MacLean, Gerald, editor. The Return of the King : An Anthology of English Poems Commemorating the Restoration
of Charles II / edited by Gerald MacLean
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
Table of Contents for this work | | All on-line databases | Etext Center Homepage |
"The Second Charles"
Calling on Charles to ascend the throne, John Ogilby's verses accompanyed several of the earliest engraved portraits of the future king. Combining typological implications with epigrammatic poise, Ogilby's lines urge the "Second Charles," son of a Christ-like martyr, to fulfil the divinely ordained mission of revenge implicit in his regal inheritance. Given their contextual appearance as glosses on engraved images of the king, the verses must surely have attracted attention from readers who like to look at pictures.
Such engravings were evidently available from as early as late March, corresponding to the post-Rump period when we have seen broadside verses calling on Charles II by re-calling the memory of his martyred father. In a notebook entry dated "March 28th. Wednesday" -- confirming that the year was 1660 -- Thomas Hearne transcribed the lines and noted: "Out of Mr. Tho. Rawlinsons Notebook CC. K. Charles the 2d. a Cutt. Guil. Faithorne sculp. motto Dieu et mon Droit." This note leaves it unclear whether he copied the verses and motto from Rawlinson, or from the Faithorne engraving, and I have been unable to find the lines in Rawlinson's notebooks. In giving the verses from the printed version accompanying Faithorne's portrait below, I have, for the curious, noted all variants in Hearne's transcription.
The Faithorne engraving, showing Charles in wig and armour, was reprinted as a frontispiece by George de Forrest Lord for the first volume of his Poems on Affairs of State. Louis Alexander Fagan writes: "This plate, intended for a book, was afterwards cut down and used for deeds and public instruments. There is a copy measuring 14 1/2 in. by 10 1/2 in.; no background, and inscription below; but with Faithorne's name, and with the motto in ribbon above."1
John Ogilby's name was signed in full to a reissue of the verses accompanying a three-quarter length portait of Charles by Chantry after an original by Nason. This six-line version is given below as Variant (1).
Later in the year, William Gilbertson may have pirated Ogilby's verses for an augmented version appearing in a broadside, dated by Thomason "Sept: 6," misleadingly entitled The manner of the Solemnity of the Coronation of His most Sacred Majesty King Charles. Below the title words "King Charles" is a rather crudely executed portrait of Charles II on the throne in his robes of state, crowned, and holding the sceptre. The engraving and twelve-lines of verse based on Ogilby's which appear either side, occupy the top half of the sheet. The lower half is a double-columed prose summary of the coronation, not of Charles II, but of his father. Since the work is unsigned, Ogilby himself may have written the extra lines, given here as Variant (2). The extra lines find previous kings and emperors named Charles who complicate and enrich the possibilities of Charles Stuart's inheritance.
The final version of Ogilby's verses included here, Variant (3), returns to the original six lines. They appear in a broadside printed for John Williams in 1661, mostly taken up by a large scale portrait of Charles within an oval frame that recalls Faithorne's original, but reverses the direction of the king's gaze and replaces his armour with robes and a garter star. The six lines of verse given here at the bottom of the page are signed.
 Fagan, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Works of William Faithorne (London: Quaritch, 1888), p. 8.
"The Second Charles"
The Faithorne version:2
The Second Charles, Heire3 of ye Royall4 Martyr,
who,5 for Religion and6 his Subiects Charter,7
spent8 the best Blood,9 yt uniust10 Sword ere dy'de,11
since12 the rude Souldier pierc'd our Sauiours side:13
who14 such a Father15 had'st;16 art17 such a Son; 5
redeeme18 thy people and19 assume thy Owne.20
 Variant brs engraving. The 6-line verses signed "J. O." appear under a head-and-shoulder portrait of Charles in wig and armour, within an oval frame with "Dieu et Mon Droit" in motto ribbon above, signed by William Faithorne. 11 x 9 inches. Copies: British Museum Print Room, Faithorne's Works, 1:32; the 1st state of the print; the verses are absent from the 2nd state at ibid 1:33. See L. Freeman O'Donoghue, et al, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, 6 vols (London: British Museum, 1908-25), 1:401, #113. Reprint: Lord, POAS, 1:frontispiece. Ms copy: O Bodley MS Hearne Diary 57, p. 80; Crum T1291a.
