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ing informed that the prince of Wales had carried it off : “ What! faid the king, would he rob me 66 of my right before my deach ?!” But the prince just then entering the room, assured his father, that he had no such: motives in what he had done, went and replaced the crown where he had found it; and having received his father's blefling, dutifully retired. The king was taken with his last fit, while he was at his devotions bem fore the thrine of St. Edward, the confessor, in Westminster Abbey, and from thence he was carried to the Jerusalem Chamber. When he had recovered from his fwoon, perceiving himself in a strange place, he desired to know where he was, and if the apartment had any particular name : being informed that it was called the Jerusalem Chamber, he said, that he then perceived the prophecy was fulfilled, which declared that he should die in Jerusalem. Thus saying, and recommending his foul to his Maker; he soon after expired, in the festy-fixth year of his age, and the fourteenth of his reign.

If we consider this monarch on one side of his character, he will appear an object worthy the highest applause; if on the other, of our warmest indignation. As a man, he was valiant, prudent, cool, and sagacious. Thefe virtues adorned him in his private character; nor did his vices appear, till ambition brought him within sight of a throne; it was then that he was discovered to be unjust, cruel, gloomy, and tyrannical ; and though his reign contributed much to the happin'ss of his subjects, yet it was entirely destructive of his own. He was twice married; by his first wife, Mary de Bohun, he

had

had four fons, Henry, his fucceffor, Thomas duke of Clarence, John duke of Bedford, Humphry duke of Gloucefter, and two daughters. By his fecond wife he had no issue.

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THE death of Henry IV. gave the people but ^ D very little concern, as he had always go

verned them rather by their fears than 1412. their affe&tions. But the rejoicings made for the succession of his son, notwithstanding his extravagancies, were manifest and fincere. In the very height and madness of the revel, he would often give instances of the noblest disposition ; and tho’ he did not practise the virtues of temperance, he always Thewed that he esteemed them. But it was his courage which in that martial age chiefly won the people's affection and applause. Courage, and superstition, then made up the whole system of human duty; nor had the age any other idea of heroism, but what was the result of this combination.

The first steps taken by the young king confirmed all those prepoffeffions entertained in his favour. He called together his former compani. ons, acquainted them with his intended reformation; exhorted them to follow his example; and thus dismifled them from his presence, allowing them a competency to fubfift upon, till he faw them worthy of further promotion. The faithful ministers of his father, at first, indeed, began to tremble for their former justice, in the adminiftration of their duty; but he soon eased them of their fears, by taking them into his friendfhip and confidence. Sir William Gascoigne, who thought himself the most obnoxious, met with praises in

ftead

ftead of reproaches, and was exhorted to perfevere in the same rigorous and impartial execution of justice.

But Henry did not stop here; he Dhewed hinfelf willing to currect, not only his own private errors, but those of the former reign. He expressed the deepest forrow for the fate of the unhappy Richard, and ordered his funeral obiequies to be performed with royal solemnity. He féemed ambitious to bury all party-distinctions in oblirion, the good men of either party were only dear to him; and the bad, vainly alleged their loyalty as an extenuation of their vices. The exhortations, as well as the exainple of the prince, gave encouragement to virtue; all parties were equally attached to so just a prince, and the defects of his title were forgot, amidst the lustre of his admirable qualities.

In this manner, the people seemed happy in their new king; but it is not in the power of inn to raise himself entirely above the prejudices of it age in which he livesor to correct those abufi's, which often employ the sagacity of whole centia ries to discover. The vices of the clergy hae drawn upon them the contempt and detestation of the people; but they were resolved to consinu? their ancient power, not by reforming themselves, but by persecuting those who opposed them. The heresy of Wickliff, or Lollardisin, as it was caili ed, began to spread every day more and inore,, 'while it received a new lustre from the protection and preaching of Sir John Oldcastle, baron of Cobham, who had been one of the king's dometa tics, and stood high in his favour. His character, both for civil and military. excellence, pointed him out to Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, as the proper vi&tim of ecclesiastical vengeance; and he

· F4

· applied

applied to the king for permilion to indiet lord Cobham, as a miscreant guilty of the most atro, cious heresy. But the generous nature of the prince was averse to such fanguinary methods of conversion; and he begged leave first to be permicted to try what effect the arts of reason and persuasion would produce upon this bold leader of his sect. He accordingly desired a private conference with lord Cobham; but he found that no. bleman obftinate in his opinions, and determined rather to part with life, than what he believed upon conviction. The king, therefore, finding him immoveable, gave him up to the fury of his enemies. Persecution ever propagates those errors which it aims at abolishing. The primate indided lord Cobham; and with the affiftance of his sufe fragans, condemned him as an heretic to be burnt alive. Cobham, however, escaping from the Tower, in which he was confined, the day before his execution, privately went among his party s and stimulating their zeal, led them up to Lone con, to take a lignal revenge of his enemies. But the king, apprised of his intentions, ordered that the city-gates should be shut; and coming by night with his guards into St. Gile's fields, seized such. of the conspirators as appeared, and afterwards laid hold of several parties that were hastening to the appointed place. Some of these were executed, but the greater number pardoned. Cobo ham himfelf found means of escaping for that sime; but he was taken about four years after ; and never did the cruelty of man invent, or crimes draw down, such corinents as he was made to endure. He was hung up with a chain by the middlę; and thus at a flow fire burned, or rather roaded, alive. .

Such spectacles as these muft naturally excite ile disgust of the people, not only against the

clergy,

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