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the genius of the times, was so full of witty sallies and smart repartees, that the entire town, from the merry monarch on the throne down to the quidnunc in the meanest coffee-house in the Cheap, was convulsed with laughter, and poor Parker only ventured upon an anonymous and very brief reply, which he addressed to Marvell, and transmitted to him by post. It was conceived in the following terms:—“By --, if thou write another lie or libel against Dr. Parker, I'll cut thy throat." This production called forth a still more withering satire_" The Rehearsal Transposed," in the title-page of which Marvell printed this anonymous production at length, entitling it “ Dr. Parker's Second Letter on Ecclesiastical Polity." This blow, which was still heavier than the first, completed the demolition of Parker's literary character. He employed the remainder of his life in collecting the annals of his own times, in opposition to Burnet, who was known to be engaged upon the same subject. They were published after his death in Latin, and afterwards translated into English under the title of “ Bishop Parker's History of his own Times." It is somewhat surprising that Miss Strickland has not discovered the book, which would have supplied her with a large stock of “exclu. sive information," upon an authority at least as respectable and authoritative as nine out of ten of those she has quoted.
It must, however, be borne in mind that the boldness and enthusiasm of the Jacobite pamphleteers advanced in exact proportion to the desperateness of their cause. The exiled monarch gradually passed in the estimation of his partisans, from the realms of history to those of poetry. All his good qualities were exam. gerated to the perfections of an angel. All the faults which history had imputed to him were either boldly denied or unblushingly defended. James was a saint, yea a seraph! sent down from some loftier sphere to rule over an ungrateful people; whose divine right to the throne of England was as clear as if it had been declared by a voice from heaven : and the providential permission to chase him from the throne, was the heaviest judgment upon the sins of Britain that ever befel our unhappy country. This was the all but unvarying tone of the highflying Jacobites of the first half of the eighteenth century. In their pages, therefore, rather than in those of their predecessors, Miss Strickland would probably find the kind of historical information of which she was in search. Lamenting exceedingly the neglect of English history, which renders all these details necessary, we must now proceed w the history of the reign of James II.
Miss Strickland's account of the commencement of the reign is so fully occupied with the minute details of his coronation, that
she has quite forgotten to acquaint her readers with certain poli. tical transactions which also took place at this period. This omission we venture to supply, because we really do not see how it is possible to convey a proper understanding of the reigns either of James or his queen without them.
“ Before the Earl of Rochester had the white staff (of the Treasury), the court engaged the Lord Godolphin and the other lords of the Treasury, to send orders to the commissioners of the Customs to continue to levy the customs, though the act that granted them to the late king was only for his life, and so was now determined with it. It is known how much this matter was contested in King Charles I.'s time, and what had past upon it. The legal method was to have made entries, and to have taken bonds for those duties, to be paid when the Parliament should meet, and renew the grant. Yet the king declared, that he would levy the customs, and not stay for the new grant. But though this did not agree well with the king's promise of maintaining liberty and property, yet it was said in excuse for it, that, if the customs should not be levied, in this interval, great importations would be made, and the markets would be so stocked, that this would very much spoil the king's customs. But in answer to this it was said again, entries were to be made, and bonds taken, to be showed when the act granting them should pass. Endeavours were used with some of the merchants to refuse to pay those duties, and to dispute the matter in Westminster Hall : but none would venture on so bold a thing. He who should begin any such opposition would probably be ruined by it: so none would run that hazard. The Earl of Rochester got this to be done before he came into the Treasury : so he pretended, that he only held on in the course that was begun by others.
“ The additional excise had been given to the late king only for life. But there was a clause in the act that empowered the Treasury to make a farm of it for three years, without adding a limiting clause, in case it should be so long due. And it was thought a great stretch of the clause, to make a fraudulent farm, by which it should continue to be levied three years after it was determined according to the letter and intendment of the act. A farm was now brought out, as made during the king's life, though it was well known, that no such farm had been made; for it was made after his death, but a false date was put to it. This matter seemed doubtful. It was laid before the judges. And they all, except two, were of opinion that it was good in law. So two proclamations were ordered, the one for levying the customs, and the other for the excise.
“ These came out in the first week of the reign, and gave a melancholy prospect. Such beginnings did not promise well, and raised just fears in the minds of those who considered the conse. quences of such proceedings. They saw that by violence and fraud duties were now to be levied without law: but all people were under the power of fear and flattery to such a degree, that none durst complain, and few would venture to talk of those matters."
These dry details are by no means so interesting to the general reader as the particulars of the coronation ; but we submit they are at least as important to the comprehension of the causes which moved the people of England to expel this infatuated and unpriocipled monarch from the throne.
