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TO THE HIGH AND MOST ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCE
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 servant,
SING the civil wars, tumultuous broils, And Memory, preserv'ress of things done,
Come thou, unfold the wounds, the wrack, the waste;
'Twixt Lancaster and York, in ages past :
Discern the true discourse, voucbsafe to show
And how so great distemperature did grow : T have 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 bad from the Norman conq'ror reign'd', Yet now what reason have we to complain,
With intermix'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
1 Which was in the space of 260 years.
For titles, and the often mutinies
T embroil his age with tumults, he had been Of nobles, for their ancient liberties.
The happiest monarch that this state had secara For first, the Norman ? conq'ring all by might, Him Richard ? follows in the government; By might was forc'd to keep what he had gots Who much the glory of our arms increas'd, Mixing our customs and the form of right
And all his father's mighty treasure spent,
In that devoutful action of the east :
Cut off his growth of glory in the spring.
Gets to the crown by craft, by wrong, by force; And makes his force maintain his doubtfull right: Rules it with lust, 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,
And Lewis of France (elected first) beguild; 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 (:n these times grown strong) Reforms the laws, which soon he did neglect : War for their ancient laws so long exil'd. 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 Stephen', 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 bappy-orderd reigo most fertile breeds Whilst both held nothing certainly their own : Plenty of mighty spirits, to strength his state; 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. When Henry', 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 And had not his rebellious children sought
Unto the full of his son Edward's flow:
But who hath often seen, in such a state, · 1067. William I. surnamed the Conqueror, the Father and son like good, like fortunate ? base son to Robert Vl. duke of Normandy, reigned twenty years and eight months; and left the crown his son Henry in the crown and government; whicb of England to William, his third son, contrary to turned to his great disturbance, and set all bs 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, Fas 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 Arthur, 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 ; ube 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 wa to Geoffrey Plantagenet, earl of Anjou.
crowned king, and reigned fifty-six years. S 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 11 1307. Edward II. abused by his minions, and years and ten months.
debauched by his own weakness, was deposed froid 6 1154. Henry II. son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, his government, when he had reigned uineteen years earl of Anjou, and Maud the empress, associated and six months; and was murthered in prison.