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overcome, but too much broken and scattered ever to rally again. Then commenced the reflux of public opinion. The nation began to Under the government of such a man, the find out to what a man it had intrusted, without English people could not be long in recovering conditions, all its dearest interests,-on what from the intoxication of loyalty. They were a man it had lavished all its fondest affection. then, as they are still, a brave, proud, and highOn the ignoble nature of the restored exile, spirited race, unaccustomed to defeat, to shame, adversity had exhausted all her discipline in or to servitude. The splendid administration vain. He had one immense advantage over of Oliver had taught them to consider their most other princes. Though born in the pur-country as a match for the greatest empires ple, he was far better acquainted with the of the earth, as the first of maritime powers, vicissitudes of life and the diversities of cha- as the head of the Protestant interest. Though, racter than most of his subjects. He had in the day of their affectionate enthusiasm, known restraint, danger, penury, and depend- they might sometimes extol the royal preroga ence. He had often suffered from ingratitude, tive in terms which would have better become insolence, and treachery. He had received the courtiers of Aurungzebe, they were not men many signal proofs of faithful and heroic at- whom it was quite safe to take at their word. tachment. He had seen, if ever man saw, They were much more perfect in the theory both sides of human nature. But only one than in the practice of passive obedience. side remained in his memory. He had learn-Though they might deride the austere manners ed only to despise and to distrust his species, and scriptural phrases of the Puritans, they -to consider integrity in men, and modesty in were still at heart a religious people. The women, as mere acting:-nor did he think it majority saw no great sin in field-sports, stageworth while to keep his opinion to himself. plays, promiscuous dances, cards, fairs, starch, He was incapable of friendship; yet he was or false hair. But gross profaneness and li perpetually led by favourites without being in centiousness were regarded with general hor the smallest degree duped by them. He knew ror; and the Catholic religion was held in that their regard to his interests was all simu- utter detestation by nine-tenths of the middle lated; but from a certain easiness which had class. no connection with humanity, he submitted, Such was the nation which, awaking from half-laughing at himself, to be made the tool its rapturous trance, found itself sold to a of any woman whose person attracted him, or foreign, a despotic, a Popish court, defeated of any man whose tattle diverted him. He on its own seas and rivers by a state of far inthought little and cared less about religion. ferior resources,-and placed under the rule He seems to have passed his life in dawdling of panders and buffoons. Our ancestors saw suspense between Hobbism and Popery. He the best and ablest divines of the age turned was crowned in his youth with the Covenant out of their benefices by hundreds. They saw in his hand; he died at last with the Host the prisons filled with men guilty of no other sticking in his threat; and, during most of the crime than that of worshipping God according intermediate years, was occupied in persecut- to the fashion generally prevailing throughout ing both Covenanters and Catholics. He was Protestant Europe. They saw a Popish queen not a tyrant from the ordinary motives. He on the throne, and a Popish heir on the steps valued power for its own sake little, and fame of the throne. They saw unjust aggression still less. He does not appear to have been followed by feeble war, and feeble war ending vindictive, or to have found any pleasing ex-in disgraceful peace. They saw a Dutch fleet citement in cruelty. What he wanted was to riding triumphant in the Thames; they saw be amused, to get through the twenty-four the Triple Alliance broken, the Exchequer hours pleasantly without sitting down to dry shut up, the public credit shaken, the arms of business. Sauntering was, as Sheffield ex- England employed, in shameful subordination. presses it, the true Sultana Queen of his ma- to France, against a country which seemed jesty's affections. A sitting in council would to be the last asylum of civil and religious have been insupportable to him if the Duke liberty. They saw Ireland discontented, and of Buckingham had not been there to make Scotland in rebellion. They saw, meantime, mouths at the Chancellor. It has been said, Whitehall swarming with sharpers and courand is highly probable, that, in his exile, he tesans. They saw harlot after harlot, and was quite disposed to sell his rights to Crom- bastard after bastard, not only raised to the well for a good round sum. To the last, his highest honours of the peerage, but supplied only quarrel with his Parliament was, that out of the spoils of the honest, industrious, and they often gave him trouble and would not al- ruined public creditor, with ample means of ways give him money. If there was a person supporting the new dignity. The government for whom he felt a real regard, that person became more odious every day. Even in the was his brother. If there was a point about bosom of that very House of Commons, which which he really entertained a scruple of con- had been elected by the nation in the ecstasy science or of honour, it was the descent of the of its penitence, of its joy, and of its hope, an crown. Yet he was willing to consent to the opposition sprang up and became powerful. Exclusion Bil! for 600,000l.; and the negotia- Loyalty which had been proof against all the tion was broken off only because he insisted disasters of the civil war, which had survived en being paid beforehand. To do him justice, the routs of Naseby and Worcester, which had his temper was good; his manners agreeable; never flinched from sequestration and exile, bus natural talents above mediocrity. But he which the Protector could never intimidate or was sensual, frivolous, false, and cold-hearted, seduce, began to fail in this last and hardest