 Charles, Heire] Charles, Heires ms.
 Royall] Royl ms
 who,] Who ms
 and] & ms
 Subiects Charter,] Subjects Charter ms
 spent] Spent ms
 Blood] Bloud ms
 uniust] unjust ms
 ere dy'de,] e're dy'de ms
 since] Since ms
 side:] side. ms
 who] Who ms
 Father] father ms
 had'st;] had'st ms
 art] and ms
 redeeme] Redeeme ms
 and] & ms
 6. Owne] crowne ms
Variant (1), the Chantry/Nason version:21
The Second Charles, Heire of ye Royall Martyr,
Who, for Religion, and his Subjects Charter,
Spent ye best blood that unjust Sword ere dy'de,
Since the rude Souldier pierc'd our Saviors side:
5: Who such a Father had'st, art such a Son;
Redeeme thy people and assume thy owne.
 Variant (1): signed verses on an engraved portrait of Charles by J. Chantry after P. Nason. A six-line version of the verses appear at the bottom of a 3/4-length engraved portrait of Charles facing right, standing in armour, resting a truncheon on a table, under a ribbon-motto "CAROL': SECUN' D:G: MAG: BRI: FRA: ET: HIB: REX." 13 x 10 inches. Underneath, centre, the garter arms; either side of which the following signatures: P. Nason pinxit: J: Chantry sculp: Tho: Crosse excud: Copies: British Museum Print Room, Portraits of Charles II, vol. 1: acquisition # 1818.104.22.1689. See O'Donoghue, 1:399 item #83.
Variant (2), The Manner of the Solemnity:22
The Second Charles, Heire of the Royall Martyr,
Who, for Religion, and his Subjects Charter,
Spent the best Blood, that unjust Sword ere dy'de.
Since the rude Souldier pierc'd our Saviours side:
5: Who such a Father had'st, art such a Son;
Redeem thy people and assume thy owne.
Ascend thy Ancestors Imperial seat,
Of Charles the Good, thou second Charles the Great,
That adds the worth; this lustre to the Crown,
10: Whose solid Glories weighd Usurpers down.
Such Majesty as never was profan'd,
While Tyrants rul'd twas only Charles that Reign'd.
 Variant (2), Wing M479: The manner of the Solemnity of the CORONATION of His most Sacred MAJESTY KING CHARLES / London: Printed by T. C. and are to be sold by W. Gilbertson. 1660. Copies: O Ash. 677(7*); LT 669 f.26(2), ms dated "6 September." Here. the verses occur on either side of a fairly crude portrait of Charles II, enthroned, at the top half; below is a prose description of the coronation of Charles I.
Variant (3), Carolus II:23
The Second CHARLES, Heir of the Royal Martyr
Who, for Religion, and His Subjects Charter,
Spent the best Blood, that unjust Sword e're dy'd,
Since the rude Souldier pierc'd Our Saviour's Side
Who such a Father had'st, art such a Son,
Redeem Thy People, and assume Thy Own.
 Variant (3): Carolus II. D. G. Angliae, Scotiae / Franciae & Hiberniae Rex, etc.etc. / London Printed for John Williams, at the Crowne in St Pauls churchyard, 1661.
When the "Pourtrait" was reprinted in 1673, the text was twelve lines shorter than in 1660, and contains several variant readings not recorded here, though I have indicated which lines were omitted from the reprint.
The final verses addressed "To His Majesty" appear only in the 1673 reprint (sig. B) but are given here.
Charles the II.
