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The spilling of her blood by foreign knife,
[throne, Call’d up to power, scarce warm on England's He fill'd her court with beggars from his own; Turn where you would, the eye with Scots was caught,
(thought; Or English knaves who would be Scotsmen To vain expense unbounded loose he gave, The dupe of minions, and of slaves the slave; On false pretences mighty sums he raised, And damn'd those senates rich, whom poor he praised:
[bread, From empire thrown, and doom'd to beg her On foreign bounty whilst a daughter fed, He lavish'd sums, for her received, on men Whose names would fix dishonour on my pen.
Lies were his playthings, parliaments his sport; Bookworms and catamites engross'd the court: Vain of the scholar, like all Scotsmen since, The pedant scholar, he forgot the prince; And having with some trifles stored bis brain, Ne'er learn'd nor wish'd to learn the arts to reign. Enough he knew to make him vain and proud, Mock'd by the wise, the wonder of the crowd; False friend, false son, false father, and false king, False wit, false statesman, and false every thing : When he should act he idly chose to prate, And pamphlets wrote when he should save the
Religious, if religion holds in whim, [state. To talk with all, he let all talk with him : Not on God's honour but his own intent, Not for religion's sake but argument;
More vain if some sly, artful, High Dutch slave,
Power was his wish, unbounded as his will,
Of treaties fond, o’erweening of his parts, In every treaty, of his own mean arts He fell the dupe: peace was his coward care, E'en at a time when justice call’d for war: His pen he'd draw to prove his lack of wit, But rather than unsheath the sword submit. Truth fairly must record; and, pleased to live In league with mercy, justice may forgive Kingdoms betray'd and worlds resign’d to Spain, But never can forgive a Raleigh slain. At length (with white let Freedom mark that
year), Not fear'd by those whom most he wish'd to fear, Not loved by those whom most he wish'd to love, He went to answer for his faults above, To answer to that God from whom alone He claim'd to hold and to abuse the throne, Leaving behind, a curse to all his line, The bloody legacy of Right Divine.
With many virtues which a radiance fling Round private men, with few which grace a king And speak the monarch, at the time of life When passion holds with reason doubtful strife, Succeeded Charles, by a mean sire undone, Who envied virtue even in a son.
His youth was froward, turbulent, and wild; He took the man up ere he left the child; His soul was eager for imperial sway, Ere he had learn'd the lesson to obey. Surrounded by a fawning, flattering throng, Judgmenteach day grew weak,and humour strong; Wisdom was treated as a noisome weed, And all his follies left to run to seed. [spring!
What ills from such beginnings needs must What ills to such a land from such a king! What could she hope! what had she not to fear! Base Buckingham * possess’d bis youthful ear; Strafford and Laud, when mounted on the throne, Engross'd his love, and made him all their own; Strafford and Laud, who boldly dared avow The traitorous doctrine taught by Tories now; Each strove to undo him in his turn and hour, The first with pleasure, and the last with power. Thinking (vain thought, disgraceful to the
throne!) That all mankind were made for kings alone, That subjects were but slaves, and what was whim, Or worse, in common men, was law in him; Drunk with Prerogative which Fate decreed To guard good kings and tyrants to mislead;
George Villiers, raised to the rank of Duke of Buckingham, from the condition of a page, by the perverted affection of James, succeeded to an uncontroled influence over the more amiable Charles, and became a principal cause of the early unpopularity of that monarch.
The following lines, written by Churchill, were engraved on a cup of 5001. value, presented by Mr. Stephenson, of Ludgate Hill, to Mr. Wilkes :
Proud Buckingham, for law too mighty grown,
Which in a fair proportion to deny
[fears, Did England, crush'd by power and awed by
* The meddling character and religious prejudices of Henrietta Maria contributed in no small degree to the destruction of her deluded husband.
Whilst proud Oppression struck at Freedom's root,
Each day new acts of outrage shook the state, New courts were raised to give new doctrines State Inquisitions kept the realm in awe, (weight; And cursed Star Chambers made or ruled the law; Juries were pack'd, and judges were unsound; Through the whole kingdom not one Pratt was
found. From the first moments of his giddy youth He hated senates, for they told him truth : At length against his will compell’d to treat, Those whom he tould not fright he strove to cheat; With base dissembling every grievance heard, And often giving often broke his word. Oh! where shall hapless Truth for refuge fly, If kings, who should protect her, dare to lie?
Those who, the general good their real aim, Sought in their country's good their monarch's
fame; Those who were anxious for his safety; those Who were induced by duty to oppose, Their truth suspected, and their worth unknown, He held as foes and traitors to his throne, Nor found his fatal error till the hour Of saving him was gone and pass'd ; till power Had shifted hands, to blast his hapless reign, Making their faith and his repentance vain.
Hence (be that curse confined to Gotham's foes) War, dread to mention, Civil War arose;