beyond almost any prince of whom history makes mention.

trial. The storm had long been gathering. At ength it burst with a fury which threatened the whole frame of society with dissolution.

half of the public. We own that the credulity which the nation showed on that occasion seems to us, though censurable indeed, yet not wholly inexcusable.

When the general election of 1679 took place, the nation had retraced the path which it had Our ancestors knew, from the experience of been describing from 1640 to 1660. It was several generations at home and abroad, how again in the same mood in which it had been restless and encroaching was the disposition when, after twelve years of misgovernment, of the Church of Rome. The heir-apparent to the Long Parliament assembled. In every part the crown was a bigoted member of that of the country, the name of courtier had be-church. The reigning king seemed far more come a byword of reproach. The old warriors inclined to show favour to that church than to of the Covenant again ventured out of those the Presbyterians. He was the intimate ally, retreats in which they had, at the time of the or rather the hired servant, of a powerful king, Restoration, hid themselves from the insults who had already given proofs of his determiof the triumphant malignants, and in which, nation to tolerate within his dominions no during twenty years, they had preserved in full other religion than that of Rome. The Cathovigour lics had begun to talk a bolder language than formerly, and to anticipate the restoration of their worship in all its ancient dignity and splendour. At this juncture, it is rumoured that a Popish plot has been discovered. A distinguished Catholic is arrested on suspicion.

Then were again seen in the streets faces which called up strange and terrible recollec-It appears that he has destroyed almost all his tions of the days, when the saints, with the papers. A few letters, however, have escaped high praises of God in their mouths and a two- the flames: and these letters are found to conedged sword in their hands, had bound kings tain much alarming matter, strange expreswith chains and nobles with links of iron. sions about subsidies from France, allusions Then were again heard voices which had to a vast scheme which would "give the greatshouted, "Privilege" by the coach of Charles est blow to the Protestant religion that it ever I. in the time of his tyranny, and had called received;" and which "would utterly subdue for "Justice" in Westminster Hall on the day a pestilent heresy." It was natural that those of his trial. It has been the fashion to repre- who saw these expressions, in letters which sent the excitement of this period as the effect had been overlooked, should suspect that there of the Popish Plot. To us it seems perfectly was some horrible villany in those which had clear, that the Popish Plot was rather the effect been carefully destroyed. Such was the feelthan the cause of the general agitation. It was ing of the House of Commons: "Question, not the disease, but a symptom, though, like question! Coleman's letters!" was the cry many other symptoms, it aggravated the seve- which drowned the voices of the minority. rity of the disease. In 1660 or 1661, it would have been utterly out of the power of such men as Oates or Bedloe to give any serious disturbance to the government. They would have been laughed at, pilloried, well pelted, soundly whipped, and speedily forgotten. In 1678 or 1679, there would have been an outbreak, if those nen had never been born. For years things had been steadily tending to such a consummation. Society was one mass of combustible matter. No mass so vast and so combustible ever waited long for a spark.

