Project Canterbury

The Royal Martyr, K. Charles I. An Opera.

By Alexander Fyfe

[No place:] Printed in the year, 1705.

May it please Your Majesty,

THO' Royalty be establish'd in the World by the Finger of GOD, as well as the Irrevocable Suffrages of Men, and the Persons of Princes be Sacred by the Testimony of Divine Authority, as well as by the Universal Impress and Sentiments of Mankind; (from the Consciousness of which Truth, Traitors have set up the Name and Safety of Princes, and the Painted Head of rebellious Arms against themselves:) yet, notwithstanding all that Story can give instance of, or that Fancy may invent; this is its Tragedy, which can neither be heightned by Aggravation, or lessned by Excuse.

Whilst in the Fervour of Devotion, with Altars covered with Cypress, we are endeavouring to attone Heaven for an Expiation of this Blood; when these Religious Exercises intermit, our Meditation almost loseth it self: When we reflect, THAT HE! who in the Seat of His Imperial Dignity, should be caressed by the Greatest of Monarchs, to have been umpire of their Quarrels, and Partner in their Fortunes; THAT HE! who from the Throne of His Magnificence, could behold so many Kingdoms, so many Grandees bending under his Sceptres; THAT HE! the Grand Arbitrator of the Lives and Fortunes of so many Millions, and who had all those other Appanages of Royalty, delegated to him by Merit, entailed by Birth, established by Law, secured by Oaths, supported by Allies, and managed by Power: And yet by a Fatality which astonished the whole World! that HE should be hurried with so many Currents, driven to so many Extremities, soil'd in so many Battles, lockt up in so many Prisons: And that the Theatre of His Glory shuold be the Scene of His Suffering!

That the Cross is the Way to the Crown, is no new Maxim of Christianity; but that the Crown'd should stoop to the Cross, assert the Rights of Religion and Royalty on the Throne, fight for them in the Field, and by a generous overcoming of all the Struglings of Policy and Nature, die for them on a Scaffold, with an Acquiescence becoming the Piety of a Saint, with a Magnanimity becoming the Majesty of a King: This is the Triumph of Wrestling; This is the Seal of Martyrdom; This is the Palm of Victory.

It's because the Blood of this Royal Martyr yet runs warm in Your Veins, and that You, like Him are signalizing Your Zeal for the Maintenance of the Rights of GOD'S Church, as well as those of Royal Majesty, that this Work presumes to lay it self at Your Majesty's Feet; and were the Performace in the least, unsuitable to the Dignity of the Subject, it would naturally hope for Countenance and Protection from Persons of the Highest Rank.

GOD has reserved Your Majesty for better Times; for whilst Your Arms are displaying themselves with Terror and Success abroad, and that You are not only keeping the Ballance, but changing the very Fate of Empires and Kingdoms; and in the Exercise of all Your Princely Endowment are WISE above Your Years, and STRONG above Your Sex; the Seeds of Discontent at Home are choaked in these very Bowels where they breed. All Interests and Factions are conspiring in Your Greatness: GOD is counterpoising the Disasters of Your Family, by the Felicities of your State.

Tho Pageants, and Triumphal Arches, adorn'd with all those indelible Inscriptions, which fill up the Character of a Glorious Princess, should be dedicated to such a victorious QUEEN, rather than the Tragedy of an unfortunate Monarch: Yet because Fortitude is no less the same, though unsuccessful, and that all thses stroaks of Fortune have not depressed, but immortalied the Fame of this yor Magnanimous Ancestor: It's hoped this Attempt and unpolished draught of Him, who to the Imperial, joined the Martyr's Crown, will not be unacceptable to Your Majesty.

Since our Happiness is bound up in Yours, Interest as well as Duty, obliges us to pray for Your Prosperity and Greatness, that Your Reign may be lasting, as it is auspicious; that You may be ever as much feared by Your Enemies, as loved by Your Subjects, and thus Your Life (that uninterupted Course of Triumph) in its last Period, shall be but an Accession to an Immarcessible Crown of Glory, which shall be ever the earnest Prayer of,



Most Humble, and

most Obedient Subject

and Servant,


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