Frances— It seems that each new day brings a new way that those in power are conspiring against us (“us” being Roman Catholics). It all started with a lie. Sweet Queen Catherine has, most unfortunately, been unable to produce an heir for the king; therefore, his brother, James, is the rightful successor to the throne of England (Kraft). However, the king also has an illegitimate son whom he cherishes, James, the Duke of Monmouth (Kraft). At face value, the problem seems nonexistent—of course the king’s brother should ascend the throne. But there is a problem! James II is a Catholic, as is the Queen. The Duke of Monmouth is not. There are many who are so blinded by their prejudices that they would rather anyone but a Catholic sit on the…show more content… I try not to, but I am starting to wonder where the Lord’s hand is in all of this. Surely the anger and unrest among His children must cause Him some grief. Perhaps, though, we have forsaken His guidance for so long that He had decided to let us fight for ourselves. What a heavy thought.
Dear Frances— Finally, I have something pleasant to write about! I have been greatly enjoying the works of John Dryden—have you read anything by him? If not, you should right away! He so eloquently articulates my own political views that I feel he must be reading my mind! A particular favorite of mine is a poem by the name of Absalom and Achitophel. You may recognize the story from the Bible, but Dryden translates it to fit our modern-day woes. Absalom becomes the Duke of Monmouth, Achitophel is the Earl of Shaftesbury (who is leading Monmouth down a dangerous path of rebellion against the crown), and David is, of course, our very own King Charles. It is such a clever poem that addresses both specific concerns, as well as larger principles at play. He argues in favor of a hereditary monarchy so well that I feel sure his words will turn at least a few Whig hearts to the truth! Dryden writes: The eternal God, supremely good and wise,
Imparts not these prodigious gifts in vain.
What wonders are reserved to bless your reign!
Against your will your arguments have shown,
Such virtue's only given to guide a throne