Just after the discovery of these papers, a magistrate, who had been distinguished by his independent spirit, and who had taken the deposition of the informer, is found murdered under circumstances which render it almost incredible that he should have fallen either by robbers or by his own hands. Many of our readers can remember the state of London just after the murders of Mar and Williamson,— the terror which was on every face,-the careful barring of doors,-the providing of blunderbusses and watchmen's rattles. We know of Rational men, we suppose, are now fully a shopkeeper who on that occasion sold three agreed, that by far the greater part, if not the hundred rattles in about ten hours. Those who whole of Oates's story, was a pure fabrication. remember that panic may be able to form some It is indeed highly probable, that, during his notion of the state of England after the death intercourse with the Jesuits, he may have of Godfrey. Indeed, we must say, that, after heard much wild talk about the best means of having read and weighed all the evidences re-establishing the Catholic religion in Eng- now extant on that mysterious subject, we inland; and that from some of the absurd day-clined to the opinion that he was assassinated, dreams of the zealots with whom he then asso- and assassinated by Catholics,—not assuredly ciated, he may have taken hints for his narra- by Catholics of the least weight or note, but by tive. But we do not believe that he was privy some of those crazy and vindictive fanatics, to any thing which deserved the name of con- who may be found in every large sect, and spiracy. And it is quite certain, that if there who are peculiarly likely to abound in a perse be any small portion of truth in his evidence, cuted sect. Some of the violent Cameronians that portion is so deeply buried in falsehood, had recently, under similar exasperation, comthat no human skill can now effect a separa- mitted similar crimes. tion. We must not, however, forget, that we see his story by the light of much information it was natural that the people should, in a which his contemporaries did not at first pos- panic, be unreasonable and credulous. It must sess. We have nothing to say for the witness-be remembered also that they had not at first, es: but something in mitigation to offer on be-l as we have, the means of comparing the evi

It was natural there should be a panic; and

"The unconquerable will
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
With courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome."

dence which was given on different trials. therefore bound without danger through a surf They were not aware of one-tenth part of the in which a vessel ribbed with heart of oak contradictions and absurdities which Oates would inevitably perish. The only thing about had committed. The blunders, for example, which his mind was unalterably made up was, into which he fell before the counsel; his mis- that, to use his own phrase, he would not go take about the person of Don John of Austria; on his travels again for anybody, or for any and about the situation of the Jesuits' College thing. His easy, indolent behaviour produced at Paris, were not publicly known. He was a all the effects of the most artful policy. He bad man; but the spies and deserters by whom suffered things to take their course; and if governments are informed of conspiracies are Achitophel had been at one of his ears, and generally bad men. His story was strange Machiavel at the other, they could have given and frightful; but it was not more strange or him no better advice than to let things take frightful than a well-authenticated Popish plot, their course. He gave way to the violence of which some few people then living might re- the movement, and waited for the correspondmember-the Gunpowder treason. Oates's ing violence of the rebound. He exhibited account of the burning of London was in it- himself to his subjects in the interesting chaself by no means so improbable as the project racter of an oppressed king, who was ready to of blowing up King, Lords, and Commons,- do any thing to please them, and who asked a project which had not only been entertained of them, in return, only some consideration for by very distinguished Catholics, but which his conscientious scruples, and for his feelhad very narrowly missed of success. As toings of natural affection,-who was ready to the design on the king's person, all the world accept any ministers, to grant any guarantees knew, that, within a century, two kings of to public liberty, but who could not find it in France and a prince of Orange had been mur- his heart to take away his brother's birthright. dered by Catholics, purely from religious en- Nothing more was necessary. He had to deal thusiasm,--that Elizabeth had been in constant with a people whose noble weakness it has danger of a similar fate,--and that such at- always been, not to press too hardly on the vantempts, to say the least, had not been discou- quished,-with a people, the lowest and most raged by the highest authority of the Church of brutal of whom cry "Shame!" if they see a Rome. The characters of some of the accused man struck when he is on the ground. The persons stood high; but so did that of Anthony resentment which the nation had felt towards Babington, and of Everard Digby. Those who the court began to abate as soon as the court suffered denied their guilt to the last; but no was manifestly unable to offer any resistance. person versed in criminal proceedings would The panic which Godfrey's death had excited attach any importance to this circumstance. gradually subsided. Every day brought to light It was well known also that the most distin- some new falsehood or contradiction in the guished Catholic casuists had written largely stories of Oates and Bedloe. The people were in defence of regicide, of mental reservation, glutted with the blood of Papists, as they had, and of equivocation. It was not quite impos- twenty years before, been glutted with the blood sible, that men whose minds had been nou- of regicides. When the first sufferers in the rished with the writings of such casuists might plot were brought to the bar, the witnesses for think themselves justified in denying a charge the defence were in danger of being torn in which, if acknowledged, would bring great pieces by the mob. Judges, jurors, and specta scandal on the church. The trials of the actors seemed equally indifferent to justice, and cused Catholics were exactly like all the state equally eager for revenge. Lord Strafford, the triais of those days; that is to say, as infamous last sufferer, was pronounced not guilty by a as they could be. They were neither fairer large minority of his peers; and when he pronor less fair than those of Algernon Sydney, tested his innocence on the scaffold, the people of Roswell, of Cornish,-of all the unhappy cried out, "God bless you, my lord: we believe men, in short, whom a predominant party you, my lord." The extreme folly of the Oppobrought to what was then facetiously called sition in setting up the feeble and pusillanijustice. Till the Revolution purified our in-mous Monmouth as a claimant of the throne did stitutions and our manners, a state trial was them great harm. The story about the box and a murder preceded by the uttering of certain the marriage-contract was an absurd romance; gibberish and the performance of certain and the attempt to make a son of Lucy Walters, inumneries. King of England, was alike offensive to the pride of the nobles and to the moral feeling of the middle class. The old Cavalier party, the great majority of the landed gentry, the clergy, and the universities, almost to a man, began to draw together, and to form in close array round the throne.

