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For 'tis a lesson dearly bought,
Assurance here is never to be sought.
When scarce he had escaped the fatal blow
Death did his promised hopes destroy;
So saints, by supernatural power set free,
Twice twelve we number'd since his blest return: So strictly wer't thou just to pay,
Even to the driblet of a day.*
Yet still we murmur, and complain
The quails and manna should no longer rain:
Those miracles 'twas needless to renew ;
The chosen flock has now the promised land in view.
A warlike prince ascends the regal state,
A prince long exercised by fate :
Long may he keep, though he obtains it late!
* Reckoning from the death of his father, Charles had reigned thirty-six years and eight days; and, counting from his restoration, twenty-four years, eight months, and nine days.
Heroes in heaven's peculiar mould are cast;
False heroes, made by flattery so,
Heaven can strike out, like sparkles, at a blow;
With hardening cold, and forming heat,
Before 'twas tried and found a master-piece.
View then a monarch ripen'd for a throne. Alcides thus his race began,
O'er infancy he swiftly ran;
The future God at first was more than man:
Even o'er his cradle lay in wait,
And there he grappled first with fate;
In his young hands the hissing snakes he prest,
Thus, by degrees, he rose to Jove's imperial seat;
And to his infant arms oppose
His father's rebels, and his brother's foes;
The hydra of the many-headed hissing crew.
As after Numa's peaceful reign,
The martial Ancus* did the sceptre wield, Furbish'd the rusty sword again,
Resumed the long-forgotten shield, And led the Latins to the dusty field; So James the drowsy genius wakes Of Britain long entranced in charms, Restiff and slumbering on its arms; 'Tis roused, and, with a new-strung nerve, the spear already shakes.
No neighing of the warrior steeds,
His voice, his sole appearance, makes them bold.
Long may they fear this awful prince,
And not provoke his lingering sword; Peace is their only sure defence,
Their best security his word.
In all the changes of his doubtful state,
His valour can triumph o'er land and main ;
* Ancus Martius, who succeeded the peaceful Numa Pompilius as King of Rome.
For once, Oheaven, unfold thy adamantine book; And let his wondering senate see,
If not thy firm immutable decree,
At least the second page of strong contingency, Such as consists with wills, originally free.
Let them with glad amazement look
Let them not still be obstinately blind,
Or, with malignant penury,
To starve the royal virtues of his mind.
In orderly array, a martial, manly train.
The asserted Ocean rears his reverend head,
An unexpected burst of woes.-P. 62.
Charles II. enjoyed excellent health, and was particularly careful to preserve it by constant exercise. His danger, therefore, fell like a thunderbolt on his people, whose hearts were gained by his easy manners and good humour, and who considered, that the worst apprehensions they had ever entertained during his reign, arose from the religion and disposition of his successor. mingled passions of affection and fear produced a wonderful sensation on the nation. The people were so passionately concerned, that North says, and appeals to all who recollected the time for the truth of his averment, that it was rare to see a person walking the street with dry eyes. Examen. p. 647.
The second causes took the swift command,
All eager to perform their part.-P. 64.
If there is safety in the multitude of counsellors, Charles did not find it in the multitude of physicians. Nine were in attendance, all men of eminence; the presence of the least of whom, Le Sage would have said, was fully adequate to account for the subsequent catastrophe. They were Sir Thomas Millington, Sir Thomas Witherby, Sir Charles Scarborough, Sir Edmund King, Doctors Berwick, Charlton, Lower, Short, and Le Fevre. They signed a declaration, that the King had died of an apoplexy.