Faithfully taken to the Life.6
KIngs like the Sun, in their full Majesties,
Are too resplendent bright for Subjects eyes;
Nor without dazling can their weaker sight,
Sustain the force of so much glorious light.7
5: But when Ecclipst, then every one can see
(Without that splendor) what their persons be;
In which Conjecture 8 who so
e're has seen
This Sun of ours, may well affirm of him,
His Person's such, as he for that alone
10: (His Birth away) 9 deserves the Royal Throne;
Such Majesty there's in it, and such Grace
(Both awing and delighting) in his Face;
Without those Kingly Robes adorn the Throne,
He shews more King, then those who have them on.
15: His Stature's tall, and of the comliest make,
His Vizage oval, his Hair thick and black,
In ample Curles, on's shoulders falling down,
Adorning more his Head, then any Crown.
His Eyes are lively, full of flame and sprite,
20: And of that colour most delights the sight:10
Royal, and largely featur'd all the rest,
Declaring the largeness of his Royal Breast;
And of so healthful Constitution,
As he had Articled with sickness, none
25: Should e're invade his health, and he should ne're
By excess provoke them, to which much confer, 11
His wonted Exercises, who in all
The Noblest, Gallant, 12 and most Martial,
Even the Most Excellent, so far excels,
30: He's King in them, as he's in all things else:
(And who'd be absolute in every thing
As well as Birth, and Power, should be a King)
Nor shall you e'er in any person finde
A greater strength of body and of minde;
35: Which with long Travel h'as improved so,
He knows what e're befits a Prince to know;
Not learnt from th'dead, but from the world, & men,
Those living Authors, and h'as studied them,
So as each Nations wisdom he does know,
40: And each on's Language to express it too. 13
Whence he compar'd to other Princes, sit
Dully at home, and nothing know but it, 14
Seems just like some huge Gallyon does come
From farthest Indies, richly laden home,
45: Compar'd to some poor Hoy, or Bylander,
Then their own shores & coasts, ne'r further were; 15
And never none to Fortune more did owe,
Than to misfortune he, for being so.
For moral vertues then, h'as every one
50: In their full splendors and perfection,
Justice, not Clouded with severity,
Nor Temperance, with sower austerity;
And ne're in none more Courage was, nor more
Wisdom and Prudence, with less vanity, nor
55: With lesser Artifice; then ore's passion he
Commands so absolutely, and sovereignly:
It shews him King over himself, as well
As over others, nor does he less excell
In civil vertues, which adorn no less,
60: The Royal Throne, as mildness, Gentleness,
Ravishing sweetness, debonarity,
Obligingness, and affability,
That more does conquer with a gentle word,
Then ever any Conquer'd by the Sword,
65: Acquiring absolute Dominion,
And Soverign sway o're hearts of every one. 16
Mean time he is so chearful and so gay,
None from His presence e'er went sad away;
Nor yet could all his troubles nor his cares
70: Render him less gay and chearful, which declares
His minde' above them all, and h'as within
Him somewhat higher then the being KING;
Just like the highest Region of the Air
'Bove Storms & Tempests, nor could Fortune e're
75: Eclipse his minde. For Courtly vertues then,
In which Kings too should excel other men,
As far as Courts do other houses, he
Appears in every one to Excellency;
Dances so admirably, as your Eye17
80: As well as Ear's all charm'd with Harmony,
Knows Musick, Poetry, Gallantry, and Wit,
And none knows better how to judge of it: 18
In fine, in everything that curious is,
No'ns taste was e're more delicate then his; 19
85: And as he is a King 'mongst Courtiers, so
'Mongst Ladies he's both King and Courtier too.
How happy are his Subjects then, t'have one
For King, Heaven seems t'have chosen King, alone
To make them happy? one, they need but pray,
90: That as h'as born Adversity, he may
But bear Prosperity as well, and then,
As still h'as been, he'l be the best of Men.