A similar reaction had begun to take place favour of Charles I. during the second session of the Long Parliament; and if that princo had been honest or sagacious enough to keep himself strictly within the limits of the law, we have not the smallest doubt that he would in a few months have found himself at least as powerful as his best friends, Lord Falkland. Culpeper, or Hyde, would have wished to see

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When the Houses met in the autumn of 1678, the Opposition had the great body of the nation with them. Thrice the king dissolved the Parliament; and thrice the constituent body sent him back representatives fully determined to keep strict watch on all his meaures, and to exclude his brother from the throne. Had the character of Charles resem-in bled that of his father, this intestine discord would infallibly have ended in a civil war. Obstinacy and passion would have been his ruin. His levity and apathy were his security. He resembled one of those light Indian boats, which are safe because they are pliant, which yicid to the impact of every wave, and which

him. By illegally impeaching the leaders of sent up the most extravagant assurances of the Opposition, and by making in person a the love which they bore to their sovereign, wicked attempt on the House of Commons, he and of the abhorrence with which they restopped and turned back that tide of loyal feel-garded those who questioned the divine origin ing which was just beginning to run strongly. or the boundless extent of his power. It is The son, quite as little restrained by law or by scarcely necessary to say, that in this hot comhonour as the father, was, luckily for himself, petition of bigots and slaves, the University of a man of a lounging, careless temper; and, Oxford had the unquestioned pre-eminence from temper, we believe, rather than from The glory of being farther behind the age than policy, escaped that great error which had any other class of the British people, is one Cost the father so dear. Instead of trying to which that learned body acquired early, and pluck the fruit before it was ripe, he lay still has never lost! till it fell mellow into his very mouth. If he had arrested Lord Shaftesbury and Lord Russel in a manner not warranted by law, it is not improbable that he would have ended his life in exile. He took the sure course. He employed only his legal prerogatives, and he found them amply sufficient for his purpose.

During the first eighteen or nineteen years of his reign, he had been playing the game of his enemies. From 1678 to 1681, his enemies had played his game. They owed their power to his misgovernment. He owed the recovery of his power to their violence. The great body of the people came back to him after their estrangement with impetuous affection. He had scarcely been more popular when he landed on the coast of Kent than when, after several years of restraint and humiliation, he dissolved his last Parliament.

