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ded to his laurel, notwithstanding the violent opposition of his competitor Thomas May, who was so extremely affected with his disappointment, though he had been a zealous courtier, yet from resentment to the Queen, by whose interest Davenant was preferred, he commenced an enemy to the King's party, and became both an advocate and historian for the Parliament. As soon as the civil war broke out, Mr. Davenant had an early share in them and demonstrated his loyalty by speaking and acting for the King. He was accused by the Parliament for being embarked in a design in May 1641, of seducing the army from their adherence to the parliamentary authority, and bringing it again under the subjection of the King, and defence of his person. In this scheme many of Sir William's friends were engaged, viz. Mr. Henry Piercy, afterwards lord Piercy, Mr. Goring, Mr. Jermyn, Mr. Ashburnham, Sir John Suckling, and others: most of these persons, upon their design being discovered, placed their security in flight, and Mr. Davenant amongst the rest; but a proclamation being published for apprehending him, he was stopped at Feversham, sent up to town, and put into the custody of a sergeant at arms[2]. In the month of July following, our author was bailed, and not long after finding it necessary, on account of the violence of the times, to withdraw to France, he had the misfortune to be seized again in Kent by the Mayor of Canterbury; how he escaped the present danger, none of his biographers have related, but it appears that he did not, upon this occasion, suffer long confinement; he at last retired beyond sea, where he continued for some time, but the Queen sending over a considerable quantity of military stores, for the use of the earl of Newcastle's army, Mr. Davenant returned again to England, offered his service to that noble peer, who was his old friend and patron, and by him made lieutenant-general of his ordnance: this promotion gave offence to many, who were his rivals in his lordship's esteem: they remonstrated, that Sir William Davenant, being a poet, was, for that very reason, unqualified for a place of so much trust, and which demanded one of a solid, and less volatile turn of mind, than the sons of Parnassus generally are. In this complaint they paid but an indifferent compliment to the General himself, who was a poet, and had written, and published several plays. That Davenant behaved well in his military capacity is very proba
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