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of writing an heroic poem, and having there much leisure, and some encouragement, he was induced to undertake one of a new kind; the two first books of which he finished at the Louvre, where he lived with his old friend Lord Jermyn; and these with a preface, addressed to Mr. Hobbs, his answer, and some commendatory poems, were published in England; of which we shall give some further account in our animadversions upon Gondibert. While he employed himself in the service of the muses, Henrietta Maria, the queen dowager of England whose particular favourite he was found out business for him of another nature. She had heard that vast improvements might be made in the loyal colony of Virginia, in case proper artificers were sent there; and there being many of these in France who were destitute of employment, she encouraged Sir William to collect these artificers together, who accordingly embarked with his little colony at one of the ports in Normandy; but in this expedition he was likewise unfortunate; for before the vessel was clear of the French coast, she was met by one of the Parliament ships of war, and carried into the Isle of Wight, where our disappointed projector was sent close prisoner to Cowes Castle, and there had leisure enough, and what is more extraordinary, wanted not inclination to resume his heroic poem, and having written about half the third book, in a very gloomy prison, he thought proper to stop short again, finding himself, as he imagined under the very shadow of death. Upon this occasion it is reported of Davenant, that he wrote a letter to Hobbes, in which he gives some account of the progress he made in the third book of Gondibert, and offers some criticisms upon the nature of that kind of poetry; but why, says he, should I trouble you or myself, with these thoughts, when I am pretty certain I shall be hanged next week. This gaiety of temper in Davenant, while he was in the most deplorable circumstances of distress, carries something in it very singular, and perhaps could proceed from no other cause but conscious innocence; for he appears to have been an inoffensive good natured man. He was conveyed from the Isle of Wight to the Tower of London, and for some time his life was in the utmost hazard; nor is it quite certain by what means he was preserved from falling a sacrifice to the prevailing fury. Some conjecture that two aldermen of York, to whom he had been kind when they were prisoners, inter
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