Charles died, and his brother came to the throne; but though the person of the sovereign was changed, the love and awe with which the office was regarded were undiminished. Indeed, it seems that, of the two princes, James was, in spite of his religion, rather the favourite of the High Church party. He had been especially singled out as the mark of the Whigs, and this circumstance sufficed to make him the idol of the Tories. He called a Parliament. The loyal gentry of the counties, and the packed voters of the remodelled boroughs, gave him a Parliament such as England had not seen for a century-a Parliament beyond all comparison the most obsequious that ever sate under a prince of the house of Stuart. One insurrec tionary movement, indeed, took place in England, and another in Scotland. Both were put down with ease, and punished with tremendous severity. Even after that bloody circuit, which will never be forgotten while the English race exists in any part of the globe, no member of the House of Commons ventured to whisper even the mildest censure of Jeffries. Edmund Waller, emboldened by his great age and his re-high reputation, attacked the cruelty of the military chiefs; and this is the brightest part of his long and checkered public life. But even Waller did not venture to arraign the still more odious cruelty of the Chief Justice. It is hardly too much to say that James, at that time, had little reason to envy the extent of authority possessed by Louis XIV.

Nevertheless, while this flux and reflux of opinion went on, the cause of public liberty was steadily gaining. There had been a great reaction in favour of the throne at the Restoration. But the Star-Chamber, the High Commission, and ship-money, had forever disappeared. There was now another similar action. But the Habeas Corpus Act had been passed during the short predominance of the Opposition, and it was not repealed.

The king, however, supported as he was by the nation, was quite strong enough to inflict a terrible revenge on the party which had lately held him in bondage. In 1681 commenced the third of those periods into which we have By what means this vast power was in three divided the history of England from the Resto-years broken down-by what perverse and ration to the Revolution. During this period, frantic misgovernment the tyrant revived the a third great reaction took place. The ex-spirit of the vanquished Whigs, turned to fixed cesses of tyranny restored to the cause of hostility the neutrality of the trimmers, and liberty the hearts which had been alienated drove from him the landed gentry, the church, from that cause by the excesses of faction. In the army, his own creatures, his own children 1681, the king had almost all his enemies at his--is well known to our readers. But we wish feet. In 1688, the king was an exile in a strange land.

to say something about one part of the ques
tion, which in our own time has a little puzzled
some very worthy men, and upon which the
"Continuation" before us pours forth, as might
expected, much nonsense.
James, it is said, declared himself a sup
porter of toleration. If he violated the consti-
tution, he at least violated it for one of the
noblest ends that any statesman ever had in
view. His object was to free millions of his
countrymen from penal laws and disabilities
which hardly any person now considers as
just. He ought, therefore, to be regarded as:
blameless, or, at worst, as guilty only of em
ploying irregular means to effect a most praise
worthy purpose. A very ingenious man, who
we believe to be a Catholic, Mr. Banim, has
written an historical novel, of the literary meri

2 c2

The whole of that machinery which had lately been in motion against the Papists was now put in motion against the Whigs-brow-be beating judges, packed jurors, lying witnesses, clamorous spectators. The ablest chief of the party fled to a foreign country and died there. The most virtuous man of the party was beheaded. Another of its most distinguished members preferred a voluntary death to the shame of a public execution. The boroughs on which the government could not depend were, by means of legal quibbles, deprived of their charters; and their constitution was remodelled in such a manner as almost to insure the return of representatives devoted to the court. All parts of the kingdom emulously VOL. III.--35