One, finally in whom ye united finde
(Besides his Birth, his Person, and his Minde)
95: All that, which found in others one by one,
Raise them to height of Admiration,
The Wise, the Valiant, the Majestical,
The Mild, the Gallant, and the King in all:
But of all Titles, that amongst the rest,
100: Of Gratious and Clement fits him best.20
More Glorious are his Sufferings then, and more
Injurious Fortune persecutes him for
His Royal Birth alone, who had he been
Born private man, deserv'd to be a King.
105: Such is her ignorant blindness, does not know
His eminent worth whom she disfavours so,
Would finde, were she unveild, and could but see,
None e're deserv'd her favours more then he.
 title] THE / POUTRAIT / OF / HIS MAJESTY, / Made a little before HIS Happy / Restauration. 1673
 lines 3-4] om 1673
 Conjecture] Conjuncture ms correction L, O, WF
 i.e. "even if he had been born abroad." Charles was born in St. James's Palace; the point here is that Charles's personal qualities would make him worthy of kingship even if he had not been born to the throne.
 lines 15-20; on Charles's appearance, compare A Character: "He is somewhat Taller than the middle stature of Englishmen; so exacty form'd, that the most curious Eye cannot finde one Error in his shape. His Face is rather Grave than Severe... His Complexion is somwhat dark, but uch enlightened by his Eyes, which are Quick and Sparkling" (p. 4).
 lines 23-26] om 1673Apart from a bout of smallpox in the autumn of 1648 and a fever that recurred in 1679, 1680 and 1682, Charles has traditionally been represented as enjoying vigorous good health throughout his life (Hutton 1989: 30, 443). Nevertheless, it may not be insignificant that these lines were omitted in 1673, by which time Charles had gained something of a reputation for sexual excess.
 Gallant] Gallants copytext, WF
 The author of A Character also comments on the king's skills in languages: "He understands Spanish, and Italian; speaks and writes French correctly; He is well vers'd in ancient and modern History, hath read divers of the choicest pieces of the Politicks, hath studyed some useful parts of the Mathematicks, as Fortification, and the knowledge of the Globe; but his chief delight is in Navigation, to which his Genius doth so incline him, that by his frequent conversation with Mariners, and his own observation, whilest he rid six weeks in the Downes, and in his passage into Scotland, he hath arrived to so much knowledge in this Science, that I have heard many expert Seamen (whose discourses are not steer'd by the compass of the Court) speka of it with delight and wonder; in genral, He is a true friend to Literature, and to Learned Men" (p. 4). We might compare this with Hutton's assessment: "Newcastle's determination that his pupil should not be too bookish left the King with little appetite for reading of any sort. In the course of his youth and early manhood Charles tried to learn French, Italian, and Spanish. Yet he never seems to have attained any proficiency in the last two tongues" (Hutton 1989: 450). Thomas Pecke also repeats the claim that Charles had command over three languages.
 Compare Dryden, Astræa Redux, lines 105-14.
 This early snub to the Dutch, who had recently been hosting the Stuart exiles, is characteristic of Flecknoe; see his call for a trade war against them in his imperial masque, The Marriage of Oceanus and Britannia (1659).
 lines 65-66] om 1673
 Hutton notes that Charles has a "genuine enthusiasm for dancing" (1989: 75).
 Charles certainly had strong opinions regarding music; on 20 November Pepys reports on the previous evening's entertainment which Monck had put on for the royal family: "after supper, a play -- where the king did put a great affront upon Singleton's Musique, he bidding them stop and bade the French Musique play -- which my Lord says doth much out-do all ours." For more on this evening's entertainment, see Denham, headnote, forthcoming.
 lines 83-84] om 1673
 lines 99-100] om 1673 Charles' generosity was predicted by the nurses at his birth because he appeared with open hands (Hutton 1989: 2).
To His Majesty (1673 only, sig B.)
VOuchsafe Great Sire, on these to cast your sight,
Made cheifly for Your Majesties delight,
By him has cast off all Ambition
Long since, but of delighting you alone;
5: Courting it highest honor can befall,
To delight Him, who's the delight of all.
IV. The King Declared, early May