; teare that face!
Lovely as is the morning, in whose eyes

Stands writ the history of her heart, inticing

The ravish'd reader to runne on; 'pon whose eyelids
Discretion dwels, which, when a wilde thought
Would at those casements like a thiefe steale in,
Playes her heart's noble friend and shuts out sin."

Hubert, when pleading to Matilda for his master, says:
"Hubert. Virtue! pale poverty,

Reproach, disaster, shame sits on her forehead,
Despisings fill her sleeps, ill-favour'd injuries
Meet her at every turne, tears are her triumphs,
Her drink affliction, calumny attends her,

The unclean tongue of slaunder daily licks her
Out of her fashion; but if you be King John's friend,-

Mat. Oh, strong temptation.

Queen. Matilda

Hubert. You may, like

A nimble wind, play on the ruffling bosome

Of that phantastick wood, the world; your sleep's a paradise
Hung round with glittering dreames, then your dissemblings
Will be call'd devotions, your rigid cold hypocrisie
Religious holy heats: mirth decks the court daies,

The wanton minutes glide just like a streame,

That clips the bosome of a wealthy meade,

Till't get it great with child; a sweet green blessing.

Consider, 'tis the king."

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

Will walke upon our pallace battlements,
And thou shalt carry up a covetous eye,
And thou shalt cast that covetous eye about
The fair, delightful village-spotted valleyes;
Thou shalt stand still, and think, and recollect
The troubl'd longings of thy large desires,
And whatsoever thou shalt aske the king,
(Of all thou see'st) the king shall give it thee."

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,
As you call'd him,

May come out again i'th' guts of a poor John:

No, no, I will live and laugh; you would have made her
The mistresse of the king, and she is married
To the king's master, oh, to the noblest king
Poore supplicant ever kneel'd to; to your king
And her king, and to my king, she's married;
Oh married, married, let the satyrs dance it,
The sweet birds sing it, let the winds be wanton,
And as they softly, with an evening whisper,
Steal through the curl'd locks of the lofty woods,
Let them in their sweet language seem to say,
This, this, was chaste Matilda's marriage day."

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;
Thou, Bruce and grumbling Leister, either speedily
Give up the castle, and upon your knees

Fall to the mercy you have scorn'd, or here
Before a paire of minutes passe, the sword
Of incens'd justice shall, even in your eyes,
Leave this old rebell headlesse.

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?
To ease my groaning country, is that rebellion?
To preserve the unstain'd honour of a maid,

(And that maid my daughter;) to preserve your glory,
That you stand not branded in our chronicles,
By the black name of wedlock-breaker; is this
(Good heaven!) is this rebellion?
Come, come,
Oh! that wrong'd soul, to death so falsely given,
Flies, sweetly singing her own truth, to heaven."



Act V.

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 Holland.

"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 characIt cleaves to them from Martin Luther down to William


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