We have next to request the reader's attention to Miss Strick. land's account of the opening of James's first Parliament. :“ Mary Beatrice was present at the opening of the new parliament, May 22, 1685. She and the princess Anne of Denmark came into the house of lords together, without state, some time before the arrival of the king, and stood next above the archbishops, on the right hand of the throne. Her majesty remained standing while the prayers were read, and even while several of the lords took the test and the usual oaths; ‘so that,' says Evelyn, ‘she heard the pope and the worship of the Virgin renounced very decently, Then came in the king, in his robes, wearing his crown; and being seated the Commons were introduced, and he delivered his speech, at every period whereof the house gave loud' shouts. He finished with announcing that morning's news of Argyle's landing in the West Highlands of Scotland from Holland, and expressing his conviction of the zeal and readiness of his parliament to assist him as he required; 'at which,' pursues Evelyn, there followed another Vive le Roi!' and so his majesty retired. It does not appear that a special seat was provided for the accommodation of the queen, er that her presence was in any way recognised. The commons voted the usual revenue to his majesty."-(p. 176.)
Now let this account be compared with the undisputed testimony of history as to what really occurred in it. The practices employed in the summoning of the parliament could not possibly be omitted in any honest history of the times. “All arts were used to manage elections, so that the king should have a parlia, ment to his mind. Complaints came up from all the parts of England of the injustice and violence used in elections, beyond what had ever been practised in former times. And this was s universal over the whole nation, that no corner of it was neglectel. In the new charters that had been granted, the election of the members was taken out of the hands of the inhabitants, and restrained to the corporation-men, all those being left out nou were not acceptable at court. In some boroughs they could find a number of men to be depended on : so the neighbouring
· Burnet, vol. iii. pp. 7, 8.
gentlemen were made the corporation-men; and in some of these, persons of other counties, not so much as known in the borough, were named. This was practised in the most avowed manner in Cornwall by the Earl of Bath ; who to secure himself the groom of the stole's place, which he held all King Charles's time, put the officers of the guards' names in almost all the charters of that county; which sending up forty-four members, they were for most part so chosen, that the king was sure of their votes on all occasions.
“ These methods were so successful over England, that, when the elections were all returned, the king said, there were not above forty members, but such as he himself wished for. They were neither men of parts nor estates : so there was no hope left, either of working on their understandings, or of making them see their interest, in not giving the king all at once. Most of them were furious and violent, and seemed resolved to recommend themselves to the king by putting every thing in his power, and by ruining all those who had been for the exclusion. Some few had designed to give the king the revenue only from three years to three years. The Earl of Rochester told me, that was what he looked for, though the post he was in made it not so proper for him to move in it. But there was no prospect of any strength in opposing anything that the king should ask of them.
“ This gave all thinking men a melancholy prospect. England now seemed lost, unless some happy accident should save it. All people saw the way for packing a parliament now laid open. A new set of charters and corporation-men, if those now named should not continue to be still as compliant as they were at present, was a certain remedy, to which recourse might be easily had. The borougbs of England saw their privileges now wrested out of their hands, and that their elections, which had made them so considerable before, were hereafter to be made as the court should direct : so that from henceforth little regard would be had to them; and the usual practices in courting, or rather in corrupting them, would be no longer pursued. Thus all people were alarmed ; but few durst speak out, or complain openly."1 We repeat the assertion with which we set out. It is morally impossible that any one having the remotest design to write history faithfully could have mentioned this parliament, and yet have omitted all allusion to events so important both in themselves and in their consequences, as these.
Miss Strickland's very concise account of the proceedings of this
· Burnet, vol. iii. pp. 12.-14.
parliament is just as little characterized by regard to truth. The actual proceedings were as follows : “At last the Parliament met. The King, in his speech, repeated that which he had said to the council
his first accession to the throne. He told them, some might think, the keeping him low would be the surest way to have frequent Parliaments : but they should find the contrary, that the using him well would be the best argument to persuade him to meet them often. This was put in to prevent a motion, which was a little talked of abroad, but none would venture on it within doors, that it was safest to grant the revenue only for a term of years.
• The revenue was granted for life, and every thing else that was asked, with such a profusion, that the house was more forward to give, than the king was to ask : to which the king thought fit to put a stop by a message, intimating that he desired no more money that session. And yet this forwardness to give in such a reign was set on by Musgrave and others, who pretended afterwards, when money was asked for just and necessary ends, to be frugal patriots, and to be careful managers of the public treasure.
“As for religion, some began to propose a new and firmer security to it. But all the courtiers ran out into eloquent harangues on that subject, and pressed a vote, that they took the king's word in that matter, and would trust to it; and that this should be sig. nified in an address to him. This would bind the king in point of honour, and gain his heart so entirely, that it would be a tie above all laws whatsoever. And the tide ran
so strong that
that the house went into it without opposition.
“ The Lord Preston, who had been for some years envoy in France, was brought over, and set up to be a manager in the House of Commons. He told them, the reputation of the nation was beginning to rise very high all Europe over, under a prince whose name spread terror every where : and, if this was confirmed by the entire confidence of his Parliament, even in the tenderest matters, it would give such a turn to the affairs of Europe, that England would again hold the balance, and their king would be the arbiter of Europe. This was seconded by all the court-flatterers. So, in their address to the king, thanking him for his speech, they told him, they trusted to him so entirely, that they relied on his word, and thought themselves and their religion safe, since he had promised it to them.”? Of these proceedings Miss Strickland's account is," the Commons voted the usual revenue to his Majesty.” The fraud is here so palpable that not a word of exposure will be necessary.
· Burnet, vol. iii. pp. 30, 31.