of which we cannot speak very highly, for the | we know most certainly that in 1679, and .ong After 1679 he was purpose of inculcating this opinion. The edi- after that year, James was a most bloody and tor of Sir James Mackintosh's Fragment as- remorseless persecutor. sures us that the standard of James bore the placed at the head of the government of Scotnobler inscription, and so forth; the meaning land. And what had been his conduct in that of which is, that William and the other authors country? He had hunted down the scattered of the Revolution were vile Whigs, who drove remnant of the Covenanters with a barbarity out James for being a Radical-that the crime of which no prince of modern times, Philip the of the king was his going farther in liberality Second excepted, had ever shown himself ca than his subjects-that he was the real cham- pable. He had indulged himself in the amusepion of freedom, and that Somers, Locke, ment of seeing the torture of the "Boot" inNewton, and other narrow-minded people of flicted on the wretched enthusiasts whom perthe same sort, were the real bigots and op-secution had driven to resistance. After his accession, almost his first act was to obtain pressors. from the servile Parliament of Scotland a law for inflicting death on preachers at conventicles held within houses, and on both preachers and hearers at conventicles held in the open air. And all this he had done for a religion which was not his own. All this he had done, not in defence of truth against error, but in defence of one damnable error against another--in defence of the Episcopalian against the Presbyterian apostasy. Louis XIV. is justly censured for trying to dragoon his subjects to Heaven. But it was reserved for James to torture and murder for the difference between the two roads to hell. And this man, so deeply imbued with the poison of intolerance, that rather than not persecute at all he would persecute men out of one heresy into another-this man is held up as the champion of religious liberty!-This man, who persecuted in the cause of the unclean panther, would not, we are told, have persecuted for the sake of the milk-white and immortal hind!

Now, we admit that if the premises can be made out, the conclusion follows. If it can be shown that James did sincerely wish to establish perfect freedom of conscience, we shall think his conduct deserving, not only of indulgence, but of praise. We shall applaud even his illegal acts. We conceive that so noble and salutary an object would have justified resistance on the part of subjects. We can therefore scarcely deny that it would justify encroachment on the part of a king. But it can be proved, we think, on the strongest evidence, that James had no such object in view; and that, under the pretence of establishing perfect religious liberty, he was establishing the ascendency and the exclusive dominion of the Church of Rome.

It is true that he professes himself a supporter of toleration. Every sect clamours for toleration when it is down. We have not the smallest doubt that, when Bonner was in the Marshalsea, he thought it a very hard thing that a man should be locked up in a jail for not being able to understand the words "This is my body" in the same way with the lords of the Council. It would be thought strange logic to conclude that a beggar is full of Christian charity because he assures you that God will reward you if you give him a penny; or that a soldier is humane because he cries out lustily for quarter when a bayonet is at his throat. The doctrine which, from the very first origin of religious dissensions, has been held by all bigots of all sects, when condensed into a few words and stripped of all rhetorical disguise, is simply this-I am in the right, and you are in the wrong. When you are the stronger, you ought to tolerate me; for it is your duty to tolerate the truth. But when I am the stronger, I shall persecute you; for it is my duty to persecute error.

And what was the conduct of James at the very time when he was professing zeal for the rights of conscience? Was he not even then persecuting to the very best of his power? Was he not employing all his legal preroga. tives, and many prerogatives which were not legal, for the purpose of forcing his subjects to conform to his creed? While he pretended to abhor the laws which excluded dissenters from office, was he not himself dismissing from office his ablest, his most experienced, his most faithful servants, on account of their religious opinions? For what offence was Lord Rochester driven from the treasury? He was closely con nected with the royal house. He was at the head of the Tory party. He had stood firmly by James in the most trying emergencies. But he would not change his religion, and he was dismissed. That we may not be suspected of very willing witoverstating the case, Dr. Lingard, a very competent, and assuredly not ness, shall speak for us. "The king," says that able but partial writer, "was disappointed; he complained to Barillon of the obstinacy and insincerity of the treasurer; and the latter received from the French envoy a very intelli

The Catholics lay under severe restraints in England. James wished to remove those restraints, and therefore he held a language favourable to liberty of conscience. But the whole history of his life proves that this was a mere pretence. In 1679 he held similar language in a conversation with the magistrates of Amsterdam, and the author of the "Con-gible hint that the loss of office would result tinuation" refers to this circumstance as a from his adhesion to his religious creed. He proof that the king had long entertained a was, however, inflexible, and James, after a strong feeling on the subject. Unhappily it long delay, communicated to him, but with He had hoped, he proves only the utter insincerity of all the considerable embarrassment and many tears, king's later professions. If he had pretended his final determination. to be converted to the doctrines of toleration said, that Rochester, by conforming to the after his accession to the throne, some credit Church of Rome, would have spared him the might have been due to his professions. But unpleasant task; but kings must sacrifice the

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