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and not only repossessed him of his patrimonial estates, but took him under his immediate protection.
It was this same Charles Brandon who afterwards privately married Henry's sister, Margaret, Queen-dowager of France; which marriage the king not only forgave, but created him Duke of Suffolk, and continued his favour towards him to the last hour of the Duke's life.
He died before Henry; and the latter showed in his attachment to this nobleman, that notwithstanding his fits of capriciousness and cruelty, he was capable of a cordial and steady friendship. He was sitting in council when the news of Suffolk's death reached him; and he publicly took that occasion both to express his own sorrow, and to celebrate the merits of the deceased. He declared, that during the whole course of their acquaintance his brother-in-law had not made a single attempt to injure an adversary, and had never whispered a word to the disadvantage of any one; "and are there any of you, my Lords, who can say as
When the King subjoined these words, (says the historian,) he looked round in all their faces, and saw that confusion which the consciousness of secret guilt naturally threw upon them.
Otway took his plot from the fact related in this pamphlet; but to avoid perhaps interfering in a circumstance which might affect many noble families at that time living, he laid the scene of his tragedy in Bohemia.
There is a large painting of the above incident now at Woburn, the seat of his Grace the Duke of Bedford; and the old Duchess-dowager, in showing this picture a few years before her death to a nobleman, related all the particulars of the story.
The character of Antonio in the above play (an old debauched senator, raving about plots and political intrigues) is supposed to have been intended for that celebrated but turbulent character, Anthony the first Earl of Shaftesbury.
The Jealous Wife.
When the elder Colman had nearly finished this comedy, he laid it before Garrick, as a friend, for inspection. The latter was much pleased with it in general: yet saw, from his intimate knowledge of stage effect, that there wanted a second character in the piece, to support the firmness of the husband; who, though drawn as a sensible man of the world, is evidently in the trammels of his wife.
Colman instantly agreed in the justness of the remark, took back the play, and added the part of Major Oakly, which now makes so conspicuous a figure in it.
The hint of this character he took from the portrait of Tom Meggot, in No. 212 and 216 of the Spectator, both papers written by Sir Richard Steele. To these Colman stands likewise much indebted for the conduct of the two brothers; particularly for the quarrel in the last act, which is principally taken from No. 216.
These little circumstances, however, must
be considered as mere hints, to things of which sort most dramatic writers are indebted. The play as it now stands is evidently all Colman's own; from his manner of adoption, arrangement, &c.: and ranks (as it deservedly ought) as a comedy of the first distinction for genius and observation.
Tyrannic Love, or the Royal Martyr.
Though no man respected the general talents of Dryden more than Foote did, he was too good a judge of dramatic writing, not to censure most of the plays of this celebrated poet. The licentiousness of the age of Charles the Second showed itself in no one instance more strongly than in the theatre. Dryden paid a large tribute to this profligacy of manners; as may be exemplified in a great number of his plays, but perhaps in none so much as in his tragedy of Tyrannic Love, or the Royal Martyr.
The hero of this piece is the emperor Maxiinin; a monster of such cruelty, caprice, and impiety, as should scarcely be looked
on in the pages of history. It is true, Dryden has told us in his preface, that "he has only drawn him for detestation;" but he should have known (if not intoxicated with the vices and caprices of the age he lived in), that as in inanimate nature there are objects too indelicate for public developement, so there are characters in life too singularly vicious to be brought forward as examples.
But that my readers may judge for themselves, I shall select from this tragedy the speech which Maximin makes on the death of his daughter; which Foote, in a fit of merriment, has often repeated with a degree of drollery equal to the exhibition of any of his comic characters.
What had ye, gods, to do with me, or mine? Did I molest your heaven?
Why should you then make Maximin your foe;
Who paid you tribute, which he need not do? Your altars I with smoke of gums did crown, For which you lean'd your hungry nostrils down;